You look bad. The way you put things, the things you won't agree to, and the insane way you retain control over the children- it makes you look bad. Yeah, you get away with it in court. Otherwise, you still look really, stinking bad. And everyone knows it, except for the people playing the same bull you are.
Oh, wait- I'm not talking to stepmoms! I'm talking to the moms that are like my husband's ex.
Here are ways for you to look less insane to everyone, including your own kids who are catching on. This will be a work in progress. Feel free to contribute.
Instead of: "I don't care. You did something like this once (or so I perceived) so I'm retaliating like the ugly person I am."
Try something like: "I misunderstood the custody agreement. I disagree with you, but let's work something out. We can split the time, or you can take them a little extra. I just want to keep everybody happy (so that I look good, at least)."
Instead of: "You're not taking my babies! You can't have them! Ever!"
Try something like: "I'm disappointed and really upset. I want to see them as much as possible, but I understand you're their father and you've never once done anything to harm them, ever. I'm going to go to therapy in order to deal with my anger and control issues. I sure hope we can work together (so that I look good.)"
Instead of: "They were supposed to be here on time and you're screwing everything up for them!"
Try something like: "I'm just glad they're here. Thank you so much for bringing them to that thing I signed them up for without your permission and then forced you into forfeiting your time for. Thank you, again."
Instead of: Rushing to school to take schoolwork away before stepmom or dad picks the child up...
Try something like: Asking for copies.
Instead of: Erasing, covering up, or throwing away all of the school's emergency contact information from dad's side of the family.
Try something like: Asking the school office to retain both sets, allow for two forms, and contact both parents in case of an emergency.