Learning to breathe again

bonnie.garciaNovember 20, 2010

I am learning to breathe again. I was in a relationship with my BF for a year and a half before we broke up. We lived together, were engaged, and almost had a baby until I miscarried. I know this will sound harsh, but I am glad the pregnancy never unfolded. Although I love him, it was just not the right time.

After a break up of two months, we decided to get back together. The problems we had before had A LOT to do with him having a daughter and a very present ex-wife. I used to really want to be involved and almost have the same rights as the BM. However, after being single and without that responsibility for awhile, I learned that I didn't want to be as involved. That what that little girl would get from me is a friend and another role-model. But I would not be the one to worry about picking her up from school, worry about her homework getting done, worry about her getting to bed on time, worry about her eating dinner, worry about her getting up in the morning the next day and having her uniform, etc.

I told this to my BF the other day and he understood but wished that I would still want to be that involved. I explained to him my reasoning and liked that I stood firm on how I felt. I realized that he needed to deal with my new resolutions because, through experience, my old ones were just not working. I hope that one day we do get married and have children so I can raise them the way I see fit, but for now this is perfect. I get to experience what it is like to have a little person around who loves me and who I get to care for at times, but when she gets too difficult, it is perfect to be able to refer her to her parents who will need to handle her while I relax and enjoy my lack of parental responsibilities.

I have a lot to say on this issue, but for now, this is all I want to post.


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This is really great. I'm glad you have been able to find a strong sense of peace in backing off a bit, and redirecting the responsibility to this little girl's parents. It's great that you can reduce your own stress and disengage, but still have a wonderful relationship with her.

Sometimes I envy that. I wish I could disengage more at times. The problem I experience is that a) I am home with the kids---the *available* parent. So it's understood that part of my *job* is doing for the kids.

Secondly, even if I were to work full time, and put more of SS onto my DH, I still have my own bio DD. Same age as SS.

So it's really tricky to be like, "No, SS I can't pick you up from school but I CAN pick DD up. No, SS, you need to ask your mom or dad to take you shopping for new soccer cleats; you're going to have to stay home with DAD while I take DD shopping for hers. No, SS, I can't help you with your homework, wait till Dad gets home, but, oh, I'm going to go help DD with hers."

Not really possible.

It's tough sometimes because I AM a full fledged parent to SS when he is with us (50% of the time) but still JUST a SM.

Anyway, glad you shared this positive news. Sounds like things are going in a good direction.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 11:58AM
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You know, I think BioDads should have to sit down and actually *write out* a job description for their wife/girlfriend when it comes to parental rights & responsibilities for Dad's kids.

Ridiculous? Sure -- But just imagine what it might say. Parental tasks? Long, long list... Responsibilities? Virtually all. Rights? Virtually none. Decision-making authority? Absolutely! (Unless Dad disagrees at which point, Dad has total authority and SM/GF has none.)

Honestly, just making the guys write FACE what it is they ask of a woman -- just taking away the deniability and 'I never said that' factor --

On second thought, prospective wife should write an outline and make an appointment (OK, several!) with prospective hubby and a marriage counselor to negotiate things through. Wouldn't that be hilarious?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2010 at 5:26PM
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"Parental tasks? Long, long list... Responsibilities? Virtually all. Rights? Virtually none. Decision-making authority? Absolutely! (Unless Dad disagrees at which point, Dad has total authority and SM/GF has none.)" LOL! DH and I don't disagree an awful lot on boundaries with SS. He tried to use his trump card of "I'm his parent and so I know what's best" one time with me - at which point I reminded him that I was the one who'd just spent the summer working from home so SS could be home, that I was the one who got SS up, dressed, fed and on the bus every morning, and I was the one who helped with homework, listened to how the day was, and that I was the one who picks him up if he's sick, or takes him to the doctor.... and if DH wanted to play his "I'm the parent" card that he was going to be the parent - the only one here because I would bow out as unpaid nanny. And that was that.

What I want is a job description from BM! BM is more than happy for me to do all of the above, plus take SS for haircuts, school shopping, sports practices, etc. She's also enlisted the aid of her relatives now in her campaign to stop her CS obligation by demanding that I help support SS - DH and I have been told repeatedly that since I have a good job while BM chooses to not work, that it's "not fair" that DH, SS and I get to do fun things while BM does not, so I should pay for SS instead of her to balance things out, I guess.

But, what BM does not want..... SS to call me his "step-mom", God forbid he call me his "other mom", or basically for SS to care about me at all (I'm unclear on how exactly I'm supposed to help him grow up to be a responsible, well-mannered, educated person when he is not supposed to have any respect for me - but I guess that's my problem). I keep thinking of the saying about if it quacks like a duck or whatever it is - I'm supposed to have all the responsibility for everything but she retains the title and respect? What is she, the Queen of England?!

Good job, Bonnie! You get to be like a quasi-aunt. I like being an aunt!

    Bookmark   November 22, 2010 at 9:08AM
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Mattie you crack me up! Love the Queen of England thing! At times I have felt like my skids bm feels she is the Queen and my skids are her royal subjects who should look up to her in admiration while she treats them like peasants!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2010 at 9:14AM
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LOL. A quasi-aunt. You know...I sat and thought about what I posted and some of the replies I received. Now I am questioning if it is possible to be the quasi aunt. Right now it is because we are not married and no longer live together. What happens when I move in, though. Can I continue to be that way? Especially if I have a child. This means I would be treating them differently than I do SD. Not fair, but it is the reality. I already sound like an evil SM, but that's not what I am trying to do. I am just trying to keep my sanity and remain positive. Does that make sense?

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 3:22PM
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Speaking as a grown stepdaughter, I would say you don't sound like an evil stepmom at all.

Having two children in the house who are being treated differently is not ok though. I would recommend you either not have bio-children with this man, or find a man who has no bio children of his own.

It's like Love says on another thread, she can't tell her SS that she is only buying back to school clothes for DD or that he will have to wait for his dad to come home because she won't do XYZ with him even though she's doing the same for her DD... and someone would have to stay home with your new bio-kid, so it would make way more sense for you to be the primary caregiver for your Skid.

I get it, I do. But kids won't. And that's not fair to them. And if you don't want to do it, it's not fair to you.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 3:48PM
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Your bf needs to get married to you because of you, not because he needs a mother for his child. If you want to be then it is a bonus, not as an expectation.
You might want to clarify the expectation up front.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2010 at 6:49PM
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I agree with you. I cannot treat them differently. I cannot have rules for one and different rules for another. However, I think there is a difference when it comes to things like holidays, birthdays, etc. I cannot dictate who she will spend those days with or what she will do because I do not complete control of her schedule. Those are the things that will be different.

This is just the beginning for me so I know that I do not have all the answers. I'm hoping that with the help and advice of the wonderful women of this forum.

I do not think he wants or needs another mother for his child. This is why I had to learn that I will never be her mother. What I will be is a good friend and rolemodel.

Thank you, ladies:)

    Bookmark   November 26, 2010 at 9:12PM
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