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Old 05-11-2007, 04:55 AM
 
Location: Draper, Utah
618 posts, read 2,494,100 times
Reputation: 488

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Hey everyone! I am a step mommy of 4 year old, whom I love to death! His mom can be very difficult at times, telling him untrue things about me. He once told me, that his mommy said I am mean, and he can't love both his mommy and me! It is SO hard! She is not on the same maturity level as my husband and me!

Once, my stepson told me that he wishes he could live with me and his daddy. My husband's ex even called him up complaining, because she said that when my step son through a tantrum at her house, he was crying for ME!!! She thinks I am poisoning his mind against her or something, when really, I am just behaving in a loving manner towards him, and providing a stable environment for him. Things get hard, because we would so love to have more custody of him, but the laws in England never lean towards the father, even if the father is the more able parent. While in his mother's care, the poor baby is dropped off at a daycare for several hours each day, even though the mom doesn't work, because the government here pays for the daycare!! Her rich parents pay for the rest. It is so sad to see my step son develop anger and behavioral issues, from being dumped off at a daycare all day, yet the laws will do nothing to rule in our favor, and give him more time with his dad. He loves our house, because he gets attention!

The hardest part, is that my husband's ex has a mental illness, and so her behavior and moods are very unpredictable, and very innappropriate.

We have a rule at our house, and we never speak badly about my step sons mother in front of him, or say anything negative to him about his life with her. We don't pry him to share his feelings, or say things like,"Daddy's house is better, don't you want to live with Daddy?" We just allow him to share his feelings when HE chooses, and provide the emotional support and loving attention he is in need of.

So how does everyone cope? What are your experiences as a step parent? What are your experiences with your spouses ex? How do you deal?

Share anything you wish here! Being a step parent is not easy, and sometimes, you feel like nobody understands your feelings!
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Old 05-11-2007, 07:29 AM
 
1,703 posts, read 4,624,661 times
Reputation: 1093
Gee calibelle. I'm sorry that things are so bad with your husband's ex. It's a hard situation but I think you are handling it well. If you can't get more or complete custody then there's not too much you can do but try to keep the peace which it sounds like you are doing. I think like you alluded to that it is key to NEVER badmouth the other parent.
Maybe in a little while when things change the courts might look at it differently. I really think that a different court would favour a stable, loving couple over a mentally ill, unstable mother. It sounds like it'd be in the child's best interest to live with you guys. Unfortunately for the time being, I don't think there's a whole lot you can do. Just what you've been doing. Keep the peace, keep the faith and try not to get bitter against his ex.
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Old 05-11-2007, 10:18 AM
 
Location: NW Atlanta
1,372 posts, read 4,757,117 times
Reputation: 419
ya know I was raised by my mom and stepdad (he later adopted me to have the same last name as my bro and sis
(my natural father actually told her it was ok for the adoption because he could make another one just like me) (PS God punished him for that one he only had boys)

anyway....my mom NEVER said anything about him good bad ugly
nothing really
if I asked she answered but not derogatorily she told me the truth for the question
as I got older I learned it was good that way because I didn't feel like she tried to sway me in any direction

I think you and your husband are doing the right things and though it may seem hard now.... the rewards will be greater when he starts to "think" for himself he won't question why you said things you said

But I am sure that he WILL question his mother?
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Old 05-11-2007, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Chattanooga TN
2,349 posts, read 9,496,856 times
Reputation: 1197
Geez, these parents! Mothers of your step-children can be frustrating to say the least. I have had some nightmare dealings in my time I can tell ya! Don't even get me started I do like the advice given to NEVER say anything derogatory about the ex, no matter what has happened. Also, never make excuses for them. I am not saying tell the child "Your mom won't come get you because she is laid up w/boyfriend #8" but you get my drift. If they have questions or are hurt, acknowledge their pain and suggest that they ask that parent what the deal is. It's not your place to make excuses for said parent but to assure them that you care and are willing to help. These kids love those crappy parents they are dealt with and one day, they will see the light... when the time is right and they are mature enough to deal with it. Good luck, hold your tongue, breath deeply through those clenched teeth and make darned sure that person doesn't come between you and your spouse. It happens.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:20 AM
 
Location: Draper, Utah
618 posts, read 2,494,100 times
Reputation: 488
Thanx guys! Ya, things can be tough at times. Gosh I wish things were different in the courts here, but they aren't, and they don't seem to show any sign of changing the laws. If you birth a child, that child is yours no matter how you treat it, unless you relinquish all rights yourself. I know of a court case that has been on the news, where a father has his EX wife on video snorting crack cocaine, and he still only gets the minimum of 4 hours visitation, once a month, on a saturday.

We count our blessings everyday for the time that we get to spend with my step son.

You know, my husband's ex has actually said things to their child in front of his father, like"Your step mommy is mean to you, isn't she?" and "Your daddy loves your step mommy more than you."

