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I don't really know if its all them per-se I think there mom is causing a bigger issue than it really is.
This morning DH got a text from the ex saying that the girls didn't want to come to our house this week. So of course we are both like ***? Why not? The ex says to him well lets meet for coffee and talk about this.
So I texted her and said is everything ok? And I asked if I was the reason they didn't want to come over (because I know they dont like my way of parenting) and she replies "you know what if I wanted to talk to you I would have texted you this is between me and Jay" and was being snarly. So I was like well i'm concerned too and if there's a problem with me I should know you don't have to be snarly. Than she says "You only care for your own convenience, you don't give a rats *** about my kids from what they have been telling me"
So luckily I have a nice little written list of why the girls don't want to be at our house. I could go on and on about it and some of the stuff on there is plain out lies and some of it is greediness. Me and Jay are both stumped and appalled. I am pissed that they seem to think I have no place in this issue and that just because i'm not mom or dad I shouldn't be involved in the discussion. I am also not happy that the girls have had some problems and haven't said anything to either of us. Instead they are going to go and tell there mom who is a total drama seeker and likes to blow thins up. And both parents are not involving them in the discussion and are letting them get away with causing this rift. Everything was fine and I don't get why this was brought up just today.
Both of them have everything they could want but are complaining it's not enough, and are complaining about having to do some chores. Dh just spent 200 bucks on clothes for them but apparently it wasnt enough. The older one is upset that we just bought new couches and that Dh bought me a Wii and Iphone for my birthday So I don't deserve birthday presents??
I am more of a hard*** on them and don't let them get away with crap and I don't baby them like everyone else. This is also changing the way that DH parents them. before he used to let them do whatever they wanted and treated them like babies. He doesn't do that anymore.(especially with the younger one) (FYI they are 8 and 12)
Maybe this combined with the new baby has upset them. I don't know. But I would have really preferred if we could talk to them ourselves instead of having to use a third person who has NO IDEA what goes on here and has no idea about some of the reasoning behind some of the things on the list. There is onviously something else bothering them that would prevent them from wanting to come over.
I just think this whole thing was handled poorly and I know that DH didn't fully discuss some of the stuff on the list. He's a ***** and doesn't like confrontation lol. I am SOOO tempted to write a letter to the EX explaining some things because I dont think I can talk to her right now. Her and I have never had problems but after this I absolutely don't trust her and I don't enjoy her making terrible accusations that I don't care about the girls.
I just don't know if writing her a letter is the best thing to do? I cant just let Dh deal with it because it won't be dealt with properly. It will just be swept under the rug and it won't be discussed.
Sorry that was so long I just don't really know what to do. I really want to talk to the girls myself but wont be able to unless DH tells the ex we are going to pick them up and take them out for dinner after school which I know he won't. I am so bothered by this and just want to straighten it out
Well coming from being in the "step mom" position..... DO NOT WRITE HER A LETTER!!!!!!! I can NOT stress that enough. I know that you want to help, and that you want to support your DH and help try to resolve this issue, but honestly my dear.... that's NOT YOUR JOB. Your DH needs to grow a set, and take the situation by the horns. I know that it affects your life, and trust me, I've been in this battle for a long time now.
Honestly, you have to sit back and let things play out. The ONLY thing that you can control, is you. You can't control what the baby-mamma is going do, or say. As much as sometimes we would just like to shake them and say hey, don't you get that you are actually hurting these kids by doing the things that you are doing, but it would be like talking to a brick wall.
You need to focus on you, and your children that are in your home. I know that it sucks, and this isn't what you wanted to hear, but honestly, STEP AWAY. This woman is your DH's ex, not yours. He needs to deal with this, not you. You can stand beside him and support him, but this isn't your battle to fight.
I hope that this helps, and like I said, I know this isn't what you want to hear, but to keep your own sanity, you have to step away and let your hubby deal with it.
