Hmm... are we going to have a problem? - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#31 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 03:11 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
It was certainly something I took up with his father... only to discover he had NO clue she'd done it. Much like when she talked to my then two year old about the possibility of spanking him. She wasn't even consulting the non-custodial parent, she was just making it up as she went along on her own.

I think it's fascinating that you think a virtual stranger should be free to demand a parent report to her about her child's progress and to make unilateral decisions about his care. It's a very interesting point of view and one I have not been previously exposed to, so thanks for a new experience.

So after at least 4 years she is still a virtual stranger? You said she talked to him at age 2, the tooth thing happened at age 6. She was not a virtual stranger. If she "demanded" you "report" to her then that is wrong, but a toothbrushing progress chart doesn't seem like something that is a big issue. So helping him to remember to brush his teeth (something you also said was an issue) is suddenly making unilateral decisions? I just don't see it. Progress charts are commonly used in schools and in other households, I take it you don't like them, but it doesn't make it bad or wrong. Now if she thrust it at you and said "I decided that you need to chart this so I can punich him if he doesn't brush" there is an issue. If he brought a toothbrushing progress chart home and said step-mom wants me to keep using the chart (I am assuming there was a reward involved) I just don't see it being some big attack on your parenting. And according to what you have posted she had been his step-mom for 4 years at that point, that is hardly a stranger.
mommyto3girls is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#32 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 03:24 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
I understand you love your SD. (It will never compare to the love her mother has).
umm...how do you know that? It's a big assumption that just because someone is a biological mother they must love the child as nobody else ever could. I'm not a stepmom, nor do I have one...but I do know that both my brother and my son have stepfathers who love them far beyond anything their "real" fathers were capable of. I know at least one stepmom who was a total nightmare for her sd...and another who is the closest thing I can think of to a saint. Can I, personally, imagine anybody else loving my children like I do? No - but that doesn't mean I'm right.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#33 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Ione's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
So after at least 4 years she is still a virtual stranger? <snip> And according to what you have posted she had been his step-mom for 4 years at that point, that is hardly a stranger.
Yes, after 4 years the stepmother was (most likely) still a "virtual stranger" to the child's mother. I seriously doubt they got together regularly for coffee or to hang out. No where was it said that the stepmother was a stranger to the child at that point. The posts were discussing the relationship between the adult women. So, yes, the stepmother was still a "virtual stranger" in that context...
Ione is offline  
#34 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
You are in love with a man I assume you respect and admire. You value his opinions. At some point in time, he found this woman lovable and worthy. She was good enough for him to love.
What does that have to do with anything? I loved my ex, too - doesn't mean I can find much, if anything, positive to say about him now, or that dh should be able to pull something out of thin air.

Quote:
She was good enough to produce a child you love- and while you say you hate her parenting, bad parents don't produce good children by random accident.
Really? DS1 is a pretty good indication that this doesn't always hold true. His dad was a very bad parent, and I was...probably slightly better overall, but worse at my worst. DS1 was exposed to a lot of yelling, both at him, and between us (most of the yelling was me), neglect (mostly his dad), and a just horrifyingly emotionally unhealthy atmosphere in which to live for most of his childhood. He is, nonetheless, an amazing kid, and I've heard very little negative about him, ever, and have had multiple people seek me out to say, "you're ds1's mom, right? He's such an amazing kid - so kind/respectful/mature/fun/creative/determined/fill in blank". He's a good kid. He had crappy parents. He was also gifted with a wonderful stepdad at the age of 8, which has made a huge difference in his life...but he was a good kid before that.

I certainly agree that the OP should try to find whatever good qualities she can in her sd's mom. It's always easier to make a relationship - whatever the nature of that relationship - function, if you can find some common ground and respect for each other. But, the "her dd's a good kid, so she must be a good parent" logic falls flat.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#35 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 03:50 PM
 
Smithie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 4,421
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
"I understand you love your SD. (It will never compare to the love her mother has)."


I am very, very, very sure that this is not a universal truth.
Smithie is offline  
#36 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 05:52 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ione View Post
Yes, after 4 years the stepmother was (most likely) still a "virtual stranger" to the child's mother. I seriously doubt they got together regularly for coffee or to hang out. No where was it said that the stepmother was a stranger to the child at that point. The posts were discussing the relationship between the adult women. So, yes, the stepmother was still a "virtual stranger" in that context...