I really do hope that as he gets older, my step son will start to see our home as a haven, and start to question the things he hears from his mother. She claims that she doesn't talk badly about me to my step son anymore, but I don't buy it.
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:28 AM
 
Location: Draper, Utah
618 posts, read 2,494,100 times
Reputation: 488
So on a lighter note.... how do all you deal with discipline as a step parent? My step son's mother would like me to spank him, or smack his hand, if he throws things at people, because he has a habit of doing that. I don't agree with spanking full stop. I think if you hit and humiliate a child, they only learn to hit! My husband says, once his ex wife gets remarried (which she says she is later this year), if he finds out his son's stepfather lays a hand on my stepson, he will break the new stepdad's neck! I wouldn't want a step parent smacking my child! NOT okay!

Also... do you think it is better to let my husband handle all the time outs, or do you think I should handle some as well? At the moment, if I see a naughty behavior, I give a warning, and I tell my step son the good behavior I would like to see from him. If he continues, I explain why he will get a time out, I set a timer for 4 minutes, and the time out begins. After the timer beeps, I ask my step son if he understands why he had a time out. He then explains it to me, or I explain it to him, to make sure he understands. Then, I tell him what good behavior I would like to see, and if possible, I have him correct his mistake somehow. Then, I give him a kiss and a hug, and we move on.

So what do you all think? I kind of think, that if I don't correct negative behaviors, that he will think it is okay to disrespect me. But at the same time, I don't want to be known as the wicked step mother either!
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:16 AM
 
Location: The Great State of Arkansas
5,981 posts, read 15,903,769 times
Reputation: 7531
Oh, Calibelle - the stories we could all tell....but if you spank that little boy, she will have your head handed to you on a platter (and I do understand that you don't believe in this, so I'm just stating fact).

My Husband #2's ex was a trip as well - I sewed 13 outfits for my his daughter one summer, which ex promptly put in the Goodwill bin....on the other hand, Husband #2 wasn't very supportive of me and would never face the ex down on my behalf. I also had two sons who lived with us and the things they tell me now make my hair stand on end - he was not only not supportive of them, but downright mean on occasion. His daughter was perfect and his ex ran our household every other weekend - we spent hours trying to undo the damage she did when his daughter was with us. Needless to say, when he ran away from home, I was not heartbroken. Too much high drama.

I remarried Husband #3, Beloved Spouse (BS for short) when my sons were 19 and 17 to a man who had never been married, never had children, and came from very stern German/Swedish stock...what an eye-opener for him - raising teenagers is challenging to the biologic parent, never mind the stepparent - but you know what? He rose to the occasion since their real father (Husband #1) was the prototype for Deadbeat Dad....he has seen both of my boys through college and one through law school - and yes, we've bailed them out of jail for public intoxication and we've had to move them home because of goofing off in college and having a keg in the closet, and blah, blah, blah......but my sons respect him enormously because he was strong and steady, and he has never said a single deragatory comment about their natural father or their former stepfather - he just does what he does without the glory and has shown them what it means to be real men. One son is a lawyer now, and one is a credit card fraud investigator.....and I truly believe it is because of the rock steady hand of BS.

I would give anything to take back the knock down, drag out fights I had with my boys' father that they witnessed - they are now 27 and 30 and have very vivid memories of that. Even though they know their dad and I buried the hatchet a long time ago, those memories will be with them for life.

Hang tough, fight the good fight by showing what a mature, sensible person does - your stepdaughter will figure it all out on her own one day. I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this - divorce can be very ugly if children are involved, and they suffer so much more than the adults....
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:43 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,265 times
Reputation: 10
Lightbulb Curious as to your thoughts?

Hi Calibelle!
I related to your story on a few levels. I am to be married soon to the mother of a wonderful 4 -yr old. His father is mentally ill, not diagnosed but likely bipolar with some paranoid symptoms. He has been mostly kept out of the picture b/c he is verbally and somewhat physically abusive to and around my fiance when they have contact. They have not had any contact the last 5 months nor has her son with his father. Her son has begun to experiment with calling me Daddy. We have a nice bond. He's a great kid! He began to call me the "nice Daddy" and his other Daddy, "the mean Daddy." She has issues with this. We never put his father down in front of him as a rule. Still, I suggested we allow him to call his father what he wants. My fiancee states that calling his father the "bad" or "mean" Daddy sin't good because he is a part of his Daddy and doing so is like insulting himself. She is very protective of his father (even though she despises him) b/c she insists that her son's self image is tied in with his opinion of his father. Any thoughts on this? She is pregnant and will be due in Spring too. She wants me to treat both children as my own and yet she gets protective about what to tell her son and what not to...she states, "I know what he needs." How do i treat them equally without her considering my parenting input? Any thoughts on this oh wise one!
I can be emailed too at besilly@gmavt.net
Marc

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calibelle View Post
Hey everyone! I am a step mommy of 4 year old, whom I love to death! His mom can be very difficult at times, telling him untrue things about me. He once told me, that his mommy said I am mean, and he can't love both his mommy and me! It is SO hard! She is not on the same maturity level as my husband and me!