Oh oh oh! I see a lot of 'hurry into action here', where it is not your place AT ALL to take any action Sorry for coming on so blunt but that is how i feel. I never get involved in serious issues concerning my step-daughter, i keep very well out of the way, and that also means i never contact the bio-mom UNLESS she wants to contact me. In any other case all contact issues are between bio-mom and bio-dad. Maybe the kids have issues with how you treat them (don't know why/what goes and it's not my place to find out) but if that's the case THE LAST person they'd wanna talk about that is with you! I mean think about it. I wouldn't want to talk to the person that i think is messing my up (at this age not now of course). I'd talk to whom first? My MOM......she is NOT A THIRD person, she is THEIR MOM.....and i find it proper and nice that they talk to her first. And the next action as i see it? She should talk to her ex husband and NOT YOU of course (kudos to her for not wanting to talk to you, i wouldn't either.....sorry again but i am speaking my true throughts on this) and she should try to solve this with him. And then HE should come and discuss it with you. You have indeed a rightful place in all this but it is not a first place, it is the third place. Now as to why the kids do that i have no idea. Maybe they are poisoned as you say from the other side (which i always find so sad and unfair), but i always say that in a bad situation both sides are in fault even if one of the two is less faulty than the other. Think what you might have done to cause this. Maybe it's minor and maybe with the new baby the balance is indeed broken I know my step daughter Daphnie told me before Stephanie was born 'I know i am gonna be kicked on the side when she comes, i don't want her here'............When she came i MADE sure i made Daphnie a part of the whole baby process whenever she was here.....as i said in another post now i cannot find a more helpful and loving girl than her around Stephanie.... .......I mean we as adults have a little more responsibility than the children and it is also in our hand not to feel pissy about childish staff like my DH bought me gifts and they don't like it. They are children so what? .....hehehehe.......get my drift? Let them do their thing. I am sure you did staff like that as a kid and don't remember them. I used to also. As adults then it is our job to forget all that and try to keep them involved as Chantelle said somewhere else and part of the family, without thinking we are favoring them. On an ending note i never messed with the parenting style of my husband. I parent Dapnhie as equally as i can and i stay out of the serious issues as appropriate as my third place is.....his parenting style remained the same throughout all the days of our relationship/engagement/marriage/pregnancy and birth. Nothing rocked that.....and bio-mom said she is happy that there is a person like me in the house taking such good care of her daughter. Try to do your best to stay out of the way and not change the way your husband parents he 2 other children. And also as a biio-mom yourself put yourself in her shoes...would you have liked it IF the man you divorced suddenly started treating your babies in a different (whichever) way when he had another woman (albeit wife) in his life? ......i would be pissed as hell.....and all that please don't take rough at heart. That's just my take on what you said based on what i know from personal experience and my blended family......and of course based on what you wrote.....which i could have misunderstood also because sometimes in writing we cannot properly express what really goes kwim?
I really hope you solve this quickly and painlessly because those 2 kids out there don't have it easy.......nononono.....not easy at all......
" \m/ Now Iím riding through the air
going to where no one dares
on the way Iíll cross the line forevermore \m/ "
The two gals above pretty much said it as is. Stay out of it, let the ex & your DH work it out. If you DH has to defend you as a parent, then that's what he'll do, if he has to explain that the children are fabricating information, that's what he'll do. If you write her a letter, send her a text, or email, it's just going to get her more angry. Allow them to talk. I know you want to speak your mind, let her know you care, and that you hope all is well, but since she's upset/angry, what ever...calling, sending a letter or texting her, ouch... you're going to make things worst than they are or need to be.
What you can do is tell your DH that you'd like to hash it out, in a public venue, over coffee or something & this way you all can have a discussion...WITHOUT the children present. You could tell your DH that you are concerned, want to set the record straight & hope that you all can sit down & if the bio-mom has concerns about you, she can voice those concerns, as long as it's understood that there will be no name calling, no threatening, yelling or physical altercations (which is why a public venue is key). Then, it's up to your DH to get that meeting to happen, if he wants that to happen. Right now, I'd let him work it out, but you can put that idea in his head about meeting as a team for the children's sake, and if he wants to do it, he can try to convince bio-mom to do it too.
Techinically, I know you don't want to hear this but, you have no say or legal right in this. I know you have the right to have a peacful home & run it w/ rules, which means the kids must follow them, just as everyone else does, and the kids need to be talked to by both MOM "AND" DAD about how not every house has the same rules, but they need to be respectful & follow them when they are there. If there are concerns about your rules, then that needs to be addressed, with in reason. I remember my DH's ex wanted a rule that unless DH was around, my DSS couldn't come over, and we weren't allowed (as husband & wife) to go out to a late night movie for a date, no babysitters allowed. Obviously, those rules are dumb & my DH told his ex that we will do what we want as a couple, and if we wanted to go out, we would/could. The only rule that we've decided to change was that if my DH is working, DSS doesn't come over, and that's only b/c my DSS doesn't see his dad a lot so it makes no sense for the long commute to get DSS here if his father isn't going to be here. Even though I would be fine w/ that.
