Our BM has calmed down a lot lately. Her main focus right now with DH is coparenting. What that term means to her, however, is something we are having trouble figuring out. So far, her requests are that we move the kids' bedtime later so that it corresponds exactly with when her kids go to bed at her house (rarely at the same time, since she usually plans lots of fantastic things for them to do and they end up staying out late, even on school nights) and now she is asking for us to not take the kids for a family hike/possible camping to celebrate a holiday this Sunday because one of the boys was being "awful" at her house (not listening, screaming at her, not doing anything she said, etc...classic tantrum).
DH plans to talk to her tonight. He has already told her, re: bedtimes, that we have four children in our house (DD5, DS6, twin SS6) and that our agreed-upon bedtime for all kids is 7:30, a compromise that resulted from his kids' bedtime formerly at 8:00 and my kids' bedtime formerly at 7:00- is working and we don't see any benefit in changing it....most of all, that the kids won't get enough sleep if we move it back.
I think that she may be either disguising her desire to control what goes on in our house by calling her reaching requests "coparenting"....or I think that she may feel that her kids are out of control and she wants us to "bail her out" by punishing the boys when they are here for things they did at her house. MY take is that there are way WAY too many variables that go on at her house that we believe may contribute to her difficulties with the boys- AND that she refuses to change AND that we have no control over because it's......her house (bedtime consistently too late, no downtime, poor nutritional choices -->read, constant diet of SUGAR, being given new toys and clothes every visit, inconsistent discipline plan including NO follow-through on threats of punishment).
How does DH say to this woman (who, if you've read my posts before, is very likely living with narcissistic personality disorder) that it wouldn't be fair to the boys to punish them here for their behavior at her house? Especially when she wants them to not be able to do something small-ish in the scheme of things, which our family does together frequently- going for a walk in nature? Or am I just being too nice? Is it absolutely none of her business what we have planned for the weekend and she's just using that because one of the boys told her, and now she's simply trying to control, like she has been doing all along? I just feel compassion because it must feel terrible to know that her kids won't behave for her- but she has to want to change. We can't do it for her. And, we do not have these discipline problems here.
Thank you in advance for your insight and sharing your experiences. I hope someday to be able to post helpful responses to people about what I've been through but right now feel like I am barely staying afloat with all this blended family, frustrating BM stuff.