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Does co-parenting really work?

MommyT's picture
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And if it does, how have you managed to keep the peace? DH is soooooo good at ignoring BM’s stupidity, but it really bothers me that BM only puts her wants and needs at the forefront of family decisions. Yea, I am only the stepmom but DH and I have four kids together, so their choices affect my kids and vice versa with BM’s family. Shouldn’t we compromise and find a balance for both families? BM thinks she controls the decisions but custody is 50/50 so it should be a mutual agreement. It has always been BM’s way or the highway. DH battles with her as much as he can but it shouldn’t always be a battle. How can we create a fair, level playing field for both parents? Or is that even possible for the dad?

tankh21's picture

You can't fix stupid...All you can do an ignore it and try to create boundaries to try to minimize the control and drama. There really is no peace with a GUBM.

ESMOD's picture

Parallel parenting works....you and dh control your home... she controls her home. There may be some occasional joint United fronts... but she doesnt get to dictate your dh parening

MommyT's picture

I love this idea of parallel parenting. It does make it hard though for disciplining. For example, ss12 has really bad grades. As a teacher, I can see that ss is lazy and doesn’t apply himself. Plus, he is a class clown. In our house, we deal with bad grades by taking away privileges. BM just laughs and says that ss will grow out of it. The kid is going into high school next year, so he better grow out of it soon.

ESMOD's picture

In the grades case.. yes.. it would be better if mommy was more concerned.. but since your DH has 50/50... he should have a decent amount of time to work with his son on improvement.  In addition to just "punishing" for bad grades.. there should probably also be some proactive work done to get him in good study habits.  His dad should insist that homework be done in a set time... and he should review his son's work.. contact the teacher if he thinks there are further issues.. for extra help. or to suggest improvement tactics.

Also, there can be rewards and goals set.  Improve to all A's.. big reward.. Nothing below a C.. maybe that's improvement?.. a small reward.

It's hard because you and I know that consistent reinforcement of the same values would be best.. but in the end... you can only control things in your universe. 

His dad should definitely be helping the boy understand that school is his JOB right now and his future success depends on success in these early years.. if he wants to make lots of money and have nice things in the future.. he needs to take school more seriously NOW.

MommyT's picture

Oh he does. DH got him an agenda to write his hw in, DH checks his hw every night, DH has contacted the teachers, etc. BM always responds that ss will grow out of it. DH asked if she checked his hw and she said she just assumes that he does it. Haha

Empress1277's picture

He lets his ex wife call all the shots, other than that it’s a constant battle that he has with her. I kind of laugh at the idea of coparenting because of his ex wife. I would love to hear some positive experiences. SO does his best to try to compromise, but she is just way too immature and stubborn to compromise (anything to be able to send him nasty texts at inappropriate hours). 

hereiam's picture

Co-parenting was not possible with BM over here, she was high conflict. Which is why we now have NOTHING to do with her (since my SD was 18).

Scooster's picture

I guess co-parenting can work between two reasonable individuals - but I'll never know since BM here is high conflict and all about herself.  When there is a high conflict BM - parallel parenting is the way to  go.

shamds's picture

a little narcissm too... you can’t change that and most men who deal with this know they can’t deal civilly with these idiot bio mums. 

They are selfish!! They think of themselves!! They make themselves relevant when they are not!! They also couldn’t give a flying f*#k that you have 4 kids together!! They don’t care when they manipulate and chuck a hissy fit and guilt hubby for more money that he is also responsible for the kids you have together!! She doesn’t care there is also your household budget too!!

if she as usual doesn’t manage her finances well or like alot we read about here never get a friggin job when kids are at school but live this fantasy like they’re sahm still married to their ex partners and screw them every way possible to get more money, they don’t care how that affects your household.

in my case bio mum hasn’t worked in 26 years!! Hubby divorced her 11 years ago!! Their kids are sd23 (graduated business degree last year), ss almost 21 is at uni and hubby had sole custody of since divorce since bio mum told magistrate she couldn’t care for 3 kids and needed to get rid of 1, sd14 (whom she had sd23 take and care for not in her home).

mid last year about 5+ years into kidnapping these girls and ceasing contact, she majorly pas’d them out, eldest sd contacts hubby about making amends that bio mum is a changed woman. Seconds later she has the nerve to lecture her dad word for word mums bullshit how he has a fatherly duty to maintain child support indefinitely to her (yes a girl with a part time job and studying at uni because she cares for her sister), and that he continues the child support for sd14. Doesn’t matter we had a then 1yr old and 2.5 year children together who are incapable of getting jobs. At age 10 my parents made me get a casual job delivering newspapers in my suburb and they supervised. They wanted us to realise money has to be earnt and doesn’t fall off the trees.

this has shaped who i am today, i work hard at everything and even as a sahm i try to support hubby as best i can because if he is motivated and supported to do his job then that benefits us. I am currently finishing my studies too with a 2 & 3.5 yr old kids- not an easy thing.

meanwhile exwife sits on her arse married to hubby  #2 since 11 yrs ago incapable of working. She’s made this one 14 yr old daughter and 23 yr old the only kids hubby should care of at our expense... she knows her kids are old, ignore hubby because of pas, she knows there is no relationship and because she has spies at hubbys work reporting to her, she knows our relationship is solid compared to the dysfunction being married to her, she knows i raised normal kids unlike her 3 dysfunctional pathetic kids, she knows my 2 kids are always showering hubby with affection unlike hers who have been incapable of this. Hubby can’t be guilted abd manipulated forever. 

He does pay the ordered child support but where we live overseas, she can’t go back to court and demand more money because hubby has a better paying job. They go by bare basic minimum and since she raised these kids like poor peopl eating basic crap food, she has no grounds to show these kids lived a high life. Hubby rose up the corporate ladder quickly after divorcing her.

hubby zones her out and refuses to address any messages she has sd23 message hubby. Sd23 has a mini wife complex and this has rubbed on sd14. I do not allow them or their mum to dictate what goes on in my home. Hubby is free to manage the relationship with skids away from me and our 2 kids as i can’t have their dysfunction affect or influence my kids. Since they do not maintain contact with hubby and only contact when they need to remind him for more money or favours, they go to the back of the queue after all our essentials have been dealt with like dr appts or if we have holidays/getaways planned.

often when we are overseas visiting my dad, sd contact dad for some so called emergency when it isn’t an emergency and its just to put the focus on them. He can’t do anything as he’s out of the country...

my husband refuses to see exwife and won’t be guilted by skids into going for her funeral, he does not contact her, he doesn’t let skids guilt him into spending time with her to play imaginary happy family. Hubby has moved on with life, exwife and skids have refused to!!

justmakingthebest's picture

Yes, co-parenting can and does work. At least for my bios. However, DH, exH, SM and I all work together for the best interests of the kids. When we disagree on how something should be handled, we talk out our logic with the other coparents and come to either a mutual agreement on how to deal with it, or if they are at the other parent's home for the issue- that is the parent that has ultimate say so in their home. We respect boundaries and opinions of eachother. 

The BM I deal  with is batshit crazy- so no, there is no coparenting there. There isn't even communication there. There is nothing. 

In your situation, since BM doesn't see the value in education, I would stick to your guns about the rules of your house. As he gets older BM's house will be the fun house and yours will be the rules house. However, it will be very clear to everyone what is going on if 2 weeks out of the month SS's test grades are better, his homework is done, etc and the other 2 weeks is a crap show. Just keep up with his school's online portal so you know what is going on.