Given Up

Jaime - posted on 03/02/2009 ( 43 moms have responded )

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As much as I love my SS, enjoy having him in my family I am giving up. I can't waste any more energy defending myself, or my husband any longer. I have been accused of meddling, abusing my SS, yelling at my SS, and down grading the bio mom. I have been told numerous times I live in a bubble, that I am jelaous of the relationship my husband has with his son and so on, the lists are endless. Receiving many emails hurtful emails has pushed me over the top.

All I have ever wanted was for my SS to have a relationship with his father like my girls do. But then I am told my SS is not treated the same as my girls???

I am no longer pushing for visitations, helping with travel arrangements, and so on. In hind site I guess I should never have started in the first place. I was only trying to help my husband build a relationship with his son. Both my husband and bio mom need all the help they can get to solve there problems. I only hope they both wake uo and smell the roses before that little boy is damaged any further!!!

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Sandy - posted on 03/03/2009

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Unfortunately if you are in a situation where a step child lives with you it is a no win situation. you can't please everyone...

If you distance yourself to much your accused of treating them different

If you parent you are accused of crossing boundries..but to treat them the same you have to parent because thats what you do with the other kids in the house. lol

If you do all the stuff that is expected of you..when you are the primary stay at home parent...you are accused of trying to replace bio mom

If you don't do it on a daily basis you are neglecting your responsibilities

If you have your own opinion about everyday issues...you are going against what bio mom says is right or wrong...

If you don't then you are condoning and sometimes encouraging behaviors you don't believe in



My thought is this...if you ( the bio mom ) want to do all the mom duties...then do them even if your child doesn't live with you...take time of work when they are sick, take them to doc appointments, eye docs, dentists, extra curricular activities...etc

If you don't want or can't provide those things because of location, conflict, etc then be happy that your child has someone who is willing and capable of doing it for the family ( stop mom, dad, etc. ) Appreciate and respect those people and they won't feel the need to constantly remind you that they are doing the job you are not doing yourself. Aknowledge that they ( bio mom ) are parents of your child as well, no they are not that childs bio mom ( which deserves its own respect and place in that childs life ), but a valuable parent none the less.

As a step parent...take credit for what you do ( which doesn't include bringing the child into the world ), demand respect for it, hold true to your opinions and beliefs, parent yes I said PARENT as best you can because regardless who's children you have living in your house, you are the adult sometimes the primary adult and that is your job. Give the bio parents your support and respect even if it is difficult ( that by no means means bowing down to or agreeing with everything they think and say and do ). And do you best

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Laura - posted on 03/06/2009

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Heidi and Jaime:



I recently read a book called "Motherhood the Second Oldest Prefession"  written by Erma Bombeck.  It was published in 1983.  Sometimes as mothers and stepmothers we feel that no one else goes through things that we go through.  One chapter is entitled "Stepmothers with Bad P.R."  I hope everyone reading this can understand the true meaning. This will be long ....



Snow White's Stepmother



It was Queenie White's first marriage.  At thirty-seven, it was something she thought would never happen.  Sometimes she had to pinch herself to make sure it wasn't a dream.  She was married to a successful King, with a castle in the suburbs and a small beautiful child who looked like something out of a Pampers ad.



It should have been idyllic, but it wasn't.  Snow resented her for marrying her father. Why couldn't it have been just the two of them?  They were happy before she came along.  At the wedding Snow had informed her new stepmother that she was wearing something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.  The symbolism was all wrapped up in one garment - a pair of raggy, faded jeans.



Queenie knew Snow was spoiled, but she resigned to patience and never burdened her husband with the problem.  When Snow gave a slumber party at the castle for the jousting team, she covered for her.  She took the blame for the dent in the King's carriage.  She kept silent when she saw Snow and some friends smoking the croquet lawn.  One day she looked at her image in the mirror and said aloud, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the stupidest of them all?"  Before the mirror opened its mouth, she knew the answer. Things couldn't continue.  She dropped by Snow's room.  "Snow," she said softly, "we're not close and I don't know why." 



"Because you are heartless and cruel," said Snow.  "And you wish I'd split because I'm a constant reminder of how beautiful my mother was."  "I'd like for us to get along because we both love the same man and he deserves better," said Queenie.  "Stick to your mirror, " said Snow.  "You think I haven't caught you carrying on a conversation with it? You're weird!"



"Do you have any idea what love really is? It's caring enough to tell you the truth even at the risk of losing your love.  Why don't you get your act together? Stop dressing like trick or treat.  Get some order to your life.  Enroll at junior college.  Volunteer.   Or I'll tell your father what you've been up to." 



That night, fearful that Queenie would make good her threat, Snow headed for the forest outside of San Francisco.  She spotted a small cabin in the clearing, occupied by a commune.  It was the first time she had ever checked in anywhere without a reservation.  For the next three years, Snow played the guitar, grew her own vegetables, and made owl macrame planters for a local florist.



There is probably no guilt in this world to compare with that of a stepmother who has driven a child away from the family hearth.  Queenie tried daily to find her.  Then one day a courier brought word from Snow.  Queenie duly reported it to her husband.  "We've found Snow."  "That's wonderful," said the King.  "Not so wonderful," said Queenie.  "She's living in a forest in a commune."  "So, it could be worse.  She could be living with a man."  "She is living with seven of them.  All dwarfs."  " I want her home, "said the King. 



Snow returned with a husband, a baby and asked to be reinstated in the family.  The couple and their child slept on mattresses surrounded by candles in sand, drank goat's milk, and ate sunflower seeds.  They meditated and chanted all day long.  Queenie stood in front of the mirror one day and said, "Mirror, mirror one the wall, what must I do to survive it all?"  And the mirror answered, "Drink!"



 



Cinderella's Stepmother (this is my story almost to a "T" except we have boys!)



Her name is Buffy Holtzinger. 



But to the world of fairy tales, she was identified only as "Cinderella's mean, evil, ugly stepmother." 



Buffy attracted losers like a white dress attracts spots.  First there was Ray, who left her high and dry with one small daughter and another on the way.  And then there was Eugene, who brought his daughter, Cinderella, to the marriage, then split to get in touch with his feelings. 



