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Kids are great, co-parenting impossible


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  #1  
December 17th, 2008, 05:04 AM
stripes's Avatar Newbies
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I am looking for stepmoms who have some experience either successfully or unsuccessfully co-parenting with their stepchildren's mom. In our case, it is pretty much impossible to co-parent as "mom" is overwhelmed with bitterness and a mental illness that skews her judgment and behavior. Her idea of co-parenting is actually called "dictatorship". I am dealing with three children who have significant issues with loyalties to their mom and dad. It has been heartbreaking to watch. I have done my best to stay out of the line of fire. Unfortunately "mom" puts the kids in the middle, and/or uses them to get back at their father for moving on 3 years after the break up. They are really great kids. I am very proud of them. They have had a very hard time emotionally. Especially the youngest. I feel protective of them and sometimes I just want to shake their mother and ask her how exactly telling the children lies such as "your father is probably in jail" is good for them to hear.

I've pretty much chewed my own tongue right off.
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  #2  
December 17th, 2008, 08:49 AM
JustBecca's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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First off Welcome. My name is Becca and I am one of the hosts here.
I think that co-parenting is something that must be done with both parents. If one feels like they do not want to deal with it, there is no way that it is going to work.
I really have no advice though because we do not have the birth father of my DD in the picture and I do not have to co-parent with him.
There are some other great ladies on here that have co-parented or are co-parenting that I think can give you more insight.
Good Luck to you and please stick around.
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  #3  
December 17th, 2008, 09:08 AM
stripes's Avatar Newbies
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Thanks Becca, hopefully someone can relate!


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  #4  
December 17th, 2008, 09:20 AM
MrsRestivo's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I can't relate exactly. My DSD's mom lives about 4 hours away and only sees him a few times a year. When he does go visit her it is one week to two weeks at a time. When he gets home we go through hell for weeks trying to de-mom him. She tells him things like he doesn't have to listen to me and I'm not his mom. I know I'm not his mom, but I'm married to his father and am really the only mother figure he has most of the time. Last time she taught him how to "hauck a loogie." (spelling?) - Which he does ALL the time... Pleasant. And he never started lying until he went there this last time and now he lies about EVERY single thing and talks back like crazy. She just left him at home alone in front of the TV for the most part and let him stay up ALL night. My DH has threatened taking her time away if she doesn't get her act together, because we have full custody and he lets him go to be nice, not because its court ordered.

I know that didn't help, I don't know what to say though- I know its a really yucky situation...
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  #5  
December 18th, 2008, 04:51 AM
stripes's Avatar Newbies
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Quote:
She tells him things like he doesn't have to listen to me and I'm not his mom. I know I'm not his mom, but I'm married to his father and am really the only mother figure he has most of the time.[/b]
Thanks for your response. If only these "moms" would think about, and care about the fact that they should be grateful that despite the situation, their children have someone in their lives who care for them in some sort of a parental capacity, while they are NOT there whether it's because they choose not to be, are not allowed to be, or are not capable of being - there.

Instead they'd rather sabotage their own children's happiness to satisfy their own need to seek revenge. I see this all the time with my own stepkids so I can relate to your situation. Selfish behavior with a capitol "S"!

