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Q • My husband's ex-wife is constantly texting us about what and what not to feed the kids when we have them for the weekend. She also texts suggestions about where and where not to take them, what to allow them to watch on TV, etc. This goes on throughout the entire time they are at our house. It upsets both of us and makes the time with them anything but positive. Any suggestions on how to get her to step back and just let us handle things without causing an all out screaming match?

From a reader • It sounds like she is venting from being envious and upset about something. It may very well be the relationship that you currently have with her ex. Maybe her life has not gone according to her plans and she is feeling sad, mad, rejected, etc. This is one way she can still have influence in your husband's life as well as your own. I would just have her deal with your husband and block her from your phone. — Justina L. in Dallas

From Jodie Lynn • There could be several reasons why your husband's ex-wife is consumed with blasting texts to both of you.

On one hand, it might be that something took place in the past involving the kids on a visit to your house that she thought was not a good decision and she is strongly opposed to it happening again.

For example, it could stem from something that the kids relayed to her where they might have felt uncomfortable or unhappy, and she is going overboard with trying to protect them.

Alternatively, she might still have a need to somewhat control your husband by using the kids as an excuse to constantly text the two of you as I'm sure she is well aware that the texts cause emotional turmoil.

Some ex-wives as well as ex-husbands can be bitter for many years after a divorce. Unfortunately, they will use the kids as leverage to agitate the opposite parent, especially if that parent has remarried.

Either way, it's not really your place to talk with her about the situation, as it will probably backfire.

Basically, if you feel that she really has no basis for the constant interruptions, I agree with the above reader's suggestion of perhaps blocking her from your phone.

Talk with your husband about it and see if he might be interested in actually having her send emails to him instead of texts.

This might slow her down a bit, especially if he tells her he is not going to be able to read or reply to them straight away.


My future sister-in-law is having yet another bridal shower. I have already spent quite a bit on gifts and was wondering if I could possibly buy something not on the gift registry, since I've already been to two previous showers. School will start soon, and I have to buy school supplies and clothes for our two kids. So far, we're going over our budget. Any suggestions?


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Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.