Biological and step moms CAN get along! :)

Emily - posted on 06/04/2009 ( 38 moms have responded )

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Hey ladies,
Moms and stepmoms have a lot going against us. Women have a harder time with the idea of children bonding with someone new than men do. We've just gone through divorces that are often very ugly and have battled with our exes in ways that bring out the worst in everyone. Then there's the pervasive assumption that moms and stepmoms just can't get along - we're bound to be enemies.
I believe that we need to change our fundamental assumptions about co-mama relationships. A good woman in your child's other home can be your best ally. Early in our stepfamily relationship, my therapist told me that women often end up getting along better with each other than the two biological parents do. We're both women! We didn't divorce each other! If we can get past the stereotypes it's often easier for us to see eye-to-eye.
If you're already a mom or stepmom who has build a cooperative relationship with your wife-in-law :) please join our forum at Co-Mamas / Step-Wives, where we celebrate and share the ways we went from sworn enemies to cooperative co-parents. If you have dreams of getting there someday, let's discuss those here. What can we do to help our children live without parental conflict, or at least with a lot less?
I look forward to talking to you!
Emily

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Cyndie - posted on 07/07/2009

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The more people who love my kids, the better for them. They always know that I am MOM, even if they call another woman "mom". I want my kids to have a good relationship with their stepmom, because it makes their relationship with their dad easier. What happened between their dad and I has nothing to do with them or their stepmom.

Amanda - posted on 06/25/2009

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My middle child's father and I were divorced after three long years. He left me for the same person he is with today. Which they have been in and out of relationships together for over 10 years. I do my best to try to keep her involved with all that goes on with my daughter. She's going to be in her life reguardless so I try to make the best of it. When in turn I will always be mom, and she will be my back up. She helps support the decisions that I make even if she doesn't agree with them. I take suggestions and anything else she has to offer. Which in turn ladies don't get me wrong this didn't happen over night. It took us a few years to get to this point. But it's what's best for my little girl. I don't want her to feel that she can't like someone just because I didn't for sometime. It gives my daughter someone else to be supportive of her and also gives me some extra help with a growing girl if I need it.

Emily - posted on 06/21/2009

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I believe the key to our success is realizing that there is room for two different female parents in his heart. Nothing will ever take away the power of being his natural mother for her. We don't compete because there's no need for rivalry - he loves us both unconditionally and we reinforce each other in his life. We believe that he can have two loving parents in each home, and be all the luckier for having four parents who look out for him and love him.
With no competition, he has relaxed big time. Nobody has lost any love but we have gained a stable little guy who feels comfortable moving between houses, so much more than he used to. He loves telling me what he did at his "other house" (our term, just like "other family", that lets him love both), and telling them what he did here.
Of course this didn't come easily, and we had to earn each other's trust. But now we can wish each other Happy Mother's Day, and we can work outside of the schedule if need be - he has a brother at her house, and he gets to visit for his brother's birthday; our wedding is on her weekend, and she's giving up her birthday with him for us. Amazing.

Andrea - posted on 06/13/2009

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I am 11 years older then my step dauther and it is tough sometimes but i know i can never get along with her real mom because she tries telling me how to run my life and my house and i have told her a number of time to stay out of it because not only it her daugther taken care but she is feed and there a roof over her head and she is loved and she is lieing to us about being with his best friend well they broth our bur my sd and my husband best friend son are telling us that they and we belive the kids and my husband has never lied about who he has been with

Emily - posted on 06/09/2009

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Sometimes part of the problem is that we only know the worst of each other - so in your cases the stepmoms may be reacting to information (however accurate) they heard from the man in the middle. This doesn't make it any easier but sometimes confronting them and saying "Hey, you can't treat me this way when you don't even know me... let's take a step back and start over" can chip away at hostility...

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Renee - posted on 11/04/2014

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hi Emily !
I intend to get there one day , but im scared to do it and then I get backstabbed by either her or my husband again. please share how u went to enemies to co-parents
Renee.

Marcella - posted on 03/05/2012

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I have tried and tried to get along with my stepchildren's mother it seems every time I have tried she stabs me in the back the last time she tried to take my husband from me. I would love to get along with her but how when I know good and well even after 3 years she is just waiting for the chance to sink her claws into my husband?

