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Mama Jean's picture

Hi, I'm a new member. I'm a custodial step mom of 2 boys age 13 & 8. I also teach high school social studies in a rural Colorado community. My husband and I met in Oct 2009, a year after his ex took the kids and left him in the middle of the night. We will celebrate our 4th anniversary in March.

So, here's a little of our story. During the divorce, BM's intention was to move out of State. DH wouldn't consent to relocating kids away from family, so rather than fight it, she consented to primary care for him, and she'd have half of summer and holidays. After kids moved in with DH, BM found a new guy in Denver, got engaged (same day according to them), and decided to stay. She asked for kids back, DH refused to yo-yo them because he was afraid she'd run out of State again. Ever since then it turned into High Conflict, even though DH worked with her to give her eowe and alternating holidays without getting the court involvedd.6 months after I came in the picture she filed for custody. It was long and drawn out, and included a Parental Responsibility Eval. Hearing was 2 weeks before our wedding. DH retained primary care, she kept eowe and alternating holidays, and even gained eow during summer. But she was pregnant and decided she pdidn't want to work for 5 years, and asked for CS modification. We asked to move kids to my hhometown, where I'd been teaching the last 7 years. (I was commuting . 1/2 hours daily, took her that long to get from her place to ours anyway, and she'd still drive the same amount of time to where we wanted to move.) She wouldn't agree, stopped paying any CS and we went back to court. We were allowed to move, she was found to be voluntarily unemployed, and life went on with small battles and periods of peace. Until she finally married her fiance in July '13. She went back to work and back to school, kids spent more time with SD, who they had never liked. Behaviors got bad, oldest ended up in ER last March after trying to choke himself and threatening to kill SD. Got him in therapy, told BM we wouldn't send kids overnight unless she promised to be with them and SD, but we'd meet her anywhere for her to spend time with them. She refused, didn't believe us. Finally agreed to meet us with kids in May, but then refused again. Sent her a stipulated agreement in July for her to be home on her weekends and not leave kids alone with SD, her response was to file petitions to relinguish her rights. During this entire time she very rarely contacted the kids, and they didn't contact her despite our encouragement. After her petitions, I offered to adopt. She refused at first, then agreed if we would waive all past and current CS. Then a hearing was scheduled and she backed out. Her petitions were denied in Oct. We filed an emergency motion to restrict, judge told her we weren't trying to keep kids from her, she just needed a different perspective. Ordered 3 reunification the yt? apy sessions for her and kids, which they finished last week. This past weekend was their 1st back in 10 months. Also ordered she has to be with kids and SD, and they do family therapy. We're supposed to do co parenting therapy with her and SD as well, but are having trouble finding a therapist to take us on as she is still showing an unwillingness to communicate with us.

Our concern right now, other than getting the coparenting therapy going, is she and SD have 3 new roomates the kids just met. Oldest spent the majority of 1st weekend back with one of them playing M video games. This roomnate has told our oldest he will buy him a longboard, and they'll skate around Denver together when he's there. No idea how old this guy is, kiddo thinks maybe 17/18. He works and lives with our BM, not related to her in any way. No our oldest is wanting to text this guy on a regular basis. BM will only give us his 1st name, no other info. Even if he were a kid out here, we'd have concerns and want to know more. Just don't know what to do anymore. BM is very narcissistic, and we just don't know how to work with her at this point.

lgk2013's picture

Hi Mama Jean,

I'm a newbie too and it's always interesting to read other SMs stories. Sounds like you're having a nightmare with BM and I have to say it's refreshing almost to see a BM playing the cliched role of absentee parent. Your skids would obviously be way better off without her, but "she's their mother" is something that never goes away (as much as we wish it would!)

How old are your skids?

Has BM had the new baby? That's got to be a pull factor for the skids, I know mine are always asking for a little brother or sister and sometimes feel like I want to have a baby just so we "win" that one, but that's just my vindicative side talking lol!

We're currently going through the court process in the UK as BM uses the skids as a weapon and needs to win at everything, often to the detriment of the skids wellbeing. I'm a Social Worker too and guess teaching social science means we have similar values/knowledge - personally I find that the hardest bit and wish I could go back to pre-university days when ignorance of child abuse was bliss. But I also think my knowledge etc has helped in so many ways, so as much as it pains me (headaches, stress...) it's for the best for the skids, and that's what everything comes down to isn't it.

Good luck with everything, I really hope you see some improvement.

Oh, and as for the lodger/ definitely need to find out more about this kid. Our BM has moved in with a 19yr old and we had lots of questions, but turns out he's a decent SD (so far) and the skids like him, so we're leaving it at that but with our eyes WIDE open to any possible issues...


Mama Jean's picture

Kids are 8 & 13. New baby is now 3 1/2, and really only reason kids want to go there. We can't have one of our own, so that's not an issue. We emailed bm concerns about roommate and said we'd feel better of we knew more about him and if we could possibly meet him, but of course, hes worried my DH would fo something to him. Not sure what that means, but we're just reinforcing safety rules with the kids and moving on one day at a time.