Re: stepmom needing to vent!!
DH's brother and his wife go thru this all the time. Neither of them have custody of their kids. They have the kids call them 'cuz otherwise their parent screens calls. If arrangements are made for activities during their weekend -- THEY take the children to the activity or friends house. A lot of times it's just the parent trying to take time away from the noncustodial parent and as the children got older, they'd make their own arrangements and tell off the meddling mom/dad that they'd rather spend time with the noncustodial parent. Basically my bro-in-law would make sure to have really fun weekend activities planned -- renting movies, going somewhere, so the kids would choose to be with them. A lot of times their Mom would make playdates with kids they didn't even WANT to be friends with.