Sherrice - posted on 02/26/2012

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Oh Wow to the young lady that gets punched by the ex. My ex tried to paint that picture with his new girlfriend and it was not at all like that. I have in the past gotten along with the mother's of a boyfriends kids. We got along well. I respected her. I was new in her children's life and allthough they harbored some pain about their biological I never once spoke negative. I tried to explain that her mom did love her despite what was going on at the time and I just became her friend. I left the discipline up to the dad and the children and I got along very well. we cooked togehter and everything. The mom and I got along well she came over we sat we talked she did my hair she did my daughter's her we nver over stepped each other's boundries. There did come a time when she did get upset and tried to pull me out the car I did not respond I would not go there in front of our daughter and that is what she call's us today she says our kids and the guy and I are no longer together. I can't say enough when I say that sometimes we as women are just not ready for that other woman to be mom friend yes but mom no. You have to get to know that person your values need to be the same boundries for the kids the same. If she want's you to consult her about getting a hair cut before you do then do that it's called keeping the peace. Allthough you and the dad are together and sharing a life and home she is still the mom and you should run things by her. If she don't then you be the bigger person and train her. Lead by example and at all cost keep the peace as ultimately what you are really concerned about is the child. Even when the dad don't you keep the peace call her up ask her let her know things will turn around then and peace will come. I hope that helps. I am in the place now with my ex's girlfriends and my issue is just that I am not ready we have had a lot to happen and I personally have not spent real quality time with my now 14yr old for over 5yrs and honestly I am not ready. I don't know her and her values and it is very important to me who influences our son. I have and she too tried to be cordial but when you have two women that are emotional it don't always work out. And when you are on two different pages and her duty and goal is to please him and not the child you have those problems. I say that you have to consider another person's feelings and well being do unto other's as you would have them do unto you. When you have a husband you are is help mate and sometimes you have to help him see his blind sides but when you are jocking for a position you won't he has two women and she has that underlining current and because of that her and I have issues.



Sherrice

Elayna Katherine - posted on 02/26/2012

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Everything still seems easier said than done. I have been in my step childs life since he was 9 months old and hes going on 5. Always been there for him and he calls us both mom (which she doesnt like) and still can not get along with his bio mom. She wants us to punish him every time the child calls me mom. We told him to call me whatever he feels comfortable and she doesnt agree. Its always a fight or her way. My husband wants us to get along clearly and Im not going anywhere but theres no pull with her. She hates that im in his life and Im always walking on egg shells or trying to watch what I really feel because shell just snap. One time she even punched me cuz she was in a fit of rage. She doesnt communicate with me or my husband very well or when we need to discuss something serious, she doesnt take it seriously. Its ok for her to decide certain things or pull stuff behind our back but holy cow were dead if we cut his hair without her prior knowledge. She sucks at coparenting!! If any advice can be given, please help, because its a lot of bullshit for trying to raise this child together. We should all get along for the sake of the child.

Sherrice - posted on 02/04/2012

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I needed to read this a long time ago. I will first start by saying I am at the point in my life that I was initially prepared for. God prepares us for all things. My ex recently emerged from prison with his two women friends. he has one that is pushy as heck and the other well I have yet to encounter her. But the one here in California has left a bad taste in my mouth and I truly need to get past it. She keeps trying to force the issue by answering all of his text messages and talking to me when I informed her not to speak to me until she was ready to sit down and speak real candid with me. She speaks babdly about me in front of my two children and tells them things like I care about you more than your mom does and denys it all. So I told her when she is ready to talk to me then I will talk and when she speaks to choose her words carefully cause she likes to say things like I am speaking and you won't interrupt me when I speak. I did apologize to her for the interruption but this woman went to far I am not her child. When I told her about it all she could say is you have a way with words too. I am so exasperated at this point that I truly do not even want to deal with her. I think she is childish and ignorant. I know this is so ugly of me she just got up under my skin. I have to be loving ang gracious towards her and with her and I am having the hardest time.

Sara - posted on 01/28/2012

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Hi, Emily. It's a nice idea, but when the SM's priority is marriage and/or her own kids, not your child's welfare, it's just not going to happen. When the man is working to keep the women apart so that the new one won't hear about why he's divorced in the first place, it's also not going to happen.



I've tried reaching out to my ex's gf only to have the door slammed in my face. Meanwhile, I'm the one left explaining to our daughter that a) she's his girlfriend; b) yes, she's supernice and fun fun fun now, but if she stops being so fun, it's not her (my daughter's) fault; c) that...oh, the list does go on. The chick's just irresponsible about kids; hardly her fault, she doesn't have any, and maybe didn't want any; she's nearly 40 now, no kids. My ex, on the other hand, should know better but doesn't.



