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The best way to handle this?

Posted by jess3 (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 26, 11 at 14:56

I am curious as to how all of you have handled people assuming your stepkids were your biokids.
My SS11 play very competitive baseball. He has had a tourney every weekend we have had him since baseball started. His mom has not been to them because SD14 has had dance/POM competitions or practice. He is on a new team this year. He was playing a year up with the same team since Tball but DH thought he needed a change. It has been great for him. Anyway the parents on this team do not know BM, she goes to his league games during the week but I guess they just dont pay attention. I have become friendly with alot of the other moms and they see us bring him, and get water anf those things so they assume I must be mom.
My SS made a great play and I was sitting next to one of the dads and he leaned over and said " Wow great play, isnt that your son"? I stumbled on my words becaus I was not sure what to say. I did not want to say NO and not claim him, but I did not want to have to give a story either. So I said' well he is my stepson, but I definatley claim him". It made me feel bad, I dont want SS to think I would not claim him or be proud to be his mom nor do I wantto offend him or his BM. They all talk to me and ask questions as if I am his mom, just because they have not seen her and when she is there she sit away from everyone.

What is a good way to handle this? I
dont want to step on her toes or offend her but I enjoy the people and watching SS play. What would you do??


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The best way to handle this?

I would just tell people "he is my stepson and I am very proud of him". My niece looks very much like me and people always think I am her mom so I say "she is my niece". Nothing wrong with that. Not like you say "I don't know who that is". Unless you completely replaced their mother, I think there is nothing wrong with calling yourself SM.

Now I think what you experience is normal, people always think that SDs are my daughters (older one cannot possibly be by age!). People even thought I was SD's mother at her wedding. And people think DD is SO's daughter when we are together. People don't know. I think none of this is a big deal.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Dilemna's like this kinda irk me. If you correct people & say "I'm not his mom", then it can hurt the child & make it awkward. If you say "yes" and claim the child, then it makes a BM jealous or territorial. It's a no win situation.

If mom doesn't go to games, I would have said, 'yep, he's with me!" which is a true statement. I don't think the other parents really care one way or the other who gave birth to the kid.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

I don't like this one either. Just to add to the fun of it all SS refers to both me and his mother as his mom - I'm always waiting to meet one of his friends' parents for the first time and have them look at me oddly because they've heard of something that "his mom" did.

I try to make sure it's very clear in any medical, legal, or educational circumstances; otherwise, it just depends.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

I think your response, or Po1's very similar answer are perfect. It's claiming him in the positive way, but avoiding both the direct lie and the lie of ommission.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

I would say he s my husbands son, isnt he a great player? My SS doesnt seem to object to this when it happens in front of him, he calls me his dads wife...


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Imamommy, I think it is rude to say "I am not his mother", it is also rather silly to say "yes I am his mother" when you are not. When people assume my niece is my daughter I do not say "No, she is not" (rude), or say "Oh yes she is"(a lie). I say "She is my niece", it is neither rude nor a lie.

I don't think it is anything to do with being territorial or jealous. If people ask if I am SDs' mother I am not lying by saying "yes", but not because it would make BM territorial or jealous. I don't claim that my niece or nephew are my kids but not because it would make my sister-in-law jealous and territorial. LOL but because they are my niece and nephew, not my son and daughter.

Of course if we are talking about situations when parent is nonexistant or kids already call you mom it is a different story, it is not the case with jess.

I think sometimes things are just common sense but not because of BM being jealous but just because it is what it is, common sense.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Oh, how fun the awkward is! You've gotten great advice here. I'm not even technically stepmom yet - we've been together almost 2 years and have no plans to get married any time soon - but I love them and consider them my stepchildren. I go to more of my SS's ball games than his mother does, and I've actually been called his mother once, by another mom who said that she assumed it only because I am the only one she ever sees at his games with him and his dad. It made me feel great, but then I wondered if it would somehow get back to his mom - they live in a small town.

I'm still of the opinion that saying he's with you or that you're a proud stepmom is totally adequate, because it's true!


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RE: The best way to handle this?

--"Wow great play, isnt that your son"? --

My response inbetween cheers and woo-hoos would have went about like this '(cheer cheer) what a great play, way to go ______ (cheer cheer, calm self down) yes, he's my stepson and I'm so proud of him'.

What else is there to say? That about covers it. Guy made the assumption that you're his mother, but guy really likely could care less...he was more or less just making sure he was not talking to somebody else's child's mother. LOL, that'd be funny. 'Isn't that your son?' ...eh, no, wrong kid, that's their son over there Mr. and Mrs. Whatever.

