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post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
hugs honey...

can you enlist a school counselor to help? If you can not handle the stress, then by all means, you should not be forced too. You are only responsible for your own life, not your step mother's, your father's lives.

Keep you head on straight, find help with the trusted adults around you and know that there are a whole bunch of protective mamas rooting for you out there in the on line world.
post #2 of 22
I'm confused. She needs someone to hold the baby? Is the baby hers? Why does she consider herself a single mother if she is married to your father? And why does she think you owe it to her to babysit?
post #3 of 22

My response would be that, of course - do what you need to do! But it doesn't sound like your stepmom is that type of person.

She may get offended. She may get angry. But those are her issues, not yours. Compromise is great, and I'm hoping that she'll meet you halfway.

Keep in mind what you need, what you want, and what you're willing to compromise on. Don't let yourself be talked into being a babysitter if you don't want to. Your needs come before hers. She's an adult. She can find someone to hold her baby, or whatever.

Is there an adult who can help you advocate for yourself?
post #4 of 22
If you want, I will read over your letter. I haven't been on MDC for a really long time, like some other fabulous stepmoms, but I've been a stepmom for almost 6 years (wow...!)

Best of luck...I can't imagine just using my SD as someone to hold my baby...unless of course, she wanted too
post #5 of 22
im sorry i dont have any new ideas for you but wow that is just wrong. im so sorry youre in this situation.
having been a sahm and a single mom theyre just lightyears apart and wow this woman sounds like a piece of work.
it sounds like shes jealous of you and trying to make things difficult. i dont know what i would do in your situation.

stay strong
post #6 of 22
I am a stepmom and have stepparents.

I would not write the letter. Instead, I would refuse to discuss it with your stepmom any longer. Tell her that if your father would like to discuss visitation with you privately, that is fine, but you will not discuss it with her. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until she gets the picture. This is really a conversation that needs to be between your father and you.

*She* cannot take *you* to court, BTW. She really can't do anything. Your father would have to take your mother to court.

It troubles me that she isn't saying that she wants you to visit more regularly because she misses you, your father misses you, your siblings miss you, you are an important part of the family and they feel like they don't get to spend enough time with you, etc. She wants a baby-sitter.

The baby issue is an adult problem that you can stay out of. Maybe your dad needs to work less, maybe your stepmom needs some time out of the house, maybe they need to hire a mother's helper. Whatever it is, it is not your problem and it is wrong of your stepmom to try to make it so. This problem is another one that your dad needs to tackle. It sounds like he needs to put on his big girl panties and start fixing some things with his daughter and his wife.
post #7 of 22
Big +1 to what pinksprklybarefoot said.
post #8 of 22
I am not a stepmom. I am a single mom of a teen.

I think pinksprkly...is right on the money.

What your stepmother is doing, threatening you (with court, with losing your father) to try and control you is wrong, it's inappropriate, and it's bullying.

I think you are in one of those situations where you, a young adult, are more sensible and mature than this adult who is supposed to be a parental figure to you (your stepmom.) How incredibly insensitive for her to give YOU a guilt trip about her being LIKE a single mom when she and your dad's affair with her are the reason YOUR mom became a single one.

Reading your words, you sound very sensible and level headed. Even we sensible women sometimes need to hear from others that we are in the right, when someone is bullying us.

Yes, yes, yes get counseling. Yes, listen to your gut about which way to go about it that makes the most sense to you.

And happy birthday.
post #9 of 22
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
I would not write the letter. Instead, I would refuse to discuss it with your stepmom any longer. Tell her that if your father would like to discuss visitation with you privately, that is fine, but you will not discuss it with her. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat until she gets the picture. This is really a conversation that needs to be between your father and you.
I agree with this. Partly because if I had to discuss it with the stepmom, I would probably tear her a new one.

Her parenting difficulties are NOT YOUR PROBLEM. Seriously. Let her pay for help if she wants help. From the sounds of it you owe her nothing at all.

I'm sorry you have to deal with such a manipulative unpleasant person.
post #10 of 22
I have a stepmom that is utterly unpleasant, and I REALLY valued the time my Dad would spend coming to see me (w/o her) once I got to college. I hope you can focus on your relationship with your Dad and sisters.

Even the best letter probably won't convince your stepmom to change or to respect you. But it will probably make you feel better to write it!

Good luck. I know it is so difficult! Our stepmom's are similar in that they just have the most bizarre beliefs! She needs to care for her own baby, for crying out loud! Why does she put guilt on you??

I'm now 35 and they married when I was 7, but even last year, my stepmom was still so mean to me. I just freeze when she speaks, because I know she is trying to slam me or get into some type of argument, and try to go downstairs and hang out with my Dad.

