Needing Advice on Blended Family Issues with the BM of My Bf's Children.

Updated on April 21, 2019
M.C. asks from Bronx, NY
19 answers

First of all we are in NJ. BF has been divorced 5 years, we're together 3, and living together for the past year. He has visitation every Sunday 10am to Monday morning, drop off at school, and every other Friday and Saturday over nights. BM, or ex-wife, will not allow me to pick up the children for the beginning of his parenting time, the Friday night pick up every other week. I get out of work at 3pm, he at 6:30 or 7. I have tried to pick them up so that we can all be together for dinner when he gets home. There is a 25 mile drive between his job and their home with their mom. And sometimes he can not get them until 8pm. She refuses to allow it. If she is bringing them to our house, for whatever reason and his car is not there, she refuses to drop them off. Literally will drive around the block 500 times until he arrives. The one time that this specifically happened, he was stuck in traffic and late due to an accident on the highway. I was home, but she would not let the children (15 & 11) out of the car. so, my question is, 1) is there a way to have her told that she is being unreasonable? Can it be put into the parenting plan that I can pick up and/or receive the children? 2) Would there be a difference if we were married? We don't really want to file motion and go through the expense of court, but just want to be able to work together to get the kids.

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L.U.

answers from Seattle on

Well...I wouldn't drop my kid's off with an ex-husband's girlfriend either. I WOULD drop them off with a wife.

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M.6.

answers from New York on

You know, this may have nothing to do with you and everything to do with your BF. Perhaps he shirked his duties as a husband and a parent for years and she just isn't going to let him get away with it any more. Don't assume that she won't leave with you - I'd assume that she is making sure dad is stepping up to the plate.

I'd be thanking her. You AREN'T married and while YOU are willing to help with the kids, the next GF might not be. She is just making sure he is going to do his parenting job whether you are around or not.

As an aside, once the 15 yr old starts driving, it may become a non-issue anyways, and in a few years it will truly be a non-issue. Why poke the bear now?

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

So Mom doesn't want to drop the kids off with you but with their father. Ok, so its an inconvenience. So what? This really isn't about you. Its about the kids and their father and their visitation. She can make that decision. Is it silly? Maybe but she gets to make it.

So to answer your questions; 1. who is going to tell her she is being unreasonable? You? Your boyfriend, her ex husband? Yeah, that will go over like a lean balloon. 2. Marriage? Maybe, maybe not. 3 Parenting Plan, that would require going to court and you mention y'all don't want to go to the expense of filing a motion. Look, the oldest is 15. They will be driving soon so this will be a moot point in the next year or so.

In the end, it really doesn't matter what you think. You are not part of this equation. That might sound harsh but it really is between the father, mother and kiddos. No where is the girl friend mentioned.

You are dating a man with kids and an ex wife. That's a lot of baggage. I would just continue being nice to the kids and opening the door when they visit when dad is there.

11 moms found this helpful

S.T.

answers from Washington DC on

i'm sure it seems unreasonable from your end, and maybe it is. but why push it? if she's not yet comfortable with you, let her have more time. it does mean less time with the kids, but you're relatively new in their lives. if he doesn't get out of work until late on those days, then HIS time with them is cut short. i can see how that does not, in her mind, mean that YOU should get that time regardless.

visitation is for the parents, not the new GF of the BF.

if you don't really want to go through the legalities, don't. in the long run, trying to force her isn't going to do anything to get her to work with you better.

they've been divorced for a while, but a year isn't long for you to be a fixture in their lives. i don't think she's being unreasonable, and honestly, whatever red flags she's seeing aren't being told in this post.

i think you should focus on not being the drama llama in this situation. work on developing a good relationship with the kids, a quiet sensible one with her, and keep the adrenaline low.

khairete
S.

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T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I think you're getting ahead of yourself. If dad can't get kids until 8 then why shouldn't they just have dinner with their mom? I'm not sure why she doesn't want to drop them off with you, maybe she's being paranoid or maybe she doesn't want the kids to get too attached to a live in girlfriend.
I wouldn't get involved with their parenting decisions. Of course if you ever get married and become a true blended family then you'll need to all sit down together and come up with a new plan, and hopefully that doesn't involve going to court, but if it does then so be it.
This is one of the main reasons I said I would never, ever date a guy with kids, let alone move in with or even marry him. Too much baggage and drama! Good luck with that.

8 moms found this helpful

T.S.

answers from San Francisco on

I can't speak to the legality of the situation, though I wonder, before he had you moved in and keeping house did he manage to get off work earlier to pick up his kids? Did he have a sitter pick them up? Just curious. They are HIS kids after all, not yours. I'm sure you have good intentions but I wouldn't create any drama around this. He's not your husband and they are not your children. Continue to be a kind and loving friend to the children but don't insert yourself into any other kind of role for now. I see huge red flags over the fact that this man is willing to let you move in and play house without making you his wife. Sounds like free sex, cooking and babysitting to me. Aren't you worth more than that?

