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|Originally Posted by caro113
Legally - and you can tell the police this - if she doesn't pay her support, she doesn't get visits.
I had to see it from her perspective and more importantly from theirs! They love their mommy and they deserve a relationship with her. I just thought about all the things I went through with my DD in the early days and had I been in her shoes and not had support the way I did, I could have lost my daughter too.
She had them overnight last night and she is keeping them again tonight becasue of an impending storm. She said they are having fun and they even visited their grammy on their mommy's side.
I finally just stepped back and took MYSELF out of the equation and made this about the kids.
Everything is going to be ok, I can see it!
It sounds very frustrating, and tough on you and the kids.
I do want to say though, that you won't get anywhere by telling yourself that "she isn't a mother" because she doesn't meet your definition of what a mother should be. In the end, you don't get to define whether she is or not - the simple fact is that she's your stepkids' mother, will always be their mother, and they and you will just need to work with the mother they've got. I say that with huge empathy, because she does sound pretty dreadful, but getting your nose out of joint about it simply doesn't help you or them.
And, sadly, sometimes if the parent doesn't share your values, you do have to relax your standards for the kids' sake. You don't have to buy red lipstick for a five year old yourself, but you do have to smile, grit your teeth, say "oh, yes, I see your lipstick! That's a very pretty, bright red isn't it? How about we give it a wash for now so it doesn't rub off on your clothes? It looks like you had some fun with your mommy today." Hey, maybe she was trying to show them some love with the lipstick and candy.
Maybe ease up on the 'mommy' stuff wih the kids. Even if it was their idea, they're being made uncomfortable with it, and she's obviously unhappy with it. I'd just say "you're quite right, I'm your stepmommy and X is your mommy. You've got three parents, but we're all different!"
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