My kid's soon to be step-mom has been in their lives for ten months, living with their dad for 6 months. She is not a "virtual stranger" but I have never "gone for coffee" or "hung out" with her either. If, after 4 years of your child being with this woman every other weekend, you still consider her a virtual stranger, you should make an effort to know more about her. I would never let my kids spend that much time with someone I had not at least spoken to/texted/e-mailed a few times. I know you have to give the parenting time, thats not what I mean, I mean that an effort should be made to know more about the step-parent, even if it is just information shared by the child (not pumped rom the child, but shared just like a kid would talk about their teacher. In fact there is a great example, most of us have not "had coffee with" or " hung out with" our kids teachers, but would you consider them a "virtual stranger?"
mommyto3girls is offline  
#37 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 05:54 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post
umm...how do you know that? It's a big assumption that just because someone is a biological mother they must love the child as nobody else ever could. I'm not a stepmom, nor do I have one...but I do know that both my brother and my son have stepfathers who love them far beyond anything their "real" fathers were capable of. I know at least one stepmom who was a total nightmare for her sd...and another who is the closest thing I can think of to a saint. Can I, personally, imagine anybody else loving my children like I do? No - but that doesn't mean I'm right.

Yep I purposely left out the biological part because I wanted to see what her answer was. because if she is equating biology to love, then that is a huge slap in the face to the millions of adoptive families also. ( I am an adoptee )
mommyto3girls is offline  
#38 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 05:57 PM
 
Storm Bride's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 25,596
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
My kid's soon to be step-mom has been in their lives for ten months, living with their dad for 6 months. She is not a "virtual stranger" but I have never "gone for coffee" or "hung out" with her either. If, after 4 years of your child being with this woman every other weekend, you still consider her a virtual stranger, you should make an effort to know more about her. I would never let my kids spend that much time with someone I had not at least spoken to/texted/e-mailed a few times. I know you have to give the parenting time, thats not what I mean, I mean that an effort should be made to know more about the step-parent, even if it is just information shared by the child (not pumped rom the child, but shared just like a kid would talk about their teacher. In fact there is a great example, most of us have not "had coffee with" or " hung out with" our kids teachers, but would you consider them a "virtual stranger?"
Maybe some of it is definitions. I wouldn't consider having spoken to/texted/e-mail someon a few times to make them any less of a virtual stranger. I have an in-law with whom I've interacted at family gatherings, including some informal playdates, and have even visited in the hospital...and she's the next best thing to a stranger to me.

And, yeah - my son's teachers have almost all been virtual strangers...certainly all his high school teachers. A 5 minutes parent-teacher conference twice a year (if that, because I don't speak to all his teachers) hardly qualifies someone as anything other than a stranger. I've had fellow commutes on the bus that I've talked to more than that...and don't even know their names.

Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) ribboncesarean.gif, Emma (5/03) ribboncesarean.gif, Evan (7/05) ribboncesarean.gif, & Jenna (6/09) ribboncesarean.gif
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing ribbonpb.gif Aaron Ambrose ribboncesarean.gif (11/07) ribbonpb.gif

Storm Bride is offline  
#39 of 44 Old 05-28-2009, 07:00 PM
 
Just Elsa's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post
So after at least 4 years she is still a virtual stranger? You said she talked to him at age 2, the tooth thing happened at age 6. She was not a virtual stranger. If she "demanded" you "report" to her then that is wrong, but a toothbrushing progress chart doesn't seem like something that is a big issue. So helping him to remember to brush his teeth (something you also said was an issue) is suddenly making unilateral decisions? I just don't see it. Progress charts are commonly used in schools and in other households, I take it you don't like them, but it doesn't make it bad or wrong. Now if she thrust it at you and said "I decided that you need to chart this so I can punich him if he doesn't brush" there is an issue. If he brought a toothbrushing progress chart home and said step-mom wants me to keep using the chart (I am assuming there was a reward involved) I just don't see it being some big attack on your parenting. And according to what you have posted she had been his step-mom for 4 years at that point, that is hardly a stranger.
Lets see... in that 4 years there was:

-1 1/2 years where she saw him precisely five times because she informed her husband they needed a "fresh start" and they moved out of state.

-1 year where she saw him for 1 1/2 days once a month

-1 1/2 years where she saw him roughly every two weeks for 1 1/2 days.

So yes. Virtual stranger. He had a closer bond with his 4th grade teacher, his speech therapist and possibly the waitress at his favorite restaurant.

This is not a parent who happens to not be biologically related to him. This is not a person like my husband who raises him and loves him and makes him a priority. This is a person who happens to have married the guy who sired him and is around during visits. There are all shades of step parents and while she's not evil, she's not his parent either. Her actions have always put him firmly behind the interests of her own desires and her own kids and trying to compare her to non-related people who parent with their whole hearts is an insult to those folks.

