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Hmm... are we going to have a problem?

post #1 of 44
Thread Starter 
uh-oh! DH and I went to DSD's pre-K graduation on Wednesday. DSD's Mom went this year and was there.

Well afterwards I was changing the baby on the changer there and DSD comes running up, excited of course to see her baby sister who she hasn't seen in a few days and was cooing to her and petting her head and kissing her hand. They are sooo cute together!

But then her Mom yells from across the room, "Alex your baby sister isn't going anywhere." insert rolling of the eyes here , "We are going outside now, get over here now!"

DSD ignored her for a little and continued playing with DD while her Mom stayed on the other side of the room tapping her foot, rolling her eyes and such.

I didn't say anything, but I really wanted to at least say, "it's okay, she is with me, we will meet you outside in a bit."

But I'm pretty sure that would have went badly...

This was weird because her Mom always seemed really gracious about DD... I think perhaps she was trying to show off in front of her sister or something?


Then, at the picnic portion of it... DSD's current teachers know me and talk to me and the one just had her baby so wanted to come talk baby things with me. She saw I was sitting at a table nursing so came over and talked to me. Well, no sooner had the teacher sat down to try to talk to me, DSD's Mom came over and joined us and sort of "butted in."

She has a tendancy to make it fully known that she is Mom and the one "running the show" whenever we are at events for DSD at the same time. It's pretty annoying.


But the thing that really bothered me the most was her telling DSD that DD wasn't going anywhere and that she didn't have to go run and say hi. They are sisters that do not get to see each other much... if they have not seen each other in a few days of course they are going to want to see each other the first chance they get! There was absolutely nothing pressing to get to outside, her Mom just wanted to assert some kind of control or something.

Am I making a big deal out of nothing? I just read so many horror stories on here where bioMom tries to distance the siblings in the other house and such and am worried of that being my future...
post #2 of 44
Was her mother speaking with someone else? Is it possible that the issue is that DSD was, in the way children sometimes are, bring rude by running off when someone else was speaking to her? Or even simply disobeying a direction from her mother?

As for the possibility that she wants to make sure people know she's the mom... well, she is. If she's insecure, accept that and just make sure you reinforce her status. If the teacher doesn't know her, introduce her as, "Jenny's mother" instead of "Bill's ex." A few simple acts on your part- a comment about how beautifully she dresses her daughter or how fortunate you are to be part of her life when she's been so well brought up- can let this woman know that you remember who the child's mother is and are not looking to replace her. You could go in her mind from being the person "trying to take her role" to that nice woman who her ex is lucky to have.

She may be difficult and she may be insecure but there are measures you can take that will cost you very little and ease that situation which will make life nicer for everyone. Is it your "fault"? Of course not! But it could become your problem and you are the person with the most power to gently redirect the tension.

The early years are tense sometimes. Lord knows my son and I had our issues (separate from each other) with his father's wife. Some of it was me, some of it was her, some of it was just the situation. I can tell you that it's not easy seeing the ex and his new partner walking away with your darling child. If she's not capable of going the extra mile right now, maybe you can.
post #3 of 44
At one of those school events, dsd asked us to go outside on the playground. It was technically our day, so she was coming home with us. However, dsd's mom answered her and told her no, because dd (MY daughter!) needed to go home for a nap! which, yes, she did eventually, which dsd's mom knew, but hello? I think that is my line, lol, and I didn't mind if we played for a litttle while first. I don't know if she is so used to answering dsd's requests, or if it was an "asserting control" thing, but it gave me kind of the same weird feeling it seems like you got, especially when she butted in on you with the teacher. I have always been careful to let dsd's mom introduce herself first, to correct anyone who called me the mom by accident, and otherwise not charging in ahead of her mom at school stuff. However, I have also made it a point to know the teachers, the other parents to some degree, and to be involved-I wouldn't NOT do those things just b/c dsd's mom was jealous or insecure, you know? Which luckily she generally seems fine at such events where we all go together-or at least doesn't show it if it bothers her!

