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Old 01-14-2008, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just posted this on another thread, but am posting it here so that I don't derail that thread:

It doesn't surprise me. It wasn't about your husband. It was about their kids.


Being a parent, watching a relationship dissolve that you never thought would, and then dealing with your children having a step-parent is hard. Even harder when their ideals are different than your own. My children don't need another positive influence in their lives--they have me. Course, I would rather they have positive than negative and I know I will come to terms with it eventually as it is reality. But, it is a reality I never envisioned and certainly never dreamed about. I never once thought "Oh, I hope my kids have a stepmom one day. Or, I hope I get to be a stepmom one day." Does anyone dream of it?? (And maybe that's part of the rub for stepmoms?? And yes, I'm sure someone will speak up who did dream of it.) There is so much grief--grief over my marriage but even more so over the loss of an intact family for my children. It HURTS.

These little ones that grew in my womb, nursed at my breast for 3+ years each and who had an intact family all of a sudden have to deal with going back and forth between houses. They miss their dad SO much. My older son is depressed by the divorce. He's in counseling now...

Right now, the trauma of the end of the relationship is still somewhat fresh. The thought of my beautiful children snuggled up next to some other woman causes me much pain and heartache. Intellectually, I know that I don't own my children. And I know that love is good wherever you may find it. But that doesn't stop my heart from aching that my children have to deal with this. They have me. That's all they need. Me. Their mother.

And there is fear...I was a SAHM for nine years. Child support and spousal support are the only things keeping me off welfare right now. Will they have a child? Will that child get to spend more time with dad than our kids together? How will that feel to my kids? Will they then complain about the support they pay me? Take me to court to reduce it? Document any little shit they don't like and try and get equal or primary custody?? I didn't ask for this shit. I was a great wife other than that little bout with PPD and I'm an awesome mom.

At the same time, I'm the happiest I've been in years. I am starting a great new career. I refuse to live in fear--though it still strikes often and hard. But trying to figure out my own boundaries for the sake of my sanity is SO incredibly HARD. Friendly? Not friendly? Too friendly? Too cold? Heck if I know where the balance is. I'll figure it out but it will take some time. I will make some mistakes. My children come first--ultimately I will do what is best for them from my perspective. But it is a new perspective. You are welcome to the man--I let him go. (and good luck you will need it!! )

These are some of the details of my life as a mom that I want to share with you so that some of you have a better understanding of what it is like for moms with kids who divorce.

Maybe we can be more compassionate towards moms. And step-moms. Being a parent is hard work. But you have to earn the right to be called my child's parent by me.

Oh, and it is hard being a single custodial parent. I do all the getting ready for school, homework, getting up, rush rush rush. Bedtimes with a cranky preschooler and a nine year old who regularly cries over his dad not living with us. And work during the week. Then on weekends, ex gets to be off work and play with the kids.
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:38 PM
 
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At first I thought to reply with an insight of what it looks like from a perspective of a stepmom, we all have our hurts, worries, and insecurities, really, we do... You are right about that one: no one wants to grow up to be a stepmom.

But I think what you are looking for is a hug, and a hug is what I offer you.

DSD's mom has remarried soon after divorce, so the single parent part of your pain and frustration won't apply to her. At the same time, I can definitely see her saying some of the things you are trying to get across, and I can't judge either you or her for feeling that way. I can only feel for a mother who has to step to the side, and watch her kids grow up in a torn household, and be affectionate with another woman, and worry about stepsiblings, and whatnot.
We are human, we feel what we feel. No one can change the fact that you are your kids' mother... Trust me... no one. No stepmom will ever fill the shoes, even if it doesn't seem so, but no kid dreams of stepmoms either (oh, isn't that true... ). They will love YOU and their DAD just because you are what you are to them: a mother and a father. It will take time, balancing, hurt and frustration, but it will work out. And you don't have to tell stepmoms that they need to earn their place as a parent, kids will make sure to remind them (trust me on this one just one more time).

They love you, and no amount of cuddles with stepmoms will change what they feel for you. I think good stepmoms are more like "fun aunties", but an auntie, no matter how fun, can substitute a mother. *tight hugs*

I believe you that it's hard, just hand in there.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:52 PM
 
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I've got a hug for you, too

No one ever asks for these types of situations (the step/blended family dynamic) and we can only hope that they all work out for the best for everyone involved.

