Do I need to back off?

Amber - posted on 07/25/2012 ( 88 moms have responded )

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My daughter has a soccer tournament coming up and her stepmother feels that she should get to take her since it's my ex husband's weekend. My ex won't be there and he is not paying a dime for her sports activities. I feel like my daughter should go with me so that I can make sure she eats right, gets plenty of sleep and drinks lots of water. Plus I have all the contact with the coach so if something changes, I can make sure she is there. The step mom and and I do not get along at all. She is extremely overbearing and has overstepped her boundaries on many occasions. Plus my ex and his wife are not the most responsible people. Any advice? Am I just being crazy??

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Anne-Marie - posted on 07/26/2012

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The father's parenting time or visitation has nothing to do with the step-mother. Typically, the Courts rule that if the parent who has visitation is not going to be available, then the children stay with the residential parent, and they either reschedule parenting time (if both parents agree) or they forfeit their time. You are not obligated to provide parenting time to the step-mother.

I have had to deal with that as well, where the step-mother actually called me at work to inform me of what I was and wasn't going to do with regards to my children, where I am the custodial parent. I very succinctly advised her as to what she could do with her opinions. :)

Kristin - posted on 07/25/2012

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I am a step mom with a step daughter in softball. When we have her on days that her games or practices are, we take her. If her dad is a t work, I take her. Her mom pays for all the sports related fees because my husband pays child support and that is something that the child support goes to.
Im with your daughters step mom on this one. Its your exs day to have her, even if he is unavailable, it is still his day ad his choice to send the daughter with you or his wife.
You have all the contacts for the coach? Wells your ex should have that info too. We go through this all the time with my husbands ex. She has all the catches info and doesn't share any of it with us. We have to talk to each coach and let them know we need the same info that his ex has.

And with your parenting agreement, you can't pick and choose when to follow it. You said you guys don't follow it 100%. Well you either follow it or you don't. You can't pick and choose when to follow it to benefit yourself.

You have to accept this woman as a parental figure in your child's life. Yes, she did become a mom when they got married. She is not the bio mom, but im sure she loves your daughter and treats her as her own. You should feel lucky that your ex married someone who is willing to love your child and treat them like she is hers. Your daughter des know the difference. Your daughter knows that you are her mother and nothing is going to change that.

All in all, if its his day, its his call.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/25/2012

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What does the custody agreement say? Does it give her any "rights" to the child?

If your ex isn't going to be there, I'd say stick to your guns

~♥Little Miss - posted on 07/25/2012

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Well, if it is your husbands day, and he is not going to be there....hmmm...maybe call your lawyer and ask about the legality of you not sending your kids over there those days.

Elizabeth - posted on 08/02/2012

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I just read your last comment. It sounds like your gonna have to be the one to do something. What she did at the school is called falsifing government documents and she can be charged. Just tell your ex that if he can't control his wife you will have to take matters into your own hands. And that means if she ever over steps her grounds again like at the school you will take the actions needed to make sure it doesn't happen again. And explain to him what could have happened if you had pushed it. And that either she starts respecting you and realize the fact that your daughter has a mom that is active in her life and it's NOT her wife. That she has you concerned about your mental health and if it is safe for your daughter to be around her.

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Frené - posted on 08/09/2012

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Hi Amber

I am so happy for you that the weekend turned out well! I'm sure you're daughter is very appreciative of both you and her dad whom both made a concious effort to be with her during a very important tournament! Well done, and may you continue to stay strong!
Best wishes.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 08/08/2012

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Amber, the thing that touched me the most was that her dad "decided that the tournament was more important than his other plans"...That is SO AWESOME!!!

(My dad decided his golf tourney was more important than my wedding)

Amber - posted on 08/08/2012

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Thank you all for all your encouraging words. The weekend went good! My daughter went to the tournament on Friday with me and spent friday night with me. Her dad made the decision that her tournament was more important than his other plans so he came over Saturday morning and my daughter went with him on Saturday. It went great. I told him I was glad he made the decision to put Madi first and it went exactly as it should! Thank you thank you!

