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#1 of 19 Old 02-27-2012, 04:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#2 of 19 Old 02-27-2012, 05:22 PM
 
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I think you need to step back and realize that the way you parent is different than the way the bio mother parents.  I also think you need to realize that while your intentions for weighing the kid probably was not because you were honestly worried about her, but because you wanted to prove something.  And 5 is not stupid, they understand what is going on.  She probably understood you were checking her weight and she most definitely understood you disapproved of it.  You have different views on how the child should eat and so does her MOTHER.  Long nails and messy hair does not mean the mother is a bad.  What's your angle though?  Why do you think it's okay to tell the mother how to parent?  Is the kid being abused?  Kids in the best homes have these issues. 

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#3 of 19 Old 02-27-2012, 05:52 PM
 
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I think you need to avoid talking to your SD's mother, aside from superficial pleasantries.  

 

It is possible for a mom and stepmom to be feel comfortable and unthreatened by each other and to collaborate on what's best for the child, in a supportive and constructive way - even if they don't agree on everything (my kids' stepmom and I are like this).  But obviously, that is not the natural way of things.  It requires both women to feel equally comfortable with themselves, as parents, and equally comfortable with the fact that the man had a relationship with the mom, but now wants a relationship with the stepmom.  This cannot be forced.  You cannot talk someone into it.  There are a thousand perfectly logical, valid reasons why one (or both) women would not have this comfort level, and far fewer reasons why they would.

 

None but your closest friends would tolerate you offering unsolicited advice on how they feed or groom their children, or you suggesting their child is at risk of obesity.  It might stress even your closest friendships.  And this woman clearly does not consider you a friend.

 

Believe me, I understand how frustrating it is, to be in a motherly position to a child part of the time - to get attached and genuinely care - and to believe that the person parenting that child, when they're away from you, is dropping the ball.  But just as Mom must accept that her daughter will be cared for as you and your fiance see fit, when the child is with you, you must accept that Mom is going to do things her way, in her home.  She has made it clear she does not value your opinion.  Therefore, it's not only useless to give it, but Mom might resist making healthy changes, because she doesn't want you to think she's following your advice and admitting that you knew better.

 

Your SD should feel free to love all her parents.  It's hard on her, hearing her mom say negative things about you.  So make sure you don't do the same thing, to her.  But you can explain to her why you do things the way you do, without overtly criticizing her mom.  

 

If she calls you "evil stepmother", ask her how she thinks that makes you feel?  You could even point out that it would not make you happy, to hear her call her mommy "evil mother".  You hope she loves everyone in her family.  Just don't say, "Your Mom needs to stop telling you to call me that!"

 

If she asks for TV dinners in the grocery, you can say, "Your dad and I like to cook our own food, because the ingredients in pre-prepared things like this usually aren't as healthy.  We think it's very important to put healthy food in our bodies - especially yours, since you're growing!"  If she says, "Mommy buys TV dinners!" you can say, "It's OK for your mom to do things the way she likes, at her house.  This is the way your dad and I like to do things, at our house."  And accept she may be overweight and unhealthy, while growing up, because yours is not her only influence.  Love her anyway.  And hope that, by the time she's cooking for herself as an adult, some of your wisdom will have rubbed off.  (It will.)

 

I think one of the most common reasons the poop issue happens is because some kids feel self-conscious pooping outside their usual routine.  Some kids won't poop in public toilets, no matter how badly they need to go.  Or they won't poop at the strange, new place they're staying, on vacation.  Or in Grandma's "weird" bathroom.  Quite frankly, adults do these things, too.  We're just sensible enough to realize what will happen if we don't go regularly, and experienced enough to know what we can do, to make ourselves go.  Instead, kids let themselves get constipated.  Then they avoid going even more, because they anticipate it will hurt.  Then their parents get stressed out about it and they avoid going even more because something so embarrassing is getting so much attention...

 

It may not necessarily be that your SD doesn't feel comfortable pooping at your house - or at her mom's.  It may just be that the back-and-forth (and the stress of conflict between her parents) has interfered with her developing a daily poop routine, where certain predictable things happen and a Pavlovian urge to go kicks in.  I'm not saying change the visitation routine over it.  But she may have to get older, to grow out of it.  There may be no quick fix.

 

At the risk of giving you more fodder against Mom, I have read that sometimes the poop issue crops up when kids have overbearing mothers - mothers who blur the line between the kid's identity and theirs and have trouble backing off and giving the kid space and independence as they grow up.  A kid might avoid pooping because Mom is so aware of when/whether they go, or stays in the bathroom with them, or tells them when to go, after they're ready to handle that on their own.  Refusing to go can be a passive-aggressive rebellion.  This may or may not be an issue for your SD.  If it is, there is nothing you can do about it, except try to be as low-key about pooping as possible, at your house.  Eventually, if she takes care of things on her own, things will ease up at her Mom's, too.

 

 


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#4 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 Thank you for the helpful advice Jeannine.   

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#5 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 05:01 AM - Thread Starter
 
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 Thank you for the helpful advice Jeannine.   

