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I'm tired of being a stepparent (VENT) - Page 7

post #121 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
This I can understand and I feel for you. I can believe that step-moms deserve a safe space and that venting is good....and I do...but as a biomom (and it's weird for me to even have to use that word) I live in abject terror of these feelings. I know that some of the single moms have a small private board that only single moms from MDC are allowed on to and I wonder if something similar for step-moms might help. Not that I don't think this is the place for stating honest feelings but it's hard to read this and not post.
You don't have to use the word "biomom." You are the mom.
When I find it hard to read threads or forums here, I make the choice to just stay out them. Or if a particular poster is causing me angst, not because of UA violations, but just making me uncomfortable, I've found that using the ignore button keeps my sanity intact. Not saying you need to do that, but if our posts and feelings are striking terror in you, it might be time to step back. (And if you could hear me, I'm saying this gently and with complete understanding.)

We are all struggling through things. My issues with my family situation aren't going to be resolved through something you do, anymore than your particular situation will be changed by what I do, or what I feel. None of us have done anything to hurt any other of us here, but i think we still seem to take things personally. Human nature, I guess.

I thought about pm'ing the person who started the single mom offshoot to see how they did it. It does seem like a nice idea. Thanks.

post #122 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
I thought the Blended and Step Family Parenting board catered to both step-mothers and biomothers dealing with blended family situations. If I am wrong please let me know so that I can take myself back to the single-parent forum where I can be free to be an irresponsible subpar parent who should have waited instead of getting knocked up.

There are situations where the step-parent is the primary care provider but in most other situations I do think that "original" mom does have the most insight and aptitude to care for her child.
I was giving an example of something that might offend.

I did add the disclaimer, "But, of course, I don't believe all of that, and I'm not a flame thrower" at the end of the first paragraph (included in the part you quoted), but I guess I should have put it in bold font to draw attention to it.

I don't think all single moms are screwups. Far from it. My point was that telling stepmoms that they aren't up to par if they haven't had their own kids is outrageous and offensive, so I tried to simulate a statement that would draw ire from another group. Clearly, it did.

I think some people are naturally better with kids than others, and I have seen no evidence to suggest that that quality changes after giving birth.
post #123 of 148
Couldn't there be a stepmom subforum and a biomom subforum? It seems like there is not a ton of understanding between the two groups here.
post #124 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mooninjune68 View Post
I'm curious. Do you have your own biological (or adopted young) children?
It's OK. I feel comfortable answering this question.

I had my own biological child and I am pregnant with my second.

What I mean by 'had' is, that he died just before his first birthday of a rare and incurable disease.

Now, this question is strictly for the sake of argument and not intended to ruffle any feathers...This is taken from my personal experience and I am comfortable with using my experience to ask difficult questions...

If I were to use similar logic as stating that a woman with no experience being a biological or adoptive mother has no business attempting to help raise someone else's child - would it be fair then to say that since my first and thus far only maternal experience ended in the death of my child, that I too have no business helping to raise someone else's? Should my negative experience be seen as even more threatening and/or dangerous than a lack of experience? Or is it safe to say that it truly is essential to get to know a little more about the individual you are referring to, before concluding what their personal strengths, abilities, and limitations may or may not be based on surface information?
post #125 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Wow... I don't understand why a first obligation would be held in such revere? Should not the parents have EQUAL responsibility to ALL their children across the board??
Well, I'd say so if you're talking about a single family (although, again, nobody is going to step in and say "You have to spend as much on Child #2 as you spent on Child #1, you have to love her as much, you have to give her the same opportunities, etc.").

Child support seldom pays half the actual cost of raising a child, even though it can be a lot of money. Thanks to various add-ons in my decree -- which my ex didn't have to accept -- and thanks to the fact that his income his much higher than median, he does pay almost half of the difference between my supporting myself alone, and my providing a home for me and dd. It's not a very exciting place, but as single motherhood goes it's pretty good -- a small, well-maintained 3br house with a yard in a safe neighborhood near a good school. She has health insurance; once a week she has gymnastics and violin. By the time she's ready for college she should have her tuition taken care of, in-state. I pay just over half of all that, doing work that allows me to pick her up from school without fearing I'll lose my job.

