I am reaching my limit.......

mom2emallMarch 5, 2010

BM is making me insane. This in and out stuff is out of hand. She moves back to play mommy and then had to be forced to see her kids. We are almost at the 2 week point of no contact from her again. Why the heck did she move back here? Just to disrupt our lives? SD started crying tonite that bm has not called again. Started saying how bm did make them hot dogs when they saw her last time and how bm told her that if the younger 3 were not running around she would have spent more time with her. Told me that bm really does want to be their mom again, but it is just hard for bm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had it with these excuses!!! I told her that bm has not called again because this is how she is...no changing it. She is inconsistant and will never be a good mom to them, they will either have to take her as she is or keep getting upset at her failures. I told her that making hot dogs one nite after not seeing them for over a year is the least she could do and that having little kids around is hardly a good excuse to ignore her other kids. I pointed out that with all those people living in that house I am sure somebody could have watched the little ones (maybe even her bf! GASP!!) while she hung out with the older kids.

I told her that there is no sense beating herself up anymore or making excuses for her mom. I told her we all know how her mom is and everyone we know feels badly that bm behaves that way. Told sd it is not her imagination, bm does stink! I also told her that when she becomes a mom someday I hope she does the things that me and her other female relatives do when it comes to children. Honestly one of my fears is that she will repeat bm's behaviors if everyone keeps excusing them!

She seemed better after I said all that. But afterwards I felt as if I got caught up in the heat of the moment and could have chosen my words wiser. Though if sd repeated any of this to bm I would not care because it is the darn truth! But I don't want sd to feel badly, but I do want her to take her blinders off and open her eyes to the situation.

Was I wrong? I feel relieved to have gotton that all out, but I also feel badly because even though sd stopped crying and seemed to really understand it all I don't know if it was too much. She is 14 though....

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You have my total support, empathy and understanding. There is a point where you just can't ignore the obvious any more, and if you are dishonest to cover BM's actions (or lack of) it will come back to bite you with SD. I think tonight was proof she knows the truth and just wants it to be something else. Hearing it from you validates what she feels but doesn't want to put into words. You did it for her.

You also make a point that you don't want her to emulate BM's behavior. I think there comes a point where you have to say 'no - this is not how a mom behaves. Your mom makes her own choices, and she chose not to find a way to spend quality time with you. A five year old could cook a hot dog. That does not make her caring or competent as a mom.

My SD was the same age when we reached our limit as well. I think you did the only thing you could do in the position BM has put you in.

I'm sending you a big hug.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 3:17AM
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I'm feeling really sad for the SD this morning after reading this. The girl just wants a sign from her BM that she's loved, wanted, worthy of a bit of attention.

Makes one want to drop kick that BM. BM has made this current upset especially hard by playing caring 'mommy' via phone for the 4 to 6 weeks in Dec/Jan after a yrs absence. While BM was 'mommy' by phone but so far away, the girl could pretend her mom loved her and wanted to see her if only they were closer in distance. The girl can't justify that excuse for the lack of relationship with BM any longer.

I doubt BM came back to see and mother her older kids, more likely cause BM had little choice but to return to her family/relatives to keep a roof over her head. I'm sure life is not easy for BM living in a cramped little house with 3 little ones to chase, but it does not excuse her not contacting and seeing her older children, and the daughter can see that. And it hurts.

I think you've done the correct 'talk' at the correct time. The girl is hurting, feeling discarded and unwanted by BM, not because of anything you've said or done but because a bright light has just been shown to the girl by the BM and the BM's actions towards the girl.

The blinders are being yanked aside by BM but it's not going to be easy for the daughter. Give the girl your love and hugs, she needs your love and understanding in the emotional rollcoaster she finds herself.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:52AM
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No, I do not think you were wrong at all. SD brought it up to you, you can't let her go on thinking this is even somewhat normal. And it's ok for SD to see someone angry at her mother for her actions, that is natural consequences. (and this is nowhere near a petty issue)

You're in a tough spot Mom2, but you always manage to handle everything with grace. I've never seen one petty comment/behavior from you regarding those kids so I can't imagine that this will backfire on you, YOU are the one they go to, you're a great mom and you know whats' best when it comes to them.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:54AM
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Thanks girls! It is crazy that I actually can feel guilty at times for calling bm out on her behaviors. Part of me feels like I should not call her out on them, and should let the girls make up their own minds. The other part of me wants them to know it is wrong. At times they do know bm's behaviors are wrong, but other times they make excuses for it and that drives me crazy. They should not have to make excuses for their bm.

And I am sick of bm and all her excuses and bologna! DH has given her every chance and opportunity to be a part of these kids lives and she just can't do it. I am sick of her being able to step in briefly so she can ease her conscinece and get her family off her back. Then she disappears again because she is a horrible person!!

How the heck can this person look at the three little ones at her house everyday and not want to be a mom to her older three?? It baffles me.

I just want to tell her to take a flying leap and never come back. I want to tell her she is selfish and should not be able to look at herself in the mirror each day without crying. I want to tell her that her 3 kids would be better off without her! But I know I can't say those things. It is just so unfair that giving birth gives this lady the ability to hurt these kids over and over again.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:27AM
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You did the right thing Mom2 -- Your Skids need to know that it isn't anything missing in them that makes their flakey BM behave the way she does -- It's BM's own 'defects' that are responsible.

Like JustMeToo, I don't think BM really came back for her kids -- that's just not like her, judging from her behavior. More likely, it was financial pressures that made her return, and like every other time, she's just saying what she thinks the kids want to hear. (And perhaps what she herself wants to pretend is true.) But I imagine actually seeing her older children only reminds her of her own inadequacies as a parent, which is probably why she's so reluctant to do it...