Buffy was one of the first working mothers in her neighborhood. She had no illusions that she was a "real" mother (a fact which Cinderella reminded her of at least fifteen times a day).  She worked.  She came home.  She shouted until she had varicose veins of the neck.  She fell into bed.  There was no doubt in her mind that if she continued raising three teenaged girls by herself she'd end up like Rapunzel sitting in a tower braiding her hair.  She had to get them married off if she were to survive. 



Her two natural daughters were bad enough. They were surly.  They lounged around the house all day reading the Palace Enquirer (a gossip rag) and waiting for someone to spoon-feed them.



Goofing off Buffy could handle.  But is was Cinderella's active imagination that drove her up the wall.  From the beginning, Cinderella played with the truth like most kids play with their gum- stretching it, rearranging it, hiding it, and disguising it.  She told her teacher in the third grade that her "stepmother" made her play outside naked in the snow.  She told them her stepsisters got silk dresses for Christmas and she got a certificate to be "bled." (My mom tells me this is something they used to do when people got sick, like attaching leeches to suck out the toxin's).  She told everyone her stepmother hated her because she was pretty and made her wax the driveway.



One night, when Buffy was needlepointing a sampler that said, "YOU HAVE TO KISS A LOT OF TOADS BEFORE YOU FIND YOUR PRINCE," she summoned Cinderella to talk.  "Cinderella, why do you say things that aren't true?"  "I don't," said Cindrella defensively.  " I do everything around here.  I'm nothing but a slave.  You like your kids better than you like me.  Daddy and I were happy before you came along.  If he were here, things would be different."  "All of us have chores," said Buffy tiredly.  "and if all of you get them done you can go to the ball next Friday night. How would you like that?" 



"Who are you kidding here?" snapped Cinderella, as she headed for the door.  "You'll think of something to chicken out. The pots won't be sparkling enough or the floor won't shine enough.  I hate you and I hate your stupid warts!"  "They're not warts! They're moles!" shouted Buffy after her.



The next Friday was predictable.  Buffy's two older daughters made a stab at finishing their chores, but Cinderella was doing her Butterfly McQueen number.  She flicked a speck of dust off with her finger, blew on it, and went on the the next brick.  Buffy called her bluff.  "That's it! I made a rule and I'm going to hold you to it.  You're grounded!"



Several hours later no one was more shocked to see Cinderella at the ball than Buffy.  She grabbed one of her daughters and said, "How did she get here?"  She popped another chesse puff into her fat cheeks.  "She's telling everyone a fairy godmother  made a coach out of a pumpkin, a coachman out of a white rat, footmen out of lizards, and horses out of frightened mice."



"Oh God, " moaned Buffy.  "Tell me she didn't say that to the reporter from the Palace Enquirer.  They're going to put her away in the ha ha house.  You tell her to get herself home or she won't be able to sit down for a week."



Cinderella met a shoe salesman that night at the ball and married him several months later. Happiness continued to elude Buffy when Cinderella submitte a manuscript to a publisher called Stepmommie Dearest.  The title was changed to Cinderella and the book became an instant best seller.



It is credited with saving millions of women from a second marriage who are now living happily ever after.



I hope you enjoyed reading this!



Anytime I disliked something the ex-wife or my ex-husband did I recited the serenity prayer!



 



 

Heidi - posted on 03/06/2009

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I just wanted you to know that your successful efforts are working on my end anyway.  You seem to totally understand both sides of this, which most people will only look at one side.  So everything you have said has been extremely helpful and greatly appreciated!  I wish you and your family all the best in the future.  Its a crazy world out there so its nice to be able to find some positive once in a while.  Enjoy your weekend!!!

Catrina - posted on 03/06/2009

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My opinion again -- what happens at ones house is not for the other to decide. We've had BM complain about my SD coming over and hanging out with a neighbors/friend's daughter vs being with Dad every second of the visit - straight telling the Judge "I send the kids out there to spend time with their Dad not other people". You know what the Judge said? It's none of your business HOW he chooses to spend his visits with the kids. If he spends the entire time at home watching tv with them, then so be it. If he takes them over to a friends house, then so be it. You (BM) are not to dictate that. My husband even flipped the question or complaint onto her - the kids live with you yet you work 10 plus hours M-F as well as church commitments - so why do you have the majority of custody? My husband is perm. disabled because of an injury - so he's home 24/7. So in reality he has a lot more time available for both children. Yet he's not fighting to TAKE them. He's very patiently waiting and enjoying all the minutes he gets with his kids.

My SD is going to be 9 in July, and when she comes out here she shares the bedroom with her almost 4 (in July) and almost 5 (in June) year old brothers. Being that my step kids are not here for very long - we purchased these hide away beds for each room of the boys (the younger 2 share a room, and my 10 yr old has his own room). Almost like a mini couch that folds out to a bed. The older children - BB, JM, and KT change in either my room or the restroom. Which ever they decide. So I understand the privacy issues. However does it really matter where one lays their head at night if it's on their own pillow? I mean what harm does it do to share a room with a younger sister? He doesn't have to change in front of anyone. He can do so in the restroom or in his father's room. There are alternatives.

You guys really just need to pick your battles, and in reality fighting over what little information is relayed to you BM - you can't always believe it's 100% truth. That's hard to swallow I know, but my own son is not one to speak 100% truth. He stretches it, and of course when he knows I have negative feelings or vibes he over does it. Like I said my step kids tell us one thing, then when they are with Mom it's a completely different thing! We understand this and accept this. Which is why we no longer JUMP at the things said because we feel it should be done differently. It's my house, my rules. We also respect that for their mother's home. Unless it is going to physically affect the kids.

My step kids recently had a little sister born - who is about a year old now - and while they were with us for the summer visit, Mom had put the baby in my SD's room. My SD was NOT happy at all! I heard her tell her Mom on the phone "You couldn't have waited until I got home so I could know it was my last night ALONE in my room?" that came from a 7 year old. They realize things. My SD realizes she's the only girl on this side of her family - so she's our only baby girl. Our only Princess. Now on the other side, she isn't the new baby girl who's got all the attention.

Jaime, like I said I COMPLETELY understand the frustration of being married to someone who has a child with another woman. But it is what it is. You have to make the best of it. If that means that you and Heidi get along, and you take action for your daughters and yourself to spend some time with your SS - then do it! Who knows, maybe your husband might see just how EASY it is to do. Lead by example. Without words. A silent witness is the best kind.