Kathi - posted on 08/02/2012

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When it comes to your daughter, don't back down..She depends on you to back her up in every part of her life....She is her step mother not her mom...Do what is right for your daughter

Elizabeth - posted on 08/02/2012

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If she is going to be there because it is her weekend then why can't she take her. But there is nothing saying you can't be at the game. His weekend or not wheren't you gonna be at the game any way? And while your there you can make sure she is getting what she needs. But if he had already rescheduled this weekend becuase he wasn't going to be there then, no you take her. His new wife doesn't have visitation rights, he does.

Amber - posted on 07/31/2012

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I truly appreciate all the comments and advice! I think one thing that is very hard for me is that yes my ex is irresponsible in many ways and I don't agree with some things he chooses to do (which I realize is out of my control), but we can parent and get along just fine when his wife (Stepmom) is not around. We can sit next to each other at games and we can make decisions as far as the kids go and agree on most of it. I'm not angry about our divorce or hurt anymore. I think it was the best decision for both of us. I truly think that if he was with any other woman that respected me as mom we could get along fantastically! His wife is to pushy which causes people to alienate her. I've tried to talk to him about and he agrees that its not ok the way she treats me but "doesn't know what to do" (one more reason we are better apart). He and my husband get along good for the most part although my husband get annoyed with him and his behavior. Stepmom has a bad reputation in the community from her own doing and I've tried and tried to get along with her but every time I am the bigger person she takes advantage (i.e. going to the school and removing my name off the chaperone list, telling teacher's she their mom). I'm going to talk to my daughter and my ex and see what my daughter wants to do and go from their. My daughter has told me she wants to go with me and she's getting to the age where I want to include her in some decisions. I'll let you all know how this goes! Thank you so much!

Jessica - posted on 07/30/2012

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Phyllis, I have to disagree is with you to an extent. I am a SP as well as a BP. I think for some step parents your right they will not be equal to a biological parent. However there are some cases that the "step" parent steps up to the plate more then the bio parent. No one can ever take away the bond a child has with their bio parent, but if the bio parent is not capable or just not willing to be bothered with making Big decisions for the child then thank god there is a step parent that is willing to do so. I know in Amber's situation the SM seems to be poking her nose in a little too far, but that's because Amber seems to be a very involved, loving mother who actually cares for her daughter.

My point is don't discredit the role of a "step" mother, yes there are a lot, if not the majority of SM's who try to replace the BM. They can be over bearing and obnoxious, but then there are SM's who for all intense and purposes are the mother to that child, because for whatever reason the BM is not around. I love and care for my SS just as if I gave birth to him, he does not get treated like the odd man out because he has 3 siblings that are biologically mine. His BM loves him no doubt, but does not care for him the way that his father and I do and have since he was in diapers.

Phyllis - posted on 07/30/2012

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I have seen a lot of comments about step parents have equal rights and consult a lawyer! First of all no lawyer knows what's best for YOUR child! N its not that serious to get the lawyer involved! He the lawyer should get involved its to tell the step mom to back off! Never in life will a "step" mom be equal to an actual parent idc how well of a bond they have! especially If its about big decisions for the child, don't get me wrong they can throw their input in but it doesn't have to be used! I feel as a mother U always have the final say so because no one is going to love and care for your child like a mother will and not wit a step in front! Take charge in her life just don't be obnoxious about it! She can attend because kids love the more support they get at these functions but that's it since yaw can't get along!

Jessica - posted on 07/29/2012

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Do you think the SM wont get her there on time or wont give feed her healthy foods? I understand that she may be over bearing and over step her boundaries, maybe you could guarantee thaif you she would get your daughter there on time and you got there a little earlier to insure the coach had all the correct paperwork. Maybe even packing some healthy food for her so that when she gets there you can insure she has healthy food to eat.

I am the SM but I am often in the same situation as you with my son's BM. My husband and I have primary custody so all sports, school and pretty much any other activities and on us. I always have major anxiety when a sports event falls on her weekend, because she lives an hour and a half away and has been known to not allow him to go to a game because she was upset at us.

So what I do when a sports even happens to fall on her weekend I make sure I get a confirmation from her (normally through a text) that she will be there and I make sure I show up early to insure that the coaches have all the information/paperwork ect. they might need. I also make sure I have healthy snacks and water or Gatorade for him also as she does not always bring that kind of stuff.

