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What IS this?!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok, I'm seriously pissed. My husband thinks I'm overreacting, and maybe I am, but I'd like your insight.

DD's dad and I split up several years ago and he hasn't seen anyone seriously since then. He moved out of state shortly after we first divorced, then we later moved out of the country so he only sees DD during summers and holidays. No problem with that in the past.

So. DD's dad meets woman. She seems lovely and nice, very friendly, reaches out to me, etc., which is a little weird but better that than unfriendly. She has a young son. Month later, she's engaged moving in with DD's dad--before even meeting DD! Outrageous (or at least naive and unwise), but it's not my life. They seem happy.

I drop DD off for summer break and her new soon-to-be-step-mom (let's call her Z) tells me how I can call anytime, we'll skype, etc., she'll post pictures on facebook, etc. Great! We're getting along fabulously. But then... I drive away. And out of their lives, apparently.

It's been a week since I left. I've called four times since then, all during at-home, reasonable hours, and left four messages. No answer and no call back. I'm bummed but not too concerned since it could have been a fluke, coincidence, bad timing. Life happens.

But then... oh, dear facebook. Tons and tons of photos of my DD and her DS together, which is sweet. But then Z adds DD as one of "her children". Ok, not overly odd... I guess. Except that there's no mention of me anywhere on her profile--this new daughter apparently fell out of the sky. Her friends are confused. But THEN she starts posting lots of fb updates along the lines of, "DD just said, 'Mommy, I love you so much!' Isn't she darling?". And that was it for me. Not answering the phone, publicly pretending she has a new kid, my DD calling (or allegedly calling--I'm not convinced it really happened) her "mommy"? After knowing the woman for a whole five days? SERIOUSLY?!

ARGH. I'm just pissed. Please tell me I'm overreacting, or in general what I should do.
post #2 of 26
Oh, mama that would be hard
I think it is understandable to be upset. It sounds like she is a bit immature and obviously does not know how to enter into being a step-parent gracefully. I don't think you should do anything while you are upset.
After you have a bit of distance you could think about how to carefully word a letter to her. Perhaps expressing that you appreciate her caring for your daughter, but that it is very hard for you to be away from her and you would love if she could become your ally in keeping up communication. Also you could gently add that you have always been her "mommy" and it is hurtful for you to see that term used for someone else when you already have to be away from her.

I hope this can quickly be mended and your interactions can stay positive.
post #3 of 26


you're not overreacting
post #4 of 26
I would be upset too I definitely don't think you're overreacting.

I agree with AmaraMonillas's advice. Reach out in a calm and mature email, and express how it makes you feel. It will be what it is though, and unfortunately you can't control what happens over there. I can't believe she is going oddff the deep end and posting on FB like that, it sounds like she is trying too hard. Maybe it will calm down.
post #5 of 26
She sounds VERY immature.

It has got to be hard to hand your child off to a total stranger and then have her act this way.
post #6 of 26
Uh, yeah... that would weird me out.

That's it? That's all the contact you guys have had with each other so far?
Maybe she's been around longer than you know?

I dunno, but just from what you're saying she's either just eerie, really young or trying overly much to make them all a little family.
You say your XH moved out of the country....did he meet her there? Is she foreign? Maybe her culture views step children differently?

Can you post a comment to that picture? Just me, but I'd say something like, "That's a cute picture of (her DS) and my daughter. Looks like they're really getting along already on their first visit!"
post #7 of 26
Looks like she is taking the "instant mommy" approach to stepparenting. She probably really wants this to work. Maybe she really wants to make sure the people in her life know that it is working (maybe her friends/family have been unsupportive of the relationship). Is it a wise approach? No. But kids are smart. Your DD knows who her mom is.

I do not believe that you are overreacting, but I would not bring it up with her. I firmly believe that the vast amount of communications should be between the two parents. An email to her, no matter how nice, will just set you up for drama. It might make her do things like this even more, just to annoy you. If you let your ex know how you feel, I can just about guarantee that she already knows.

As far as FB goes, there is no mention of DSD's mom on my profile (not sure how your DD's stepmom would mention you on hers). DSD is listed as one of my children, but I put "stepdaughter" in parentheses after her name because I did not want to misrepresent the relationship. DSD's older sister added both DH and I as parents on her FB page, and after a lot of thought, we accepted the request. But I've known these kids for five years, not five days.