Trust me I know how hard it is to get someone to put aside the wrong that was done to them. My husband's exwife - BM - kidnapped the kids and it was nearly 2 years before he saw them. Had to hire Private Investigators and Court Investigators, Lawyers etc. I'm not sure if you guys have read my post where I mentioned that - but when we were able to find the kids my husband was faced with the toughest decision of his life. Take the kids AWAY from BM and get full custody because she went against court orders. Or fight for visitation and not disturb the kids so to speak. I made him see that taking the kids from BM was going to cause more problems than anything. Although doing so would feel so empowering because BM would have lost her power so to speak, it wasn't beneficial to the kids. They would have suffered.

So here we are today, fighting for weekly phone calls to happen at a specific time and day. Which may not seem like much - but when it's sometimes 6 months in between visits, these phone calls are a lifeline to the relationship here. BM refuses to return any phone call I place to the kids that they miss - since she is not court ordered to do so. How pathetic is that??? Am I not one who cares for those children as if they are my own? Of course I do not punish them as I would my own boys, just because I'm not their Mom or Dad - I don't feel it's my place. I always leave that for my husband to do. I'll explain what happened and we discuss what will occur from there. But just because we see the kids 3 times a year doesn't mean we aren't a family to those kids. It wasn't my husbands decision for BM to leave the state. She went against court order. One thing we have told the kids. We did not make the decision to move you to another state. Dad never was ASKED if he was ok with you guys moving. So each time these kids are crying because they want to stay longer - it's "I know, I'm so sorry! I wish you could stay too! But you have school to get back to, you have your sister to get back too! I'm sure your mom and step dad miss you. We'll see you again around this time"

I just have hope that you two would actually be able to work together and lead by example. I know how much you Heidi want your son to have his Father take him in and pretend as if nothing happened. Seeing his son may just remind him of you, and he hasn't been able to separate the hurt and anger. But seriously, Jaime when Heidi mentions the things that her son is saying - instead of taking a defensive stance, how about you get on the phone and talk about it. If Heidi is willing to talk to you, you should do so. You have to be willing to be adults and agree to disagree. Heidi - if Jaime says - well I don't know why he's feeling that way we did this and this and that.... don't assume she's wrong or incorrect. We do things as a family. On rare occasions will either child get alone time with their father here. It's like I take my SD to do something, and then my husband will take the 2 older boys to do something, or we take the older ones to movies. Something. But he's never really alone with just them.

Heidi on a side note....wanting whats best for your son is expected. But if he's getting the attention and manly attention from your husband - then relax. Slow it down some.

If wishes were wine I'd be drunk. So we can't sit on the wishes of actions to be done as we would do them. It's possible to understand ones position - you do not have to agree with it. Use that as a way to deal with the entire situation. Keep continue the efforts - both of you - for this boy to have exposure to both families. No matter what - even if Dad and SM get separated, he's still got half sisters. You guys can be friends so to speak, for the benefit of this boy.

I am here to help. While I wish I could pull my hair out at some of the freaking INSANE things the BM I deal with does, I'm here. If I can offer any help or advice --- and know it's attempted and possible WORKS! Oh man, would that help me out! Knowing that my efforts are successful SOMEWHERE!!!

May - posted on 03/06/2009

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I don't believe there should be a choice either for the child to make about visitation. With that being said I also believe there shouldn't be a choice for BIO dad picking and chosing visitation either. If it it is suppose to be every weekend or every other (whatever) then that is what it should be. Not just when it is a "good" time for BIO dad. Seems from what I read you two ladies are bickering back and forth when the problems lays with dad not stepping up and doing his role as a father and a man. Yes Step mom will defend her husband and only natural the bio mom is going to feel like her son is getting the short end of the stick....which he is. So I guess if bio dad isn't committing and following his visitation role what is that teaching the son?? Bio dad needs to grow up and MAN up. Sorry if I have offended anyone but this touched close to what I go thru!

Heidi - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks Catrina for your input.  It is greatly appreciated.



I know in some households its not possible to have seperate bedrooms for the children when they are visiting, but at my sons fathers house all the girls have there own bedroom and a toy room.  So why not for the little time that my son is there can't 2 of the girls share a room and let my son have a bedroom to himself where he can have some privacy.  I know he is not quite 10 yet, but he has questions in regards to his body changing.  Yes he is slowly getting to the puberty stage and is starting to get hair in places where it wasn't before.  He doesn't want his sisters wtching him change.  My god he doesn't even want me to be in the same room when he is changing.  As for toys...my son doesn't like to play barbies or polly pockets.  He is into sports and riding his bike.  He is a boys boy.  His father shouldn't have to go out and buy all kinds of toys for my son, but having a few toys for him to make him feel more welcomed wouldn't hurt.  I always send him with enough clothes for the time that he is there and a couple of extra sets just in case.  



As for the visits...his father only lives a couple of hours away, so the travel is doable in one day to spend a few hours every other weekend with his son.  My exes mother lives in the same as me as well so its not like my sons father is travelling into unknown territories.  He has family here that he can visit as well.  Its a never ending battle trying to get my ex to understand that he is missing out on his sons life.  I have tried over the years and as the years go by the visits come less and less.  My sons father takes time off to do things with the other part of his family but doesn't take the much needed time for his son, so yes I am frustrated and angry at him, not his wife.  His wife has made attempts to bring my sons sisters down, and she has come to pick up my son for visits, just like I have driven to bring my son there, and have brought him home on several occasions.  Honestly I feel that my sons father is drifting away from his son, and its probably because of his hatred towards me.  I have done what I can and I have tried talk about it what is going on, but when I do I get called nasty names by my ex, so of course I will retaliate and defend myself.  I know have I called my sons father a dead beat(and in my opinion he is) until he changes and takes time out for his son.  Mind you my son has never heard me say that.  My son doesn't need to know how I feel about his father, but he is a smart boy and in time he will know what is going on and figure it out for himself.  I am just thankful my son has a stepdad that loves and cares for him as if he was his own.   They do the guy things together.  When my son spends the qualtity time with his stepdad it makes him feel special and loved.  These are things his real father should be doing with him as well, but he chooses to keep his distance, and then he wonders why his son feels like he is treated differently. 



