Coping with blending families/ex's

Diamond And Rubies - posted on 05/10/2012 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Wondering how others deal with blended families. ? Dealing with your own kids and step kid, partner's ex, the other parent, etc when things always aren't peachy keen.

Newly married with my kids and now a stepdaughter in elementary school. Her mom thinks I shouldn't be involved, and I'm just trying to be the kind of stepparent I want for my kids. I get along with my ex and the wife fine, so I find this hard to comprehend - not being kind to me,the stepmom etc. there's no reason she couldn't to a birthday cookout or communicate with me.

I understand her qualms,and I get no respect I feel. I take care of her and treat her how I want my kids to be treated by there stepmom.
Do I step back and not be involved like going to choir concerts,conferences,or taking her places? Than I feel that isn't fair to our relationship, my husband ,as his wife, or fair as a stepmom.
Or do I just say,Chet over it, I'm doing this too bad. I have the right.
I've been told she doesn't need to talk to me, I get that, I felt that way a little with my kids stepmom, but we actually talk and get along,ask questions, and are invited to our kids things.
If I'm the one caring because my husband is on business, why wouldn't I be phoned instead of him?
Thanks

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Sandra - posted on 06/11/2012

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I was kind of in a similar situation except mine was race related. my husband and step child are caucasian and his ex is also. I have delt with the racial slurrs and the name calling. She didn't want me to pick our son up from the daycare and she voiced that to my husband. She hadn't been in the picture for a long time which doesn't mean that her opinion shouldn't be voiced. I called her and told her that I was a part of their life now and there was nothing she could do to change that. I also told her that it wouldn't be healthy for our son for us to constantly fight so we should at least try to get along for him. She wasn't listening at first but I guess she sees that he is being taken care of and I love him. She still has negative things to say sometimes but I try to be the bigger person and ignore them. It's ok to speak your mind and if things don't get better, tell your husband he's going to have to step in and tell her what's what. Good luck

Alisha - posted on 06/09/2012

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Ignore the rude comments :( I get them too. Don't believe the lie that your husband can't let go of her. He has or can. My husband is very open about everything and if he doesn't stand up to her its for a reason. Most of the time because he would like to avoid fighting and court battles. But a lot of times he is afraid she will try and take his son away once again. She has tried every avenue now. I think she has attachment things with my husband but I know my husband has nothing for her. Yes, they had a kid together one time but I had a kids with another man and I am not attached to him whatsoever!

Alisha - posted on 06/06/2012

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Valerie that is really good advise! I also have to deal with my childrens step mom and in doing that I stepped back from my step sons dealings with his mom. In doing this hoping she will get accustomed to me as you put it. My husband works a lot so sometimes I have to do pick ups but she won't allow it and we don't like to fight so we try and arrange our schedules around pick up just so he can pick up. (even though I will be watching him the whole time) its been two years and still nothing hope it gets better though.

Valerie - posted on 06/06/2012

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Being in a similar situation but reverse (I'm the mother and have a problem with the step mom). There are a few things I would like to point out. First, I appreciate that you have a concern for the mother's feelings at all. I feel that if the same were conveyed to me, it would go far in alleviating my frustration over the step-mother's involvement. My biggest problem with my children's step-mother is her sense of entitlement. Since the father has given her all the permissions of parenthood, mine didn't matter. I'm sure my divorce situation is different from others, lets just say me and this woman never got along, even before my ex-husband and I separated. However, 3 years have passed, they are now married, and I am now more accepting of her role in my kids lives then I was before. It was a long uphill battle to get to this point. I still feel there are areas which she encroaches on without checking to see if she is welcome there or not. If she just asked, and respected my answer, I would be so much more willing to accept her. If she had just taken a step back in the beginning, I would have been much more willing to work with her as I would have had a chance to become accustomed to her. Her fighting with me, extended my resistance to her, as I saw it as a sign she did not respect me as the mother of my children who raised them without her for 12 years. So my advice to you is this, she cannot control the relationship you build with her child in your own home, she cannot prevent you from attending public events, or playing a supporting role in school and extracurricular activities. But when it comes to something that a parent should do for their child, a conference, holiday, a specific parent-child event or group, use your judgement and ask yourself, should I be involved or should the parent? Its ok to say to the Father, "No, this is something the mother should do." or tell the child "This is how your mother wants it done and we are going to respect her wishes". It doesn't lessen your involvement and strengthens the bond you will form with the child when they see what a positive example you are setting. They might not see it now, but they will as they get older. And they will carry it with them for the rest of their lives into their own relationships when they too might have to learn to compromise. Hope this helps.

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Jen - posted on 06/26/2012

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Hi! Blended family here! I have two older children (9 & 11) from a previous marriage, and my husband and I have one together. The older children's dad has a meany girlfriend. They only see the kids here and there.. and the kids HATE going.. she makes them call her Mom (which isn't a huge deal.. I am not insecure about it.. she'll NEVER replace me.. but my kids hate it!) and she is just mean to them... constantly insulting them (calling my daughter fat, my son stupid, etc.) TO THEIR FACES... and when they (or I) confront Dad, he accuses both me and the kids of making it up! He tells me I am making a mountain out of a molehill when a weeks worth of comments has affected my daughter for 2 yrs now. I told him I was just trying to let him know where she stood.. he doesn't care. They are getting married soon, and my kids are horrified! Neither of them want anything to do with their Dad, because of her. It's sad.

