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Fresh BM calls about summer and SS phone

Caroline2b1211's picture

SS is supposed to spend the month of july with us. 
However, BM calls this morning saying DH that one month without phone is impossible for SS.

DH explained that he can call her whenever he wants, calls his friends with our phone, calls family etc... and that a phone at 10 is non vital. He tells the rule in our house is : no phone, point ! 

So BM said that it won't be possible to send SS here one month, that we will do 15 days in july and 15 days in august. Which is not possible,DH told. 
Then BM said "ok, so you are telling you don't want to see your son this summer?". DH answered : "i'm saying i will see my son the entire month of july, as it was planned. Unless you think it's better for SS to have a phone rather than a fater. In this case, i'll only see him 15 days in july, and 0 in august".


BM stops the conversation by saying she will ask SS what's is the best for him...

Let's see what will happen ...


Winterglow's picture

If I were your husband, I would insist on the original month that was planned and no compromising. Doesn't he have a court order? Or at least, have the agreement about the summer holidays written somewhere? 

Can't live a month without a phone? LOL Tell her to consider it rehab. The kid is addicted to his phone. Your DH would be doing his kid a service. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Hi winterglow, 

You can see how ridiculous and dangerous this mother is. Unfortunately, DH never did any court order. The amount of financial support is decided by BM (and is far higher than it will be with a court order), the holidays, the activities etc... everything is BM decision. Such as phone for example ! 

DH doesn't want to go to court, because he says it will have horrible consequences now. He knows that it was a huge mistake to not dit it at the begining. But he thinks it's too late now, is son is 10, almost 11. 
BM wouldn't obey to the court order, and in france, police doesn't do anything if you not respect the court (for father). He says it won't change anything, and that BM will keep doing what she wants, plus a huge conflict. 

TrueNorth77's picture

It's crazy to think it's too late now. My DH just went back and revised custody, Child support, the works, when SS was 13 and SD was 11. We have all communication on Our Family Wizard (makes it really hard for her to not follow a CO when it's all documented for the courts to see) There is soo much time left- get it under control now, because that is still 7 years of nonsense if he doesn't! 

Lolita's picture

His decision will be detrimental to him and SS relationship.  He's fighting a losing battle without court order, he has no power and BM knows it.

Why doesn't he do 15 days in July and 15 days in august?  As he said its too late now to pretend he can control the situation or that he has any power, might as well keep on going along with what BM says, as he's allowed so far. That way he will not deny SS of his father  and try to enjoy the little time he has with him.




Caroline2b1211's picture

Just because he has not vacation in august, and that everything is already planned for july. 
And because we have a life, and another child to care for. 
Just because of that. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I think he should fight for the whole month at all costs and not give up or try to negotiate. She's being unreasonable. The decision isn't the kids. He should stay the whole month, he can use the other phone, she is acting ridiculous. If I were him I'd sent a text back that is clear "He will come the whole month of July as planned."

If he can somehow manage the 15 day each month maybe strive hard for that even though she's being completely unreasonable. Keep the 30 days or else she will gain power, it's clear she's trying to have control and alienate. Don't give up any time. 

The whole phone scenario is an attempt by bio mom to control the situation and limit custody time, and nothing more. It has nothing to do with the phone at all. I wouldn't even get into a convo about the phone at all. Just insist on the time that you agreed upon. The 30 days. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Also, BM asking the kid is inappropriate at that age. I think the 2 of you should figure it out. This is another thing that bio moms with full custody sometimes do, and it's another attempt to spin things their way. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

I 100% agrees. Just remember that one year ago she asked the kid about christmas : "do you want to spend christmas with dad or with MIL, you choose what's the best"... 

stepmomnorth's picture

If I were to make a guess I would say likely bio mom feels threatened about him not being able to have a phone (she feels less in control, maybe can't text him every day, try to insert her bio mom manipulation). Also it's clear shes just using it as a tool to get her way and change things. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Humml i'm not sure it's about havong control. It's been a year since SS isn't allowed to use his phone with unlimited access and she wasn't disurbed at all with this. I truly believe it's because SS isn't happy with this rule, and because BM didn't care if he comes here because she has MIL as a free nanny plan B. 

ESMOD's picture

Honestly,  I would agree to let him have some access to the phone during his time.  Yeah.. 10 is a little young to have unlimited access to any tech for games etc.. but your husband could agree to allow him to use it "some".. and just keep to your full month as planned.

