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#1 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 12:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Let me preface this by saying that I have been doing this for some time. I have been very patient, and always tried to do the right thing. I have always kept my mouth shut, no matter what idiotic thing DSD's mom has done. Sometimes, the blended family thing really sucks.

We have week on/week off parenting time with DSD. At the beginning of the summer, we bought DSD a bike with no training wheels in an effort to basically force her to learn to ride a bike. She had one with training wheels at her mom's, and one at our house that broke (hence the new purchase).

DH worked with her for weeks to teach her to ride that bike. it was *not* pleasant - lots of frustration, crying, general pissiness. By the end of this week, she was riding the bike, but only when she didn't know that DH had let go (he would run beside her). He always told her that she had been riding it by herself - she just needed the confidence that she could do it and she would be able to ride alone anytime.

Friday afternoon, DSD's mom sends us a picture of DSD riding her bike. DH called to congratulate her. This evening, on the phone with DSD, she tells DH about how her mom taught her to ride a bike. DSD's mom chimes in with, "Daddy helped." "Helped?" The man taught his daughter to ride a bike. Just because she was physically present when DSD finally realized that she could actually ride not mean that she was the one with the magic touch. So annoying.

I know it isn't a contest, but it still sucks. DSD is going to remember forever that her mom taught her to ride a bike, when, in fact, she had nothing to do with it (no, she has not been working with DSD on it). This is how it always goes - her mom is better, everything at her mom's house is better, everything at our house sucks. Everything important happens at her mom's house. Heck, even things that were cool that happened at our house are remembered by DSD as happening at her mom's house. The kid appreciates nothing that we do, and every teeny gesture her mom makes means the world. The phrase, "Thank you" is conspicuously absent when she is with us, yet eternally grateful to her mother. Heck, she probably didn't even say "thank you" for the new bike.

It doesn't matter that whatever her mom has going on is always temporary - the man providing the money and the fun always leaves eventually. Her life over there is constantly in flux. DSD has been told that they are moving to Colorado, then to Greece when her mom nearly married a bank robber, then her mom was dating the father of one of her classmates at school, then another dude with a child DSD's age, then her mom was going to marry a dude with a couple of kids that she became close to, then she moved in with the current dude and his kids who live forty-five minutes away (the ink on his divorce papers is not even dry). One of her sisters at her mom's is twenty-one and just finally graduated from high school. Her other sister is in the juvenile psych unit right now for slitting her wrists and ODing on pills (at 14). It is alway drama over there, all of the time.

We are always here, always the same, just taking care of business and being a family. But we are the ones who suck as a family, according to DSD.

It is days like this that I really regret marrying a man who already had a kid. I pray that our kids don't realize that our family is allegedly so second rate. It will not be a pretty day around here if that kid ever says something like that to DS1 or DS2. I will feel terrible if they feel as crappy as she tries to make DH and I feel about our family. If I only knew five years ago what I know now, I probably would have taken a different path.

I haven't felt this bad in a long time.

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#2 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 12:10 AM
 
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I'm so sorry

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#3 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 02:46 AM
 
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rough times.

I'm finding out just how it feels to be the rock, the one who is always there to give and be boring, while their mom is like some kind of hero for acting like an immature selfish jerk and hurting them all the time. It truly sucks sometimes.

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#4 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 03:16 AM
 
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It is tough. There are some days I have felt like if I had known how bad my dsds' mom would be I might not have stuck around to make a relationship with my husband. But then there are those wonderful days that make all her crap worth the hair pulling frustration.
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#5 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are having a tough time. I know that feeling and it is hard to deal with. I hope things get better for you soon!

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#6 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 12:46 PM
 
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Wow, you sound really bitter mama. This seems to be more of a tipping point for you, as opposed to a really huge issue?

Not to diminish the hard work your dh put in re: teaching your dsd to ride her bike, it's not as though her mother was crowing in the background that she taught her how. Your dsd associated that first (to her) training wheel ride with her mother - at least her mom was cognizant enough to say 'with daddy's help'.

I experience the same (albeit reversed) issues here - everything my ex does with our two girls on his EOWeekend time is 'more fun' and 'more exciting'. He has better toys, better food, cooler tv, etc. Things that we've long done with the two girls become super cool first time outings when he takes them weeks or months later.

