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Why does BioMom like setting up dissapointment? - Page 2

post #21 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
The potential for a conflict of interest from the mom is huge here. Get your DH on the same page and just refuse the birthday party.
DH is on the same page. He was livid that his ex even asked and told her no way DSD is going to miss the shower for her little sister.

But DSD's Mom is trying to guilt us into letting her go... just like some of the responses here... so really... I want to know what they would do if it was not a "step" situation. Because right now I'm feeling that just because we're the "other" family it doesn't matter.... and maybe that is part hormonal.
post #22 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
You know... I'm thinking here...


Is it just because I'm the StepMom??


If your DC was invited to a birthday party the same day as your new baby's shower... would you make arrangments for your DC to go to the birthday party instead of being with their family celebrating the upcoming arrival of their new sibling???

I'd really love an honest answer here.
I'm not a stepmom, but when my girls were that age they would way prefer the birthday party over my baby shower. Sure, the shower is all about you, but I don't think a 4 year old is going to love a 4 hour baby shower. How much time are you realistically going to spend with her during those 4 hours?
post #23 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by choli View Post
I'm not a stepmom, but when my girls were that age they would way prefer the birthday party over my baby shower. Sure, the shower is all about you, but I don't think a 4 year old is going to love a 4 hour baby shower. How much time are you realistically going to spend with her during those 4 hours?
Some of you might be forgetting that there are going to be other children at this shower - children that the OP's dsd likes to play with and hasn't seen in a while.

Also, I agree that the suggestion that the child should be shuffled back and forth is unreasonable. She'll spend two hours in the car.

I think that some of us need to remember this part of the UA when responding in this thread:

Quote:
Do not post in a disrespectful, defamatory, adversarial, baiting, harassing, offensive, insultingly sarcastic or otherwise improper manner, toward a member or other individual, including casting of suspicion upon a person, invasion of privacy, humiliation, demeaning criticism, name-calling, personal attack, or in any way which violates the law.
post #24 of 89
I will answer your question. I gave it some thought and to be honest if my older child was invited to a birthday party on the same day as my baby shower I would let her go. I feel like a shower isn't that fun for kids - I didn't much like them when I was little. She'd have more fun at the party.

Now, having answered your question, I would like to say one other thing.

I can't imagine not living with my children full time. (Not it a all-people-who-are-divorced-aren't-good-people/parents kind of way, more in a I love just being with my kids and would miss them if they split their time between households kind of way.) So honestly, if I only had my kids four days a month I would go with them to parties so I could still be with them. In this instance I would say no to the party so that we could all be together at the shower. I wouldn't miss that one day for anything. (Especially since there will be other kids to play with and she won't be pushed into a corner and left to fend for herself at an adults party.)
post #25 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
DH is on the same page. He was livid that his ex even asked and told her no way DSD is going to miss the shower for her little sister.

But DSD's Mom is trying to guilt us into letting her go... just like some of the responses here... so really... I want to know what they would do if it was not a "step" situation. Because right now I'm feeling that just because we're the "other" family it doesn't matter.... and maybe that is part hormonal.
Just what does "trying to guilt you into letting her go" entail exactly? And how much of that involves your DSD? Does your DSD even know the content of that email?

Because while I can see huge potential for inappropriate custodial-mom behavior in this regard, and while I agree that the shower takes precedence over the party (for many reasons, including "previous engagement"), I can also see a situation where no matter what the custodial mom does, she's the bad guy in the eyes of the NCPs.

My daughter is in K. She gets birthday invitations directly in her locker at school or in the mail addressed to her. And even if I intercept them before she gets them, she still knows about them because all the kids in her class talk extensively about their upcoming parties. I cannot (sometimes I really wish I could) hide those invitations from her.

When one fell during her dad's time this summer, I had to deal with the fallout of telling her "no, can't go to that one, we'll be in France". At which time, she cried very heart-broken, bitter tears about missing the party and then said "I know family is more important than parties" (proud mom moment). She was crushed (in that 5-year-old-crushed-but-recovers-fast kind of way).

At least I had geography and 4000 miles to make the decision for us, and didn't have to make the call of "do I inform her dad of the invitation and let him decide or just say no first". And was quick enough on my feet to have checked the date before reading the whole invitation to her (there was going to be live pony rides and that detail I kept from her, but once she can read I won't be able to hide details like that anymore).

It was heartbreaking. But at least it was an easy call--no, we'll be out of town.

That said, what would I have been supposed to do if we lived in the same town or close enough that she could go to birthday parties for her friends during her dad's time?

