Looking for custodial stepmothers

Vicky1975December 5, 2012

I would like to be in contact with custodial stepmothers for encouragement.

I have been a stepmother for 2.5 years now, raising my stepson full-time. My husband has full custody, but he visits his biological mother every other weekend now. She was not in his life for 4 years, but came back after my husband and I had been seeing each other for some time. (The same happened to someone I know - how odd.)

I know that custodial stepmothers face a different challenge than most other stepmothers who only see their stepchildren EOW. In my case my stepson does not even remember ever living with his biological mother because she left when he was so little (only 2 years old).

I would like to know from some of you how you handle "EOW mom" when you do more of the parenting than BM does. I also have a hard time with her phone calls that interrupt our family (bonding) time. Also, when BM calls a few days in a row SS starts expecting her phone call around a certain time of the day, and then her phone calls become less regular, setting him up for just another disappointment.

I hope to get to know all of you more as we discuss our lives and encourage each other.

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Didn't like the answers you got on CM so you Jump over here. Hope you find what you're looking for.

Knowing the entire story you posted elsewhere, I'll say the same thing I have already said. Mom is mom and you cannot erase her. Yes you do a lot of the heavy lifting but if your husband pitched in more to raise his son, you wouldn't feel the bitterness you feel for mom. The resentment. Your situation is no different than us mom's that have an eoweekend dad. He is still dad regardless of the type of parenting time he is awarded. An eoweekend parent is just as important as a custodial parent. You seem to have issues with the fact that a mother doesn't have custody. It happens. Dad's have custody. Doesn't make mom a bad mom. You want the glory for all you do and you don't want mom to be mom. You'll have to just figure out a way to get over it. As I suggested to you before, having children of your own will help you to understand. Therapy might help you to resolve some of the issues you have regarding not being the birth mother to your husband's child.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 10:40PM
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Why are you here, then? You are obviously on CM as well. Did you not like answers you were getting there?

Since you don't know the full story let me enlighten you.

I am homeschooling my stepson, and thus are his primary caretaker. My husband is gone 11-12 hours of the day Monday through Friday. We decided to homeschool, so my stepson seems his dad (who raised him by himself for 4 years) during the week and not just EOW when he's off.

I totally agree that an EOW parent is just as important as the custodial parent. In our case we don't see any parenting done at BM's house. Her lesbian girl-friend (who lives with her) is more of a "mom" to my SS than BM is. At least this is how it appears.

In our society usually the mother gets custody (or 50%). If a mother does not have any custody (simply visitation rights) that tells you a lot. Usually she screwed up so bad that full custody was given to the father.

Also, why would a mother abandon her child for years (no contact at all)?

Also, a CSM cannot be compared to a BM who has to deal with an EOW dad. Rather, you have to compare a CSM with a custodial stay at home stepdad without any kids on his own. This situation is extremely rare.

Actually, I want "mom" to be mom, but she is not, and my SS should not have to suffer from a mother who is not parenting and a stepmom who steps back, and lets a dad who is out of the house due to work a lot carry the majority of the load.

As you know I mentioned on CM (not talking about myself), not every woman is able to have children or to adopt. Also, I put my SS above myself and are more concerned about him than I am about my own needs.

I would also like to say that you should not judge anybody unless you walk in their shoes. I understand my situation is very unique, but I also know that nobody who has not lived it can completely understand it.

I also posted it on his blog to see if different people have different opinions. It has nothing to do with me not liking the answers I received on CM. I am always interested in learning about both sides.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 12:37AM
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Actually, Vicky, you're not going to like my 2 cents much either...I agree with MyFam. Somehow you're going to have to adjust your attitude toward the situation.

No matter how much time and effort you put into 'parenting' this child, fact remains he is not your child. You are not Mother. Sure, you might have taken upon yourself to play the role of acting sub 'Mom', but if you were not married to the father this child would not be in your life at all.

Your situation is really not all that 'rare/unique' as you seem to claim your case to be. And as to be extent you're involved yourself into this child's life has solely been your own doings. I 'get' you're feeling very protective of child and have come to think of child as 'yours' with an intruding BM who you believe is cramping your motherhood of 'your' child...but it's not reality.

You don't have to be homeschooling. You don't have to take on the majority of parenting. You're made choices: Dad has taken a position on his own doings and chosen to work long hours; you have chosen to keep child 24/7 of the nonEOW. You've made choices that have left you in the position you are.

You can't control how BM parents on her time. You also can't control what kind of relationship this child builds or fails to build with his mother. Is she the bestest mommy ever? Well, obviously not, but unless a court rules against visitation rights and/or DCFS finds a real problem with BM/her home/her parenting skills (or lack of) you're going to have to accept the fact this woman is a part of the child's life. Like it or not.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 6:31AM
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if... then...? But the reality is, I am married to SS's father, and I am in his life, and he is in mine.

I have not taken on any role. My husband and I decided together what is best for his son. I did not show up and decided to do all these things, but I agreed to do what is best for my SS - putting him before my own needs and wants.

I call my situation "unique" because I don't know anyone else who is a stay at home stepmother who homeschools her stepkids, and the BM is a lesbian who lives with her girl-friend. BM also was absent for a few years and then came back to take advantage of EOW visitation (no custody). I never met another stepmom in this situation. I don't deny that there are others in my situation out there, but it is very, very rare.

I don't think BM is intruding my motherhood. But I do believe that a mother should not be allowed to abandon her child for years, and then come back and act as if nothing happened, and claim her rights. It is not right that BM's can mess up as much as they wish without any consequences. Giving birth to a child comes with certain responsibilities, not just rights.

As I mentioned, I am homeschooling because this is the only way my SS can see his dad more often then BM. Even if I was not homeschooling I would still have to do homework with SS, so to school functions, EC's, etc. All these things happen during my husbands work hours, and BM does not get involved in any of these things. She did not even drive for one hour to watch one of his soccer games this season.

My husband does not work long hours, but he has to commute to work and that's why he's gone for that long. He only works 40 hours each week.

I don't expect you to understand all of this because it doesn't seem you are in the same situation. If you were you would understand that sometimes there are situations that don't allow a stepmother to refuse to care for a child as a parent's work schedule hinders that parent to take over this responsibility and the other parent does not step up to fulfill their responsibility either.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 10:31PM
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I did not homeschool but I was a SAHSM ... its your stepmotherhood ... not motherhood ... mom is who she is can't change that only how you deal with it ...

Best thing I ever did was let dad do for his children and let him deal with mom ....

Look at it this was hubby comes home tomorrow and decides he wants a divorce are you still in SS's life??? no you are his primary caregiver but not his "mom". No visitation no custody agreement ... you will then be stuck with no job and no way to provide for yourself.