I'm just waiting till they move in and she comes up with the brilliant idea that if they only had joint custody, they'd have a ...drumroll, please...whole extra $200/mo to themselves, so enter the lawyers and disruption in our daughter's life. And obviously, I have nothing better to do than pay lawyers and prepare for court.



You also write:



"I believe the key to our success is realizing that there is room for two different female parents in his heart."



Well, that's great for you, and it's always nice to see love in a child's heart. The problems arise when that love and trust are given to a person who's just putting on a show, and frankly wishes the child didn't exist. (Think I'm kidding? Check out some other SM boards. They'll say it out loud there.) Eventually, you know, the kids figure it out, and then they're devastated.



What also upsets me is the chirpy way some SMs will come on talking about how it's okay if children love people other than their mother. WE KNOW THIS. In fact we actively encourage it. Towards people we know, vet, and approve of. We're single mothers, we know quite well we can't do it all on our own. We've been relying on other parent figures for as long as we've been single. God bless my daughter's daycare providers and babysitters, her grandparents and others in her life. But you know what? We didn't pick you, and we may not approve of you. Particularly if we suspect or know that you're only encouraging our kids to bond with you because you want the man. Or if the SM's also the homewrecker.



If you and the mom can get along well, that's terrific, and that's ideal. Unfortunately, there's just a lot of crazy and frankly mean people out there, as well as selfish ones.



I don't recommend, under any circumstances, confronting an abusive mom or stepmom. Just hang up the phone. If she's the sort of woman who's going to believe terrible things about you because her ex said so, you're not going to change her mind by essentially saying he's a liar (and the corollary: that she was a fool to believe him). Just hang up and walk away.

Katie - posted on 08/04/2009

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My husband and I get along famously with my ex husband and his wife. Not only are they both on my Facebook friends list, my kids step mom is also in my Circle of Moms. I truly wish that more split families could have our relationship. We share joint custody of our children, neither of us pay support to the other, but we help out when it is needed and we are able to. When my ex and I split, we agreed that we did not need courts dictating to us how to raise and support our kids. We basically have the same set of rules at each house, they support my decisions, I support theirs. It creates consistency and stability in our boys life. That is something extremely important for kids to have when their parents are divorced. In a million years, I would never think of destroying the relationship they have with their dad and step mom and I know they feel the same about me and my husband. Just knowing that my kids are some of the few lucky ones who can have 4 parents who love them means the world to me.

Vivien - posted on 08/02/2009

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I so totally agree with Cyndie. I have a 7yr old son and my ex n I have been divorced for 6yrs now. My ex just recently remarried and I'm happy to say that my son'e step mom is a wonderful person. She loves my son with all her heart. I'm lucky....or rather my son's lucky. The more people who love my son, the merrier. I can discuss with her no matter what the topic is. On the other hand, I can't discuss anything with my ex. The moment we start a conversation...it will surely end up with arguments. We just don't see eye to eye on anything. Sigh! Therefore, I'm glad to have my friend in 'the other home'. At least she has my back n I have hers ;o)

Holly - posted on 07/31/2009

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I have a WONDERFUL relationship with my wife-in-law! It is kinda funny when we trade stories about my ex and he is standing right there!! I actually get along with my ex better now that we are not married! We decided from the begining of the split that we would get along so that it did not affect our child and it has worked for the last 3 years. My husband and my ex get along great as well. I talk to my son every morning and night that he is not with me and I do the same for his Daddy when he is with me. I just don't see the point in all of the fighting and bickering. We split up because we didn't like being married to each other and could not live together so why should we make our child suffer! I wish that it could be this easy for every woman.

Cortnie - posted on 07/31/2009

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Posted by Cyndie Patrick (July 7, 5:10 am)


The more people who love my kids, the better for them. They always know that I am MOM, even if they call another woman "mom". I want my kids to have a good relationship with their stepmom, because it makes their relationship with their dad easier. What happened between their dad and I has nothing to do with them or their stepmom.





Why can't everyone think that way?





I am at such a loss on what to do with my boyfriends ex-wife. I have tried to be nice to her. Written her encouraging e-mails, she just sends e-mails back attacking me. Tried to talk to her about stupid stuff like her new car (just to stike up a convo) she just ignores me. I've tried to keep my distance from her hoping she would cool down... she just writes hurtful things about me all over the internet. She made my boyfriend's brother and his wife hate before they even got a chance to meet me. I love the kids to death, they are little angels.... but I am at a total loss with her. The last time she came over to pick up the kids, she didn't even want to come inside the house. So I tried to give a gesture saying "it's ok to come in," and she finally came in, but it ovbiuos she didn't want to be there. I realize she hates me. She has come up with a million reasons to hate me. She always tries to play the helpless victim and truely want to tell her to get over herself, but at the same time I am jsut so tired of all the crap she has pulled that I just want this fude between us to be over.