What's wrong and bad is someone with no real bond with my kid thinking she gets to organize his life and I need to go along with her ideas. I'd be a negligent mother if I let random people in his life run around harum-scarum disciplining him without my input. If you don't get that there's nothing more to say.
Just Elsa is offline  
#40 of 44 Old 05-29-2009, 08:44 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4,639
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Elsa View Post
Lets see... in that 4 years there was:

-1 1/2 years where she saw him precisely five times because she informed her husband they needed a "fresh start" and they moved out of state.

-1 year where she saw him for 1 1/2 days once a month

-1 1/2 years where she saw him roughly every two weeks for 1 1/2 days.

So yes. Virtual stranger. He had a closer bond with his 4th grade teacher, his speech therapist and possibly the waitress at his favorite restaurant.

This is not a parent who happens to not be biologically related to him. This is not a person like my husband who raises him and loves him and makes him a priority. This is a person who happens to have married the guy who sired him and is around during visits. There are all shades of step parents and while she's not evil, she's not his parent either. Her actions have always put him firmly behind the interests of her own desires and her own kids and trying to compare her to non-related people who parent with their whole hearts is an insult to those folks.

What's wrong and bad is someone with no real bond with my kid thinking she gets to organize his life and I need to go along with her ideas. I'd be a negligent mother if I let random people in his life run around harum-scarum disciplining him without my input. If you don't get that there's nothing more to say.
Not to contribute to the derailment of this thread, but this one struck a chord with me...

I have to be honest, the toothbrushing issue must have been *really* bad for someone who was around this infrequently to even know about it. I'd have to give her kudos for noticing - unless his teeth were falling out, it isn't something that *I*would have noticed on a once-a-month overnight visit.

Also, where was the dad during these visits? If she had time to notice the problem, construct a chart, institute a policy, and talk to the child about it, his dad must have been gone the entire time. I just don't see how it could have happened without his knowledge if he was around.

Although I don't support her making a decision like that if she truly only sees the child so little, to me it seems like the father of the child is the one that needs to take responsibility here. For something like that to happen, he would have to be completely unengaged in the happenings of his home or just plain absent.

We had a chart like that, and it didn't get instituted without several days of DH and I debating the merits of it, and it took some time to make it and start using it. There just no way that I could have done something like that without DH's knowledge, nor would I, because DH and I have had many conversations about what both he and I feel my role is with regard to DSD. Although I do discipline DSD, it is always me carrying out the policies set by her father (FWIW, what happens at our house does not go to the other house and vice-versa - if it did, there would be a conversation between the parents, not a chart sent in a child's backpack). And she with with us over half of the time. When he only had her EOW, 1) I didn't know enough about his policies to carry them out and 2) I wasn't alone with DSD for longer than it would have taken Dh to run to the store because with that small amount of parenting time, he was going to make the most of every minute of it.

So there is a bigger issue here than the stepmom overstepping boundaries - the father appears to be out of touch with what is going on during what is a very short amount of parenting time. He really should be involved enough in what is happening during these visits that things like this would not happen. It bothers me that we automatically blame the stepmom for doing too much instead of blaming the father for doing too little (and possibly the mother and father for not coparenting together to solve what must have been a fairly serious problem).

love.gif

pinksprklybarefoot is offline  
#41 of 44 Old 05-29-2009, 11:33 AM
 
Selesai's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Keeping it all together
Posts: 1,637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
No, you will never win. Especially when your husband is not supportive and (my impression) has incredible feelings of guilt and powerlessness that he takes out on you.

Being a stepmother, as vegasgrl said, is not for the faint of heart. You're supposed to love them, but you can't be their mother. You can't schedule extracurriculars, chaperone trips, etc etc, but you're expected to sacrifice for them anyway.

I don't think you have to love a stepchild like your own. I don't love my SS like my own children and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. He has a mother. I am not that mother. I will not pretend to be that mother. And once my DH really got involved in DS's upbringing (he has always been a very involved father, but at some point really stepped up to the plate re: discipline, schoolwork, etc) I realized I didn't have to do much "parenting," if any. Your problem is that your DH wants you to be your SD's mother figure. You're not. There is no "big happy family." He's divorced.

If I were you I would disengage for a while. Make him responsible for the majority of the care and worry regarding your SD. Don't, for example, refuse to make her eggs even though you are making eggs for yourself simply because it isn't your job. But don't go out of your way to pick up your DH's slack. He needs to get his parenting straight before you can get your stepmothering straight. I think you are way too involved and taking on too much responsibility. Your SD has two parents and it isn't your fault if they aren't perfect. You do not have a responsibility to compensate for them. Your primary responsibility is to your baby girl.

