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When to cut out toxic BM

SMcP's picture

My SS is almost 7 and since Christmas, his BM has seen him once and called him maybe 6 or 7 times. I am the stepmother and have full care because my SO works out of town. Before Christmas, his mom would take him at least one weekend a month for most weekends. During these visits, she would sleep and let him play on the iPad the entire time. She was also constantly fighting with roommates, partying and having him at strangers houses. He was 2 when I stepped into the picture and one month into my relationship with my SO, she was already asking me to take him overnights by myself because of fights and police showing up at her house. After one week, she was fighting with my SO about not ever getting time off from my SS. Keep in mind, he works out of town for 21 days and would take SS the day after he got home from shift. That wasn't enough. She has always made SS feel as though he was too much and she always did the bare minimum. She has openly admitted that she will use him against us if she doesn't get financial help. The last two years he has been with us full time, even though the parenting order is 50/50. We went back to court a couple months ago to change the order to reflect the current situation and she didn't show up but judges will always give the mother the benefit of the doubt. This last year, she has been doing meth and choosing extremely toxic and dangerous men and has almost completely abandoned her child. SS wants space but we are scared he is too young to make that decision himself. When is it necessary to cut off the relationship until she gets help?

1dad4kids's picture

Just try to move to supervised visits. Truthfully I don't think cutting her off from him will work out in anyone's favor. Most cities have resources for free or very inexpensive supervised visitation sites. 


SMcP's picture

Thank you so much for the response. However, I have some things to add. Supervised visits won't work because she feels like if it's not her way, it's no way. She has stated before that she won't do that. I should elaborate that we don't want to cut her out permanently. Her family and I just want her to get help. Once drugs and dangerous men aren't a priority, we would love to coparent properly. 

IamBackUW's picture

All these We's. She isn't your ex, SS isn't yours. You're way too involved with your boyfriend's failed first family.

SMcP's picture

Again, appreciated but I am not too involved. Its my family and if I wasn't involved, the little boy would have nobody. Thanks but you can leave the thread now. 

IamBackUW's picture

It is not your family. You're not even legally married. You can't care more than the actual parents.

Who messed with your head to make you sacrifice yourself on the altar of the sainted stepkid?! You don't even have children of your own, apparently.

The window will close on your fertility and your boyfriend will ditch you for some side piece. 

You have no legal ties to SS nor the ex.

My God, woman! I hope you have your epiphany before it's too late!

SMcP's picture

I am surprised that people get notified about being kind. You're an extremely judgemental person and by your response, you don't know anything about the situation. I tried dumbing it down and your responses were trash. Stop responding to this. Your opinions are no longer appropriate. I am currently pregnant with my SS first sibling and was supposed to be married in October but can't be due to the current situation with the world. Your opinions are appreciated but no longer appropriate. Thanks.

IamBackUW's picture


Telling the truth is NOT rude.

I'm Team StepParents, always.

Rags's picture

Stop caring about her threats and go for blood.  Petition the court for drug tests for BM, have a PI go hip deep up the asses of her and every one of her F-buddies to build the druggie profiles, etc, etc, etc....

When the court orders supervised visits... she will in all liklihood just fade away.  Which would be the best thing for your Skid, your marriage, and your family.

IMHO of course.

tog redux's picture

There is no way I'd take care of someone else's child for them. Are you and your SO married? What do you get out of this arrangement? And he's giving BM financial support while you take care of the kid all the time?

Oh hell no, this has to change. First, your SO has to find a job in town.  Then he has to take his ex back to court repeatedly until he gets full custody and she owes HIM child support.  It is possible in a situation where the BM doesn't even take the child, but he has to keep at it.

BM and SO have it great here, you do all the heavy lifting.

SMcP's picture

I agree. However, since she has disappeared it has been alot more on me. I am currently pregnant with my first and will always be in my SS life.

simifan's picture

There is a saying here. You can care more then the parents. It is so true. You are doing all the heavy lifting. Every single one of these people involved will resent you for it. Please stop. Take care of yourself first. 

IamBackUW's picture


It's an important distinction!

IamBackUW's picture

You're making a tactical error. The SS is not your responsibility either legally or morally and you don't even have the benefit of marriage.

You're being used.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I understand where your heart is, but legally, you have no grounds to protect SS from his mother. If she shows up tomorrow, you can't prevent her from taking SS. She could disappear again before your SO even got the phone call from you that she took him.

Your SO needs to worry about getting this settled TODAY. Emergency custody order until a trial date can be set. SO needs to get a local job that allows him to actually parent his son. If you are really going to be providing care (and I can think of a list of reasons why that is dangerous for you), then he needs to figure out how to give you guardianship powers over SS. 

Until this happens, this arrangement is a liability for you AND SS. You have no leg to stand on to protect SS in the moment, and with someone that unpredictable/unstable, that's a very, VERY bad place to be in. It means you CANNOT protect SS legally, and physically you have no business trying to protect him, either, since you are pregnant. That baby needs you safe.

This is a bad situation for you and SS, and your SO needs to see it as such and act. He cannot be leaving his pregnant partner and young son at home while he's away when his ex could just randomly show up and totally upset his apple cart. Yes, it's going to be a lot of work for him, but that's the consequence HE has to deal with for having a child with someone who is an unfit parent. This SHOULD be hard for him. This SHOULD NOT be hard for you, and it's shameful that he has left you unprotected.

So, HE needs to take some time from work to 1) find a bullshark attorney, 2) find a new job where he can be home to help with BOTH his children (this arrangement isn't sustainable after you have a newborn), and 3) get an emergency order to prevent BM from just showing up and disappearing.

Yes, this is THAT big of a deal. Yes, this is a big enough deal that if he doesn't get this sorted you REALLY need to reconsider this relationship. No, that's not hyperbole. That's the unfortunate truth of this situation. Love does not conquer all.

SMcP's picture

I need to reiterate the situation. The second time in court did not leave her with rights. She has no say in his schooling or residence anymore. I should have made that clear in my first post. My question was about when we should be limiting PHONE CALLS with BM to prevent him from being lied to and promised things that she cannot live up to currently. She has no intention of taking him and as it stands currently, she is not allowed unless she is with her family, gives US notice and does it on a weekend (which is fine because her family is great). I am asking when we should be giving SS space that he has asked for. It's also not only my decision. This is a decision that has been made by us and her family. 

I urge you to remember that when you are forums online, especially with things that are sensitive situation, it is important to find the line between being rude and giving constructive criticism.

IamBackUW's picture

Telling the truth (our collective StepHell truth) is not being rude.

SMcP's picture

You mentioned that, but you're also dealing with peoples feelings. Telling someone their fertility window is closing and their "boyfriend" is going to leave them for a side piece isn't truth. It's a rude opinion that does not help convey your point. Your initial point is noted but as I said, the mistake is mine for not explaining the situation clear enough. In many cases, I can see your point being more valid but again the details weren't all there.

SMcP's picture

You mentioned that, but you're also dealing with peoples feelings. Telling someone their fertility window is closing and their "boyfriend" is going to leave them for a side piece isn't truth. It's a rude opinion that does not help convey your point. Your initial point is noted but as I said, the mistake is mine for not explaining the situation clear enough. In many cases, I can see your point being more valid but again the details weren't all there.