I have to agree with what PP wrote regarding being more of an "auntie" figure to the DSS's, I SO see myself in that role with them. I don't know how or even if ever their mother will not see me as a threat with them, as I know they enjoy their time with us and they give me big hugs when I sometimes drop them off at their moms and I know she has to see that...and I often wonder how that makes her feel? I don't want her to think I'm trying to replace her, but yet, we have our own family dynamic here that is very precious to our little circle. And she is not a part of it. I made it quite clear that she and I were never going to be the going out to coffee type of friends (this is due to the way she treated me from the beginning---absolutey egregious) so, she will never come into my home and be a part of our dynamic in any other way than pick up/drop offs.

And you know....that makes me sad in a way.

I hear what you are saying OP...I really do.
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Old 01-14-2008, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:02 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Oh the Irony View Post
They have me. That's all they need. Me. Their mother.
Despite whatever conflict you have/had with their father, I would argue that your children need him as well.

And on the topic of influences in children's lives... ATM, I highly doubt that my ds will ever have a stepparent. I suppose everyone says that, but for a variety of reasons I doubt it will ever happen. However, I *hope* that he has another consistent positive adult influence in his life. Maybe his uncle, maybe his grandpa, maybe his auntie. Maybe a close friend of ours. But I hope he has one. IMO, children can benefit highly from having an adult in their life that is not a biological parent. A different point of view. Sometimes it is easier to open up to someone who is not a biological parent. Godparents used to fulfill this role in the past. As important as we mothers are to our children, we cannot be everything.

I can understand that it would be hard to watch another woman interact with your children in a close family relationship. But she will never take your place. And she could be a great positive adult role model for your children (hopefully). With my dsd, I know that I am very conscious of what I do/say because I know she is watching and mentally taking notes on what it is to be an adult and a woman. Not all stepmothers are evil. A lot of us really do care.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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Thank you for posting your thoughts and story. I know it takes great courage to open up like that.

It does help getting the other perspective, even if my situation is a lot different. My DP's ex cheated on him for several months of their relationship and sent him packing. He was/is a good Father and was/is a good husband. He has always put his family first and does the best he can to provide for everyone. I can't imagine why his ex would have done what she did to him, though I have to admit I am thankful as he wouldn't be back in my life.

Though the pain you described about knowing your children are growing up in two households, and the pain of a torn family... That is actually very real for a lot of step-parents too. We love and care for those children as well, and so many times I wish I had a magic wand to make everything all better. I hate seeing the confusion on DSD's face when it's time to cart her off to her second home. I hate seeing the pain on my DP's face everytime it's time to take DSD to her other home.

The pain is very real for ALL parties involved. Trust me on that one.

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Old 01-15-2008, 11:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Despite whatever conflict you have/had with their father, I would argue that your children need him as well.
There's no need to argue. I totally agree--I didn't mean it in that sense. They need him so much and as I mentioned my older son cries regularly over daddy not living here. I'm not about to cause him more pain. I facilitate them seeing him. And we are both very flexible when schedules allow. If he has unexpected time off during the week he can see the boys. If I want to pick one up over the weekend to see a movie that I can't do during the week I do that.

This is really a spin off of the thread about the first year in the life of a stepmother. Dawn??? talks about how hard it is to be a stepmother in the early days and about having more compassion for stepmothers. This is about how hard it can be to find your children having a stepmother. And to ask for compassion for mothers. And I'm saying that the stepmother may be the nicest person in the world but it might take the mother of the kids awhile to accept and warm up to you. Or it may never happen. It's not really personal. For me, it is having to figure out where my boundaries are and it is a process of trial and error. And there is pain and there is grief. But I'm a kick ass woman--everything will work out.

Thank you Oriole and SkiMama for your thoughtful replies. I know all of this is really fresh for me and I had trauma to deal with that makes things much more complicated. The auntie thing is reassuring, but also hard. I have to work so hard during the week. Auntie time sounds so pleasant. No homework, getting dressed for school, etc. No responsibility. (Not meaning that stepmothers reading this have no responsibility!) I really need more of that time with my kids.

