How to encourage husband to be more involved with his daughter? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 09:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My husband had a daughter back when he was a teen while we were in an on/off relationship.  So I have been involved with his daughter since she was born.  Her mother and I can act nearly like best friends, and then times she has nothing to do with me.  A lot of it, I think, has to do with her husband thinking that it is weird.  Anyways...  I have always took care of care packages, gifts, child support, letters, you just name it.  Well, I am so wrapped up in what is going on in her life with little to no response from them.  I still feel like she is my child, so I do want to know how school is going, and what she did that day, or what her plans are for the weekend.  Well, she is now 11, and just doesn't care what I think.  I got her a phone so she could atleast text me or send us pictures.  She won't even turn it on 1/2 the time and it's a smart phone.  My fault on that as well.  My husband cares, but doesn't act like me.  I know it can be annoying, but I just don't knwo what to do.  I feel like I am being taken more advantage of mainly from her mother than her, but I told my husband I was pulling back, and he had to take care of everything now.  Well, that didn't turn out as planned.  He got so mad at me, b/c he said I'm just pulling back and making him to it, b/c I'm frustrated with her mom.  She will wind up resenting him, and that is not fair, so I can't just leave him hanging.  How do I get him more involved?  He is wonderful with our children.  He is a great father.  He says I worry too much.

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#2 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 02:25 PM
 
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You sound sort of like my kids step mom except that she doesn't put in the work. I have asked her to stop trying to instigate a relationship because my kids just get but all over again when their dad isn't being actively pushed. As far as her behavior to you...what would you do if she was your kid or a niece?
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#3 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the response. It may be similar in your case. My husband has a great relationship with his daughter. He always has. He always does what is best for her. He left me in labor 11 hrs from her mom and took her home and drove back to me. He does right by her. See my SD text me when she wand anything. Her mother text me to asking for my help or if my mom can do something. She has wronged me but I won't go into that but I've never put her in jail. But I do what's right in my mind. All I am saying is that I already put too much effort into making sure they are good to go. And I need time for me and my life. I just told my husband I needed him to step up bc I first and burnt out on them only calling when they want something but if I send a text they ignore me. Now once I told him he needed to step up he got mad. Like her birthday is in a week and a half. He hasn't gotten her anything. I have to do it. All I'm saying is I need help bc I need help.
As far as your question , I Would be grateful that someone loved my child like their own. I would appreciate having that avenue to go to and know that my child will never be without. I actually have a friend who is like that with my oldest daughter. When I deploy I know my husband has help. My daughter gets to travel every single year wherever my friend is staationed at the time. I am so grateful when times are tough my friend is there to help me with my kids and we go hand in hand with Santa and birthdays. So yes. I am grateful. If I was her mother I would be grateful vs having to worry about my child feeling left out when she visits her dad.
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#4 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 06:50 PM
 
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I meant if it was your daughter behaving ungratefully how would you respond. She is at a self centered age but she can still be told that if she can't show good manners you won't be sending gifts.
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#5 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My apologies. Yes she is at a self centered age, but I am afraid that will always be bc her mom is the same way. Her mothered calls ne and says her baby has outgrown all her clothes can I send her my youngest daughters clothes. So as usual I pack them up and send them down every threw months. I never get a thank you or an offering to pay shipping. Bit that is not here nit there. But I ha e tried not sending anything and then I get the guilt trip of you buy for the girls. So its a loose loose situation. Now she will not get anything if I left it up to her father. But for myvown sanity I have to.

As for my children they would not grounded. They are lucky to receive anything. We go through many times where the air force decides we have to move so we sleep in sleeping bags and eat raven cause we have zero dishes. So they have learned that evryrhing is extra nc all we need is each other and heat and air conditioning. They say thank you to whomever makes dinner ir breakfast. But I do understand that each household had a totally different set of rules. But I know they don't like how she is when she goes home just like we have alot of work when she gets here.
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#6 of 26 Old 03-08-2012, 07:38 PM
 
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Youre in a tough position but I think you can set boundaries about how you are treated and model appropriate behavior for your dsd and your dh. You don't want her to think her behavior is ok and your dh needs a wakeup too. I would send your dsd a card and tell her that you love to give her gifts that you hope make her feel loved but that the lack of a thank you really hurts your feelings. See if that makes a difference the next gift giving occasion. As far as your dh- is he just lazy? I know it's hard but allowing people to treat you badly is bad for them too.
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#7 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 08:18 AM
 
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So... Why ISN'T Dad more involved in his daughter's stuff? Why can't HE do these things for her?