I am both a step & bio-mom, I've BTDT on both ends. I know what it's like to have someone insist that they have an opinion when it's not their place to do so. I also know what it's like to want to tell the bio-mom your side too, but I realized over the years that bio-mom just didn't want to hear my side, or my DH's side, w/ that said, I let that go & don't even try anymore. If she calls me, it's to clear the air, and we do.
My advice is to not get involved. JMHO.
I hope it works out for your DH so he can see his kids, and I hope that everything is resolved so you all can work this out together. If not, it's going to be something that your DH will have to deal w/ & let his ex know what is acceptable & not. If that means that he goes to court for breech of visitation, then so be it, but hopefully it wont come to that & all can be resolved.
Ughhh!!!! I so could right yours story! The only difference is my letter came from a 13 year old.
I too was tempted to answer every complaint with an explanation. But as I calmed down I realized
1. It wasn't my place. It was my Dh's (he also has no balls when it comes to his ex so his DDs haven't been to our house in almost 1 year).
2. You can't have a rational conversation with irrational people. There are so many emotions with divorce and blended family. Nothing I say will EVER change their minds. In our case, my Dh's oldest has just decided to transfer all of her anger toward her parents & their divorce & remarriages on to me. I am the root of all evil. (Mind you bio mom had multiple affairs - including 1 with the guy she is now married to).
The letter I got was so ridiculous. Like bringing up things I had said in jest 2 years prior. And things I had never said.
It's sad for us that Dh doesn't see his girls that often. He does see them but they live 4 hours away so it's hard to get to them & means a hotel, etc.
I hope yours goes better than mine has. But I agree with the others that you shouldn't write a letter. We have given up on the 14 year old but are hoping we can get the 9 year old to come. She's totally different than her sister & an absolute doll.
Phew lots to read but thank you for your honest opinions. I am going to do my best to respond to a few things here. But I just want to say that I won't write her a letter. It's so tempting but I won't. ANd I wouldn't have at all it's just so tough to sit here and leave it be. I see the way she's handling it and I know what kind of person she is and I will leave it alone. But she told Dh to tell me to keep my mouth shut or there will be court which is a irrational thing to threaten him with. But she knows how to manipulate him.
It's really tough leaving the situation in just DH's hands when it concerns both of us. I know what he's like and I know that he would just rather sweep things under the rug and ignore it. He may talk to the girls about how we can make them feel more like a part of the family but he's not going to dicsuss the other things on the paper which imho need to be. They have been written down and discussed with their mom for a reason.
About contacting her I honestly didn't think I was doing anything wrong. Jay had just said to me the girls didn't want to come over so I just wanted to ask her if everything was OK. There was only two texts exchanged between us but she started to freak right out making accusations and threatening court. I can understand her being pissed but that was a little OTT.. She's got problems and issues with me obviously so she should talk to me about it.
As for involving them in the babies care. We do that. Occassionally we'll ask the older one to change Angels bum (no poopy diapers) and she gladly accepts and we'll ask her to pour Angel a bottle of milk. But she's complaining to her mom about this and that it's not fair!!! We don't really ask her to do much with Raylene because she takes EBM and she's still so small, other than feed her if we need to get something done. But she's making it to her mom like we make her do it ALL THE TIME which we don't. And how hard is it to pour a bottle? Takes 30 seconds to do it. I always say thank you to her when she does these things for me.
I have not intentionally changed DH's parenting style. We are both just different how we handle situations. He was way too relaxed with them before. He let them make the house a mess and never had them clean up after themselves, he never bathed them when they were over at his house for the weekend, they ate out several times he never cooked them a meal. His house was disgusting and I don't live like that. So now that they are older they are both responsible enough to clean up after themselves and if they need reminding than I do it because he won't. As for discipline I leave that up to him. The girls are pretty good overall and occassionally they get out of line so if hes around he will deal with it. But if it happens in front of me and hes not home than of course I need to handle it.
We've just never had to deal with any issues like this before and than suddenly it's dropped on us like a bombshell. The girls never acted differently or said anything and I really hate that there's a rift in the families now and I just wish I could fix it. I just don't know why they are complaining of things that aren't even an issue and i'm hoping DH will talk with them about it. I hope I can trust that he will do the right things to make it better. I will follow your advice and step back. Well i'll try my best. I just really don't want to feel like I am just the babysitter here and have the kids hate me. They need to know that I DO care and although I show my affection to my own kids differently that they are still important and just as special as my own two.
