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How do you cope? - Page 2

post #21 of 23
Originally Posted by voicegrrl View Post
Thanks Violet, she does not know the volunteering irks me. I've never mentioned it, only cut back on the hours I was spending doing the same stuff as her. I didn't think it would be useful to anyone to bring it up and seem petty even if it has been something that's really bothered me. She told someone that she was doing it to fit in and meet new people which I understand, I just feel territorial since the kids are my full time job ( I run a small voice over business from home part time so I can stay home with them) and I take a lot of pride in being part of their education. Kind of felt like it was her or me but hopefully in the future I will feel differently and not so competitive.
You, little lady, are just AWESOME. The fact that youre being so honest about competitiveness etc etc shows exactly where you are at, and I hope youre damn proud of yourself.

Not all of us can be that mature, I hope you realise that this is the BEST venting ground EVER!!!! (although, sometimes just chuck in the header that your venting :P)

It so okay to be territorial! Just never forget, first and foremost, that you are their mom and that can never change. Steppie needs to adjust too. How would taking over a couple of coffee's and a bunch of flowers and letting it all hang out to her go? It could give her power, yes, but it could just make her feel safe enough to know that you want her to fit in, and you want things to be nice, but that you both need a little bit of 'you' time with the wee ones to remember how special your individual roles are...

Maybe not, but then, IM Just a big sap who feels that hanging it all out, even if its abused, makes me the more honest, trying, and bigger person if thats what it comes to.

GOOOOOOD LUCK! Thanks for keeping us updated! If youhave any more thoughts, please post them, because at the end of the day it can help us steppies to understand how it feels for the biomommy too =)
post #22 of 23
Originally Posted by voicegrrl View Post
...hanging out in a small room with her for an hour or more chatting with my friends is not my idea of fun, but I stuck it out for a few months until I could no longer tolerate walking into a room and being completely ignored by a woman partially raising my children. I also felt like it was uncomfortable for everyone there, the tension was so high between us....I did think that if I kept going she would scale back but it didn't happen....I can't change her and I feel like going around school claiming territory will only make me look like the sore loser.

The one thing that infuriates me is that she was getting private info like my kids absentee records etc. I told the secretary that wasn't ok but I'm not sure its stopped and legally I don't know what the law is.
Maybe you should try being direct (if she avoids talking to you, that may be jarring to her, which could be good) and telling her, "Look. I'm not going to bother placing blame, but somehow between the two of us we cannot pull off being civil to each other in public. When you choose to do things at school that I have historically done, like Thursday folders, it makes other people feel uncomfortable, to have to be around both of us. This year, I backed down, to try to cut the tension for everyone else. But really, you and I are not equals, in terms of our investment in my children and their school. I am the mother. Of course, you also have a significant role in my kids' lives, so it's nice that you try to participate at school. But you should be doing it for the kids, not to try to compete with me. That would be petty, not to mention selfish, since it makes the other moms uncomfortable that you refuse to talk to me. This coming school year, I'm going to do Thursday folders like I have always done. I enjoy it and it fits best with my schedule. I want you to volunteer in a different area. The nice thing about this school is that there are plenty of choices." Then say it to your ex, if you need to. Maybe he can reign her in? Yuck!! That sounds rotten. But if she won't back down, I would do whatever you'd normally do and practice carrying on, talking with your friends as though she's not even in the room, if she refuses to talk to you. Make a point of being cheerful, don't let everyone fall silent just because she is.

Generally, both parents are legally entitled to anything that's in their kids' school records. It's uncomfortable that step-mom's the one asking for it - and I guess you could cause a big stink and try to mandate that such info. can only be released to your ex - but I doubt you can stop them from accessing it, one way or another. If she's the one instigating it, she will just say she's doing it on his behalf.
post #23 of 23
I'm resurrecting this thread because I've just had to deal with this issue with my ex and his new wife. Legally the step mother does not have the right to be scheduling parent teacher meetings, going through school records or making doctor's appointments, etc. The father can and he is welcome to bring her with him to meetings. She does not have any legal say even though she is married. Only you and your ex have a say in your kids education, access to records and etc. My ex's new wife had called the school asking to hold independent conferences with my children's teachers. She told my kids that she was going to talk to their teachers and volunteer and no one could stop her. Well, I emailed every single teacher and alerted all the staff and talked with them all in person and alerted them to the situation. They are all in support of me and have been very good at not letting her have independent access to my children or their records. She will not be able to volunteer in their classrooms either because of the tension and problems she is creating with the kids.

Granted my ex is abusive and I have had to call CPS on him for hitting, slapping and pinching the kids (he even gave my 8 year old a titty twister!). Unfortunately, with CPS it is hard to really get anything done and he has gotten off every time with just a phone call. However they do have record of all the times I have called and the children have been interviewed. The step mom claims she has not hit my kids although I know she slaps and spanks her own son, who is the same age as my son and she supports my ex in his abuse. They call it "discipline" but I call it abuse, because it is.

I know my situation is extreme and things may change as far as volunteering goes if she manages to get her son into my kids school (and hopefully they will not be in the same class!), however for now the school is supporting me as the primary custodial parent. Stepmom is not on the emergency contact list. Also in the 3 years we have been separated/divorced my kids biodad has NEVER once attended a parent teacher meeting. I have always relayed information about grades and progress and their activities back to him but now that she is involved she is trying to manage everything. The school knows he has not been involved and has said that it is his responsibility to follow through and he can't just delegate to her. So I'm just saying there are boundaries that should not be crossed and schools can and should support that. Good luck!
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