That's a fairly remarkable deal for a single mother.

Legislators know perfectly well that child support does not pay half of the cost of raising children, and that a good chunk of it is never collected. They are reluctant, on the whole, to interfere with the system in a way that makes children poorer. Mainly because they don't want to support the kids on TANF, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. If men paying child support have more children, but cannot afford to support those children while meeting their prior obligations, they view the men as irresponsible. And because they view policy as carrots and sticks, they tend to look at a redistribution after more children as an incentive for the men to have kids they can't afford. In part because it gives new wives and girlfriends some incentive to have children with the man. And they don't want the fella spreading his seed, so to speak, unless he can actually pay adequately and reliably for all the babies.

So it's not reverence, JSMa. It's taxes. If reverence were involved, non-custodial parents would keep much less money, and deadbeats would be rounded up/garnished/repo'd at a much higher rate.
post #126 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Sun View Post
Couldn't there be a stepmom subforum and a biomom subforum? It seems like there is not a ton of understanding between the two groups here.
Yeah, I've wondered this, also.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Legislators know perfectly well that child support does not pay half of the cost of raising children, and that a good chunk of it is never collected. They are reluctant, on the whole, to interfere with the system in a way that makes children poorer. Mainly because they don't want to support the kids on TANF, food stamps, Medicaid, etc. If men paying child support have more children, but cannot afford to support those children while meeting their prior obligations, they view the men as irresponsible. And because they view policy as carrots and sticks, they tend to look at a redistribution after more children as an incentive for the men to have kids they can't afford. In part because it gives new wives and girlfriends some incentive to have children with the man. And they don't want the fella spreading his seed, so to speak, unless he can actually pay adequately and reliably for all the babies.
With all due respect, mama41, shouldn't the same rules apply to Mothers, also? If they can't afford to support their child, why is it considered okay for a single Mother to remarry and have more children if she wants, but looked down upon if a divorced Father does the same? (Not trying to be snarky, I'm asking a serious question.)

And as for incentive to have children with my Husband (I'm his "new" wife), I would like to have children with him because I love him and I wish to have a family with him, not because I want more of his money and I can't be the only one with this mindset. For the record, my Hubby and I won't be having more children because we can't afford it, but what's wrong with wanting children with your Hubby, whether you're his first, second or eighth wife?
post #127 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
That's interesting. Do you have some kind of link with that info? I'm curious now. That's something I've got to see first hand to believe.
Well, I don't give out geo info online, but if you check state child support support units, you should be able to find the info.

Quote:
Giving the benefit of the doubt can work wonders toward creating a positive experience for oneself and others. Doubting something for no other reason but to doubt it....what's the point?
Understand that doubting it is not the same as focusing a mind-driven beam of failure at it. If your small child wants to cross a busy street alone, you know he might get across just fine, but the odds are that he'll get hit, so you say no. In the same way, a mother has a job of protection to do when it comes to seeing her child become involved in a marriage which -- odds are -- will fail. In that case it doesn't mean saying, "No, you can't go," or "This will never work," or "Oh, this woman's going to leave your family," all of which would be harmful. But it does mean being prepared to see the child lose another relationship, another family, and help the child through. And part of that means being very cautious about placing parenting weight on the wife, rather than on the father, whom the child can't lose.

And again, I see no need to involve the child in the reasoning. If my dd asked why I didn't just deal with a new wife, I'm sure I'd say something like, "Well, I'm just comfortable talking with your dad, because I know him better," and let her be baffled about it, or decide I was somehow slow or deficient (being, after all, Mom). I don't give her open, adult answers for why I don't come along on trips to her grandparents', either. There's plenty of time for all that, if she wants to sort through all the viewpoints when she's older.

Quote:
How are population statistics the best available information when the couple themselves are a just a phone call, conversation, or a visit away?
Because it's an intimate relationship on which the ex has no business intruding.

