Bio Mom has very liberal views on raising children - Mothering Forums
Blended and Step Family Parenting > Bio Mom has very liberal views on raising children
TrishaG's Avatar TrishaG 04:42 PM 06-27-2008
Quick History.....
My step girls are 8 and 11 My husband and I have had custody of them since they were 1 and 3. Bio Mom is the classic selfish, careless and compulsive lying type. She is remarried with a four year old daughter.

My issues if anyone can advise what they would do.

#1. she took the 11 year to see Sex in the City. My husband and her current husband went to go see it together because she was lying about how BAD it really was. Her current husband said he was going to speak to her about it....don't know what ever came of that. I was watching "in my room" The girls next door (Playboy reality show) and the 11 year came in and said ohhh is this The girls next door. Of course I changed the channel right away.....but what to do about what she allows her to watch. My husband try to talk to her about it and she just said "well.....she IS growing up and apparently we have different views on how she is to be raised.

#2. While I was out of town.....(THEY knew it), The step dad told my husband that he wanted to go out to lunch and discuss some things and low and behold to comes along....the bio mom, which she would not have if I was in town because she would have been afraid I would have showed up myself. Anyhow.....She was bad mouthing me to my husband telling him that their 11 year old tells her I am mean to her and a few other ridiculous things. None of which was true or very well changed by her to make it sound bad. (Ex. Kids didn't want to clean their room and 11 year old said Mom cleans my room at her house and I said well I am not going to clean your room and she probably does it for you because you are only there 4 days a month normally. If you want your room cleaned by your mom all the time then you should move there., nothing more than my friend gets to do that....well if you want to do that then move out and live with your friend kinda comment) Well she continually has been making up things I supposedly said to the girls for an excuse to talk to them about inapropriate things. Like court and money and how their dad hit her (again untrue) But it goes like this when My husband confronts her about it....Well Taylor (11 year old) said Trisha (me) said that I have to pay child support, I didn't say that but that was why she told her about us going to court to force her to pay. and so on......

I have not spoken a word to this woman in almost 3 years from a past very last blow up I had with her, I am so very tired of her lies and ridiculous mothering. I have tried to get along with her in the past only to have her saying rude comments to the girls about me. I am at a loss here, my husband and I have began seeing a psychologist to deal with my anger that now is affecting our family. She has only advised me to either accept it or how she puts "raise the iron fist" Whatever that means. This is 8 years in the making and I see no calm to the storm unless I pretend to be their friends and just ignore her behavior. Can't do that! She will just tell me what I want to hear and then when I leave she will go back to her running her mouth to the girls again. That is what happened before. She has never had to be held accountable for her behavior and I believe this is why she acts the way she does.

Okay sorry so long but as I said any help would be appreciated......AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

heatherdeg's Avatar heatherdeg 07:28 PM 06-27-2008
I don't know if you can make her change. I would seriously think you couldn't. I'm glad you're in counseling with your husband for it.

I think the very BEST thing you could do is bond SERIOUSLY with the daughters. I mean seriously--get very close to them such that they truly understand how much you care. They're at such a difficult, confusing age right now; but it's an age range where they are still "reachable" and you can still build that bond strong. Go to the movies just you and the girls. Assign a "date" once/month just you and one of the girls (and another "date" once/month for the other). Something they get to choose this month, you get to choose next month.

And the best thing you could do is to NEVER, EVER say a harsh or unkind word about their mother.

Kids "get" more than we give them credit for. And my father was a rotten ba$ta-- but my mother never, ever said a bad word about him when we were growing up (they split when I was 2yo, I lived with her until 12yo). She let us see him for ourselves and make our own opinions of him even as children. She never made excuses--never made suggestions about why something was done or why something happened. "I'm not sure" or "I don't know" were stock answers in relation to my dad. She was often pissed off about it but never showed it.

We left my mom out of sheer desperation and went to dad because we had nowhere else to go--it had nothing to do with the fact that she hadn't badmouthed him. We didn't mistakenly believe he was a great guy. We just had nowhere else to go.

Well, dad CHRONICALLY badmouthed my mother at first; and then intermittently thereafter. That alone drove us to be more loyal to her. We remembered the times he missed showing up to a visit or that he didn't give us a child support check, where as bad as it was at our mothers--we knew she was trying her best. At the very least, she was there day in and day out.

