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Need some advice on OW watching kids.

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hangingontohope7 posted 8/29/2013 08:56 AM

DS7 told me this morning that when STBXWH came to pick him up at the bus, DS5 was not there. I asked DS5 why he wasn't with STBXWH and he told me it was because he stayed at home with OW.

I know that it couldn't have been for more than 15 minutes but it still makes me feel extremely uncomfortable. And it sets a tone for longer stays alone with her. My attorney told me that once we are divorced, I don't have a lot of say in who he brings around the children. And if they get married, then that's a whole new ballgame.

My question is, should I even bother to tell STBWXH that this makes me uncomfortable? I know that I have a snowball's chance in hell of actually getting him to listen to reason. But, at the same time, I feel like a bad parent if I don't speak up. We are only 2 months out from DDay and OW is essentially a stranger to them. They have only met her a few times. I worry that they will start receiving mixed signals about who they can and cannot trust.

I just sat down with them a few nights ago, since school was starting back up, to discuss "stranger danger" and well as inappropriate touching and other forms of abuse. DS7 had a special presentation at school last year about the warning signs of sexual abuse so it was fairly easy to refresh his memory on what is and isn't appropriate.

I never worried, so much, about these things before. I was a SAHM until recently and of course the thoughts cross your mind from time to time. But now, thinking about some strange woman watching my children and worrying about other people that my STBXWH may bring around... it scares the hell out of me.

[This message edited by hangingontohope7 at 8:57 AM, August 29th (Thursday)]

SBB posted 8/29/2013 09:04 AM

I know that I have a snowball's chance in hell of actually getting him to listen to reason.

This is your answer. I struggled with this a lot too. I thought it was my job to make him be a better father and kept beating that dead horse for months.

Then I realised it should never have been my job.

I've turned my focus to my girls. Whatever I can do to undo or minimise the damage he is doing. He is a lost cause, they are not.

Unfortunately the only control you have is that which you can enforce legally.


Mandilwen posted 8/29/2013 09:53 AM

This is one of the toughest things about divorcing with younger kids. Unless there is some documented reason someone can't be around kids, you really do not have any say who the ex brings around them.

I am a little relieved that both my kids can talk now. When OW was living with my ex, my youngest was only 16 months. OC was only 8 months. If you have two screaming babies, which one are you going to handle more? I had assumed she would have dealt with her kid more than mine. She actually texted me one morning cause she couldn't get her drunk husband out of bed (my ex). Both kids had been up for a couple hours fussing and she couldn't handle both anymore. As much as I disliked OW and was thinking she got what she deserved, I was glad she called so I could get my baby. As soon as she told drunk ex I was on my way, he shot out of bed and called me saying he was awake and everything was fine now. She ended up leaving the country not long after that and hasn't been back since.

I know that this situation sucks, but there is really not much you can do about it. Focus on your kids when they are with you, and focus on you when they are with their dad. The only other thing I did, and still do, is pray they are safe when they are with dad. It will get better.

hangingontohope7 posted 8/29/2013 09:54 AM

I don't think that STBXWH or OW would try to hurt the children. I know that being a couple of cheaters doesn't equal child abusers. I think its just fear that is taking hold of me.

Fear... that I can't be with my kids to protect them.

Fear... that STBXWH is so wrapped up in OW that he isn't being as vigilant as he used to be when it comes to the children's safety.

Fear... that something terrible will happen to them that will scar them even more than what has already happened during the past few months.

The kids have told me that she is nice. They just play video games with her when she is there. I just feel like I have lost complete control of the situation. I didn't even want them to meet her this soon but it doesn't matter what I say or what is best for the kids. Its so difficult to realize that you have no control over other people's actions, only your own.

lostmommy posted 8/29/2013 09:58 AM

There's little to nothing that you can actually do about this. In your head, you just have to think of her as a babysitter - it's what helped me through it. It sucks.

tesla posted 8/29/2013 20:43 PM

Yes, think of her as a babysitter...

I tried to dissuade ex-shat from taking Teslet around stripper did no good.

She watches Teslet now while ex-shat works. It bothered me at first (ok, it still bothers me), but she seems to be managing and allowing her to watch Teslet only hurts ex-shat's relationship with his son.

Bluebird26 posted 8/30/2013 01:53 AM

Yeah unfortunately there isn't anything you can do unless it is spelled out in your divorce/custody arrangements.

In mine, new partners can only look after the children should the other parent be unable to look after the children and if the time does not exceed 4 hours. We have stipulated who is an agreed carer for the children should the other parent be unavailable and the if the time exceeds 4 hours.

Mandilwen posted 8/30/2013 10:07 AM

I completely understand the fear factor. Have you pinned down what, exactly, you fear happening? One of mine was the little one walking out the front door into the street. I can teach a two year old not to go into the street, look both ways, etc...but they don't think about that stuff if they're chasing a ball. He's four now, and I seen him stop at the street while chasing a ball with my own eyes! So that fear has eased up a little.

My ex knows how safety alert I am. I was able to talk with him about my fear and he switched the locks on the front door so the little one couldn't reach it. I also remind him to test the carbon monoxide detector since he has natural gas, and that was/is another fear. Telling him you're uncomfortable with OW watching them might be like talking to a wall, but if you can pinpoint what the fear is, he just MIGHT be accommodating. I know it's tough in the beginning, but after awhile the fears will ease. Their my babies, so I still worry, just not as strongly.

suckstobeme posted 8/30/2013 10:29 AM

Do you have an order in place yet? Talk to your lawyer about this.

I have a clause in my decree that does not specifically name OW since god knows how long she will be around and I'm not modifying the order if there is ever a new skank in his life. Anyway, my decree points out that my ex is not to ever hire a babysitter. He can leave them with an adult for very short periods of time, like if he had to run an errand, but he is not permitted to leave them with a sitter, regardless of who that is, for long periods of time during his visitation. I suppose if he had family here I wouldn't be opposed to the kids spending time with his parents, but that's not my case.

It is true that OW can come around the kids and there's nothing much you can do about that. However, there is a big difference between her being there together with your ex and her watching his kids all alone. Visitation time is meant to be spent with the other parent. If that other parent is working or is too stupid to schedule something when hes supposed to have his kids, too bad for him. The kids should stay home.

Talk to your lawyer to see if this is something you can add to the paperwork.

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