Like you already know.. your DH made a huge mistake not getting things done officially.. he has less power because of it.  BM could refuse any time in her whims.  He probably should have a consult with a lawyer to see what he might really be looking at if he were to pursue an official order.  He doesn't have to follow through if it looks overly unfavorable.. but remember.. BM.. could also force it at any time so there is that to consider too.

I see the hard limit on "no phone" to be cutting off his nose to spite his face.. because the kid WILL have access to the phone if he doesn't come see dad.. so why not say he will allow it.. but not free all day access.. but some reasonable hours a day?  He needs to figure out his hills to die on and since he can't control what BM does in her home... on her time? this is kind of a silly thing to get wrapped around the axle on.  He has already lost the phone at 10  battle.. so why continue to wage it whole hog in his own home.. set some reasonable time limits on it and be done with it.

ESMOD's picture

The way you explain it is your SO's rule is "NO PHONE".. that the kid can use your phones to do his calling etc.. NOT that he could have HIS phone during the day or for portions of the day.

You say that BM said that going a month "without a phone" is too much.  So.. that seems to imply that she would be ok if he had access to the phone some of the time.

I mean.. DH could do all sorts of compromises on phone time.. X hours a day.  Every other day..  (since she is "ok" with letting him be without it for 15 days.. certainly saying he could have access 3 or 4 days a week would work right?  

My point is that it sounds like your DH is being rigid with his "no phone" rule.  When being rigid is going to mean he loses time with his son.. which means the kid will have his phone ANYWAY... so why be a hardnosed about it?  

Your DH can tell her that her son will have access to his phone.. and he can control what that access is right?  A few hours in the mornign.. a few hours in the afternoon/evening.. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Ok, i might have not explained well DH position. 
DH offers SS the possibility to use his phone under supervision. But doesn't allowed phone when he is alone, or at night (unless it's to call BM or friends) since BM doesn't want to give DH parental control access password. 
He is not rigid, he is protective. 
I explained myself : last yer SS has his phone, and was allowed to use it as BM requested. This leads to us being in a drama in the middle of the night because SS send "SOS danger" to MIL and SIL, and the two crazy were about to come pick him in the middle of the night WITHOUT calling DH. 
I'm sorry, but it is not being unflexible, it's being protective to his family (which includes our toddler, who does't deserve to live in MIL, SIL and SS drama world, and my mental health). 

DH offered compromise : have access to parental control password when SS is here, OR even give him another phone (where we can block MIL, SIL, and unknow contact etc..), BM is rigid : his phone, whenever he want's, or no month with dad if SS is not ok with the rule. 

ESMOD's picture

Certainly you could figure out to have DH have it overnight.. and remember.. if he holds this hard line of only draconian supervision?  he won't get time with his son.. which means.. his son has unlimited access right?

Perhaps a better way to handle this is to have  your DH get more involved in a more "interested" way in what his son is interested in doing.  What games does he play?  Hey.. can you show me how roblox works?  what you have created?  Cool Son.. that's pretty neat.

Because his son has free access to this phone at his mom's.. your husband isn't really accomplishing much by keeping a hard lock down on his use.. wanting to look over his shoulder every second.. 

Again.. if mom is ok with him not having his phone for 2 weeks then she would be fine with him having daily access but dad taking phone up at night.. where SS could ask for it if it were an emergency etc... 

Again, your husband will cut off his nose to spite his face with his hardline on this.

And.. how does his son having a call with grandma cause your toddler drama?  maybe not MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.. but again... does he want to be in his son's life or not.. that is what he is doing here.. and again.. had he done the smart thing and got a court order.. he could have a lot more control.. but he continues to have access to his son at BM's pleasure.. or lack therof.

I think you know the only option is for your DH to compromise.. or not.  and if you want him to not have a relationship with his son.. he is heading down that road.. which probably would be fine with you.. based on your experience of having his son in the home. right? I'm not saying that BM's rules are best for his son.. or that MIL is not in your corner.. but his EX has all the control.. he let that decision be made years ago by not getting a CO.. he already gave up his control.. so what he is doing now? doesn't have much weight.. or impact on his son because his son is with BM most of the time.

Caroline2b1211's picture

And.. how does his son having a call with grandma cause your toddler drama?  maybe not MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT.. but again... does he want to be in his son's life or not

Because SS having is phone in our house implies day in night contact with MIL and SIL who are writting to him "is daddy and step mon abusing you?" "What are you doing right now ?" "Can you send us pictures?" "You can tell us that BS has better treatment than you!, we are here to protect you" etc.. etc.. 