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It seems silly to me to go into a situation with the steadfast assumption that failure is certain, and then blame statistics for the failure.
You're misunderstanding what statistics are and do. Stats don't cause failure; they predict failure, given past 2nd-marriage divorce rates. And the stats don't say second marriages are certain to fail. They say that second marriages are likely to fail. But they are in no way active agents in the marriage holding or falling apart. That's all up to you guys. You might liken it to your risk of, say, heart disease. You can improve your odds if you exercise, eat well, reduce stress, take statins if necessary, etc. And there are things you can do in your marriage to reduce the risk of divorce. But these are not things that the ex-wife is privy to, nor should be, I think.
post #128 of 148
Wow, I am just glad that my situation is nothing like what you all are talking about. When I said I thought mdc mothers were different, I meant that they might not fit into the stats for second marraiges. We are more self aware and thoughtful about how we raise our children, imo. Orelse what are we doing here and awhy are we making ap choices that are more work for us but bebefitour children tremendously?

All four of the parents involved in my situation are very ap. Dp was never married, but has a beautiful son with a beautiful woman. Ex and I were married, but I was too young and just wanted a baby. I would never marry again unless I was sure, and I was not sure with ex. So, I know that I will do fine.

Dp's mom had her second marraige to a widower with four girls, and she only had dp. They had one more baby together. They divorced 15 years later, and she still has a relationship with the girls and grandchildren. So that is a norm in their family.

I just think every situation is different, and for me, I know the risks involved with lovinghis son too much. But niether dp or mom would ever do anything to harm their son, so I am trusting in the good of people for now.

So, who is going to start a sub forum? I think the two sides are just so different. I will be a part of both since I have a bioson too, but I am not getting good feedback from moms that are not stepmoms so far. Just to be honest.
post #129 of 148
Also, I think that the forum does a fine job of supporting both parts of the blended family, but a thread might be geared towards one or the other. For instance, a thread about the feelings about being a stepparent is probably a good place for stepparents, and if moms in blended relationships want to talk about their issues with being in a blended family, maybe starting another thread to talk about that would be good. Or if people want to discuss child support guidelines, they could start a spin off.

We have a whole forum here. Let's use it.
post #130 of 148
My son spilled water on my keyboard, fyi, for anyone that wonders about all the errors in my posts :0
post #131 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
With all due respect, mama41, shouldn't the same rules apply to Mothers, also? If they can't afford to support their child, why is it considered okay for a single Mother to remarry and have more children if she wants, but looked down upon if a divorced Father does the same? (Not trying to be snarky, I'm asking a serious question.)
Er...not to put too fine a point on it, but you may have noticed that most legislatures are still run by men. Most of them middle-aged or older. There's still considerable sexism (and I say that after having worked in legislatures and as a state news reporter). The man gets the lion's share of the blame for knocking up women with babies he can't pay for.

On the other hand, a single mother who has more children without marrying a man (who's presumed to be a breadwinner) -- that brings down unbelievable wrath. And calls for involuntary sterilization programs.

Quote:
And as for incentive to have children with my Husband (I'm his "new" wife), I would like to have children with him because I love him and I wish to have a family with him, not because I want more of his money and I can't be the only one with this mindset. For the record, my Hubby and I won't be having more children because we can't afford it,
Ah. That's what they like to hear at the statehouse. Well, they like it better than, "We can't afford it, but we're having more kids anyway."

You would think that the whole "economic incentive" thing would be dead by now, because not too many people really sit down and say, "Gee, if I have a kid, I can get $2,384 next year from EIC, plus $1K from the CTC, and take the exemption, too -- and, hey, I could get WIC for five years." They have kids out of love, or obligation, or out of indecision, or, in some cases, lack of access to abortion clinics. But as it turns out, when you look at masses of people -- which is what the legislators do -- people actually do respond to economic incentives and disincentives.

Quote:
but what's wrong with wanting children with your Hubby, whether you're his first, second or eighth wife?
Nothing wrong with wanting. As far as the legislators are concerned, there's no problem with doing either, if you can support the kids after H pays his child support. It's when he comes back looking to reduce c/s on the previous kids that the lawmakers start getting edgy -- again, because you're increasing the likelihood that those kids will end up on some form of welfare. And again, the ones they blame first are the men. They're just counting on you to protect yourself from men's randy "populate the universe" ways.
post #132 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by harleyhalfmoon View Post
Yeah, I've wondered this, also.