In your post, you said you could have chosen your words more wisely. I have no way of knowing whether this is true or not, but I would suggest you put your thoughts together now. Write them down. Edit them. Be clear, concise and factual. Don't be unnecessarily cruel to BM; and don't be unnecessarily 'sugar-coating' for the kids. But there is a cold, hard, ugly truth in there that the older SKids need to be able to face, head-on, with your love and support behind them.

This topic will come up again in the next few months -- several times. You want to be well-prepared for when it does.

Again, I think you did the right thing, and these kids are so lucky to have you in their lives.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 9:49AM
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I'm sorry for all of you, especially your SKs! I especially empathize with your older SD, as she is at an age where this stuff is clearly really beginning to hurt.

"I also told her that when she becomes a mom someday I hope she does the things that me and her other female relatives do when it comes to children. Honestly one of my fears is that she will repeat bm's behaviors if everyone keeps excusing them!"

I think this is a valid concern, but I really believe you are showing them and leading them by example here. I don't think your SD will repeat her mom's mistakes--if anything, I bet she bends over backwards to NOT be that kind of mother. I think YOUR love and support means everything here, and that because of you, when she does have her own children, she will know what to do.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:23AM
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You did the right thing.

& I don't know that anybody ever has all the right words at hand at the drop of a hat;

Even the Queen of England has a speechwriter, & our President uses a teleprompter.

Sweeby's words are wise:

Focus on "this is the way she is" & "it doesn't reflect on you", & keep it observational rather than personal.

Bless you for caring.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:36AM
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mom2, it sounds like you did the best thing. Like everyone above has said, you do your best with your skids and I'm sure they know that. Also, SD came to you after BM hurt her feelings Again and you told her what you really think. She felt better and may start processing that her mother just isn't a good mother at least not to her.

Hugs to you and yours.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 10:58AM
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you did everything right, tough on everyone, don't even know what to say, what a misery...hugs to you

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 7:10PM
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I hate being the one to play devil's advocate but...I'd tread very carefully if I were you.

In my experience, even though SD felt better and stopped crying after your talk, she may feel guilty for thinking "badly" of her mother and she may become angry at you for speaking ill and "attacking" her mother. We all know from experience that we, as full-time stepmoms, can jump through hoops, bend over backwards and continually sacrifice for the greater good, but let BM make them hot dogs (or buy them special Halloween socks that they rave about for 2 months afterwards even though BM has bought them nothing in 2 years - my own experience) and she's the best thing since sliced bread... It's the nature of the beast - they feel a consuming need to protect and make excuses for their mothers... And in the end, they WILL defend their mother's against us - and we are then painted as the "bad guy."

When my youngest stepdaughter comes to me with a mom issue, I've learned over the years to avoid accusations because they have always come back to bite me, despite being the truth. Instead, I tell her that "your mom is who she is, you can't change her and you have to decide if you want a relationship with her or not." I also tell her that, "as you grows into an adult, I think you may regret disconnecting from your mother" and "you need to be the bigger person and love her despite how she is acting." Other things also work like "I know it's not fair that you have to shoulder so much but, as the saying goes, life is seldom fair, and things could be worse..." and "I want you to remember how you are feeling at this moment because one day you'll be married (NOTE MARRIED! LOL) and you'll have children of your own."

I don't know if any of this will help, but I'd hate for your good intentions to come crashing down on you.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2010 at 8:22PM
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I feel very badly for you. I think that you did the right thing, or as right as anything could be in the circumstances. And I have a a little experience in this - my parents are divorced, and my father is a useless piece of... work, who behaved in the same way - empty promises, disappearances, etc. The difference is that my mother was trying so hard to bend over backwards and not disparage him to my siblings and I; the result was basically that we were told for years that our father loved us and his excuses were validated by my mother. The unintentional end result was that we were basically told that "love" is a word, and as long as "Daddy" TELLS you that he loves you, his actions are completely irrelevant to whether or not he truly does love you. I'll leave it to you to ponder the effects that telling a young girl that people's love is determined by words and not actions would have upon her.

It's really difficult for kids because this notion that all bio parents love and care for their children, and will always try their hardest to do what is right for their kids, is so prevalent. The situation is hard enough for a kid to face that their mother or father does NOT particularly love them without also having to battle every fairytale story of the prodigal mother or father who returns to do the right thing in the end.

We do pretty much the same thing with our young SS. BM always has excuse after excuse for why she almost never sees him (but it will, of course, change! It's always going to change!) He's younger so we are not quite as outspoken, but we are not going to pretend that inappropriate behavior is acceptable or normal regardless of whom is doing it.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2010 at 1:22PM
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Very thought provoking. I did not think of it that way. My personal fear is that my youngest stepdaughter will seek the love she feels she is missing in "other" places...

    Bookmark   March 19, 2010 at 10:12PM
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I agree with all above, you did the right thing.

And if you do feel bad about it after, or not sure if it was too much for SD, why not share that with her?

I've had similar conversations with my SD's, however their mom is very much in the picture, but problems with for example drinking/ manipulating etc etc.

Your SD knows that you're not 'out to get BM' and you clearly told her that "BM's behavior is not ok", instead of "BM is not ok". This is what our psychologist recommended us, it separates the actions from the person, it's a very good thing to say.

This is what you wrote, and I reckon this is what you could share with SD:

"She seemed better after I said all that. But afterwards I felt as if I got caught up in the heat of the moment and could have chosen my words wiser. Though if sd repeated any of this to bm I would not care because it is the darn truth! But I don't want sd to feel badly, but I do want her to take her blinders off and open her eyes to the situation."

My heart goes out to you guys

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 12:24AM
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