I don't know if I should be here

myfampgApril 29, 2011

I came to this forum looking for advice with my feelings. I never in my life imagined that I would log on to a forum everyday for 'free' therapy from other women and Mom's .. But as the days went on, I found myself getting a better picture of what might be going on in my situation that caused me to take a step back and evaluate myself and my emotions.

I did not find it difficult to 'share' my parenting responsibilities with another woman. I think I felt so free from being in a marriage that made me so unhappy, I knew when I signed the papers ONE day my husband would meet someone just like I would meet someone. I am not sensitive to step families bc I was in a stepfamily. I have a wonderful stepfather and although I have not always had the best stepmom's... I finally got one that isn't really all that bad. It's not about them being 'steps' so much as it was about them just being weird and causing drama where drama was not needed. Anyway -- I never knew how it would actually feel to find out that for 30 days that my child was kept from me over the summer, that she wasn't being cared for by dad, she was being cared for by his girlfriend. All I wanted was to talk to my 6 year old on the phone at least at some point within the 30 days. Afterall I never kept her from her father, he always had access to her. Could eat lunch with her everyday of the week, often stopped by after work, just for a hug, was welcome at all functions and could call anytime but when it came to me getting just one phone call, I was told no, this is 'our' time. For the first 5 years of her life, I was never kept from her. I was with her every single day and yes divorce was our choice but never did I think that I would be kept from her because this was 'their' time. And it's not even about that... It was about her not being with either parent at all. She was with a girlfriend that was not even living in the same home as BD. Maybe I'm getting off track here but I'm trying to get to my point. I never knew how hard it would be until it was me. I never understood women complaining and it annoyed me so when my brother's ex played games when he married my now sister in law and I knew I didn't want to be like her. She seemed crazy with all of her complaining. But I didn't have to become her because BD went off the deep end on his own. This past year has brought many changes to our lives and I knew I needed guidance and some help with these feelings that seemed to start coming up again. Who is tucking in dd a night? Who is making sure she is getting what she needs? Who is picking her up? Who is doing MY job... But then I found this forum and all of my fears started to fade. I started asking different questions and seeing it completely different.

I don't delegate my job as mom to my husband. In fact, I rarely have him pick up dd for me, he doesn't take her to school, he doesn't take her to lessons, he doesn't keep her while I work... But that's because I'm mom and he is dad and in our family, I'm just the one that does all of that. I pack the lunches, I do the shopping, I do the drop offs and pick ups because he is working ... And in BDs house it's the same thing. Mom does the 'mom' things, dad works. So ive let that go.

But I'm constantly seeing posts that say, well you aren't an Sm so you dont know. You're 'only' a BM so your opinion doesn't count. Only SMs can identify with OP because only SMs would know. I really try to be objective and as many SMs have shared with me their point of view on things, I as A BM can definitly give a point of view but I really feel I take the side of an SM more times than I've bashed them for just being an SM. I would be so lucky to have an SM for my daughter like many of you are for your steps and if the BM or even the kids could just see the side of you that cares so deeply for them and your relationships with their fathers, they would absolutely change their feelings. I don't love SM... Yet... She does things that are unbelievable and I don't want my child near her.. But... I find comfort in knowing that dd is older and will ask for help when she wants it. I dont know if I will ever change my feelings for SM.. I mean.. The woman attacked me and went to jail for hurting my child, BUT I have learned a lot here in hopes to soften my heart and maybe see WHY she acts the way she does towards me.

I honestly don't know if I'm coming back but I do want to thank those that have helped me and I do hope that the others that think BMs just don't know will stick around and open their hearts. These our the babies we gave birth to and although I will agree that some of these BMs you all deal with shouldn't have rights to a dog, I'm sure there are equal amounts of mom's that just love their babies and it's just hard for them to suck it up and relinquish their rights bc they didn't stay married. That's just my opinion. I'm sure I'm wrong.

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You're not wrong.

