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MJL2010's picture


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.

RaeRae's picture

She is attempting to control your household. Don't have any of it. You set your own rules and go by that. If she wants bedtime to be the same, she can change bedtime at her home. She can also punish the boys in her own time. Co-parenting does NOT mean she gets a say in your household.

purpledaisies's picture

I agree we tried a few times with punishing one or some of the boys at our house for 'her' but it never worked. She would never ever return the 'favor'.

Anyway she needs to punish them at her house for breaking 'her' rules and you need to punish them at your house for braking 'your' rules. Makes sense?

My dh's fav. line to bm "what goes on at your house is none of my business and the same goes for my house" excluding abuse of course.

kalmolil's picture

Co-parenting is a mythological phrase coined by a delusional BM sometime long, long ago. It isn't a possibility because just like fingerprints, no two households are the same. Co-parenting is just another way for a BM to try and "control" everything in her world and a platform for her to project her insecurities on to your home. Don't fall for it. You have your rules, she has hers. The kids WILL adjust and will learn the rules at both homes. Alternatively, just because you have them in bed at the same time each day and have your own routine, you can't expect her to enforce your schedule at her home as much as you might disapprove of what she does. When she has HER kids (because they are hers too), it's her choice and her rules. Something you just have to accept and live with. I hated the de-programming phase when my BD13 was younger and would go visit her BD but it's just the nature of the beast. SD8 struggles with this - our household operates much differently than her BM's but we've told her and BM many, many times it's just something she is going to have to get used to if she is going to be around us.

overit2's picture

"Co-parenting is a mythological phrase coined by a delusional BM sometime long, long ago."

I have to disagree with this-in cases where there is very little animosity and both partners have moved on it IS the best course of action. THIS however does NOT mean controlling what goes on in eachothers houses/rules/routines.

It's about cooperation between the parents-trying to find a medium-backing eachother up if a kid is grounded, being on the same page to encourage good grades, etc. It's not mythological or the cases of bitter or control freak bm's or control freak bd's or s'moms I would gather it wouldn't work.

My house and my exh's have different rules...BUT we do try to back eachother up if a kid is grounded or restricted of say video games or computer time. I don't control what they watch he doesn't control whether I can say yes/no to a sleepover at a friends. He sometimes tries, and I get it-I make most of the decisions as a custodial and he probably feels he's entitlted to some say so-and I do listen if it's logical and will try and work with him.

BUT then on the other hand my bf has a crazy bm who does try to control everything he does w/sd...organizes bday parties for sd to go to, sleepovers, games, tries to pick her up early for no reason, suggest to her sd to tell dad to take her to xyz for nonstop entertainment, etc....we just ignore her and tell sd we will do what we want to do Smile And that our rules are different.

YES the deprogramming is VERY tough...for both of us, me w/my bios and him even more so because she's w/her mom absorbing crap for two weeks at a time.

kalmolil's picture

"suggest to her sd to tell dad to take her to xyz for nonstop entertainment, etc..."
Dear GOD why do they do this?

BM recently tried to tell DH that we needed to be sure and take SD to the beach this summer when we have her because SD will miss their trip to the beach because she will be with us. Excuse me? We "have" to take SD to the beach? What if we're not going? What if we're going later in the summer? It's not our fault they planned their vacation while DH has "custody" for the summer. Her response to DH's "we'll do what we have planned and that's our business" was that she'd just be sure and tell SD to "ask Daddy if she was going to get to go to the beach this summer". SD is ALWAYS telling DH "Mommy said you need to take me to xyz" or "Mommy said to ask you to take me to do xyz"! SO ANNOYING.

overit2's picture

NO KIDDING!! YES...the girl comes up with ideas of how he should spend his money on HIS bday...we should go to (amusement park), here there...all stuff she likes to do that her MOM suggests she could do w/her dad for his bday. Stay out of it you stupid cow!

And heck no, on my vacation with the boys she is NOT coming.

MJL2010's picture

WOW! My head is spinning. First of all, thank you, ProudArrow, Rae Rae, Purpledaisies, Kalmolil, and Overit, for your responses. DH and I googled 'parallel parenting' and what we found was amazing- it was like every single description was written about DH and BM. I really appreciate your advice. When I thought about it, I realized that yes, control is exactly what is her motivator here. When I picked the boys up from school yesterday, we were scheduled to go to a youth fitness session at the YMCA. We had signed up for this session two weeks ago, and we view exercise as something that is not an 'extra' or a 'treat'- it's something for our lifestyle, blah blah the first thing the twins say when we show up at their school (because of course BM had to move twenty miles away so that SS and DS/DD wouldn't be in the same district) is: "Mom said SS1 couldn't do anything special today with you and Dad because he was so bad yesterday." DH was working and hadn't yet had a chance to talk to BM, but the fact that she had told the boys what they would or would not be doing at our house? Unreal- and completely drives home the fact that this is all about her wanting control of what goes on here. I responded, "We will talk about this later, when Daddy gets home."

So after the boys had spoken to her, later in the evening, the angry texts started- BM is going to keep the court date that she had postponed, DH is an (expletive), "insecure wifey" is pulling the strings, this (letting them go to the Y) was an attack on her and her idea of co-parenting, etc....etc....

I am continually amazed at her ability to not see things rationally. DH sent her a link to one of the 'parallel parenting' pages and after admonishing him for having the audacity to e-mail her, she texted him that he must be joking. She can't see that they are truly a 'high-conflict couple'. She has this idea of co-parenting- but wants it to be us doing whatever she wants. So continues the hideous cycle. I almost think that if they don't get laughed out of court, it may be the best for everyone. This type of stuff is exhausting.

MJL2010's picture

And know what else is wacky? She cannot seem establish routine, maintain order, or teach (discipline) her two biological kids.....we have four kids we are doing this all pretty effectively for. Don't get me wrong- they are five and six/six/six, for goodness' sake, so they are extremely challenging- but it seems weird that for some reason her struggles are OUR fault. We continue to be her punching bag for every difficulty she encounters (or brings on herself).

purpledaisies's picture

She can't keep the kids from their father just b/c she says that one or some of the kids are being bad and must be punished. She can not use dad a way of disciplining her kids. Just like in the cheer contract it states that parents can not take it away as a punishment (a game or practice.) Same concept.

kalmolil's picture

"Just like in the cheer contract it states that parents can not take it away as a punishment (a game or practice.) Same concept."

That totally made me LOL because BD13 is a cheerleader and will be on the high school squad next year - but narrowly was allowed the opportunity to try out because of her BAD grades (from being lazy and not turning in work, not because she was struggling) so in theory, we DID use the option of taking cheer away (or at least the opportunity to try out) as punishment! Now that she's a member of the team/squad we'd never do that because it's not just affecting her - it affects the entire group!

I just thought that was funny - completely hit home! Biggrin

MJL2010's picture

Sorry if I was confusing- she never did say that they couldn't see their dad because they had been bad. She was trying to tell the boys the things they would be allowed and not allowed to do with their dad and our family, during DH's custody time. Not for her to say! She needs to think of consequences that she can implement and follow through with during her own custody time. She doesn't get to, by virtue of being the twins' BM, control what goes on in our house!

And I totally agree- exercise should never be taken away as punishment! Smile Thanks, Purpledaisies.