Now, pretty much nobody speaks to my father... my mother's ultimate revenge, really. And when we lived with him, my mother knew more about our lives day-to-day than he ever did. We respected what she did for us. But we respected her because she actually CARED about what was going on in our lives and was respectful of the fact that our dad was still our dad and we had no choice in the matter.

Try to build bridges with the girls. Try to be sure they know that you are there for them. I know that's really hard to do (I no longer foster pre-teens because it's a really difficult age--I shudder to picture my bio son hitting 8yo! ) but I think that's the best thing you CAN do. Because then, when the girls are at home, you don't feel like the mother is lingering in the air.

Hugs...
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 07:30 PM 06-27-2008
Take a deep deep breath.

This comes under the heading "Things you cannot change". She is not reasonable. You cannot make her reasonable. YOU being reasonable is challenge enough in the face of this.

Ultimately they are her daughters and you will find that whether it take 3 more years or 13 more years or 30 more years they WILL figure out what sort of a person she is. You can't make it happen any more than she can stop it happening. They will suss her and her lies and her lazy attitude to them and her job as their mother out.

Yes, they may move to her before then. Yes, you will have tears and anguish and fight to remain balanced, but ultimately the light will shine in and she will be revealed as what she is.

Hang in there mama. Parent the way YOU know is right. When the girls bring you her lies say "that's simply not true" and let it go. She's in such a weak position she's trying to change reality to make her look better. In time her lies will be revealed, her fake reality will dissolve and she will have to face her daughters clothed in the rags of the crap she's fed them.

In the meantime it might be wise to talk to DD1 about SATC, about the role models those women provide and about where she is about it all. NOTHING that a child sees or hears or experiences will damage them forever so long as they can talk it through and get guidance on rationalising it, you know? You're certainly mother enough to help her through the craziness of SATC or Girl Next Door. Treat the ex like a toddler - she makes a mess, you clear it up. Invest in her opinion or actions no longer.


ma_vie_en_rose's Avatar ma_vie_en_rose 08:18 PM 06-27-2008
ITA with pp's. We are dealing with a very unreasonable ex, too. She has been caught in major lies that directly violate the CA and has had DSD lying to cover her butt. DSD had no idea how bad it was that her mother was having her lie at the time, but she did eventually end up telling us.

Despite all this drama, we have not bad mouthed her mother. DH and I NEVER would dream of doing such a thing. It is disrespectful to DSD and will only drive her away. Now, her mother is doing the exact opposite and calling us liars among many other disgusting things. DSD feels so conflicted with her loyalty and is was trying to figure out who was lying to her. She asked us point blank if we were lying. We did not call her mother the liar, though. All we said was that she should look everyone's behavior now and in the past and decide for herself how she feels. We told her that we have never and would never lie to her, and that is all she can go on and trust. I think she really respected that in the end. She has never been closer to us in fact. I think that is because she sees what is going on for herself.

So, my point is that you can not control anyone's actions but your own. Make sure you are showing your DSD's how much you love and respect them. Remaining neutral with regards to their mother is the best idea. They will eventually see who is looking out for their best interest without you pointing it out.
PoppyMama's Avatar PoppyMama 09:10 PM 06-27-2008
Pick your battles. I would also like to point out that even though you would not choose to allow the girls to watch things like that it is not abusive or necessarily harmful.
70toes's Avatar 70toes 09:37 PM 06-27-2008
Wow, I wonder if our hubbies have the same ex wife!
I agree that you can't change her, I do NOT agree that her actions aren't harmful. From what you've described, the things she's allowing the 11 year old child to do are far too grown up and exposing a child that young to adult things can cause major problems in a few years. Not to mention the inconsistencies they are facing can be hard for a child to deal with. You all need to be on the same page, and since you have all rights over them, that page needs to be in your book. Chances are, their mother realizes what she's missing out on and is a bit jealous that you're raising her daughters, so she's trying to make up for it by being the cool mom. Also, she may have the desire to share in the kids milestones, i.e. The Birds and the Bees talk, so she's putting them in positions when this subject would arise. If this were me, I would think this way: The upbringing of these children falls into mine and my husbands hands. They are our responsibility and since we have full custody, we make the rules. Just like our rules are to be followed when they go to a friends house, they are to be followed when they're with their mother. She obviously does not have full custody because she's not responsible enough to handle raising these children, YOU are. Try to lay down a few ground rules with the mother. Tell her how rough it will be on the girls if she is encouraging them to do something they know they shouldn't do because they love her and don't want to tell her no, and at the same time they want to follow the rules. If she chooses not to follow, there's nothing you can do. But talk to your daughters as well. Explain that you love them dearly and you want what's best for them and you and their father feel this is it. Tell them, as a general rule, if they wouldn't watch it/do it at your house, it shouldn't be done anywhere. If you keep a loving, positive relationship with your girls, they will want to do the right thing. Good luck!
mtiger's Avatar mtiger 12:40 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by 70toes View Post
They are our responsibility and since we have full custody, we make the rules. Just like our rules are to be followed when they go to a friends house, they are to be followed when they're with their mother. She obviously does not have full custody because she's not responsible enough to handle raising these children, YOU are. Try to lay down a few ground rules with the mother.
Legally, no. As frustrating as it all may be, these issues mostly come down to parenting differences and a court will not micromanage what movies Mom takes her child to. Sorry, but neither Dad nor stepMom can lay down rules that Mom must follow when she has the child, any more than she can lay down rules for the child on Dad's time.
MsChatsAlot's Avatar MsChatsAlot 12:52 PM 06-28-2008
My ex does a lot of things I wished he wouldn't...including lying.

