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  #1  
October 11th, 2012, 06:03 PM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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Today, Neely and I registered Will for the alternative school. He will attend there till the end of the 2nd quarter, or January 25th and then he will return to his home school.

I was filling out the forms and as I always do with the emergency card, I wrote "stepmom" as my relationship to Will. You may or not know that Neely and I are not married, but that doesn't change anything for us in terms of who I am to Will & Clayton.

The Registrar took the form and after learning that Neely and I were not married said "so you're not really his step mom?" and then crossed out what I had written on the form. I told her that Will referred to me as such and I wasn't sure why it mattered to her. I listed myself as the first person to contact should the school not be able to reach his dad. It has a place for his mom's name and I listed her and her contact information. I did not list myself as his mom.

I was so angry I was crying. I have never been made to feel less like I mattered than she made me feel today. Neely didn't want me to email or call her supervisor, so I emailed her (and I may or may not have cc'd the principal )

Here's what I wrote:

Quote:
Ms. Middleton:

I wanted to email you about our interaction today while Neely Johns and I registered Will for school at Crossroads. After I filled out the Emergency Contact card, you said "so you're not really Will's stepmom?" and crossed out what I had written on the card.

I was, and still am, extremely upset and angry about your comments and actions for the following reasons:

1. Neely and I are not married, but we have been living together and raising our children together since 2004. We have had full legal and physical custody of Neely's children since 2009. While I may not legally be William's stepmother, I am that in every other sense of the word. Will refers to me as such, Neely refers to me as such and it shouldn't matter to you or anyone else if we do so.

2. It was an Emergency Card. I did not list myself as his mom. I was listed, appropriately, as the first person to contact should you fail to reach his dad. There is not much room on the forms to write and it's a whole heck of a lot easier to write "step mom" than to write "father's fiance/girlfriend/significant other". I listed my adult children as the 2nd and 3rd emergency contacts and called them "sister" and "brother" on the form. You didn't object to that identification, only me being listed as "stepmom".

3. Will was present and what you did has the potential to seriously undermine our relationship. The fact of the matter is I do more for Will than his own mother does. I am the one who takes him to the doctor's when he's sick, cooks his dinner every night, will be home when he gets on and off the bus each day. In fact, I am his primary caregiver. I am his step mother, whether you like that term or not.

4. The fact of the matter is I can not sign permission slips, registration documents, etc. I am a non-person with the schools, and that WOULD NOT CHANGE, even if I were married to Will's father.

I have never been made to feel more like a non-person than you made me feel today. You didn't speak to me. You talked around me. I asked questions and you answered them while looking at Neely, not me. You didn't ask if I had any questions about anything, you only asked Neely and Will. I simply can not wrap my head around why you thought it was necessary and appropriate to undermine my position and relationship with Will, in Will's presence, no less. I was not simply there today to sign the residency form. I was present because I am involved in Will's life. I attend parent-teacher conferences. I attend IEP meetings. If Will gets sick, I will pick him up from school. I am his other parent.

I don't expect or even need a response from you regarding this. I just could not walk away from this without letting you know how you made me feel
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  #2  
October 11th, 2012, 06:27 PM
Stepmom2Be's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I am so sorry!

I know you've been doing this a lot longer than I have, but I hate when people say things like "Oh so he's not your stepson yet?"

What the hell does a piece of paper matter? A piece of paper doesn't equal a relationship. A piece of paper does not pick Will up from school, cook him dinner, spend time with him, etc. I HATE when people refuse to acknowledge the stepmother as such. You do SO much for him, and Will knows that.

I wonder if she is a bitter biomom or something?

ugh. I'm sorry you had to deal with that.
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  #3  
October 11th, 2012, 07:14 PM
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What a bitter *****.
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  #4  
October 11th, 2012, 10:46 PM
plan4fate's Avatar I may bend, but not break
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I had my say on Facebook but I just wanted to send you *hugs* and that I think you did a great job on the letter.
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  #5  
October 11th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Sorry you had that happen.

I can only imagine they may be used to seeing women who are not fully engaged in a child's life or who are fly by night significant others and assert themselves in school matters. Legally she knows she will have Neely to deal with. Maybe that was her reasoning. Not that it excuses it at all.

I made our school clear on letting SM do whatever she needed to do asides from withdrawing them from the school. I myself listed her as the second contact after me. I had the feeling myself that she's easier to contact than their own dad and more reliable.
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  #6  
October 12th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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Very well written email. I look forward to finding out if there's a response from either her or the principal.
Keep your chin up.
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  #7  
October 12th, 2012, 10:14 AM
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I'm glad you spoke up for yourself! There is no excuse for how she treated you! Hopefully she will think twice before doing that again!
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  #8  
October 12th, 2012, 11:02 AM
mom2more's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Well written!! I HATE that stuff!!