As for the sister thing, I think that one event is obviously too little information to know if she will try to push them apart. Maybe with all the other stuff going on between her and you and dsd's dad, she was just feeling difficult that day! Hopefully everything will smooth out soon. I think you did the right thing by letting dsd say hi to dd to and not rushing her off. Whatever message dsd's mom sends, you can still make sure she knows it is good to be excited to see her sister. We are lucky that, at least, dsd's mom has always been good about encouraging dsd to be excited about being a big sister to dd.
post #4 of 44
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
Was her mother speaking with someone else? Is it possible that the issue is that DSD was, in the way children sometimes are, bring rude by running off when someone else was speaking to her? Or even simply disobeying a direction from her mother?
Nope she had not asked DSD to do anyting specific til DSD was playing with DD and DSD was not speaking with anyone at that time. I think Mom just didn't want to stand there waiting for her DD, but she really didn't have to, it wasn't like DSD was unsupervised.

Quote:
As for the possibility that she wants to make sure people know she's the mom... well, she is. If she's insecure, accept that and just make sure you reinforce her status. If the teacher doesn't know her, introduce her as, "Jenny's mother" instead of "Bill's ex." A few simple acts on your part- a comment about how beautifully she dresses her daughter or how fortunate you are to be part of her life when she's been so well brought up- can let this woman know that you remember who the child's mother is and are not looking to replace her. You could go in her mind from being the person "trying to take her role" to that nice woman who her ex is lucky to have.
DSD lives with Mom full time, we only see her EOW... beleive me everyone knows who Mom is. lol And I'm certainly not trying to replace her. DSD's teachers all know me as Alex's Jen and refer to me that way, so it's not a miscommunication or assumption gone wrong kind of thing that happened.

As for complimenting DSD's Mom.... I'm not going to lie to make her feel better. I don't care for any of the clothes DSD's Mom dresses her in. I'm really not trying to be catty... our clothing styles just differ extraordinarly. For intance at graduation she had DSD in a very bright, think gypsy/mardi gras type skirt and shirt... I would have chosen a softer flowery spring dress or something. I'm not saying DSD's Mom's choice was wrong... just different, so I'm not going to lie and say I like something when I don't.

And I won't even get into how much I disagree with her parenting style and different behavior/other issues I see in DSD because of it... but suffice it to say, I understand I'm not DSD's bio parent so I don't get into it... but again I'm not going to lie and thank DSD's mom for how she raised DSD because, I don't agree with that statement at all.

Honestly, I don't really care what she thinks of me. I just don't want her interferring with our girls relationship and like greenemami pointed crossing any lines within my particular realm that she shouldn't.

