Future Celebrations with the step-child and the dreaded bio mom.

[deleted account] ( 16 moms have responded )

I'm wondering how any of you step-moms/dads have dealt with the big celebrations that come up later in a childs life- graduations, weddings, etc. I have a young step-son and at this point with everything that's gone on with his mother, I just avoid her at all costs. She is incredibly jealous, selfish, narcissistic and has repeatedly hurt my step-son by telling him his father and I don't love him, won't want him around for years and years now. She has stalked us, harassed us, threatened us with restraining orders and denial of visitation over absolutely nothing. No contact is GREAT now. But what about when I have to see her? Her son knows that she hates us. My husband doesn't care but I just can't be around her or her equally insane and vindictive partner (it's a woman who has no children and is obsessed with my step-son). Should I avoid future celebrations that she will attend in order to avoid my step-son having any issues or fears about the day being ruined? I only want what's best for him and don't mind taking a back seat if it means he can relax and not be anxious about these events.

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Raye - posted on 02/08/2016

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(⊙_☉)

As a step-mom, I feel like an outsider a lot. Maybe the step-mom's that try too take over are just trying to feel useful and haven't found how they fit in the family puzzle yet. it is insecurity and jealousy that drives the animosity on both sides. Can't we all just get along?

MaryAnn - posted on 02/07/2016

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My sd is 4. So I cant really give much personal advice from the perspective as stepmom. But. I am an adult stepchild, who has survived graduation, marriage, and birth. What I can tell you is that if you are ever concerned about how you can help or support your adult step child... ASK HIM. No one's feelings are above his in these matters.
In events like these, its helpful to remember that if things ever get too tense, there is ZERO shame in bailing- be it to home, a hotel room, the parkinglot for a few minutes, or to enjoy the company of someone else. Its hard, (this I can attest to as a step parent) but sometimes you just need to button it. If she's going to make a fool of herself, let her. Its no reason not to support your step child.
If your relationship is one where you will be expected to participate in pictures, etc, remember not to invest yourself too emotionally with the stuff that doesnt matter- how bm feels about you- and save your cares for the stuff that does matter- your step child.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2016

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So sorry that those kids have to deal with such an unhappy and vindictive parent. She's not making things any easier for herself, and only causing heartache for everyone. So sad. I wish your family the best of luck.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2016

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If the mother is refusing to let the father see his kid (either father of either kid), then the father should take her to court and get orders for visitation set up so all parents know their rights. If there are court orders in place already, and she is not following through with his appointed visitation, he should take her to court for contempt. It is not up to her to dictate the relationship between father and child.

Ev - posted on 01/26/2016

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Coni--I can answer your questions about graduation and weddings though as the others have said your step son has a long time before he gets there.
First, let me tell you the order of things in my situation. I am the bio mother. It was the step mom in this case that had fits of jealousy, wanted things to center around her, and complaints for every event that was major in our lives. So the point to this is that it can go both ways on being the dreaded one. Even some family members including close ones do not like this woman who is step mother to my kids for how she is.
Graduations--When my daughter graduated from high school, her step mom got her to the point of tears. 1) Senior insert in the news paper listed the parents names under the graduate. She had a fit when hers did not appear under my daughter's name and accused my daughter of doing it on purpose and hating her (step mom). 2)Both churches of the families were having Senior Sunday on the same one. Again, her dad was added into the mix with step mom pressuring my daughter to go to their church for this event. I told my daughter that I would have preferred her go to my church and I was admitting it but it was my daughter's choice what she did. My daughter wanted everyone in the family to be there but it was not going to be happening because at my church where my daughter was raised in as well, my mom did not know if she would preform a duty in the event being an elder. My daughter chose my church. She grew up there and had known those kids all her life in her class. As for her dad and step mom they did not attend the event at their church because my daughter was not there but step mom had a fit when my daughter turned in to that church some photos for the slide show given that day because one picture chosen was of me, her dad and her when she was a year old...the woman had a blood vessel pop...again my daughter's choice. 3) When my son graduated, she again had a fit about the Senior insert in the paper because once again her name did not appear under his photo. This woman had been in my kids lives for 3 years when daughter graduated and 10 when son did. She had acted like she knew them both so well when she did not and also had not treated them well.
Wedding of daughter:
Step mom complained when not all of her sons got to be in the wedding party. Her youngest was the ring bearer only because the groom's nephew could not get to the wedding with his family. She complained about seating. She complained about other things too. Neither she or dad contributed in any shape or form to the wedding. I helped prepare food for meal after wedding, made up the flowers and things like that for the wedding party and family members, went on shopping trips to get supplies when I could...and time was contributed.
Grandchildren: When the first of my two grandchildren were born, we all were excited. What ;my daughter and I did not care for was that her brother was forced to stay home and not meet his niece the day she was born. I took my son to meet his new niece two weeks later. So when we found out my grandson was coming both my kids cornered me and made me promise to get my son there to meet this one at the hospital. I did it. I made sure he got to see his nephew at a day old just before he left the hospital to go home. When my grandson came and I asked dad to take my son to see him after school the day after birth, he was asking me about the other kids. They were not my worry. I was more worried about my son and his wishes at nearly 18.
So, the point is that this can go both ways. In my case it was the step mom who was so radical about things. Its not just us bio moms.

