Sunday, April 20, 2008

And She Remained Composed (Sunday Scribblings)

It took every amount of effort I could muster to remain composed. I would like to be shouting obscenities, calling names, and crediting "this woman" with the breakup of my marriage, but I mainted my composure and endured the salty remarks, insults, and commands with dignity while standing on my own front porch with the children within ear shot.

Here stood "this woman," the same woman who seven years previously seduced my husband into another life, now with a child of their own, almost three years old, criticizing me for allowing my children to participate in sports and after school activities. Excuse me?

"It takes time away from their father," she says.

What I want to say is that HIS JOB is what takes time away from the kids. Always has. He goes to work at four, comes home at 6AM, sleeps, wakes up at 1 or 2, and repeats the process, all by his own choice, all after quitting a job that he had every other weekend off.
He attended two football games last year. Last year, he attended no soccer games, no basketball games, and thus far, no baseball games this year. And of course, my boy isn't playing all four sports at the same time. He has a lot of down time in between seasons.

"Well, he has to work." I wanted to ask if she'd ever heard of a sick day. Oh, no, that would be too irresponsible! They don't take sick days, hadn't taken one in seven years. Maybe he could come out and watch his son and support him emotionally.

And, what I wanted to say was maybe he should get decent work with decent hours and decent pay - always a problem when we were married, too.
He sees them for 2 hours Saturday and 2 hours Sunday, and the rest of the time is spent with their step-mom, her family, and their half-sister. Oops! "Real sister, Blood sister," I'm told. "They need to bond. It's not fair for you to keep him in activities on days he's supposed to be with his father and 'sister'." The little girl is okay, but she's nothing special to me. If my kids bond with her, great, but if they don't, they will all be fine. The purspose of visitation is for the kids to see their FATHER, and they don't. I keep all this in my head.

She says, "I worked out the amount of child support we pay according to each day we get to see them." That's not how it's done, is what I want to say. They have to be supported whether they are here or at his house, and it's his responsibility. Wacky woman!

She says, "Surely they would throw him in jail if he didn't pay child support." I say, "Probably." I'm thinking, what does that have to do with anything? She tells me that they are involved in too much and they need to pick one thing and stick to it. I tell her they are at the age where they are still experimenting with sports and other activities to see which ones they like and which ones they are good at. She says, "We didn't do any activities when I was growing up." I think, but don't say, well, then, maybe that's what's wrong with you.

The gist is that the kids shouldn't participate in anything that is going to interfere with them seeing their father. When I remind her they don't really see him anyway, she says it's so they can bond with their "sister" who is 9 years younger than they are. I told her I was perfectly happy to let him miss a baseball game or two to go to their dad's. No big deal. Oh, No! Her self-righteousness came back with, "No, he has a responsibility to the team. He needs to be responsible and we need to teach him that." (Read - You, his mom, aren't teaching him to be responsible.) I'm thinking, we don't need to teach him anything, I do, and I do teach him that and so much more. Seems to me my boy missed half his soccer games last spring so he could go to his dad's house, and I never once made any remark to them. Seems to me my girl missed girl scout activities so she could go to their house only to be told to pick up the dog poop in the back yard. I kid you not! And she sees her dad for how long on the weekend? Maybe four hours total.

How dare she come to my home (the step-mother) and tell me what to do for MY kids? She also said I am not to deal with my ex anymore, but with her because she is in charge of everything. I calmly took her cell number down. I remained composed during the entire ordeal, and it was an ordeal of which I've only scratched the surface. Oh, trust me, there was even more!

She'll find out, I will continue to let my children participate in whatever they have an interest in to strengthen their skills, keep them off the streets, teach them self-respect and teamwork, and help them grow into responsible, well-rounded adults instead of into trashy home-wreckers whose only concern is themselves. And if I need to communicate about the kids, I'll call their dad. Good thing I stayed composed and didn't say all that!
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  1. OMG! how dare she came to you and tell you those things! I give my children lots of activities and it's good for them. I think you're right, that was what's wrong with her, staying at home make her things weird way.
    I can't imagine what I would have said if I was in you position.
    good to you.

  2. Always best to stay composed, even if you're seething inside.
    Though not always possible, I admit.

  3. What a psycho! Really, who does she think she is? I'm so glad I don't have to deal with ex's and visitation.

    Know that you're the better person and an awesome mom. I know it!

  4. You're an incredible mom. You took the high road which I know is difficult! I promise you in the end it’s worth it! Eventually the children grow up to clearly see the true picture! Stick to your guns about those activities, they'd be doing them if you were still together. When she goes back to relay the conversation and he asks how you responded, well she comes out as the nag. Toxic step mommy dearest, obviously has no regard for your kids. I know too well how these women affect our children. There is so much I never write about on my blog, but it is so sad! Here is a poem you may be interested in In Name Only ! I'm so sorry you had to stay composed and endure her unreasonable wrath. I wish we could spew how we really feel. Unfortunately it would fall on deaf ears. Now how is that for a comment with a plethora of clich├ęs! Peace and hope to you and your children!

    Hugs Sherrie

  5. hey Diane, I am so happy you kept your composure, I know how difficult it must have been with an out of line B---- like that! It is a wonderful example you gave your children and a much classier approach than going with your gut feelings and letting her have it. Hang in there

  6. you are saint... i'm italian i would of popped her a good one or hired someone else to do it. it pays to have relatives in the mafia...

  7. I'm so sorry you had to deal with such an uncomfortable situation. With your children's best interests at heart, I'm sure you'll continue to set an example of composure, strength, courage and compassion for less mature adults.

  8. Wacky does not begin to describe this person. She needs a visit with doctor Phil.

    Good for you!!!!!!!!!

  9. Wow, she sounds awful. Good for you for keeping your kids' interests first and not letting her get to your composure.


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