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

I think being married might make a difference at least to the court.
It shows you are serious about being in the kids lives for the long haul.
As a girlfriend you could walk out at any time - and I'm not saying your boyfriend would have a string of girlfriends walking in and out of his kids lives but I'm sure no one thinks that would be a good thing for the kids.
If court is convinced that you will be their step mom (you are not as a girlfriend), then the court might be more willing to allow you some more leeway than you are getting now.
Your boyfriend and his ex need to work on their co parenting otherwise it is going to be a very rough next 7 years to go until the youngest is 18.

Try once in awhile to see things from the exes point of view.
Time with their father is suppose to be with their father - she wants to make sure he's there.
Traffic tie ups happen sometimes and maybe she is being unreasonable - but it's not your job to tell her that - leave that to what gets decided in court.

Additional:
Maybe you and this parent can get together and discuss your similar yet opposite situations:

"How to handle a stepmom overstepping boundaries while my ex husband is deployed?"

https://www.mamapedia.com/questions/18019052905495396353

Seems to be different sides to the same coin.

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C.C.

answers from New York on

Visitation is for the parents, not for you. If their dad cannot visit with them until 8pm then of course it makes sense for their mom to want to get some extra visiting time for herself. (I shudder to imagine the type of mother who would say: "Thank goodness for you, Girlfriend Of My Ex, that you are available to take my offspring away at 3pm rather than forcing me to spend time with them until 8pm.")

Also, as some people note below, this problem will solve itself soon: the 15-year-old will turn 18 / go off to college and the younger one will be in high school, the whole "system" could change then.

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M.G.

answers from Portland on

I have a friend who was in your position.

She was home and her BF's ex would not let her kids go there unless her BF was home, nor would she let her drive them/pick them up.

My friend is a great mom, volunteers, etc. She felt the ex was being unreasonable, however - you can kind of understand it. She herself was kind of bitter about her own exes' new girlfriend, and her role in her own kids' lives.

It's an adjustment period. We're talking 1 year that you've actually been involved in the kids' lives in this capacity. It may be a bit unreasonable, but you don't mention what the court order says. That's key here too.

This friend I mention - she is now a chauffeur to her 'step-kids'. Her BF is never around, and she drives her BF's kids everywhere. In just a matter of a few years, the ex now dumps the kids on her, and she finds herself being in the position to have to drive them everywhere.

It can change overnight. There may be drama involved - and things may turn. Honestly, leave this to BF and ex. I would. I know you're trying to help out, and help out your BF and kids - but I would stay out if it. I have another friend who was in this same kind of mess (between ex and her husband) and it just was always messy. Don't get involved in details like this. To you it's unreasonable because you're the third party. It is unreasonable and ridiculous. But they have the history.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

Ugh, I'm so sorry you're in this bind. I'm a second wife to a man with 2 kids, and his ex was bitter and vindictive, so I feel your pain.

It's been a while since we did this (kids are adults), so maybe other members have recent input, but I have a feeling that the court will say visitation is with the dad, and if he can't be there, they should be with their mother. I think it's "worse" because you're not married, but even if you were, you would not be entitled to time. Technically, anyway.

I do think he should be communicating with her if he's stuck in traffic - is she driving around the block 500 times because she doesn't know where he is, or because she's trying to stick it to you by saying "I don't recognize you as a positive influence on my children"? Or was she ticked off that she drove all that way and he wasn't even there, so she was sticking it to him for inconveniencing her? Did she feel her time with them would have been better spent at her home than in the car? She has a point there, but truly, it would have been better for the kids to come in and get settled rather than be in the car doing nothing.

I think he may need to revise the visitation schedule if this happens a lot. It should be based on the kids' best interests and shouldn't mention you. They're also old enough that courts will listen to them about where they want to be, although I would caution your BF about putting the kids in the middle and forcing the issue if they don't bring it up or if there aren't compelling reasons for them to relocate. Maybe it's just as simple as him negotiating with his employer to work later on a few nights and get out early on his Friday pick-up days. It seems silly for him to have an agreement he can't meet.

Also, sometimes kids at this age (especially the 15 y.o.) want to do stuff with their friends and never with the parents. So they may be giving her a hard time as well.

Beyond that, without knowing the particulars, I don't have any suggestions for you, except to keep any resentment and frustration totally out of your voice and your facial expressions. It doesn't help the kids at all. And they are learning how to have adult relationships by what they see with all the adults in their lives.

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B.A.

answers from Minneapolis on

Sorry but you are just the girlfriend and the parents need to work out custody exchanges.

