iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2012
Fri, 11-23-2012 - 4:16pm
I really need to vent, maybe get some answers. I have been with my mister for about two now, he has three children 10, 7, and 3, and we have a newborn son. I love his children as if they were mine, but I am becoming so overwhelmed lately. Part of it is the exhaustion I know, but since the birth of my son, things that bothered me about the way our (his) children are being raised by their mother now grates on my last nerve. Before I was able to convince myself that she was their mother and therefore opinion was of better value than mine, now however, her selfish behavior appears to be more neglect boarding abuse. 
We have the children three and a half days a week, Saturday through half the day Tuesday. When we receive them Saturday morning, they have not showered since Thursday night, little miss, who is three and potty trained, has a rash from her night time pull ups, they are wearing the same clothes from last week (on one occasion the family Great Dane had peed on the clothes pile in the floor where they keep the "go between clothes" and they were simply dried and put on), hair is always uncombed, and teeth unbrushed, as well as empty bellies through drop off time is ten. She runs a dirty household, I've been aware of that since the beginning, but I'm sorry, a Great Dane is the size of a small horse, and letting it pee in the house without cleaning it up, is beyond me. 
Both boys are failing out of school. I accepted the previous years grades as a transition (against my better judgement). Their parents had split in the middle of a school year, they had been yanked across the country on their mother's whim and placed in three different schools the previous year. It was a rough getting back in the groove, dealing with Mom and Dad being officially apart, having scheduled days, having me around. But enough is enough. We have a ten year old and a seven year old, who can barely read. The oldest has been held back already and is on the verge of it happening again. Their homework is not checked, they are not read to, nor asked to read for the required 20 minutes, papers are not signed. Our sweet seven year old was told by his mother that he didn't have to do his word problem on any of his math homework because "you can't read, and I don't have the time to read it to you." The ten year used to come in excited to learn new things, and make such an effort with his spelling (she allowed him to write his words misspelled three to five times a piece) but his ever sinking grades caused a major discouragement, and now homework on Mondays is a battle. After progress reports came out at the beginning of the school year, and being shocked at the results, considering every Monday night all of us sat down and did homework together. The baby in my lap, while little miss and I played shape and color matching games, or alphabet and number studies, Dad helping with math, and me giving spelling and writing advice. The mister and I contacted the school, and discovered they hadn't been turning in homework during the week, and missing at least four days of school a month. I was appalled. So began Saturday backpack checks, and we'd find the weeks worth of homework undone, or half finished, notes sent home about poor behavior neglected in the depths. I admit, this was partially my fault, I should have known to check their bags at least Monday nights. But the boys were so prompt about getting out their work, and handing us flyers and sign off sheets it never crossed my mind that it wasn't happening at their other home too. 
There is a lack of... I don't want to say discipline, because that's not exactly it... It more of a lack of parental intelligence with the children in her home. The kids are not taught or asked to respect items in the house. Furniture is jumped on, DVDs are smashed, toys are broken, cupboards are for climbing, and running full speed ahead is permitted. Not that I don't think every now and then we shouldn't jump on the bed, or run and slide across the tile in our socks, or have pillow fights and wrestling matches. But, little miss comes with black eyes from running into the piano, or being jumped on by the dog, the boys have bite marks from wrestling matches unsupervised. Just last month our seven year old came with road rash from below his hip to his chin because he was dragged across the road by the 150 pound Great Dane chasing a cat  "because he wanted to hold the leash," and she tied it to his wrist. They often go to a local park, which has a giant castle, it's lovely, but it was designed by a pedophile, I swear it was. There are a million nooks and crannies, hidden passages. It's not a place where you allow your children to wander alone, and yet, she perches at a tree 30 yards away from the castle and reads, handing over the responsibility of little miss to her brothers busy playing king of the castle. The oldest has no mind for stranger danger, and wanders off in stores. He has bumped into us on several occasions (being a small town, with few shopping centers) while out shopping with his mother. We try to break the habits, explain the dangers, but kids will be kids. If no one is watching, one day he may just fall into the cracks and disappear. 
We recently discovered little miss still sleeps in her mother's bed. Which I have no qualms about, my younger brother who suffered from night terrors slept beside my parents up until his teens. But there is also another woman sleeping in the bed with them. Supposedly a roommate, to help with rent. And now little miss has discovered masturbation. Which, I know can happen around her age, but it almost appears to... I don't know... 
We work hard to have a routine that works for us in our household. And the kids join in and usually work with us. They pick and poke at each other, run wild, and wrestle too hard, and other things that kids do. It's a wild mess, but it's part of growing up. They are good kids, and I love them. 
 I'm scared and I'm worried. How will they ever survive this unscathed? How are they going to make it through high school and to college if they aren't given the help they need to succeed now? Am I going to wake up tomorrow to the sound of the Mister's phone ringing, and it's not going to be good news on the other end? Bike riding in the street... Lost at the park... Wandered out of sight at the mall... 
Is any of it enough to take to court and re establish custody? Or does someone have to get hurt first? 
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
Mon, 11-26-2012 - 4:59pm

I think you are raising a ton of red flags and social services needs to become involved. It sounds like the mom is neglecting those kids terribly, and they would benefit from a stable, healthy environment. You should be documenting everything you are seeing, take pictures of the rashes (not ones in private places, mind you, but ones on legs, back, etc.) You should contact the school to see what type of help they could provide you. It's something you should discuss with your lawyer to see what they say, maybe they can at least send social services over to inspect the mom's home.  These kids will not thrive in this environment. and school is only going to get harder for these kids.  They deserve better out of life.  

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Thu, 11-29-2012 - 3:45pm
I agree that you definitely have some causes for concern. Is their dad as concerned as you are about the children? If so, than he should contact his attorney to discuss the steps you need to take. If anything the mom needs some parenting classes, and maybe there is a local agency that can become involved and help her with that.