The more you decide to push mom away the more SS will cling to idea that mom is more and more wonderful. The more you hate mom the more SS will love her. jus' sayin'.

Dumb question but how does you homeschooling SS allow him more time with dad? if dads gone 11 hours a day... 8 hours at a real school dad still isn't there for another 3 ??

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Hmmm, with more posting, Vicky, I really get the sense that Dad and you think you can just erase this child's roots...repick his 'Mother'.

Unrealistic. There is no magic wand, no clicking your heels. Nope. No matter how much you'd like to remove BM right out of child's life, a court of law is just not going to 'buy' all your line of thinking.

It really matters not that Dad has custody. If a court order has given child visitation rights and this BM's parental rights (different than 'who has custody' or who is 'primary') it does not mean Dad and especially you can call all the shots. And you're still failing to see the choices you have made to set your situation up, Vicky.

BM's sexual nature here really is a mute issue. You realize, right that same sex couples can and do receive parental rights, vistations, and even adoption through courts and the legal system.

You seem to be living in this little bubble that you believe Dad has this magical power just because he has custody. You need to realize that whatever custody arrangements stand right now could be taken to court and perhaps change at a simple judge ruling.

"But the reality is, I am married to SS's father, and I am in his life, and he is in mine."

I also have a hard time with her phone calls that interrupt our family (bonding) time"

Dad and you decided child is 'yours'. But obviously BM has some 'rights' through a court order or Dad would not be allowing the phone calls. He answers the phone, right? He's not running to court to demand BM have no contact whatsoever. He's not calling the police and turning BM as illegally harassing his home. I have to assume there is a reason he wants to or has to allow this communication.

We've heard so far how YOU feel about SS and what you assume your role is, but what exactly does the court order state? Because I'm really getting the impression if YOU could just snap your fingers and legally make BM poof you would...I'm betting the court has given custody to Dad, BM still obtains parental rights which have not been waived and there is a vistation schedule in place.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 7:48AM
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"I have not taken on any role. My husband and I decided together what is best for his son."

Do you realize that you've just said 2 opposite things?

Yes, you took on a role, one that you wanted, one that you chose.

We don't know what may have changed in this boy's mother's life, but she is in his life now, she wants to be in his life, & she & her son are entitled to that.

Homeschooling doesn't make you this child's mother any more than sitting on the stove makes you a frying pan.

If you're really interested in this boy's happiness & well-being, change your focus from your wishes to his happiness & well-being.

I wish all of you the best.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:51AM
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Vicky, I took the time to go find the other site mentioned in this thread. I did read your postings there. It does give a better insight then what only you have revealed on this thread.

I think you're setting yourself up for a bit of heartbreak and a huge dose of reality check if you don't try to get a grip on your feelings and emotions on your situation. For one, you yourself were not a part of this child's life his whole life. One day you just popped in and only because you were dating/marrying the child's father.

If the child is 9ish, you've been around married to Dad for 2 ad 1/2 yrs, well I'm going to assume there has also been other females involved in this child's upbringing other than your own. The kid didn't sit around on a shelf until suddenly Vicky showed up so to say. Whether grandmothers, other girlfriends, close family friends that were females, whatever...this child has had other females. Someone cared for him other than his BM as a toddler and on until you showed up. Whether it was babysitters , daycare, or others heling Dad, Dad worked and Dad had assistance. Whatever decisions Dad has made along with you since you have shown up in child's life are roles you willingly choice to take on. But it does not make you replace his true heritage or allow up to dismiss his biological parent. Yes, BM left, but she did return. Like it or not, you can't make this woman poof. You also can't make her 'parent' her child in the manner that suits YOU.

Yes, SS calls her Mom when you feel that title should be yours. Yes, child visits his Mom and makes you feel he is being taken away for the WE from his 'real MOM'...these are things you have sit up and allowed to happen by the choices you and husband have personally made.

I'm not saying child is not very close to you or that child can not or should not if he choses to call you MOM also. But you need to reaalize and accept there are two woman in this boy's life and you don't get to control who this child's relationships will include.

The child is young now, but 18 will be here before you realize it. Then court orders and 'custody' mean nothing. Once a legal adult this child will freely and legally make his own decisions. You certainly would not want your SS to then resent you for trying to elimate and/or control his relationship with his biological mother while he was still a child.

He loves you, he is close to you. You two have a special bond. He is lucky he has you. Except for your heartstrings being hurt he still sees and calls another woman MOM, it does not take away from the relationship you and this child are creating between the two of you.

Embrace what you do have with the child, let go what you can not and should not change. Learn what have can control and learn to deal in in healthy productive manner the things you can not control.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 10:56AM
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I was a CSM for 7 years. My divorce will be final in a couple of months. Here's my 2 cents...

It doesn;t matter what a piece of Sh!t the mother is, how little she see's the child, etc. etc. She is still mom & children want mom to be mom. In fact, sometimes the bigger a screwup she is, the more the child focuses on her because it's not unusual for a child to want her attention so they will manipulate & do whatever they can to try to get that attention that is lacking. You can't replace it. I'm sure there are situations where the child becomes so disgusted with the parent that they prefer the stepparent that actually does the parenting, but do not count on it. I believe it is very rare.

My marriage began to crumble when I put everything back on dad to parent his own daughter. He enjoyed that I was doing everything for his kid & that included dealing with her nasty mother. When I removed myself from the mix, he had to deal with it and I believe he began to resent me... I already resented all I did for his daughter & got no thanks from anyone, just more grief. I resented the mom that hardly spent time with her child but wanted to tell me how to do it, I resented him for putting me in that position.

And the fact that she doesn't have custody does not mean she is a bad parent. There are many bad parents that do have custody and sometimes making the decision to give custody to someone that can do it better is what a loving parent does. That would be like saying anyone that gives up a child for adoption is a bad parent/person but the truth is that if they do it for what's best for the child, then that makes them a good parent. (even if it seems they are doing it for selfish reasons like to party... at least they are not wanting to have the child around the partying, right?) I know in CA, the courts view parents as equals and more men are getting custody these days... it doesn't make the mom's bad. And while you may not agree with how she parents in her home, it's none of your business. She will deal with the consequences eventually. You would not want her judging how you parent in your home... and if she does that, then it's more reason to give it back to dad. That is HIS child & HIS responsibility, not yours.

And if phone calls interfere with family time, dad needs to set boundaries with his ex... that would work for her to have contact with her son & also for the son to know when to expect the call and for you to not plan family time during phone call time.

