'His ex won't let me take their child for Santa photos'
"WHEN her mother heard about it, she hit the ceiling. She said I had no right to take the child anywhere and called my husband and really laid into him."
Navigating the minefield of co-parenting can be a tricky task.
The festive season seems to bring even more problems, with the addition of family traditions and the purchasing of gifts.
You don't want to double up on that games console, and nobody wants to ruin the magic of Christmas by doling out conflicting advice, but sometimes the area is just too bumpy to navigate across without rocking the boat.
One step mum, who is clearly hoping not to rock the boat, wrote to the Boston Herald's advice column about an incident which has recently come about after she told the little girl they would get Santa photos done.
"She hit the ceiling"
"About a year ago, I married a man with a lovely four-year-old girl," the woman wrote in her post.
"Since he and his ex-share equal custody, I am with this child for a week at a time every other week.
"We adore each other."
Given it is the festive season, the little girl's father and step mum told her they would visit Santa and get some photos taken with him the following weekend.
Sounds sweet, right? I mean, we're not talking about seeing a horror movie or taking her to get her hair cut. It's Santa photos.
"When her mother heard about it, she hit the ceiling," she said.
"She said I had no right to take the child anywhere and called my husband and really laid into him."
The step mum said they would both be taking the little girl, and has asked if she is missing something, asking "What's good ex-etiquette?"
"She has no control"
Blackstone replied in a very balanced manner, highlighting the struggles on both sides of the debate.
Commending the step mum for using empathy and taking a step back from the situation, Blackstone pointed out the unspoken rule about each parent not being able to control what happens at the other home.
Which is precisely the issue from the birth mum's point of view.
"Mum gets divorced, her ex-remarries, all of a sudden, she doesn't see her child for a week at a time and another woman is taking care of her baby," wrote Blackstone.
A lack of control from the mother's side has most likely resulted in feelings of vulnerability and insecurity.
"Add that her daughter loves you, and you have one scared mum," she said.