#1 of 2
11-12-2014, 09:28 PM
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I posted about this exact same issue last year, and yet here I am debating it again as I'm faced with the holiday season and our usual yearly photo card again.
Quick background-I was with dsd's father from when she was about 4 until I moved out just after her 12th birthday. We've have been separated (never married, but divorced for all intents and purposes) for nearly a year and a half now. I have two other children with her dad.
I am still on very good terms with dsd-she has spent a night at my house on average of once a month, I still try to attend some of her sporting events, activities, etc.
Last year I did end up including her on the card, and just signed it from The Kids Last Name-My last name family. It felt strange to sign it with all of our first names since I sent one to her mom's house too. I think dsd was glad I included her, her mom was fine with it.
This year-well, I of course still love her, we still see each other and talk, like I said, but it's definitely been a bit less as the year has gone on. Which I'm sure is in part due to her age (13-1/2) and in part just a natural change to the relationship. Or I hope that's what it is-I never want her to feel like I don't love or miss her, but I've also tried to give her some space to see how she wants our relationship to be. I'd say at this point it feels closest to a close aunt-niece kind of thing rather than a parent/child relationship. Of course, she is still my kids' sister no matter what.
In any case, it feels less natural to put her on the card this year-like I'm pretending something that is not necessarily the case, if that makes sense. And the selfish part of me would really like to take a cute picture and send out a card signed from me and my 2 kids, which is much more representative of reality.
BUT-i do not want to take the risk of hurting dsd's feelings. To the point that I'm considering just not doing the cards at all this year because it feels like it's going to be weird whichever way I go.
I can of course talk to dsd about it and see how she feels, but I worry about putting pressure on her to respond either way and I don't want to make it seem like a big deal.
Single mama to dd and ds , loving my dsd always .
#2 of 2
Yesterday, 05:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
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I can see how this is a whole different dilemma, even though it's over the same subject as last year. Now that you've set the precedent of including her, you may hurt her feelings if you don't do so every year. But if she doesn't care as much about it this year, you calling to ask whether she wants to be included may make her feel obligated to say yes, to spare your feelings! Catch-22.
If I were in your shoes, I'd feel the lesser of two evils is to ask her. But I'd give her an out. Ex.: "I know kids your age are pretty busy and I don't want you to feel like you have to do the picture with us every year. It won't hurt my feelings if you don't. But if you'd like to, we'd be happy to have you join us..." - At this point she might automatically say yes, even if only to be polite. But you will have gently introduced the idea that she could say no, if she wants. - "...Let me just give you a heads-up, though. We have some goofy scheduling things going on, with the younger girls' school, so we can really only do pictures next Saturday afternoon. So, what do you think? Would you like me to pick you up for them? Or should I just send you a card with me and the girls, and surprise you?"
If she has plans at the time you give, her willingness to alter them would show you how important it is to her, to still be included. But even if she has no conflict, if she wants an out, you've given her the chance to say she has plans.
P.S. - If you're seriously considering not doing the photo card, banish the thought! When my husband and I blended our families, there were a few little things here and there that I was used to doing with my bio kids, that I didn't feel as comfortable in the early stages, doing with my step-son, so I changed how I did things with my bio kids, to make things seem more "fair" or "equal". I look back and have deep regret about that. If you like having a family photo card every year, be sure to do it...either way!
One woman in a house full of men: my soul mate:
... twin sons:
(HS seniors) ... step-son:
(a sophomore) ... our little man:
(a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all