X-posted: Tell me about your healthy, respectful, positive bio-mom/step-mom relationships - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 04-06-2011, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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X-posted in blended and step-family parenting.

Please, nobody stab me for that thread title. lol.gif

First off, hi. I've been posting over on single parenting and other forums for a long time now, but it looks like I belong here as well. My DS is 3, and a great little kid if I do say so myself. His dad and I got pregnant after we had only been dating a few weeks. We lived together and made the relationship work for a couple of years, and we definitely grew to care about each other very deeply. But we weren't the right people for each other and I don't think we were ever honestly in love. We loved each other, but we weren't in love, if that makes sense. We never married. We had a rocky breakup two years ago, compounded by his alcohol addiction. About a year ago, he hit rock bottom in a bad way, got into AA and he's been sober and made huge steps forward. I'm really proud of him for the hard work that he's done. He's made bad choices in the past, but he's a good person at his core and I'm so glad that he's well on the road to recovery. Especially in the last few months, we've developed a pretty healthy and friendly co-parenting relationship. We do Thanksgiving together, hang out chatting for a few minutes during pick-ups and drop-offs, that kind of thing. There's definitely no weird lost love feelings between us, and I consider my ex to be part of my family.

I'm in love with a really great guy that I've been dating for six months. It's still early in the relationship, but I'm starting to hope that it might one day move in the direction of marriage.

A few weeks ago, my ex reconnected with his high school girlfriend. They broke up when her family moved away and I think he's always carried a flame for her. They fell back in love hard and fast. Yesterday, they told me that she's pregnant and they're getting married next Saturday. It's fast, but they seem really happy and I'm happy for him. DS seems to really like her and feel comfortable around her and her kids (he loves going to play with the "brothers and sisters"), and he's over the moon that he's going to be a big brother.

If there's anything that I can say about my ex, it's that he has good taste in women. DS's stepmother-to-be is an absolutely lovely person. I can say that without qualification. She's a widow and a mother of five, and she parents in a really similar way to me, maybe even more crunchy. AP, homebirthing, breastfeeding counselor, cosleeping, homeschooling, all that. She has a nice way with her kids and she's been really sweet to DS. She's college-educated, really pleasant and well-spoken, and just a really nice and intelligent and classy woman. Really, if I could have hand-designed a perfect stepmom for DS, it would look a lot like her. She and her kids live in a great house on a bunch of land. We've met a few times and she's made some really sweet gestures to me, like jotting down a little note thanking me for giving her the chance to get to know DS and that he's a great little boy and I've done a great job raising him. My ex has also encouraged us to meet and spoken well of each of us to the other. I've been overtly supportive of their relationship and let her know how thrilled I am that she's in my ex and DS's life. She and my boyfriend have met.  We don't need to be BFFs -- I want to give them space and respect their family boundaries -- but I'm definitely glad that we're on friendly terms.


So anyway, that's a long back-story, but I really feel like my ex, his fiance and I have laid the groundwork for a healthy and positive blended family. I'm sure conflicts will inevitably arise at some point, but I feel like we could handle them in rational and respectful ways that keep DS's best interest in mind.

I did some googling, and there are soooo many horror stories out there of stepfamily and stepmom/biomom conflict. Some of it seems like there's no good solution, like where one or all parties is flat-out crazy and mean, or where the ex cheated on the spouse with the new partner, that kind of thing. But when you're starting out with good people who are all motivated to have a healthy blended family, it seems like the odds must be tons better to make it work.

So my question is, do any of you have that kind of positive blended-family experience, or manage to arrive at it? What sort of things of things did you do to ensure the relationship stayed healthy and respectful? What positive ways did you find for handling the inevitable conflicts and disagreements?   Any advice you would give me?

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#2 of 4 Old 04-07-2011, 09:34 AM - Thread Starter
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And this is officially the least popular thread I've ever started. Which I guess should tell me that I'm really super lucky and should be counting my blessings. 

Seriously, anyone?

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#3 of 4 Old 04-07-2011, 09:41 AM
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What you're describing is how I hope things play out if/when XH and I re-partner.  I think it sounds great that you're all in a good place.  Every interaction I have with XH is with the vision of being able to celebrate DS's life cheerfully...birthdays, graduations...sitting in the same pew at his wedding.  Whenever I get annoyed, I keep that vision in mind and respond accordingly. 


But we haven't tested it yet. 


Good luck! 

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#4 of 4 Old 04-08-2011, 06:50 AM
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I had a few run-ins with my ex's ex... but overall, we were cordial.  I even had a heart to heart with her a few times.  I think her and I would still have an okay relationship, except we are just worlds apart, and she has this great desire to be snotty.  I really thought her and I would remain friends because of our DD's relationship/being sisters... but she said a lot of weird things when I left ex and totally did a 180 on some things she had told me in our heart to heart before I left... *shrugs*  I may still try to contact her now that a year has passed.


We'd never be BFF's just because we are sooo different.  She is very materialistic and I'm on the total opposite polar of that.  She is very mainstream on a lot parenting things, and being a member here, I'm obviously not.  :P  lol 


But we were able to be cordial and back each other through some hard times with ex.  And she was super supportive and sweet when I was pregnant with DD, and she had even told me once that if she could have hand picked a Stepmom, she would have chose me and she thanked me for always caring about her DD and keeping her in the loop with what went on at my house with ex and his outbursts.


I think maybe she said some hurtful things at the end because it was her way of processing of losing me from her DD's life and having that person to look out for her... who knows.  I can think the nice positive possibilities now anyway.



But... I think with how much you have in common with ex's new SO... I think it is possible to have an awesome friendship come up.  I do know a few people in RL bio-mom/stepmom that became good friends and have playdates on their own with all the kids.  And even swap childcare and such.  So it does happen.  It may be rare... but it does happen.


I think as long as everyone is able to be respectful and mature adults that are able to communicate... the whole blended thing can be a very enjoyable working extended family kind of thing.  It all depends on the people involved.  It sounds like you have awesome people to work with.  (ex and new stepmom)  Sounds awesome and like everything is really working out great for you!  :D

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

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