And then, that leads to MIL and SIL calling BM. And then BM calling SS, and then BM calling DH multiple times a day to says that SS is not well in our house. 

And for DH, he is involved in SS gaming such as Fortnight with his SWITCH, not because he agrees to gaming, but because SS plays with his SWITCH at BM, and he doesn't wan't to be the unflexible dad. Phone is really THE problem because MIL and SIL will have access to SS when he is here, and he won't be able to enjoy time with his dad because he will be too busy answering anxious SMS to MIL. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I think bio mom is being absolutely ridiculous about this phone thing and using this as a way to control things... However I guess if it means you get the 30 days then I don't see the harm, and just control the access time on your end. 

stepmomnorth's picture

If it were myself, I'd agree to what bio mom said. But then when he arrived  get him a new tablet and set it up exactly how YOU like. Have the rules that YOU want at your house. Im a bit confused on exactly how bio mom wants to set up this phone.. Like she can still control everything from afar? But she can't control if the phone is physically in his room at night. You could keep it somewhere else in case of " emergency" and you still control access.

I feel likes she's trying to "dictate" from afar. I don't think parents can just do this. Control issue much? Hes a parent just as she is. 

She is trying to play some manipulative game. I think the key is figuring out how to beat her antics. The child deserves quality time with his father and she's trying to interfere with this. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Ok, well thanks for judgment. 
And for the ones who says that SS should have his phone and that DH must be flexible to enjoy quality time with SS, i just invite you to read my one year history with drama AND hyperflexibility. 

TheAccidentalSM's picture

For our fellow site mates, OP is in France.  Like many people in France, it seems like OP's DH has a month of holiday planned for July.  This way when his son visits he is available 24/7.  If the visit gets split across July and August, OP and her DH will be at work for the visit time in August.  At this point in the year, it would be impossible for the family to change their holiday plans.  French workers generally plan to have either July or August off work and rescheduling in May would probably not be possible.  The office politics around managing to get an August slot is very competitive.  (August is seen as the better month for traditional reasons.)

You would think that this would get me to urge Carline to be flexible but the way the MIL has used the phone to manipulate earlier visits makes it clear to me that SS shouldn't be allowed to have it while he with them.

ESMOD's picture

He has no way to force the july visit.. it's at BM's option what he gets unfortunately.  So, he has to figure out a compromise with his EX that she finds acceptable.. it would be better if he had more power here.. but he doesn't.

Maybe he could do a compromise with his son that calls to MIL/Grandma must be supervised.. and he will be allowed to check the phone for that activity.. and if he goes against his boundary.. he will have access consequences?

And phone is with dad overnight.. so that keeps that worry of midnight drama from happening.

I know it's not a perfect solution.. but sometimes we have to play the cards we are dealt.

Caroline2b1211's picture

I'm sorry but calls with MIL and SIL are not tolerable in our house. For the rest, i have explained everything in my numerous posts, and i understand why DH is non flexible with SS access to his phone. 
He is being flexible for many things : access to TV, SWITCH, etc... even if it's not the education we are giving to our second (and my first) child. SS has special treatment in order to avoid any disruption between the two universe. But phone is THE problem. 

I'm sure BM is not in an agressive position to control our lives. She is just playing the cool one, and thinks she is a super mother by saying Yes to every SS demands. For example, SS decides where he wants to spent christmas, his birthday, the week-ends, holidays (except when it's DH time) etc... and the more he grows up, the more he decides for himself. She ask him is opinion for medical decision, school decision etc.. it's the way she educates him. 
DH is trying to be flexible for many things but the phone in free access is not an option for the reasons i have explained. Plus SS doesn't have any parental control (he can surf the net freely) on his phone. 

For the 1 month, we can't have him in august because we already set up our holidays plans, paid for everything, and we have no plan B solution 

stepmomnorth's picture

Would it be possible to have a court order that specifies that the father is entitled to 30 days of "uninterrupted time" each summer during the month of July? 

Survivingstephell's picture

Let the phone come with him then take it away and let it die.  Send it back charged when he returns.  He can use his dad's phone.  

I'd ask SS if BM is so scared of DH why did she have a kid with him in the first place?  With all this crazy estrogen going on , that kid needs a month with his dad, free from it.     I'd also recommend using the money as leverage.  

lieutenant_dad's picture

I understand the drama around the phone. Here is a different spin on it:

Could DH have SS bring the phone this year, then document ALL the calls MIL and SIL make, and then get a protective order for your household AND SS that prevents MIL and SIL from contacting any of you? And then go to court to get a court order with BM and establish child support/maintenance?