I'm the rule enforcer, homework doer, 'no you can't have candy and not brush your teeth before bed', the 'no MTV' and no Bratz dolls house. Is it tiring and often times thankless? Heck ya. Don't give in to the feeling of being second rate though - there is nothing second rate about your family or your parenting.

I've long read your posts about your family and your dsd - that little girl will remember where her stability and grounding love comes from. My dd (at age 7.5) is already starting to make little in roads of observation. The upheaval at her father's house wears on her, the excitement has a longer payback time (in terms of fatigue, sore tummy, confusion, etc) and she inherently seeks out our stability.

Hang in there. You're an awesome mama! Just keep doing what you're doing, and it will all come together. (Do you scrapbook? I'd make sure to take pictures and document all the 'firsts' that you/your dh do with dsd - they make a beautiful keepsake and a damn good reminder )

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#7 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, you sound really bitter mama. This seems to be more of a tipping point for you, as opposed to a really huge issue?
I was pretty upset last night - I hate how things like this make DH feel.

This little incident isn't a huge deal - things have been building. I hate it when DSD's mom has a new man - the woman is really annoying during the new phase of the relationship. It has been a little difficult around here lately - every time DSD's mom picks her up/drops her off, we get an earful "DSD has been swimming every day - all of our neighbors have pools! We thought about putting one in, but why go through the hassle when you can just use your neighbor's pool? Our neighborhood is just so perfect. Blah, blah, blah." The funny thing is that I *know* that they don't have the money to put in a pool - we are still sitting on a check that she wrote us months ago. It is more that she finds a guy, works his way into his life so she can have a house, and won't shut up about it.

Meanwhile, we live in a two-bedroom apartment in order to put me through pharmacy school (assuming I get in) and get DH his bachelor's. DSD doesn't understand that right now, we have the long-range goals in mind. One I have my degree, I will always have it. Her mom won't always have whatever man is dictating the lifestyle over there (if history is any indicator).

I do need to remember that kids are pretty smart, and eventually they figure things out. DSD's 21 yo sister has had some conversations with DH about her mom recently indicating that the rose-colored glasses are off. She told DH that she is saving money so she can leave town.

Thank you all for the support. I'm in it for the long haul. Sometimes I just really need to vent.

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#8 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 02:21 PM
 
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Thank you all for the support. I'm in it for the long haul. Sometimes I just really need to vent.
I really feel this is a good place for venting, and I've done the same. Being the step parent really is difficult, as is being the "2nd home" for the child. I hear ya loud and clear. We went through the same thing. I can't remember how old your DSD is, but if she's learning to ride a bike I assume pretty young. My DSD is just starting to understand, somewhat, for a few seconds at a time , at 11. Hopefully she'll understand even more when our baby comes and we REALLY have no money. All you can do is keep being the best parent you can be and assume that one day she'll figure it out.

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#9 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 06:37 PM
 
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I was pretty upset last night - I hate how things like this make DH feel.

This little incident isn't a huge deal - things have been building. I hate it when DSD's mom has a new man - the woman is really annoying during the new phase of the relationship. It has been a little difficult around here lately - every time DSD's mom picks her up/drops her off, we get an earful "DSD has been swimming every day - all of our neighbors have pools! We thought about putting one in, but why go through the hassle when you can just use your neighbor's pool? Our neighborhood is just so perfect. Blah, blah, blah." The funny thing is that I *know* that they don't have the money to put in a pool - we are still sitting on a check that she wrote us months ago. It is more that she finds a guy, works his way into his life so she can have a house, and won't shut up about it.

Meanwhile, we live in a two-bedroom apartment in order to put me through pharmacy school (assuming I get in) and get DH his bachelor's. DSD doesn't understand that right now, we have the long-range goals in mind. One I have my degree, I will always have it. Her mom won't always have whatever man is dictating the lifestyle over there (if history is any indicator).

I do need to remember that kids are pretty smart, and eventually they figure things out. DSD's 21 yo sister has had some conversations with DH about her mom recently indicating that the rose-colored glasses are off. She told DH that she is saving money so she can leave town.

Thank you all for the support. I'm in it for the long haul. Sometimes I just really need to vent.
Italics & bolding mine - I can totally see how your dh being hurt would be the ignition to a growing list of things.