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Raye - posted on 02/08/2016

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Evelyn, I agree... with some people you can't find a rational explanation for things, because those people aren't acting rationally. And it's sad that society seems to have more and more self-absorbed, ignorant, ineffectuals that can't seem to think past the end of their noses. It's not good for anyone involved with those people.

Ev - posted on 02/08/2016

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Raye--In my kids' situation she had been there for 3 years when my daughter graduated, 5 years or so when my daughter married, and 10 years when son graduated. She had enough time before my daughter graduated to try to be civil to everyone about everything. There was no need for her to take offense when things were done for the senior inserts and the kids filled out the paperwork for it. To this day this woman has tried to run the whole circus. I have kept my mouth shut and been civil to her no matter what the occasion was going on. But I have seen her out of the public eye and she is not a nice person. She has in the past tried to run mine and my ex's visitation schedules and decisions where it was up to us to decide things. Now though, the kids are adults and on their own so I do not have to deal with her in that light anymore though grandkids are in the picture. And even at that, we are never around them at the same time. I just wished that she would have been more open to a civil and polite way of things all along.

[deleted account]

I think this is only true if you are dealing with someone who is rational and sane. When you are dealing with someone who likely has a personality disorder and has used their children (and hurt them greatly over the years) to harm others, you're dealing with a different kind of animal. A normal parent will do what is best for their kids, even if it hurts them. I allow my child to go over to this womans house even though she threatened us with a restraining order when her adult child was visiting us to see her little brother because her mother had banned it. I don't LIKE knowing that my son is at her house...with everything she has said and done over the years. But we do allow it so that he can see his brother as much as he wants. That's love. What I don't want is for my presence to take away from my step-sons special days. It's just not worth it to me just so I can be a part of celebrating with him. I will ask him when the time comes...but if there were even a hint that she would cause problems, I probably won't attend.

Ev - posted on 02/07/2016

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Meredith--I am saying that it goes both ways. You say you are both a bio mom and step mom. It takes all kinds to make things work but in reality most times it never works out like it should. Kids as adults getting married should take the time to tell their parents (bio/step) what they expect of everyone for the wedding and the events leading to that day. In my case, the inlaws took over the whole planning of the wedding. My daughter was actually expecting her first when they decided to go ahead and get married (they were planning on doing so later on but things happened). The day they told her dad and step mom, I was there. That woman turned red as a Cola can. I could almost see the steam rolling out of her ears. It was not like my daughter had gone and committed a great crime. Her dad and I could not say anything because we had a similar situation. Her step mom really wanted to say something but barely held her tongue. She was disappointed but it was not her choice and she could do nothing about it. She acted like she was holier than thou about it. If the case had been reversed and she was my ex husbands first wife and it had been her kid, I would not have been that mad about it. I would have just took the news and let it go. This woman has never let things go without making it out that it is all about her. The graduations, the senior inserts, the wedding...everything did not revolve around her like she wanted to. When the grandkids came along, I made sure to be there. I also was the first between us to get to hold the babies. I am a proud grandma. I will admit that. But I did not shove it in her face I was first. That would be wrong. I do not like sharing my grand kids but she is part of the family.