We used to invite them to events at our house (birthday parties, etc) and her insecurity would just get the better of her, she'd just embarrass herself.. and HER daughter (teenager) actually sticks up for ME when her mother badmouths me to my children (calling me an idiot or whatever, her child will say "Don't talk about their Mother like that!") - I have NEVER done ANYTHING to her.. seriously.. I have bent over BACKWARDS to be nice to this woman, so she'll MAYBE be nice to my kids... some women just cannot get past their own insecurities and jealousy to act human.

I WISH that he had a normal girlfriend (almost wife)... for the children's sake.. but THEY see it.. and all she is doing is pushing my kids away.. once they are old enough.. both of them are going to quit going.. my 11 yr old can't WAIT to go talk to the judge... and she tells ANYONE and EVERYONE that will listen how nasty this woman is to her.

Just keep doing the best you can.. because the KIDS will notice... and that's really all that matters. GOOD LUCK!

Diamond And Rubies - posted on 06/08/2012

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Alisha, I wondered that too. What does she have over him for him not to stand up to her and say respect my wife. She takes care of your kid! Or is she jealous that...? I don't even know...

Everyone says she is a piece of crap, and her I am defending the lady, saying no matter who she is , what she does, etc, that is her MOM,
I feel pressured sometimes that people are trying to "make me " like her mom, and you know what, I'm not her mom and nevervevercwill be. I understandcthatvand respect that.
What've they experienced together that can't be let go of?

It's almost like thiscwoman has a weird infatuation with her own daughter . She's 6 and carries her to the care, babies her etc..
She acts made I have my own kids and we had our own too...
That unfair since life goes on.. She can do the same ..
I hear rude comments, like my mom said you have too many kids and too many mouths to feed and your a bitch..
What??

Diamond And Rubies - posted on 06/08/2012

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Valerie,
I like how you said- she has nothing to do with it so why does she get the privileges? I agree, as a mother, & a step mother!! I also very much agree, if the dad can't do something, the mom SHOULD. Why should I do it all, when I have my own too.. Now they are on the back burned sometimes because I have to chase etc. my husband , if it is a scheduled for us, refuses to ask her anything. I think they should too, if she is sick and I'm pregnant, tell me if it's contagious or not, I have an unborn child to think of, I don't need a baby losing eyesight or something. Those are the things I think are disrespectful, don't tell me to talk to my husband, like is my owner, just because I didn't have unprotected with you. My fault , you two were stupid..
Birthdays- I think they. Should have ONE and do it together,because of the same thing you said. Her mother already had a party and invited all the friends. Well, I'm not going to do that, no On my way! Would come . I shared parties with my daughters family for a while until em wanted their own because of her stepmom not wanting to be around me...
I feel the me as you, I don't want anything of hers here.. I have novreason, I guess I just get sick of always being the better person, because it really isn't doing me any good..
I think it is nice that I do see things. From different views, I've already been the mom that had to deal with a nasty stepmom ..she was decent to my kid for the most part .
Although, I never got gifts like you did. She did from us, and as much as I hated doing it because I wasn't getting respect back, I'm glad what it taught my daughter..

Alisha - posted on 06/07/2012

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Valerie,
I understand how the mother feels also I am a mother of two children whose step mom pick them up often. More often than their father. I guess I can say it bothered me at first but I have to look at it in perspective if I expect my husband to be able to pick up the kids than their step mom should be able to also. I have never infringed on the step son's mom as a mother and she won't let me pick up from her let alone school, thats a whole different thing and will be when he gets into school this fall. Do you think its a hard to let go thing? Is this women still attached to my husband? She shows characteristics of that... And as a step mom's perspective that's what it comes off as when the mom is getting weird about us picking our kids up too.

Valerie - posted on 06/07/2012

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Diamond,

sorry I just wanted to say one thing to you, it sounds like your situation became ugly and from experience I can tell you that when it gets that bad, the best thing for the situation is to take a step waaaay back. It was that bad between my ex and I, and when the step-mom planned a party for my child, it infuriated me, because she invited all her classmates and friends that I would also have invited if I wanted to throw a party for my child. I knew it was the step mom planning and putting the party together, not the father and from that perspective it didn't make sense that I wouldn't be the one to do the same. Also, if I received a card from my kids when I knew they made it at her house, I would sweetly tell my children thank you but secretly hate the card because it came from "her". I'm not saying my attitude is the right one, but I can't help how I feel.

It sounds like you have tried everything to get along with the mother, if she isn't having it, please respect that she is not ready for someone else to step in as a parent figure. There is nothing she can really do about it but get used to it eventually. You said things calmed down because the father is working different hours, hopefully she will adjust as time passes. You have the right attitude and you want to get along, let the woman come to the same conclusion by witnessing your continued love for her child and respect for her as the mother.

