Bio and Stepmoms can get along... :)

Emily - posted on 06/04/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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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 a stepmom who's already started building a healthy relationship with your child's other mother, please join us at Co-Mamas / Step-Wives to talk about how we succeeded and what we're doing to support that relationship. If things are difficult, let's talk here about how they can get better.

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this topic reminds me of when my daughter was maybe 5-7, she is 17 now. When the step mother first came in2 her life she was much younger. She would buy her clothes and really just love my daughter.. Boy was I pissed! lmaooo. My daughter would come home and say awful things that were being said and then go over to their home and do the same.. The step mom and I had it out on the phone just to realize that my lil. girl was causing most of the problems.. The ex, the SM and I got 2/gether w/my daughter and all was relieved.. She enjoyed the attention of the "fighting 4/her". Although, she loved me as her mommy and her SM as that, the fight kept her feeling more loved.. geezzzeee.. Ever since that time in my home when we all sat my daughter down, we've had zero problems thereafter! Turns out that SM is great! She's actually a lot like me..lol.. We started going 2/lunch, girls nite out, shopping.. The ex was pissed, but I found a new friend! They divorced after about 10 yrs. and are friendship remained.

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Sherri - posted on 07/21/2009

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Consider yourself very lucky. Bio-mom is nuts. Because I'm also a product of a "broken home", I know the importance of trying to make it work and being cordial for the kids sake. At first, I went out with her for a drink, went shopping etc. Then she flipped her lid. Unfortunately, you can only effectively co-parent if all parties are coopertive. Bio-mom refuses to attend activities of my SS, therapy, doesn't return phone calls or emails, etc. Like any relationship, it doesn't work if both sides don't put in the effort..... so again, those of you that can be allies and work it out, all the power to you and well done! :)

Ashley - posted on 07/21/2009

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Sarah,
My husbands first wife and I had know each other while they were married. We had mutual friends also. I really, really didn't like him at all at that time. Years later we ran into one another and hit it off. We've been married 5 years now. He's a different man now and I didn't wreck their home so she and I have formed a good realtionship. I offer any advise or help (of any kind) that I can give. She has respect for me and I do for her. If you and she can't respect one another you'll never form a relationship. Also, keep in mind that you do have parental boundaries with the children. Offer help, advise and love...things will work out...

[deleted account]

I am still in the process of trying to join allies w/ my SS's BM, but a personality conflict is hindering that possibility. Long story short, my husband's ex was the girl after we parted [still pregnant and determined to do it alone] and they were together [never married] for 10 yrs and share 2 sons together. I moved on got married, things didn't work out [left on mutual terms] and then life took a twist in my life as well as his and we ended up finding a way back to each other thru our difficult time.

My husband now [my son's BD] is my first love and always knew if it was meant to be, love will find a way to reconnect us...we were highschool sweethearts but just too young and not on the same page of raising a family at an early age.

With all the [soap opera] drama in our lives, yes, indeed the history between myself and husband has brought hardship into our lives not to forget the disgust and hatred his "ex" has over him and our marriage.

It's been 3 yrs since I've been w/ my husband [married for 20 months] and till this day she highly conveys and displays her negative feedback of me to her family and children. She even accused me of being a homewrecker, cheating on my 1st husband [when of course, she had no facts to go on, just pure jealous rage] and all the good, juicy gossip one can conjur up!

The gossip doesn't bother me [one bit] that has spread thru the years, but I will not tolerate her actions to use her children as leverage against my husband or threaten him to take them away and advising him that he will "NEVER" see his sons and falsely accuse [and trying] to prove I'm a bad for her children.

I was raised in a divorced home, seen what it's like to have a blended family first hand and from those experiences and I will continue to provide the uncondtional love for all my children and love each and every one of them as if they were my own. I cannot and will not allow the "what if's" that my stepchildren will not appreciate me b/c it's their given right to feel however they choose and hope they will [in their hearts] know that I am in no way replacing their mother but wanting to be a part of theirs a 100%.

Can we still be allies thru all this?

Ashley - posted on 07/20/2009

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My husbands ex and I get along fine...we can actually talk to each other better then he and her do! I am glad cause i've been on the other side of the fence and it's no fun! She and I are each other's friends on facebook and myspace and text one another from time to time. It's great to have that kind of relationship with her and it helps with her daughter (my step-daughter) also...

Emily - posted on 06/21/2009

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I bet mutual friends would be hard. As it happens, BM and I know nobody in common, which has allowed us to be on more neutral ground.
There was a lot of hatred in our situation for a long time. I always tried to imagine how she would feel and believe in the best. I read a book a long time ago, How to Win Friends and Influence People, and it says if you treat someone like they have the values you admire, they'll be more likely to display them. Sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy thing.
It took some time, like I said. Wasn't easy. I think part of what helped us is that she came from having two households too, so she was already kind of a "pro" at this stuff. She actually used the term "two mommies" to refer to a friend of hers... I was like wow.

Sarah - posted on 06/18/2009

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I would like to be in a better relationship with biomom. I read a book about co-mamas and strive to live by much of the advice in there. She and I also have SEVERAL mutual friends. Still though, I feel like she hates me and my heart sinks when I see her or hear of her hanging out with my friends. Any tips for me to not let the 'little' things get to me so much?

Cidalia - posted on 06/12/2009

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Quoting Candie:

As our family therapist explained to me, Any two, three, or even four people are capable of coparenting in a positive way for the sake of children if they are all psychologically stable. when one person has a severe personality disorder, there is no coparenting because that person is incapable of it. she always tells me, "You can't coparent with crazy, quit trying!"


It's a shame when that happens, because really it would be nice for everyone to at least be civil to each other, but in some situations when you're dealing with someone with personality issues, there is no way to make it work, unfortunately.  That's certainly the situation I'm in.  BM made it clear to SD that she didn't want me at SD's upcoming graduation because it was 'none of my business' -- basically ordered her not to invite me and to let her dad know that I wasn't wanted there.  What gets to me is that SD doesn't even live with BM (currently lives with her maternal grandparents).  I think it is just wrong to put your child in the middle of your issues.   I backed out because I don't want my SD in the middle of a tug of war, but in the end, BM's demands backfired on her and a very angry SD told her grandmother that if she had to choose, then she wanted me at her grad and BM was not welcome there.  I advised her to let her mom go, because she is still her mom, and that if it was really bothering her that much, to let everyone know that everyone is invited and if someone decides not to go because they don't want to see someone else, that's THEIR problem not hers.

Candie - posted on 06/08/2009

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As our family therapist explained to me, Any two, three, or even four people are capable of coparenting in a positive way for the sake of children if they are all psychologically stable. when one person has a severe personality disorder, there is no coparenting because that person is incapable of it. she always tells me, "You can't coparent with crazy, quit trying!"

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