That exact scenario would have gotten my blood boiling too... we took the kids camping a few weeks ago, and all my older dd could talk about was how fantastic the cottage my ex brings them to - how it had satellite tv, a regular bathroom, etc. I could see my gf gritting her teeth so that she didn't tell my seven year old exactly how my ex could afford that (his parents paid for it - their cottage) because it just wasn't a) within her scope of understanding or b) it would have been blowing steam at the wrong person.

I remember scrimping and saving to put myself through nursing school. Things were tight at best, usually in the red... not the best of times. Soooo worth it in the end though. The job stability and cash flow I have no is incomparable. I've got my fingers crossed for you for pharmacy school!

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#10 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 08:48 PM
 
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Hm. From your story, it sounds as if your dh didn't teach her to ride the bike so much as force her before she was ready. From your description of her "frustration, crying and general pissiness" it sounds like this was something she didn't want to do at all. Obviously she was physically ready, but perhaps not emotionally. Or perhaps your dh was not best suited to teaching her (I had to learn to drive from someone outside the family).

And then when she got home, away from the pressure her dad was putting on her, maybe she felt more comfortable about giving it a go. Not saying this is what happened, but it's what leaps to mind from reading your story. So of course her mother gets the credit.
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#11 of 22 Old 07-18-2010, 11:01 PM
 
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Hm. From your story, it sounds as if your dh didn't teach her to ride the bike so much as force her before she was ready. From your description of her "frustration, crying and general pissiness" it sounds like this was something she didn't want to do at all. Obviously she was physically ready, but perhaps not emotionally. Or perhaps your dh was not best suited to teaching her (I had to learn to drive from someone outside the family).

And then when she got home, away from the pressure her dad was putting on her, maybe she felt more comfortable about giving it a go. Not saying this is what happened, but it's what leaps to mind from reading your story. So of course her mother gets the credit.
Well, is she the "8", the "3", or the "11/12" that you mention in your signature? If she's not the "3", then it's high time she learned to ride w/o training wheels. Sometimes parents need to push a little, to help kids realize they can do things which will make them feel confident and independent, in the end.

Surely you realize that kids do more testing of/taking out their frustrations and insecurities on the stable parent(s), who can stand up to it; and that it's not quite normal to put one parent on a pedestal, as you say she does with her Mom. That often indicates insecurity. She probably feels she must constantly remind herself - and be ready to reassure her mother - that everything's wonderful over there, or else Mom (and life at her place) may collapse.

Our situation isn't exactly the same, but I know where you're coming from. I hear plenty from my 11-year-old step-son (who lives with us full-time) that things we do aren't as expensive, exclusive or exotic as what he gets to do at his Mom's (where he only gets to spend 9 weeks out of the year, because it's more important to her to live near HER parents and the beach than to live near him!) And - like you - we know she's not filthy rich and isn't the one putting herself out for him the most, like she'd have him believe. She simply spends all her extra money on shopping sprees and expensive vacations when he's with her, instead of paying child support, keeping up his insurance she's under court order to provide, or coming here to visit him more often!

The feelings you must have had, hearing your SD say her Mom taught her to ride were, I'm sure, the same ones I had when I baked DSS a cheesecake for his birthday from scratch (because he said that's what he wanted) and he told me it was "OK... but what I'm used to is the cheesecake at Kona Kai Resort and it's better." Grrr. His Mom may have taken him to bleeping Kona Kai, but she can't possibly afford to take him there on a regular basis - and she doesn't bother coming here for his birthdays. I'm here!

And what kind of 11-year-old boy cares about resorts, spas, "boutique hotels", gourmet food, and whether the places he spends leisure time are "exclusive"?!? But he HAS to convince himself that the things in his mother's life are of supreme importance and value - that they justify the emotional roller-coaster he's been put on, for their sake - that his needs are not really his Mom's last priority. Try to remember that your SD's working out similar issues, as far as the merit of her Mom's choices and priorities. That doesn't mean you don't work on teaching her to say thank-you. But try not to take it so personally. I know it's hard.

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#12 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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Well, is she the "8", the "3", or the "11/12" that you mention in your signature? If she's not the "3", then it's high time she learned to ride w/o training wheels. Sometimes parents need to push a little, to help kids realize they can do things which will make them feel confident and independent, in the end.