With all due respect, mama41, shouldn't the same rules apply to Mothers, also? If they can't afford to support their child, why is it considered okay for a single Mother to remarry and have more children if she wants, but looked down upon if a divorced Father does the same? (Not trying to be snarky, I'm asking a serious question.)
it's because the laws do not come from a genuine place of concern for families. they just don't wan them on large amounts of federal aid. as long as the mother (or custodial father) is providing money through their new spouse the legal system is not concerned. that money isn't coming out of collected taxes. i think we have a terrible problem in this country with equating legal with good and illegal with bad. or legally complicated with immoral and easy with moral. i'm not saying you made that error. it's just that i think that might be the reason some people evaluate the situation in a way you find confusing.the guiding moral idea behind many of these laws is not that of protecting children but the idea that poor people are bad and that being poor means one exists in a morally inferior position. as long as people are able to meet their financial obligations without government help they will not be penalized.
post #133 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Understand that doubting it is not the same as focusing a mind-driven beam of failure at it. If your small child wants to cross a busy street alone, you know he might get across just fine, but the odds are that he'll get hit, so you say no. In the same way, a mother has a job of protection to do when it comes to seeing her child become involved in a marriage which -- odds are -- will fail. In that case it doesn't mean saying, "No, you can't go," or "This will never work," or "Oh, this woman's going to leave your family," all of which would be harmful. But it does mean being prepared to see the child lose another relationship, another family, and help the child through. And part of that means being very cautious about placing parenting weight on the wife, rather than on the father, whom the child can't lose.
I can see your point here. This makes sense. However, what the mom doesn't realize sometimes (usually) is that the bond between the stepkid and stepmom can be very strong, whether she encourages it or not. So refusing to talk parenting with another parent just comes off as petty and jealous, even if that's not the motivation. Case in point: my DSD just gave me an Easter card. She was so pleased with herself -- handed me the card in the envelope, saying it was a card she made for me. I opened it up, and she had drawn a picture on the front, and inside the card, in her mom's writing (DSD doesn't read yet) it said "Happy Easter Daddy!" It was just so silly.
post #134 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Er...not to put too fine a point on it, but you may have noticed that most legislatures are still run by men. Most of them middle-aged or older. There's still considerable sexism (and I say that after having worked in legislatures and as a state news reporter). The man gets the lion's share of the blame for knocking up women with babies he can't pay for.
Exactly. It's all based on this old-school sexist notion that women can't take care of themselves.

Actually, in our case, I know if DH had other kids and there was a CS order, it does reduce the amount the first kids get. He said his lawyer said it even reduces their take a little if I have a baby, but I need to read the documentation myself before I'd believe that. And it was a tiny reduction anyway -- certainly not worth reopening it in court.
post #135 of 148
I urge you all to re-read Violet's post. She was not saying those things about single Mom's... she was giving examples as to why a comment may be cutting to a step-mom in an analogy. She was not actually saying those things as things she thought, and said this a few times in her post.

I think her post was very eloquent and diplomatic, if you read it carefully and all the way through, it has a lot of insight.


I just want to say Step-Mom's sacrifice a lot for their (step)kids too. Not just bio parents stay up late nursing fevers and cleaning up vomit, and love and bonding and sacrificing getting clothes to ensure the kids have the best and so on... Yes, I did not birth DSD or nurse her... but either did DP and he is still considered all knowing of his daughter, correct? As a bio parent? So how is it so unfathomable that a Step-Mom can build the same kind of bond, similiar to what a Father builds?

Neither have the chance to bond through carrying or nursing the child, but both do build bonds.

Also... take into consideration natural maternal instincts. Many women have them. You know the ones... just seeing them giving care and teaching children, the baby-sitters and teachers that you know will be an amazing Mom!

I just don't think it should be ruled out that a Step parent could never be a "full" parent or the same as a "bio" parent... there are no other more hurtful words than that statement. I give 100% devotion to DSD and being the best Step-Mom I can be. I plan on doing the same for my future children... if this doesn't make me a parent simply because I did not birth DSD, then I guess my DP isn't a parent either because he didn't birth her???
post #136 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Child support seldom pays half the actual cost of raising a child, even though it can be a lot of money. [...]
That's a fairly remarkable deal for a single mother.
Sounds like you do have a good deal. Hubby's ex is also doing quite well.