[deleted account]

Her first ex-husband decided that rather than stick around and fight for his child like my husband did, he would just walk away and wait until his daughter was old enough that he could have a relationship with her as an adult. I think that was a bad choice, personally. From what her daughter said, her mother spent the next 15 years lying to her, telling her that her father didn't love her or want her. She described times where she would hear voicemails from her father begging to see her and her mother would lie and say he never called or wanted anything to do with her. She also threatened her daughter that if she ever found out she tried to have a relationship with her father, she would have him locked up for back child support. The poor girl suffered so much that she had to be put into counseling but her mom pulled the plug on that as well when the therapist started calling out her mothers behavior. IT's a really sad situation. Luckily, she could never claim that my husband didn't want his son because he took her to court and threatened to take away custody when she tried to interfere with visitation. We document everything........but the damage is just indescribable.

[deleted account]

Oh I agree there are just as many nasty step-parents as there are biological ones. No one was saying that all biological moms/dads are awful- but in this case....from what her entire family, her friends and her own children have said, she is. I'm sorry that you had to deal with such a terrible step-mom for your kids. Whether it's a biological parent or a step-parent- the focus should ALWAYS be on what is best for the kid. I'm lucky I married a man who knows that and no matter what threats we receive, tantrums, lies or allegations...he always tells his son that it's not about him and that we love him. I do the same. I am worried that his mother will behave the way that your exes new wife will and I (of course) will allow my step-son to make his own choices, but I hate having to see him be torn by these things because he knows his mother hates me and his dad and often feels guilty for loving us because he feels it's his responsibility to make her happy. I would really rather take myself out of the equation altogether on those days in order to make sure she doesn't guilt him or cause a scene. Whether she's a good mother or not, she gave birth to him and I have always told him he should love and show respect to her for that.

[deleted account]

True. I don't think things will ever change though. She has a history of taking the children away as punishment with her other ex-husband, my husband, her daughter and even her own parents. That to me says that this person is unstable and likely has a personality disorder. But I don't know what the future will hold and it's possible that like her daughter, my step-son will realize what his mother is doing is wrong and choose not to have much of a relationship with her anymore due to her controlling behavior.

Sarah - posted on 01/26/2016

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There is no sense in trying to predict the future. Your step-son is still young and things like school functions and sporting events require very little in the way of communication. Yes when he is old, and graduates high school, gets married or what have you more interaction may be needed. Maybe by then you two will get along. If not, suck it up, paint a smile on your face and be the bigger person.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2016

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Well, the daughter is an adult, and should not allow her mother to dictate who she can be in contact with. But if the mother is paying some of the daughter's expenses, then the mother is within rights to take that away for behavior she doesn't agree with. Unless the daughter was abusive to the boy, then I would not feel bad for letting her see her brother. The mother should quit trying to control everything and everyone.

Ultimately, whether you choose to attend family events is up to you. If the boy wants you there, though, I would worry more about his wants. Even if you have a good reason not to be there, and are trying to keep the peace in the family, it's up to him to decide who is important in his life and who to invite. You can make it known that you would understand if he didn't invite you to avoid possible hurt feelings of others, but to turn away from him when he wants family around could be interpreted as you creating distance from HIM, not her.

[deleted account]

Oh I never say anything negative to either my step-son about his mother or to the mother. I stay away completely. But I'm wondering if in the end it would be better for my step-son if I just told him he doesn't need to invite me to these types of things because his mother has made it clear I am not allowed now. She has an adult child that she threatened from having any contact with me because I allowed her to see her brother when she moved out of her mothers home and the mother cut her off and wouldn't even allow her own kid to visit her sibling. When she found out I'd allowed it in our home, she threatened her daughter and made her block me on her phone and unfriend me from facebook or she would take away her car, etc. So I think it's pretty clear she expects me not to be invited to weddings, birthdays, graduations or any other celebrations. I'm just thinking it would be the better thing to do to let my step-son know that he doesn't need to invite me in order to keep the peace with his mother.

Raye - posted on 01/26/2016

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I am a step-mom, and I have to deal with the bio-mom all the time. Mine isn't as bad as yours, but it's still unpleasant. You really should try to do what's' best for the child, and be there to support him. The mother is not your concern, and you can't do anything about her hateful attitude. So, my advice would be to suck it up, bite your tongue, and be there with a smile on your face for your step-son, no matter what the occasion.

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