Flame away.
Selesai is offline  
#42 of 44 Old 05-29-2009, 12:08 PM
 
Ione's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 773
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post
No, you will never win. Especially when your husband is not supportive and (my impression) has incredible feelings of guilt and powerlessness that he takes out on you.

Being a stepmother, as vegasgrl said, is not for the faint of heart. You're supposed to love them, but you can't be their mother. You can't schedule extracurriculars, chaperone trips, etc etc, but you're expected to sacrifice for them anyway.

I don't think you have to love a stepchild like your own. I don't love my SS like my own children and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. He has a mother. I am not that mother. I will not pretend to be that mother. And once my DH really got involved in DS's upbringing (he has always been a very involved father, but at some point really stepped up to the plate re: discipline, schoolwork, etc) I realized I didn't have to do much "parenting," if any. Your problem is that your DH wants you to be your SD's mother figure. You're not. There is no "big happy family." He's divorced.

If I were you I would disengage for a while. Make him responsible for the majority of the care and worry regarding your SD. Don't, for example, refuse to make her eggs even though you are making eggs for yourself simply because it isn't your job. But don't go out of your way to pick up your DH's slack. He needs to get his parenting straight before you can get your stepmothering straight. I think you are way too involved and taking on too much responsibility. Your SD has two parents and it isn't your fault if they aren't perfect. You do not have a responsibility to compensate for them. Your primary responsibility is to your baby girl.

Flame away.
Amen! (especially the bolded parts)
Ione is offline  
#43 of 44 Old 05-29-2009, 12:17 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post

Being a stepmother, as vegasgrl said, is not for the faint of heart. You're supposed to love them, but you can't be their mother. You can't schedule extracurriculars, chaperone trips, etc etc, but you're expected to sacrifice for them anyway.

I don't think you have to love a stepchild like your own. I don't love my SS like my own children and I don't think there is anything wrong with that. He has a mother. I am not that mother. I will not pretend to be that mother. There is no "big happy family." He's divorced.

.
Why can't you chaperone trips or schedule extra-curriculars? DH(her step-dad) chaperoned Sage's Field trip to the bank, her soon to be step-mom went to muffins for moms, I am scheduling Madison for programs through summer rec.

And the back and forth about loving step-kids was not necessarily saying that you HAVE to love them like your own, but rather, it was in response to Maymommy's statement that a step-mother could never love a child like the "real mother."

Yes, my dsd has a mother, no I am not that mother, but I am the mother figure in this family and will treat all 3 of them as my children when they are with us. My dd's have a mother (me), their soon to be step-mom is not their mother, but she is the mother figure in the family unit at their dad's and I hope that she always treats them like they are her own when they are with her. The children deserve nothing less imo.

The attitude of
Quote:
There is no "big happy family." He's divorced.
seems like one that would set the kid and the two different families up for failure. Why shouldn't the child have the right to expect to live in a "big happy family" or a "small happy family"? Just becuase the bio/adoptive parents seperated, doesn't mean the child should not have the right to "happy families"

Madison has two "happy families" the 1st is Madison and her mommy, the 2nd is Madison, her daddy, me (step-mom), and her sisters (step-sisters but we do not use the designation) Maia and Sage.

Maia and Sage have two "happy families" the 1st is Maia, Sage, Me (mommy), Matty (step-dad), and their sister (step) Madison. The 2nd is Maia, Sage, their daddy, Rachel (soon to be step-mommy), and their brother (step) Mason.

I just don't understand why the adult issue of seperation/divorce, should mean that the child doesn't have the right to have "happy families"

Does a child in who enters the fostercare system because the adults in his life have problems not deserve to be part of a "happy family" when they are placed in a foster family or adoptive family?
mommyto3girls is offline  
#44 of 44 Old 05-29-2009, 12:22 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Selesai View Post
No, you will never win. Especially when your husband is not supportive and (my impression) has incredible feelings of guilt and powerlessness that he takes out on you.



Your problem is that your DH wants you to be your SD's mother figure. You're not.

If I were you I would disengage for a while. Make him responsible for the majority of the care and worry regarding your SD. Don't, for example, refuse to make her eggs even though you are making eggs for yourself simply because it isn't your job. But don't go out of your way to pick up your DH's slack. He needs to get his parenting straight before you can get your stepmothering straight. I think you are way too involved and taking on too much responsibility. Your SD has two parents and it isn't your fault if they aren't perfect. You do not have a responsibility to compensate for them. Your primary responsibility is to your baby girl.

.
Now, in the OP's case, I agree with your advice because her dh seems to not want to do any of the parenting 95% of the time and then, without warning, jumps down her throat about the 5% of the time he wants to pretend to be the only one in their family to make a decision.
mommyto3girls is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off