Say, "no, you can't go because it's your dad's weekend"? No good: I'd be accused of making the dad into the bad guy.

Say, "it's your dad's weekend. You have to ask him." or "I'm not sure, I'll ask your dad about it"? Neither is good: again, I could easily be accused of setting him up to be the bad guy. Because I can't know for certain what he has planned, and he could very well have something planned that I don't know about. Or forgot about, because quite frankly I'm not my ex's social secretary anymore.

Say, "sure. I'll tell your dad he's gonna miss his time."? No good. Probably the worst of the lot. Family is more important than friends' birthday parties--especially her father.

Say 'no' and leave it at that and not even tell her father about the invitation? No good either: she does have a social life that goes beyond her parents and that would be excluding her father from a fatherly role in her social life. It's his time, and therefore his decision as to whether or not to allow her to go. Even if I'm 100% certain I know what he'll say, I don't think that gives me the right to make the decision for him.

So, tell me, what am I supposed to say and do exactly?

I'm not saying the mom in your specific situation is not being inappropriate or difficult or whatever. She very well could be. But she could also simply be trying to do her best in a confusing situation.

What would you have wanted her to say?
post #26 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katwoman View Post
I will answer your question. I gave it some thought and to be honest if my older child was invited to a birthday party on the same day as my baby shower I would let her go. I feel like a shower isn't that fun for kids - I didn't much like them when I was little. She'd have more fun at the party.

Now, having answered your question, I would like to say one other thing.

I can't imagine not living with my children full time. (Not it a all-people-who-are-divorced-aren't-good-people/parents kind of way, more in a I love just being with my kids and would miss them if they split their time between households kind of way.) So honestly, if I only had my kids four days a month I would go with them to parties so I could still be with them. In this instance I would say no to the party so that we could all be together at the shower. I wouldn't miss that one day for anything. (Especially since there will be other kids to play with and she won't be pushed into a corner and left to fend for herself at an adults party.)
Thank you Mama... this is the point that I think many forget... this is the pain my DH lives with everyday and it brings me pain to see it. I of course miss my DSD when she is not with us as well, but I know it is far different than what he feels when he was used to being with her every single day for the first two years of her life.
post #27 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
You know... I'm thinking here...


Is it just because I'm the StepMom??


If your DC was invited to a birthday party the same day as your new baby's shower... would you make arrangments for your DC to go to the birthday party instead of being with their family celebrating the upcoming arrival of their new sibling???

I'd really love an honest answer here.
It doesn't have to do with being a stepmom to me. If my daughter had a birthday party during my shower, I would rather her go to her birthday party.
post #28 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post
What would you have wanted her to say?
"Sorry DD, you'll have to miss this one because it's the same day as JSMa's shower."
post #29 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post

So, tell me, what am I supposed to say and do exactly?
Maybe we are lucky in the fact that my dsd (in 1st grade) doesn't get that upset about the possibility of missing a birthday party. When she asks if she can go to something, both houses just say something to the effect of "I'll talk with [parent at the other house] and we'll see what they have planned for that day." If we didn't remind her, she would forget that the birthday party was even going to happen.

Maybe it's a regional thing, maybe it has to do with the school she goes to, but missing a birthday party isn't an earth-shattering thing. The kids she goes to school with all claimed that they were coming, then only one showed up. The same thing happened to her classmate. But maybe we are just in a weird situation.
post #30 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by plunky View Post
"Sorry DD, you'll have to miss this one because it's the same day as JSMa's shower."
But what if I don't remember what time the shower is? And it's entirely possible that the shower could be at a time when both were possible? (Plus, you could give her credit for at least remembering the right day, by the way. I'm not sure I would have remembered the exact day if I were in her shoes.)
post #31 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post
But what if I don't remember what time the shower is? And it's entirely possible that the shower could be at a time when both were possible? (Plus, you could give her credit for at least remembering the right day, by the way. I'm not sure I would have remembered the exact day.)
I pretty much think it's disrespectful for the mother to even entertain the thought of "maybe it's at a time when both were possible". This is making the shower day about the mom and the DSD and detracting from JSMa's day. I don't think JSMa should play this card often, but if this shower is anything like the one my wife had with her whole family and so on at it...it was an important thing. It is the mom catching DSD in the middle, not JSMa.
post #32 of 89
Thread Starter 
Ione,

I don't know how involved DSD is... To be honest I don't know if she even knows about the party or if her Mom is just emailing us saying so...