I would love to know how to make all the crap stop so that everyone can live happier. Can anyone help?



P.S. To all Biological moms: I know it is hard and hurtful when your guy leaves and hooks up with a girl that incredibly younger than both him and you, but that isn't HER fault... he chose her. If your going to have issues with her, don't let it be because of her age, make it a ligit reason. Age should have nothing to do with it. My guy is 11years older than me, and the ex hates me for it... it isn't my fualt I am younger than him.

Bobbi - posted on 07/31/2009

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My boyfriends ex wife and I are best friends and we talk on an everyday basis we was best friends before they got divorced and even now that we are together some people do not agree with how I got with her ex since we was friends but before they got married we had a daughter together so I believe that biological and step moms can be friends we might have actually gotten closer after it all

MIchaelle - posted on 07/30/2009

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I agree with you. I have been one of the lucky ones who have developed a great relationship with both my son's step mom, and my boyfriends ex. I have one child with my first husband, and two with my second husband. I am glad to say that I have a great relationship with the oldest sons step-mom now removed. So well that even though they are divorced I still consider her a great friend. And as for my second ones new wife, we had a very rough start. But I believe that is because of my ex...a lot of he said she said. We have managed to keep it civil for the children. And to top them all off my boyfriend of 8 yrs has 3 children of his own. I refer to us most of the time as the Disfunctional Brady Bunch. I get along great with her too. Don't get me wrong we have our fair share of problems with each other, but it seems that when we can work together it makes it a whole lot easier. Not to mension it relieves the stress from the kids, and being afraid of hurting one or the others feeling because they love us both.

Tara - posted on 07/19/2009

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I wish getting along with the step-mom was that easy! My ex and I divorced 6-7 yrs. ago and he married about two yrs. ago to a woman who is 27 and he is 41. I am 34 yrs. old and we have 10 yr. old twin boys together. She has 3 girls but only has custody of two of them, which live with him and her. Twice she has threatened to leave him because she says he spends more time with his boys instead of her. That is absolutely ridiculous!! Of course he is going to spend time with his boys. She is always putting her 2 cents in where it isn't needed and constantly talking about me to my boys. At least I have a college education and work, she claims she can't work. I can almost say for a fact that she has cheated on him and I can't for the life of me figure out what he seen in her. Sometimes I think he just married her so that he wouldn't have to be alone. There would be no way in hell for me to try and get along with her. Been down that road before, I have been nice to her and tried to talk reasonably to her, but there is just no way she will ever see anything different, she is in her own little world.

[deleted account]

First of all, Emily you are an amazing woman and I already respect you like I have never respected another woman in my life. What a mature and developed person you are, your kids are so very lucky to have a mommy like you. Same goes for your Co-Mama; I'm sure it's not always easy but kudos to you both for making the babies your priority and not your own prides.

Tina, I feel your pain as I have some of the same issues with my husband's ex in terms of violence (both past and current). The only answer I can give you is, as hard and scary as it is, ALWAYS stand your ground. I always have and although there is still violence, abuse and mind games involving both the children and their father I have never once bowed to it and she knows it.

Tina - posted on 07/12/2009

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Tell me how we can... my husbands ex is always sending the 2 kids over to start issues, so she has something to bitch about. Plus her other thing is that she says all the time is I am not a legal parent so I have no say in making sure the kids are safe from things she does that are illegal and have been reported. That and her latest is that its all or nothing. In reference to my step son who has anger issues at his mom's and she wants me to step in her house and deal with it, but she can't stand me and I am sorry it makes me afraid for my life to step in her house cause she has a illegal gun that is loaded in her house. Not to sure what to do about that. Got ideas????

Tina - posted on 07/12/2009

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Tell me how we can... my husbands ex is always sending the 2 kids over to start issues, so she has something to bitch about. Plus her other thing is that she says all the time is I am not a legal parent so I have no say in making sure the kids are safe from things she does that are illegal and have been reported. That and her latest is that its all or nothing. In reference to my step son who has anger issues at his mom's and she wants me to step in her house and deal with it, but she can't stand me and I am sorry it makes me afraid for my life to step in her house cause she has a illegal gun that is loaded in her house. Not to sure what to do about that. Got ideas????