As SS gets older, it's going to be harder to control what he does and who talks to him. If it's about limiting drama, your DH may need court intervention since MIL is harassing SS and defaming you and DH. If your DH is more interested in just reducing drama (and I can appreciate that - my DH has made choices that I don't necessarily agree with from a parenting perspective, but understand why he did it due to drama and an unforgiving local court system), then taking his 2 weeks in July is probably for the best.

BUT, if your DH is going to keep the phone away, he needs to protect you all in other ways. Not sure of French law, but you may want to invest in nanny cams to put up in common areas of the house, schedule outings in public places frequently, take plenty of photos of SS and DH smiling happily, and keep a journal of what happened day-to-day. That way, if BM or MIL try to send the police to check on SS OR they try to call child protective services after/during the visit, you all have alibis to SS being perfectly cared for. Honestly, whether you keep SS for two weeks or a month, I'd still do all this.

stepmomnorth's picture

I agree with lieutenant... Bio mom and the in laws and all of their shenanigans are pretty over stepping and would look pretty bad in the eyes of the law. Having a well thought out plan might go a long way. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Hi Lieutenant, 

I 100% agree with you, and that's what we do. We have nanny cams in every public room (except of course bathroom and SS room). 
We also document everything about SS visitations : times and duration, reasons why he leaves if he leaves earlier (BM request ect..), medical visits if needed, activities we plan and do for him and with him, things we buy for and to him, memories of event etc etc.. 

For the restraining order, it's complicated because it will imply restraining order for SS too. And BM use MIL to have free nanny whenever she wants, so she will be really really really upset. 
BM doesn't want to understand that MIL is toxic for SS.

Our attorney was dubitative about it.  

ESMOD's picture

You and your DH need to decide what you are willing to give up.. and what you won't give up.

You also have to realistically understand what you can and cannot control (or cannot control without some extreme measures like a restraining order).

You can't control that BM can dictate what visitation she wants to allow.

You can't control that BM lets him have full access to his phone.

You can't control that BM lets him have acces to MIL and SIL.

His son sees a ban on his phone as a punishment to HIM.. when HE does not feel he deserves a punishment.. (it's basically punishing him for MIL and SIL's antics)

His son will refuse to come (at least for a full month) and BM will allow that if a ban on his phone goes for the duration.

So, it sounds like your husband trades time with his son for the ability to ban his access on the device while he is in your home.. so 2 weeks vs 4 weeks.  If that is the deal with the devil he wants to make.. he does understand he isn't preventing his son from being in contact with his mother.. or sister.. just that it won't happen under his roof.. but he gives up time with his son.. and his son feels unhappy in your home because he feels he is punished for "nothing".  Maybe that is the choice he must make?  It isn't ideal.. but the other way is to let the child have more free access but shut down any hint of drama from his mother.

Maybe he needs to have some more dialogue with his mother about how she is damaging her grandchild?


Caroline2b1211's picture


You and your DH need to decide what you are willing to give up.. and what you won't give up.

ESMOD, even if i might be seen as an horrible monster and DH as an horrible father, we, as a family, won't give up our family stability toward SS entertainment. Even if it costs 2 weeks without SS. 

His son sees a ban on his phone as a punishment to HIM.. when HE does not feel he deserves a punishment.. (it's basically punishing him for MIL and SIL's antics)

It's not punishing him for MIL and SIL, it's calling preserving our stability. DH and I worked so much on banning MIL and SIL off our lives, we won't give it up. At 10, SS's is not as mature as you think he is to not talk to MIL or SIL, even if it's forbiden under our house. 

Maybe he needs to have some more dialogue with his mother about how she is damaging her grandchild?

He tried during many months, to have serious talk with MIL. Everytime he tried to talk to her, everything was about how a bad father to SS he was, how he was making favouritism, how devil i was not letting sick SS toutching my 3 weeks new born etc.. etc.. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

Ahhh yes, the "MIL as free nanny" bit. Had that with my MIL, too. She saw my SKs more than DH did, and it would sometimes create problems where BM would deny DH visitation because she "granted" visitation with MIL instead.

Unfortunately, it comes down to which kind of drama do you want to stir up, because drama will happen no matter what you choose to do. The only way to somewhat limit the drama is spend less time with SS, which in situations like this can be a valid option. Unless you're in a place where the court system would tear apart BM for allowing this to happen, it's almost always a lose-lose situation.