I would block your ex's DF's status updates and stay off her FB page, as hard as it might be to not know what is going on. I am not friends with DSD's mom - purposely. It would be a recipe for drama (and we don't have that much).
post #8 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Can you post a comment to that picture? Just me, but I'd say something like, "That's a cute picture of (her DS) and my daughter. Looks like they're really getting along already on their first visit!"
If you were dead-set on contacting your ex's DF in some way WRT this, I like this approach. Make it really positive and nice. Dr. Joy, that radio psychologist, always says to act "stupid and cheerful" rather than "smart and angry" in volatile situations. I think that this mantra can be so helpful with blended families. No matter how upset I am, I try really hard to be "stupid and cheerful" around DSD's mom.
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
Looks like she is taking the "instant mommy" approach to stepparenting. She probably really wants this to work. Maybe she really wants to make sure the people in her life know that it is working (maybe her friends/family have been unsupportive of the relationship). Is it a wise approach? No. But kids are smart. Your DD knows who her mom is.

I do not believe that you are overreacting, but I would not bring it up with her. I firmly believe that the vast amount of communications should be between the two parents. An email to her, no matter how nice, will just set you up for drama. It might make her do things like this even more, just to annoy you. If you let your ex know how you feel, I can just about guarantee that she already knows.

As far as FB goes, there is no mention of DSD's mom on my profile (not sure how your DD's stepmom would mention you on hers). DSD is listed as one of my children, but I put "stepdaughter" in parentheses after her name because I did not want to misrepresent the relationship. DSD's older sister added both DH and I as parents on her FB page, and after a lot of thought, we accepted the request. But I've known these kids for five years, not five days.

I would block your ex's DF's status updates and stay off her FB page, as hard as it might be to not know what is going on. I am not friends with DSD's mom - purposely. It would be a recipe for drama (and we don't have that much).
Speaking as a "step child" here. I got SO sick of being a "step".

If your DSD thinks of you as a parent you should be thrilled, not have to put "a lot of thought" into accepting it...

Though this new person may be jumping the gun OP, try to be happy that she seems to be accepting your child as one of her own. Trust me when I say it can really suck to be the "step" forever.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
If your DSD thinks of you as a parent you should be thrilled, not have to put "a lot of thought" into accepting it...
This is my DSD's sister that added me to her FB- she is not my DH's child. She has spent a fair amount of time with us, though (used to be ~one weekend/month, but has tapered off as she became older and more social). It is a fine line that stepmoms have to walk to show love to the kids but not overstep and offend the mom. The thought really had to do with DSD's mom's feelings.
post #11 of 26
The only part I would say that you are not over reacting to is the Facebook "Mommy I love you" bit. And, I hate Facebook.

No one home when you call/messages not returned... I think just because the hours are normal at home hours, doesn't mean that someone is at home. They could be anywhere-out to eat, taking a walk, outside playing and not hear the phone, etc etc. And it's possible any of them played a message at a time when a call back immediately wasn't possible (too late, just before or in the middle of dinner etc) and then they forgot to call, or forgot to give the message to who would be making the call.

Engaged before she meets his dd....well, you did say that you are out of the country. He gets her just a few times a year. Unless you move back and you guys then work out a visitation schedule that drastically adds to the amount of time he has with her, I don't think they have to wait until she meets someone who is honestly, just not there a lot. To me, that's like waiting to get engaged until you meet the grandparents or someone like that.

As far as the pics of the two kids....that's tough. The only experience I have with this is my sister and BIL and BIL's older boy. My sister is his step mom, then my sister and BIL have one little boy together. In real life, for convience sake, she does tend to refer to both boys as hers. We all also refer to him as our nephew. We all know she is step mom, he calls her by her first name and refers to her as his step mom. And when she refers to them individually, she just uses his name. But when referring to them together, it's just easier to say "my kids" instead of "my son and my stepson." At the same time though, they are also very careful that his mom doesn't ever hear my sister refer, even in the general sense like that, to him as "hers" because she doesn't like it.

And I get that, I wouldn't want any of my kids to think of their step mom as mom. And, my sister would never encourage her stepson to call her mom. If he does do it (he was like 3 when they met, and 4 when they got married) it's only on occasion and it's usually after hanging around his brother for quite a while. But even if/when he does do it, I am sure my sister doesn't brag about it on Facebook, particularly when you know the child's parent is seeing it.

So, no, I don't think you are overacting to the bragging about her having your dd call her mom. The rest, eh, kind of a non issue, IMHO.
post #12 of 26
You are NOT overreacting.