It's hard to step back, your DH sounds like mine. He's not that firm when it comes to stuff & would rather not talk about it & fight b/c the moment he challenges her, she says HORRIBLE things to their DS about my DH & then she threatens more stuff, along the lines of court etc. I've heard that crap before. It's not uncommon. But let's be real, unless she's rich, I mean really rich, just to get a lawyer for a case to modify an order, it's a minimum of $2,000.00, then $200.00 per hour after that, then a big drawn out situation that is so uncessary. Is she really going to spend that money on that? My DH will say "she'll get the money from her dad"... what ever, I'd love to see my DH's ex bring us to court, I'd love for that to happen, so she could get into trouble for not allowing my DH to see his own son & taking the child to another state w/ out letting DS know. But I hear what you are saying, he's being easily manipulated, which again, isn't your deal.
I used to get SOOOO angry w/ my DH & basically fight his battles, he'd come home, tell me the drama & I'd feed into it & start in, next thing I knew, I was all upset & he was sitting watching TV & snacking on food. I soon realized that no matter what he came home w/ for news, he would do nothing about it, ever, not even if he thought it was in breech of their court order. He just doesn't have it in him, it's not his personality. I am very proactive, which is why that would bother me, then I saw how regardless of how I felt, what I said, what laws I'd throw at him & what I'd try to do, it would be easily dismissed & I would end up spending hours, days, even weeks (and yes, months) aggrevated about a situation that I couldn't change & my DH obviously didn't want to change. I got to the point that I just let him do what he wanted to do.
Now... to touch on this w/ me, my BTDT & current situation. My DH, has a court order to see his child, not only during the week, but every other weekend from Friday until Sunday (overnight). He's had that happen, well...it's been at least 2 years since we've had DSS overnight. Then when he is suppose to have his son on the weekdays, he'll call her to say that he's on his way to get him & she'll say "oh, I let him go to his friends' house to play"...
DH would come home, sad, dissapointed & I'd say "did you tell her that this is unexceptable? did you tell her that this is YOUR time w/ YOUR son? did you tell her not to do it again?" he'd say "yeah..." then I would say "why don't you sit your DS down & explain how important this time you are suppose to have w/ him is, and tell him that you miss him & that maybe he could make plans to see his friends when it's on the days you aren't suppose to see him, or at least have him call you first to make sure that it's okay?" Once again...nothing, nada.
I sat my DH down one day & I asked him "why do you let your ex walk over you like that? why do you allow her to keep your son away from you?" you know what he said to me? "it's been like this for a long time, it's not going to change, why bother"... OMG.. I was so angry & dissapointed in my DH for that statement, but at that moment, I knew, he would do nothing & say nothing. So my observations, my opinions & suggestions, they were a waste of my breath. I finally realized that after all these years & now, if he says "I'm coming home..." and I say "what about your son?" he'll tell me that he's busy & I drop it. Not b/c I don't care, not b/c I dont' want it to change, but b/c I know that it wont, and it's his deal, not mine. If he truly wanted things to change, he could, but instead, he'd rather sulk & do nothing.
I was going to respond and say "yeah get involved!" but then I thought of my own situation.
There are times when my boyfriend and I might comment about each others kids but we have never, ever been one to overstep boundaries. There are times I discipline Lily and Tony thinks I should be harsher/not as harsh, and the same goes for his son. We might say "Ya know, maybe you should think about...." but we back off as needed. Also, there are very few times we will discipline each others kids. I may tell his son what to do but never, ever anything on a basis where I put him in time out or ground him, its not my job. The same goes for Lily. We just have these unspoken rules and boundaries, we know where we are allowed to interject, but when we have a hands off zone, that means hands off. Oh, and never once in the 2 years we have been together have I ever said anything to my boyfriends sons mom about her parenting. Totally don't agree with it, but not my place. She knows I will do right by her son so she doesn't question me, but we have a smooth relationship because I never overstep my boundary with her son. She never sees my daughter so it's a moot point on that end.
I so know how hard it is not to respond to comments made about you. I struggled with it myself at the time especially since I truly didn't want bio mom to think that I was saying bad things about her and I never did but Dh's dd accused me of it.
But sad but true - it wouldn't change their minds. I hope your Dh can get to the bottom of things soon. Have you considered family counseling? Maybe your Dh & his kids 1st & then add you in the future. I truly wish we had done something like that before it was too late.