There have been a few times where my son has asked his father "can me and you just do something together, with no one else?"  His fathers response is " I will see what I can do." and then everytime at least 1 of the sisters has to tag along. That is not fair in my eyes because they have there dad every day, and my son only gets to see him a couple of times a year.  All my son wants is an hour or 2 of just the 2 of them and his father can't even do that for him. 



Anyway I really do appreciate everything you have said.  It sure has shed some light on the whole situtation.  So thanks again and enjoy your weekend!!!

Jaime - posted on 03/06/2009

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Somehow I think my message of giving up has gotten way of topic and turned into another conversation of bickering with BM. Everyone will always have there different opions.I am not in ANYWAY giving up on having my SS in my family. I am just wanting to give up on all the bickering, you said I said, what happens at our house versus what BM is saying. I enjoy having my SS around, just as much as my girls and my husband enjoys the little time we spend togehter. Yes my husband is very busy with his businesses, we don't see him as much as it seems. What he chooses to do when he has an occassional day off is his choice. Yes I agree and have told my husband several times to shit or get off the pot. A little boy is at stake here. That is why I have done all I have in the past to arrange visitation to help my husband spend time with his son. I don't have any resentment with BM, just angry with hearing how things are not good enough at our house. I know I should let it go in one ear and out the other, believe me I try sitting and reading posts over and over, ususally the need to defend myself and my family wins out. I have no resentment towards BM having a previous relationship with my husband by all means I know he wasn't a virgin before he met me, just as I had a previous relationship before him. I am happy they had a child together, he is a wonderful little boy (that is growing up way to fast making me feel old..LOL) Some how

things need to change in our whole relationship I agree that a little boy needs to have all his family around him with no hard feelings.

Thanks for all the great advice ladies, no the hard part is putting the past behind us and starting new. Both sides need to compromise and work together before it is too late and this little boy is hurt.

Heidi, I apoligize for any nasty things I have said. I understand your situation is hard to deal with, just as my situation is hard to deal with just in different ways. We need to beable to find a common ground without bitching about each other and finding fault with the other. Neither one of us is perfect, and really should have no say with each others choices as long as Tanner is not in danger.

Thanks again ladies, look forward to chatting in different conversations. I enjoy hearing all the different opionions and stories. We are not alone in the big step parent journey!!

Have a great day.......

Catrina - posted on 03/05/2009

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Heidi --- I know what you mean about the toys and room etc. We are on that end of not having toys for a girl at our home. My SD is almost 9, and until recently had we got things for her and kept them aside for her to play with when she returns. The thing is, my step kids live in a different state, so the longest time frame we get them is during summers. Max of 6 weeks. My SD has gone from loving cheerleading to being anit-cheerleading. Liking soccer, disliking soccer...she is so up and down and changes with each season. This is not something we are use to. We have a total of 4 boys and she is the only girl in our family here. Neither my SD or SS have their own rooms when they are with us. There isn't enough time spent here for that to occur. We have a ton of toys for boys, and the funny part is - my SD loves to play with the Hot Wheels with her brothers. Our youngest son and her are attached!

Anyhow, I get off topic here....

But being on the end of not having my step kids come to their second home with ANYTHING of theirs -- at one point even clothing -- would get us a little bit frustrated. Not only was my husband paying child support, but being required to cloth each child on the drop of a dime. Never were we warned that neither child had brought no clothing with them, until they were getting picked up from the airport with no luggage. In my opinion it's complete crap.

I do take into consideration the lost items issues. We have put aside 1 pair of jeans for my SD when she was 4 -- because they were too small and her bottom would show at any point when she was bent over or playing on the playground. Oh my gosh! I can't even begin to tell you the HELL we went through over these pants!! Even after we offered to replace them with ones that FIT her, and turned down because they were her favorite pants. The mention of them not returning was a month or so after they returned to their BM, to which we had already started packing to move into a new place. It was a lost cause.....Then my SS left his sweater on the couch (another visit with no clothing except what they were wearing) when we were heading back to the airport to send them back to BM. This wasn't noticed by us. My mother in law hung up the sweater thinking it was one of the other 3 boys' sweater. Again another freaking hissy fit like no other! We did end up sending that back because we were able to find it right away.

But in my opinion -- again my opinion here -- I believe that the kids should not only bring sufficient clothing for their visits here, but if they wanted to bring some toys (either one of them) then they should be able to. We do our best to keep on top of everything. Of course it's a lot easier with my SD's items - anything PINK or girlie stands out - but this has only happened this past summer. Ya know what? It worked out perfectly FINE!! Now of course we aren't looking for their favorite things or their most expensive toys - just things that remind them of home and comfort. A teddy bear, a photo or a special toy. Yeah my step kids are almost 9 and 10 -- but they still love their stuffed animals!

I'm at the point of realizing that Heidi and her ex have extreme personal resentments towards each other. Given the little information I've seen on here, there's plenty of reason. Unfortunately Jaime it seems as if your husband is taking his anger and frustration out on his son, when instead he should soak up whatever attention, love, phone calls, visits etc....... Jaime - you being the gas to his fire is just what a wife will do. It's what I've done for my husband. He's said over and over again -- everytime he deals with his ex (at least it seems like everytime) but that he doesn't even want to deal with it! That he wants time to go ahead and then one day have the kids come to him and seek answers. I've always told my husband that either he gives 100% or none at all. None of this half ass crap. I won't allow it. I won't fund it, I won't put my children - their siblings - in the line of fire when he has ill feelings towards his ex. We talk at least twice a year, and it's like a pep talk, where I have to remind him of what he's doing and why he's doing it.

My husband and his ex did plenty of wrong to each other. But they aren't the same people they were then.....I keep reminding my husband (just as it is now) when he returns to court it isn't to battle with his ex. It's to fight for his kids.

Jaime - as a Step Mother - as your husbands spouse - you walked into this situation willingly. For you to give up and throw your hands up so to speak is disturbing. It's what you've fought for your husband to NOT do. Never let any tension or uneasy things or any false statements turn you away from your SS. You've got children that are half sisters of him. Soak up any chance you get to have him around.