Surely you realize that kids do more testing of/taking out their frustrations and insecurities on the stable parent(s), who can stand up to it; and that it's not quite normal to put one parent on a pedestal, as you say she does with her Mom. That often indicates insecurity. She probably feels she must constantly remind herself - and be ready to reassure her mother - that everything's wonderful over there, or else Mom (and life at her place) may collapse.

Our situation isn't exactly the same, but I know where you're coming from. I hear plenty from my 11-year-old step-son (who lives with us full-time) that things we do aren't as expensive, exclusive or exotic as what he gets to do at his Mom's (where he only gets to spend 9 weeks out of the year, because it's more important to her to live near HER parents and the beach than to live near him!) And - like you - we know she's not filthy rich and isn't the one putting herself out for him the most, like she'd have him believe. She simply spends all her extra money on shopping sprees and expensive vacations when he's with her, instead of paying child support, keeping up his insurance she's under court order to provide, or coming here to visit him more often!

The feelings you must have had, hearing your SD say her Mom taught her to ride were, I'm sure, the same ones I had when I baked DSS a cheesecake for his birthday from scratch (because he said that's what he wanted) and he told me it was "OK... but what I'm used to is the cheesecake at Kona Kai Resort and it's better." Grrr. His Mom may have taken him to bleeping Kona Kai, but she can't possibly afford to take him there on a regular basis - and she doesn't bother coming here for his birthdays. I'm here!

And what kind of 11-year-old boy cares about resorts, spas, "boutique hotels", gourmet food, and whether the places he spends leisure time are "exclusive"?!? But he HAS to convince himself that the things in his mother's life are of supreme importance and value - that they justify the emotional roller-coaster he's been put on, for their sake - that his needs are not really his Mom's last priority. Try to remember that your SD's working out similar issues, as far as the merit of her Mom's choices and priorities. That doesn't mean you don't work on teaching her to say thank-you. But try not to take it so personally. I know it's hard.
Not to derail - but per the age and 'high time she learned to ride w/o training wheels' - not necessarily. Not by a long shot. My 7.5 year old dd is struggling to learn to ride a two wheeler, whereas my 2.5 year old has already mastered it. Age is hardly an indication of ability to learn and or ride a bike.

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#13 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 09:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Jeannine - she is the 8.

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Hm. From your story, it sounds as if your dh didn't teach her to ride the bike so much as force her before she was ready. From your description of her "frustration, crying and general pissiness" it sounds like this was something she didn't want to do at all. Obviously she was physically ready, but perhaps not emotionally. Or perhaps your dh was not best suited to teaching her (I had to learn to drive from someone outside the family).

And then when she got home, away from the pressure her dad was putting on her, maybe she felt more comfortable about giving it a go. Not saying this is what happened, but it's what leaps to mind from reading your story. So of course her mother gets the credit.
This post is a little offensive.

Number one - her mom's house is no more home than our house. In fact, she has spent more time here over the years due to her mom's social schedule. I don't understand why "mom's house" always equals "home" on MDC.

Number two - DH just informed me that she didn't want to ride her bike at her mom's house either, and the same general pissiness and frustration was there for a half hour before she actually rode the bike. I didn't know about this until this morning.

As someone who knows my DSD a little better than a random stranger on the internet, I can tell you that she does not ever try something new without crying, frustration, and pissiness. No matter which home she is at. It is just a part of her personality. It happened with swimming, with reading, with subtraction, with tying her shoes. Some kids try things automatically when they are ready. She needs to be pushed a little. If her parents/teachers did not encourage her in this manner, she would not grow.

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#14 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 10:06 AM
 
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(Do you scrapbook? I'd make sure to take pictures and document all the 'firsts' that you/your dh do with dsd -
This.

This is a very positive and creative tool for affirming how much you do with her and how much you love her.