I pushed against it for a long time, I wanted him to be different, etc. but realized it was not going to happen and just left me feeling angry and frustrated. So, what I did to make it easier for myself, was to shift my perspective and realize that sometimes, seeing two very different ways of doing things can actually end up being a positive.

My children and I have had many wondreful conversations about things that have been a contrast between my house and their dad's. I tell them we are showing them two different ways of living...which is helpful to them because then they can see what works or doesn't work for them and form their own opinions. I believe that will serve my kids well in life.

I hope you find something that helps you all feel better about your situation.
PoppyMama's Avatar PoppyMama 12:54 PM 06-28-2008
70toes, I think it's pretty offensive and untrue to say that the parent who does not have full custody is obviously too irresponsible to raise them. You can not lay down rules for the mother to follow on her visits and visiting your mother is not like being at a friend's house. In addition, just because she has different views on what the kids can watch does not mean that she is a bad mother. She could be a bad mother for all sorts of other reasons or she could be just fine. The OP was so aggressive in her rage at the woman that I we don't even have close to an unbiased view of her. I will say that I've watched The Girls Next Door with my dd a few times and we both thought it was idiotic and hilarious we've also watched some of the other ridiculous reality shows and they gave us an opportunity for very fruitful conversations that I wouldn't have thought to have otherwise. Thank goodness I now can rest assured that my dd doesn't want to be a "house pet" or ever date Flavor Flav. The mother is this scenario still has every right to have "the birds and bees" talk with the kids and SERIOUSLY if everyone has been waiting to age 11 they waited way to long. My x was a doozy but I never treated him this way or told the kids that if they like his rules better they could just go live with him. That is childish. Being the bigger person sucks a lot of the time but it's the right thing to do.
thebarkingbird's Avatar thebarkingbird 02:49 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
Legally, no. As frustrating as it all may be, these issues mostly come down to parenting differences and a court will not micromanage what movies Mom takes her child to. Sorry, but neither Dad nor stepMom can lay down rules that Mom must follow when she has the child, any more than she can lay down rules for the child on Dad's time.
not to be rude that is perhaps the worst advice i've heard in a long time. a mother or father, even if they're a noncustodial parent, is not to be treated "like a friend". my ex drives me crazy. he lets my 4 yo play with toy guns. he shows him how to put together the real ones (i don't mind the real ones. it's the toys. guns are NOT TOYS) he says things i don't care for about how women ought to act. he lets him watch movies that i think are not all that great viewing material for a 4yo. the fact is, he's my son's father and i have to accept the fact that i made a baby with someone who does not share my values (which is why we're not together). none of the things you mentioned seem to qualify as abuse or even terrible mistreatment. they're just bonehead decisions. maybe she's really trying to get the kids to like her. sex and the city is pretty glamorous. what are the chances the 11yo ASKED to go and mom caved? from my experience, i have to say that you can talk about the effects such decisions will have on the relationship with the other parent but the "you be careful with MY kids they don't live with you for a reason" strategy is a one way road to nowhere good. seriously.

you really cant control weather or not she lets them watch Sex and the City. you can only talk to them about the experience and if they say they're uncomfortable let them know its ok to tell mom they don't wan to go to these kinds of things. now if she lets them see porn or the kids have nightmares that's a different story but it still doesn't justify acting as if the mother has no rights.