Heidi - so the bike didn't work. Stand up and walk again. No one learns to move forward if they keep sitting on their ass. To want your child to be open with his father, won't happen until he sees that both families are able to be civil. Your child feels the tension and uneasiness inbetween you guys. Trust me! My step kids play the cards like no other, and we've learned not to go jump on BM for things they say. All we can do is address it with the kids, to make sure they are clear on things, then leave it at that. Of course if it's big issues - then it's addressed with BM.

But I seriously think you all have created such a negative situation that this poor boy knows that at one house he acts one way, at the other he acts a different way. My stepkids just exposed their fear to us of allowing BM and her husband to know they had fun when with us! We've continually told them that no matter what they have to say or whatever they feel ---- it's always open for discussion. It's the manner in which they bring it to attention and how they deal with the feelings that determines whether it's an appropriate display or not. We've never said "No you aren't sad, you don't miss your mom" It's "We know how much you miss your mom! How you wish you could just sit by her on the couch, that's exactly how we feel when you aren't here with us! Soon baby girl you will be home with your mom. Right now, lets enjoy the little time we get to share and make some awesome memories! But you will be going home to your mom!"

My SD gets homesick really easy. Sneaking phone calls and telling lies are not an appropriate way of dealing with her issues. Within 60 minutes of this phone call to BM (where she cried about how afraid she was to tell dad that she wanted to go home -- which was lead on by mom "Well ask dad if he'll let you go home early") my SD was bouncing all over the grocery store. Ecstatic about the camping trip we were going on in 2 days.

I'm so scattered brain...I'm sorry! I've given this situation as much thought as I can. I said some hurtful things to Heidi (I'm sure, and I apologize) it wasn't my place to say what I did. But at the moment that's how I felt. I've put aside the grown up issues at hand, and am looking at the boy here. He needs to see that wanting to be with his dad is ok, that having fun with his dad is ok, that anything with his dad and other family is ok. Not hear. No words. No expressions. No huffs and puffs. No emails from anyone explaining why they are frustrated. Quit exposing him to such adult feelings. He needs to grow as a child first before he can understand this all.

Jaime and Heidi - why don't you two go some where and have coffee or out to lunch. Something to set aside letters on a screen. So much can be misconstrued through emails and posts. You don't see the body language, you don't see the sincerity in ones eyes of just how much their step son means to them. You don't see the efforts.

To this day if BM wanted to, or if I could convince her to sit down with me, I would. Then I'd say - ok lets bring our husbands into it. Although her husband has tried to be a man and threaten my husband through our answering machine - I'm not sure that would work. But......starting fresh is something both sides need to do.

Don't think I'm not frustrated with BM that I deal with. One day she can be a complete b*tch! Then the next, nice and willing to work with us?! So confusing! But ya know what, I don't care! Whatever we need to go through to support those kids is what we will do!!!!

Heidi - posted on 03/05/2009

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What you have just written Kerri is absolutley right.  the adice is wonderful and I thank you for that.



In the past my son has brought things to his fathers house, but on some occasions the items go missing and never returned and other occasions they do get returned.  He chooses not to bring things with him very often anymore because he doesn't want to loose them.  I feel they should have some toys for boys at there home for him, but they don't, and I don't know why.  Its probably because he is rarely there.  He hasn't been there in over 7 months now and it doesn't look like he is going to be there anytime soon, but I guess we will have to deal with that when the time comes.



I am quite aware of the age of my child and there are some things that can be spoken in front of him and some things that are kept between me and my husband.  I do have boundaries.  Not once in the all the years I have ever bad mouthed my sons father in front of him and I certainly haven't said anything bad about Jaime in front of him either.  There is no need for my son to hear the bad things day in and day out. 



Dawn I am not a bitter ex by any means. I left my sons father for several reasons, which you may or may not understand.  I am very happy with my husband and my 2 boys and my stepson. I wouldn't trade my life with anyone.  I just don't understand why y sons father can't put hatred aside to see his son.  I have let my ex know that arrangements can be made where he never has to see me again, but 7 months have gone by and he has yet to see his son.  So if you think its wrong for me to be angry at my ex for excluding his son, so be it.  Many times I have had my son ask his father "when are you going to come and visit me?" and all he ever answers is " I will see what I can."  If you think that is a nice way to treat a child then that is your choice, but I know I would never let that amount of time go by without seeing my child ever.  There is no excuse big enough in the world for not seeing your child.  My sons father takes time off work to do other things, but when it comes to my son he just doesn't have the time and yes after years of the excuses it does get frustrating.   So you may live in the perfect world, but most people don't. So thanks for your advice.

Kerri - posted on 03/05/2009

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Heidi and Jaime,  Have the two of you thought about just taking a 15 day break from one another?  Just take an entire 15 days and do not speak, do not call, do not communicate on facebook, etc.  Maybe the break would cut down on some of the tension between the two of you.  Then in 15 days start everything over - from scratch.   It would be better for each of you to deal with everything that has happened in the past alone and away from each other.  Maybe agree to disagree and then do not revisit ANY of it with each other.   Arguing is getting you guys nowhere.  There are always two sides to every story and neither of you are ever going to get the other to admit your side is the right one.  Seriously this can not be enjoyable for either one of you.  I have been in this situation before and I was miserable.  My life was crazy.  I stayed sick to my stomach. I was crabby to everyone around me and I was defensive about everything.  I was an emotional wreck.  Stop discussing each and every issue that the child has with each other.  Even if you do end up hating each other in the end, the son can not know.  Heidi if he says, dad does not tell me he loves me, just smile and say "of course your daddy loves you.  he loves you more than you could ever imagine."  It is obvious that you and your son are very close so if you reassure him of things he will believe you and maybe then his attitude will start to change towards his father.  Support him in every way that you can.  As far as toys go, maybe you could let him take a couple of his favorite toys with him when he goes.   



A son's natural instinct is to protect and love his mother.  Heidi, if he senses at all that you do not like dad or step-mom, he is going to make sure he supports that.  It does not even have to be something you are actually doing or saying, it might just be a facial expression that he sees you make.   And Jaime, if he senses, in any way,  that you do not like mom, he is going to have issues with you.  Also, I would not send the child emails, even if you truly feel that way, you dont have to say it to the child.  I would also leave the visitation arrangements to the parents. 



There are several books that could also help you both see these situations from the other's perspectives.  Go to amazon.com and search the word "step-mom" and "ex-wife" and they will suggest several books on those topics.  You can also read pages from the book to see if it fits your situations before you order them.  They are very reasonably priced, most running $11.50 or less.   