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#8 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 08:25 AM
 
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I don't really have an answer, but i'd probably step back just a little form the situation.  If your husband isn't as involved as you would like, that probably won't change.

 

As far as your step daughter is concerned, I think she is in an incredibly hard situation that is not of her choosing in having to deal with the various family dynamics.  I'm always amazed at how much is expected from a child in her position, when the adults seem to be struggling just as much if not more.

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#9 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Maybe it's the position I have created for myself.  I just don't know.  I don't come from a split/blended family, but I saw how my friends felt that did.  I never wanted her to feel shunned in any way.  My father says it has now become my fault, b/c I allow it to happen.  But in my eyes, I do it for my my stepdaughter.  I really pray that she can see how her actions affect others.  She is the sweetest little girl when she is with us.  But then again, she is still at a age that needs guidance.  So if her mother isn't stressing certain actions, that are important to us, well....  You know the thing is, I have told her this over and over and over.  She says, "I'm sorry!" and goes on with whatever.  My husband says she is just young, so maybe???  I told her mother that as well.  She made her text one day and appologize, but that was one day.  So I just don't knwo.  My husband, well...  He is just a laid back person.  He doesn't like confrontation, and I am one lil hot head.  So I do what I have to do to get things done.  He is just used to letting me take care of anything that is uncomfortable.  But I need his help on getting things done that has to be done.  He says I just worry too much, but I will ultimately do it, cause I can't just let things sit there.  It's very hard for me to let go, but I just want to know he will get things done.  It doesn't have to be the way I do it, just get it done.  For instance, her birthday is in 2 weeks.  I waited and waited for him to get a bday present.  I kept reminding him to do it. He still did nothing, not even a card.  So I went and got a card, and just ordered her something off of amazon.  I just can't make her pay for him not being proactive, but neither is her mother.  I am just lost.

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#10 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 09:39 AM
 
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What do you mean by her mother isn't stressing certain actions that are important to you?

 

I reread your post and saw that she is 11....i'd just really step back from the situation and not get so emotionally invested.

 

As far as getting her a phone and expecting that she texts and sends pics...maybe she just doesn't feel like it.

 

I think you are in an incredibly hard position, but the girl is in a much harder one.  I really hope you can see that.

 

From what I gather your husband and you have children together, and the mom has also moved on and had more kids as well.  Just my opinion, but for kids that are in the position where both parents have moved on to have other kids have an incredibly difficult time.

 

Oh and I think you are an incredibly common position when you have married someone who doesn't seem to want to fully participate and you feel you have to step in.

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#11 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 10:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Coral123, thanks for responding.  For instance, my children will draw pictures for her, write letters, make projects for her and mail them to her because they love her and think about her daily.  They constantly will ask if she likes their handmade things for her, b/c regardless of what they look like, they put their hearts and souls into it.  Just a little phone call saying thank you, I got your gift and I love it would be suffice.  It breaks their hearts to think she didn't like it.  Do you see what I mean? 

 

Yes, she is 11.  But I am past emotionally invested.  She is not just my stepdaughter.  I have been there from day 1.  You would not know I had a stepdaughter, you would just assume I had 3 children.  It's not like I just came into the picture.  We all knew each other in school.  But I am trying to figure out how to just step back.  That's my reason for this post.  But as any mother, it is hard to just not know what is going on in someone's life and how they are and that they are doing well when they have part of your heart.

 

As far as the phone.  We bought her a flip phone.  She talked to us daily and text us.  We got her a blackberry to be able to skype.  Again, she used it all the time with us, but was upset that the skype didn't allow us to see each other.  So then we got her an IPHONE b/c that is what she was ultimately wanting.  Now she doesn't text or even do the video.  I know she gets grounded from it, but we can't get intouch with her unless she has her own phone. 

 

Yes, we have all moved on and have expanded our families.  I understand that it is hard for her.  B/c every kid wants their moms/dads to be together.  But how do you make it as less painful as possible? 

 

I do agree that I am in a common position.  That is why I felt like I could ask for some guidance on this forum, without completely having the "Evil Stepmom" persona. 