But I'd keep my smiling face firmly on, and post happy positive comments on the pictures on stepmom's FB page. Providing she doesn't defriend you, that FB page is way to keep an eye on your kid even if your (incredibly thoughtless and insensitive) ex doesn't get your dd on the phone to talk to you.

Provided that the woman is not a monster, your dd can only benefit from feeling welcome in her home. Hopefully this is just a bumpy start to a decent coparenting relationship. But geez. You must be completely incensed at the combination of no direct contact and the flaunting of your dd on FB like she was a new puppy stepmom got from the pound.
post #13 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinksprklybarefoot View Post
This is my DSD's sister that added me to her FB- she is not my DH's child. She has spent a fair amount of time with us, though (used to be ~one weekend/month, but has tapered off as she became older and more social). It is a fine line that stepmoms have to walk to show love to the kids but not overstep and offend the mom. The thought really had to do with DSD's mom's feelings.
Oh gotcha, this is your DSD's half sister, no relation to you or DH.
post #14 of 26
Gag!! You're not over reacting and I am a stepmom who is VERY VERY close to both of my dsd. I tell people I have 5 children. My 2 sd, and A, A,A. I refer to myself as their parent, as does my dh, their mom, their mom's family etc etc. But I've been around a long long time in their lives and I've ALWAYS been respectful of who the MOMMY was! And up until very recently my sd's lived with us full time and I homeschooled. Many people (teachers, church etc etc) refer to me as their momma and they don't correct them. They call me by my first name and always have. I don't understand forcing a relationship to be something.
My cousin on the other hand must be your ex's new gal's twin. She is constantly posting on fb about "her boys" "mommy this and mommy that" "How difficult it is being a mom to twins" etc etc. And they have joint custody with the REAL MOM. If I had to see someone highjacking my relationship in that way I'd probably knock her upside the head (please don't take that as advice).
My grandparents raised me and were without a doubt my mother and father. They never tried to encourage me to call them mom and dad and they certainly could since I didn't have a dad at all and my mom was absent to say the least. They never tried to cover up that I was their grandchild but I still felt like one of theirs.
I really get what pp say about not loving the whole constant step thing. I agree with that and really have no problem with "our kids" or even referring to each other as brother and sister. I just am a real real stickler on the words "mom" and "dad", what those titles mean, and how sacred they are.
post #15 of 26
I would be LIVID. My son's father left when I was 5 months preggo to shack up with his high school girlfriend. 6 years later, they're still together. She has been around my son since the day he was born (She came to the hospital to see him and I had her tossed out - little embarrassed about that. I blame hormones) but even with that, she WAY oversteps. She says she has 4 kids on FB (her three and my 1) and her blog lists her 4 kids, too. She has my son call her Mama(name) - which I fought for a long time but then I realized it's gotta be hard for my son, since he's there with 3 other kids calling her Mama.

I post LOTS on her pictures on FB "aaw... look at my boy! He's so cute!" -- she also tags me in all photos of him. Maybe you should tag yourself in all photos of your daughter on her page.

My bit of advice would be to email/talk to your ex. Not step mom. Tell him you really like her and LOVE how sweet she is to DD and how happy you are that he found someone that loves DD as much as you do, but that you think the "mommy" business might confuse DD and maybe together, y'all could come up with a name that's not "carol" but not "mommy" either.

The above mentioned "stepmom" to my son - her kids call my ex 'Bubba" rather than his name. Of course, when I suggested my son come up with a name for my DBF (father to DS's two siblings) he came up with Han Solo. LOL

Good luck and NO you are not over-reacting!
post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappilyEvrAfter View Post
Uh, yeah... that would weird me out.

That's it? That's all the contact you guys have had with each other so far?
Maybe she's been around longer than you know?

I dunno, but just from what you're saying she's either just eerie, really young or trying overly much to make them all a little family.
You say your XH moved out of the country....did he meet her there? Is she foreign? Maybe her culture views step children differently?

Can you post a comment to that picture? Just me, but I'd say something like, "That's a cute picture of (her DS) and my daughter. Looks like they're really getting along already on their first visit!"
I agree with the above, especially the bold part. Hopefully she doesn't have you hidden from your feed so her friends can't see your posts, but at least she would get the message. And definitely tag yourself in those photos.
post #17 of 26
Honestly, she sounds sweet. It seems like she's really trying, though a bit naive about what boundaries she might want/need to keep.