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#6 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 07:05 AM
 
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Jeannine gives some very good advice.

 

From the other side of the fence, I can tell you that I had a very visceral reaction to my kids' stepmom telling me about my son's deficits - the first time I met her. "Your son is a very disturbed young man" just didn't sit well (he was 8, and had a "tic" where he would blink when stressed - that was the extent of his "disturbance"). I'd like to say that things improved, but they didn't. Mostly because she continued to tell me how poor my parenting was. And insinuated it to the kids.

 

I dunno... I think I did pretty well, overall. Hardly perfect. But pretty well. My oldest is finishing his 2nd year at a good university (on an almost free ride), has had several of his pieces performed professionally (yes, he's a musician, classical), and is likely going to spend one semester next year studying privately with a well known composer, and the second abroad studying privately with another - on the U's dime. My youngest is about to graduate HS, has numerous schools wooing her to play for them (spanning DIII - DI) - she pretty well has her choice of where to go. I'm still a bad Mom. According to their stepmom (and Dad, sad to say).

 

I second Jeannine's advice to back off. Do your thing when the child is in your home, and let Mom do hers when in her home. Kiddo will be fine. And if there is something REALLY troubling? Have Dad discuss it with Mom.

 

Good luck.

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#7 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 07:43 AM
 
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Why are you talking to the kids mom as much as you are? Let DAD talk to the kids mom - thats his JOB! He can say, "Well Susy went poop this weekend x times, (and for the love of mother earth PLEASE stop taking pictures of her poop!!), slept great, really liked making home made pizza for dinner, and had a great time at the pool. Love you Susy, see you soon!"

 

You should not be engaged in this conversations. At all. It's great that you love this little girl, and you can enjoy teaching her how to cook when she's with you, taking her out for active fun stuff when she's with you, but you do not get to tell her mother what to do. It's really easy to think that you would do it better, and maybe in some ways you would, but being a single mom is anything but easy. I try to cook every night, but you know what? Sometimes my kid eats Kraft Mac n Cheese. Sometimes its the best I can do - and I would be LIVID if someone came in telling me how horrible I was, and actually weighed my child and measured his height, just to prove to me that I'm a shitty mom (I truly cannot believe you actually did this!!!!). When the mom feels less threatened by you (after all you're better than she is, and you arguing with her about it doesn't help her feel less threatened), she will stop calling you evil step-mother, and might start using your name instead of a cuss word.

 

Relax. "grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."

 

 

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#8 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

Sometimes my kid eats Kraft Mac n It's what's for dinner toCheese.

 

It's what's for dinner tonight. I work 'til 9:30, will take me 15 to get home. Kiddo has practice until 9:30, will take her 25 to get home. I usually throw something in the crock pot if I'm working late, but Tuesday is our "junk food" night. Fast, easy, and little fuss. One week it will be Kraft, another it might be delivery pizza, a third it might be her stopping for BK or McD's on the way home to grab something for each of us. If I'm lucky, she'll stop for friend chicken! Whoop Dee. I cook every other night of the week. Or she does. :D

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#9 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 09:00 AM
 
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It's what's for dinner tonight. I work 'til 9:30, will take me 15 to get home. Kiddo has practice until 9:30, will take her 25 to get home. I usually throw something in the crock pot if I'm working late, but Tuesday is our "junk food" night. Fast, easy, and little fuss. One week it will be Kraft, another it might be delivery pizza, a third it might be her stopping for BK or McD's on the way home to grab something for each of us. If I'm lucky, she'll stop for friend chicken! Whoop Dee. I cook every other night of the week. Or she does. :D


LOL - us too!! Ha. I'm not even working late! bag.gif  Us bad moms must join together!

 

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#10 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 09:23 AM
 
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Well it's not ideal, especially if it's a every day of the week thing. But again - it is up to the parent. And I am certainly not bashing OP for wanting more for her stepdaughter. But each parent gets to parent the way they see best. This is not neglect or abuse. It's parenting style.

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#11 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 09:40 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mtiger View Post

Well it's not ideal, especially if it's a every day of the week thing. But again - it is up to the parent. And I am certainly not bashing OP for wanting more for her stepdaughter. But each parent gets to parent the way they see best. This is not neglect or abuse. It's parenting style.



Nope. It's not ideal. I try to cook most nights, and usually succeed. Especially if I menu plan. Last night we did do homemade pizza with our favorite veggies - it was really good! Friday I'm making swedish meatballs. I don't know about between now and then, this week is a little crazy (code for: Check the pantry and fridge and freezer and come up with some ideas, no time to do so before tonight).

 

I don't know about the OP's stepdaughter. It's hard to imagine subsisting off of freezer meals all the time - those are expensive - and my mom who doesn't cook didn't feed us that many freezer meals. I certainly hope that if my ds ever gets a step-mom its one who understands that she's the step mom, and not the mom, and doesn't try to interfere with my parenting. Mostly though, I hope all the women in the world are spared my Ex's abuse, and that my ds never gets a step-mom, because ex doesn't abuse DS, but he would likely abuse a wife, and I do not want my ds to witness that.