But, my gut feeling is that you already resent everything you're having to do and not having the standing that you think you deserve. If nobody appreciates it, don't do it. You are not obligated, you didn't have the child... they did. If dad works 11 hours a day, then he can give mom custody & let her do her job. It may not be how you think it should be done but it's not your child to decide what's best.... when you have your own child, you will understand better. (and you certainly wouldn't want your ex's new girlfriend/wife being critical of how you parent your child.)

    Bookmark   December 9, 2012 at 2:17PM
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Just curious; how can I find this CM forum? I can't work it out but I'd like to know please :-)


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 12:32AM
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First, I want to thank all of you for your honest replies. Some of them were helpful. Nevertheless, I would like to mention some things.

First, the question regarding the homeschooling. My husband leaves the house between 10 and 10:30 in the morning, and comes home between 9:30 and 10:00 at night. If my SS went to public school he would have to leave the house around 8am. Since he goes to bed at 9pm he would not see his dad at all during the week. EOW he is a BM's house, so he could only see his dad on the other weekends. My husband usually spends time with my SS in the morning before he goes to work (8-10am). During this time he would have left for school. Since we homeschool we can work around my husbands work schedule. Please let me know if you have any further questions regarding this.

Also, by no means, I am trying to prevent a relationship between BM and my SS. I even encourage SS to be respectful to BM and her girl-friend since many times he treats them like his play buddies and not like adults.

As I mentioned, I agree that BM is, and will always be, SS's mother, but in a sense I am also a mother (check out the definition of mother in the dictionary) since I am the one raising him.

The court order does not specify anything regarding phone calls since when it was written BM was not in SS's life and did not have any contact with him. She calls anytime between 4 and 8 pm (sometimes later). She also used to call in the morning from time to time, but my husband asked her not to call during school hours.

I am aware that court orders can be changed any time. However, BM already told my husband that she does not want to have her son more often than EOW. She's happy with the arrangement. I guess, this way she still has her freedom, and can be a mom at the same time.

BTW, she just got fired from her job, so I don't think she could afford to take my husband back to court even if she wanted to.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:14AM
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"check out the definition of mother in the dictionary"

"this way she still has her freedom, and can be a mom at the same time."

"BTW, she just got fired from her job, so I don't think she could afford to take my husband back to court even if she wanted to."

Now, ya see, there ya go again.

I bet the dictionary has a whole lot of definitions of "mother", none of which is intended to be used by a territorial woman to cut a child's mother out of his life & take ownership of the child.

& the 2nd & 3rd comments emphasize yet again how much of your unhappiness pertains to your-perception? jealousy?- that the child's mother is getting away with something & deserves to be punished for it.

You're talking about a little boy;
he's neither a piece of property nor a prop to reassure anybody of his/her identity or worth.

If you want a good relationship with him, *leave his mother alone*.

He's young now, but he will grow up, & he can choose where & with whom he wants to spend his time.

If you want him to choose to spend any of it with you, make yourself as pleasant & nice as possible & be very supportive *of him* in his relationships with his mother & with anybody who wants to love him.

ps: Pay attention to Ima's experience; men who "allow" a new wife to do the heavy lifting are often not good bets for the long run.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:18AM
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Again, I am NOT trying to cut off my SS's relationship with his mother - I am actually encouraging it. I am never, ever talking negatively about BM in front of SS. I am also not wanting punishment for BM, but there are natural consequences for the choices we make. Unfortunately, this does not seem to apply to a BM in our society. She is allowed to make all the bad choices and still have all the rights to her child. She can mess up the child and let dad deal with it, but that's ok because she gave birth to the child.

Who says that I don't leave his mother alone? I don't even talk to her. If I have to talk to her because I am the one dropping of SS I am very nice to her.

As I said before, I don't expect any of you to understand me because you are not in my situation. If you are, I would love to hear your honest reply and advice, but until then all you can do is speculate, attack, and try to belittle me for being willing to help out my husband to raise his son.

I suggest that all of you read the book "Stepmonster" because it talks about all these things and is the only book I could find that acknowledges that stepmothers have feelings as well. Yes, the child is important and has feelings, but is the feelings of the stepmother are always trampled upon, she is no good for anyone in the long run. So, if you haven't done so I urge you to read this book to get a different view of the situation.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 1:52PM
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I am a full time custodial stepmom. My son's mother gave him up two years ago. He is 12. I have been in his life though since he was like 6 months old. He doesn't ever remember me not being there. I've always done more than she has for him. I don't know exactly what you're wanting to hear.... but I can tell you I understand your frustration. Bio mom is NEVER around and she cancels ALL the time. She is not an EOW mom, she is a once a month mom on a good month. In reality she gets him like 5 times a year. Last weekend was the FIRST sports even she has shown up to since giving him up. She does NOTHING for him EVER.... BUT she buys him things he doesn't need. So basically she's a disney mom and not a real mom. These guys are right. You can't make her disappear and you can't take her visitations away. This woman has caused me grief for 12 years and I fully HATE her, I do not talk to her ever.

Again, not sure what you want to hear or ask... exactly but I do understand the difficulties of being the custodial stepmom.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 4:20PM
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Justmetoo? Anybody?


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:52PM
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Vicky, no one here is attacking you here. This board is pretty straight forward. Would you rather 'we' post noting but handholding and meaningless 'oh you poor thing'replies? Or perhaps just 'all hold a big '*itch session' trashing bioparents (male or female)? Heck, if you want somebody to just cheer you on and sense of Vicky the Misunderstood Hero, check out the ST boards. You'll get plenty of that over on that site.

I'd like to believe though that in the longrun, it's more than that you desire and seek. As you stated yourself above, the replies here are honest ones.

Your latest posting with the questioning of birth mothers " but there are natural consequences for the choices we make. Unfortunately, this does not seem to apply to a BM in our society. She is allowed to make all the bad choices and still have all the rights to her child. She can mess up the child and let dad deal with it, but that's ok because she gave birth to the child. "...that's really a moral question.

You'll not find many of us, if any, who who disagree that some people make lousy parents. Some people should have never had child to begin with. BUT moral judgements on parenting skills and abilities are not going to help you out here.

Does it stink that this child's BM is a 4ish day a week 'mother'. Yep. Is it 'fair' you hand out all the daily caring and loving while BM is on break 26dys a month. No, it's not. But again, this BM has certain parental 'rights' whether you, me or the next person things she should. Whether you, me, or the next person thinks the world sucks because this little boy's mother deserted him for a number of yrs and now plays occassional mommy...it doesn't change facts. Fact is this BM is 'mother'. Fact is you are raising this child by yourself more than either one on his bioparents are.