And it is hard to read about coats, child support, and step-parents who won't let the kids say no to them. And I imagine it is hard for step-mothers to read things that perpetuate the evil step-mother stereotype.

I haven't seen many of those posts in this forum. I haven't seen "I can't believe S-M, or "that woman", sent my child home with all dirty clothes or items were missing. Or some variation. (For the record, I send clothes now. They get sent back clean but the kids have a limited wardrobe. When even one pair a pants or long-sleeved shirt doesn't come back it is a problem. I call and I get it back. Eventually, as money permits they will have another wardrobe so that they don't have to take suitcases) Maybe I don't see them because that's not what I'm looking for?? When something like that comes up, PM me and let me see the other side of the coin.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:45 AM
 
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My Dss thinks of me as a friend, a good friend. His mom has his main loyalty and devotion and after her comes his dad. You made a comment that his new wife is welcome to him and that it has been nine years of being a single mom. But then you say the trauma is till fresh. I do feel for you but it is time to let go. Not only of the relationship but of the idea that you are the only one for your kids. They do need their dad and their mom and other adults in their lives who can help them grow. Is your son depressed because he sees your unhappiness with the situation? Our children do feed off us at times emotionally. I am very happy for you that you are starting a new carear. As you become more successful your worries about losing some of the child and spousal support will stop. There is no spousal support in my state so I lived off friends until I got on my feet again. As far as communication goes with your ex and his new wife, keep it short, simple, and polite and avoid arguments. Keep everything in writing and try to walk in their shoes sometimes and hopefully they will do the same for you. There are divorce care groups available throughout the USA that might help you with the letting go process and the uncomfortable feelings that you have. You are going to be ok and so will your kids. You do need hugs and as a mom and a stepmom I will give you a big one!
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:57 AM - Thread Starter
 
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angilyn--it was nine years of being a SAHM mom. Not a single mom. I've been a single mom for less than 2 years after being married for 13 years/partnered for 16.

My son is depressed because a) he misses his dad and b) he had to switch schools (from a hands-on private school) to a public school he can't stand. I did have emotional issues at the end of the relationship that effected him as well but did a lot of counseling and journaling. My mental state is pretty good right now-- though overwhelmed by responsibility at times which of course impacts him. But I consider myself happy.

And it is not a constant worry about anything. It all comes and goes. I get really strong and secure and then I may get triggered a bit and fall back. But I dust things off and move back to being where I want to be in my life.
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Old 01-15-2008, 11:58 AM
 
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The auntie thing is reassuring, but also hard. I have to work so hard during the week. Auntie time sounds so pleasant. No homework, getting dressed for school, etc. No responsibility. (Not meaning that stepmothers reading this have no responsibility!) I really need more of that time with my kids.
Then you need to make that time. I don't say that flippantly - I'm also a divorced Mom, on my own, working full time. Granted, my two are older now, so it's different. But even at the beginning, when they were much younger, I made it a point to make our time together the priority. If that meant beds were unmade and dishes unwashed? Oh well - we were going to go play anyway. The chores eventually get done. The kids would pitch in to the best of their abilities.

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And it is hard to read about coats, child support, and step-parents who won't let the kids say no to them. And I imagine it is hard for step-mothers to read things that perpetuate the evil step-mother stereotype.
Being on either side is hard, I think. I'm only on the one I'm on, so can only speak from here. I have only recently started sending clothes with the kids again. Since they spend relatively little time with their Dad (his choice), it makes no sense to have him buy them clothes for there. And we can usually scrape together a couple of shirts for the eldest that will be "acceptable" to Dad/smom. Which is one reason why I quit sending stuff. At Dad's, they're not allowed to wear anything with writing or a logo on it. Regardless. Well.... 90% of my son's shirts have writing. So..... If Dad has other standards, then he'll have to provide for those at his place.