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#12 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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#13 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by CLC1247 View Post

 

   I have bent over backwards trying to get mother and dad to communicate better with each other.  I have bent over backwards doing everything that mother wants me to do when DD is in our care.  She isn't a single mom.  Single paper wise but then again so am I.  I have been a single mom before I know its hard and I applaud all of those who do it.   

 

 

 



I get why you are concerned. (but really, can't you just keep a LOG of dsd's poop? does it have to photographic?? maybe it does, but seriously thats gross). The quoted portion is not.your.problem. It's your DH's problem. He needs to learn how to diffuse an argument, or walk away from it. He needs to learn how to communicate with your dsd's mom - she's not your ex, she's not your problem. I know you love your DH and want to help him out, but he needs to figure the communication with his ex on his own. It's hard, I know, but she will never take kindly to you butting in when its not your kid (even though you love her, she's not yours and you legally don't have a leg to stand on - its better to stay out of it).

 

 

Quote:
I wanted to make sure she was the proper weight and not underweight.  Then the numbers read that she is at risk for becoming overweight.

 

Really? I find this very hard to believe. It's pretty easy to see (visually, without a scale) when a child is at risk for being underweight (ie, they are super skinny, although not all skinny kids are underweight). You thought it was surprising that she was at risk of being overweight? I think you're lying to yourself here.

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#14 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 01:55 PM
 
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editing to remove what I shared since it was very personal to me and apparently caused the OP to delete everything she'd previously written. I don't want it written publicly if the OP is just going to delete the thread. I'm sorry if my personal story made her feel worse, it wasn't my intention to cause her pain, merely to get her to understand things from the other side

 

 


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YoungMan (6/00) & LittleBoy (6/04)
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#15 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 03:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Super~Single~Mama View Post

being a single mom is anything but easy. I try to cook every night, but you know what? Sometimes my kid eats Kraft Mac n Cheese. Sometimes its the best I can do

 

 

So sorry that I sounded judgmental about this!  

 

My kids had take-out food more often than homemade food (even mac-&-cheese) almost the entire month of December, because I was so busy with holiday stuff, volunteering at their schools, etc.  And I get to stay home with my kids and have a husband - who can cook! - to help.  Sometimes life is just like that and of course it's like that more often if you're doing it all on your own!

 

My favorite aunt serves TV dinners and McDonald's as regular family meals - 3 meals/day - year-round and doesn't really understand the problem with it, nutritionally.  She doesn't seem to aspire to eat differently, nor recognize how this impacts her kids' (very problematic) health.  Based on what the OP described, I was envisioning something similar, with the SD's mom - i.e., that she and Mom have fundamentally different ideas of what's healthy and how people should eat, not just that Mom sometimes has a busy day and does what's quick, because the alternative is no meal!  Everyone does that sometimes and it certainly doesn't make you a bad mother!
 

 


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#16 of 19 Old 02-28-2012, 06:15 PM
 
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Ladies, you should have just agreed with her!

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#17 of 19 Old 02-29-2012, 12:35 AM
 
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Ladies, you should have just agreed with her!



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#18 of 19 Old 02-29-2012, 02:47 AM
 
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Jeannine - your post didn't offend!! It was more the OP, who apparently is never coming back.
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#19 of 19 Old 02-29-2012, 05:37 AM
 
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Hey, Jeannine... I also did not find your post offensive or judgmental. I just wanted to point out that it's not always an all or nothing. As well as how things sometimes come across to the other party. Fundamentally, my kids' step mom and I are worlds apart. She/Dad are very regimented, all or nothing, sorts of people, where I am much more fly by the seat of my pants, everything in moderation kind of person. Neither is right or wrong, although something in between is likely "better". But it is what it is. Sre, there have been times I've mentally rolled my eyes (like, when my little one came home to tell me that they were told that Annie's boxed m&c is SO much healthier than Kraft, and if I were a better Mommy, that's what I'd make for them. Uuuuh - don't tell my kids that. In any event, my response - to the kids - was that I was more than happy to get that if they'd prefer, since it didn't really matter to me. (I personally prefer Velveeta. LOL)

 

The point being, even the best and most thoughtful of suggestion/input can be taken very badly if presented in a way the receiver perceives as offensive. "Hey, Amy really enjoyed the grilled salmon/roast chicken/whatever we made over the weekend. I'd be happy to send you the recipe if you're interested. She also seemed to really enjoy learning how to cook." is a heck of a lot more palatable than "I can't believe you feed Amy all this disgusting freezer food that's so incredibly unhealthy! No wonder she's getting fat! If you were as good a Mom as *I* am, you wouldn't do that!" are two very different approaches.

 

BTW - we did NOT have Blue Box mac & cheese. My parents are smack between work, FH and home, so I asked my Mom to pull a few chicken breasts out, and I cooked them up for kiddo between my getting there and her getting there. Blue Box is still in reserve. ;)

 

I AM sorry that OP took offense at the posts - they were all meant to help her deal with a difficult situation.

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