Take the time to heal from your marriage before you move on with someone else. Make a list of all the qualities you would like in a new partner and then work on growing that way yourself. ~mandib50
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#15 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 12:03 PM
 
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ugh, it sucks to be the step mom. One thing I'll tell ya is this. We were really really going through it bad around the age of 12 when we actually had the girls full time and dh's ex only had them every other weekend. We went to a theme park which had a nightly fireworks show. Oh man did I say something I regretted. While our dd is sitting there adoring the fireworks, DSD says "wow, mom was right, this is a crappy version compared to DisneyWorld." And I turn around and pop off "well maybe if your mom paid child support we could afford to take yall to Disney too". Of course it got right back to dh's ex. Well in the midst of that conversation we learned that they were pulling the same "other parent is better" crap there. And lo and behold we had both started doing what we had always sworn we wouldn't do. We had started competing. Perhaps when your dh's ex comes over bragging its because she's heard all week long about what makes yall so great, and she's a little jealous. It certainly sounds like you're a little jealous as well. Don't take offense to that. I've been there too. Children of divorce take some secret class in manipulation and it sounds like you're in Playing Ya 101 right now. Believe me its hard to defend your dh's ex in this situation cause it makes me think of my own dh's ex and then my stomach starts to turn...

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#16 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 01:16 PM
 
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Jeannine - she is the 8.



This post is a little offensive.

Number one - her mom's house is no more home than our house. In fact, she has spent more time here over the years due to her mom's social schedule. I don't understand why "mom's house" always equals "home" on MDC.

Number two - DH just informed me that she didn't want to ride her bike at her mom's house either, and the same general pissiness and frustration was there for a half hour before she actually rode the bike. I didn't know about this until this morning.

As someone who knows my DSD a little better than a random stranger on the internet, I can tell you that she does not ever try something new without crying, frustration, and pissiness. No matter which home she is at. It is just a part of her personality. It happened with swimming, with reading, with subtraction, with tying her shoes. Some kids try things automatically when they are ready. She needs to be pushed a little. If her parents/teachers did not encourage her in this manner, she would not grow.
Of course you know more about your situation than I do! I know nothing about the background here. That's why I was careful to say, Not saying this is what happened, but it's what leaps to mind from reading your story. I certainly didn't mean to cause offense; I was just going on information presented in your OP. And by "home" I didn't mean her "real" or only home, just home in the sense of back to her other house.
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#17 of 22 Old 07-19-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Not to derail - but per the age and 'high time she learned to ride w/o training wheels' - not necessarily. Not by a long shot. My 7.5 year old dd is struggling to learn to ride a two wheeler, whereas my 2.5 year old has already mastered it. Age is hardly an indication of ability to learn and or ride a bike.
Oh, sure! I'm the oldest of my siblings and I think I was 7 before I learned to ride a 2-wheeler, whereas my brother (almost 4 years younger) learned at the same time I did, embarassingly enough! But, at 8, when the OP's SD's bike broke, it was reasonable IMO for them to replace it with one that didn't have training wheels and encourage her to keep trying until she mastered it. It don't think that was mean or excessively pushy, as a PP seemed to imply. I'd look at it differently, if she were only 3.

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#18 of 22 Old 07-20-2010, 11:55 AM
 
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I didn't read all the replies closely because I don't want to get into the bike situation specifically but do want to comment on a potential reason why your DSD is showing unbalanced appreciation/credit towards her mother relative to your home. I went through exactly this when I was growing up, and still fight the temptation to this day - I can totally relate to her behaviour.

It's possible that your DSD feels that her mom needs more visible/verbal appreciation and that your DSD feels compelled to over-compensate for her mother precisely because her mother is less stable. In my case, my mom is extremely emotionally fragile compared to my dad. Ever since their divorce, when my parents became two separate entities rather than one unit and we could recognize the differences between them, my brothers and I have felt compelled to be excessively appreciative and give more credit than due to my mom. My dad, on the other hand, just doesn't seem to need this kind of reassurance so it doesn't cross our minds. With him, we're just regular kids who forget to say thank you and don't realize how significant an event may be in his eyes. Around my mom, we walk on eggshells and go out of our way to make sure she feels good about her parenting even if it isn't always deserved. I very much relate to the compulsion to attribute credit and even entire memories to one parent when really it is the other who deserves it.

Now as adults, the pattern of behaviour is hard to break and we still do it just to protect my mom's very sensitive feelings and avoid hurting her. Without constant credit and appreciation, she assumes we are upset with her. Similarly, it's possible that your DSD believes, however subconsciously, that her mother will settle down and put more effort into parenting if she gets praise in return. You and your DH already offer a wonderful home life to her so she's not driven to demonstrate appreciation in the same way with you. Life is so much easier at your house that she probably doesn't give it much thought. Just an idea...maybe something like this is behind your DSD's behaviour. Apologies if a pp has raised this perspective.