My stepdaughters school still hasn't called hubby back to let him know what he needs to do to make me able to deal with school related things (like taking teacher phone calls, etc.).

I feel like if the guardian says you are involved then you are. End of story. Who the heck is the school to determine what titles mean.
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  #9  
October 12th, 2012, 02:17 PM
K.A.T's Avatar Enjoying her Sticky Bun
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What a major female dog. I can understand the legalities behind it and even the fact that some women try to assert themselves in the school and the dad doesn't have custody. However, that's not the case with you guys. Even if it was, she had no right to treat you that way.
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  #10  
October 12th, 2012, 04:26 PM
Keakie's Avatar Learning to walk in faith
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That made me so angry when I saw it on your FB. What a miserable jerk that woman was.

Your letter sounds perfect to me. I'm glad that you said something! Let us know if you do end up getting a response.
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  #11  
October 12th, 2012, 08:21 PM
stucklikeglue's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Im so very sorry you are dealing with that!

I have been in this relationship for 4 years and we have had custody of them for the last 2 1/2 years and not once has anyone ever undermined me as their stepmother. Only once when I had to get my sk from school did they have to call his dad and ask and then they added my name to the top with their fathers so I have all access.

How come your not allowed or don't sign permission slips ect.? Im just curious as I never have bc dad is always right there but Im listed as their sm and now wondering if I could...? I take phone calls, write emails and check their work for the most part. BM's had a problem with it bc I was getting too "harsh" by taking fb or something away if one of them (really it was only one sk) failed his tests.
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  #12  
October 13th, 2012, 09:00 AM
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I am so glad you sent that email. hopfully the principal and or her direct boss talk to her about her actions.
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  #13  
October 13th, 2012, 07:56 PM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stucklikeglue
Im so very sorry you are dealing with that!

I have been in this relationship for 4 years and we have had custody of them for the last 2 1/2 years and not once has anyone ever undermined me as their stepmother. Only once when I had to get my sk from school did they have to call his dad and ask and then they added my name to the top with their fathers so I have all access.

How come your not allowed or don't sign permission slips ect.? Im just curious as I never have bc dad is always right there but Im listed as their sm and now wondering if I could...? I take phone calls, write emails and check their work for the most part. BM's had a problem with it bc I was getting too "harsh" by taking fb or something away if one of them (really it was only one sk) failed his tests.
My kids sm does all this too. I think all can? Or in most places they can.
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  #14  
October 14th, 2012, 06:06 AM
Rachel's Avatar Just Rachel
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The school rules, county wide, indicate that I am allowed to attend conferences and IEP meetings, visit the classroom and go on field trips (provided that I attend the volunteer training), but since I am not a parent or even legal guardian I can't sign permission slips or any legal forms the school require. Even if I were married to Neely, he would still need to sign.
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  #15  
October 14th, 2012, 11:05 AM
Doodlebug06's Avatar Doodlebug
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel
The school rules, county wide, indicate that I am allowed to attend conferences and IEP meetings, visit the classroom and go on field trips (provided that I attend the volunteer training), but since I am not a parent or even legal guardian I can't sign permission slips or any legal forms the school require. Even if I were married to Neely, he would still need to sign.
That's crazy. Almost like they discouragd SP role. Whet if he's out of town or on business?
I can't even remember the last time my exh signed any of our kids stuff. It's always either me or the SM. my exh wouldn't even know about field trips or any of that.come to think of it I haven't even told HIM directly about my daughters ADHD testing I'm getting. I discussed it with the SM and told her she could attend if she wanted to let the dr know of the behavior at their house. it's been so long since I've felt the need to tell exh anything that I guess now I just automatically tell SM.
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  #16  
October 22nd, 2012, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel View Post
The school rules, county wide, indicate that I am allowed to attend conferences and IEP meetings, visit the classroom and go on field trips (provided that I attend the volunteer training), but since I am not a parent or even legal guardian I can't sign permission slips or any legal forms the school require. Even if I were married to Neely, he would still need to sign.
That's so weird! My parents sign forms for Lily all the time, even legal forms. I have it where Tony can pick Lily up for school and be an emergency contact for her, despite us not being married. I'd allow him to go to a meeting or something for her if needed and the school would allow it. The only real "rule" I have, which is my own personal rule is that no one can take her with her original last name, and unless they are on the list, they cant pick up Lily. If anyone with her original last name tries to take her the police have to be called.

I just didnt know that something as simple as a form could have such strict rules!

As for the topic at hand... Id be PISSED if they did that. Legal marriage or not, you are his stepmom! Thats CRAP for someone to decide you arent based on a piece of paper! My sister isn't married legally but I call her wife my sister in law. A legal piece of paper doesnt make a relationship more official or right.... and its no ones call to decide what the extent of that relationship really is!
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