DSD was with us this weekend and did not say anything at all about a party.

DSD's Mom is telling us how heart broken DSD will be and how we should let her go... We don't even know who the party is for.

I assume the kids could be talking about the party at school... but I know generally the adults give the adults the invitations, as the children are too young to read and would likely loose an inviation.. she is in a pre-school program ages 3 & 4. Someone had to tell her about the party if she does know about it.

I don't expect DSD's Mom to be our social calendar and have everything memorized... but about once every month or so her and I get together and mark out our planners for big events that we know of for our family's to hopefully avoid the most important things being scheduled over for either of us. She has known about the shower since August, and knew the date for sure as she posted it in her email.


I can follow your logic with each of your scenarios for an answer... maybe there is no "right" answer to give. None of us like to break our children's hearts. And unfortunately in the navigation of a blended family it becomes even more difficult and if I allow myself to think too long on all the shuffling DSD goes through, it is very depressing for me and my heart goes out to her... but we cannot change what the situation is...

We do try to accomodate things the best we can... and I wish her Mom would give us more respect for our limited time.

DSD is beyond excited about her little sister and this shower has been talked up a lot, and DSD has a special Big Sister shirt that she is very excited to wear to it. She talks all the time about helping and holding her sister and has put aside some of her books to "read" to her little sister already.

We honestly feel she will gain more from being a part of this shower and a part of her growing family than a party for some kid at preschool that she will likely never see again after she goes to kindergarden next year....
post #33 of 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
You know... I'm thinking here...


Is it just because I'm the StepMom??


If your DC was invited to a birthday party the same day as your new baby's shower... would you make arrangments for your DC to go to the birthday party instead of being with their family celebrating the upcoming arrival of their new sibling???

I'd really love an honest answer here.
Honestly, I'd do what I could to make a compromise, if it were necessary. Baby showers are about the person that they're being thrown for. Your DD isn't going to know if your DSD was at her shower.

Sometimes as a parent you've got to suck it up and realize that your kids aren't into the things that you're into. If we had a family event on the same day that DD had something going on with her friends, then I'd figure out a way to do both, if it were at all possible. When my friend got married on the same day of my family reunion, we split our time. We went to the wedding, skipped the reception, and met up with my family for dinner. It worked out great for everyone.

Also, as much as you keep talking about this being your time with DSD, how much time are you really going to be spending with her at your shower? Yes, she will be there, but so will a lot of other people. I recently drove DD to her dad's wedding. We spent the entire day at the wedding/reception. With all of the commotion and people, DD hardly had 5 minutes alone with her dad, literally before he left for his honeymoon

It may be that it can't work out that DSD can do both things. The important thing here is just that you don't take such a hard stance on things. The reality of your situation is that your DSD has two families, and that's not going to change. You don't need to go into every situation giving into DSD's mom's every whim, but you also can't go into every situation ready for an argument.
post #34 of 89
JSMa,

Thanks for clarifying that a bit and I'm glad you understand my reasoning on the scenarios.

If DSD's mom hasn't said anything to her about the party, then I think you should give her credit for not doing so. Honestly.

Sure, she's being insensitive to *you* in even suggesting that you let her go, and in arguing for her to go to the party. But she is *not* setting DSD up for disappointment (if DSD does not even know about the party), and she is not setting you guys up to be the 'bad guys'.

Simply say: "No, the party won't be possible because of the shower. Thanks for telling us about it all the same." Rinse and repeat as needed.

(And, if it wasn't clear enough, I'd side with the shower over the birthday party--even if it was my ex's girlfriend's* shower on "my" weekend when the party was the "previous engagement"...) (* I'm not being dismissive of her by calling her his girlfriend--it is the term he currently uses for her.)
post #35 of 89
Thread Starter 
Ione,

You are right... I may be jumping the gun a little on this one, and honestly I hope I am. I hope she hasn't told DSD about the party and that she was just saying that in hopes to get us to agree to the party...

It just follows her patterns. Anytime she drops DSD off she gets her all worked up telling her how much she is going to miss her, then DSD tells us over and over again that we need to take her home because her Mommy misses her too much. Note, DSD never actually says she misses her Mom, it's always that her Mom misses her too much...

She made a big deal in front of us how DH and I were going on our honeymoon without DSD...

And she made it a big ordeal to tell DSD I can't pick her up anymore because of her sister in my belly.