I'll just add that now as grown ups, my brothers and I fully recognize what we are doing and can do so in a way that is honest and makes sense instead of the random, sub-conscious way of children. We also now very much recognize all that my dad did for us through a very difficult time and I think our more mature relationships reflect that.

Happy mumma to my boys Henny Tom (Nov 30, 2008), Arlo Odie (Oct 5, 2010), and baby SISTER! due mid-Dec 2014.
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#19 of 22 Old 07-20-2010, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This.

This is a very positive and creative tool for affirming how much you do with her and how much you love her.
I don't really scrapbook (not that I wouldn't want to, but at the moment it is a little bit expensive/time-consuming/difficult to do with littles underfoot). We do have a nice family blog where we post pictures and goings-on, mostly for other family members. It does make a nice record of things, though.

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While our dd is sitting there adoring the fireworks, DSD says "wow, mom was right, this is a crappy version compared to DisneyWorld." And I turn around and pop off "well maybe if your mom paid child support we could afford to take yall to Disney too". Of course it got right back to dh's ex. Well in the midst of that conversation we learned that they were pulling the same "other parent is better" crap there. And lo and behold we had both started doing what we had always sworn we wouldn't do. We had started competing. Perhaps when your dh's ex comes over bragging its because she's heard all week long about what makes yall so great, and she's a little jealous. It certainly sounds like you're a little jealous as well.
The Disney comment is something that I could see coming out of DSD's mouth in that situation (or something similar - I don't think her mom ever actually talks down to her about things we plan). It is really hard to bite your tongue when kids say things like that! Because both houses try to schedule the "fun" things when DSD is present, she probably has more exciting experiences than the average child. Unfortunately, this does lead to her being unimpressed and unappreciative of things sometimes.

I think that DSD's mom has competed with us a bit over the years. She announced her engagement to the bank robber right after we announced ours, and the wedding plans for that seemed as if they were designed specifically to make our wedding an afterthought. Obviously, that relationship did not work out (it still is my favorite story to tell at parties ).

I know that sometimes she felt like we were the little perfect family and that made her uncomfortable. OTOH, as soon as she snags a man, they are instantly the perfect family. This is annoying, given the amount of work that went into establishing our family.

But it is all about the house for DSD's mom. When we were over there last weekend for DSD's sister's grad party (read: DSD's sister is present, but all of the attendees are DSD's mom's new neighbors), she gave me a tour of the property, pointing out where the property lines were, and had lots of stories about the history of the property. It was a little weird, considering the house had been the marital home of her BF and his ex-wife for ~15 years until recently. DSD's mom acts like she was there for the construction of the joint. It was the same way with the bank robber - it was all about the three houses in Greece. The woman had a scrapbook of the pictures of the property. She is not a scrapbooker.

So compared to our 2 BR-let's-just-get-pinksparklybarefoot-her-pharm D.-and-then-we'll-talk-houses apartment, life is so much better at DSD's mom's. It feels like we do a lot of work while her mom finds men to support her and lives off of the social security from her ex-husband that is meant for DSD's older sister. Jealous a little? Sometimes, now. In ten years, no way.

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Of course you know more about your situation than I do! I know nothing about the background here. That's why I was careful to say, Not saying this is what happened, but it's what leaps to mind from reading your story. I certainly didn't mean to cause offense; I was just going on information presented in your OP. And by "home" I didn't mean her "real" or only home, just home in the sense of back to her other house.
Gotcha. The "home" thing is something that we are a little sensitive to - even DH's mom will sometimes refer to DSD's mom's house as home. It drives him crazy. When DSD was really small, we worked SO hard to establish our family/home as a legitimate home. So anyone who calls that into question (even if unintentionally) tends to get an earful. DH worked 2-3 jobs for some time just to afford the retainer to get the parenting agreement done.

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Originally Posted by JessieBird View Post
It's possible that your DSD feels that her mom needs more visible/verbal appreciation and that your DSD feels compelled to over-compensate for her mother precisely because her mother is less stable. In my case, my mom is extremely emotionally fragile compared to my dad. .
This is an interesting theory. I am not sure if this is what it is or not.