As far as the son goes, he needs ALL of you.  Both the mother and step-father and the father and step-mother.  But he also needs all of you to get along.  If you could find any common ground it would be helpful to him.   



I still think that each of you individually would benefit from some counseling.  Going to see a counselor does not mean that there is something wrong with you.  There is obviously a lot of hurt and anger in the background of this situation that is keeping you guys from moving forward. Maybe if each of you resolved it, on your own, you could move past all of this and start over. 

Dawn - posted on 03/05/2009

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And another thing that I have noticed is that Heidi has not once noted what she has done wrong, what she can change, or how she can make this situation better for the sake of the child.



That too me, is so typical of an angry, bitter ex...its never their fault - the problem is ALWAYS caused by someone else and they are mearly the victims of the mean man and the evil stepmother.



 

Dawn - posted on 03/05/2009

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Here's something I have a problem with in the Heidi / Jamie conflicts....



Heidi you talk about your son as if he is an adult or a teenager .  I believe he is less than 10 years old... correct?  It seems to me that you throw more at him than his little brain can comprehend.  All you should ever do at this tender of an age is speak positively of his father, stepmother and sisters.  I have no doubt that part of your son's concerns have come directly or indirectly from you.  I'm not the first one to notice that what you are writing sounds like you are contributing greatly to the problems between your son and his Dad.



Maybe you should be start holding yourself accountable in this situation instead of blaming everyone else.



Jamie, I really think if I were you...I'd leave this board.  Not because I haven't enjoyed you - but you are just gas on Heidi's fire of hate.  Let's find another board on the web where we can post privately without any worries of anyone coming on to simply cause more problems in the whole stepmom saga.

Jaime - posted on 03/05/2009

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Debbie everything you wrote is true. I do feel like I have to defend myself and my family. I am doing what any wife would do, defend there family and there husband. I do think there is some sort of playing going on. Because whenever we have sat my SS down and asked him if there was anything to tell us, both together as a family and even my husband has done this alone. He has said no, I don't have anything to tell you. We do tell him we love him, and he says yes I know I love you too. When Heidi asks my SS the same question he tells her the opposite of what he has told us. I think that is a major game, telling each parent what they want to hear. He is a little boy who maybe smart, stubborn, but he should NOT have to be trying to make both sides happy. All I have tried to do on these different posts is meet new women going through the same sort of problems as we are. Obviously I have had made rude comments, but it gets a little tiring hearing my family and the way we do things isn't good enough....

Just wanted to say thanks to everyone for all the support, I have made alot of nice friends (even though I have never personally met any of you) I enjoy chatting with you all.

Debbie - posted on 03/05/2009

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Heidi why are you finding another reason to have a go at your EX?? I thought from previous posts that things were going to be let go and that you were going to start to try and help him have a relationship?? Tell me if im wrong and I will apologise, but Im sure it was on your post WHY???. I don't mean to sound like im having a go at you, but you sound like my hubby's Ex when you say 'i tell him to tell his dad how he feels' My hubby's Ex used to say the same thing and she probably still would if I actually spoke to her, we used to sit the girls down and have a conversation with them about what they feel toward us and you know what? they couldn't tell us. they kept saying that everything was fine that there was no problems, we would say well mum said that you tell her and feel that you cant tell us, but we dont care what you have to say even if it's going to hurt us you can always talk to us. My hubby even said if you cant talk to me talk to deb, but seriously they never had any problems at all. Have you ever thought that your son is playing you??? Maybe he actually is!!!

When you have a go at your Ex to Jaime, it would make her feel you are having a go at her!!! You say you dont have a go at her that she is not the problem but when my hubby's Ex had a go at me about my hubby I felt it was a direct threat toward me. It put me so much in the middle because I felt I had to defend my husband but didn't want to fight with the EX and cause problems with the kids. So try and keep your comments toward him only to him, Please find a way to sort this mess out because Im getting kinda sick of reading it. We all have our own problems and need advice but im starting to feel that this is a site to help you and Jaime sort out your problems.

I do wish you all the best and I hope it does work out for you ALL

Heidi - posted on 03/05/2009

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ACtually I do leave the room most of the time so he can have his time with his father.  Just thought I would clear that up, mind you sometimes yes I am in the same room dealing with other things like my other boys or cooking supper whatever happens to be going on at that time.  My son tells me that his father doesn't say I love you, and when his father doesn't say it neither does my son.  I have told my son many times to tell his father how he feels and to tell him that he loves him, but he says why should I say I love you when he doesn't?  So in return I tell him that its his father and no matter what that will never change and maybe in time things will turn around and he will say I love you again and maybe he will come and visit you.  Its hard on my son knowing that his father has a life of his own and hes not including in it.  How do I explain that to him? 

Colleen - posted on 03/05/2009

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Okay ladies we all have days when being a S.M. sucks big time. But there are great days when the rewards are worth it all . I think we are here to support each other

not point out where we fail.

Leaha - posted on 03/05/2009

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Heidi,



How would you know his father doesn't tell him he loves him? Only if you are hovering over the converstaion, wich is not right... When my daughter is talking to her biodad, I leave the room, she deserves to have a private converstion. And if you say, he tells me, Umm, the child has figured out HOW TO PLAY YOU!!!! WAke Up Please...

Heidi - posted on 03/05/2009

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Are you kidding me...I don't put thoughts in my sons head in any shape or form.  He comes to me and tells me, and just last week he started to open up to your husband and tell him how he is feeling, and yet I am the one to blame yet again.  From now on my son can tell me whatever he wants, but I will not under any circumstances relate any of that to you guys anymore. If you can't get over yourself long enough to realize he has a mind of his own, and has feelings then thats your problem not mine. I will always be here to support his decisions.  Every time he tries to talk to his father about what he is feeling he gets shut out and its not fair.  Maybe I should just tell him to tell his father what he wants to hear( but I won't).  Even over the last few weeks on there few phone conversations your husband hasn't even told his son that he loves him...How sad is that?  Pretty pathetic if you ask me, and quite hurtful to his son.  Jaime like I have told you before I don't have a beef with you and never have, by beef is with your husband and the lack of interest he has in our son, but you just don't seem to get it, and by the looks of it you never will.  I am not out to attack you just trying to get some GOOD advice(which some women have offered), and its greatly appreciated, but enough is enough.  If you want a relationship with my son I am not stopping that in any way.  You are the one that said you are washing your hands of all of this and him.  You even sent him a message telling him that, which he still has. He even tried talking to his father about what you wrote, but he changed the subject.   All my son wants is some answers...not to much ask...