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#12 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 10:23 AM
 
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Hmm, i don't know what to say about her lack of response to the gifts.  I do know that with my own kids they sometimes ignore each other and at times have differing amounts of desire to be around each other.

 

What does your husband say about it.

 

On one hand I think there should be some sort of thank you, but on the other hand I think you are sort of trying to mandate her emotions in the situation by  wanting her to say "I got your gift and love it"

 

Perhaps you are all setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting her to act a certain way in the situation, and perhaps you and  your own children just have to  take the situation as it is, instead of what you wish it to be.

 

While I am not in the exact same situation as you, we do have a couple of family members who have somewhat irregular involvement in our lives.  At first I always thought I should somehow be fixing the situation(in the eyes of my kids), but ultimately I think my kids just had to learn a hard lesson out of it.

 

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Originally Posted by USAFMOMSTEPMOM View Post

Coral123, thanks for responding.  For instance, my children will draw pictures for her, write letters, make projects for her and mail them to her because they love her and think about her daily.  They constantly will ask if she likes their handmade things for her, b/c regardless of what they look like, they put their hearts and souls into it.  Just a little phone call saying thank you, I got your gift and I love it would be suffice.  It breaks their hearts to think she didn't like it.  Do you see what I mean?

 

She is eleven years old, she doesn't think about calling when you send her something nice. I feel like you are wanting to stress that she is doing wrong when in reality she is just being a child and children don't think about calling when they receive a gift. It is nice and great that her siblings want to make things for her and have her involved in their lives. But I am assuming there is an age difference there and the kids just aren't on the same level.

 

Yes, she is 11.  But I am past emotionally invested.  She is not just my stepdaughter.  I have been there from day 1.  You would not know I had a stepdaughter, you would just assume I had 3 children.  It's not like I just came into the picture.  We all knew each other in school.  But I am trying to figure out how to just step back.  That's my reason for this post.  But as any mother, it is hard to just not know what is going on in someone's life and how they are and that they are doing well when they have part of your heart.

 

I get that you may have been there from day one, but she has a mother. You are her step mother, her bonus mom. I think that you are over analyzing this situation and forcing an intimacy with your DSD that she either doesn't want or isn't ready for at her age. You said that she lives with her mother and I am guessing you don't have much regular visitation since you said that you are in the service. That may have something to do with your DSD being standoff-ish. If she isn't seeing her father and his family on a regular basis she may just be uninterested. She is 11 and things are changing for her. I am sure that she is very wrapped up in school, her family, and friends there.

 

As far as the phone.  We bought her a flip phone.  She talked to us daily and text us.  We got her a blackberry to be able to skype.  Again, she used it all the time with us, but was upset that the skype didn't allow us to see each other.  So then we got her an IPHONE b/c that is what she was ultimately wanting.  Now she doesn't text or even do the video.  I know she gets grounded from it, but we can't get intouch with her unless she has her own phone.

 

Getting her an iPhone at 11 is a little bit much to me, but I understand that you are wanting more contact. If she is getting grounded from the phone by her mother, perhaps she is on the internet on it too much or not paying as much attention to her studies and more attention to her friends. I have no idea. But did your DH ask his ex if it was ok for DD to have an iPhone? Was her mother on board with this? And why can you not call the home phone to talk to her? If you have a civil and friendly relationship with her mother, what's the problem with calling the house?

 

Yes, we have all moved on and have expanded our families.  I understand that it is hard for her.  B/c every kid wants their moms/dads to be together.  But how do you make it as less painful as possible?

 

Also, this may not have anything to do with you. Perhaps your DSD wants time and attention from her dad. If he is being "laid back" maybe he needs to not be that way. DH should be contacting his daughter and making sure that she has a relationship with his family and him. Look at it from her perspective, if her dad isn't contacting her and wants to see her, but his wife does? She may think you are great, but he is her dad.

 

I do agree that I am in a common position.  That is why I felt like I could ask for some guidance on this forum, without completely having the "Evil Stepmom" persona. 

 

I don't think that you are the "evil stepmom." But I do think that this has more to do with your DSD's interpretation of her relationship with your DH than her not liking you or her siblings.


 

 


Artist wife to dh_malesling.GIF. Mom to DSS superhero.gif (3 yrs) and DD (04/12).  brokenheart.gif (2/28/10). winner.jpgcd.gif

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#14 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 11:14 AM
 
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Good reply with by cseky.

