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My mom feels guilty that she can't watch SD (13).

Mermar90's picture

My mom got a message from BM and BM's mom asking her if she could watch SD (13) on Tuesday. SD was apparently sick with influenza B (cold-like symptoms and possibly a fever) and couldn't go to school. BM had work that day and I'm not sure if she couldn't take time off from work or just wouldn't?

SD has had trust issues in the past, so I understand BM not wanting to leave her home alone all day. But how about for a half-day? Supposedly SD has been allowed to be home alone most mornings before school, and BM's mom will come check up on her to make sure she gets on the school bus. Why can't SD stay home alone this particular morning? She's sick - wouldn't she just sleep? And she's 13 for God's sake.

BM's mom owns a store and will sometimes keep SD there with her, but didn't want to do that this time because SD was sick and she didn't want that illness in her store. So they contacted my mom. They have a list of people to contact (my husband's mom, friends, other family etc) but I'm sure everybody declined because my mom said it felt like she was the last hope.

My mom politely declined because she's very busy this week. She then got no response and felt guilty, so she texted me. I told her not to feel guilty. If somebody takes SD every time BM wants them to, she will never get the opportunity to learn how to handle it herself. If I could get somebody to come take my car to the mechanic when it's having issues, or come take my dogs to the vet when they are sick, I would never have to take time off from work and figure it out myself, you know?

But I talked to one of my coworkers and she made me feel like my thought process was a little off. SD is our family now and we are all obligated to do our best to raise her and take care of her - unless we literally can't. She made it sound like my mom should have taken SD if she could have. But she was busy so it was OK. 

I don't know. I don't really agree with that. At the end of the day it's DH and BM's child and mostly their responsibilty, not mine, and not my mom's (or BM's mom TBH) and we shouldn't feel guilty, even if we aren't busy.



Sparkl3s's picture

BM doesn't even have my number let alone my mothers. Your mom is a nice person but let her know she has no obligation to help. I honestly wouldn't even ask my mom to take off work or cancel plans to take care of my own bio. 

I agree with you BM needs to learn how to adult and handle these situations on her own. If SD has enough maturity she could potentially be allowed to stay home alone but I'm not sure to what extent your SD is coddeled. 

tog redux's picture

BM one time called my parents because SS supposedly left his homework at our house (it was a lie) and they felt it was such an emergency they need to call my parents because they couldn't reach DH.

Oh no.

I was furious and DH told BM not to EVER call them again. 

They had no responsibility for SS period. Your co-worker is nuts.  She sounds like the type who expects everyone to drop what they are doing for HER kids. Sorry, honey - if your kid is sick either YOU or the child's FATHER take time off to care for her. No one else has any responsibility for YOUR kids. 

Mermar90's picture

Thanks. I'm realizing I shouldn't ask biological mothers their opinions on my situation unless they've gone through it. It is definitely different. It started with me just being curious if she left her relatively same-age kids home when they were sick, and she does unless it's a serious ailment.

advice.only2's picture

Don't let your co-worker get you down, she's talking from a place of being a bio, never having had skids and understanding the complex dynamic of f*ckery that comes with it.

tog redux's picture

Even as a bio parent, she should know it's no one else's responsibility other than hers to care for her sick kids. Any other family who helps out is doing it out of the goodness of their heart and she should not feel entitled to it. 

Mermar90's picture

You're right Petronella, this is what I thought. Isn't it every bio-parents responsibilty to take care of their own kids, and nobody else's? Like, it's really great to get support from friends and family. But it's not their responsibilty. Supposedly not everybody agrees with this though and I find that to be very curious...

Thumper's picture

Your BM is not too smart is she?

Since sd has the flu, and assuming your mom may be 55+ BM's would put your mom at risk to also come down with the flu. NOT good !!

I hope your DH tells BM to never call his MIL (your mom) again. BM should not have your moms telephone number anyway. No reason for it.  The, What if there is an emergency garbage cant be quickly squelched.

My mother was the kindest, sweetest woman I know. Didn't swear....IF BM ever called her---I honestly think my Mom would have told her to " go to hell". My mom called her UGLY firstname.

HEY when your a parent there are a lot of time where you miss work. Thats what a parent goes thru.