How you deal with that is what is going to make or break you and your relationship with this child. It's what going to either bring you peace or turn you into a bitter resentful lady.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 6:57PM
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oh, yabber, c-a-f-e-m-o-m

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Thanks. And I couldn't agree with your advice more Justmetoo, beware of bitterness Vicky. I might post some more later, having experienced some bitterness myself.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:23AM
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"Again, I am NOT trying to cut off my SS's relationship with his mother - I am actually encouraging it. I am never, ever talking negatively about BM in front of SS. I am also not wanting punishment for BM, but there are natural consequences for the choices we make. Unfortunately, this does not seem to apply to a BM in our society. She is allowed to make all the bad choices and still have all the rights to her child. She can mess up the child and let dad deal with it, but that's ok because she gave birth to the child."

You don't have to say negative things in front of a child for a child to KNOW you don't like his mother or approve of her in any way. Kids are perceptive like that. And yes, there ARE natural consequences for EVERYONE. If you hold onto a bitter attitude regarding his mother, he will feel it & may resent you for it. It may cause him to want to protect his mother, no matter how bad she is in YOUR eyes. In his eyes, she is mom & some children will do anything to get mom to love them. Also, the consequence to your husband leaving the bulk of responsibility to you while you get very little of the glory WILL affect your marriage. And yes, she can make all the bad decisions, leave it on everybody but herself and still get the glory of being MOM. It sucks, but that's how it is. She is mom & could disappear for weeks, months & years at a time... kids may still jump for joy to see her & put her up on a pedestal. It goes back to "THEY WANT MOM TO LOVE THEM" and they certainly don't want to give her a reason to stay away again so they may be extra nice to her, etc. They may treat the people they trust like dirt, no matter how much you do for them... they trust you so they know that if they take out their anger/frustration on you, you aren't going to leave them... but it's really anger/frustration at what the parent is doing to them. Again, IT SUCKS! But that is how it is. She gave birth so yeah... that gives her the title, deserving or not.

"Who says that I don't leave his mother alone? I don't even talk to her. If I have to talk to her because I am the one dropping of SS I am very nice to her."

Again, you are doing TOO MUCH. Let dad drop him off. If you don't like her, have NO CoNTACT with her. You can be as fake as you like, but the child knows it's fake. The child may hear things from her about you. You can't control that. I used to do the exchanges because my husband worked & it was a help to him... but I also resented that the mom moved off with a new boyfriend & left the parenting to me... she got to sleep in, I had to cook her kid breakfast, get her clothes ready for school, make sure she did her homework, do all the MOM things and got none of the appreciation or recognition that I thought I should get. Of course, my ex husband would tell me thank you & tell me how much of a help I was to him, but over the years it didn't matter what I did, it began to be taken for granted & I resented all of them. When you spend your 20's or 30's raising someone else's child & at the end of the day, you don't feel appreciated or as valued as the parent is... resentment will build.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 1:28PM
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Regarding Dad dropping off SS:

Dad works from noon to 8pm. Dad could drop off SS at daycare before work (and pay for it), and BM could pick him up there at 5pm. But, unfortunately, that's not possible anymore. First, SS would miss out on school work for the day as well as homeschool group, field trips, etc. Second, SS is nervous to go to daycare since BM didn't pick him up there one time she was supposed to have him over the weekend. He is in counseling because of it, and cannot handle daycare for more than 1-2 hours. Another option would be Dad drive home after work (1 hour drive), picks up SS and drives back in the very direction he came from (1 hour) to drop of SS between 10 and 11pm. Option 3, I meet Dad close to his work, hand SS over to him, so he can drop him off at BM's. Option 4, BM picks up SS at our house on Friday night (usually we're not home, though) or Saturday morning. However, she says she does not have a reliable car to do so. Dad already drives for work 5 days a week and on Sundays, so he tries not to drive 7 days a week. So him dropping of SS on Saturday is not really an option. We agreed on my dropping of SS at daycare 1 hour before BM is supposed to pick him up. We "agreed" on it, but really, this is the only option we have. I said BM is "supposed to" pick up SS because she came early a couple of time because she didn't want him to be at day care, she came late, and once she didn't come at all.

Yes, I agree, SS is afraid of loosing her and her love. He is afraid to speak up for himself and tell BM what he likes and doesn't like because he does not want to hurt her feelings and risk her leaving him again.

It is very sad that any child has to live with this kind of fear. I rather live without recognition, but know that the child loves me, and trusts me. Yes, I might be a doormat sometimes for SS's frustration, but I am willing to be even that because I love him.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 5:13PM
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Vicky, IMO, I think I'd pick option where Dad does the Saturday morning drive. Two reasons I'd choose this 1)Dad not 'wanting to drive' seven days a week, matters little to me. When people have children needing visitation transport it sometimes just is not easy and it sometimes puts one out a bit. Not 'wanting to' does not give Dad a free pass to dump the exchange on you. You've already went above and beyond all week for this man's child, he can do the transport on Saturday. 2) Second reason I'd go with Saturday morning is YOU NEED THE BREAK. Everything is what best for SS and/or Dad/DH from what you type. Vicky has wants, needs, and deserves considerations too.

Vicky, I'd be needing a bit of pampering and DH/wife time on the EOWend if I were Vicky. Get SS's things ready on Friday evening, your household rises early Saturday, load you all in car, stop for breakfast along the way so you all get a 'family' moment, drop SS off and then you and husband drive off to do something Vicky needs or just wants to do. Make it a Vicky Day. Even if after drop off all the two of you do is trun around and drive right back home and spend the day centered around couple time. You don't get much time during the week for couple time and EOWend is already 'family' time, take your EOWend and well, demand a bit of 'Vicky is important as an adult woman with needs and wants of her own'.

You could even plan a overnight in a get-away fun adult relaxing situation and swing by and pick up SS on way home on Sunday evening.

Everything you currently do is geared around either the child or making things easier for Dad. Vicky needs Vicky time and a sense of Vicky has an identity too. Hire a friend to babysit an hour or two here and there during the week and join some classes or events Vicky might like to do. Exercise class? Book club at library? Coffee with yet another female frined?

The home sitter I think might be 'best' over daycare if SS has daycare issues. SS would know exactly that Vicky will come back and be home on time and SS could even do homeschool class work while Vicky is gone.

Honestly, I think you need to sit down that husband of yours and discuss ways that is not only good for Dad and SS but good for Vicky. No wonder you're becoming resentful towards the BM who has 26 dys a month off. Vicky is giving and giving of herself and seems to have lost 'Vicky' along the way. Perhaps making Vicky a priority in all the planning of what's best for SS/Dad you can release some of the tension you feel towards the 4 dy a month mother.

I'd be getting resentful and bitter too if JustMeToo was doing all the work and running of being Mommy and my husband wasn't making d*mn sure JustMeToo was able to be adult JustMeToo with friends, adult events and situations. It's all a part of being a 'family', if each member of household is not being taken into consideration and counting as important then the household begins to fall apart, one member or another begins to feel used or neglected and resentment and bitterness can set in.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:58AM
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Hi everyone, I'm not looking for advice but wanted to share something about feelings of bitterness, having experienced a bit of this trap myself.