I have been on both sides of the equation. I was happy when my ex got married and that my children were going to get some much needed female nuturing (how naive I was). And if that is what it is, all is good. What hurts most as a mother and what your experiencing is when the child is used to hurt the other parent and it is the child who pays most of all. 30 days is a long time to be away from the primary care giver at 6 years old with no contact. It's ridiculous really. My judge ruled that on all visitations that the children should be allowed to talk to me once a day. I am sorry I ever stopped this practice. I realize now that it was more important than I ever imagined. A parent or adult is supposed to put the needs of the child before their own. This means doing what is in the child's best interest. It is in the child's best interest to have contact with both parents, to have a schedule, to have a bedtime, to have rules, etc...

It hurts when the child is used for revenge and as a weapon of mass destruction. You are not wrong. That's your baby and it's your job to protect them.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2011 at 11:27PM
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I guess I don't understand why you should not be here. It's a stepfamily forum and you bring a BM's POV to it, your daughter is in a stepfamily situation, and you're also a stepdaughter.

Do we all think alike here? No. Do we all solve our issues in the same manner? No. Does any one of us have all the answers? Of course not. Do we as a whole here sometimes toss sticks and stones and debate an issue ad nauseam. Yep, we do...but seriously even with all that I think it's how we all grow as persons, begin to understand different ideas and perspectives... I don't think any one ever stops growing and learning.

I'm here for several reasons. I am a SM (SS's 40ish and no, not a child or even teen anymore but we've been together 30 plus years), I am a BM (was 17 yrs old when I had my first child), have a grandson who is in a TOM stepfamily situation, have another GS who's father is a horse's behind (this GS is not in a stepfamily), get torn between sides of one SGS and his parents drama, was adult child during my mother's 20 some years SO relationship after my father died, and I have also been hostmom to a number of foreign exchange students from other countries.

Through all that, do I have all the 'answers', nope, I struggle and get as frustrated as the next person and as many of the BM/SMs here do. It helps to read other families situations, how they deal with it, gain insight of POVs I had not considered ect.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 6:34AM
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People will tell that you shouldn't be here only when they are mad at you and usually they are mad at you if you expressed your opinion that hit the nerve and probably because they knew you were right.

Who cares what other people think, you can be anywhere you wanted to be. Since I am rather opinionated I was actually told in the past that I shouldn't be here and my points are not valid because I am not legally married to SO and SDs are not really SDs because we aren't married. blah blah blah Even the fact that my DD is in a stepfamily situation and has SM and 3 half-siblings did not help. Somebody said once that it is not relevant because DD is adult and I don't have issues with SM. LOL But like i said people say that when they are angry. Ignore.

I have to say that not too many people said that latelly, but in the past they sure did...

I don't personally care, I am where I want to be.

I love your posts, sometimes we agree sometimes we don't. Anyone can be anywhere they want to be. Keep posting.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 8:09AM
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"People will tell that you shouldn't be here only when they are mad at you and usually they are mad at you if you expressed your opinion that hit the nerve and probably because they knew you were right. "

Second this! I like your advice; I think it's really good to get a different perspective. I'd hate to see you go.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 11:57AM
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I would also hate to see you go. :(

It's good to have all sorts of perspectives around here. And you are very much related to stepfamily situations in many ways: your daughter has a SM, your DH is a SF, you are a SD yourself.

I am a SM and a BM, although my DD doesn't see her bio-dad.

My husband is technically her SF but since he's been the ONLY father she's known for almost seven years, that makes it a little different.

My point is: there is no cookie cutter situation. Everyone brings a different and valid perspective to the table.

Please stick around.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 4:25PM
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Well thank you all so much. I just got the feeling that maybe this is more for stepmom's but I really enjoy being a part of the forum just hope I don't give the impression that I'm not sensitive to the feelings of someone that is a stepmom just because I'm not a stepmom. I thought I would share a story if anyone is interested .. It's so neat yet so uncommon but.. Very unique.