Valerie - posted on 06/07/2012

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Alisha, thank you for that response. Honestly though, I understand how the mother feels in wanting a parent to pick up her children from school. I myself got an order preventing my ex's then girlfriend from picking up the kids from school, especially since I was available to pick them up myself and he was just sending her to get my goat. Now I am more accepting that she might do it occasionally, but it would bother me if it was a regular thing simply because I am still available to pick my kids up from school and I feel they should be with me when their father is unavailable, when doing their homework. It is such a sticky situation. From a mother's standpoint, the father picked the step-mom and she has nothing to do with it, so why should that person receive all these privileges with her child just because the father made a unilateral decision?

Realistically though, as a mother I have to ask myself, does she do drugs? Is she abusive? Does she care for my children? With the correct answers I have to take a deep breath and let go of a few of my control issues when it comes to my kids being in someone else's care.

You said its been 2 years and no improvement, women sometimes hold on to things a bit longer. I guarantee she is still watching you for signs of rebellion to her prerogative as a mother and it probably grates on her every time she interprets something as infringing on that. A bit of kindness on your part my go a long way, such as suggesting she pick up from school if the father can't, and then she could bring the child to you when he is on his way home. Or offering her to get the child ready for an event so they look the way she wants. You are in her child's life and there is nothing she can do about it. You won't lose out on anything with your stepchild by always trying to get along with their mother, plus you have the satisfaction that you are the better person if she continues to be stubborn :)

Diamond And Rubies - posted on 06/06/2012

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Alisha,
I feel you shouldn't have to arrange it. Someone is picking up on fathers behalf,as longas the child knows who. This is where it gets muddy for me.

Valerie,
Thank you.
I have had to do with my daughter s step mom for 15 years, and it has been hell, just recently we have gotten along, due to them divorcing, so I figure if I can learn from her what she did that I didn't like etc , I'll be okay.
I tell people,even when we didn't get along, I never understood it because the more adults in the kids lives to guide,mold, and watch and love - the better.
If she took the time to get to know me, she would see I understand her views. Yes, I would rather have my kid with me than the step,om, if dad isn't home. I'm sure she would too. I was told by the judge for my case, it doesn't matter because she has the right to know her 1/2sisters and stepmom.
Although petty things,clime changing her clothes, because she doesn't like ours on days she gets her from our house for school. That's a little controlling. Now I could be as bad and re do her hair etc, but why??
I would invite my daughters stepmom and family to her bday parties. The stepmom of her and I wouldn't speak a word, but she came, and I initiated inviting, just like I initiated 1-1-12, and she finally stepped up. Now she is in the position of being a kind of step mom ,woman role model to her live in boyfriends kids. So maybe that helped. She does 100% less than with my girl, so I'd like to did in that brain and see the differences etc. I'm just glad we can talk and my family teases w are BFFs.
Just disappointed that acceptance isn't seen.cypu can't live in the past. You. Ant ignore,he moved on and married me. I have nothing to do with them as being in a relationship, I never knew this women. I'm sorry it may hurt he has another child with me now and hers isn't the only one. Majority of families are like this now and we need to accept it, learn and grow and teach our children kindness and respect.
Not sure if it will happen. I see the difference in our children already and mine is a toddler.I'm left out of pictures that my stepdaughter draws and my daughter loves anyone..
I've had this woman open my car door and yell at me, drag me in to fights while I'm reading , hold my house door open, you name it.

Diamond And Rubies - posted on 06/05/2012

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update:
things are a little more calm, only becuase my husband has started different hours and im not the one to be there for pickups on his behalf. i still think it is sad, her birthday planning was started and i thought of inviting her, becuase i think that is nice. and he said no. I made her a card for mothers day, because i would want my kid to do that too.

Alisha - posted on 05/12/2012

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I would not step back! Go to your step daughters school functions just like you would your own. Try to ignore her mom. My husbands ex does all kinds of nasty things even to the point of writing inside notes on "their" sons toys. She tried to tell me not to get out of my car once I didn't listen... I thought she would get over it but its been two years and still she tries new things. One thing to keep in mind be the bigger person for your "step"daughter ignore the worthless threats coming from the ex you will hear them from your daughter but she is just repeating what her mom says. Its hard when you hear it from them :( Try not to talk to her though let your husband do that but on your end do go to the functions do spend time with your daughter. Don't talk bad about her mom, don't talk to her mom it just feeds the flame hope I helped I myself am still trying to deal with this same thing...

Louise - posted on 05/11/2012

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Sorry is the daughter living with you? If she is then you have every right to go to the concerts and school stuff, if your husband is away on business then you are her no 1 carer. If she does not live with you but stays at weekends and such then you should step back. Things like concerts are ususally designed for 2 tickets per family and her mum and dad should attend, unless he is out of town and then you could go in his place.

It sounds like the two mums are jostling for attention here. Raise her as you would your own, but ask her if she is comfortable with you going to these events, if she is then carry on. If not then dont take it personally, carry on with what you are doing she will come round.

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