Background info: My FDH and BM have been divorced 12 years, their 2 girls are 14 and 16 yo and I've been with FDH for 8 years. The girls live with BM, we usually see them EOW.

I'll skip the sad story; suffice to say that BM does not look after the kids properly (she has mental health issues and an alcohol problem). It is/has been very, very hard to see her neglecting her own kids. We have tried many things to help them but at the end of the day we haven't achieved a lot. BM always manages to fool the authorities (DCP, Courts, Dept of Education etc). I really don't know how she does it, but she does. So first of all there's the built up frustration of that, because it is just so awful to stand by and watch the trainwreck happen. And not having any control over the situation made me resentful too.

Also BM bags us to the kids a lot (even after such a long time she's still relentless) which puts more strain on our relationship with them. The kids feel they have to choose her side (even though we try hard not to be a side). The kids have learned to keep their distance from us because they need to keep everything a secret. And because there's 2 of them they keep an eye on each other in that regard, if one spills the beans the other one will dob her in with BM. Due to the secrecy and the loyalty issues we don't have as close a bond as we could have had. That's another sore spot.

And lastly; to add insult to injury; because BM is unlikely to ever change or get help for herself we were advised by the psychologist to back off and stop pulling the rope back. That felt really unfair because we tried so hard to help the kids; we went out of our way to do the right thing by them. So BM can make an absolute mess of their lives and we are advised to take a step back? Ugh.

So yeah, plenty of reasons to start feeling bitter over time... But then I realised the person that it affected most was me. The situation wasn't going to change because of it, well, actually, only for the worse. It was affecting our relationship and the quality of my own life. I knew pretty quickly that I had to do something to turn that around. I want to be better, not bitter. Now I'm in the process of changing it around and after about 3 years of actively working on it I feel I'm almost there :-)

I guess my point is that I understand how hard it is to struggle with feelings of injustice. Nothing pushes my buttons more but as everybody tells me: let go of frustration over the things that are not in your power to change.

Vicky: you cannot control who BM is and you cannot control what she does. But you do have a choice how to deal with that. There is great power in that. Your BM sounds pretty lousy, but like others have said; she is and always will be BM. Your SS will love her and want her in his life, whether she's deserving of it or not is not relevant. The best thing you can do is just stay as neutral as you can. If you feel you do too much, turn to your DH, it is his son. And don't feel sorry for yourself, I actually envy you.

Your situation is not that bad at all when you think about it:
-SS spends limited time with BM, you are his main carer and have the privilege of raising him how you see fit. That is something you should be happy about! It could be a whole lot worse, just imagine BM having custody and you only got to see him for a couple of days a fortnight.
-It seems to me that SS is not at risk while in BM's care; his basic needs are met. So what she might do things differently? It's not in your control and as long as she's not endangering him there's no need to worry about it. You're the one who's raising him and who's there for him in everyday life.

You should count your lucky stars really..

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Dad "not wanting" to drive 7 days a week might matter little to you, but I love this man and I am married to him. Someone who commutes over one hour one way to work needs a break from the drive at least once a week. Also, Dad picks up SS every other Sunday. If I had to do all that driving I would be very, very grateful if I didn't have to drive that route every single day of the week. It is only twice a month, so not such a big deal. I rather think BM could offer to pick him up from time to time or cover part of the money for gas since we do most of the driving (meeting in the middle would be the middle of nowhere).

We also come home late in Friday nights, so leaving early Saturday morning is not such a great idea, since it is the only day to sleep in for all of us.

My husband also considers my needs. Sometimes we go somewhere over the weekend when SS is at BM's house. He also takes me out for dinner, etc. We live in a smaller town, so things to do are kind of limited, unless we drive (the same) over an hour route that my husband already drives 6 days a week.

I am going to the gym during the week. Luckily, I found one that offers daycare. Where we live people seem to be extremely busy, and don't have a lot of time to go out for a coffee, etc. A lot of husbands commute as well, so their wives have the kids all day. Usually, there are playdates where "moms" get to talk and spend time with each other. However, many times I have the feeling that I am not really accepted because SS is not my "real son" and I am "not really a mom".

Homeschooling is instruction and cannot easily done just by the child at someone elses home. SS needs someone to answer his questions. I don't know if anyone would do all this for me for 2 hours every week.

My husband tells me a lot to do things on my own before he leaves for work in the morning, but there is really not much to do where we live. I also would have to choose between staying up later in the evening to spend time with my husband or getting up early to do something by myself. I just can't stay up late and get up early. Believe me, I tried, and it just doesn't work. I used to be much more difficult when my husband worked night shift, and him and me did not have any waking time together where SS was not around.

I want to try to do things on my own on some Saturdays we have SS, so my husband and him can have some "father and son time" and I can get together with some friends. Again, I will have to drive for over one hour because in the town we live in Saturday is family day (no exceptions). Since so many husbands have to commute and are gone most of the time during the week, very few women want to get together with other women on Saturday. If they do, it always seems to be with husband and children, which tends to be the weekend we don't have SS. My husband also doesn't really know anyone in this town since he's gone to much, so he doesn't always want to get together with others during the weekend. And, to be honest, many times I feel awkward to go by myself and everyone else has their husband and kids with them.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 8:48PM
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yabber, I thought about that many times, how lucky we are that BM does not have SS 50 % of the time, or most of the time and he just comes to us EOW or over the summer. I don't know if I would be in this relationship if that was the case.

I guess, my greatest frustration is the "damage" that BM does in just 2 days, and that takes up to 2 weeks to be undone - and then he goes again. Some of it cannot be undone because she filled his head with all these things that are meant for adults and not for kids (adult video games for example).

I think, things are actually getting better, but it's still heart-wrenching to see a child being torn apart in front of your eyes, and there's nothing you can do about it.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Are you sure it takes 2 weeks to undo the damage or does it feel like that? There is a difference.

BM allowing him to play age inappropriate video games is not ideal, but on the bigger scale of things it could be worse. What are the issues that take 2 weeks to get undone? Does he rebel when he returns to your home? Does he treat you different?

I'm sure it's hard when SS first comes back and has to adjust again (and you as well). It's hard for any kid to go between homes; even at the best of times. And it's hard for the parents/stepparents as well! I know all about that hehehehe. That's where you could cut yourself some slack, as Justmetoo suggested. Look after yourself, accept that changeovers are hard on everyone. Sometimes accepting that it's going to be a hard couple of days and not trying to change that but rather just going with it is best. Makes it easier on everyone including yourself.

