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I know a lot of you mama's have mentioned step-kids whose mother is/has abandoned/mostly dropped out on her kids. I'm facing this situation with my partner's kids, and I'm new to this and looking for some perspective.<br><br>
background: my partner and I are not married- we don't live together and have been together for almost a year. We are neighbors, and since his ex has only supervised visitation, I have been filling his kids' daily mommy role, doing school pickups and activities, giving baths, reading stories, all that good stuff. Our kids just kind of wander between the two houses, depending! For a while, visitation was at a third party, paid supervision place, and she was showing up every week. Then a few months ago, the court decided she should have it at partner's home, so she could feed them dinner, put them to bed, etc. She shows up maybe once every other month now, and it's lessening steadily. Now she hardly bothers to even call with an excuse. She let her dd's birthday go by without calling, same with her ds who just turned four yesterday. The really tragic and telling (for me) one was that she promised dd she would spend time with them on mother's day (also her birthday), never called or showed up, and then "got mad" at dd over the phone yesterday (when dd finally called her) because she didn't receive a phone call for her birthday.<br><br>
What to do? This visitation situation could potentially change to unsupervised eow- she needs to have her therapist send paperwork to the court showing that she's ready. I don't know her very well at all (she won't speak to me the few times we've been in the same room), but based on the behavior that I've witnessed, I find the idea of her caring for them for two straight days very alarming. I've started documenting her not showing, and not bothering with excuses, but my partner says the court is not going to care if she doesn't show up for her visits. What do you think?<br><br>
And what can I say/do for the kids beyond assuring them that it's not their fault? It's SO painful to hear them accusing their dad of lying when their mom doesn't show up, or seeing how angry and hurt they are. The kids are 8, 6, and 4.
 

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I hope that isn't the case because we've been documenting all the late/no call/no show's for court.<br><br>
We stopped telling DSDs when their mother was coming to see them because half the time she wouldn't show up. Same for if she was going to call them. Too many times did she say she'd come see them and we would tell them (well the older one) and then she'd never show up and it just dissapointed DSD1 (DSD2 was 2 months when she left and doesn't know who she is supposed to be, has only known me as the mother figure until she was 1 years old).<br><br>
When that happens, we would just reasure her that her mother does love her and we love her and they would see her mother soon. That's the standard line for us, 'You'll see her soon' because we just never know what's going to happen.
 

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I can't imagine a parent getting more access when they aren't being reliable with the access they have already.<br><br>
The way my kids counselor suggested that I explain it to them was to say he has a big problem that sometimes makes him behave in ways that just don't make any sense (and reassurance that they are lovable, great kids when it seemed like they needed that) For a while I told them their dad was working on his big problem, and when it became clear that he either wasn't (or wasn't making any progress) I told them that sometimes grown ups don't fix their problems, and it's sad but it's the grown ups choice. There's really no easy way to break it to a kid that they've been abandoned. I talk about how lucky we are and how great other members of our family thinks they, and how much they are loved, which (I hope) shows them that it's him, not them, that has something wrong with him.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>singin'intherain</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15395763"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I've started documenting her not showing, and not bothering with excuses, but my partner says the court is not going to care if she doesn't show up for her visits.</div>
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<span style="text-decoration:underline;">The</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">court</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">will</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">care</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">that</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">she</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">doesn't</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">show</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">up</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">for</span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">visits.</span> Bless you for documenting. I am like Cassandra, about telling people to document but rarely having them listen to me!<br><br>
The idea behind transitioning how she visits was to have the kids become comfortable with her caring for them - and to have some outside party be able to verify that she's capable of it. She hasn't shown up regularly enough to accomplish this. Sounds like it's not time yet, for weekend visits! You won't be the only one who sees that (unless you get a really crummy judge).<br><br>
It's also significant that she's not willing to communicate about the kids with one of the two people who's been raising them. That shows it's unlikely that she's going to cooperate with "co-parenting".<br><br>
No pressure (wink, wink), but the best thing you could tell those poor kids is, "I'm sorry you're disappointed about your Mom. But I'm here. I'm always going to be here." Any chance you guys are going to get married? It sounds like it would absolutely devastate these kids if you guys broke up and they lost you, too.<br><br>
I think it's rotten to lie to kids who are already dealing with such s*^#. Don't sugar-coat it and make it sound like they shouldn't be upset. I don't even think it's wrong to say, at least to the 8-y-o, "You're right. It's not very loving, for your mom to not show up. I think she really has some trouble knowing how to show love. Maybe people didn't show love to her, when she was your age. I think she's trying to learn, but she still has some work to do. Your Dad loves you. I love you. Let's try to be happy together while your Mom figures things out. Let's not let this make us unhappy all day." And then take them to the bookstore or the zoo or the park - anything to distract them!<br><br>
Thanks for being there for them. You're a good woman!
 

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1. Mummoth is wise.<br><br>
2. Document, document, document. It cannot hurt. I think it will help.<br><br>
3. I'm sure you know this already, but you are going to need to decide if you want this Mommy job permanently, and the sooner the better. The kids shouldn't have through attaching to you as Mom only to have you leave the relationship. And your partner would look better to a family court if he were married to the woman who does so much of the caregiving.
 
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