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W.W.

answers from Washington DC on

M.

Welcome to mamapedia.

You're the GIRLFRIEND. You're not his wife. You're NOT their step-mother. Sorry. You're basically NOTHING in their life but the W. who sleeps and lives with their daddy.

You marry him? Fine. You have something. But right now? Sorry to say it bluntly and rudely - you're NOTHING. You have NO say. You have NO rights. NOTHING. I wouldn't leave my kids with my ex-husband's new "toy".

don't get married because of the kids. Get married because you love him and want to spend your life with him and he you.

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R.L.

answers from Chicago on

When you say you’re tried to pick them up, what does that mean? Does that mean your boyfriend asked her and she said “no?” Did she say why? It might seem perfectly reasonable to you to do what would be most convenient for you and your boyfriend, but that doesn’t mean it seems reasonable to her. I wonder what your boyfriend’s history is as a father. Does he pay child support regularly, did he discuss you moving in together with her before you actually moved in together? Did he let her know he was stuck in traffic? What is their communication like?

What is your relationship status? Living together with the intention of marrying, or living together without a clear future? If your future is not clear, then it might be fair for her to want some boundaries around your relationship with the kids. I’m not suggesting you get married, unless that’s what you really want to do regardless of her attitude, but it might be a factor here.

For now, I’d suggest you just be a good friend to the kids, and encourage your boyfriend to discuss any issues with mom in a kind and respectful manner. Unless she’s completely vindictive, she might be able to become more comfortable with you with time. The kids will not benefit from any drama, so I’d try to avoid going to court unless things get much, much worse. Telling her she's being unreasonable, is not going to help.

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S.S.

answers from Atlanta on

what does the court order stipulate? If the court order states that biological father will take custody, then that's what needs to happen.

In her eyes? You might be a the "baby sitter". Have you had a conversation with her? have you tried to get to know her? What does your "boyfriend" say about this?

I wouldn't drop my kids off with the baby sitter when they are supposed to be with their dad.

If you get married? You would still need to be added to the family plan as the "step mother".

Why do you believe this is about YOU?
What do you know about their marriage and break up? Only what HE has told you. Not her side, right?

She's not being unreasonable if she is following the parenting plan.

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N.C.

answers from San Diego on

If the court order specifies pick up and drop off must be completed by the parent, then she is following it.

My ex had it put in our court order that 3rd parties can do exchanges. But it only backfired on his wife. Now he has no excuse and he makes her to do the exchanges in his absence, big inconvenience to her.

I understand you are eager to play the role as chauffeur and glorified babysitter to your boyfriend’s children. But if he didn’t have you around to use what would he do?

Maybe he would just have to get off work earlier? Or be home on time himself to do exchange?

Also do you really want to assume the liability of caring for another women’s children without the father present?

If anything happened to the kids in your care, you would be putting yourself at risk. The way this mom is acting tells me you will be crucified.

Don’t compromise your relationship with your boyfriend for his kids.

I am all for delegating duties to my kids stepmother. It gives me free time and wastes her time. I have the stepmother chauffeuring the kids to activities, doing drop off and pick up at school. My ex-husband just dumps our kids off during his parenting time on her for weeks and leaves the state or country.

Enjoy your free time.

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T.H.

answers from Dallas on

It dose seem unreasonable on the surface but Military Mom brings up some good points. Additionally, I have to wonder if there's more to the story...have you ever had a confrontation with the BM? Do you have a history of anything she might find upsetting? A record? I mean I feel like whether it's you or your BF the mom has to have some sort of method behind her madness. Has your BF had a conversation with her about her reasons?

2 moms found this helpful

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

I see her point of view. You’re not a step mom, you’re the girlfriend.

I wouldn’t drop children off with a girlfriend either.

This isn’t about you, it’s about the children and it’s really sad if he is relying on you to do all the babysitting. I’d be upset about that as well.

Follow the court order.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

She is being unreasonable, but telling somebody that has never made them all of a sudden start acting better. If you were married you may have more of a legal standing to force the issue, but in the end is that worth the extra drama is could cause? My guess she is jealous of you and afraid of her children getting to close to you, this can happen a lot when a step parent enters the picture. If you husband decides to push the issue let him handle it and you stay out of it and just be supportive in whatever ways you can, and in the meantime when you do have the opportunity to see BM be extra nice and welcoming and make sure she doesn't feel threatened by you. Best of luck moving forward, co-parenting can be hard, especially when one parent is not willing to work well with the other.

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D..

answers from Miami on

This is a question for him to ask his lawyer. We can't give you legal advise.

I hope that your boyfriend will at least try. This is all about his ex. It has nothing to do with the kids' benefit. She is just punishing him.

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