When my stepkids arrive on Friday they are always, without fail, at least an hour late. It's BM's way of saying scr*w you and her little powertrip; "I don't have to consider you or your time, you mean nothing to me" or something like that.

This could be a bad start to our weekend but we know this is not in the kids control so why be grumpy about it once they get there? A great 'tool' for not letting it get to me is to remind myself not to give BM the satisfaction. She'd be hoping it would annoy us, but she'll never hear that from the kids when they report back on Sunday night because we don't give her the satisfaction. We accept that BM has to play this game and we just go with it and accept it for what it is.

Once they're here it's always a bit awkward; they can't really tell us about what they've been up to (secret) and if we ask them questions we get one word answers back. So instead of trying to force the situation (as in: it would be nice if we could catch up normally after not seeing each other for 2 weeks) we just go with the mood. If they want to chat we do, if not we give them space. It all helps ease the transition.

Another tip I can give you is to save any issues that need discussing till a couple of days after he's come back. For example if SS left his room messy before he went to BM or you found that mouldy sandwich in his bag or he put his socks in a ball in the laundry basket (grrr) then just leave that to deal with till a few days later.

All little things help :-)

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 11:05PM
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SS keeps talking about those video games, he keeps using (inappropriate) language from BM's house. Last time we picked him up BM was talking to DH while SS and I were already in the car because of the cold weather. BM started cussing and swearing about something. I just shut the car door because I don't think SS needs to hear that kind of language. However, I know that he is exposed to it at BM's house. All these things stay with him when he comes back home, and they never leave him. He also gains quite some weight at BM's house (2-3 lbs each time) since she feeds him lots of junk food and sodas. It definitely takes 2 weeks for him to loose that weight again - often longer.

SS also is still 1-2 years delayed in some of his development. He had to spend night at daycare after she left because no spots were available during the day. DH had to go on night shift and put SS in daycare from 7:30pm-4:30 am. SS was on night shift until DH and I got married. He lost all his typical preschool years since he was one of the few kids awake at night. DH had to put him on this shift since he worked all night, and had no one to help him with his son. He could only get decent sleep if his son was on his schedule.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 1:47AM
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You know, Vicky, SS would be hearing things you wish he not hear if he were going to regular school. In SS's case he's getting that taste of 'what and how some other's live' on his weekends at BM's.

It's really something all kids experience one way or another. Children can not be totally shielded from hearing and /or learning about some undesirable things no matter how hard adults/parents try to not allow their children to be exposed. This is just kinda where you and Dad have to be sure you yourself (Dad and you) have to continue to 'teach' SS values, morals and 'right and wrong'. In other words you continue to stress through your own words and actions ...you live your life setting examples. That's really all any parent can do.

Example being the food. SS is learning a healthy eating style at his 26dy a month home. He's experiencing a unhealthy junk food meal during visitations. You can't change what BM does at her house, but you can continue to provide healthy meals and teaching healthy ways at home. But IMO it's important not to call out and make an issue over it. SS really won't be harmed by chips one day a month or a fast food lunch once or twice a month. The problem would be if SS were getting the junk 26 dys a month and you weren't teaching him better healthier ways quietly in the back ground. If you make too big of an issue over the seldom junk food days you chance the junk becoming the forbidden 'fruit' or SS beginning to resent comparisions being made against his BM's chosen lifestyle.

Oh, and as a sidenote... with the driving. I love my husband very much also, BUT loving my husband does not mean in my household that all things get dumped on me. My husband and I parent together. We had children together, we both have our own duties towards not only the children but also assuring the household runs smoothly and works for both husband and I. My husband also drove to his employment 5 dys a week 70 miles round trip he left at 5am each morning and get back in around 5pm. Yes, I love him, but it does not excuse him from taking on his daddy duties on his days off. As my kids were growing up, Saturday mornings were always 'JustMeToo' time. If I wanting to be out in the garden at 6am on Saturday and dig in the dirt until noon (or whatever I choose to do that day) hubby was up and feeding kids, running around doing kid and/or kid and dad things. Husband and I raised 5 kids together (his, mine and ours) and have been married well over 30 yrs.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 4:56AM
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I am wondering why people in this forum always write things like, "if ... then". In this case, "if SS was going to regular school" ... Well, first of all, what is "regular school"? - public school, private school, ... Well, in this case, he's homeschooled. We are not exposing him to things other kids are exposed to. Is that a bad thing? I think every parent needs to decide for themselves. However, the fact is that he is not going to public or private school. We all also know that it makes a big difference if another child says something or an adult who is in authority (a parent or teacher or coach). In this case if the mother says something the child is likely to think, "it must be ok because my mother said it."

Regarding the eating habits: It am not opposed to SS eating some junk food from time to time, but that's all he gets at BM's house every other weekend for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I wouldn't even care if there was not that obvious weight gain. I don't even have to weigh him since it is so obvious. BM and her girl-friend are both overweight. SS was borderline obese when DH and I got married because of all the junk food SS was eating. DH has completely changed his eating habits for health reasons since then. SS is borderline overweight, what's already better than it used to be. DH schedule also made it impossible for him to enroll his son into any ec's. Where we live they have seasonal sports, but not too many things year-round (those are also very pricey). That makes it more of a challenge.

I am trying to teach SS to make healthy choices when it comes to food, but he just likes to eat so much, that he will eat a lot - as long as he likes the food and it is put in front of him. He also will tell people he's still hungry if he's not, he just wants more of his favorite food.

As I mentioned before, this is just very frustrating. I am aware that there's nothing we can do about it, and that we have to deal with it, and that's exactly what we are doing. However, frustration still kicks in from time to time.

Regarding the driving, I agree that dad has responsibilities besides going to work. If he commutes to work one way 5-6 days a week, and then has to drop off SS on Saturday another direction, that would not be such an issue. The issue is driving the very same route 7 days a week. DH doesn't mind to drive. I just understand that I would not want to drive the very same route every single day. Also, I think that BM could also organize for a ride from time to time and not expect DH to meet her closer to her home. According to the CO BM is supposed to pick up and drop off her son. However, both of them moved since then.
And since BM does not pay any CS or money for gas the way we do it now is the way we have to pay the least extra money for gas since we are already in the area we do drop off and pick up.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 6:30PM
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The 'people' was I. You're pretty defensive when statement was merely meant as example. Ok, so if you like 'public' and/or 'private' better than 'regular' so be it.

The point was if the child were in a different setting he would be being exposed to numerous other children...some of them with traits some parents would find undesirable. There is nothing wrong about homeschooling. My statement meant the child nor any other child can be raised in a bubble. Surely the child is exposed to their children and families when you and he leave the home. Homeschool or not, the child is exposed. There is no way to prevent it short of never leaving your house.

