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July 12th, 2009, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 16
i've looked around for support groups, message boards, listservs...anything and everything and I haven't seem to find a place where I fit in yet. I guess because I'm so scared about posting informtion on the internet but no one I know seems to understand my situation and get tired of hearing about it.

I'm a college grad, getting ready to start graduate school, I've been dating a man who has a almost 4 year old son for two years and we live together. He's divorced, they married young, got pregnant right away...didn't even last a year. Their son doesn't even know what it's like for them to be together, in my opinion this is a good thing. He adjusted very well to having me around. Anway the mom has full custody, something she got by going behind my BFs back before he even knew what was happening it was a done deal. He has visitation but shes never been one to stick to it she does allow every other weekend but she doesn't seem to think that she has to follow the rules when it comes to holidays or birthdays. Other than that shes pretty flexible but that changes quickly. My BF is a great dad, and I'm not just saying that because I love him, he tries very hard to be the responsible parent he treats his son with respect and is very loving. Something I'm not always so sure that BM is. She yells and spanks for the slightest thing that he does. Which SS acts out aganist at her house so much that when we each talk about the child he's a competely different person in each house. Here he's well behaved a few time outs when he throws fits but he usually is very good always says please and thank you. Our biggest issue right now is that he demands more than asks but what 4 year old doesn't have that problem? She seems to think he's horrible, whenever we pick him up its always something bad hes done. We just have very different parenting styles in each house, thats hers, this is ours so we don't argue over it.

The problem we're having right now with her is that SS has told us that BMs live in boyfriend is daddy, or I should say she' the live in since they live with his parents. We've told him that he only has one daddy and that it makes daddy sad when he calls another daddy his daddy. Recently SS told us that mommy tells him to call ____ "daddy" but SS is quick to tell us "but he's not really my daddy" My question is in situations where both parents are very involved in the child's life the child clearly has a mom and a dad should the step-parents, or step-to-bes, be called mom or dad? I don't feel that SS should be told to call me mom or the other dad. He's always called me by my first name and weve left it at if later in life he decides to see me as a mom then its his choice but he won't be forced to. To me when SS talks about it to me hes telling me that he only calls _____ daddy because mommy says so and hes terrifed of getting in trouble with her so he does what hes told. I feel as if he's being forced to. I think that my BF should at the very least make his feelings and opinion on this issue known but he has yet to say to her that hes not comfortable with it. Even though he complains to me about it all the time. I'm just looking for any advice on how to deal with this. It breaks my heart to see such a young child being told something and I worry what this would do to him in the future. Thanks for listening and sorry this is so long.
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July 12th, 2009, 11:26 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 6,700
Hi and welcome! I know what you mean about the "fitting in" thing. Long before I came to here to the July 07 DDC, I looked for a stepmom community online. I tried a place called SecondWives or something like that, and it seemed everyone was so mean and condescending to me b/c they had been stepmoms for waaaay longer and they were soooo much smarter than me lol.

We have the exact same 'daddy' issue here. My stepdaughter calls her stepfather Daddy. He refuses to be called by his first name b/c he thinks its disrespectful. DH gets extremely aggravated when she is talking to him and says "the other day my daddy said such-and-such," and dh will go "who? WHO?" and then she corrects herself. The four of us parents are pretty good communicating with each other about school, behavior issues, etc. but this is one thing that will prob never be resolved to everyone's liking. In front of us, they claim she doesn't call him daddy (which we KNOW is a lie) and they say "if" she ever said it they would correct her. (which is another lie!)

She always called me by first name (we got married when she was 4 also) but she started calling me Momma (occasionally) later on--after I had Eli. I guess since I was HIS mom, it was easier for her. And so I thought, MAYBE it's a similar situation with her stepdad--his son is there, calling him dad, so maybe that's why she does it too. She sometimes claims they force her to say it and other times doesn't.

It's a tough age--you could say your soon to be ss will realize he only has ONE dad when he's a bit older, but you never know what will become of the situation. I think it's so sad that when parents divorce they sometimes fill their child's heads with negativity toward the other parent and it just makes one big mess. Hopefully things will calm down for him soon--living part time with his mom's boyfriend's parents?? that sounds a little unstable to me! But if you and your soon to be DH will provide a loving home for him and just make sure he knows he's loved, that's really all you can do.
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July 13th, 2009, 03:45 AM
Ellemphriem's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Dreamland...........
Posts: 2,644
Hi and welcome, i'll be sort because baby just woke and needs milk, ok first DON'T take anything for granted about bio-mom. You don't know what it's like in their house and DON'T believe really what the 4 year old says. It is difficult and confusing for ANY child to be divided between 2 homes with 4 different people trying to parent them. So just be patient and don't mess around with anything more than your share. I do so also. I am step-parenting my husband's 9 year old from previous marriage. I have heard a LOT from my step-daughter and i don't believe much of it to tell you the truth. She needs attention and one way of getting it is to victimize herself. I know sad, but it happens with confused and hurt kids. So be careful. As for what kind of real dad your man is you'll find it out when he starts parenting 24/7 and not every other weekend. I am sorry to say that my DH whom i adore seemed the perfect father when we had his first daughter every other weekend for 2 days, BUT now that we have a baby 24/7 in the house things are a little different. YES he is loving and very tender and so on, BUT he also started to try to get out of things and suddenly he likes going to his job a lot more than before. I guess the HIGH needs created by 24/7 parenting can take a toll on anyone. kwim? As for what the kid should call anyone i think it is appropriate to tell and remind the kid that mommy and daddy are unique but always remember that the boy needs to belong and needs attention, so maybe just maybe calling daddy the inhouse man of his bio-mom MAY make him feel security somehow OR a sense of belonging. Just make sure he knows who real dad is that's all. Don't force him to do either thing. Say it or not say it. Be flexible. I used to insist my step-daughter NOT call me mom but i had to yield after 3 years and now i accept that she sometimes calls me mom, or mommy B, or mommy Kelly. It's ok with me and bio-mom. She knows who she is and i know too. I really hope you solve it out. Nothing is easy in these situations, but my last and only advice is......don't take anything you hear for granted, be cautious, be gentle and be flexible. Towards everyone. Either your family or the other family. Every coin has 2 sides.

PS: Just wanted to add on quick note. The same child can be different in 2 different homes because each house represents different things. In bio-mom's house things have rules, and being there ALL the time will create frictions between mom and child. Being in your house once in a while is more free and careless and the time is too sort for frictions to be created. Think about it. As i said above, not everything is as it looks.

" \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; July 15th, 2009 at 06:19 AM.
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