Your not being crazy, although we are on opposite sides (lol) I understand what you are going through. I hope it works out for you :) and I hope that helped a little

Roxanna - posted on 07/28/2012

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Okay, one thing at a time.
1. The tournament is taking place on the weekend your child is due to go with her dad, but he will not be there, right?
Correct answer is: Tell him, do not ask, tell him that since he will be unavailable you will be taking the child.

2. He is not contributing to the soccer activities?
That is not an issue. my ex's Mom pays for all of my daughters activities, I rarely attend because this is her activities with her paternal family and I go to the big shows. Anything that i out of town, paternal handles. Luckily my ex doesn't have a girlfriend, but I have enough with is Mom and Sister! LOL!!

3. You want to make sure that your child is well rested, eats and sleeps well, etc...correct?
This is a problem why? Whether your aughter was 8, 18 or 38 as a mother we will ALWAYS worry! Didn't you read the fine print on the papers they gave you in the hospital when you brought your bundle of joy home?

4. Step Mom is overbearing, oushy and doesn't know her boundaries?
Eeesh! Sounds like me on a good day, but I have no bonus children so I don't get to behave badly with other peoples children! News flash Amber, you are the Mommy. Embrace and appreciate that the step mom loves your girl, BUT, don't let it be the power struggle she wants to make out of it. Talk with your daughters Dad and firmly lay down the communication is supposed between you two, and if he is not around, the child stays with you.

5. Father and Step Mom not very responsible....?
Eeeehhhh! I get that alot, but I digress, some things are negoitable, others aren't. Talk, don't interrogate your daughter and see what the issues are. Then bring it up to her father. Not too much you can do unless the child is in real danger.

6. Advice?
You have about 4 pages worth....consult your lawyer, talk to the dad, set boundries with step mpm, calm down and pack your bags!

7. Are you being crazy?
Define crazy..cause you worry? Then we all need to get ourselves committed!


Seriously, do what is best for all parties involved with out losing your parental authority, but don't abuse it either! Good luck!

Kelly - posted on 07/28/2012

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coming from the other side being the step mom :) shes your daughter you should do what makes you comfortable within reason that being said how much harm can she really do its a soccer game not an ivy leage interview let her take her just remind her of the things your daughter dose to prepare for a game and hope she listens your daughter will most likely keep doing what shes use to anyway youll always be her mom and your word will always be god :) hope i could help sorry about my horrible spelling

Amber - posted on 07/27/2012

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Amber,

If you are really concerned about what is best for your daughter I would advise to go with your instinct. Honestly if I were in your situation I would speak to my ex and explain that since he will not be there I will take my child where she needs to go and he can see her/have her the next weekend. (Meaning swap weekends.) That way your daughter see you and he working for her best interest and she is not somewhere where she is not happy and you are not worried. I am not sure of your situation simply because you did not give a lot of details, however, I would also suggest talking to your daughter, depending on her age, and see how she feels about it. My daughter is 15 and she has no desire to be around her dad's girlfriend. True they are not married but they have been together for a significant amount of time. I listen to my daughter then talk to my ex about what she wants and we compromise from there. It can be done even if there is tension between you and the new wife.

Best of Luck
Amber

Phyllis - posted on 07/27/2012

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Honestly she has no say so!... of course u should take her especially since he doesn't contribute!

Wendy - posted on 07/27/2012

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NO you do not need to back off your ex will not be there so he can re schedule his visit if he is not paying then tough luck you are not being crazy she is your daughter not the new wifes she can back off if anything

Linda - posted on 07/27/2012

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Amber, I hope u are believing the messages that remind u that this is your husband/step's weekend...so back off on pushing. Go to the game, support your daughter.... AVOID confrontation with the "step"...as u said, your daughter is getting the picture, so try to make it less stressful for your daughter ( the 2 family situation is difficult enough for her).
Try to step beyond your own feelings and needs and think of what is best for her.....that is that she have 3 loving "parents"..I think u should either support the step or say nothing (when u can't support) and get a dart board or punching bag to get our your frustrations...so that your daughter doesn't have to suffer from the cross animosity. The damage done to your daughter is not worth being "right". Take the high road ... :-)

Sue - posted on 07/27/2012

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Brit - stepparents may not be equal parents to their stepchildren but they are still parents and need to have a parenting role to all of the children in a household or you will create two unfunctioning families in one and probably end up with another divorce for the children to go through.