You can homeschool the child, you can stick only to educational type tv (if you watch it at all). What you can't do is cover the child's eyes and ears when he intermingles out in public.

Vicky, you really need to relax a bit. You're so defensive that you want to jump on anything and everything that you perceive as a jab or anyone (I guess me here especially) that you believe is questioning how you have chosen to raise the child. If you're so defensive on a complete stranger who happened to perhaps choose her words poorly and can now honestly see why you really resent the BM who you seem to feel you are in competition with .

Take deep breathes, Vicky, and don't take a strangers words and construe them into something that was never meant.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2012 at 8:15PM
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The point was if the child were in a different setting he would be being exposed to numerous other children...some of them with traits some parents would find undesirable. There is nothing wrong about homeschooling. My statement meant the child nor any other child can be raised in a bubble. Surely the child is exposed to their children and families when you and he leave the home. Homeschool or not, the child is exposed. There is no way to prevent it short of never leaving your house.

To be honest I can't really follow your argument. You say, "If the child was in a different setting ...", but the fact is the child is NOT in a different setting. It does not really make sense to argue the "ifs" and "whens" because the fact is a different one. It also does not give a parent the license to cuss and swear in front of a child. That makes me believe said parent might be cussing and swearing at the child.

You can homeschool the child, you can stick only to educational type tv (if you watch it at all). What you can't do is cover the child's eyes and ears when he intermingles out in public.

The comment "if you watch it at all" is also offensive. In general, I feel being attacked by you. It appears to me you try to cover it up by telling me to relax, but you are not in my situation. You are not dealing with the things I'm dealing with. You cannot judge me, and claim that I am being defensive because you don't know all the details. It would take a lifetime to write all the details here and I also think it is not everybody's business to know everything. However, I came here for encouragement and not to be talked down and judged. I know what I am doing, and I know that I am doing a good job at it. Instead of discouraging people, this forum should be here to build people up.

I hope everyone in here will think about this.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 8:25PM
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Well then, I hope you find whatever it is you're seeking...you've struck out on two different boards now. Perhaps something for you to think about.

Good luck and best wishes to you and the little one.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 9:06PM
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And on both boards the people who are or were in my situation (CSM with no kids of their own) understand. Only the ones who are NCSM and/or have kids on their own down seem to understand. Maybe we should all be less narrow minded and try to understand someone elses position. Then everyones life would be much better.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 12:31PM
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Well, Vicky, I WAS, CSM, but yes, I also had children of my own. There also no BM in my SS's picture until I came around (he was about 8ish almost 9 then). My SS's BM legally dumped SS literaly at birth and waived all parental rights as she left hospital)...my husband raised SS as a single father until we married.

My SS's BM then decided when SS was about 9yrs old to pop in a bit. SS never really had much use for her but she did take him to the zoo a few times and such. Husband left it up to SS as to if he wanted to develop a relationship with his BM. BM really had no true interest when she did pop back in then. I think it was more curiousity more than anything else.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 7:45PM
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I had to go back to the original post to get a reminder of what advice you are looking for because you seem to have an retort to anything anyone has to say that isn't what you want to hear.

"I would like to know from some of you how you handle "EOW mom" when you do more of the parenting than BM does. I also have a hard time with her phone calls that interrupt our family (bonding) time. Also, when BM calls a few days in a row SS starts expecting her phone call around a certain time of the day, and then her phone calls become less regular, setting him up for just another disappointment."

How did I handle the EOW mom when I did more of the parenting than her?

At first I HELPED my husband out a lot... I did the transport, doctor visits, teacher stuff, homework stuff, and then SD would go visit her mom for a weekend, DH would get a call from mom p!ss!ng & moaning about how SD didn't like this or that, or how I was doing things wrong, or I have no business doing "mom" things. I grew to resent that I am getting up doing everything for a kid whose mother got to sleep in & not work or pay support while I worked two jobs in addition to raising her daughter. She even got confrontational with me during an exchange that I was doing to help out my husband. That was the last exchange as I began to distance myself from interacting with the EOW deadbeat mom. (It really did reduce the stress in my life by removing myself from the mix. If you have any negative feelings toward her ~and it sounds as if you might~ then I highly recommend leaving it to your husband... even if he has to drive more than you'd like him to have to.) He chose to have a child with her. It's HIS responsibility and the fact that you are asking how to deal with HIS ex when it's really HIS problem, implies that you don't exactly like her or get along with her... not that you aren't cordial & kind... but you harbor feelings that she isn't doing her job, you are. That my friend is the beginning of bigger resentment. Trust me on that.

As for the phone calls...

Well, my SD's mom felt entitled to call whenever she wanted. The problem was that she only wanted to call when we were actually busy doing something... like at an amusement park or on a trip. Otherwise, SD would want to call her but she would never answer her phone. If she did answer it, she would say how she was too busy to talk.. you know, taking her new boyfriend's kids to baseball or taking the dogs to the vet. Then I got to listen to SD cry over it. I got to deal with the disappointment every time she couldn't get through to her mom or her mom would say she'd call back but didn't. Try putting a kid to bed when they are waiting for a call from mom... because mom promised.

Of course, my SD didn't like me. Well, I don't know if that's true because she asked if she could call me mom a couple of times and said she loved me at other times, but her actions said differently. To be honest, I have no idea how she felt toward me but I took the brunt of her anger toward her mom. She lied about me. She lied to me. She manipulated every situation. and in the end, I split up the marriage because my husband allowed his ex to involve herself in our marriage by proxy... her daughter. In the beginning, he was wonderfully supportive of me, very appreciative except he never stood up to his ex. She would start something with me and he would tell me how much he appreciated me & all I do for him. Eventually his daughter treated me the same way his ex did, and he would not do anything about it. (I don't know if he could have made her stop but he never made any real attempt... she rolled over him like a mack truck!)

But you see, in retrospect it wasn't SD's or BM's fault. It was my DH's fault because HE was the parent. It was HIS job to raise his daughter, not mine. He delegated it over to me and put me in a position to deal with the crap he didn't want to... his ex & his daughter. That's why I am divorcing him. I thought I was doing what a loving wife should do, help him out & take care of his child so he could work & we could "be a family". It didn't work out for me, I hope it works out for you but I wouldn't hold my breath.