In this manner of question in this particular setting and the generic question anything such as 'oh, yes, _______'s my stepson, great play' or even the 'yes, I'm with ______, my stepson' ...the guy really does not need to know your life story nor does it matter sittin out there in the stands. It's a ballgame, you're there supporting and cheering on your little guy.

Formal introductions, different type circumstances all maybe a different answer, but here you did ok. Don't get too hung up on it. As you and BM both attend games but usually attend different times because of schedules, SS knows you both care about him his activities and that you both are proud.

Times like when you might be at zoo and a stranger says something like "oh, what a polite son you have"...this lady needs nothing more than 'why yes, he is a great little guy' with a smile on.

Unless SS would be offended and/or angry about introductions and/or causal meetings, no need to lapse into details and explainations.

The circumstance, the setting and who is speaking to you should tell you what or how much to bother to expand.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

My stepdad never refers to us as his stepkids but he raised us. I never refer to him as my stepdad -- he is my dad. In converstion I refer to my biodad as 'my real dad' lol not sure why but I guess since he was never around, I always say 'my parents or my dad' when speaking of my stepdad even though I never called him 'dad'.

I think as a kid I never wanted anyone to know my parents were divorced. My stepdad and brother look a lot alike and people always say, you look just like your dad. We never correct them, we just laugh.

I believe that saying, he is my stepson and I am so proud is perfect! Especially since BM is somewhat involved just not at the games... How awkward lol I actually would not get offended if SM claimed dd as her child in such an event.. I wouldn't want dd to feel like she was not 'wanted' but that's just me caring about dd. Not all BMs are so nice lol


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Looks like most people liked my suggestion "he is my stepson and I am proud of him (or he is a great player or whatever he is being praised for". :)

I honestly don't see where the dilemma is. I don't think it is rude, offensive or rejecting to refer to relatives as they are. If someone asks my mom if DD is her daughter I don't think it would be rude to say that she is her granddaughter.

Myfampg, to my recollection jess and her DH are very involved with kids but kids live with mom, mom is not nonexistant and jess is relatively recent stepmother, she didn't replace their mother so I think it is entirely appropriate to refer to her stepson as "stepson", not because of jealous BM LOL but just because it is what it is.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Wow - i feel akward in these situations too! I always get WOW SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE YOU everywhere we go... I just say thanks... what am i going to say? she is my stepdaughter its just a coincidense? lol she really does look like me thou! its crazy! She knows im not BM when someones mentions mom to her she knows they mean me... She is so proud to call me stepmom lol.. If someone says go get your mom - she gets me... She never calls me mom though. DH made sure to explain to her im not her mom she already has a mom. She does however call her mom by my first name all the time! That really ticks bm off... sorry off track - I usually leave it simple and say thank you or if they ask if she is my daughter i just say yes. I discribe her as my oldest. Maybe is white lie but its better then getting into this whole story how mom signed over rights and I have raised her since was 3 bla bla bla...


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RE: The best way to handle this?

Thanks for all your suggestions.

PO1 you are correct. BM is very involved, and they do live with her.

I am very proud to have SS11 as my stepson. I have become very close to him. He is such a good boy. So I wanted to make sure I did the right thing as not to hurt any feelings. It is a strange feeling for me to be thought of as someones Mom. So it really caught me off gaurd.

He had a game last night and we got there first, sit down, a couple other parents sit by us, then she got there with SD13 and they sat in their chairs on the other side of the dugout away from everbody, so there is no way she is going to get to know these parents if she is not social with them. I'm not sure if maybe I should not go, or just not talk to them.

I dont know, I can see this being a problem that she will talk bad about me to the kids, they will then have the mindset that its my fault she has to sit away from the other parents. They tend to come up with things alot that are not true. SD14 made the comment during springbreak that all I do is shop and that I have like 10 Coach handbags. WHAT?? thats news to me. I told her she had been misinformed and she is not around me enough to know what I do. SD13 made a similar comment also so I think they get it from BM. I dont want this to be something else made up.
So any suggestions if I should do anything different about attending his games?


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RE: The best way to handle this?

How do you know, Jess, that this is not BM's usual habit? She did come prepared with her own set of chairs. Are there bleachers or does everyone bring their own seats? Does she sit in with the other parents when you don't attend?

I never understood the 'hid away and make a spectacle of yourself' bit. Just kinda screams 'hey, look at me'. I will assume that this setting of seats is large enough that BM does not have to sit with you or even real close to you without staking herself off by the dugouts?