One thing about this forum: if you think about it, the type of woman who marries a man with kids and takes on a motherly enough role to go to this particular board to post about it is, in all likelihood, not married to a deadbeat dad. Either financially or emotionally. Our guys pay up, and they are involved in their kids' lives. And many of them pay a lot. Many pay more than you might think and a lot pay well over half the child costs. The low numbers quoted on the single mom forum often make me gasp, as they are often woefully inadequate. Over here, not so much.

So, I feel like much of the venting by moms on the single mom forum and here are venting about a completely different set of men than the stepmoms here are married to and know about. So there is some of the disconnect, perhaps. The guys who fathered children and then left them high and dry are not marrying women who grow to love the kids and go to an AP board to refine their interactions. So we hear that venting and wonder where the moms are coming from. Then the moms, who in many cases have unreliable exes, are very unlikely to trust their ex's judgment in picking another parental figure, and they also know that guy who left them with no support is likely to have another failed relationship. So maybe that has at least a bit to do with our sometimes wildly different perspectives?
post #137 of 148


Another wonderfully thoughtful and insightful post, Violet!!
post #138 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post


Another wonderfully thoughtful and insightful post, Violet!!
post #139 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by violet_ View Post
Sounds like you do have a good deal. Hubby's ex is also doing quite well.

One thing about this forum: if you think about it, the type of woman who marries a man with kids and takes on a motherly enough role to go to this particular board to post about it is, in all likelihood, not married to a deadbeat dad. Either financially or emotionally. Our guys pay up, and they are involved in their kids' lives. And many of them pay a lot. Many pay more than you might think and a lot pay well over half the child costs. The low numbers quoted on the single mom forum often make me gasp, as they are often woefully inadequate. Over here, not so much.

So, I feel like much of the venting by moms on the single mom forum and here are venting about a completely different set of men than the stepmoms here are married to and know about. So there is some of the disconnect, perhaps. The guys who fathered children and then left them high and dry are not marrying women who grow to love the kids and go to an AP board to refine their interactions. So we hear that venting and wonder where the moms are coming from. Then the moms, who in many cases have unreliable exes, are very unlikely to trust their ex's judgment in picking another parental figure, and they also know that guy who left them with no support is likely to have another failed relationship. So maybe that has at least a bit to do with our sometimes wildly different perspectives?
Could be, but from what I've seen, a lot of those moms are in the early stages of divorce and separation, when no one is at their best.

If you don't mind my asking, I've been wondering why your dp didn't fight it when his ex moved 2000 miles away with the kids. A guy I dated a few years ago had a terrible, drawn-out custody fight because his ex wanted to move the kids about the same distance, but ultimately he won because he proved that he had an established pattern of care in the area. When my ex and I were in mediation, we made sure we had a clause about relocating (which is why I commute 90 minutes each way--so my son can be close to his dad).
post #140 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post

I just don't think it should be ruled out that a Step parent could never be a "full" parent or the same as a "bio" parent... there are no other more hurtful words than that statement. I give 100% devotion to DSD and being the best Step-Mom I can be. I plan on doing the same for my future children... if this doesn't make me a parent simply because I did not birth DSD, then I guess my DP isn't a parent either because he didn't birth her???
With all due respect, to me there is no more hurtful comment than someone assuming she could mother my child 'equally' to me. Think about having the child your ttc, getting divorced, having someone else marry your ex and believe that makes her 'equal' to you as a mom. I haven't had to deal with this experience, thankfully, as the step-mom in my case has been very sensitive and respectful.

In the post that caused the intense reactions, I was speaking (and identified it as such) from my own feelings and wanted to explore how other people felt about the issue. I tried to identify that I wasn't debating or making an argument. As a biomom involved with a man who has kids (to whom I may become a stepmom), I am very very careful about the boundaries, to honor their history and, to me, unique bond. Maybe it's different than other's experiences because the kids have been raised by biomom since birth, and I'm coming into the picture when they are almost double-digit kids. I would NEVER presume to be equal to their mom.
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