It's not about the law it's about what make sense for your family and trying to leave emotions out of decision making for children is very difficult to do but emotions should not overshadow common sense.



This question is a complicated.

MeMe - posted on 07/27/2012

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If it was me, I wouldn't care who took her because I would be there, too. ;) I would be able to ensure she had everything she needed, including her Mom at the sidelines. If the step-mom wants to take her, let her. Just be sure, you are there, as well.

Brit - posted on 07/27/2012

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You're the mom, Amber. Just because this woman decided to marry your ex does not give her any rights to YOUR children, especially when you have sole custody! Anyone who tells you that you have "no choice" is simply wrong. If she isn't going with her father, then you don't have to let her go. I grew up in this situation, and so I know the rules. My parents divorced when I was 14, my brother 13, and my sister 6. My mom didn't have to let my sister go if it was just to be around the stepmom, and that's because they aren't the child's parent. Period.



However, as many have stated, you should call your lawyer to insure that this will not incur any issues on your side. You don't want to give this overbearing woman any leeway against you. You're the mom, NEVER back off.



Edit: I don't know how people think stepparents are "equal parents." If your ex & his new wife were to get a divorce, guess what? She's no longer your child's stepmother. No matter what happens in life, this child will always have you as her mother & your ex as her father. A marriage certificate doesn't determine who is your parent.

Sue - posted on 07/27/2012

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Amber, you didn't say how old your children are and how long stepmom has been around. Every situation is different but who's paying for what and how much is really a separate issue though will definately overshadow your concerns.

As you know from both sides these situations are very difficult. Are you really concerned about your daughter being taken care of or is it that you don't want anyone else doing it and are upset that your ex isn't paying for soccer in the first place? I know it would be very hard to see someone else take on a mother role to my children but as a stepmother I don't think it's fair to my stepson for him to think I do not care and do not treat him like a child of my family. Although I don't think I would take my stepson to an out of town tournament without my husband if his mother wanted to take him BUT I would not appreciate being told that I could not take him or attend because it was not my place. It is not that simple. Goodluck!

As hard as it is you need your children to be loved in both of their homes by all family members because who knows what could happen to your children by a stepparent that doesn't care or is abusive to them. Most issues I think come from not wanting to let someone else into our children's lives but would you really want your ex telling you what your partner could and couldn't do with your children on your time?

Jessica - posted on 07/27/2012

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It's YOUR daughter, so you should take her. Despite it being your ex's weekend, like you said he isn't even going to be there. So stepmother doesn't really have a say to me at all.

Frené - posted on 07/27/2012

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Hi Amber

I'm sorry that you are in this predicament!

You have sole custody, your ex has parenting time, you have first right of refusal written into your divorce decree, the stepmom is not written into the divorce decree, your ex will not be at the tournament, your daughter said she wants to go with you if her dad isn't going to be there, I know what I would do and what I won't do under these circumstances.

My ex and I also had first right of refusal written into our divorce decree and the stepmom was also not mentioned in the divorce decree. There were times that we swopped weekends under similar circumstances and there were times that we didn't go with the first right of refusal. My ex and I assessed every situation and made a decision based on what would be the right thing for our son at the time, eg our son would spend a couple of days with his dad and if dad went away on business and was away for 1 night, our son would still spend the night with his stepmom as it would be less disruptive to uproot for one night. This didn't mean that I wasn't torn in 2, but it was better for my son for me to back-off. My ex and I are still not on speaking terms, yet we've managed to come to an agreement without involving our son or the courts.

Wishing you all the best in this difficult / complicated situation and may you enjoy your daughter more and more!

User - posted on 07/27/2012

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a step parent is an equal parent, sometimes it is good and sometime not so good but there should be respect for any parent not just the birth parent but step parent as well. there is no reason that all care givers cannot go to the tournaments, it is the fathers weekend even though he can’t be there in person his wife is his representative and should be respected as such.

User - posted on 07/27/2012

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why can't you both go? It sound like an important match anyway, and being so you should be there either way. Put your differances aside for your daughter it is her day and should be treated as such.

Jolene - posted on 07/26/2012

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Some iof the replies here are ridiculous. This is about parenting, not who is married to who. This is NOT about the step-mom. Thank God you have right of first refusal. If one parent cannot do something for the weekend, then the other parent needs to. Not the step-parent.