Kris just made a great point. Family counseling. I did/do it w/ my DS & I am so happy that I decided to do it. I will be honest, it's a work in progress & it doesn't work overnight, sometimes it requires additional interventions (i.e., Rx's added to the mix w/ a psychologist), but seeing a counselor for over a year now was the best thing I could have done for me & my DS. I saw a counselor w/ my DH for marital counseling, it was helpful, but DH just didn't want to keep going...shame, shame... I go for myself, and it keeps me sane. It's great to hear someone who is not in the middle, someone who can give a professional opinion w/ out being biased. It's a great service. I go weekly for me, DS goes bi-weekly for him... If your DH is willing to go w/ you, it would be good for the two of you. If you can get your DH to get his child into counseling w/ his ex-wife, that also would be wonderful. Keep in mind that counseling w/ his ex-wife & child would be probably w/ out you, unless the counselor felt it was necessary to bring you in "or" the bio-mom was wanting you there or willing to have you there. Either way, most likely the counseling entailing the step-kids usually doesn't involved us step-parents, at least that is what I know from personal BTDT experience.
Thanks for your replies everyone it's been very helpful to me and I've been keeping out of things.
I talked to the ex 2 days ago. She called and talked to DH but he didnt talk much so she called me and we had a chat. She got the vibe that I was feeling like the whole thing was my fault but she assured me it's not. We chatted and cleared a few things up. DH was just out for dinner with his two kids but he hasn't said anything so I don't know what they talked about or if he cleared up the issues with them. I'll just wait for him to let me know but he is part of the issue too. The problems that the EX told me about were problems that I talked to DH about at the beginning of the year and warned him about and it's taken this to wake him up.
I don't know when the girls will be back but I will have my chance to talk to them myself as well and I hope to make a fresh start. The ex already said if this happens again we won't have them for the week anymore.
I am still a bit bothered by some of the things that DSD told her mom about but I hope to clear that up with her. But I definitely feel better having talked to the ex although i'm still pissed that she accused me of not caring about the girls.
Thank you for your advice. I hope that nothing like this happens again but I know how to handle it better now!
......it's good that you cleared things up, although for my part i still prefer not having any communication with her at all unless absolutely necessary....and i intend to keep it like that. Saves all the agro...kwim? Oh well.....if it fits your family On an ending note just be careful how much you guys talk and what you talk about because this is a sort fuse situation as i see it and it can blow up with the slightest of causes any moment judging from the previous post you had. Keep it sort and sweet and scarce in between *the talking i mean*
" \m/ Now Iím riding through the air
going to where no one dares
on the way Iíll cross the line forevermore \m/ "
What happened that was so bad that the bio-mom is stating that if it happens again you guys wont have them for the week anymore? Unless it could harm the children, put them in harms way or be of negligence, I don't understand that. And if there is an order for visitation, she can't just decide to take the visits away either, she would need to have things modified legally by a court. She isn't the law or a judge, so I don't understand that. So there are a lot of pieces of this puzzle that I don't understand. Not sure if you know of the reasons but don't feel comfy of discussing or if you don't know but I wouldn't lie if I said I wasn't curious.
Glad you were able to talk to the bio-mom. Hopefully that cleared things up. As adults, we can say things that we shouldn't, if she said something b/c she was angry, it would be nice for her to apologize but I am sure she probably felt frustrated. By her talking to you shows that she is not bitter towards you.
As far as what the kids said to bio-mom, I am not sure what it entails, but be careful how you handle that. Confronting the kids directly could harm your relationship & push them away. Putting children in the middle isn't the best thing. If the children said some things that were untrue about you, the best thing you can do is make sure that your DH is aware of that, that he supports that you didn't do that & if you did, that you had a good reason. And let him talk to the bio-mom & see how to work that out. If the kids went to their bio-mom in trust, and she goes & talks to you, and then you confront the kids, and then you get them (in what they think) is in trouble & in the middle. They could go back to home to their mother & say more things or this could just backfire. Again, I would make sure your DH is aware, and let him hash that out w/ the kids & his ex-wife.
Hope that made sense. Hopefully everyone can clear this up sooner rather than later.
I agree. I wouldn't even address it with the kids at all. That would just make the situation worse. It could make them mistrust their mom, remind them of their anger towards you (especially if they feel you're trying to act like their mom), and it could also give them ammo to use. They may start the running back & forth to start fights if they see it bothers you. I wouldn't acknowledge that anything at all happened.
I also agree about being careful about watching what you say to the ex. It's best to maintain a business like relationship with the ex.
I know it's hard when he doesn't handle it in the best way. It's difficult being in a blended family.