Heather - posted on 03/05/2009

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hun i know exactly where ur coming from..my finaces kids i was the greatest thing when we met because that had nothing not a blanket pillows toys nothing i was making good money at the time and there mother said the child support just wasnt enough i didnt realise she was making almost 30,000 a year before child support so every fri i would fill her gas tank up and get the kids food then when they came to our house i bought them beds blankets pillows the necesitys and a few toys well when i got pregnant with my daughter and stopped filling up her tank and stuff i was a POS. and now i beat the kids.. ive never and mean never touched them... i treat them differant. his son that is 5 spit in my face and his adopted 10 year old daughter stole money from us. we are struggling to put diapers on my daughters butt yet we said something to the mother so they could displine together like the use to do and her comment was she deserves it.. ive done nothing but good for those kids.. im not sure its always the kids i think i might be the ex wife/gfs too.. keep ur head up..

Dawn - posted on 03/05/2009

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I really think Heidi needs to remember that Jamie is not the one who got her pregnant - Jamie is not who she should be co-parenting with. 



I have to agree with Leaha.



The problems you're having are very obvious to the rest of us - we can read between the lines.  You should try to do that too.

Leaha - posted on 03/05/2009

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??? PAS ???



I'm sorry, but the bickering back and forth is rediculous! Let this child be a child, and enjoy his time with BOTH sets of parents. Don't praise him for telling you what you want to hear, Maybe he IS having a good time with Dad and Step-Mommy, but he's telling YOU want HE THINKS you want to hear. This child is old enough to play you ALL. Trust me I have and 11 year old SD and an 8 year old BD that BOTH know how this works!!!



As far as sharing a room with his sisters... INO... GET A LIFE!! Yes it may be law, but if only for a night or two it's not hurting him now, when he gets a little older, maybe something can be worked out, but Not everyone can afford to have 4 and 5 bedroom homes for ALL kids to have their own rooms!!! Growing up, my best friend was one of 9 kids in a 3 bedroom home! It didn't affect her any, she is a very succesfull, mother of 3 and is a GREAT woman!



I'm sorry if it seems I am being bitter and attacting, but listen to yourself??? Stop making up stories, just to make excusses.



If you feel like this is no one elses buisness, then stop having this bash session on a national support forum!!! Lot's of us step moms are in similar situations and need advice, support and help, we don't need to whitness this bickering!!!

Jaime - posted on 03/05/2009

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Listening to all the little not picking schemes you come up with
Makes me feel sick to my stomach. This is the problem, when Tanner
Is with us nothing is ever good enough. Have you ever thought the lack of
Visitation stems from your constant critisism. When the kids are all together
It is a huge sleepover party. We don't do girl activities we do fun kid activities
Going to the fair, to the movies, sledding??? I just can't win with you. Get over
Yourself and let the kids be kids they have so much fun playing together you
Just don't see it.

Heidi - posted on 03/05/2009

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My son has told me several times he isn't treated the same as his sisters.  The few times he does get to spend time with all of you, he says he has some fun, but there are no boy toys for him to play with and he doesn't even have his own room to sleep in.  He has to share a room with one of his sisters, by law he is to have his own room since his siblings are a different sex.  That came in effect when he turned 7, and i have told you guys that before, but you guys keep telling me when he comes to visit more often then maybe he can have his own room.  How would it make you feel if one of girls went for visits to someones house and had to stay there for a few days and there were no girl toys for them to play with.  My son hasn't had any boy toys at your house since this all started.  I know he isn't there often, but that is what your husband has decided, but my son needs to able to do boy things to you know, not just girl things.  Like last summer(the last time he was there) he brought his bike so he and his dad could go bike riding, but that never happened.  He didn't even ride his bike while he was there, so why did he bring it?  He brought it so he would have something to do that he enjoys doing, but never got the chance because you guys were busy doing things your girls wanted to do and he never got to have a choice of what he wanted to do.  These are things that bother him to, so that is why he told his father that he feels like he is treated differently.  I am proud of him for finally telling him some of things that are on his mind, but there is still more to come as he gets the courage.  He will talk to his father and tell him how he is feeling when the time is right.



  It is not a perfect world, and we are not perfect people.  Some things have been said on here out of spite, but you know what. sometimes that needs to be done for people to fully understand.  I am standing back from all of this and viewing it from different angles to see where things can go, but like you said we just have to see where the road takes us

Jaime - posted on 03/05/2009

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Thanks for all the advice. I will take it all and and make some desicions. The point of me going and picking my SS is not a problem, I would do that in a heart beat. No one else seems to care if my SS spends time with us, so selfishly why should I?? Yeah I know I need to be the bigger person (an adult) and think about the happiness of my SS



I think we will be facing a new problem. I have been told my SS doesn't really want to be around us, he feels like he isn't treated the same as his sisters. I just don't know what to think or say about that???

In a perfect world bio mom and I would have a civil relationship, I am just not sure if that can happen, and I am not sure I have the fight left in me...... In the past we have been able to have civil conversation, then every once in awhile shit hits the fan. I guess we just wait and see where the road takes us.........

Debbie - posted on 03/04/2009

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Jaime I posted this on Heidi's conversation, just in case you dont read it I'm posting it on here also-



Heidi- take some of this advice, what have you got to lose?? your son has everything to gain...

Jaime- I understand your frustration of feeling like the only one that is trying, the one that has to do all the work (travelling, arranging etc) You know what I think? Get back to it, keep on doing it. What little time your husband spends with his son is alot better than what he is getting now. If anything at least your girls get to know thier brother, their brother gets to know you, if anything was to ever happen between you and your husband these kids still need to be in each others lives. I have done all the travelling and organising etc I feel that as my husbands partner in this family it was my duty as he was always busy, and I wasn't, so it only seemed logical that I was the one that did it. We would often drive through the night just so we could still be where we needed to be through the days. I have read that its only 2hrs away, there and back is not even half a day, so what is the problem????