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Originally Posted by Oh the Irony View Post
I haven't seen many of those posts in this forum. I haven't seen "I can't believe S-M, or "that woman", sent my child home with all dirty clothes or items were missing. Or some variation. (For the record, I send clothes now. They get sent back clean but the kids have a limited wardrobe. When even one pair a pants or long-sleeved shirt doesn't come back it is a problem. I call and I get it back. Eventually, as money permits they will have another wardrobe so that they don't have to take suitcases) Maybe I don't see them because that's not what I'm looking for?? When something like that comes up, PM me and let me see the other side of the coin.
I could provide you with any number of such stories. But, at this point, I pretty much ignore what smom has to say 'cause I don't appreciate her comments or her inserting herself into the various situations. I'm polite, but that's about it.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:02 PM
 
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Thanks for sharing your story. I know early on I used to just picture their mom rolling in around in piles of my husband's money and taunting him while he struggled to make ends meet and missed the kids. He stayed in his broken marriage a lot longer than he should have just because he couldn't bear the thought of being apart from the children (well, it was only one kid back when he should have left..)

To answer your questions: will they complain about the child support? you bet. Can they "go to court to reduce it" ? no way. Child support rules are notoriously rigid, and we've been told repeatedly that it doesn't matter that my husband makes less money than he did when they calculated his payment -- courts like to raise CS, not reduce it. We've even been told if he has a period of unemployment (very possible) that it won't change. So let that one go as a worry.

And as far as the kids -- I bet they'll be fine. And I know it must be really hard to share them, but you are their mother, and they know that. There simply is no confusion for a child about their mother. A stepparent has to *earn* their love, one minute at a time. A mother is the loved just because she is Mommy, no matter if she's a great parent or a terrible one.

So, to recap: the children will always love you best, no matter what you do, and your child support cannot be touched.

And you have my sincere support about having to share the kids. I bet that is hard. Anytime I get sad, missing the kids and wishing we had them more, I always remind myself that as much as I love them, their mother somehow loves them more. And that alone will keep us from ever pushing for custody.

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Old 01-15-2008, 12:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Then you need to make that time. I don't say that flippantly - I'm also a divorced Mom, on my own, working full time. Granted, my two are older now, so it's different. But even at the beginning, when they were much younger, I made it a point to make our time together the priority. If that meant beds were unmade and dishes unwashed? Oh well - we were going to go play anyway. The chores eventually get done. The kids would pitch in to the best of their abilities.
Beds unmade? What's a made bed? I know you don't mean it flippantly at all. And I agree with you and I do the best I can.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:34 PM
 
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And it is hard to read about coats, child support, and step-parents who won't let the kids say no to them. And I imagine it is hard for step-mothers to read things that perpetuate the evil step-mother stereotype.
Well, step parents are parents, and they will make decisions that other parents might disagree with, just like moms do.

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Originally Posted by Oh the Irony View Post
I haven't seen many of those posts in this forum. I haven't seen "I can't believe S-M, or "that woman", sent my child home with all dirty clothes or items were missing. Or some variation. (For the record, I send clothes now. They get sent back clean but the kids have a limited wardrobe. When even one pair a pants or long-sleeved shirt doesn't come back it is a problem. I call and I get it back. Eventually, as money permits they will have another wardrobe so that they don't have to take suitcases) Maybe I don't see them because that's not what I'm looking for?? When something like that comes up, PM me and let me see the other side of the coin.
There's a lot of venting on all sides here. Sometimes I think the Single Parenting forum is just to complain about dads, but that's another topic.

Maybe it's the Mama Bear thing, but somehow it does seem that mothers who have to share their kids can get extremely possessive even to the point of irrationality at times, and it seems to be common. I happened to know my husband's ex back when they were married, so I know she used to be perfectly reasonable. I thought for a while that when the trauma of the divorce wore off she'd be normal again, but the whole process seems to have changed her for the worse. I'm still hopeful, but not as hopeful as I once was.

Don't get me wrong -- I know stepmoms feel all kinds of crazy emotions, including especially jealousy, and that can mess things up too. I'm only giving my perspective as a stepmom.

I think that what you'll find is that stepmoms tend to think they can win you over or be your friend (or at least friendly), because you have this great thing in common -- you love and parent the same kids! And then we get hurt when we slowly (repeatedly) realize that she will never ever like us, and the children will get that message, even if she doesn't intend for them to.

So we can do as much parenting as anyone else -- caring for them when they're sick, cooking, cleaning, comforting, teaching, doing homework, facilitating playdates, driving to dance class, bathing, storytime, tucking them in, taking them to school, etc., even paying the child support(!), and we will never have the support of society as a parent. Ever. And, the vast majority of the time, we get no appreciation or even acknowledgment from the mother.