It's very very difficult to refrain from responding to it.
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  #6  
December 18th, 2008, 08:24 AM
peimum's Avatar life blows sometimes.
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My step son has not seen his mom in almost 2 years. He lives with us in Canada, and his mom lives in Texas. We call her every weekend so that he can talk to her. She agrees with me about most parenting ideas, the problem I have is DH... he does not expect a whole lot out of Christian, so that makes it really hard. Christian's BM told DH on the phone this past weekend, that Christian needs chores! YEAH for her! It is about time! So, DH is supposed to be sitting down with Christian and having a "man to man" this coming weekend. DH works A LOT so that I don't have to work much.... so parenting is really left up to me.... If I could just get Christian to actually listen to me, that would not be so bad....
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  #7  
December 18th, 2008, 08:52 AM
stripes's Avatar Newbies
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Quote:
My step son has not seen his mom in almost 2 years. He lives with us in Canada, and his mom lives in Texas. We call her every weekend so that he can talk to her. She agrees with me about most parenting ideas, the problem I have is DH... he does not expect a whole lot out of Christian, so that makes it really hard. Christian's BM told DH on the phone this past weekend, that Christian needs chores! YEAH for her! It is about time! So, DH is supposed to be sitting down with Christian and having a "man to man" this coming weekend. DH works A LOT so that I don't have to work much.... so parenting is really left up to me.... If I could just get Christian to actually listen to me, that would not be so bad....[/b]
I have been very fortunate to have the support of my husband with respect to the kids. You're an angel for taking on your stepson. Your husband sounds like he's a good provider.
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  #8  
December 23rd, 2008, 02:26 AM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I feel all too simple in all this. I don't co-parent my DSD simply because i let parenting to DH and his ex wife. I just support his decisions and that's that. No more complication in any of this. Don't wanna be in the middle.......
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  #10  
December 28th, 2008, 05:38 AM
Daisyfields's Avatar Platinum Super Mega Mommy
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Welcome to the board, I am one of the co-hosts on the board & both a step & bio mom & have to deal w/ your situation on many occasions. My best advice to you, step back, you can't change her, you wont change her & the only person who can take a stand & make her change is your DH. He has to take her to court, w/ concrete proof, not hear-say, and have a judge hear the concrete, black & white proof of her/bio-mom's behavior. At that point the judge would then probably make statements of shame on her part & then order not only her but DH to parenting classes & the entire family to mandatory therapy.

So, with that said. If your DH is willing to do all of that, and I know mine isn't after all these years. You need to start getting this concrete evidence such as dates, times, and if she leaves v/mails or emails w/ those statements, keep them, print them & collect them.

In the mean time, it's hard, but you can only set the good example by being the good person at your house. Don't trash talk the bio-mom or try to explain it all. You just set the good example & if the kids have questions or need explanation regarding their mother's statements, you need DH to do that explaining. I know it's hard to sit back & let that be, but it's what is best. The only time you can step up & say something is if she is accusing YOU of something & it involves defending yourself. Then it's different but you still need to set the better example.

My lawyer, or our lawyer told us once "some people are miserable no matter what they get"... this was after the bio-mom got an increase in her support & all that jazz but still wanted more & was acting awful. It wasn't about the money, she is just the type of person that doesn't want to see her ex (my DH) happy. It sounds like this is your situation, from your explanation anyways. I am not hearing all sides or all stories, this is just a quick observation but it's one that is common.

Hope this helps some & know that you are not alone.

~Chantelle
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  #11  
December 28th, 2008, 09:29 AM
ToonTownGirl's Avatar Super Mommy
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I'm new to this board, and I know EXACTLY what you are going through. The "X" factor (as I like to refer to HER as) is nothing but a royal pain in the hind end. We get my DSS every other weekend, pending the "X" factor doesn't loose her mind. My SO and I have been together for just over a year now and things have only gotten worse for him because of it. The "X" hates the fact that my SO has moved on with his life, and therefore is using their 8 year old son as a "bargaining tool" in order to hurt my SO.

I feel your pain, and the lack of logic that some of these women have. I'm not saying all of them are bad, but unfortunately that is usually the case. They tend to read from the same "book" that states that they must try to alienate the child from their father because it is "THEIR" child, and no one else's. But yet when they were together, the responsibilities were divided. So why now after the split is it suddenly that this child is "MINE" and you are to have NO say in anything???

The "X" and I have had a few run ins, even though I have done everything in MY power to stay away from her due to the fact that she is a loose cannon. Just this summer she threatened to beat the crap out of me, while holding my DSS in her arms. She assaulted my SO with MY car door, cursed and swore at us, all while holding this little boy. Now someone tell ME where the logic is in that? And that's just ONE of MANY situations where she has lost her mind in front of the child.

And now it's getting worse, because my DSS comes to us, and we lose a day trying to calm him down. We get him Friday after work, he's a brat until the next morning. Then Sunday we have to take him home, and he freaks out cause he doesn't want to go back???? What are we supposed to do? It breaks my heart to know that she is emotionally abusing him, and yet there is NOTHING that anyone can do about it.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.....I know that I'm truly at my wits end as I don't know how much more of this in my heart I can really take?

Cheers,
T
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