custody, I first want to repsond to the "God given right to parent a child" Ha Ha Ha Ha... Just because someone can produce a child, it doesn't ensure that they are productive to being a parent. My ex did not perform the duties described while we were married. He left all things to do with our son to me. I do not begrudge my ex for the time our son spends with his father. The whole Disneyland Dad syndrome is his father's choice. Not once has my ex shown interest in our son's extra-curricular school activities. While we were married, my son was in the school science fair... I was the PTA person in charge. Which meant I had to be there earlier than the kids. My ex was to bring our son later. He griped and complained so much about having to bring him, our son just said he'd go with me. This was 2nd grade. I am sorry your situation isn't ideal for you, but 50/50 is not ideal for the educational/emotional/intellectual development of our son. Sure, things are more lax on the weekends than during the week. That is only fair, for children as well as adults. The fact is, my ex does not want the responsibility of his child,neither financial nor emotional, but he wants devotion from him. This is one of the reasons why we are no longer married, because he approaches all relationships this way. I know that most fathers are not like that. My current husband is all about his kids... not just the fun stuff, but giving them stability and sturcture. He does the school plays as well as doctor appointments. He's not perfect by any means, but nobody is. Besides perfection is boring and stagnate.
Stepmother, I honestly don't think she is spiteful, I think she sees the kids as second to herself. She has shown favoritisim for one child over the other. It is going to sound as if I am bashing her, but while I wouldn't socialize with her if the children were not involved, I don't dislike her, I don't really respect the choices she has made as a mother, but those were her choices, not mine. One of the children has VERY MILD mental/emotional develpoment issues. She has been described by others (not me nor my husband and NEVER infront of the kids) as feeling that that child is "broken". Guess which child she didn't want when she was trying to split the kids. It is sad. I am sure she loves the kids, she just doesn't put their needs in front of hers. My husband doesn't want to begin the drama with a change in custody. The kids are not struggling and the stress of the tension would not outweigh the benifit to them at this point. We have recognized the early signs of ringworm so we can treat early. We provide them with stability and security while they are with us.... we have no control over her actions. She has gotten better in some areas. Her moving back to NC, even if it is part time, has allowed the oldest to participate in an extra-curricular activity. We are trying to teach them the strength to stand up on their own. If/when they are ready to make a change, they will let us know. Little signs that they are building independence are developing daily. Maybe with their strengethened independance, they will thrive no matter their environment.
I didn't mean to make such a contriversial post. I acknowledge that there are extreemes on all parts of the custody rainbow. Each arraingement has people that thrive and get left out. A child deserves to have the love and support of all people in his/her life. Momma, Daddy. Step momma, Step daddy, Grandma, grandpa, Uncles, Aunts, Teachers, Cousins, the neighbors, friends of parents, each other, etc etc. When someone in the child's life cannot give the child a positive home life or self worth, that person should not have an equal say in the rearing of that child. While there are kids who can go back and forth with little effect on their lives, there are many who act out, shut down, or bounce between the two. I knew there were others who do not feel as I do, and that is their choice. I used this forum to vent my current frustration. I know that when I was a child, my daddy chose not have much to do with me nor my brother. While some may see this as to why I feel as I do, it is quite the opposite, this is why I bite my tounge when my son comes home stinky and hungry. While my ex has troubles with responsibility, he is my son's father and my son has a right to know him. I have the responsibility to provide security and stability to our son. To keep that balance for our son, 50/50 is not a viable option for us. The only problem my ex has with our situation is that "I am ruining his life" because he is supposed to pay child support. My husband's situation isn't as clear cut. It is more of a neglectful situation, but not neglectful enough to describe a physical danger to the children. It is more emotional. Which as everyone knows is not against the law and hard to prove. In this case we love them, build them up, and give them structure. Time will tell.... in both situations.