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Different perspective

TooTired's picture

So a little back story... DH and BM got divorced shortly after SD was born. Because of this SD (now 11) has obviously never known her parents together. BM has been with her current husband since SD was 2-3 and DH and I have been together since SD was 7. We have SD EOWe and one evening a week.

Well recently BM dropped SD off at our house before DH got home. SD comes in and immediately starts bawling and calls DH saying she wants her mommy. This goes on for 30 minutes before they finally get off the phone because DH is getting ready to walk through the door. 


Is this normal? I don't understand it because SD is 11. To me that seems past the point of bawling for a half hour because you want your mommy. But I'm not a child of divorce so I often wonder if it's normal and I just don't understand it. I would think though that this is the only way SD has known life to be so she would be used to it. Anyone here a child of divorce and understand these feelings or just have thoughts/advice on whether this is normal or not? 


tog redux's picture

Well, is BM the type who is trying to poison the relationship between DH and SD? That's often a cause of this sort of behavior.

Or is SD immature and anxious and has a hard time separating from BM in all situations, even school? That can be another cause.

Is this new behavior on SD's part?

TooTired's picture

No BM isn't the type to poison the relationship. We all have a very good relationship actually. I think SD is just immature which drives me crazy but thought maybe I just don't understand. It's not new behavior truly but hasn't happened in a while. DH's excuse for her was he thought she was just tired. To me that's something you say about a toddler, not an 11yo. 

tog redux's picture

Good that BM's not that type. It could then be anxiety, and she might benefit from some therapy.  Anxiety does get worse when you are tired, but she needs skills to cope with it. Mom may be her "safe person" and she needs skills for when Mom's not around.

lieutenant_dad's picture

Did she start her period and wants to spend the weekend with her mom? Did she have a party that BM told her no to because she is staying with you guys? Did BM drop something heavy before dropping her off? Did something scare SD and she just wanted a parent, and BM was the closest one?

TooTired's picture

I have no idea if something "triggered" it. But I know it wasn't something scared her because I could tell she had been crying to BM when she dropped her off. Which was kind of irritating because I didn't get any warning or anything so it's like "here's bawling SD, have fun!" 

BethAnne's picture

It is surprising to me that these parents who all get along have not had some conversations about this behavior and tried to coordinate to help sd avoid these melt downs. Even if she is JUST tired, you would have thought that the parents might have coordinated that sd get to bed earlier or has a nap or does less in her day etc. 

Peach's picture

If the relationship with BM is good, then ask her what was going on?  She may be able to provide further insight.  That is not normal, and I would normally think that BM had something to do with it before she dropped her off.  Those BMs that are alienating their children do this type of stuff.  In our case, BM loved to do this kind of thing.  She definitely wanted us to take extra days so that she had free time to date and whatnot, but she couldn't stand the thought that the kids might just be happy here.  She needed to have them longing for her whenever they were here.  My SD (at the age yours in now) would be bawling her eyes out.  She never really ever had a good reason why either when we tried to talk to her.  Sometimes, she didn't know why she was upset.  Other times, it was "I never get to see you anymore."  That was bizarre since we were getting her every weekend and multiple days during the week since DH coached her sports team.  So, there was only 1 day a week that we didn't see her.  To be upset about not seeing him is strange.  We know where it came from... the mother.

Harry's picture

SD is trying to take control over both of you.   You have to remember it's not your child. She has a mother, you are not it. 
You should let DH handle this.  You should stay out of this circuit