It's easy to love your own kids. You can't even help it. It takes something extra to love and care for children who aren't yours, and then to be disliked for it? That's too much.

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Old 01-15-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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I'm seeing alot of healing in this thread.

I've been on every side of the blended family. All of 'em. Its hard all around, that is for sure.

I normally see alot of walls up around people, generalizing in the worst way, personalizing things that shouldnt be. But in this thead, I see the walls coming down. I see the communication. It makes my day today.
Thank you all for letting down your guard and sharing your feelings.
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Old 01-15-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Just to add, I reread my post and I hope it doesn't sound like I'm calling anyone here extremely possessive!

It was more of a "don't let this happen to you" kind of remark, as I truly think the motherly instincts can sometimes cause a need to control things that don't need to be controlled regarding the other parent(s). And I've watched it happen to someone I used to get along with just fine.

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:15 PM
 
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I didnt see it that way at all Violet. (didnt see your post in a negative way, I mean)

I think in a blended family situation, a person (no matter where you are on the scale) feels a loss of control. So, sometimes, you hang on to what little "power" you have EX:- CP and visitation/NCP and c/s/stepparents and clothes; toys; etc.
I think sometimes all adults get wrapped up in power struggles and hide under the guise of "doing whats best for the kids", when if you step back, thats all it really is, trying to find some control for yourself.

Not blaming anyone! Just an observation I've learned over the years. (and still learning, lol)
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Old 01-15-2008, 01:36 PM
 
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I think in a blended family situation, a person (no matter where you are on the scale) feels a loss of control. So, sometimes, you hang on to what little "power" you have EX:- CP and visitation/NCP and c/s/stepparents and clothes; toys; etc.
I think sometimes all adults get wrapped up in power struggles and hide under the guise of "doing whats best for the kids", when if you step back, thats all it really is, trying to find some control for yourself.

Not blaming anyone! Just an observation I've learned over the years. (and still learning, lol)
Yes! It is often about control. Mom/CP wants to have control over her kids; Dad/NCP wants to have control over his kids (or at the very least his money); Stepmom wants to have control over her life and what goes on in her home (and of course, her money).

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Old 01-15-2008, 01:45 PM
 
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I'm seeing alot of healing in this thread.

I've been on every side of the blended family. All of 'em. Its hard all around, that is for sure.

I normally see alot of walls up around people, generalizing in the worst way, personalizing things that shouldnt be. But in this thead, I see the walls coming down. I see the communication. It makes my day today.
Thank you all for letting down your guard and sharing your feelings.
Yeah, this discussion is great! It's better when we're all on the same side (as parents dealing with blended family issues) instead of having to be on opposite sides all the time!

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:12 PM
 
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Yes! It is often about control. Mom/CP wants to have control over her kids; Dad/NCP wants to have control over his kids (or at the very least his money); Stepmom wants to have control over her life and what goes on in her home (and of course, her money).
The points made about control are so true! I know that as a stepmom I feel a total loss of control as to what happens in my house. I even feel a bit of loss of control as far as parenting my biological child because he came after DSD. She is being raised in a way that I would not raise my own child, but DS will watch her and mimic her behaviors or wonder why she gets to do things that he does not. I feel like I may have to compromise some of my values as a result.

Also, what violet_ said about many stepmoms doing a lot of parenting without any acknowledgment is true. I feel as if I am expected to parent DSD, but not parent her too much. I am expected to love her, but not too much. If I am involved, I am trying to take her mother's place. If I stay out of it, I am a cold, evil stepmother. I feel like I am expected to read both her father and mother's minds and figure out exactly what they want me to be to their daughter - and they don't necessarily agree.

I also have to watch DSD's mom do things that are hurtful to DSD without the power to say or do anything about it. It really is a hard place to be.

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Old 01-15-2008, 02:27 PM
 
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The points made about control are so true! I know that as a stepmom I feel a total loss of control as to what happens in my house. I even feel a bit of loss of control as far as parenting my biological child because he came after DSD. She is being raised in a way that I would not raise my own child, but DS will watch her and mimic her behaviors or wonder why she gets to do things that he does not. I feel like I may have to compromise some of my values as a result.

