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What happens when you have a child who has 2 families at a game or event? Do you all sit together as one to support and united for the child(ren)? or do you sit in separate areas? or do you insist that someone not be at the event b/c you don't want to deal w/ you ex or the ex doesn't want to deal w/ you?
You'll often hear how the ex-wife (usually but not always) or bio-mom doesn't want their children father's new wife/girlfriend to attend the events of their children. They get defensive & it becomes more complex than it needs to be.
As an example:
Your ex just informed you that his new wife does not want to talk to you, therefore, you are not to sit with them at our their child's next event or game.
Does this mean you shouldn't attend? Should you sit on the other side of room or field? What's best for the child? The child(ren) have already been through enough.
If you sit on other sides of the room, the child's joy will be overshadowed by the fear that if they look for their father's side, mom's side would/could be hurt. They end up w/ enormous guilt.
In these moments, the children realize that they may have to divide their allegiance between mom side & dad's side, because they don't want to choose without hurting one or the other, so they end up doing nothing, other than left w/ the guilt of the parents that they shouldn't have.
Seeing a parent's obvious disdain for each other in public, like sitting on opposite sides, can embarrass the child & put them in the position where they feel they have to choose one parent over the other.
With that in mind, should you just not attend the event if you don't like to see the ex or the new spouses/SO's? No, you should absolutely go to the events, it's not about the other parent feeling all warm and cozy about you, it's about the child & supporting them. Arguments between ex-spouses and new partners are separate issues from watching a child's game or important even (i.e., graduation etc.)
So what do you do? Do you sit together? If the child will be negatively affected if you don't sit together, then sit together. This is not about you or her step-mother/bio-mother. It's about showing support for a child(ren) you all care for.
Whatever it is that is upsetting the ex or step-parent, it is a separate issue from all of you supporting your child(ren). Work from that area & remember, because it is a separate issue does not mean you should put off addressing it. Do what you have to do to work it out before the next event, if you can, even if means a phone call, a invitation to get together so that you can all talk, a letter/email, what even you think work's best. Get it out in the open, address it, and move on, for the child(ren)'s sake. As it's been stated, the child(ren) usually have been through enough, why put them through more?
What are your thoughts? Have you been through this before? How have you handled it if you have?
In school shows i've been i never had issues with bio-mom. Of course we never sat close to each other and started being talkative. Me and DH were way back taking pics, and we were there to great and congratulate DSD Daphnie when all was done. We could see bio-mom and she could see us.....but that's about it. There was one occasion where (in the beginning) Daphnie introduced us in such an event. Bio-mom was very nice and she shook my hand and said 'My daughter says the best for you'.....and i said 'i love her she is an amazing creature'.....i think that is the only real conversation i've ever had with her these last 4 years.......and also another occasion were she waved to me from the side mu husbands car door. So no we don't sit together, we sit apart but we are civil to each other when we come face to face...... I am happy with that take. I need and want nothing more or less from that....as for Daphnie she never had an issue with not seeing us all together. In the end she always goes to her mom (GOOD for her) they do their thing and then she runs off to us to greet us and have a talk about what we thought.....that's about it..........Not complicated and we try not to put her in any difficult situation whatsoever. Now as a step-mom IF i hear my husband telling me that bio mom may not want me in this or that thing that her daughter is participating, i would stay my place and remain behind.....OF COURSE...i wouldn't attend and i would leave both bio parents to do their staff. I don't have any issues with such matters. Now as to whom sits with whom i say keep it seperate....we are NOT 1 family. We are 2 families....and then poor kid has also 2 families.....its as simple and complicated as that.
" \m/ Now Iím riding through the air
going to where no one dares
on the way Iíll cross the line forevermore \m/ "
Last edited by Ellemphriem; October 4th, 2009 at 10:23 PM.
Now as to whom sits with whom i say keep it seperate....we are NOT 1 family. We are 2 families....and then poor kid has also 2 families.....its as simple and complicated as that.
Here are a couple of examples of how that could backfire. Yes, technically you are not living in the same house & have separate lives, but what you do share in common is the child(ren)... and you are trying to blend the families so that everyone is on the same page, for the most part any ways. Let me give you 2 different scenarios about how this could be an issue. Just something to chew on if you will...
You have a a family in which the bio-mom & ex don't get along. The child's mother and father are at odds with each other, causing the child to sit at the other side of the event while the child's mother sits in on another end.
The child has an event like a graduation (or something else important), the child. Picture the child walking across to get their award or diploma, the crowd is clapping & cheering, but after the child receives their aware (or what ever special certificate they are getting), and the child stops cold. First they try to find their father, then their mother, both are smiling, both are cheering, but somehow the child is slumped over, hurt, they are feeling torn, they rush back to sit with their peers--a strange reaction for a child who had just received a great accomplishment.
The second example is another child, whose parents had been divorced/separated. The child's father and mother sit near each other in the bleachers/stands.
The child's mother had just remarried and her new husband was also present. When the child gets their award, they know exactly where to look for the reinforcement. After the child gets their award, in all smiles, and happily runs back into place w/ their peers who also congratulate the child for their accomplishments.
In both examples, the child(ren) are products of divorce. Having been separated, it's clear to child's parents aren't comfortable being together. They sit yards away from each other as they watch their child's event. The child is excited when they get their award, but their joy is overshadowed by the fear that if they look to Dad for congratulations, Mom will be hurt. If he look to Mom for congratulations, Dad will be hurt.
In that split second a child realizes they have to divide themselves between their mother & father, not wanting to hurt one or the other.
On the other hand, if the parents unit for the sake of the child(ren) for all of an hour or so every year or certain amount of months, none of these issues would come to a head. The parents can sit near each other (not necessarily next to each other, but nearby and appear to be comfortable with each other all in attendance) publicly demonstrating their mutual support for the child. When the child is receiving their award or accomplishment, they have the appropriate reaction. They'll know exactly where to go for reinforcement and to share their excitement with those they love.
As I had mentioned before, arguments between ex-spouses and new partners are separate issues from watching the child at a game or event for the child, such as watching the child(ren) graduate or any other activity that celebrates a child's accomplishments.
Should you sit together? If your child(ren) will be negatively affected if you don't sit together, then sit together. This is not about the bio-mom & step-mom not being best friends or liking each other to hang out. It's about showing support for a child(ren) that you all care about.
Now obviously some situations, you'll get a step-parent that refuses to suck it up, or you get a bio-parent that is the same. In those cases, it's so sad to me. I've gone to all of my DS' events, and I've had to deal w/ DS' step-mother, my ex, and so on. Do I feel great about it? Not always, I do feel territorial & somewhat uncomfy, but as soon as I realize that I am not there for them, but for my DS, I forget that they're even there & just proceed cheering for my DS. Sadly, the last time I went to my DSS' event, his bio-mom decided to sit on the other side of the room, and no matter how much small talk I had for her, she cut me short & didn't want to partake in just getting along for the sake of her DS. Instead, she'd rather be hard-headed & immature. In those cases, what can you do? All I can say is that b/c of my DSS' bio-mom acting this way, when we're all in a room together, DSS is afraid to come to see us & talk to us b/c he fears that he's letting his mother down. It's so sad to have to watch a child choose from one family to the next. If we are truly a "Blended Family"....why can't we all be nice & get along for an hour for the sake of the child? In the end, it's really the child we are there to support, not the adults, right?
Because of the distance (4 hours driving) and that I have little ones, I haven't been to any of Dh's girls events. Even when things were half way good, I just couldn't go because I had a baby at the time. Now things are not good so my kids & I just stay home while Dh goes for the weekend.