As long as SS enjoys you attending and you're not pushing BM away (she's doing the seating thing herself) I don't see why you should feel you must stay home. You're not fighting with her, glaring dirties her way...you're just mixing in with the crowd. As she converses with Dad, I'd think if she really had a huge problem with you attending he'd already have heard about it.

Coach purses? I don't much care for them myself, but who cares if you do own ten? You work with an income if I recall...are you suppose to have only one purse, one pair of shoes, one pair of jeans and maybe toss in a couple skirts/dresses and dress slacks? It's really no big deal if you do a bit of shopping. If that's the worst thing they've got to say...let it roll off. You and BM are two very different people, if she does not enjoy shopping and buying occassional new items does not mean you're bad because you do. You work for a paycheck, you can decide when and how to spend it. The kids are not doing without if you have more than one purse, right?


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RE: The best way to handle this?

I was wondering why teenage girls comments automatically make you think it's BM talking about you. Do you normally have BM problems? Or just feel awkward?
I could see teenage girls making their own observations on your purses and exaggerating say you have 3 but they say you have a million or ten..
I have a 15 and 16 yr old niece and they are all about those coach bags and notice when I have one or anyone else and they always say 'it's not fair! Aunt myfam has a new purse and I want one too!' I always say, get a job sweet cheeks! That doesn't come from their mom, she has many too. This is just teenage girls that notice what others have. AND these are your husband's daughters and from my own personal experience with stepmom's, usually daughters are jealous of what daddy is buying the 'other' female in his life... I remember once my biodad telling his third wife... I love you more than anything in this world!! Nothing compares to you. It went all over me. I was 12 or 13. I told him he didn't love me as much as HER and he explained how our love was different... Lol now as an adult such behavior is so silly and of course the love is different... But as a teen... I only heard what I thought he meant and I was fumming lol.
So maybe the teens are just carrying some jealousy of you and make off handed comments that may or may not be ignited by Bm ...??


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RE: The best way to handle this?

well I personally do shop a lot and I do have a lot of clothes and generally a lot of stuff. My SO often makes jokes that I have 250 handbags and 400 pairs of shoes, no I don't. And he knows that, he exaggerates to make a joke like i make a joke that he buys million plants every summer, when really he buys a lot but not a mil. Perhaps SDs see that you like to shop for clothes (what's wrong with that?) and they exaggerate. Not necessarily BM's doing, could be their own.

As i recall Sds had big difficulties with you, like refused to spend time and had other issues primarily because you were the other woman, they knew about it and had issues with it. Even if girls warmed up to you over time, maybe they still feel loyal to their mother and possibly speak poorly of you as loyalty to their mother.

Now BM might generally not be the type to mingle with other parents. I did not mingle with other parents at DD's schools. Maybe she does not want to get to know other parents? Maybe she is a private type.

Also if she feels uncomfortable around you due to the past history, possibly she does not feel like socializing around you and prefers to sit further away. My SO's ex left him for the guy she had affair with and SO does not enjoy BM's BF's company, neither do SDs. So I'd glad things are cordial but would not expect more.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

justmetoo This was not her usual habit before he got on a new team. She was freinds with most of the parents outside of baseball and SS11 had played with that team since he was 4.
They have 3 sets of bleachers and there is plenty of room to bring chairs. There was planty of room for her without sitting close to us. He has not heard about it but she is not the type to complain to him. She will complain to the kids who will in return add in a couple ugly comments to us. Thats just how she is.
As for the purses I have 2 Coach, my SD's have at least 2 that we have bought and a Juicy bag each. They ususally bring it up that I shop all the time and Daddy buys be this or that after they have been told no that we will not buy them something. The way and words they have used makes me think its from BM.

Myfam I dont normally have BM problems directly because I dont have any dealing with her. But she has put things in my Sk's mind that they have revealed.
She has told SD14 that when she turned 14 that she did not have to come for weekend visits anymore, that she could decide that. This was when she was 13. SD said to DH that when she turns 14 she was not coming anymore. He had a meeting with BM over a few things and she told him that SD could make her own mind up at 14 and would not have to come anymore. We had already looked up the law in our state and they were wrong so he told them both to look it up. We never heard another word and she will be 15 in a month.
They are not jealous of my belongings at all. They have the same if not more than I do. I buy them stuff all the time, they do not go without the cute trendy things they want.