This isn't the only time she has instructed DSD about something that involved DD... often she will tell DSD not to hang on DD or something similiar during drop-off/pick-up... I feel really funny correcting DSD's Mom, but I really do wish she would not do things like this. She may be DSD's Mom... but I'M DD's Mom, and I think I can assess if DSD is hanging too much or too rough or whatever and will let her know. I don't like DSD's Mom trying to lay law in MY house.
post #5 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
This isn't the only time she has instructed DSD about something that involved DD... often she will tell DSD not to hang on DD or something similiar during drop-off/pick-up... I feel really funny correcting DSD's Mom, but I really do wish she would not do things like this. She may be DSD's Mom... but I'M DD's Mom, and I think I can assess if DSD is hanging too much or too rough or whatever and will let her know. I don't like DSD's Mom trying to lay law in MY house.
In cases like this, I would probably be tempted to say, "Oh, I'm okay with it," or something like that. In the "I-appreciate-your-watching-out-for-my-child-but-really-it's-okay" voice. But that's just me.
post #6 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
But then her Mom yells from across the room, "Alex your baby sister isn't going anywhere." insert rolling of the eyes here , "We are going outside now, get over here now!"
You could do what I did and just hang on to the amazing fact that in talking to her daughter, she referred to your daughter as "your baby sister" in public. I held tight for weeks to the memory of the first time my step-daughter's mom referred to my son as "your brother" with no qualifiers. It might seem like a little thing, but in our situation it was huge.
post #7 of 44
My stepdaughter's Mother was/is like that. I remember my stepdaughter's end of the year preschool picnic. It was our day, we so we picked my stepdaughter up from daycare and returned later when the school picnic started. My stepdaughter went to the same daycare that her Mother worked in, so her Mother was there working one of the game tables. We were at the picnic tables eating, and my Hubby took my son to get another hot dog, so I sat with my stepdaughter while she finished eating. The boys weren't back yet, and my stepdaughter wanted another drink, so I took her to the drink table, which was in sight of the game tables her Mother was working. Here I was, holding my three year old stepdaughter's hand, talking to her, obviously with her and in charge of her, and her Mother sends my stepdaughter's teacher over (teacher was also a good friend of stepdaughter's Mother), who actually takes my stepdaughter's hand out of my hand, ignores me, tells my stepdaughter that she needs to be with a parent and brings her to her Mother! Apparently, she was sent to make sure I knew I wasn't Kathy's Mother.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
This isn't the only time she has instructed DSD about something that involved DD... often she will tell DSD not to hang on DD or something similiar during drop-off/pick-up... I feel really funny correcting DSD's Mom, but I really do wish she would not do things like this. She may be DSD's Mom... but I'M DD's Mom, and I think I can assess if DSD is hanging too much or too rough or whatever and will let her know. I don't like DSD's Mom trying to lay law in MY house.
Exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
You could do what I did and just hang on to the amazing fact that in talking to her daughter, she referred to your daughter as "your baby sister" in public. I held tight for weeks to the memory of the first time my step-daughter's mom referred to my son as "your brother" with no qualifiers. It might seem like a little thing, but in our situation it was huge.
Yes, keep that in mind. It's more than many of us get.
post #8 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Nope she had not asked DSD to do anyting specific til DSD was playing with DD and DSD was not speaking with anyone at that time. I think Mom just didn't want to stand there waiting for her DD, but she really didn't have to, it wasn't like DSD was unsupervised.



DSD lives with Mom full time, we only see her EOW... beleive me everyone knows who Mom is. lol And I'm certainly not trying to replace her. DSD's teachers all know me as Alex's Jen and refer to me that way, so it's not a miscommunication or assumption gone wrong kind of thing that happened.

As for complimenting DSD's Mom.... I'm not going to lie to make her feel better. I don't care for any of the clothes DSD's Mom dresses her in. I'm really not trying to be catty... our clothing styles just differ extraordinarly. For intance at graduation she had DSD in a very bright, think gypsy/mardi gras type skirt and shirt... I would have chosen a softer flowery spring dress or something. I'm not saying DSD's Mom's choice was wrong... just different, so I'm not going to lie and say I like something when I don't.

And I won't even get into how much I disagree with her parenting style and different behavior/other issues I see in DSD because of it... but suffice it to say, I understand I'm not DSD's bio parent so I don't get into it... but again I'm not going to lie and thank DSD's mom for how she raised DSD because, I don't agree with that statement at all.

Honestly, I don't really care what she thinks of me. I just don't want her interferring with our girls relationship and like greenemami pointed crossing any lines within my particular realm that she shouldn't.

This isn't the only time she has instructed DSD about something that involved DD... often she will tell DSD not to hang on DD or something similiar during drop-off/pick-up... I feel really funny correcting DSD's Mom, but I really do wish she would not do things like this. She may be DSD's Mom... but I'M DD's Mom, and I think I can assess if DSD is hanging too much or too rough or whatever and will let her know. I don't like DSD's Mom trying to lay law in MY house.
Then yes, you're going to have a problem. You're obviously very negative about this woman and she can tell and doesn't like her daughter being around someone who is so contemptuous of her. She's going to loathe you and you're going to feed it and it's going to be ugly for the kid in the middle.
post #9 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
Then yes, you're going to have a problem. You're obviously very negative about this woman and she can tell and doesn't like her daughter being around someone who is so contemptuous of her. She's going to loathe you and you're going to feed it and it's going to be ugly for the kid in the middle.
These are some pretty big (and judgemental) assumptions to be drawing based on two posts, especially given the fact that there is over a year's worth of posts of backstory on this forum. There is so much more to this.