My mom's parents divorced when she was a teenager and both ended up remarrying. My grandmother cheated on my grandfather with the man she remarried. My grandfather apparently just had a rough time with it at the time. My mom was almost an adult and back then teens were married so young. She married my dad when she was 17 so she never really had a stepfamily home. Anyway -- my grandfather eventually remarried. Both of get stepparents had children but they are all older than my mom and lived out of state so she never had a relationship with her stepsiblings. Fast forward. My only memories of my grandparents (all 4 of them) are that they were best friends. They took vacations together, they bought lake houses 3 doors from each other. All of our holidays were spent as one huge family. They were always together. It wasn't until I was much older that I heard the stories of how they hated each other and how they were divorced and remarried and enemies and had all the drama but eventually (by the time I was born) all was healed and they just became the very best of friends. My 'step'grandmother has MS and has always needed someone to take care of her. When my grandfather died she moved in my my grandmother and my grandmother took care of her until she wasn't able to care for her anymore. And they are still the very best of friends. Both grandfather's have passed and I only have my two gradmothers left. I never knew growing up the complications of these types of situations. How awesome that my grandmother's (and grandfather's) could put aside their differences to watch their grandchildren grow up together.

I know this isn't a normal situation and I cannot imagine that I would ever agree to take care of SM... Lol but it is just a great story.

I'll stay. I'll admit. I'm hooked to this forum and like reading all the posts and I like getting advice. I just don't want to tread on the wrong turf. And I hope I don't ever come across and just being biased because I really try not to be. Poor pitiful me is over now lol

    Bookmark   April 30, 2011 at 10:26PM
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quick guestion - what does TOM and pov mean?

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:25AM
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TOM-the other man, someone wife has an affair with while married to her husband.

TOW-the other woman: husband's mistress.

POV is a point of view

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 10:29AM
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Gotcha - thanks :)....

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 12:14AM
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I was just told on this forum that I am not a real SM. here we go myfampg.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2011 at 4:36PM
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LOL. That's not what I said and you know it. Why are you dragging it over into a different thread? Unless you like the drama?


    Bookmark   May 6, 2011 at 11:22AM
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PO1 said "I was just told on this forum that I am not a real SM. here we go myfampg."

If I remember correctly, you put on a post that you had no idea why I called myself FSM since you hadn't even been aware that I was engaged.

Remember that?

Myfampg - you really should stay. Just like PO1 said, who cares? I've gotten my feelings hurt plenty of times on here, but I've gotten more good out of this place than bad. Even if it is laughing at someone's ridiculous insult.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 3:15PM
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Ya I decided to stay. Nothing really hurt my feelings I just sort of felt like this was more of an SM forum but I've realized it comes and goes and most people (like me) can be objective to the story not just if it's an SM hating a BM or vice versa .. Just depends on the situation and how the OP represents the story.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 3:21PM
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you are right ashley, I shouldn't have said that about you, I was always told here that I shouldn't be posting so I guess that's why I commented. My apologies to you personally.

I personally think that marriage license makes one someone's spouse, it doesn't make one real stepparent. I might not have a marriage license yet I am more involved with SKs than many of those who are legally married.

The same way if we compare a woman who raises or at least is present in kids life to a woman who just gave birth and nothing else, I think the first one is a real mother.

Same here, marriage license does not make one real stepparent, being involved in their lives and playing a role makes one "real". I was once again teary-eyed this weekend getting a small gift mailed to me by SD for Mothers day. I am not her mother or even stepmother yet i am very real to her because I play huge role in her every day life.

I think I talk to SKs over the phone or email (them contacting me as well as the other way, and not just "hi" but real deal) more than some people talk to their own kids. And I see them more often than my own DD (they live far but not as far as DD). That makes me real.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2011 at 4:36PM
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Thanks, PO1, for the apology! You have no idea how much that means to me.

I don't feel like an SM most of the time. SD lives far away and barely involves DH in her life, let alone me and DS. I don't call DH's son my SS since he is only 7 years younger than me. LOL! That's just weird. And I don't call DH's grandkids my grandkids, although I do refer to them as "the grandkids."

