A Different perspective on bm/sm relations

Susan - posted on 12/07/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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I am the mother of a wonderful 11-year-old daughter. She also has a wonderful step-mother, who she affectionately calls Meme, who has been in her life since she was 4 years old. I am only 33 years old and my daughter has been way too close to losing me on several occasions. Even young mothers who don't have medical problems get into accidents and die everyday. When you are wondering if it is all worth it, worth all the effort it takes to build a reltionship with the child's other bm or sm, ask yourself this: if i die tonight, will my legacy live on? Will she tell my child how much her mother loved her? Will she value the same values and instill them in my child? It is a very unfortunate fact of life that some children lose their mothers young, and no one thinks it can happen to them. There are no words that can express the heartache of being told you could possibly die while your children are still young or the peace of knowing that they will be taken care of if you do. To the step-mothers- don't give up hope! Meme and I went through some very rough patches (which I will take the blame for) but she "killed me with kindness" and just never gave up. It all started with just one phone call to tell me Randi had gotten an A on a test. And now, a few hundred phone calls down the road, we are the best of friends. (But don't be surprised if the dad or others think you are crazy to keep trying though!) To the bio-mothers- really think about what would happen to your child if you died or became incapacitated, your child's stepmother can be your worst enemy or your greatest ally and a big part of that is up to you. I promise you this much, if you ever get to the point where you have to sit down and have "the talk" with the step-mom about your wishes for your child if something happens to you, the issues that seemed so important won't matter anymore. I hope this perspective helps.

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Queen - posted on 01/23/2011

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I have always been nice to my step-son's mother and continue to be cordial even after she tried to push me out of my own family. I mainly let my husband deal with her because it is too painful for me but I do give him advice and anytime she wants to talk to me I am nice to her. I'm keeping my head up in hopes she will one day grow up and understand I'm not trying to replace her. And understand that I'm not going anywhere either. I'm happy for those of you who have made it work with the "other mother". I hope to have that one day.

Jennifer - posted on 04/14/2010

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Thanks for sharing. I once confessed that my biggest fear was losing the husband and never seeing my baby girl again. Babymama put me right at ease and said that would never happen. And, yes, she is my best friend.

Stepmoms, a tip: I am not at all afraid to tell her when I think she's wrong. But she respects that because I am definitely not afraid to tell my husband when I think he's wrong. And she's right WAAAY more :). If you can establish yourself as a third parent, not as an extension of/mouthpiece for dad, then that will help matters tremendously. And, yes, so much depends on her mindset and attitude, but welcome to always, ALWAYS taking the high road.

[deleted account]

Thanks for your post! I have been trying for years and I thought we had made some progress, just to take twenty steps back. I really want to have a good working relationship and at this point the only thing I can do is to keep being me and keep being nice whenever we have contact. I appreicate your point of view :-)



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Ashley - posted on 01/25/2010

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Brandy - You may be in the wrong place if you have this attitude. I have been a stepmom for 7 years. I have a cordial working relationship with my SK's mother. It does take a lot of time and hard work, but its possible. Had you ever sat down with her mother to mother to talk about the kids that you both love? I would hazard to guess that you have your own issues that you need to work out too. Its as much about honoring the BM's role as much as accepting the SM's place in the situation. It takes both sides. Your post only mentions her inability to accept yours, not what you have done with her kids to honor her role in their lives. I'm not meaning to be inflammatory. I'm just suggesting that you may want to seek solace in the Step-Mom's group if you aren't working towards a co-parenting relationship.

Sunrise - There is always hope. I urge you not to poison your own thoughts with "what if's" regarding her having your kids "full time". You can work it out. You don't have to be friends with her to work with her. Good luck :)

Sunrise - posted on 01/21/2010

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I fear death. My kids step mom tells them awful made up stories about me now I can only imagine what she's say if she had them full time.

Brandy - posted on 01/20/2010

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While I must applaud your way of thinking and your obvious devotion to your child, it is just as unfortunate that NOT all BMs think this way. I have been a SM for 10 years to a great set of kids, now 17 and 15. I have tried EVERYthing in the book to get along with BM, but after ten years, it hasn't worked so far, it won't, and I am tired of trying. Just this past August we finally got custody of the kids - a long hard road and huge struggle - things have only gotten worse. As a SM, you have to figure out where your place is - as a BM, you have to ACCEPT the SMs place - you have obviously done that - many others have not and WILL NOT. CONGRATS to you and I hope your child has learned a lot from the way you interact with MeMe!

Kena - posted on 12/26/2009

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Thank you so much for sharing this with us all. I have been a step-mother for almost three full years and my SD will be turning five in June. I have tried and tried to be even civil with her mom but she still will not have it. I was ready to give up until I read your post. This has made a difference to me and I will remember it as I continue on the road to making a great life for my daughter. Thank you again so much!

Elisabeth - posted on 12/23/2009

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Thank you for sharing this... I will continue to kill the bm with kindness, atleast then the girls will know that as we have told them that love isn't a thing that diminishes when you give it away. That God brings every one into your life for a reason. That you can never be too gracious, kind or well mannered.

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