 

Regarding the phone issues,  I can say that this is in part why neither of my kids yet has a phone..even though many of their peers do.

 

I'm not sure they'd appreciate the expense of the phone in they way I might want them to...perhaps I am projecting.

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#15 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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What does your husband say about it.

 

He wishes the same.  He text her asking if she got her card, she just says, "Dad, sorry I've been busy!"  But she never answers really.

 

On one hand I think there should be some sort of thank you, but on the other hand I think you are sort of trying to mandate her emotions in the situation by  wanting her to say "I got your gift and love it"

 

I can see where you would see that.  I am not trying to mandate her emotions, just have her acknowlege that she got their gift to her.  I don't care how she tells them, that was just an example of something short and sweet.

 

Perhaps you are all setting yourself up for disappointment by expecting her to act a certain way in the situation, and perhaps you and  your own children just have to  take the situation as it is, instead of what you wish it to be.

 

I do think so as well.  Poor things are just as tender hearted as I am.  I have probably talked the idea of when they are doing something, that she is absolutely going to love it.  You know how you are when you talk to your little ones.

 

While I am not in the exact same situation as you, we do have a couple of family members who have somewhat irregular involvement in our lives.  At first I always thought I should somehow be fixing the situation(in the eyes of my kids), but ultimately I think my kids just had to learn a hard lesson out of it.

 

I honestly think that I am slowly coming to that realization myself after all these years.  As a mother, you just want to fix it.  I'm to the point to where I am starting to realize that I just can't.

 



 

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#16 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Coral123, thanks for responding.  For instance, my children will draw pictures for her, write letters, make projects for her and mail them to her because they love her and think about her daily.  They constantly will ask if she likes their handmade things for her, b/c regardless of what they look like, they put their hearts and souls into it.  Just a little phone call saying thank you, I got your gift and I love it would be suffice.  It breaks their hearts to think she didn't like it.  Do you see what I mean?

 

She is eleven years old, she doesn't think about calling when you send her something nice. I feel like you are wanting to stress that she is doing wrong when in reality she is just being a child and children don't think about calling when they receive a gift. It is nice and great that her siblings want to make things for her and have her involved in their lives. But I am assuming there is an age difference there and the kids just aren't on the same level.

 

Yes, my children are 3 1/2 years younger.  They are still at that innocent age, where she is entering that dreadful pre-teen stage in her life.  I don't think that she is being wrong in any way.  I know it's my own selfish reasons and not understanding her and how to explain to my children why it is the way it is.  My latest excuse for her to them is, " you will see how it is to be 11 when you get there"  I don't know what else to say.

 

Yes, she is 11.  But I am past emotionally invested.  She is not just my stepdaughter.  I have been there from day 1.  You would not know I had a stepdaughter, you would just assume I had 3 children.  It's not like I just came into the picture.  We all knew each other in school.  But I am trying to figure out how to just step back.  That's my reason for this post.  But as any mother, it is hard to just not know what is going on in someone's life and how they are and that they are doing well when they have part of your heart.

 

I get that you may have been there from day one, but she has a mother.  You are her step mother, her bonus mom. I think that you are over analyzing this situation and forcing an intimacy with your DSD that she either doesn't want or isn't ready for at her age. You said that she lives with her mother and I am guessing you don't have much regular visitation since you said that you are in the service. That may have something to do with your DSD being standoff-ish. If she isn't seeing her father and his family on a regular basis she may just be uninterested. She is 11 and things are changing for her. I am sure that she is very wrapped up in school, her family, and friends there.

 

I have never tried to be her mother.  Even when she was young, I would always correct her and not let her call me her momma.  I wouldn't want my kids calling someone else their momma.  That's just me...  I think my issue is it was there, and now it's not.  And I do believe it has something to do with her getting older and holding me accountable for why her daddy is always moving with me and not stay in one place with her.  She has nothing to do with his family.  But she still does all holidays and hanging out with my family.  Her mom and stepdad and sisters all spend the holidays with my parents.  They try to be there for her as well.  She says she is always busy.  I know she is just growing up, and its hard for her.

 

As far as the phone.  We bought her a flip phone.  She talked to us daily and text us.  We got her a blackberry to be able to skype.  Again, she used it all the time with us, but was upset that the skype didn't allow us to see each other.  So then we got her an IPHONE b/c that is what she was ultimately wanting.  Now she doesn't text or even do the video.  I know she gets grounded from it, but we can't get intouch with her unless she has her own phone.