I can say without reservation that there is nothing that JSMa would like more than for everyone in this blended situation to get along. However, there are four adults involved, and each one has to do their part.
post #10 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
Then yes, you're going to have a problem. You're obviously very negative about this woman and she can tell and doesn't like her daughter being around someone who is so contemptuous of her. She's going to loathe you and you're going to feed it and it's going to be ugly for the kid in the middle.
Wow, way to go, blaming the Stepmother because there's issues between the Mother and the Stepmother. I have an idea... why don't you go read some of JSMa's backposts about what a sweet, wonderful, innocent Mother her stepdaughter has, and then come back and blame JSMa for her stepdaughter's Mother's actions. Geez!

It's funny, if a Mother does or says something "impolite", no matter how impolite she may be, she's protecting her child. If a Stepmother does or says something "impolite", no matter how minor, she's a villian and the whole fault of the relationship's failure is on her one action. :

For the record, MY stepdaughter's Mother dresses her in tight fitting clothes with oftentimes suggestive or inappropriate words, rarely brushes her hair, and even the tamer outfits are... just plain ugly. If it were me, why would I lie and tell her she dressed her nicely? I wouldn't make up a lie for someone else, why would I make up a lie for my stepdaughter's Mother? Why should JSMa have to? As long as JSMa is polite, which I've seen no evidence that she hasn't been, why should she be expected to gush over some woman who's obviously got a problem with her mere existance? That's not called "being nice", that's called "making a fool of yourself and giving someone the satisfaction of knowing that they can walk all over you and you'll still gush all over them". Makes me sick.

Stepmothers are expected to bend over backwards to please everybody else, especially the Mothers of their stepchildren, whether or not the Mothers of their stepchildren are nice to them or not.. Doesn't enyone else see anything wrong with that? If it was vise versa, or someone talking about their sister acting towards them like JSMa's stepdaughter's Mother acted towards her, the advice would have been to tell her how you feel, avoid the situation, protect your child, etc, not "bend over and kiss her butt".
post #11 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
These are some pretty big (and judgemental) assumptions to be drawing based on two posts, especially given the fact that there is over a year's worth of posts of backstory on this forum. There is so much more to this.

I can say without reservation that there is nothing that JSMa would like more than for everyone in this blended situation to get along. However, there are four adults involved, and each one has to do their part.
Pinksprklybarefoot, you say things much more eloquently than I do.
post #12 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
Then yes, you're going to have a problem. You're obviously very negative about this woman and she can tell and doesn't like her daughter being around someone who is so contemptuous of her. She's going to loathe you and you're going to feed it and it's going to be ugly for the kid in the middle.

Funny that you are writing this about a step-mother's feelings towards a bio-mom just after you posted this.


Quote:
The early years are tense sometimes. Lord knows my son and I had our issues (separate from each other) with his father's wife. Some of it was me, some of it was her, some of it was just the situation. I can tell you that it's not easy seeing the ex and his new partner walking away with your darling child. If she's not capable of going the extra mile right now, maybe you can.
How do you know that your son's issues with the step-mom were not based off of the feelings he was picking up from you?
post #13 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post

How do you know that your son's issues with the step-mom were not based off of the feelings he was picking up from you?

They might well have been, partially, but I worked very hard to keep things friendly and pleasant. As you quoted, you know I admitted some of the blame was mine. Quite a bit of it was my over reacting to her making damn stupid attempts at mothering my child. I should have been better about it and she should have taken a step back. Had either one of us decided to simply sit around and be nasty and negative about the other we'd be in a full blown war by now. It required deep breathing and efforts to be extra pleasant and considerate on both of our parts to get to the point we're at now. If one of us had clung to "I don't care if she likes me and I can't find anything positive to say about her" then it would never have worked.