"that;s just the shakes" she said as she thought about the futility of calling up her ex and telling him to never allow her 4yo to watch bloody action movies again.

Quote:
Tell her how rough it will be on the girls if she is encouraging them to do something they know they shouldn't do because they love her and don't want to tell her no, and at the same time they want to follow the rules. If she chooses not to follow, there's nothing you can do. But talk to your daughters as well. Explain that you love them dearly and you want what's best for them and you and their father feel this is it. Tell them, as a general rule, if they wouldn't watch it/do it at your house, it shouldn't be done anywhere.
i can think of no better way to put children in the middle of a nasty conflict or to cause parental alienation. sometimes that stuff can backfire in a nasty fashion.
thebarkingbird's Avatar thebarkingbird 02:57 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishaG View Post
Kids didn't want to clean their room and 11 year old said Mom cleans my room at her house and I said well I am not going to clean your room and she probably does it for you because you are only there 4 days a month normally. If you want your room cleaned by your mom all the time then you should move there., nothing more than my friend gets to do that....well if you want to do that then move out and live with your friend kinda comment
my mother, who is a great mother, said something very similar to me once. there is very little chance that the girls took it the same way as "well go live at your friend's house" the friend's house is an absurdity. living at mom's has the flavor of real possibility.
TrishaG's Avatar TrishaG 03:22 PM 06-28-2008
I appreciate all your advice and some I did not agree with of course, Especially the one that sounds a lot like their mother. (ex. SHE MAY HAVE ASKED AND MOM CAVED.) She would never of asked she is not that type of child. She is very reserved not into fashion so much and more interested in art and nature. Sex in the city the show is not horrible but the movie in parts was damn near like porn and having the birds and the bees conversation is very important and I asked my step daughter if her and her mother talked about the movie....She said No! I told her if she has any questions to please come and ask us. She is comfortable to talking to her dad and I. There is other ways of bringing up such conversations without sticking your child in front of a movie that shows a threesome and a woman getting it
"doggy style" Anyhow. Besides that. Her own husband has commented on the fact that "she is not a good mother but she tries" In my book trying is not good enough. I have a one year old son and I do everything everyday for him first I am second. That is life when you have a child. She was not around much in the beginning, she still does nothing for them as far as after school activities or anything positive as far as I am concerned. I feel like we always have to clean up her mess and then she has the odacity to make rude comments. My thing is if you don't like it do it yourself. But she won't cause she can't handle it. Unfortunately I don't make to much of an effort these days I am tired and fet up. I will come back around again at some point but I am emotional exhausted with that whole situation. Again you all gave me some great advice, I love the toddler mess comment and how I need to be a better step mom even when it is very difficult. Sorry for the long reply felt I had to defend myself from some of the not so nice to hear comments. Will be back again to post something good hopefully next time.
mtiger's Avatar mtiger 03:23 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebarkingbird View Post
not to be rude that is perhaps the worst advice i've heard in a long time.
Boy, I'm glad I stopped, dropped and rolled (okay, just stopped and read) before responding after i read that ONE sentence.

I haven't agreed with any number of things that my ex has exposed my kids to. Some were bigger "deals" than others. Only raised a stink over a couple. Like when our two kids were double-buckled or stepMom took #2 for the HPV vax.
fairejour's Avatar fairejour 04:09 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishaG View Post
I said well I am not going to clean your room and she probably does it for you because you are only there 4 days a month normally. If you want your room cleaned by your mom all the time then you should move there.,
I find this grossly inappropriate. You are throwing in her face that she is only with her mother 4 days a month, and it is obvious from the comment that you don't respect her mother. Also, it is a threat to make her live with her mom, and it is never ok to threaten your kids. PLUS, what if she says she wants to live with mom? Is that something that you are actually willing to do?
thebarkingbird's Avatar thebarkingbird 05:30 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishaG View Post
I appreciate all your advice and some I did not agree with of course, Especially the one that sounds a lot like their mother. (ex. SHE MAY HAVE ASKED AND MOM CAVED.) She would never of asked she is not that type of child. She is very reserved not into fashion so much and more interested in art and nature.
i had no idea my advice made me sound like someone you think is a horrible woman who shouldn't be a mother. that was kind of mean. you asked for advice and i gave it.

