post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
I do/did a lot of this, too. We are a little further into it, and the changes are starting to be apparent. In a lot of things, we seem to do them the opposite of DSD's mom... the two houses seem to get more and more different with each year that passes. When we met DSD and her mom at DSD's "Meet the Teacher" night before school began, DH remarked that DSD looked like a different kid when she was with her mom as compared to our house.

But I don't want to raise my kids like DSD's mom raises hers, so we will continue to raise the kids our way in our home. When DSD is here, the same policies that apply to the other kids apply to her. Lucky for me, DH is on the same page. I think that my being really vocal about how *I* wanted to do things from the start helped with this. When I met DH, he tended to do things the DSD's mom way, even if he didn't necessarily agree with it. When it became apparent that we were going to be our own family, I started looking at what would set precedents that mattered to me, and coming up with a way to change things - with DH, of course.
Yes, we have a totally different home in every way from the ex. We have always and will continue to parent her in the way that works for our family. We have given up allowing her mother to dictate any of that in our home because we are so fundamentally different. What we are seeing now is the hard work pay off with DSD in how strong our relationship with her has become. We see the issues she is having with her mother and know that we are making the right parenting choices because she trusts us respect her. I can not imagine the place we would be in with her had we chosen to parent the way her mother does.

It is hard to have to organize your life totally around a schedule, though. That often bums me out when we go to make plans and realize that DSD isn't with us and will miss out. We have given up making schedule changes of any kind with the ex because she is great about taking our time when she wants DSD to be included in on something but never reciprocates the favor when we need something. Worse, she holds those things over our heads whenever she can. So, we have just had to realize that DSD will often miss out on things.

I never had a set number of kids in mind for our family. I did want more than one of my own. We thought we were done after DD2 was born, but then we both decided we wanted another. Together we have decided when our family felt complete, and that is now with four daughters total. We both went into with an open mind, though. What makes me feel like our family is incomplete is when DSD is not with us. Our family is so different without her here. That bums me out the most. It is so hard to hear our DDs whine and cry that their big sister has to go back to her mom or about how much they miss her. We want to do it right along with them.