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 10:05AM
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My SO also just became a grandpa, I refer to a new baby as SD's (insert name) daughter or as SO's (insert name) granddaughter. I have a colleague who is just recently remarried to a man with adult children and grandchildren and she refers to all kids and grandkids them as hers. It confuses everyone at work because they don't understand who she is she talking about.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 5:12PM
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My SM #3 is this way PO1. She has a good heart but it annoys me to no end. She publically takes all the credit for us skids and our achievements but married my dad after I was an adult and all but 2 of our children were already born. She has just met my brother and his wife and their kids this past year for the very first time... She's been married to my dad for almost 10 yrs and has never met my brothers fam or even talked on the phone. Mostly because my brother was estranged from our father.... Anyway-- on Facebook she writes to my niece and brother and SIL, I am so proud of you, I love you and miss you!!
And then she has some crap about 'interests' watching my children and grandchildren grow. I hope to have great grandchildren one day.
She has one adult son that is estranged from her bc he is a jerk and he has no children. So the grandchildren would be our children. I personally haven't seen her in quite a while none of us have but she acts like she saw us yesterday. She was signing her cards to us 'momma(insert name)' and we are all adults. My sister finally said, please stop. We don't mind the kids picking a nickname for you like Nana or grams but we aren't calling you Momma. We have a momma and we don't know you that well.

People always write on her fb 'hope your kids and granbabies are well.
And I just wonder if they are confused.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:17PM
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wow, it is nuts, my colleague is a widow and her DH also lost his wife, everyone at work knew her being married to her late DH and having two adult kids (they were adults then already) then after appropriate time she remarried, and now talks about "daughters", "when did you have daughters?" "my 7 grandkids" "don't you have 3? where did 7 come from?" Then every time she has to go to lengthy explanations who is who.

Somebody on this forum said that her SD referred to her "aunt", i think it is rude and silly, but what my colleague and your SM do is the other extreme. At least my colleague gets along with new family but your SM doesn't even know half the people!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 7:43PM
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I am the one using "aunt" and I used it in our language, so it doesn't translate across as formal. But it's a sign of respect for an elder, like Miss Silver or Aunt Silver would be. It's not a mother, I'm not her mother. I referred to myself as "Aunt Silver". And she corrected me and called me Mama Silver.

And that's because we had a deal when we first met. Her BM had filled her pretty little head with fantasies that I was trying to replace her... or that I had my own little girl and didn't want her. We set the boundaries. SD already has a mom and she's doing a fine job. SD and I can have a different relationship. And we do. It works for us. And if she wants to call me Mama Silver, that's up to her. I refer to myself as 'aunt' Silver, just as I do to all the little ones around me who aren't technically "mine".

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:05PM
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I was referring to someone else, member (recent thread) said her SD refers to her as "aunt" in front of other people and she was very hurt (legitimately). If she wouldn't be hurt it would not be even important, people can call themselves whatever, but she was understandably hurt. She didn't call herself "SD's aunt", it was the other way aorund.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:16PM
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Yes that was the thread about not getting recognition for helping with the play auditions and she introduced her as her aunt at some point.

Silver -- I really think you are different. Your sd and you have an agreement, this is people just making up their own name.
For example this is funny weird.
My SM3 started out wanting to be called nana and that was great bc I don't want my kids to call her (insert name) and my dad pops. They are young enough to adjust to this new person and no one else was nana in the family. (same as my husbands mom -- not dd's bio grandma but she calls her what my ds calls her, step or not, she's a grandma to her) anyway. She then decided after a few years to change her name to Gigi because that's what a friend was going by. I said you can't change your name. They already know you (my kids not anyone else's) and she is adamant that she wants to be Gigi. I don't argue. We don't see them anymore any way and my dd still refers to her as nana when she asks about her so.... If dd isn't changing her name her name ain't getting changed. Lol.

I think that aunt silver is probably a very special name for your sd and having something like that between you two, makes for a special bond :)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 9:57PM
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LOL Myfam. My DD calls my SM by her first name. NEVER grandma. It irritates SM to no end, and I've always, since birth, referred to her as Grandma SM. Kids! disagreeable creatures aren't they?! (makes me want to offer them another slice of cake...)

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:32PM
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    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:58PM
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