The bottom line is that you are on TWO forums asking for advice on how to deal with something that isn't your problem. I am sure that many stepparents have a good relationship with their stepchild and even like/get along with the BM. And if that were the case, I don't know why you'd be asking for advice on how to deal with an EOW mom & her annoying phone calls that interrupt your family bonding time. The unfortunate truth is that she is a part of your family whether you like it or not. She can choose to do whatever she wants every other weekend... junk food, inappropriate movies, video's, etc. My SD wore make up & spent days at a river with a boy and no adult. She was allowed to eat whatever & always gained weight there & stayed up as late as she wanted. And then come home to our rules and as she got older, she became more & more rebellious about it. She resented that I was doing what she wanted her mom to do and I didn't allow her the freedom her mom gave her. In my situation, it was a recipe for disaster & had my husband been more supportive, I might have hung in there longer and stayed married... but I guarantee you that I would have been miserable until the day she moved out or decided to like me & be nice. As soon as she turned 13, she upped the ante because she felt she was now a "teenager". By that time, I had taken on the responsibility of raising my infant grandson & it got to the point that I did not want him influenced by her bad behavior.

I guess my point is that you have no control over how much peace you will have in your life. You can get along with the mom & child but if either of them decide to make it hard for you, well it's just something you have to deal with when you sign on to be married to someone that has children from a prior relationship. You accept there is an ex that is going to be the other parent to the children & sometimes you luck out with someone that likes and accepts you as the stepparent.. but I think more often than not it doesn't work out that way. Perhaps because women are sometimes possessive of their children or the role of "mother" so when a stepparent is doing everything for the child as a custodial stepmother, she may feel the mother is not doing enough or is a substandard mother because she doesn't have custody or just doesn't agree with how the mother chooses to parent. And it is probably difficult for a lot of mother's to have an EOW stepmother trying to bond & influence their child when they disagree on values or parenting style. But, those are the pitfalls of subsequent marriages (or I should say relationsips that involve someone that already has children) It's a package deal & it isn't always what it appears to be when you sign up (as in the case of someone that has a completely absent parent that reappears after you're married) It's just something you have to deal with or walk away. There is no advice on how to make the EOW mother do anything and it's not your job to deal with her... if it's a problem that you feel you have to figure out how to deal with her, give it back to the person that is obligated to deal with her.. and that's your husband. It's nice that you want to help him out & if you can do so without feeling put out or put upon to deal with this woman... great! I love hearing a happy ending where everyone can get along.

Or I could give this advice if you really insist on being the one to deal with her:
1. Drive the child.
2. Keep your mouth shut.
3. Turn a blind eye to what she says or does with her child.

Because you are not going to change her. You are not going to change how she parents. You are not going to remove her from the child's life, nor her influence. You are never going to be the real mom. If you're lucky, he will grow up to love & respect you & appreciate all you've done for him but even he has no obligation to do any of that. He didn't ask for a stepmom. He didn't ask for you to be his custodian. and while you are doing his dad a favor, you may be doing him a disservice. Boys learn to be men from their male role model. His father is modeling how to be gone most of the time & leave the bulk of the parenting to the woman. That's just some food for thought, but you & dad should be aware of what message it is sending to this boy on how to be a man someday. (my dad was a workaholic & now my brother is too... it's very powerful how a father doesn't have to actively spend time with a child to teach him behaviors that will follow him throughout his life.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 2:13PM
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Vicky, you really need to relax a bit. You're so defensive that you want to jump on anything and everything that you perceive as a jab or anyone (I guess me here especially) that you believe is questioning how you have chosen to raise the child. If you're so defensive on a complete stranger who happened to perhaps choose her words poorly and can now honestly see why you really resent the BM who you seem to feel you are in competition with .

Justmetoo has a good point Vicky; you are too much on the defense to see it.

You don't like "if's and when's" so let's stick with "what is":
-BM gets to see her son
-During her time she can and will expose him to things you don't agree with
-BM is in control of what she feeds him on those days
-Transitions from one house to the other are never easy; for any kid, in any circumstance. The same goes for the parents/stepparents (so also BM)

Knowing these facts there are 2 things you can do:
-Accept it and make the best of it
-Try and change things

What is it you're after? Would you prefer it if SS didn't see his mum at all? Remember: no "if's and when's", so "if only BM would feed him 2 serves of vegie a day and ban the inappropriate video games it would all be sweet" is not an option. What is it that you want to do about this situation?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:13PM
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Have you thought about moving to wherever it is your husband works?

Is there a way that BM can do the driving on the weekends she spends w/her son?

One thing I know is that resentments are a predictable result of harboring unrealistic expectations. Let your unreasonable expectations go. It may feel at first like the world could fall apart. Or that you'll be degrading yourself. Or that you'll be left unloved. Sometimes it's good when our excruciatingly careful constructions about 'how things should be' fall apart. Because then we have a chance to live w/how things are. And that - believe it or not - is a whole lot more peaceful; it's more loving. Don't let go and you run the risk of becoming an arrogant doormat. Doormats get walked on. Even when they're arrogant ...

You'll have to come to this on your own. And it will probably be through recognizing the pain you're in (hopefully, it will be sooner than later) and then learning how to accept the help you're asking for. At least that's how it's worked for this recovering perfectionist :) Freedom is a messy business. Life can be awfully painful. And we can increase the pain w/all of our "yes, buts .." I know, I've wasted a lot of time doing the same.

Best of luck, Vicky.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 2:24AM
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How does a child gain so much weight in a two day period? Lol 4 days of junk and he's obese. What's going on the other 26 days?

    Bookmark   January 24, 2013 at 7:50PM
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I am a custodial stepmom, and the BM is as bad as it gets (mentally ill, bad lifestyle etc). Everything you've read here has happened to us. The kids are abandoned to junk food and video games for every visit (or farmed out to anyone who'll let them sleep over). We had thousands of trouble-making phone calls designed to interrupt sleep or family activities (until we got technical and screened out all her calls).

Here is my advice - don't let this drama take over your whole world. Keep yout relatives close, and build solid friendships with well-adjusted people. Plan lots of social activities with happy families. If you don't belong to a church, join one. Find a hobby or an activity that gets you out of the house at least a couple of evenings a week. Build a life that is complete, and be sure that your family is part of a supportive community.

The people on this board are warning you that you are in a situation that could be a disappointment for you. You can't control much of what happens with your stepson or his mother, no matter how much love or effort you pour into the situation. However, you can control your own life and destiny.

I spent many years raising my stepkids, and now one is an adult and two are in their last years of high school. I am not close to my stepchildren, and it's not because I haven't done everything I could to give them a lot of love and a good life. It's because they're too emotionally damaged to have healthy relationships. They can't give enough to have a relationship that's not based on getting favours or free stuff. However, I have a great relationship with my own child, and my husband and I enjoy many sports and friends together. If we didn't have a full life without the stepkids, I'm sure that my marriage wouldn't have lasted.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 12:49PM
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Vicky1975, I'm in a very similar situation as yours and would be happy to stay in touch. Not sure how we can make that happen through this forum though!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 1:09PM
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