On the being engaged before meeting your daughter: this is what my DSS's therapist (their mom enrolled him in therapy after the divorce, more as a "just in case" than anything else) was adamant about -- she insisted no significant others should meet the kids unless they were not only engaged, but a date was set. We disagreed, but the kids' mom was all in favor, so we did actually wait over a year for me to meet them -- I think this was a mistake, but it's probably better to err on waiting too long rather than introducing them to casual girlfriends/boyfriends.

About Facebook: if it bothers you, then it's on you not to read her page. Sorry. It's true. Listing her new stepdaughter as her kid is also sweet (though I agree, it's a bit soon). I know my stepkids would be crushed if I ever referred to them as stepkids. I called DSS my "bonus son" once (in response to him calling me his "bonus mom") and he nearly cried. Needless to say, I only made that particular mistake once. Kids just want to feel part of the family, and not like outsiders. And they do know who their mom is.

Also, I can't imagine why you would be mentioned in any way on her FB page, so I didn't understand that comment.

The only thing here that sounds out of place is your DD calling her "Mommy." How old is your DD? How old is her stepbrother? It may be that your DD was wanting to fit in and so called her by what the other child called her. This really wouldn't be uncommon. I know my DSD has tried to call me "Mom" on occasion. It's a tough call -- you don't want to make the child feel like an outsider, but you don't want to hurt the mother either. We have usually managed to redirect DSD into another nickname so she doesn't call me Mom. But I can see how she might not have thought that through and was just so touched that she didin't correct it. If this is a big deal to you, and I understand if it is, you might bring it up to stepmom or to your ex, gently and politely. Maybe suggest something else she could be called: "Mama," "Mama Heather," or a nickname that doesn't sound anything like "Mom", or maybe something in another language? Obviously, she and your daughter would need to pick the exact title (I don't think asking her to go by her first name is reasonable), but you could let them know that you'd like to reserve "Mommy" for you. I think that's fair. You deserve your own title!

So are you being unreasonable? I don't think we are all required to have "reasonable" feelings. It's good you're thinking it through and getting feedback before acting on your feelings. That's very reasonable.
post #18 of 26
One other thing: about the phone calls. We've found it useful to schedule those. It may sound a little OCD, but it works for us. The adults will text back and forth to pick a time on the pre-arranged day so that no one interrupts dinner/family time, etc. And calls don't get missed that way. Spontaneous calls aren't ruled out, but we don't do that nearly as much as the scheduled ones. It's less annoying and disruptive for whoever has the kids this way. Just a suggestion.
post #19 of 26
How old is your daugher?

I met MY soon-to-be stepdaughter when she was 3. She had told me she loved me within the first 3 days of meeting me, and was calling me Mommy, although not all the time. I wasn't tacky enough (and tacky is really what it is) to refer to it on facebook, even though I was not, and never have been, facebook friends with her mother. We do have mutual friends, and there is NO WAY I would EVER want that to get back to her. I wasn't even dating her father at the time, we were just friends. She never did it to anyone else, we just had an instant connection.

I'm not going to lie. I DO love it when she calls me Mom, and I DO love it when she tells me she loves me so much. She only called me Mommy a couple of times when she was very small, but when her dad and I finally DID start dating, and I moved in very quickly, she picked it back up again. I posted here on mothering about it, because I was so worried about stepping on her mom's toes. She now calls me "Sary," because, as she says, "Sara is your name, and it sounds like "Mommy." She does still call me Mom a few times a week, but we don't make a big deal out of it.

She is not listed as my daughter on facebook, and I had no plans of doing so next month after we're married. I also thought that would be overstepping boundaries, although I do like the idea of listing her and putting "Stepdaughter" after her name. To be honest, my fiancee had no problem with her calling me Mom and didn't give a &!$? what his ex-wife thought about it, so I'm not sure asking him for help will do any good. This isn't a comment on his character, just on how their marriage ended.

I would go ahead and comment on the picture the way a previous poster said, and try to ignore her statuses- she really does know who Mommy is. My DSD loves me to pieces and we've lived together for 18 months now... we have an amazing relationship, but she knows I'm not Mommy.
post #20 of 26
I don't think you are overreacting, I think your reaction is perfectly normal and understandable.

AND I don't think you should act on whatever impulses you might feel to "fix" the situation with the step-mother. I agree with the previous poster who said if you don't like what is on her Facebook page, don't read it. I don't specify that my daughter is my step-daughter because the people who are looking at the pictures know me and my family and they don't need an explanation as to who she is. And why in the world would I put anything on Facebook about my husband's ex, with whom I do not have a relationship?
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