stepmother stepped out of bounds! - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-10-2002, 02:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My ds, (almost 12 yo) attends a wonderful private school for the last 1 1/2 school years. His father and I enrolled him there because he had difficulty with public school. We have seen drastic improvement in his artwork, academics and his leadership skills. Overall, I am very pleased.

Yesterday, his stepmother sent a scathing letter addressed to a certain teacher and the rest of the staff at the school basically accusing this teacher (and all of them) of incompetence and unprofessionalism. This was in response to an assesment this teacher had made of my ds. I hadn't even received the assesment before she faxed her reply.

I have asked that she be respectful of my domain and this isn't happening. She is pregnant now with her first child, but I've been a mother for 16 years. She doesn't have the experience that I do but she will get her chance. She has repeatedly exposed my son to inapropriate movies and music in an effort to bond with him and be viewed as "cool" in his eyes.

This letter has caused quite a stir in this small school. I had to assure them that stepmother's opinions are not shared by father and me. I think we're lucky to have him at the school and I don't want her impulsive behaviour to scandalize and jeopardize his place there. All comments, advice and support welcome.....thanks.

shooshree
single mom to 2boys (15 and 11)
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:04 PM
 
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(((shooshree)))

What a drag! I'm a stepmama and I must say I can't imaging doing something like that. Have you talked with her about why she didn't come to you so you could all approach the teachers as a "united front" if it was really neccessary?

I feel that a steparent should be more of a friend BUT NOT by exposing a child to innapropriate and adult situations/ movies! I rarely am the disciplinarian but it allows me to explain to my stepson in a non-threatening way why his parents "lecture" or enforce rules sometimes. I completely respect "mom" and "dad" and want him to as well!

I do think stepmom crossed the line and I think you should all sit together and discuss it.

I have a few cousins right now who are in big battles with the "other" parent and problems with the stepparent and it really breaks my heart. I truly think bioparents and steps should try hard to communicate and get along for the sake of the children.

I wish you luck! Let us know if you are able to talk with her and work things out.
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Old 10-10-2002, 03:43 PM
 
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Shooshree,
It sounds like you are right and this woman is out of bounds. However, I just wanted to put a few thoughts out there for you to consider. My sd was in a much more difficult situation, in that her birth mother basically removed herself from her life when she was 12, and she and her brother were living with dh and I. DH worked alot and went out of town alot. many situations would arise where i was the only person to be her advocate and so I would march to the school or wherever to do that. At first it felt very strange, like it wasn't my place, but dh really wanted me to do that for him/her. Eventually I would naturally respond as her advocate whenever a difficult situation came up. The birth mother (WIL?) would periodically decide she wanted back in their lives until they (the kids and her) would have a problem and she would withdrawl again. I know that in those times that she was trying to participate she probably resented the fact that I was sd's primary advocate.

I know that your situation is very different, as you are clearly a very involved mother, but I thought you might look into the situation to see if there is some reason your son might have felt a need to appeal to her as an advocate, or that she on her own would have felt he needed an advocate. Then you can address whether your issue is just with the technique she used (ie: a scathing letter) or with her assuming the role of advocate at all. I would be clear which thing you are upset about before you attempt to resolve this with her.

I hope this helps some in working this out with her so that all parents birth and step can work together for what is best for him. I know I really wish I had been able to work with my SD's birth mother.
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Old 10-11-2002, 02:16 AM
 
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You said that the letter she sent was in response to an assesment made about your ds. It sounds like she was advocating for him (at least based on your post it does). So while her methods may not have been best, it sounds like she was sticking up for your child.

She sounds like she really cares for your child.
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Old 10-11-2002, 12:12 PM
 
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kind of reminds me of the movie with Julia Roberts (only kind of) in that Julia exposed the step daughter to some things I would not have approoved of also however her intentions were in the right place,
I guess the issue is the eval/assesment, and how you feel about it, how your son feels about it and what you would like done, I think the advice about sitting down and talking about it (IF thats possible) is good advice, it sounds like everyone is wanting the best for your son...how does your son feel and what does he think? For ME that would be very important,
all that said - I may not have any accurate p[erception of your issues and I dont want to completely ignore the pain/anger I would feel at someone assuming my mothering position and doing it not the way Id have chosen to do it -Id be pissed too, your feelings arent "wrong" -
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Old 10-31-2002, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks to you that responded to my post. It's nice to get the perspective of those of you who ARE stepparents. Oh, but I'm still having such a hard time with this person's presence in my ds's life. Some days I think that I should be able to transcend petty emotions/jealousies but it's often very hard to do.

In another discussion board I posted my intention to re-open the topic of circumcision with ds (who just turned 12) because I want him to understand why we chose to leave him intact. I copied the article "The Case Against Circumcision" and we discussed it for about an hour last nite. Feeling very confidant in this newly aquired knowledge, ds took the article to show sm (who is expecting a baby boy). This was meant as an act of love. Sm flew into a rage and told ds that I was attempting to interfere in the life of HER child. (This from a woman who writes letters to MY son's school!) She belittled him and discounted the concept of the intact male. Needless to say, ds was very upset and unprepared for her reaction.

The truth is, I'm not sure I can open lines of communication with her until I'm able to sort out my own feelings about all of this. I feel so territorial about ds. Am I just being immature?
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