I do feel awkward that she is his mom and the other parents are taking to us, while she is over by herself, and SS sees this going on. The first game he had she did sit on the bleachers. We got there after her and we sat at the other end. That was before we knew anybody and she did not get up or anything. After that she has either sat away from the crowd or was not there due to scheduling confilct with SD. I am worried that her and the kids will take it like I am making her feel uncomfortable at SS games. And this is only becasue its a new team and she does not know them and has not made a point to sit in the crowd and get to know the parents. She is his Mom but they dont ask her things like, "what school does he go to"?, "what team did he come from"? stuff that they would ask a Mom. I felt weird answering those questions. My DH was off talking to another dad. I knew the answers so I told her.

I taked to DH about this earlier today, he said the same thing about her hiding away, teh whole "hey look at me" thing. That I should not worry about it. I just dont want to affect SS and mine relationship. I love the little guy and enjoy watching him play. He is a great athlete already at a young age.


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Sounds that BM feels uncomfortable. Good or bad and whose doing it is might not be a topic of this thread but she is uncomfortable. Do you have children? It sounds like there are so many games to attend with SS, do you have to attend all of them? How do you even have energy, maybe people can take turns, don't know. I didn't even attend every event for my own child.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

I don't think Jess should 'not' attend because BM is acting all weird. What would Hurt her relationship with ss is if she stops to make BM happy. You're in a bad position Jess and it does sound like BM is playing the 'oh look at me' 'I'm so excluded' but that's her own fault and there isn't anything you can do to make her feel better. She will or she won't. I think it's great that you are involved and if BM wants to sit alone and isolate herself... Then what do you do? I hope that ss will always know no matter what she says, that you are just there to support him and you always have been.

As far as the comments and stuff... Well there goes that theory, I was trying to give BM the benefit of the doubt but just sounds like she plays mind games and doesn't want the kids to like you. You can't do anything about it except just be there for them (especially ss) boys are much more receptive than girls in my opinion And let her 'hang' herself.

I also think you should answer the questions. If BM wanted to be asked questions she would mingle with the parents and make herself known.


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myfampg

myfampg BM probably feels uncomfortable around SM because SM was the other woman. We don't know if BM wants to socialize with parents or answer questions, kids live with her and she is raising them, dad has visitations. Maybe she is tired and wants just sit, she is raising 3 kids and probably works during the day.

Dad had affair with SM while married to mom, he left mom for the other woman. Kids had their major issues with that, especially girls. Myfampg, this is not a typical evil deadbeat BM, nice involved SM.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

My SKids live with their mom, and all SS's games are in their neck of the woods, and BM still sits off by herself at the few games she shows up to. That's why the one mom assumed I was SS's mom.

I've also noticed what I call the "interpretation and translation" factor with the skids. Whet they see and how they interpret it is very different a lot of times than what actually happens. SO and I agreed that if we found ourselves in disagreement in front of the kids that we would immediately drop it and get back to it when we were alone.

I learned very quickly, especially with the very imaginative SS10, that I have to be very careful about what I say and the way I present things, because it will generally get embroidered into something completely different by the time they get home for BM's debriefing session.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

PO1 she has never been uncomfortable before. This is the 3rd baseball season I have attended games and football games. She just does not know anybody on this team vs the previous team.
And just because you want to keep throwing in there that I was TOW does not mean that I am not a nice or good SM. Dont you have anything better to do???? She very well may still be bitter but that should not change the fact that I am an involved SM and good to the kids. My problem is I dont want SS to think his MOm has to sit all alone because I have mingled with the other parents.


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RE: The best way to handle this?

The only reason I mentioned you being TOW is because it explains BM's and SDs attitude towards you. SS was younger and he is a boy. If i was TOW, most likely SDs would not like me and probably spoke poorly of me like yours do and BM would avoid me like a plague, certainly would not call or text me. I am not saying you are not nice SM, i am just point out why things between you and Bm and SDs happen certain way. It is fine if you don't agree.

Also if you are concerned about game attendance, maybe you can alternate games so mom does not have to sit there with you at every game, i don't think both parents and all stepparents have to be always there.


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Related thing

One other reason to be clear about you being the kids' stepmom, if it is a person you might ever see again: you avoid that awful thing where you're out with the SKs and someone says, "Ask your Mom if you can have some ice cream," looking at you, and the kid says, "That's not my mom!!"

My SDs liked me, but for some reason, that would really set them off, and I would really be embarassed when they did that. I thought the other person would think they hated me! DH talked to them about it and explained how it made me feel, and they toned it down a little bit. Still, I would wince when someone called me their mom in front of them.


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