It's just very sad and challenging to deal with.
post #36 of 89
I can completely understand where you are coming from in this situation. This happened a lot to us with DSD's mother until we put our foot down. The worst time was for our wedding. We planned it for the start of DSD's spring break which we had her for that year. Her mother planned a last minute trip to visit her DH's family with his boys in Florida, and oh yeah, go to Disney World. So, we were going to be the jerks that did not let DSD go to Disney. So, WE payed to fly her to Florida the day after our wedding so she could go on vacation with them. Come to find out, they never even went to Disney. It was all a ploy for her mother to get her way.

Her mother would also plan a lot of stuff on our weekend and demand we switch, but that same accomodation was never given back to us if we wanted her at another time. Not only that, but she would go on and on about the fun stuff they did without DSD making her feel bad. They would even call from places to let her know she was missing out. It was so sad for DSD. DH finally had it out with her and explained how much it was affecting DSD. He also went strictly to their divorce agreement in order to stop all of the switching. Life has been much, much better since. We take DSD to things during our time when it works with our schedule, and she is happy.

I think the problem for you is that this is not just a once in a while "oops I messed up and double booked her weekend with something" kind of thing. This does sound a bit more manipulative on her mother's part. I think it is best that your DH get on the same page with her and explain that anything during his time needs to be left up to him to decide, and she needs to do her best to be supportive of that decision for their DD's to not feel badly when she misses things. She can simply tell her DD that she will discuss it with your DH and see what they can work out. Unfortunately, things don't ALWAYS work out for our children to do exactly what they want. Sometimes other things take priority, as I would think a baby shower should. How we address it with them certainly helps dictate their reaction to it.
post #37 of 89
I feel for you, JSMa. It does sound like your DSD's mom's got issues.

But you really don't need the emotional aggravation of inventing more issues for her than she already has. What is that saying again? "Sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof" or something along those lines.

And, if you can spot the times she's behaving in a closer to appropriate manner or at least in a way that is not actually hurting or inappropriately involving DSD (no matter how aggravating it may be to you) and react warmly to them, you'll ultimately be encouraging more of those times. I would think and hope.

Personally, I remind myself daily of two things: (1) no matter how hard things are for myself (or my ex), DD's the only "real victim" here; and (2) ultimately, she has to navigate her own relationship with her father and his family without me--and it will only get easier (for me) as she gets older and is able to do things (like call or write him, or read his letters) on her own without my help.
post #38 of 89
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post
I feel for you, JSMa. It does sound like your DSD's mom's got issues.

But you really don't need the emotional aggravation of inventing more issues for her than she already has. What is that saying again? "Sufficient unto the day are the evils thereof" or something along those lines.

And, if you can spot the times she's behaving in a closer to appropriate manner or at least in a way that is not actually hurting or inappropriately involving DSD (no matter how aggravating it may be to you) and react warmly to them, you'll ultimately be encouraging more of those times. I would think and hope.

Personally, I remind myself daily of two things: (1) no matter how hard things are for myself (or my ex), DD's the only "real victim" here; and (2) ultimately, she has to navigate her own relationship with her father and his family without me--and it will only get easier (for me) as she gets older and is able to do things (like call or write him, or read his letters) on her own without my help.

I totally agree with the DSD is the real victum.

And I am praying once DSD is older and can communicate more, like on the phone and such it will be better. *nods*
post #39 of 89
it is hard for any parent who is divorced and it's easy to criticize and assume the worst about the other parent. i don't think that the biomom intends any ill harm, it sounds like she is involved and cares about her daughter. granted, she may or may not be over the top, it is hard to say when you only have one perspective.

it's wonderful that you care the way you do for your dsd but i think that these types of issues are best left for the mom and dad to sort out themselves. i know as a custodial parent i'd be more inclined to be defensive if the stepparent was stepping in and getting involved in decisions that involved my child.

just another idea ... if you think that the mom is interfering in your husband's access time and have enough documented evidence, then you can go back to court and have that sorted out as well.
post #40 of 89
Thread Starter 
I'm not stepping in... At least it was never my decision to.

DSD's Mom asked for my email once to email me some pictures of DSD which I thought was really nice of her!

DH doesn't go on the computer, it's not his thing... so he does not have an email.

Then DSD's Mom started emailing all kinds of things, for schedules and what not and for discipline things that she wanted carried over to our house. I never wanted to be in the middle... and I told DH that.

But he says I'm as much a parent as they are and am helping to raise DSD as much as they are and he was okay with me getting the emails. I never respond to them until I talk to DH about them first so we are on same page and then we send a response. I don't just step in, and I never ever go to his ex with things, if it is us that has a question, I make him call her.
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