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Stepson doesn't want to be here because his dad works away a lot. Please help!

Blendedfam17's picture

I have been with my husband since his son was 18 months old. My step son is now 8 years old and we have him every weekend and during all his school breaks and almost all summer. The problem is my husband works out of town and isn't home a lot. A lot of times im the one communicating with his mother and just taking care of him in general. I also have a 1 year old son with my husband and the kids get along great. Last summer however my stepson had a very hard time with not seeing his mom. She was seeing him for a few hours once a week. I was picking him back up from her with him in tears and it was pretty upsetting for everyone. By the end of the summer he seemed to take his anger out on me a lot and kept telling me that he didn't want to live with us and didn't care if he ever saw his dad or I again. I tried to talk to him and I tried to be as understanding as possible and I tried not to get upset with him. I told him that he was welcome to spend more time with his mom but that it was hard for her because she has to work a lot (she's a waitress and works late hours and weekends) He told me that he believed it was my fault and his dad's for not seeing his mom and that we were keeping him from her. Summer time is his dad's time but his mother is supposed to see him some too because we live close enough that we are able to do that and we absolutely do not try to keep him from his mom she's just busy. Anyway, we survived the summer and things started to get better with us returning to the every weekend schedule. He is on spring break now and his dad is away working. He saw his mom just 2 days ago and he is already crying and informed me that he didn't understand why he had to come spend his breaks with me if he wasn't going to be seeing his dad and said what is the point. I'm not going to lie this really hurt my feelings as I've helped raise him just as much as his parents. He said he likes seeing me but would prefer to spend more time with his mom since he isn't seeing his dad when he comes. He is actually sleeping with a picture of his mom in his bed with him which I think is little crazy but I guess if it makes him feel better then no harm done. Anyway, when I think about what he is actually saying I guess it's pretty acceptable for him to feel the way he does. As much as it hurts my feelings I keep thinking it's probaky normal that he wants to be with his parents and not so much his step mom.. So should my husband give up some of his custody if he's working during a lot of the time that he's supposed to be seeing his son and let him stay with his mom more? Or just keep things the way they are? At the moment I'm honestly about at my wits end to be honest and I really just want to try and let him have more time with his mother but I guess I wonder if that's the right thing or not.. 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Sounds as if the current visitation arrangements aren't working for your SS. And despite all that you've contributed to his upbringing, he should be spending time with either mom or dad. If dad isn't home, skid should be with mom, and vice versa. Your willingness to help out has only enabled these parents to dump their parenting responsibilities on you, causing your SS to resent the situation and make you the target for his pent up resentment.

I think you should tell your DH that you are no longer able to babysit his son for him and encourage him to work out a different arrangement with BM that puts their son first.

hereiam's picture

He said he likes seeing me but would prefer to spend more time with his mom since he isn't seeing his dad when he comes.

And he is absolutely correct.

If your husband is out of town during his son's visitation time, the boy should stay with his mom.

The people who think you are wrong, what do they think is the point of visitation? To spend time with dad's wife? To give mom a break? No, it is to spend time with dad. Can't do that, if dad is not even there. It's very unfair to this kid.

This poor boy leaves his mom's home to visit his dad, but his dad is not even there to spend time with him. How is that supposed to make him feel?

I realize you have been in his life a long time but you are not his mother. Don't take it personally, I'm sure he has love for you, but you are not his mother, you are not his father.

Rags's picture

of PAS to me.

While I feel for the kid... Dad's time is Dad's time and Dad can do with is his time as he chooses.  We learned this the hard way in court.  We lived  under my SS's Custody/Visitation/Support order for 16+ years beginning before he was 1yo.  The visitation element was not decided until he was 2yo.  From that court date on the SpermIdiot had ~7wks of visitation per year (5wks summer, 1wk winter, 1wk spring).  The SpermIdiot rarely if ever saw the Skid.  SpermGrandHag took her waste of skin POS son's visitation.  When we attempted to deal with this in court (After all, what child should be forced into the presence of waste of skin toothless manipulative toxic morons even if they are the shallow and polluted end of his own gene pool?).  The judge gave us clarity in no uncertain terms that the SpermIdiot could with his visitation time what he wished and we had no influence over that.  So, that situation held for 16 years.  At most my son saw his BioDad for a few hours during a visitation. It didn't matter if it was the 5wk or 1wk visitation. 


I think it is time for Dad to sit the kid down and give him clarity.  8yo is on the cusp of being old enough for an introduction to the CO.  Dad needs to review the CO with him, explain how visitation works, and the kid needs absolute clarity on that fact that his tears won't have any impact on how visitation works.

My guess is that BM is likely playing the PAS cards and since she is likely struggling financially this has the ear marks of a set  up for increased  BM parenting time as a precursor to a run at increased CS.  I would be wary of BM's machinations in all of this if I were your DH.

We never had this issue with SS. He grew  up with a long distance visitation situation with his SpermClan so for him this type of schedule was normal.  He was always excited about visits with the SpermIdiot and SpermClan... at least until he gained clarity regarding their toxic manipulative bullshit when he was in his mid teens.

As your DH's representative in all of this when he is in the field for work, you are the one to decide how DH's COd visitation time will be spent.  If  you want the time with your SKid... take it in the form of DH's CO'd visitation.  Work with SS to address his feelings on it but stick to the facts.  Emotions are not effective analysis tools or of any use for resolving the issues.  Whether those emotions are from a child or an adult.

What seems most odd to me regarding SS's overt emotionalism in this situation is that he is all wrapped around the axle over missing his mom? It is his dad that he doesn't see very often and it would make far more sense that he would be missing his dad rather than his mom in this situation. Which is just another peg in the situation that lends credence to the reek of PAS to me.

Just my thoughts of course.

I am sorry that you are in the middle of this situation

kah428's picture

I am in a very similar situation except my SS is almost 5 and his mother lives 5 hours away from us. We get all of summer from June 1st (or last day of school when he starts school) until August 15th. His dad works out of town 3 day a week though and SS doesnt understand why his daddy isnt always here when he is. The way weve made it work is we get SS at start of visitation and when he gets upset because he is stuck with me and not one of his parents is we let him go back to mom for a couple weeks, than take him back again. We do this all summer and it seems to work on all ends and we arent changing the custody plan this way if the day comes that he does want to stay all summer he can no questions asked.