DH and I have sometimes attributed DSD's behavior towards her mom to her mom's constant absence. She has always been a very social person, and a lot of her attention is devoted to her dating life. Between crises in her dating life and vacations taken with men, we have had DSD a fair amount more than she has. We tend to pick up the slack after a broken engagement or other drama. DSD is usually the loser in these situations. I think that she is constantly fighting for her mom's attention. That coupled with the fact that her mom has the ability to be more impulsive and fun (Hey! Let's go ice-skating at 7 PM on a school night!) than we can with little kids/work/school, and that she is the baby at her mom's house (so when her mom is paying attention to her, it is definitely different than the attention she receives from DH) = mom's house is better.

Man, if you are still following this at this point, I commend you.

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#20 of 22 Old 07-23-2010, 04:06 PM
 
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She's 8. She loves her mom. Kids love their parents, even when their parents suck. Even when their parents are abusive.

My ex is a shitty father. He always put work, his friends, and his beer before his family. He is an alcoholic and because of his drinking he can't even visit the kids unsupervised anymore. He has forgotten birthdays & graduations, broken countless promises and made them cry more times than I can count.

They still adore him. I have to bite my tongue because it hurts that I do everything for them and have to listen to them moon over their dad and how much they miss him.

My advice would be to just cut the girl some slack. She's only 8. On some level, she probably knows what her mom is, but that's such a huge thing for a child to admit - that their parent is sorely lacking. So she says things to make her mom look better, to make herself feel better...I just have a lot of sympathy for this kid.
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#21 of 22 Old 07-24-2010, 09:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My advice would be to just cut the girl some slack. She's only 8. On some level, she probably knows what her mom is, but that's such a huge thing for a child to admit - that their parent is sorely lacking. So she says things to make her mom look better, to make herself feel better...I just have a lot of sympathy for this kid.
I do try to cut her some slack - because this is the place that I vent, I probably sound more harsh than I am in person.

I also don't think that she has much of an idea of how her mom is at this point. It has only been in recent months that she has really been cognizant of things going on (asking questions about "adult" matters). Every previous break-up has been handled in the same way: DSD's mom starts dating a new guy. No explanation. It took DSD six months to figure out that they weren't moving to Greece because her mom refused to tell her. If/when this one ends, she'll know because they will have to find a new place to live and she will lose all of her friends. I really hope that her mom finds the man/house of her dreams soon, because now things are starting to count - DSD is more emotionally invested.

They still haven't explained why DSD's sister (who lives with her at her mom's house) has been in and out of the hospital for the past few months and will not be returning to school. I realize that she doesn't need a lot of details, but she needs to be told something. Especially since she is starting to pick up on things/adult conversations.


One mistake that I realized that I made is that DSD is 7 (going into 3rd grade), not 8! We've been talking about planning her 8th birthday party (early fall) and DH is always referring to her as "nearly 8," so the "8" got stuck in my head. I better go modify my signature.

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#22 of 22 Old 07-24-2010, 09:41 PM
 
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She's 8. She loves her mom. Kids love their parents, even when their parents suck. Even when their parents are abusive.

My ex is a shitty father. He always put work, his friends, and his beer before his family. He is an alcoholic and because of his drinking he can't even visit the kids unsupervised anymore. He has forgotten birthdays & graduations, broken countless promises and made them cry more times than I can count.

They still adore him. I have to bite my tongue because it hurts that I do everything for them and have to listen to them moon over their dad and how much they miss him.

My advice would be to just cut the girl some slack. She's only 8. On some level, she probably knows what her mom is, but that's such a huge thing for a child to admit - that their parent is sorely lacking. So she says things to make her mom look better, to make herself feel better...I just have a lot of sympathy for this kid.


Forum-crashing single parent here. My DS does much the same thing when it comes to his father. I understand that he is trying to deal with emotions and feelings that he can't quite process; of course, he wants his dad to live with us but...not going to happen, ya know?

The way I deal with it is to bite my tongue and agree that his dad is awesome, or has done something wonderful, or brings him super presents. I don't need the credit 'cause I am raising him; I'm his rock. His dad's fun but he isn't there in the middle of the night.
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