She recently eloped with her third fiancé. She is still putting her best foot forward by working a low paying, commission-only job. In the eyes of her new husband, she is a woman who is trying to get on her feet.
We know better. Over the past ten years, I've personally witnessed and watched her charade of reeling in a guy, getting comfortable with him, letting her guard down (by finding any excuse to not work) and watching the relationship unravel. This time, she sealed the deal before she ramped down her work schedule.
Because she "works", and I simply work from home (mind you I'm now working two jobs via telecommuting from home), she has managed to push all of our youngest son's weekday driving responsibilities on me.
Fine. I agreed to do it. Why, you ask? Because, I fully understand our son would not be afforded any after school extra-curriculars if I was not the one to drive him. The fact that I have two kids at home (one mine, one hers), and the two oldest college kids (both hers) come by my house almost everyday to eat, don't mean anything to her. She is now only responsible for one, and it is still too much for her.
Fine. I do it all. I do it without any credit. She will not allow him to sleep over at our house during the week. That would lower her child support payment. Instead, I drive him to all his practices and tutoring. I correct all his homework. I make sure he has everything he needs for school the next day. I feed him. And then, she picks him up to take him back to her house so he can go to bed and drops him off at school in the morning. I take care of the rest.
Never has she ever offered to help me out by offering to pay a tank of gas. Never has she offered to drive my daughter anywhere in a gesture of reciprocation.
I've only set one guideline: I cannot drive our son on Thursdays. My daughter has her own after-school classes which require a very long commute. I cannot be in two places at once.
We've spoken of this, both in person and on the phone. We've emailed and texted about this. Bio-Mom has agreed to make sure she's available to drive on Thursdays.
So, I find this morning's text very irritating:
Morning, [our son] took his tutoring binder with him today. If you can get him to tutoring I will pick him up. Thank you!
Maybe, to the outsider, it looks benign. But, to me it is so indicative of her character.
1. She assumes I'll pick him up
2. She assumes I'll rearrange my schedule
3. She doesn't acknowledge today is my difficult day or our agreement
4. She doesn't apologize for asking, knowing I cannot drive on Thursdays
Here's the text I would've sent if I found myself in the same predicament:
Hi, StepMom. I realize today is Thursday, but I find myself in a bind. I was wondering if you'd be able to help out this once and drive Son to tutoring. I am so sorry for the inconvenience. I've tried rescheduling and was unsuccessful. If I can ever repay the favor, please don't hesitate to ask!A little tact and carefully chosen words go a long way.