Once, my stepson told me that he wishes he could live with me and his daddy. My husband's ex even called him up complaining, because she said that when my step son through a tantrum at her house, he was crying for ME!!! She thinks I am poisoning his mind against her or something, when really, I am just behaving in a loving manner towards him, and providing a stable environment for him. Things get hard, because we would so love to have more custody of him, but the laws in England never lean towards the father, even if the father is the more able parent. While in his mother's care, the poor baby is dropped off at a daycare for several hours each day, even though the mom doesn't work, because the government here pays for the daycare!! Her rich parents pay for the rest. It is so sad to see my step son develop anger and behavioral issues, from being dumped off at a daycare all day, yet the laws will do nothing to rule in our favor, and give him more time with his dad. He loves our house, because he gets attention!

The hardest part, is that my husband's ex has a mental illness, and so her behavior and moods are very unpredictable, and very innappropriate.

We have a rule at our house, and we never speak badly about my step sons mother in front of him, or say anything negative to him about his life with her. We don't pry him to share his feelings, or say things like,"Daddy's house is better, don't you want to live with Daddy?" We just allow him to share his feelings when HE chooses, and provide the emotional support and loving attention he is in need of.

So how does everyone cope? What are your experiences as a step parent? What are your experiences with your spouses ex? How do you deal?

Share anything you wish here! Being a step parent is not easy, and sometimes, you feel like nobody understands your feelings!
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Old 07-17-2007, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Home is where we park it.
3,091 posts, read 8,207,742 times
Reputation: 3143
I married a wonderful man 11 years ago who blessed me with 2 daughters, ages 12 and 10. And while they were living with his parents at the time, he had legal custody. The oldest never did live with us but the youngest did. I bless the day she decided to come live with us.

Their mother is bipolar and paranoid schizophrenic. A HECK of a mix. Her own parents sided with the court in giving my husband custody of the girls.

As to disciple...it was handled by both of us. I may not have been her mother but I was her parent. And she lived in our house.

She doesn't know how much I care for her and love her but what teen remembers that of their parents. At least not until they get out on their own and have kids of their own. One time she asked me *why do you care!* yelled at me at the top of her lungs...to which I promptly and MATURELY yell back...*cause I do, I'm your parent, remember?*

There was another time...she had gotten a tattoo and I had just discovered it...was yelling at her and one of the things I said was "What is your mother gonna say?" Her response was: "She will think it's cool." You are more of a mother to me than she is! (at the top of her lungs).

Took the wind out of my sails real quick.

She wasn't the child of my body but she is and always will be the child of my heart. Liz
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Old 07-17-2007, 11:11 AM
 
Location: Phoenix...until next week, then Maryland...tick tock tick tock
169 posts, read 550,391 times
Reputation: 102
Question Help...?

Hmm...I was actually thinking about starting a thread similar to this...just from a different perspective. How fortuitous.

I'm wondering about this subject, actually. My son is 18 months old & my BF has been there since before he was born, so my BF is the only "daddy" he's ever known. His bio-dad has met him twice (which is twice more than I expected) & has not really been helpful in any way. I sometimes struggle with letting my BF be "daddy" tho. He says he considers my son his own, but I feel like he's my son.

Now, to complicate things, we are moving back east at the end of the month to be closer to family, primarily my BF's bio-daughter (2 1/2 YO). The "short" version of that story is that my BF & his ex moved out here so he could go to school, found out she was pregnant, & he promptly took on a 2nd job on top of full-time school because she didn't want to work. She then spent her free time sleeping with one of his "friends"...while she was pregnant with my BF's daughter. Classy, huh? My BF then sent her back to her family, & she has since married & divorced (?) the guy she cheated with & has been through a couple more guys/pregnancies/miscarriages since then.

So, point being, once we get over there, we will be seeing his daughter on a fairly regular basis. I am nervous about this. I am worried that I will not love his daughter the same way he loves my son. Before I had my son (whom I love immensely) I could not stand kids. I'm still not a huge fan in general, but am a lot more tolerant now that I have some perspective. I do care about his daughter in concept, but I'm afraid of the change we face. I'm afraid of the drama it will create having to deal with another toddler, plus a less than delightful ex. I'm worried that my son & I will take an immediate & pronounced back seat to him fawning over his daughter. I'm also afraid that I'm going to end up doing everything for both kids instead of just 1. He isn't very good about jumping in to help w/o being specifically asked.

I feel very guilty for feeling this way... I don't know if this is normal or right. My parents stayed married (probably shouldn't have) until I was 19 & I am their only bio child. I now have an 18 YO step bro, but he didn't enter the picture until I was about to get married myself...so I have no experience with this...& I'm scared. I want the relationship to work with my BF & I would love to have a similar relationship with his daughter that he has with my son (my son adores my BF). I'd love to be a positive influence to his daughter & show her what it is to be a strong confident woman...

Anybody have any tips for me? I'm very new at all of this & very scared...
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