Also, what violet_ said about many stepmoms doing a lot of parenting without any acknowledgment is true. I feel as if I am expected to parent DSD, but not parent her too much. I am expected to love her, but not too much. If I am involved, I am trying to take her mother's place. If I stay out of it, I am a cold, evil stepmother. I feel like I am expected to read both her father and mother's minds and figure out exactly what they want me to be to their daughter - and they don't necessarily agree.

I also have to watch DSD's mom do things that are hurtful to DSD without the power to say or do anything about it. It really is a hard place to be.
Well said
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread. It is a nice space to share experiences.
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Old 01-15-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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OP gave a very insightful look at what the mom might be feeling and the issues moms might be dealing with.... ... ... ... yet in the last several posts we're again talking about the issues that step-moms have to deal with and how step-moms might be feeling.

Just an observation.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
OP gave a very insightful look at what the mom might be feeling and the issues moms might be dealing with.... ... ... ... yet in the last several posts we're again talking about the issues that step-moms have to deal with and how step-moms might be feeling.

Just an observation.
I dunno that that's a bad thing. We can all only comment from where we happen to stand, and I think it's helpful to all of us to remember (and perhaps be reminded) that not everyone on the "other side" is difficult or evil.
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Old 01-15-2008, 03:37 PM
 
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I just posted this on another thread, but am posting it here so that I don't derail that thread:

It doesn't surprise me. It wasn't about your husband. It was about their kids.


Being a parent, watching a relationship dissolve that you never thought would, and then dealing with your children having a step-parent is hard. Even harder when their ideals are different than your own. My children don't need another positive influence in their lives--they have me. Course, I would rather they have positive than negative and I know I will come to terms with it eventually as it is reality. But, it is a reality I never envisioned and certainly never dreamed about. I never once thought "Oh, I hope my kids have a stepmom one day. Or, I hope I get to be a stepmom one day." Does anyone dream of it?? (And maybe that's part of the rub for stepmoms?? And yes, I'm sure someone will speak up who did dream of it.) There is so much grief--grief over my marriage but even more so over the loss of an intact family for my children. It HURTS.

These little ones that grew in my womb, nursed at my breast for 3+ years each and who had an intact family all of a sudden have to deal with going back and forth between houses. They miss their dad SO much. My older son is depressed by the divorce. He's in counseling now...

Right now, the trauma of the end of the relationship is still somewhat fresh. The thought of my beautiful children snuggled up next to some other woman causes me much pain and heartache. Intellectually, I know that I don't own my children. And I know that love is good wherever you may find it. But that doesn't stop my heart from aching that my children have to deal with this. They have me. That's all they need. Me. Their mother.

And there is fear...I was a SAHM for nine years. Child support and spousal support are the only things keeping me off welfare right now. Will they have a child? Will that child get to spend more time with dad than our kids together? How will that feel to my kids? Will they then complain about the support they pay me? Take me to court to reduce it? Document any little shit they don't like and try and get equal or primary custody?? I didn't ask for this shit. I was a great wife other than that little bout with PPD and I'm an awesome mom.

At the same time, I'm the happiest I've been in years. I am starting a great new career. I refuse to live in fear--though it still strikes often and hard. But trying to figure out my own boundaries for the sake of my sanity is SO incredibly HARD. Friendly? Not friendly? Too friendly? Too cold? Heck if I know where the balance is. I'll figure it out but it will take some time. I will make some mistakes. My children come first--ultimately I will do what is best for them from my perspective. But it is a new perspective. You are welcome to the man--I let him go. (and good luck you will need it!! )

These are some of the details of my life as a mom that I want to share with you so that some of you have a better understanding of what it is like for moms with kids who divorce.

Maybe we can be more compassionate towards moms. And step-moms. Being a parent is hard work. But you have to earn the right to be called my child's parent by me.

Oh, and it is hard being a single custodial parent. I do all the getting ready for school, homework, getting up, rush rush rush. Bedtimes with a cranky preschooler and a nine year old who regularly cries over his dad not living with us. And work during the week. Then on weekends, ex gets to be off work and play with the kids.
Irony,

I feel the pain behind your story. I am sorry it has taken me a day to respond to you but I really wanted to say more than just a sentence.