i believe that i asked a question as to what could have happened and said that that response in that situation was a "bonehead decision" i totally understand the frustration of knowing your children are being exposed to inappropriate things. it's frustrating and infuriating. unless you wish to involve the courts (which believe me bend over backwards to defend the rights of bio parents except in the case of blatant pretty severe abuse. they will not do anything about seeing SATC and you'll be out thousands that could be spent on college) or engage in a family wide campaign of hard to manage manipulation you are stuck with the decisions she makes on her time. i was trying to identify with you because i know it can really suck sometimes to realize that there isn't much you can do when things don't work out for your kids (feeling pressured to watch dramatic portrayals of butt sex projected 25 feet in the air doesn't work out well for any child).

sounds like her husband is listening to you. perhaps he could suggest that she get some therapy to help with parenting. it doesn't sound like she's trying to deliberately trying to harm anyone and some really focused therapy might help all that trying actuially get her someplace.
GoBecGo's Avatar GoBecGo 05:38 PM 06-28-2008
Quote:
thanks. i had no idea my advice made me sound like someone you think is a horrible woman who shouldn't be a mother. that was a bit passive aggressive, don't you think? maybe i should stop giving it when people make open calls? you could have just said you disagreed.
And you could have just said YOU disagreed. But you didn't, you jumped into criticism too.

This is some place!
thebarkingbird's Avatar thebarkingbird 05:46 PM 06-28-2008
you make a good point.she did sound very upset.
TrishaG's Avatar TrishaG 06:07 PM 06-28-2008
After I posted my last reply I went back and read some of the comments and I did not realize you were the one that had mentioned the "Her Asking her mom" thing. I thought it was someone else. I do realize you were just making a suggestion and alot of what you said I agree with. Again I am sorry to have said that towards you. I know there is a time when they will want to live with their mother because she allows much more freedom and "Cool" stuff but at the moment I believe they know where they are happy and unfortunately I do not respect their mother at all. I have given her several chances and stepped out of the situation to give her full control and she did nothing good with it. I had no choice but to be their motherbecause they did not have one around. At one point a couple of years ago she moved several states away to be closer to her "best friend" It just infuriates me that she does not feel compassion towards her children. I am very happy in the advice that has been given to me and I do realize that I am the adult but I have feelings too and sometimes I don't know how to react to things and as my psychologist says just take a deep breath and leave the room then you will not react on emotion. But isn't life about emotion we do for our children because we love them we stand up for them when someone does them wrong....etc. I do explain to them she is their mother and they are suppose to love her and encourage a relationship with her even when they don't want to go there. I just try to point out things that are untrue when they come to me with nonsense. It is a difficult challenge to try to stay neutral that is for sure but I continue to do my best and hope they one day she will see what is best for her children in the large issues, small ones WHATEVER.....everyone has an opinion. All I want is for her to be a MOTHER and maybe make an effort to be a good enough person and be sincere in working things out between both families for the sake of the girls. Again, I am sorry if I seem rude to any....we all know how frustrating this lifestyle can be.
guestmama 9918's Avatar guestmama 9918 11:39 AM 06-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishaG View Post
Quick History.....

#1. she took the 11 year to see Sex in the City.
I agree that 11 is young for this movie, that's why it is rated R. But I also agree with the poster who said this type of thing falls under "parenting differences." My 11 y.o. DSS watches R rated DVDs (like Texas Chainsaw) and has nightmares. I 100% think that is inappropriate. Obviously his mom thinks it is acceptable. DH has raised the issue with her. I control what I can and monitor the movies that are watched in this household.

#2. She was bad mouthing me to my husband telling him that their 11 year old tells her I am mean to her and a few other ridiculous things. This sounds like pretty common stuff. It's not fun, or pleasant, or fair, but there isn't a lor we as SM's can do about it. I know that my DSS's mom has a huge chip on her shoulder when it comes to me. If DSS were on fire and I put the fire out, even that would be a problem---I should have let his dad do it, I should have used water not an extinguisher, you get the idea. (Extreme example.)

I think pick your battles is sound advice. You can't have your DH confronting everything all the time. DSD's mom makes his bed, feeds him fast food literally every night, lets him stay up til all hours on school nights--not parenting choices I agree with, but DSS is her son. As hard as it is, sometimes you need to just let things go. Or you can spend $200/hour working with a mediator trying to resolve issues.
It does sound like you have a tense relationship with the ex. Where does your DH fit into this picture? I never even talk to DSS's mom. If she starts going off on me or the rules in our home, which is much more structured than her household, DH handles it.