Mermar90's picture

I know. I made my mom laugh by saying something like, "So BM's mom doesn't want SD to bring her influenza into her store, but they think you'll want her influenza around you?!" And we both laughed because it's absurd.

And this is definitely strike #1 for BM when it comes to contacting my mom. This wasn't so bad, but she should have replied to my mom to let her know it was alright that she couldn't take her instead of leaving my mom on read and making her feel guilty. I'd hope that BM just forgot to reply...but I always give people the benefit of the doubt. 

Next time something like this happens I might have to say something. My mom watches SD out of the goodness of her heart, not because she has to. So BM should be more grateful to her and be sure to treat her respectfully. In my opinion the same goes for DH's mom. I'm sure she gets texts all the time from BM and I'm sure she also declined this opportunity - and she has a right to in my opinion.

Kiwi_koala's picture

I think it's strange to ask your mom to babysit. BM wants to get other people sick? That's extremely nervy and entitled. My mom used to leave me home alone at that age unless I had a really high fever in which case she stayed home herself. Forget the fact that your mom doesn't owe BM anything, but it's inconsiderate to have her around her sick daughter. 

Mermar90's picture

Knowing this BM the way I do, I think she saw it as her only option, which is most likely not true at all. She wasn't trying to be manipulative or lazy. She tends to act helpless when I know she has the strength to handle things if she had to. She needs to believe in herself more. But she usually doesn't have to. I truly think her taking a half-day would be a great idea. Or maybe now, after this event, she can start talking with SD about the potential of her having to stay home alone in the future. Address her concerns with SD and talk about it. Maybe practice leaving SD home alone for periods of time and see how it goes. 

Pawning off SD onto somebody else is the easy route but is not always available. And then next time she makes my mom feel weird or guilty I might need to talk to her... or at least that's the idea I'm getting from this thread.

Rags's picture

BM gets to care for the sick Skid on her time.  CPs do not get to avoid their responsibilities.  They are financially compensated for being the CP.  If the Skid gets sick on the NCP's time then the NCP cares for the kid.  Though refusing visitation is the primary advantage an NCP has in the blended family dynamic.

And... why does BM have your mother's contact information?

The SpermGrandHag has never had my mother's number and I don't have hers.  The SpermIdiot has never had my mother's number either.  Why would they?  My wife had SpermGrandHag's number and SGH had my DW's.  The SpermIdiot could get DW's number from his mother.  He never gave his number to my wife.

I get that different blended families have different dynamics.  But F'd up is F'd up.

AlmostGone83's picture

Protect and defend your mother. Tell BM, SD, anyone else to pound sand.

shamds's picture

its a privilege and a courtesy to have them babysit but a stepparents mom?? Seriously and people are chucking hissyfits about it??

if the own bio family can’t be stuffed then since when should a stepoarent mum feel compelled or guilty to

GreenEyez's picture

Please dont allow your mom to feel bad. SKs are NOT her responsibility whatsoever. I understand you want to create as much of a family environment as possible, but not while on BMs time. That's her problem to deal with. 

My parents take care of the SKs ONLY if they are on our time (which we have them full time) and  ONLY if we have no other option, meaning we have already looked for day care and there was nothing available. And that's only if my parents are available, if not, DH is staying home. However, it's very rare that we'll even ask my parents. DH just usually stays home automatically. 

But your mom should seriously consider blocking BM and her family's numbers/way of contact. None of this is her responsibility and she should not be involved with that side whatsoever. I dont have BMs contact info and she doesn't have mine and I DEFINITELY will not allow her to even speak to or get to know my mom or any other of my family members. That is a priviledge that BM will NEVER earn regardless of who she thinks she is. 

Rags's picture

"I DEFINITELY will not allow her to even speak to or get to know my mom or any other of my family members. That is a priviledge that BM will NEVER earn regardless of who she thinks she is."

I completely agree with this and adhered to this philosophy regarding introducing people to my family.   Those not worthy do not ever meet my parents. Mom called me on it once when I was dating after my divorce.  She asked if I was ashamed to introduce my intents to a women I was dating.  I told mom that she was absolutely wrong about that and it was rather that the woman I was dating at the time was not someone who would be in my life for long nor was she someone I would introduce to my parents.