Heidi- maybe you should pitch in again too!!!



You guys need to start over, agree to let go of the past and start a new, doesn't the lttle boy deserve that???

Good luck

Buttercup - posted on 03/03/2009

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There is a group on this site, I think it is called Reaching Out, and it looks like it is for both sides to try to get past these kinds of problems. I didn't join it because I know mom never would, but maybe that is an option? Just thought I would throw that out there.

Jennifer - posted on 03/03/2009

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If I didn't think so..I would've thought I wrote this. I get all the emails and I don't know my boundaries. I'm about ready to leave

Sandy - posted on 03/03/2009

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I'm in Alberta.  It would be awesome if everyone were included, unfortunately as in my situation the bio mom does not want me included, as a matter of fact I'm sure she would like it if I would just disappear lol.  But, I plug away at it...send her messages giving her info about SD, instigate communication, encourage visits, etc...and she continues to ...ignore me... : )

Jamie - posted on 03/03/2009

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Quoting Sandy:



Where in Canada are you?  I'm Canadian eh.lol  Anyway I know they have mediation here and of course councellors






unfortunately those are geared toward the bio parents getting along and there isn't really anyone or organizations who recognizes or aids in the extended parents needs to communicate






they are not solely geared toward bioparents. If there is conflict within the parents and step parents it can include them. I see it on a daily basis. i often see grandparents as well. you just have to do the research first.

Sandy - posted on 03/03/2009

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If I were you...I would just be blunt and hones...ask each of them what it is that they want.  How they want things to be handled and what they think the real problems are.  If I'm not mistaken I think I've seen things from your SS's bio mom.  I think there are other things going on then what actually involves the kids?

Jaime - posted on 03/03/2009

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Ontario eh!!! (Bridgenorth- just north of Toronto)

I am sure my husband and his ex used some sort of mediator through Family Services

when they initially had the custody papers drawn up. As much as I hate to admit, I feel like we are way past the councellor part. I am not sure either bio parent would agree to counselling even though it would be the best interest of my SS. I just don't know????

Sandy - posted on 03/03/2009

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Where in Canada are you?  I'm Canadian eh.lol  Anyway I know they have mediation here and of course councellors



unfortunately those are geared toward the bio parents getting along and there isn't really anyone or organizations who recognizes or aids in the extended parents needs to communicate

Jaime - posted on 03/03/2009

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It's not that I hate bio mom, I honestly have no feelings towards her. I should check out court programs and chat with my husband about them. Thanks for the idea, I am not sure what is available in Canada.

Jamie - posted on 03/03/2009

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Have you tried any court programs. i know it sounds silly. But there are programs to help. I used to hate bio mom. I still dont like her but i can tolerate her enough to get through a visit. I work for the courts with these types of things, they can be rough and at times seem hopeless, but simply giving up is not the way to go.

Colleen - posted on 03/03/2009

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Sorry to tell you it will not change and you will never be thanked, maybe critized and blamed for medeling. It's a very dif. place to be when you care and love but to not go out of your way because thats part of our loving . I agree don't pick up drop off do arranging. Stay out of their B.S let them do it. I regret doing it all and trying to keep the peace maybe if I left them to it they would have sorted out there B.S. I put so much time into that relationship my own kids suffered.

Jaime - posted on 03/03/2009

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My SS is almost 10yrs old. I have never tried to parent him, like you said just another adult in his life. For the last few years I have driven down to pick him up for visitations, chatted with biomom to arrange visitations, traveled for birthdays, communions, xmas concerts, and day trips. It seemed like I was the only one making an effort to arrange visitations, and making the traveling arrangements. Thats the whole part I am giving up on, not my SS. Whatever future vistation happens will need to be arranged through my husband. I am not pushing anyone any longer to make visitations happen. I have my own life, and my own bio children to focus my energy on. I am not giving up on my SS, if he is to be a part of our life he will be welcomed with open arms. Just giving up on all the bickering, he said, she said and so on.....

The older my SS gets, the harder everything is getting......I am not sure it will ever change.

Sherri - posted on 03/02/2009

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how old is your step son?  It sounds to me like you're simply giving back the problems to the people who should be managing them - the parents!  This isn't giving up on your stepson - its taking a step back and viewing your relationship with him from a different perspective - that of a stepmom! It's okay to not parent him - he has parents.  You are in a great position to just be an adult in his life, like an aunt.  My life got so much simpler with my step kids when I stopped trying to 'help' and just started taking care of myself and my relationship with my step kids.  The parents still annoy me and often I have to give my hubby a push in the right direction, but I do not parent the kids, ever!  My relationship with them has improved so much over the last couple fo years!  We went through the my mom says, your not my mom, the lies, etc.  that's why I ask how old the boy is - it got better for me once the children were older.



Its hard when you love someone but have no say in their lives - just treat him as you would your nephews - lots of attention, love, hugs, fun, occasional nagging (hang up your coat, kiddo) but let the parents figure out the rest!  You deserve it.



 

Melany - posted on 03/02/2009

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My SS son lives with us.  My husband has sole custody.  However, the little time she gets t spend with her son, she completely turns him away from me, with manipulating min games.  The only thing that keeps me strong with it, is I love him as if he was born to me.  And I can't let that woman's games come between our family.  It's wearing really thin.

Jaime - posted on 03/02/2009

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I am not giving up on my SS, just giving up with all the crap that goes along with it!

If my SS spends time with us, nothing will change with the way I treat him. I will always love him, and treat him equally with my children. Just not getting dragged into all the drama any longer.....

Beck - posted on 03/02/2009

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I'm sorry you are finding it tough. I feel completely cut out of my SS life as his bio mum will never talk to me about anything unless he has stayed home sick with me and my husband went to work and even then questioned everything about it. I don't have anything to do with getting him to school or even after school activities. I sometimes wish I did but then I hear about how annoying she is from my husband and how she is making things difficult and I actually think its a blessing. 



Don't give up your ss, its really not his fault who his mum is, I know that now with my ss. We have completely different homes and sometimes when we get him back he is a royal pain in the behind just because he doesn't want to do anything cause he doesn't do it at his mums. I fear teenage years coming up will be worse but we have some time to brace for that. 



Just be there for support of your husband and your ss, it's really all you can do

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