You are lucky that your DSD's only spend limited time in a home where you disagree with the parenting philosophy.
TrishaG's Avatar TrishaG 12:29 PM 06-29-2008
My husband does what most men do when dealing with what sure feels like a "cat fight" he tries his best to difuse the situation and just reminds me that she is unable to be reasoned with and to not let her bother me. I wish I had that ability ALL THE TIME. It just burns me that they are never on time to pick up or drop off the girls so we end up sitting here waiting and usually an hour or so. We have been late to our own dinner plans and what not because she has no respect for our family. Truthfully it is all games all the time. Her way of getting back at us is to not pick up the girls at the last minute. I have and well know surcomed to playing her games back to her in the hopes to get her to be annoyed as well and later on knowing that it was just childish. At this point her and I do not speak so that leaves everyone else in the middle as well and it is not fair to them. However, I think any which way it will be difficult of all or some of us. Unless we can learn to get along.....It is just ridiculous and reading back on my own replies and others it shows me in black and white how stupid it all is. But it is our life and we will have to learn to deal with it so it doesn't deal with us! Ohhhh and can anyone tell me what all the abbreviations mean.....DH, DSD, DSS. I realize it is husband step daugther and etc.....but what is the D in the front mean? Confused!
LionessMom's Avatar LionessMom 01:21 PM 06-29-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrishaG View Post
Ohhhh and can anyone tell me what all the abbreviations mean.....DH, DSD, DSS. I realize it is husband step daugther and etc.....but what is the D in the front mean? Confused!

Darling, Dear, usually.
mtiger's Avatar mtiger 01:32 PM 06-29-2008
In all honesty, OP, this is a problem you should drop in Dad's lap. Let him deal with her.
pinksprklybarefoot 10:16 AM 06-30-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtiger View Post
In all honesty, OP, this is a problem you should drop in Dad's lap. Let him deal with her.


I would try to seriously curb the bad-mouthing of their mother. They are getting to the age where if their mother decided to fight for custody, the court would take their opinions into consideration. Then they could wind up growing into adults who think that their dad and evil SM stole them from their mom when they were children, thank goodness she fought to get them back when they were teenagers.

It is hard to take the high road, but it will pay off in the end. The best answer to "It's this way at Mom's house" that we've found is "Well, we do different things at different houses." My dsd has really started bringing out the "I wish I was at my mom's house" when she doesn't want to do something unpleasant here. But, she does the same thing over there. So I try (it's hard sometimes) to put it in perspective.
Oriole's Avatar Oriole 01:33 PM 06-30-2008
I haven't read all of the replies but here is my take on this..

I've seen Sex in the City, and most certainly agree that it's not approriate for an 11 y.o. child to see. Regardless of me not agreeing with this choice, I wouldn't turn it into a battle.

DSD was allowed to watch R-rated movies at her moms a lot earlier than our house. There definitely has always been two separate sets of rules, on some things we were more relaxed, on others her mom and stepdad. It is what it is. It will be a lot more damaging to the child to see two sets of parents going in a battle over a movie (or food, or bedtimes, or whathaveyous), than watching Sex in the City at 11.

I wouldn't worry much "my stepmom does this or that and is mean to me" talk. Are you loving and caring? Are you fair and affectionate? She knows the truth then despite what she tells her mom or what her mom tells her. There are many reasons for that kind of talk: she might be upset with you for having to clean up her room, she might be just trying to strike a conversation with her mom and knows that bashing stepmom will engage the mom. Why does it matter?

Who cares what the mom tells your husband? If he believes his ex's word over what he sees in his house every day, I hope you guys are looking for counseling, and the ex is certainly the least of your issues.

If your husband loves you, and you know you do your best with your stepdaughter, then things will work out. I know that things are easier said than done, but I am only giving the advice here that I have chosen to follow myself...

Stop worrying over what the mom says or thinks about you. DSD's mom used to tell my beloved dp that I'm not a good cook (heh), that I dont' know how to keep up the house, that dsd shouldn't be spending time with me, etc. etc. etc. None of that stuff matters at the end. Your own actions will speak a lot louder than her words. The sooner you choose to believe this, the sooner you will become happy family.

P.S. Kids know right from wrong... Even if they choose to say the wrong things at times, or make wrong choices, they come back to the place where they are loved and treated with respect.
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