 

Getting her an iPhone at 11 is a little bit much to me, but I understand that you are wanting more contact. If she is getting grounded from the phone by her mother, perhaps she is on the internet on it too much or not paying as much attention to her studies and more attention to her friends. I have no idea. But did your DH ask his ex if it was ok for DD to have an iPhone? Was her mother on board with this? And why can you not call the home phone to talk to her? If you have a civil and friendly relationship with her mother, what's the problem with calling the house?

 

Of course I talked to her mother.  I always talk to her mother before I buy her anything.  I always double check.  I always ask her what she needs or wants, and sometimes we get her one big item and split the cost.  He mother thought it was such a great idea.  Otherwise, I wouldn't dare do that.  Her mother said that she jsut grounds her from the phone and the TV when she is in trouble b/c that is what she likes.  She says she can talk to us, but she never remembers to charge it if it is not to play games or something liek that on it.  For reasons, I'd rather not mention, her mother really did us dirty once again, and got embarrassed that she got caught in another lie.  So she has been avoiding us b/c she doesn't want to explain herself or just has no excuse.  So when he calls or text, she says she will call back, and refuses to. 

 

Yes, we have all moved on and have expanded our families.  I understand that it is hard for her.  B/c every kid wants their moms/dads to be together.  But how do you make it as less painful as possible?

 

Also, this may not have anything to do with you. Perhaps your DSD wants time and attention from her dad. If he is being "laid back" maybe he needs to not be that way. DH should be contacting his daughter and making sure that she has a relationship with his family and him. Look at it from her perspective, if her dad isn't contacting her and wants to see her, but his wife does? She may think you are great, but he is her dad.

 

I totally agree with you here.  I know she doesn't want my attention.  It is his that she is wanting...  That is why I am asking how to encourage more effort from him, so I can let her jsut have what she wants.  It is not me or anything that I do.  But I just don't want her to resent the kdis b/c she thinks he does more for them than her. 

 

I do agree that I am in a common position.  That is why I felt like I could ask for some guidance on this forum, without completely having the "Evil Stepmom" persona. 

 

I don't think that you are the "evil stepmom." But I do think that this has more to do with your DSD's interpretation of her relationship with your DH than her not liking you or her siblings.

 

Thank you so much for this.  This has really helped tell myself, what I have been trying to allow myslef to think, and just having a hard time to.

 



 

 

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#17 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good reply with by cseky.

 

I totally agree....

 

Regarding the phone issues,  I can say that this is in part why neither of my kids yet has a phone..even though many of their peers do.

 

I'm not sure they'd appreciate the expense of the phone in they way I might want them to...perhaps I am projecting.

 

Yes, I do say so.  No I just wish I would have stayed away from this.  But what is done is done.  We were trying to help with her mom on minutes, b/c that was a major problem.  It was actually her idea to why we got her one.  Like I said in a previous post, I always ask her mom what she wants or needs.  This was one of her suggestions.



 

 

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#18 of 26 Old 03-09-2012, 11:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So... Why ISN'T Dad more involved in his daughter's stuff? Why can't HE do these things for her?


I don't have an answer to this question.  When I asked him to take care of it, b/c that is what she wants, he got mad at me.  He said I have always done it in the past.  That is why I am asking for advice here of what I can do without causing an even bigger fight with my husband.
 

 

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#19 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 05:03 AM
 
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I send stuff to my step-daughter (who is 9 1/2, whom I have known all her life, and who lives away from us with her mom) almost daily-- usually just a note or a card or some stickers or something little like that. She rarely tells me when she gets it, but if I ask she will tell me she did and usually gush about it. I don't ask her very often, just if it is something I want to talk to her about or something big I want to make sure arrived. Sending her mail is something I enjoy doing because it makes me feel connected to her when she's not here. I also want her to know we are thinking of her all the time and help her to stay connected to us when she is not here. I also encourage her younger siblings to occasionally send something to her in the mail, or suggest that we call to tell her about something exciting. Sometimes I ask them for "quotes" for a note I am writing to her. They like sending her things for the same reasons I do (it helps them feel connected and lets her know they are thinking about her) and I think it is great for her to hear about what they are doing and what is happening in their lives. It may also set the stage for more communication between the kids when she isn't here when they get older.