Please, PLEASE do NOT drag your daughter into this by asking her to make the decision. How unkind and unfair. if the adults can't work this out, how in the world does anyone expect a child to??? Be the adults and and make the adult decisions.

In this case though there is no decision to be made. The other parent is not available and so you need to do it.

However, extend an invitation to the step-mom to come and then be polite to her if she comes.

I have been in the shoesof the mom whose daughter has a stepmother and the shoes of a step mother. A stepmother is NOT an equal poarent though she oes deserve respect and the same auithority we would give a loving extended family member. As a mother I always treat my daughter's stepmother with respect but I do the mother things, not her.

Elise - posted on 07/26/2012

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Is there a reason you both can't go? You don't have to hold hands and be bbf's with her or anything, you don't even have to stand together. Im a stepmum (although my boys mum is not around because child protection peeps took him off her so very different situation) but I know that I love to be involved in my stepsons life and she may even think that she is helping you out or something. But I am sure that if she is excited enough to share the experience of taking your daugher out to a game, that she will do all the mum stuff to make sure she eats right and everything too. It sounds like she just wants to enjoy and create a positive relationship with your daughter as she is commited to your ex and she knows his daughter comes with the package. I say give her a chance to form a realtionship with your daughter and try not to think it is anything to do with you but her wanting to bond and she wont ever replace you, she just wants to be there too. But I say you should both go, just be adult about it and go, you both want to be there so be there put your feelings for eachother aside and concentrate on your daughter, her step mum is now part of her life and your daugher is now part of the stepmums life, give her a chance to form a positive realtionship with her rather than a negative one with all the underlying adult feelings that she shouldn't have to be thinking about, she is just lucky to have 2 mums that want the best for her

Dana - posted on 07/26/2012

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I'm with you on this because I've been in the same situation. You take her! Your mom and you know best ! When they start to prove that they can be more responsible ; then maybe then

Jacob - posted on 07/26/2012

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if your ex husband can't make the tournament then it is your right to go
the "step mother " has no right to say she should take her ,she is not her daughter
why not just swap week ends for when it's convenient for her father to have her
you are her Mum I'm sure she would love you to be there
Nothing would have kept me away from my children's game

Pamela - posted on 07/26/2012

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Sometimes we feel that we can CONTROL a situation better than another. Maybe we can, maybe we can't.

First let go of the OBVIOUS JUDGMENT you have about the step mom and your ex. This is poisonous thinking that hurts you more than it hurts them.

Step back, SAY A PRAYER that all goes smoothly for your daughter. Advise your daughter to call you if she needs your help and let go. ATTEND THE TOURNAMENT and cheer your daughter on!!!

Often we are the ones who get in our own way and cause more problems!! Don't do that to yourself, your daughter, the step mom or your ex.

Michelle - posted on 07/26/2012

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You take her. My daughters play competitive soccer and I would never miss a tournament regardless of whose weekend it is. We have divorced parents on our team and usually they both come. This is YOUR child and if your ex-husband cannot take her, then the right should fall to you.

Stephanie - posted on 07/26/2012

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As a stepmom myself who was in many situations like this have to say its hard. You need to be supportive but at the same time what does Your daughter want? You need to have faith that while your daughter is in the ex and new step parent(or significant others) care she is taken care of. Speak to your ex and see what he says especially if your daughter prefers you. He needs to give a little but so do you especially since you know that it's like being the mom and stepmom. If there's no give on his part be there anyway. If changes occur and you get calls or contacted by the coach then you will need to notify the ex or stepparent. Sometimes picking your battle saves in the long run for all involved especially the kids. Last thing you want to do is alienate on person involved cause that could potentially bite you in butt years down the road.

Diane - posted on 07/26/2012

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Your kid you take her--I might invite the step mom to go along but would NEVER let her go without me

Crystal - posted on 07/26/2012

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You are her mother and her step mother doesn't have any right to tell you what you can and cannot do with you own child. Sounds like you need to have a serious talk with first your ex then both of them together. If there is a court order in place remind both of them of your rights as her natural mother. If she cannot respect you as her mother then she shouldn't be allowed to be around your daughter.