Andrea - posted on 07/08/2009

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Quoting Cyndie:

The more people who love my kids, the better for them. They always know that I am MOM, even if they call another woman "mom". I want my kids to have a good relationship with their stepmom, because it makes their relationship with their dad easier. What happened between their dad and I has nothing to do with them or their stepmom.



why can more preple not think this way

Andrea - posted on 07/04/2009

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why does it seem that people hate the step mom no matter when they came in to picture weather it be the one he left the mother for or years down the line my step dauther means the world to me but mother have 9mths to get use to the idea that they are going to be mothers a step mom may only have a mth or even weeks before becoming a step-mom and i had 3 weeks and i have heard if you do not want you should never date a guy with kids but it not that easy but at the end of the day i would die for my step dauther and i love her with all my heart but her mother does not make it easy be calling him 3-5 times a day if not more for no reason but to talk and she raises our cell phone bill through the roof we have told her a number of times call after 7pm when it free unless it emercay but she makes or life hard

Stephanie - posted on 06/30/2009

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It seems only a dream to get along with my husbands ex-wife only because she hates me for taking her husband and then ended up with my ex-husband and has 2 children so where do we start. Our children have paid the price and there seems to be no end to it. If she doesn't get her way everything blows up. Kiss her butt and everything is fine. Question her and forget it, she is always right and seems to be the only one in the world who knows how to raise kids, just ask her. My kids are ok but they could be so much better.:(

Rebecca - posted on 06/19/2009

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i have had to put the gf in her place before taking over the mommy role and blah blah blah as they call it... and belive me she doesnt like me and i refuse for her to sit there and try to take my role as mother away from my kids she does every thing there dad does nothing.... he is just that laid back... she and him where trying to talk my 2 youngest kids into moving in with them ... i flat out told her u need to stay out of this convo and its not a choice they have right now. for i have physical care belive u me we have had it between each other and i have talked to the ex about this and i said well if u are to marry her later on then i feel for u for she has caused problems between me and u as parents and she needs not to stick her nose where it dont belng... friends i will never be with her she treats my 14 yr old daughter like she is a baby calls her baby erks me in the worse way .... i dont even do that to my own daughter i call her by her name or call her hun but that is it! they have tried to do things with the lawyers just to get me upset... so no no FRIENDSHIP WITH HER WHAT SO EVER....

Elizabeth - posted on 06/19/2009

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My problem is that I just started letting my ex have visitation again after a protracted dry spell. My youngest son and I have a morning ritual.. one of those special 'just for mommy' times. I found out that he is doing the same ritual with her ... it broke my heart. I told her about it and she apologized.. of course she didn't know it was special to me... but now I have to trust that she will stop doing it. She and I try to get along but she steps on toes too often for us to be friends.

Heather - posted on 06/14/2009

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I have tried this tactic with my ex and his wife only to have it blow up in my face.HIs wife swears that I am creating"drama" everytime I would ask my ex someting in regards to what my daughter has said that happened at his house or with problems with her grades in school. I ended up not even discussing anything with him at all and just document everything my daughter tells me.

Melanie - posted on 06/13/2009

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I will believe it when it happens !!! my daughter's step-mom is 11 yrs her senior and she tries to tell me how and waht im doing wrong and how and what i need to do ! and im 9 yrs older than she is! untill the day she grows up i dont think its going to be possible!

Heather - posted on 06/12/2009

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My ex just recently married the woman he left me for. For some reason she still feels the need to interfer where my children are concerned anytime I try to discuss issues pertaining the children with my ex. Since last year our oldest daughter moved in with her father and his new wife and now I am being excluded of anything in her life yet up until recently I have always included him in events in our youngest daughter's life. I am at my wits end with this. I have suggested to her that if we tried to be civil with each other it would make things easier for the children only to have it blow up in my face.

Tara - posted on 06/09/2009

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Uunfortunately I'm that way with my ex's gf but the dif is I got an idea of who she was first...gettin to the point. There is nothin u can do that will change her mind bout u. She has decided that u r the enemy and will always use u to let out her anger. Like me all she sees is red when she sees or hears u, I'm not justifying her actions but just lettin u know that it prob will never change. i wish I could be a bigger person and just let the past be the past but both of them put me through soo much I just have soo much anger, u could praise her to high heaven and she would still act the same way. I just hope u can continue to be the person u r and turn the other way cause ur son will know how good a person u truely r. Good luck and i hope i turn out to be wrong, but i know first hand that's not the case.