Really, the OP can either try to be nice and make things better or she can cling to "I'm better and she's a bad mother" and things will suck. My ex's wife and I didn't do it perfectly, but we got to an amicable place by the time my kid was about 7, so we did something right. I'm able to enjoy seeing him with his younger half siblings and she's able to respect the fact that he's a good kid because I work hard at it, not because of a fluke and her influence EOW. I'm honestly not sure which of us made the first move (so she can have credit for that) but anyone in either position who wants things to be better would do well to take that upon themselves.

My ex's wife married a man I have very little positive feeling toward who makes me really angry on a semi-regular basis. She and I have little in common and we'd never have been friends. We still both manage to see the good in the other. Some days that takes an concerted effort and I'm quite sure it's every bit as hard for her- maybe harder. We do it anyway.
post #14 of 44
Thread Starter 
I do gather all my self restraint and am nice to DSD's Mom. Even when she is not so very nice to me... all for the sake of keeping the peace.

When you say...
Quote:
Quite a bit of it was my over reacting to her making damn stupid attempts at mothering my child.
Do you feel Stepmoms are not to give any care of the child what so ever? I have a young DSD who needs things done for her... if I were to simply stop doing them, then I'd be jumped all over as being a cold heartless UAV.

I really can't win ever, can I?


As for finding positive things to say about her... I have tried, I truly have. I have racked my brain on countless occaisons, but I have not come up with too much. I do not think I am better than her, really... we are just vastly different and she makes a lot of decisions that quite honestly make my skin crawl, and some of these choices are things that many women here on MDC would be quite upset about, as well. Her and I are just world's apart on the parenting front, as well as many other aspects of her personality.

She has lied to us numerous times, she spreads stories about me to anyone who will listen (I know this because one of my relatives works with her and she doesn't know it) I was always sweet as honey to her. When we first met she refused ro even look at me, but I always made the effort to say Hi and other proper etiquette things. I continue to be cordial to her and I save my venting/frustration with her for here.
post #15 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post

As for finding positive things to say about her... I have tried, I truly have. I have racked my brain on countless occaisons, but I have not come up with too much. I do not think I am better than her, really... we are just vastly different and she makes a lot of decisions that quite honestly make my skin crawl, and some of these choices are things that many women here on MDC would be quite upset about, as well. Her and I are just world's apart on the parenting front, as well as many other aspects of her personality.

You need to fully accept the bolded part. She is the mama. You are the stepmom. She makes most of the decisions regarding parenting, until the courts see otherwise. Though you may not agree, you are still the stepmom. And unless the courts decide that her parenting is crossing the line of some sort, it will be so much easier if you accept that.

You have a child of your own now. Can you put yourself in SD mother's place? What if your precious baby girl had a step mother--a step mother who hated the way you parented or dressed her. A step mother who went on parenting boards and ran you--the baby's mother--down? As her mother, how would you feel if the step mother was replacing you EOW? How would you feel if instead of Kallie getting milk from your breasts, the step mother was bottle feeding your baby, bathing, bashing your clothes selection or using sposies instead of cloth,etc. How would you feel if the clothes you sent for Kallie were described by the step mother as...ugly. To me, that shows complete disrespect for her mother, regardless of whether or not you think something is cute/ugly. Would you want to be nice to Kallie's stepmom in the above scenarios? (Please, answer honestly).

I understand you love your SD. (It will never compare to the love her mother has). But give the mother a rest. Maybe you wouldn't mind sharing your daughter with a step mother....but I don't think there are too many women who feel that way. Put yourself in her shoes and respect her as the mother, as I'm sure you would want to be treated the same.
post #16 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I really can't win ever, can I?
Ding ding ding ding ding!!!!! (How crappy is that for an answer?)

Stepmotherhood is not for the faint of heart. It's honestly all about making huge, life-altering sacrifices for the benefit of kids that aren't yours and will never be yours, a fact of which you are CONSTANTLY reminded, and getting very little appreciation or payback in return. It's really, really, really, really crappy.