I finally figured out that she just doesn't like me. I am Daddy's little girl, and that just pi$$es her off to no end! I tried to be civil for years and years. But finally just had to avoid her as much as possible. Good luck.
post #11 of 22
Originally Posted by seriouslyjess View Post
My dad seems to understand that I'm not going to stay over any time soon. He has simply asked me and I've said no. And that's been that. But now he seems to be taking her 'side', even though she's telling me things he doesn't know/believe in. Our recent conversation went something like this:
Dad: You really should start driving my car to get more hours.
Me: And when am I going to do that? When you bring RG (six year old sister) out I have to sit in the back with her because she insists. And you're not coming out anymore on Saturdays...
Dad: Who said that?
Me: Your wife can't be a single mother. So I don't get to see you. She needs someone to hold the baby.
Dad: We (meaning the two of them) talked about this. That's not what she meant. She just wants you to stay over.
Me: I don't want to stay at your house. You don't get how busy I am... how much homework I have. And I have band and all this stuff. And I can't miss it. It's a grade.
Dad: We can work it out. And if it doesn't work we can go back to what we're doing now. (Subject was changed by him then to my birthday)
I say this only to try to help you get through to your Dad. This conversation seems like a bit of an evasion on your part, which is fine, you're a kid. If you want to keep doing that, it's OK. But if what's really bothering you is your stepmom's attitude, not that time is tight...don't blame the latter. Saying that you have lots of homework/activities would not have flown with my Dad and he would have kept chipping away at the armor. Family is more important than school band (and yeah, I was a huge band geek/drum major, etc). Tell him what's actually bothering you, but don't get dragged into a big fight about it.
post #12 of 22
Oh boy..so wait a second. I can kind of relate here.

Your Dad had an affair and moved in with the other woman. Now, the other woman is trying to manipulate you?

Huh. Well. My Dad did that too, and he's still living with the other woman. I've never (thank God) considered her any kind of a stepmom. Actually, to me, she's a woman who should have known better. I don't even want to be her friend...lol.

You know honestly, I think your Dad ought to kick himself in the butt here a little bit about this whole issue. Not acknowledging your pain over this whole situation is not exactly very responsible of him - so I'd keep talking to your Dad until he actually opens up about everything to you and you two have a good talk about what happened way back when, and why this other lady feels she has much of a right to tell you to stay at their house, with threats of court involved. Sounds kind of batty to me.

Sorry if this hasn't been much help - I'm just thinking how I would react if my Dad's current GF tried to pull any of that on me. I don't think my reaction would be as polite as yours lol, but you sound like such a sweetie

*HUGS* hun - thinking of you XXX
post #13 of 22
If you're going to write a letter, write one to your dad - just explain that you were hurt and felt trapped (or whatever other adjectives apply) when you understood your stepmom to say X, reaffirm that you want to keep spending time with him and with your little sister, and what you think will work for you in doing so. If there's stuff that would help you work towards staying at his house more, let him know.

Or you could try just telling him, but if it's easier to put in in writing there's nothing wrong with that.

The 'single mom' comment was insensitive on her part, but don't get too hung up on how her and your dad's relationship started. It would be nice if everyone finished one relationship before they started another (highly recommended in fact!), but sometimes life is messy. However, it sounds like most of your issues with her come more from how she expresses herself in the here and now, rather than the past.

I can also see how it would be tiring and a source of friction for them if they have two small kids at home, he works all week, and can only see you outside of his home by your preference - I wasn't sure from your description if that's accurate though? She didn't express herself very fairly about it, but this may be something to think about.
post #14 of 22
Happy birthday, hon!!! I hope it was a good one.

I have to agree with several PPs. A letter to smom isn't likely to do much, and you really should be talking to your Dad about it. The convo you described sounds to me like avoidance of conflict. I know it's hard, but sometimes you have to just bite the bullet.

However, I think your issue isn't *just* stepmom or *just* the babysitting or *just* your classes/activities - it's a combination of things. So you need to be upfront about that.

However, as a member of the family (which you are), I don't think it's unreasonable that there are SOME expectations of you in that regard. Both of my two are active with extracurriculars and have heavy course loads, but they still have their responsibilities at home. So, before talking to Dad, try to come up with a compromise position. I thought offering an every third w/e overnight was reasonable - even if it means babysitting. If nothing else, it's an evening you can spend w/the 6yo.

Trust me when I tell you - while it may be easier, conflict avoidance is not a good life plan. It causes more problems than it solves. Sometimes, life will have conflict, and you have to learn to face it up front.
post #15 of 22
Sounds exhausting all round! Often this kind of toing and froing is a strain on kids and parents alike.

You're trying to balance high school classes, family relationships (at your mom's, at your dad's, at your grandparents), and some time to yourself.