Gwen - posted on 06/09/2009

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God do I WISH we could be civil! Not for nothing, but after my divorce I dated a guy with a kid. His ex and I got along wonderfully, she called to talk to ME, not her ex because we could get along. Now my ex's GF is psychotic. The exactly one time we spoke, she cussed me out for 45 minutes. I don't know why or what she was saying, because it was the one day a week I could go out (Thursday ON visit) so i put her on speakerphone on the pool table and 'shared' her with my friends- no diologue, she just yelled at me the whole time. SHe never actually hung up even though she had to know I wasn't listening... anyway, she'd cursed me out on a few pick-ups, but I'm not about to get into it with her with my son present.

So what do I do with THAT? I'd be perfectly happy if we could just be civil- I don't really care if she likes me or not, but we should try to cooperate. but what do you reccomend i do with this woman who flips me the finger EVERY time thier car pulls up... who KICKED me in the courtroom because she could... who tells my son they are his real family because I will never have another baby and she gave him a brother... who yells at my son and cusses me out in the background everytime he calls me from there... I'm trying really hard not to engage her, but darned if I know what I'm doing to antagonize her at this point!

Emily - posted on 06/08/2009

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Ouch, Tara. The only hope I can offer is I've known several people whose exes started crazy (i.e. crack addicts, that level), and became stable later in life. I will hope the same for you.

Tara - posted on 06/08/2009

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I wish it were that easy but my ex left me after 10yrs preg with twins and 2 kids already in tow for someone 9yrs younger and who had a kid taken away by cfs. To top it all off, the summer before he left he was callin her and her bf at the time(an employee of his) scum on his shoe that should be scraped off before enterin the office...and we both had agreed that she should never be around anyone's kids let alone be around ours. He left me for scum on his shoe, he just had a bay with her and I'm supposed to let her around my kids?? I DON'T THINK SO...OVER MY DEAD BODY!!
I doubt I will ever be where u co-mama's r but i do envy u cause raising 4 kids on my own is very difficult, and i have 4 of the best behaved kids u could ever ask for.

Holly - posted on 06/07/2009

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Emily
My children are15, 13, and 12 and I'm sure that they are playing us against each other to some extent. Their dad and I use to be able to communicate through those type of situations but since SM came into the picture I've been told when confronting situations about homework not being done or consequences for bad grades what happens at their house is none of my business and they will take care of situations that happen there and I need not be concerned about it unless it happens at my house. Their dad and I seemed to be on the same page about how to raise our children until she came in with her own ideas and now he doesn't want to hear anything I say.

Emily - posted on 06/07/2009

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Holly, if you're at a place in your stepfamily situation where it would be possible, parent coaching might help. I know when we were building our stepfamily it really helped, and his other home is going to do it too. Sometimes parent coaching is something you do on your own, but sometimes you can bring the other person in.
The biggest thing that my step-wife and I seem to have learned is to put ourselves in each other's shoes. Neither role is an easy one... so we try to empathize with the other. I know it's helped me relate to her and I can feel her empathy for me too.
I wonder how old your kids are - and how savvy they are to dual-family dynamics. I know that, as in our case, some children realize that if they blame the other household for problems they are having with your household, they avoid responsibility. It may not be what's happening for you, but kids are so in tune with conflict and are also afraid of it. Sometimes they figure they may as well blame the other house and avoid dealing with the problem right where they are.
The best thing we've learned is to present a united front. If he misbehaves in either house on a serious level, we are in touch with each other. "Hey, he did this at my house - can you talk to him about it?" and/or "Hey, we have this pattern going on - how about you?" If he says a behavior is okay at the other house, or that he'll "tell on us," we just make a phone call in front of him. We do not tolerate disrespect for any parent, bio or step.
But of course it's hard to know what is really happening for you. I hope that you and SM are able to develop something healthy. She needs to respect your feelings about this one, too!

Holly - posted on 06/07/2009

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I wish it was that easy for everyone. My ex's new girlfriend is 7 years younger than me and determined to put a thorne in my side. I talked to my ex who swears she wants to get along with me, but it seems funny everytime I have plans with my kids she guilts them into doing something with her and if they don't when they get back to their dad's house she makes it really uncomfortable from them, yelling and such. My ex and I use to communicate pretty well and stayed on top of things when it came to things for the kids but since she came into the picture he no longer talks to me about anything saying that what happens at their house is between him and her and they will take care of the kids when they are at his house in their own way. I feel like I'm being shut out of part of my kids lives. Am I in the wrong? I tried talking to her but she blames everything on the kids saying they are lying.

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