 

So, none of my reasons for sending her things have to do with her response or her appreciation. I used to send more gifts and packages, and I still do when there is something that reminds me of her for a particular reason, or something that has a connection to something here (like I might start working on sewing a doll dress while she is here on vacation, then finish and mail it to her when she is back at mom's). But I don't want this to be about what I send or what I gave, and I don't want her to come to expect that my role is to give her stuff. And I don't ask her about every single thing because that's not the point, and I don't want it to be.

 

When I do ask her about things, she is always very sweet about it, saying thanks or telling me she liked it... But I have to prompt her almost every time. I usually say "I just wanted to check that it arrived" or "did it fit" or use it to start a conversation (tell her why I sent it, tell her more about something I'd written, etc.) She's sweet (on the phone or by video chat) with her siblings if they ask about something they sent, or if she happens to remember that they'd sent her something recently. She never sends anything back.

 

My husband rarely sends her things in the mail. It's just not something he thinks of. He's more apt to email her a photo of something, a video he saw, or to pick up the phone and call her. I have no idea how often he does that because it is "his thing," and he often does it spur-of-the-moment or when he has a quiet moment and the rest of us are occupied. But he sees her more often than I do, and he stays home with her when she's here (I work), and they travel together between homes, so they have their own special bond around that. 

I do encourage him to be part of mailing things sometimes. Occasionally I'll be rushing out and say, "I didn't send anything to [step-daughter] today, if you want to pop a note in the mail" or "there's a card on the counter I didn't have time to write, you are welcome to if you want to." Sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't.  Sometimes I get something that reminds me of the two of them and offer it to him to send. But it's not his habit, and not something he necessarily wants to do, so sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn't. I keep a basket in the kitchen where I stash cards or stickers or little items to mail, and he can always get something out of there if he feels like it. And sometimes he picks something up when he's out shopping, but doesn't remember to mail it for a while, sometimes until I offer to mail it if he will write a quick note to go with it.

If there is something significant, like a birthday or special occasion, I'll ask for his input about it and we'll talk about what to get... but then I am the one who usually does it (though with online ordering, he's starting to do it more often). But that's the case for all the kids. He is VERY involved in their lives, stays home with them, has special activities and time with them, they have favorite songs and inside jokes that I don't know about... We make decisions together, like about medical care or what to get a child for their birthday, or when to have their birthday party... but I am the one who actually DOES most of it. Because I want to, and because I just always have. I'm efficient, I'm probably a bit controlling, and if I want to know it got done I'd rather do it than pester someone else about it.


Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#20 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 05:48 AM
 
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Having reread your posts a little, I guess I am puzzled about what it is that you are wanting the most.  To have your DH become more involved with his daughter?  To have your stepdaughter acknowledge what you and your daughters do for her?

 

I must say I think if your DH isn't doing that much for his daughter then maybe he needs to not ask if she received this or that from you guys during the conversation.  I think that if I were her that would seem really weird.

 

One more thing, it seems like at such a young age much expectation is being put on her.  Like to thank your daughters for sending a card or whatever.  I know that I am there to remind my kids to do this, but if I did not remind them who really knows if they would do it or not.

 

As for you saying you don't want her to resent the kids.....who knows what her feelings are on this, and by him simply deciding to start another family your husband opened the door for these sorts of feelings.

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#21 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 05:50 AM
 
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I totally agree with you here.  I know she doesn't want my attention.  It is his that she is wanting...  That is why I am asking how to encourage more effort from him, so I can let her jsut have what she wants.  It is not me or anything that I do.  But I just don't want her to resent the kdis b/c she thinks he does more for them than her.

 

Unfortnately, no matter how much YOU do, she is likely to feel that way. Unless her Dad steps up to the plate. As she gets a bit older, she will likely realize that it's no more your kids fault than it is hers - it will be all on him. That's not a pretty place to be. For anyone.