Your dad's trying to maintain a schedule of work, school drop-off, two evenings a week at the other end of town spending time with you, Saturdays with you/errands/seeing his sick parents, spelling out his wife with his two youngest children, and spending (he probably hopes) some time all together now and again.

Your stepmom is at home with a baby who wants to be held all the time, and may be feeling strung out and a bit resentful about the current situation with you.

You and she probably both feel sometimes like everything is currently set up around the other one's needs/whims in a "must be nice for her" kind of a way!
post #16 of 22
[until she had the baby and realized gee this is hard. (And both of them really did tell me that they didn’t realize that having two kids was this hard.) So while I don’t want to sleep there, the fact that they mostly want me there to hold the baby is the more upsetting part. And last night at dinner all the six year old did was glare at me and then tell me that ‘she was daddys favorite’.[/QUOTE]

Lots of people don't realize having two kids is that much harder than having one! It's a pretty common experience.

I understand the 'hold the baby' comment is upsetting. Consider that, however unfortunate it was to put it that way, it does not necessarily mean that's the main reason they want you around, it may just mean she said something that came out wrong. Your feelings of hurt about this need to be dealt with.

Six year olds say funny things sometimes! It sounds like the current situation is a strain on her too.
post #17 of 22
Not a stepmother, and only a stepdaughter as an adult, but I wanted to chime in.

First, to you! As you already know, you are in a very difficult situation. I think you are approaching it from a very mature perspective, more so (as others have mentioned) thank your father and his wife.

Second, I think revisiting counseling may be a fabulous idea--at least for you to get your thoughts and ideas out. If you dad isn't willing to accept responsibility for his own actions, there's not much a therapist sitting in the room is going to do to change that.

I hope you are able to find a solution that is workable for everyone. Personally, I think you're way further ahead in the game than in sounds like either your dad or his wife are.
post #18 of 22
Hey Jess
I hope you are trying to work everything out, even though it's really hard. If I remember correctly (and I apologize if I'm wrong here) aren't you also pregnant and planning on giving the baby up? And your step mom keeps telling you that her friend wants the baby and will adopt it? I would think, if that is your story, that she would want to be on your good side and keep you from undo stress. You want to see your sisters and your dad, but not your step mom. Can you try telling your dad that? I know you probably have, but what if you tell him that the stress of being around her is too much and it's causing stress to you and your baby (or just you and your body) and because of that, your doctor(s) has/have said that you need to keep away from her because of that. My mother and I don't really get along and during my pregnancy she was absolutely horrible. I was living with her and finally told her that I needed to move due to the stress she was causing me. After I stopped living there and stopped coming around and didn't answer the phone as often as she wanted me, and I talked to my dad (who always defended her) it got a little better. I don't know if that will work for you, but it may be worth a shot.

If your sisters miss you (and I'm sure they do) you can always offer to take them out for lunch date or a movie or something. Or even just to do a little project like take a bunch of pictures of yourselves and make a little scrapbook. You could try to do that with them there at their house, but I'm not sure how well that will work. If she really just wants you there to help with baby sitting, then offering to take them out would do the same thing and should be okay. Of course, this is assuming you drive.

I hope it works out for you. If you ever need someone to talk to, there are plenty of people here for you. I'm not in your situation at all, but I can be here to listen and tell you some random stories to make you laugh Feel free to PM if you want.

Anyhow, good luck dear!! You'll be okay. It will work out eventually.
post #19 of 22
I apologize for the mix up. I do that a lot.

I hope you have a better weekend! If only you were closer, I could set you up with of my friends for a girls night out! (I'm only 22 so I very much remember 16 and very much remember not liking it.)

Have a great weekend Jess!!
post #20 of 22
Happy Belated Birthday. You did the right thing by celebrating your special day instead of writing the letter. You sound like a great girl. I wish my SD was just a little bit like you! I disagree with other posters that say you owe it to your dad and his wife and should help with their children. Unless you're getting paid, you're right, its not in your job description. School is so important and they should be supporting you in that area and encouraging you to do well. I agree that you need to put yourself first. Follow your gut (great tool we women have!). I too hate confrontation but try to continue to let your Dad know how you feel. You don't owe his wife any explanations or excuses. You're a valuable member of the family and deserve to be treated that way instead of being treated like hired (unpaid) help. I think its sad that the little one is being encouraged to taunt and tease you. They're only setting her up for hurt. I think its sweet that you have such a close relationship with your little sister. It shows that you are mature and very loving.....your Dad and his wife should take a lesson from you! Try to ignore the little one's remarks, she's only doing what her mother is telling her to do. In time she will feel that it isn't right because she probably really loves you and right now is following mom's instructions. Hang in there, I know its very hard but you have lots of support here.
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