I am really glad you posted a bit of your story. I am not an ex-wife but a mother to my daughter and step mom to my step sons. After reading your post, I realized that if I were to divorce or separate from my DH I would feel exactly like you do. No doubt about it.

In fact, during the hard times I have had the one thing that makes me think twice about leaving is splitting time with DD. I want her all the time. I don't want to share her with DH if we split. I won't. I just won't.

So I stay no matter what. I can't compromise the time I have with DD so that DH would be able to share custody or have visitation. It just isn't how it should be or how we planned our life.

I am not in any way saying any mother out there who is separated or divorced should have stayed. I am only validating your feelings of after the split. Because I have considered what would happen if DH and I split and I would just DIE if I had to share my DD with him.

Even if that feeling is totally wrong. Whatever. It is my feeling. It makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

So thank you for posting that. I think I will be able to see it from the other side a little clearer now. Because we all have it in us to be the mama bear.

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Old 01-15-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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I didnt see it that way at all Violet. (didnt see your post in a negative way, I mean)

I think in a blended family situation, a person (no matter where you are on the scale) feels a loss of control. So, sometimes, you hang on to what little "power" you have EX:- CP and visitation/NCP and c/s/stepparents and clothes; toys; etc.
I think sometimes all adults get wrapped up in power struggles and hide under the guise of "doing whats best for the kids", when if you step back, thats all it really is, trying to find some control for yourself.

Not blaming anyone! Just an observation I've learned over the years. (and still learning, lol)
you are so right! to everyone.
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Old 01-15-2008, 04:18 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
OP gave a very insightful look at what the mom might be feeling and the issues moms might be dealing with.... ... ... ... yet in the last several posts we're again talking about the issues that step-moms have to deal with and how step-moms might be feeling.

Just an observation.
Yeah, I wasn't sure when I posted if it should be in this thread or the other one, but I figured since I was responding to some of her questions, I'd put it here. There are some moms on the other thread as well. I'm enjoying hearing from both, and I think it's useful for all of us to hear different perspectives.

Please, moms, add your thoughts, too!

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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Wow! It is so nice to see the healing going on.

This is a beautiful discussion, Mamas. Thank you all for sharing so much of yourselves here.

Mama to two awesome kids. Wife to a wonderful, attached, loving husband. I love my job-- I'm a Midwife, Doula and Childbirth Educator, Classes forming now!

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by dawn1221 View Post
So I stay no matter what. I can't compromise the time I have with DD so that DH would be able to share custody or have visitation. It just isn't how it should be or how we planned our life.

I am not in any way saying any mother out there who is separated or divorced should have stayed. I am only validating your feelings of after the split. Because I have considered what would happen if DH and I split and I would just DIE if I had to share my DD with him.

Even if that feeling is totally wrong. Whatever. It is my feeling. It makes my stomach hurt just thinking about it.

So thank you for posting that. I think I will be able to see it from the other side a little clearer now. Because we all have it in us to be the mama bear.

Thanks Dawn. Back at you. Helps me to see things from your and others perspectives as well. And to hear that you understand.

Kids provide a lot of incentive to work things out. But never feel you have to stay because of the kids--at that point, your happiness in getting out is healthier for the kids than living with parents that tolerate each other. (Not that you are there is your relationship now) You don't die. It hurts that you don't have that life you planned for your kids. But you grow stronger and create something else.
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Old 01-15-2008, 08:09 PM
 
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Thanks for setting me straight on the single mom thing. I am a mom whose kids have a step mom and I am a step mom myself so I do see things from both sides. Recently Xmas for me was hard because my older son spent it with his dad and stepmom, one son had to work and the other was overseas. Only my daughter and her boyfriend were with Dh and me. It hurt at first that my son went to his dad's but I tried to see it from his side, that he doesn't get to be with him much. Then when DH called his ex to see if he could get an hour with his son on Xmas day she refused. And that hurt, too, only for different reasons.You are going to be ok and you are going to have good days and bad just like all of us. And who knows, you just may be a step mom some day.
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Old 01-15-2008, 09:24 PM
 
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