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Would you or wouldn't you?

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

We video chatted with SD on Saturday morning, about 45 minutes after the scheduled time BM once again agreed to beforehand. Supposedly, BM set an alarm for a 4 hour time difference instead of a 3 hour time difference. BM knows the time difference since when she offers times to call, etc. she gives it half the time in our time zone and the other half in her time zone. Whatever, we literally said no words to BM, just had attempted to call SD twice and when there was no answer, said we would either reschedule or take the call when she finally calls back. 

During this phone call SD said she got a new phone, this is either the 3 or 4th in less than two years. I am pretty sure it is the 4th phone. The first one was wifi only with a crack in it, the second one was the one with the incriminating messages and photos on, the third one was a totally different phone this summer that kept getting messages about a balance being due to reconnect the line, and now this one. Just not sure if the first and second one were the same or not. All these phones only worked on wifi and BM has made tons of comments that make us believe all of the phones in their household only work on wifi, probably because they don't pay their bills on time.

Anyway, out of the 2 or 3 phones we have seen, DH's contact was only on the phone this past summer, but not on the ones before. DH and I are torn about mentioning to BM that SD told us she got a new phone, can you send us her number and add us to her phone? The reason we are torn about this is because is BM going to then try to demand how and when SD uses the phone she sends here since we are requesting DH at least be added and we have the phone number? BM ALREADY tries before each trip to try and tell us how the phone will or should be used on our time and each time DH tells her that it is up to him on his visitation as it is on hers. 


ESMOD's picture

I would not bother to be honest.. it doesn't sound like this phone is used for any kind of communication with him.. and his daughter is kind of too young to be initiating communications so.. I figure it really won't be "worth" bringing up.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

we would tell BM the number and put her in the phone. We were considering getting SD a kids smart watch this summer so all it does is call, text, and voice memo to 10 approved contacts. If we did this we would split the amount of approved contacts with BM because it would be the right thing to do.

Mominit's picture

As much as it pains you, whatever rules and whatever conversation you've had with BM's access to a phone in your home should be your baseline for the phone in hers.  IF you think she'll be more generous, go ahead and have the conversation.  If you have a no-interference rule at your house, and BM is high conflict, she'll likely expect to enforce the same rule at hers.  In which case it makes no sense to even bring it up.

That doesn't mean no for ever.  Just no until SD is a little older and both houses feel it's time to revisit the discussion.  

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

BM was telling us to let SD use the phone not to communicate with BM but play games on the phone. We tried having SD call BM on the phones she sends, etc. and the phone each time ends up being wifi only so there is no point to hook it up to wifi just to call BM. We bought SD a kids tablet for her to play educational games and other games when we tell her she can. 

A couple of times we have hooked it up to our wifi just to see if BM tries reaching out to SD on the phone or anything, but she doesn't try at all so we just have it off in her bag the whole visit.

Felicity0224's picture

I would ignore the existence of the phone unless BM mentions it. Based on past history it's likely to be short-lived anyway.

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Like DH says it is all about providing entertainment without having to parent. SD said they also got a nitendo switch for christmas. We were thinking of getting one this summer for DH to play with SD or all of us to play together, etc. but SD has very limited screen time at our house and it seems like screen time is mostly what SD gets there.

justmakingthebest's picture

I'm the opposite. I would ask. What is she going to say? No? 

Oh well, you are right back where you are now not having it. I also think that if she is smart she will open access for you guys through the phone because the chances of you allowing the phone at your house might increase if you are able to use it to reach her. As it is, you don't see the value in a young child having a phone (that makes sense!), but if there was value for both parents, it has a higher chance of being allowed (even with rules and expectations) in both homes. 

NotYourAverageStepMama's picture

Why would we want SD using a phone that we can never communicate with being used at our house? I don't even think we would when she's just learning to read right now, but not having it as even a possibility, definitely doesn't make us want to allow SD to use the phone when at our house. I've mentioned before we have considered getting SD the kids smart watch this summer, but we would split the 10 contacts allowed on it with BM, which is more than she's ever tried to do. She's probably still mad DH didn't want to split the cost with her, but BM wanted to get SD a phone when she was 3 and she's so irresponsible, we don't want to split any bills like that with her