Faith - posted on 07/26/2012

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I would love to hear the overall outcome of this situation, please let us know how you handled it, and what her reaction is. Good luck to you!

Julie - posted on 07/26/2012

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Mmmmm hear this allot,talk to Dad instead.let this be a descion you
both make®uardless you can be there,she's your daughter.GL

Cheryl - posted on 07/26/2012

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Why should u b left out of ur daughters going away game it will look stupid she taking ur child n u tagging behind .......u should speak to ur ex n let him know it's important to u to attend to ur daughters game but u will like to take her n his wife is welcome to come along......

Christina - posted on 07/26/2012

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I"m a stepmom and my husband has custody of one daughter (15) and she has custody of the other (13) and we also alternate weekends--it was the girls' choice to have it that way and it made the mother very angry. We don't get along either but it's the mother that is the problem. I have never once tried to overstep my bounds and in most cases probably do not show enough affection to my stepdaughters for fear that it's misconstrued as me trying to "mother" too much.

But the bottom line is that your child has 2 families. In my case, my husband and I have a 3 year old son who is brother to her children. Even if my husband is out of town, the girls still come over. I get along well with them and they respect me. They love their brother dearly and don't want to be away from him for long periods. This weekend is actually "our" weekend and my husband is out of town. I told them I was visiting with some family and they were more than welcome to stay with their mom over the weekend and that I wouldn't be back until Tuesday evening. They both said no, they wanted to come--one is even skipping an overnight birthday party to come.

I realize you don't get along with the stepmom but you do have to consider your child's feelings. If your child gets along with her stepmom and the stepmom wants to support her, then she should be invited to go. I personally would not ask their mother to let me take them to an event like that. I would allow her to do it--even though we are the ones that pay the costs on anything that the daughter that lives with us does. It's not about that.. it's about keeping the peace. Both sides need to do that.

The mother in my case is so bitter over the situation that she has alienated one older grown daughter and the other 2 know that she is the one being difficult. She talks negatively about us constantly. At one time I had an audiotape of the grandmother on her side calling the oldest daughter and telling her they were disowning her for choosing to live with her father and turning her back on her mother and her family. The one that lives with us the other day told me she didn't understand why everything had to be so difficult and dramatic with her mother. The kids understand what is going on more than adults think they do. Conduct yourself respectfully and consider your child's feelings and everything should work out.

Kathi - posted on 07/26/2012

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Be there...She is your daughter and I am sure she would want you to be there...

Faith - posted on 07/26/2012

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I think you should be happy that the stepmom wants to do this with your daughter even though the dad isnt around, it shows that she is genuinely interested in her relationship with your daughter. You should thank her for her support, and tell her you will also be attending the game. This is a perfect opportunity for you to start being cordialto each other, she will have nothing bad to say if you are encouraging the relationship with her daughter.

I grew up with a stepmother, and the only name I call her is "Mom". She has been supportive and loving, and I cringe at all the times I was mean to her just because I "sensed" my mother didn't like her and wouldn't like me being close to her.

Jennifer - posted on 07/26/2012

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I think the keywords that its your ex hubands weekend. if he is not going to be there and this tournament is important to you and your daughter her step mother in my opinion has no place being there. Sports are tricky enough when a kid has both divorced parents show up to a game. As nice as it is there is still some discomfort due to the fact that usully the mother stays on one side and the dad chums it up with another one of the divorced fathers. However awkward its part of being divorced. Step partents though should be very careful and know that a child soccer tournament that she has little to no informaton about if not her place to be pulling out the "its our weekend card" if your ex isnt going to be there then she should back off. I think you should call your ex and discuss trading weekends. If he pushes the fact then follow your custody agreement. In mine there is a clause that states there that you can send written notice to them that your daughter will not be coming over for that weekend. it shouldnt come to that if he is a resonable man. If her step mom really wants to show support she could attent and watch but also give you space so that you can still focus and enjoy your daughter and what she is working to accomplish. I would not miss that tournament for all the tea in china if I were you. Step mom should back off and allow you the roll of mother thats your daughter all the time no matter whos weekend its is.

