@ DH's ex (DSS's Mom):
The birthday message you posted for DSS and all his FB friends to read - with your gratitude for each and every day you've been blessed with being his mother; and reminding him that none of the other people who expressed love for him on this special day love him as well as you do; you love him most - was ever so prettily worded, like so many things you write.
This is the fourth consecutive year you haven't visited him on his birthday, although we always invite you - and even your parents - to come. (And, believe me, the thought of you showing up is no less gut-wrenching, for me, than it is for you! But I would welcome you and be nice - for him - if you made the effort to be here.)
You dangled the promise of a visit last month, but evidently changed your mind, without the slightest snippet of an explanation or expression of regret.
Today - and every day leading up to it - the mailman came and went without any package or even a card from you.
I put more effort into making sure you were honored on Mother's Day, than you have put into celebrating the day you gave birth to your blessed, precious, beloved, "beautiful boy".
The kid we both love has no idea that the child support you don't provide...specifically so you can spend it visiting him...would pay for at least twice the number of trips here that you bother to make. He doesn't know you long ago dumped the expense of his health insurance, or that you refuse to pay your court-ordered share of his out-of-pocket bills. He doesn't know that, after you made the magnanimous gesture of saying you'd pay for half his tuition - and his music lessons - you never actually did it.
But - as you so love to remind him - he's a genius. Right? So, we can't shield him from noticing on his own that you have the funds for cruises, spas, resorts, speedboats, amusement parks, flying his friends across the country for spring break and luxuriating with him for a week in "the biggest suite in Vegas"(?), while you spend less and less (money and time) visiting him here during the school years.
When I started this intimidating adventure of helping to raise your child, I was so conscious of being second to you. I had some pretty intense pangs of sympathy and compassion for you. I felt guilty about enjoying and celebrating our life with DSS because you are so isolated from it. I struggled to see things from your perspective (though admittedly that can be pretty hard!!!). I would never have dreamed of competing with you, over which one of us loves DSS the most! Of course it would be you!
But today, when I posted a simple, non-confrontational "Happy birthday! I love you!" on his FB page...and you felt compelled to follow it up by broadcasting that you love him most...I realized I've gotten jaded.
Come on! What's love, the pretty things you say, or what you do? While it obviously suits you to convince him of the former, do you really want him to grow up believing that? You'd be OK with him marrying some girl who cheats on him and manipulates him, but says wonderful things to him? You'd be OK with him walking out on his kids to chase his own dreams, all the while telling himself he's a fine father because he says sweet things to the kids in text messages and takes them on fabulous vacations?
I suspect you wouldn't need to assert that you love DSS most, if you felt certain that was true; if you were here doing the work of loving him...the difficult work (like sharing him with your ex), not JUST the pretty, fluffy parts.
The Evil Stepmother
I could not agree more!!!! Your DSS is blessed to have you in his life.
Wife of 20 years to my superhero firefighting DH. SAHM to 2 boys and 2 girls (3 babies in Heaven- Baby # 5 5/2010 & Baby #6 8/2011 & Baby # 7 2/1013). Cancer Survivor 2011 ( Persistent Malignant Gestational Trophoblastic Disease)
I'm not sure what ToS means, but I assume you're talking about the age restriction? I do think it was higher than 11, but has been changed/is about to be changed, coupled with enhanced privacy settings parents can control. Nearly every kid I know from about 4th grade up has a FB account. We broke down and let our oldest 3 get accounts this year. They use DH's or my email to set up the account, so all their updates come into our email accounts. We chose all their privacy settings and they're very restrictive. Also, we have to know their passwords; approve anyone they "friend"; and we log in and check what's going on with their pages, periodically. For example, if a friend is posting a lot of inappropriate stuff, they have to "unfriend" them; or if THEY post inappropriate things, we delete those posts and they get grounded from FB.
Overall, FB has been a pretty positive thing. Although the kids have phones, none of them actually seems to spend much time talking to their friends on them. The phones mostly get used to communicate with NCPs. FB is a nice way for them to keep up with friends and family. DSS has friends and family across the country; and my older sons have relatives scattered through many states who probably would only hear from them once a year or so, but thanks to FB they get to read snippets about what's going on in their lives, day-to-day. I really think it's fine for kids, as long as adults put in the effort to monitor it.
We haven't had any serious problems. The main two are:
* One of my sons kept letting his friend get on FB, without my son logging out and making his friend log into his own account. Then the friend would post nasty stuff about other kids at school - things he would never post on his own account - and it would look like my son said those things. But whenever I knew my son had been around this kid, I made sure to check his FB account that day. I deleted the posts, made my son post a retraction explaining that his account had been hacked and he did not think the things that had been posted. Then, each time it happened I grounded him from FB for a longer period, until he finally quit letting his friend do this.
* I've had to talk to all the kids about considering the audience on FB:
>> If great-aunt Ginny, who has a FB account, shouldn't read it, don't post it.
>> FB is the wrong place to criticize, whine, be mean or vent your anger. Deal with those things IRL, don't broadcast them to everyone you know on FB, with written comments that get saved forever. Actually, those discussions are good forums for discussing manners, consideration for others, and getting along with people across the board, not just on FB.
>> Post about cool places you've been, after you're done. Don't broadcast on the internet where you are, right now.
That sort of thing.
Does anyone else here let their kids have FB accounts? I think I'll cross-post that.
He knows who loves him, who's there for him, and he always will. I'm just a stranger and I know it. I hope someday she will thank you for taking care of her beautiful boy all these years, but, for now, I'll thank you for her =)
Happy birthday to your newly 11 yr old from mine (well, he'll be 11 on Sunday)! These June 2000 boys are something spectacular =)
Robin~ single, work-at-home momma to my WonderBoys
YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
I can't imagine how confused he must be, with the mixed messages that she sends. My kids get Christmas and birthday presents from their birth dad and ignored the rest of the year, and they don't know how to feel about him just from that. The last email DD (7) sent, I was typing for her as she spoke, and she said "okay, now 'I love you Daddy'... no wait! Just say 'Bye-bye Daddy'" and she started it with 'To Birthdad'... the purpose of her email was to tell him they'd tried to call (he won't answer if my number shows up... I have ZERO interest in talking to him and the only time I've called in 4 years was when he moved out of the province and I wanted to see if the phone still worked) and to remind him her birthday is in a few weeks. He's sent presents late quite a few times now, I think his parents pester him to do it.
~Teresa, raising DS (Jan. 02) and DD1 (Jun. 04) and DD2 (Dec. 11) with DH.
You remind me of my step-mother, who shielded from us how she really felt about our fair-weather mother for years, which I totally respect her for looking back on it now. It's so frustrating to do and do and do for a child, only to have the "real" parent swoop in and instantly achieve hero status for one measly little gesture.
The kid is a genius, you don't need to worry. He'll figure it all out if he hasn't already. I know I did.
Kids are smarter then we give them credit for. He knows that w/o actions words mean little.
Being the grown up SM to a childish BM is no picnic. You have done everything you could to ensure her toes didnt get stamped on.
Words are just words when thrown up on a wall on FB. There is no action behind them. Kids see that.