Does the attorney think DH has any hope of getting more custody, reducing child support, and keeping MIL out of his life? If not, do what you have to do. If so, it might be a good time to look at going to court, even if it terrifies your husband.

Winterglow's picture

Actually, I would do it for that very reason... After all, the kid is 10, how much babysitting does he actually need? Every municipality has a before and after school service for kids whose parents can't be there when the bell goes. And it's free. If BM wants some kid-free time, it's a question of comfort, not need. Besides, at age 10, he should be fully in the sleepover stage Smile She can trade time off with her kid with the parents of his school friends. MIL needs to be kept out of the loop entirely... and so should SIL because she's as bad as her mother. How did your DH turn out so well? Are you sure he isn't a changeling? That they didn't make a mistake at the maternity? lol

BM understands perfectly that MIL is toxic for her son but she considers her to be a convenience, a useful person who gives her the space she would have if she hadn't a son to take care of. And having her personal time is sooooo much more important than her son's well-being. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

Yes it's exaclty it, It's way more convenient for her to have free child time. Last time SS spent holidays at BM was last summer ! Every little holidays have been shared between DH and MIL. 
And now that she knows she as MIL back up, she doesn't even care if DH sees his son. That's my analysis. 

Plus, since our DS birth, MIL who barely took SS before, is 100% available, even when she works. SS spends days alone at MIL while she works, but she is 100% available to keep him. Just to make competition with DH, and make him feel bad about his son. 

In 5 years, SS never ever spend more than 2 or 3 nights at MIL, until our BS birth. 

Winterglow's picture

Then go ahead and get that restraining order or the witch will do all in her power to spoil her son's relationship with his son. She is a sick woman  A very sick woman. You can't combat some one for whom reality isn't reality.Its much healthier for your SS to have a loving relationship with your toddler aas siblings rather than let this witch fire up a sense of competition for his father's attention

Seriously,what kind of a grandma stirs up hate between her grandchildren? She needs psychiatric help and should not be alone with children.. 

Caroline2b1211's picture

You know that in France, grand parents have rights ? More precisely, children have rights to maintain a relationship with grand parent. So it's not an easy thing to get. 

We take an attorney last year, and he explained it will be really hard without strong evidence of manipulation AND prejudices. Evidences could be testimonial which BM won't do, or psychologist analysis (BM doesn't think SS needs a psychologist), or SMS and calls evidences. However, if you remember last year drama, MIL chat with SS by snapchat and delete all the message she sends. No proof for us except a screenshot of about 10 messages.

For our attorney, this is not enough, even if it's a good begining, to have a restraining order. So we keep going with our "file" : evidences that SS comes from MIL sick and without medication (bronchitis), without having done any homework, etc.. but still not enough. 


Winterglow's picture

Hang on in there until you have enough to sink her. Grand parents rights do not allow them to torpedo their grandchildren's relationship with their parents. Their rights are intended to enrich their grandchildren's lives, not destroy their families. 

I would look for proof of her instability. 

Cover1W's picture

This is exactly it. One cannot prevent BM from giving him the device, but in one's own home, one certainly can decide how/when its used.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Can you call the police and have BM or MIL removed for trespassing instead? Is DH on SS's birth certificate?

If BM showed up, your DH may not be able to do much. If MIL showed up, though, I'd have her hauled off to jail for trespassing. She has fewer rights than DH does, so she is in no position to pick up SS.

Caroline2b1211's picture

Of course DH is on SS birth certificate ! 
But DH only has a copy, BM has the family book. 
Yes i know she has fewer right, but... 

She has the right to make drama, and SS could be shocked if we call the police. 

That could be an option too

Thumper's picture

Let them.

IF bm wants to yank a child out of a home during scheduled visitation, LET Her. She looks like an ass. 

Here in America, your home, your rules. NOT bm or MIL's rules about the cell phone.

Parent is only required to give the child has a means to call/speak to mom . Granny is not in the mix by any means. BM yes.

Child could use dads phone or yours.

What is your countries general rules in the matter. Then again there is no court order correct? Well, bm can do what she wants and so can you. 

*Granny has no business IN your business. All contact with Granny should be done during BM's visitation time, not yours. Tell her to buzz off Smile



Ispofacto's picture

There was an app I installed on DH's phone years ago, you can block calls from specific numbers.

Mr Number

It wouldn't be long before SS would realize MIL is blocked though.