Rachelle - posted on 07/26/2012

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What does your daughter want? Why can't you both go and get along for the game? Even if stepmom does things that are not right, you should do what is right. We have a responsibility to teach our kids to do what is right. They learn by our example. I understand (first hand) it's not easy, but we must be the bigger person. Good luck.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 07/26/2012

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LOL Anne Marie! I had that happen with my older daughter's step mom and father! We live in separate countries now (I'm in BC Canada and they're in GA US) Back when we were going through the custody hearings my daughter's step mom wanted me to bring my daughter to her so that she could 'continue the bond they'd begun to establish before her daddy had to be deployed'. She also kept giving me parenting advice because she has a teen age daughter (my older daughter was just over 1 at the time- she's almost 8 now) because she felt I needed it

My lawyer politely explained that the visitation was for my ex and his daughter not for my daughter and her step mom. I really wanted to tell her what she could do with her parenting advice since she's the one who took her 13 year old to get a bikini wax and buy thongs.

Nicky - posted on 07/26/2012

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My suggestion would be is to ask your daughter what she wants (I don't know how old she is). We forget sometimes that they are caught in the middle of what is going on. (speaking from experience)
I agree with "little miss can't be wrong", you should both go, You could take your daughter and extend a friendly invitation to the step-mother that she is welcome to come to the game. Be the "better-person" so to speak, you will show your daughter a tremendous personality trait in you. I hope that helps and good luck with your decission. God Bless

Imbeautifuldawn - posted on 07/26/2012

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Switch weekends with your ex and be sure to invite the step to come watch. Let them know that this is a special event you want to share with your daughter and that you will also make allowances for special events for them.
Bottom line, if they are irresponsible you have a duty to protect your daughter's health. If your gut tells you this should be an issue, then you need to be the advocate for your DAUGHTER. The adults are not the concern. The CHILDREN are. So be your daughter's advocate. So be sure to be sweet, respectful and kind when you talk to your EX about this and not his wife. Appeal to him and make an arrangement for the benefit and well-being of your child.

Lynetha - posted on 07/26/2012

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I don't know why we are even going back and forth with this. She is your child and if your ex-husband isn't going to be with her on his weekend then YOU take your daughter out of town. If your daughter doesn't want to go with the stepmom then that should be the answer. Step mom should respect that and go along on the trip as the STEP mom....

Michelle - posted on 07/26/2012

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I'm just going to put another spin on things. I do 50/50 shared care with my 2 oldest children and I also work Sundays. That's when the boys play sport so I can't go but my Husband will take them to the games and also be there to cheer them on. My ex husband has never been annoyed at it as he will still try and make it to the games.

If for some reason both myself and my husband can't get the boys there (we also have a 2yo) my ex husband will take them. We have never had a problem with my husband stepping up and doing things with/for the boys.

My ex isn't that responsible either. I have had to learn to let things go and not get irritated by them. I can't control what happens in his house, just like I wouldn't like him to try and control what I do. The number of times the kids are late for school (or anything) when they are with him is more times than being on time.

Sometimes we have to step back and be the bigger person, the kids will see it and will understand who is there for them the most and hopefully will follow your ethics. Our children are smarter than we give them credit for a lot of the time and they would probably pick up that you don't like their SM.

Candace - posted on 07/26/2012

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I know exactly how you feel. No step-mother in the picture yet, but my ex & his family (who are all very controlling) think they are obligated to go to all my kid's events. He doesn't pay child support, which is only $263 a month! owes almost $20,000 in arrears) nor do they help with any of their extra-curricular activities. They also have lots of money & although I work full time & have been at the same job for 7 years, I am on public assistance. (very embarrassing, but I have no other option without any financial help from them) It makes me angry that they think they have any rights to be there at all. As it's only for show, & not love. My daughter's don't want them there, they are embarrassed of him & since his family plays favorites & have began to treat my kids as they are not their's they do not want any of them involved at all. They completely shut out my son, who is 14 with Asperger's & it has hurt him that his grandparents won't even speak to him. I have to make up for them always hurting my children's feelings & I am extremely resentful for this.
I think you should ask her how she feels about this & tell her it is o.k. with whatever decision she makes. If she chooses to go with her, you will have to put aside your anger, in which I feel is validated 100%. For her sake though, just let it be. Also realize that it won't be long before she realizes who is the one that was there for her & which parent she knows she can trust & depend on. BTW, mine are 8, 11 & 14 & have already realized this. I promise that if you respect her wishes, you will be rewarded by her choice soon.

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