Ultimately I couldn't do it; I give huge kudos to those who can! But I do so much feel your pain; I went through years of writing these posts. Except I thankfully found a board of stepmoms who could understand a little bit better. I never wanted to take my stepkids from there mother, not one bit. I only wanted a bit of human decency that I never saw. It's really going to be best for you and your marriage in the long run if you can just accept this for what it is and try and make the best of it. You really can't win.
post #17 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
You need to fully accept the bolded part. She is the mama. You are the stepmom. She makes most of the decisions regarding parenting, until the courts see otherwise.
I beg to differ. In the Mother's house, on the Mother's time, the Mother makes most the decisions. In the Father's house, on the Father's time, the Father makes most the decisions, and as long as the Stepmother isn't going against the Father, then the Stepmother is not wrong, because those are the house rules of the Father.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vegasgrl View Post
Ding ding ding ding ding!!!!! (How crappy is that for an answer?)

Stepmotherhood is not for the faint of heart. It's honestly all about making huge, life-altering sacrifices for the benefit of kids that aren't yours and will never be yours, a fact of which you are CONSTANTLY reminded, and getting very little appreciation or payback in return. It's really, really, really, really crappy.

Ultimately I couldn't do it; I give huge kudos to those who can! But I do so much feel your pain; I went through years of writing these posts. Except I thankfully found a board of stepmoms who could understand a little bit better. I never wanted to take my stepkids from there mother, not one bit. I only wanted a bit of human decency that I never saw. It's really going to be best for you and your marriage in the long run if you can just accept this for what it is and try and make the best of it. You really can't win.
Exactly.
post #18 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
You need to fully accept the bolded part. She is the mama. You are the stepmom. She makes most of the decisions regarding parenting, until the courts see otherwise. Though you may not agree, you are still the stepmom. And unless the courts decide that her parenting is crossing the line of some sort, it will be so much easier if you accept that.

You have a child of your own now. Can you put yourself in SD mother's place? What if your precious baby girl had a step mother--a step mother who hated the way you parented or dressed her. A step mother who went on parenting boards and ran you--the baby's mother--down? As her mother, how would you feel if the step mother was replacing you EOW? How would you feel if instead of Kallie getting milk from your breasts, the step mother was bottle feeding your baby, bathing, bashing your clothes selection or using sposies instead of cloth,etc. How would you feel if the clothes you sent for Kallie were described by the step mother as...ugly. To me, that shows complete disrespect for her mother, regardless of whether or not you think something is cute/ugly. Would you want to be nice to Kallie's stepmom in the above scenarios? (Please, answer honestly).

I understand you love your SD. (It will never compare to the love her mother has). But give the mother a rest. Maybe you wouldn't mind sharing your daughter with a step mother....but I don't think there are too many women who feel that way. Put yourself in her shoes and respect her as the mother, as I'm sure you would want to be treated the same.
Seriously? It does not appear to me that Jsma is AT ALL trying to force her views on either her dsd or her dsd's mother. She is coming here as a safe outlet to express her true opinion, which is that she does not agree with her dsd's mom' sparenting practices. Which is a statement made all over these boards about various parenting practices performed by various people-and yet they are not accused of "running down" the other parents. Jsma is under no obligation to agree with her dsd's mom's parenting-I certainly don't agree with my dsd's moms parenting! Telling her and other stepmom's that they are not the mother is not especially helpful-we are WELL aware of that, thank you very much.
post #19 of 44
:
Quote:
Originally Posted by aricha View Post
You could do what I did and just hang on to the amazing fact that in talking to her daughter, she referred to your daughter as "your baby sister" in public. I held tight for weeks to the memory of the first time my step-daughter's mom referred to my son as "your brother" with no qualifiers. It might seem like a little thing, but in our situation it was huge.
: I totally agree! I don't think it is any different than me saying that to my DD about her baby cousin.

Hugs, being a SM is hard, and I know what it is like to analyze everything that is said.
post #20 of 44
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post

I understand you love your SD. (It will never compare to the love her mother has). .
Do you have stepchildren? If so, I really feel sorry for them if you can't love them as your own. Why is it that a step-mother can't love the child as the mother does?

My girls are all my girls, Maia, Madison, and Sage. Just because Madison came into my life at age 2 1/2 instead of as an egg, does not mean I love her any less.
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