 

When my ex and I were married, he was also one who "didn't think of" sending cards, making calls, etc. for special occasions. That was on me. I can't imagine much has changed in that regard - left to his own devices, he just doesn't do it, and expects someone else to. It was expected that the kids would call, email, whatever him. He'd never initiate it. Birthdays? I suspect it was his wife who took care of that - bought the gift, stuck the card in front of him, etc. And I suspect she got fed up with that (I can't blame her!), so she stopped. Our daughter has not had ANY sort of birthday contact from her Dad since she was 15. She turns 18 in a week. Towards the end of last year, I made a last ditch effort to help him see what he was doing to the relationship with her. His response was... appalling. She is ridiculous for taking it personally, that it is up to HER to contact him, and if she doesn't? Then she obviously doesn't want him in her life. So she can either rethink her stance and make contact or he will walk away. Well... I think he will be waiting a long time.

 

I'm not saying your husband will end up in that situation with your stepdaughter. More of an illustration of how doing everything that HE should be doing can lead to a nasty situation. I wish that I had stopped doing for him long ago. Maybe things would be different now. Just something to think about. Maybe something to share with him.

 

Best of luck - you seem to be doing the best you can.

 

ETA: My daughter has said to me: "Mom - he's replaced us. He has new kids now. He doesn't need us anymore to present his "perfect" family."

 

Note - he and his wife do not have kids together. She's referring to her stepsibs.

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#22 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 08:31 AM
 
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"I totally agree with you here.  I know she doesn't want my attention.  It is his that she is wanting...  That is why I am asking how to encourage more effort from him, so I can let her jsut have what she wants.  It is not me or anything that I do.  But I just don't want her to resent the kdis b/c she thinks he does more for them than her. "


I'm not sure that you can control whatever emotions she might feel toward your kids. Are you saying that you don't want her to resent the kids more our of worry for your own kids, or out of concern for her. Of course he is more there for them than he is for his first kid....there is no way to get around that...your DH made that choice, those are the consequences of that choice.

 

 

One other thing is that you can't really control what sort of future relationship she might have/not have/want with your children.  Moms can't even do that in nonblended families amongst siblings.  

 
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#23 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 10:20 AM
 
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" For instance, her birthday is in 2 weeks.  I waited and waited for him to get a bday present.  I kept reminding him to do it. He still did nothing, not even a card.  So I went and got a card, and just ordered her something off of amazon.  I just can't make her pay for him not being proactive..."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She will pay for that for the rest of her life, and there is really nothing that you can do to fix it. This is on him. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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#24 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 11:32 AM
 
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I just wanted to come back and wish you luck with your situation, you sound like a very kind person and it seems that you love your dsd and I hope that as she gets older and needs different adults to go to she will feel you are one of them. Back when I was dating, when my older kids were in elem, I dated a few fathers and then chose to only date men with no children. I felt I had too much baggage to take on the kinds of issues you have. It's not easy and I admire your dedication.
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#25 of 26 Old 03-10-2012, 01:12 PM
 
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Quote:
She will pay for that for the rest of her life, and there is really nothing that you can do to fix it. This is on him. 

 

So will he. My daughter refuses to call her Dad. And I no longer have the heart to make her do it. I did for years, but... she turns 18 in a week, and it is now on them. My son? He tells me that he calls his Dad only in the hope that he will do right by his sister. HE has always known that his Dad didn't favor him, but he loves his sister to bits and refuses to make things harder on her.

 

Their Dad will end up old and alone. I think that's sad. I wish it was different, but there is nothing more I can do.

 

OP... Really... think about having Dad read some of these replies.

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#26 of 26 Old 03-16-2012, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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UPDATE:  So I did back away from "nagging" to my husband to be more involved.  I told him that I was backing away, that he needed to be more involved.  I did purchase the typical birthday gifts, and I'm still doing my regular stuff.  I just don't say anything to him about it.  I told my SD's mom what I told my husband.  She said it was a good move.  I am still doing my typical.  My SD is texting me saying she got whatever and she loves it, whether she does or not.  She is a sweet girl.  My husband is trying more since he thinks I am not talking to any of them.  He is texting his daughter everyday.  He also told her he'd give her hints to one of our trips this summer if she talked to him for so many days in a row.  It's actually pretty funny.  Some days all she sends him is a picture of her sleeping saying that is what she wants to do.  Or a picture of her shoes saying that is what she is looking at.  Or a text saying I have nothing to say on this normal day but I love you.  So I think it is a start.  And I just hope she saves some of the ridiculous pics he is sending.  She says she is b/c they make her laugh.  But one day he will prob be what was I thinking with a picture of up his nose.  She thinks they are the funniest things ever.  They def have each other's humor.... Thanks for all your comments...

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