Catrina - posted on 01/22/2009 ( 19 moms have responded )
New here, but had a questioned and wondered if anyone agreed with me here.....
I'm the Step Mom of a 8 yr old beautiful girl, and a 10 yr old handsome boy. My husband and I have known each other about 18 years now, and dated when I was in school - but went our separate ways in high school. Which turned him towards his now ex. They had a son before they were married, and 18 months later their daughter was born. My husband and Biomom had issues, obviously - that caused their split. My husband didn't make the right choices and it took several months for him to straighten up. By this time, Biomom had followed her parents out of the Country in order to maintain something stable for the kids. They were attempting to try and repair their marriage - but when she came back to the states decided to change her mind. At that time my husband had filed for separation upon her request. Telling her if she wanted a Divorce to go ahead and finish the filing. She fled the state with the kids. No forwarding phone number, address NOTHING!
It took 16 months for my husband to locate his children. Who were taken without legal rights to. By this time we had reconnected, and in his search I vowed to help him. We had a looooong talk about his options - to take the children by Court Orders back into his custody, or allow them to stay with biomom and seek visitation. The kids were just barely 2 and 3 1/2 by then. Neither of them knew their Dad. I informed him of the extreme emotional issues that would occur if he decided to pull them away from biomom. However he had that right since they were taken against Court Order. This is the one thing my husband regrets. But still understands the impact it would have had on the children.
The relationship between biomom and my husband hasn't mended or been able to really find balance. Anyhow...my husband has fought long and hard for everything he has with his children today. There hasn't been a year where biomom wants to take full custody stating one of the two children are traumatized by the visits. Just within the past 2 1/2 years have we been able to have the children fly between visits, instead of driving 600 miles to meet half way. Biomom is remarried, to someone 6 years younger than her. He wasn't of age when they started dating. It was shocking to say the least. But my husband applauded this young man for taking on such a big responsibility. Laid it out in black and white -- treat biomom with respect because if you don't it's going to affect the kids, and if that happens then he's got bigger problems. Young boy agreed and said he'd never try to replace him as Dad to the kids.
Well here we are...young boy didn't keep his word. He demands the children refer to him as Dad and call their father by his first name. The children are using biomom's new married last name, and being told that is their name. They've even gone as far as to tell the children that my husband is just another guy they visit, but they come home to their "true family"....every time this has been addressed biomom plays dumb and pretends that the children are to young to understand such a complicated situation. As for the last names, she explains that it's a issue with school and if they were to have problems. They wouldn't know who to call for help if they went by their legal names, the ones on their birth certificates.
Being the person I am, I've always gone the honest route. My oldest sons father passed away when my son was only 19 months old. I haven't changed or even pretend for him to go by my husbands last name, nor have I ever denied him any knowledge about his dad. He asks me a question, within reason, I answer it. His father and I didn't have the perfect relationship, however - my relationship with his dad was my own. Not his. His dad loved him...but couldn't find peace on earth. So he chose to leave it....my son understands that he has a dad who made him, and another dad that was meant to come into his life and care for him with me.
My SD & SS were blown away about a year ago when my SS started to argue with my husband about his eyes being the color of his other "dad" because he made him. That my husband was just someone to come visit and have fun with. So instead of argueing back, my husband pulled out the birth certificate for both of the kids. Gave it to them and asked them to read it. UGH! My heart was crushed when they both looked at us with such confusion. My SS cried and asked why he wasn't allowed to call my husband Dad if he IS his Dad? We showed them wedding photos from when biomom and dad got married. My SS was about 7 months old when they wed - and my SD wasn't born. But she was a part of her biomom's recent wedding, so she put 2 and 2 together. She asked all sorts of questions, and asked about their wedding and if they kissed too?
I do not have either of my step children refer to me as mom. What they call me is what they choose, when I send letters I sign my name. Not mom. But they are my children as well. I put myself in biomom's shoes (even in my husbands) and think of the pure anger and disrespect I'd feel if my children were told to call someone else mom. Not given the choice, but told to do so. In addition to go by my new last name. I joked with my SD about writing my maiden name down, when she was writing a letter and signed it, and she laughed at me. Told me I was silly, that wasn't her last name. I asked her why not? It's the same thing you are doing now...your mom married someone and you are going by their name? I feel left out. (We were in a playing, laughing mood - nothing serious) So I reminded her to just remember who her dad is and how much he loves her. This is when my SS comes in and says "Yeah but mom and dad hate each other that's why they got a divorce. That's why we can't call him Dad, and that's why mom doesn't like us coming out here" WOAH!!!!!!!
I'm just astonished that someone would be so ashamed of their past (if it's mentioned to biomom and the things she use to do - she FLIPS out) that they take it out on their children. The things biomom says and does is hurting the children more than she realizes. The minimum 1x a week scheduled phone call, if my husband is late or misses it - she refuses to allow the children to call back stating that they are too busy to call.
But my husband fights biomom constantly about seeing the kids, and it falls during school breaks. Thinking the children's best interest is at heart - you'd think biomom would want the kids to spend as much time possible with their Dad. Its sad to live with the fact that this isn't something biomom uses to make her decisions.
I've reminded my husband that he has every right to go into court and require them (biomom and whoever on her end) by court order to refer to him as dad when speaking to the children about him (Like when he calls "Dad's on the phone") in addition to the last names.
So what do you think about ordering the children to refer to their biodad by his first name? As well as ordering the children to write biomom's married last name?