Friday, October 19, 2012


If everything went smoothly I will be checking into the retreat center when you read this blog post from me. When I say smoothly I mean that my kids StepMother picks up my boys for the weekend. It's Dad's weekend but Dad has a new job that keeps him away from home so it's the whole debate thing on is she obligated to take care of our sons'

I guess if my husband is obligated then so is she. I don't know if that's the right word to be using though. I think if the stepparents married "us" then they have a moral responsibility to help raise the children up. Their StepMom isn't going to ever be doing a whole lot of raising of them but if she has them for a weekend it gives us a much needed break to be better full time parents.

The whole reason I am writing about the moral or obligation is due to the last time she was suppose to get them she didn't show up and didn't call my husband but texted me and they got the kids the next day.

Stephen has Rec night and my husband plans on having a quiet weekend without children. If she screws up and there was some talk about her being sick I know I will still be checking into the retreat center and my husband will see to it that Stephen gets to REC night and home. It's just the kind of husband he is to me.

He may grumble and bitch and raise hell but he will take care of the kids.

I am really looking forward to this retreat. I had such a great time last year and met a lot of nice women who can relate to special needs children. It gave me some things to think about and I think it changed my outlook on life. Yes. My child is special needs with autism and add and let's admit it obsessive traits that drive me silly. However, my child has a normal life expectancy and their were Mother's who children had beat their life expectancy.


Family Bits said...

I suppose this begs the question, "Is a stepparent legally obligated to take on the role of the birthparent?"

As a stepmom (who helped raise my ex husband's kids till they were grown), I know that I did not have to do ANY of what I did. Just as the stepparents income (both your husband's and the stepmther's) does not have to be included in the total incomes for determining child support obligations...neither does the step parent have an obligation to step up and take care of the children at any time.
However, being that you are the custodial parent, YOU have an obligation to make sure your kids are taken care of while you are gone...whether if that is your husband taking care of the kids, or your ex husband or his wife. BUT, your ex husband (and especially his wife) is not OBLIGATED to exercise his visitation rights. He is only obligated to pay child support if it is ordered. Therefore, IF he does not pick up the kids, you, unfortunately, are stuck finding child care alternatives for them...and if that means your husband takes care of them, you have found the child care you need in order to leave them behind for the weekend. On the other hand, once your ex husband and/or his wife pick the kids up, they are then obligated to make sure THEY provide your kids with adequate supervision. But if they don't pick up the kids, then, unfortunately, finding someone to watch the kids while you are gone falls on you.
Morally? That is a different question. IMO, yes and no. His new wife has no real obligation to take your kids. If she does, consider it a favor. And thank her for it. As a step mom, I can tell you first hand, that I took my step kids many times because their mother dropped them off on my doorstep when my husband was not home, and when it was not visitation time..and I took them because I loved them....but all too often, their mother dumped on me and I dont recall her EVER thanking me for taking the kids and doing as much as I did for her. I felt very used by her. Instead she spent her time insulting me and down talking me in front of the children. I was only 22 yrs old, with a 2 year old at the time I met my ex-husband, and took on his kids and it was a lot to handle.
I hope you have fun on your retreat. You are very lucky that you have a husband who can pick up the pieces when you are gone....but you are also very lucky that you have an exhusband who (perhaps not as often as you would like), keeps in touch with the kids, and you are also very lucky that HE has a wife who (again not as often as you would like) takes the kids on your exhusband's behalf. She doesnt have to do it at all, neither does your ex-husband.
It's been YEARS since Ive been able to get away for something productive in my life. My current husband and I have an adopted daughter who will be turning 8 this month....and it's actually been 8 years since we have gone out ALONE together, and much longer than that since I've had alone time by myself. I dont have anyone to pick up the pieces. I used to enjoy it when my son's father would take my son for the weekend, or his grandparents took him for a week. But my current husband's parents are passed away, my mom is not passed away, and my dad lives in a different state. We have no one to help us with her at all. Close friends would not take her for a weekend or a week at all. And my adult son is married, and working two jobs, about 3 hours that's also out of the picture.
YEP consider yourself lucky if you have 1 weekend every two months that's kidless. And thank your exhusband's new wife. Just a little bit of gratitude toward her will go a LOOONNNNGGG me. If she has already been willing to take them in the past, she must be a woman who is willing to go beyond what MOST new wives would be willing to do. Many of them move the ex out of state, and pretend the kids do not exist at all.

birthmothertalks said...

Thanks for your long response. I am too tired to comment but I will soon.

birthmothertalks said...

I wanted to address your comment. I really do appreciate that my exes new wife is wanting and willing to take my son for the weekend that is documented in court papers. Right or wrong if I am legally made to give my child to the noncustodial parent than I feel like they should legally be held responsible for him during the four days of a month and maybe even for some of the vacations because it's included in the court orders. However, we really haven't pushed for that.
I had a long conversation with my kids Dad about sleeping arrangements, bedtimes and for them to start enforcing showers ect. My son thinks we are "mean" and she is "nice" I can see his point of view but I consider how they treat him to be close to neglect.
It's just my opinion but if the non custodial parent won't or is unable to take his children that I believe the courts should enforce child support to be slightly higher to help pay for those meals and child care ect. Just my two cents though.