HELP!!! Should Stepmom Attend an Event for Moms??

Sealhenry - posted on 03/13/2015 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Need advice. My son is 7. His dad and I split when he was 1. He has been married now for about a year and a half (his wife has been around for about 2 years total). She is number 2 after our split and a breath of fresh air after the 1st girlfriend. She is kind and caring with my son and is always easier to deal with than my son's dad. We generally get along and we have reached out to each other on many occasions to address concerns. My basic approach is that I stay in my lane and she should stay in hers…mutual respect. I recognize the role of a stepmom and have never sought to exclude her from school activities, including teacher conferences. I don't intrude on their visitation time, nor do I involve myself with their family life unless there is a major issue (which hasn't happened yet).

So, now my son's school is having an event called a Morning with Mom. Dad "informed me as a courtesy" that his wife was planning to attend. Recognizing that talking to him is useless, I contacted the step-mom. I told her that I would appreciate it if she didn't attend because I consider that as special time for my son and me to spend together. She responded that she didn’t see why I should have a problem given the fact that she is his stepmom and that she loves him and takes care of him. My thinking is that she’s is not his mom, so I just don’t get why she should expect to attend. To me it’s as plain as day, but she even went as far as to assert that she should have a right to attend. I know the common perception is that the mom feels threatened, but that simply isn’t the case here. I am very secure about the bond that I share with my son. She is his stepmom and I am more than comfortable with them having a loving relationship and spending time together...just not time that is supposed to be for me and him. I feel that she is overstepping with this. If she shows up at this thing over my objection, I’m going to take this as a sign of disrespect, which could upset this whole apple cart. Am I being unreasonable?

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Raye - posted on 03/13/2015

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I am a step-mom. My husband has custody of his two kids, so they are with us most of the time. Even though their real mom is horrible (cancelling visitation, not showing up for recitals, sports games, birthday parties, etc.), if she told me she wanted to attend this type of event with her son or daughter, I would back down.

There are certain things that I feel are reserved for the biological parent, and I would never assert myself into those "special times" unless the real mom decided she wasn't going to participate, then hell yes I'm going to be there for my step-child.

You might find out if the school will allow for more than one parent for each child. If they only have reserved space for one, then definitely it should be you. Otherwise, you might just ask your son if he wants it to be only with you, or both you and her. That's kind of putting him in the middle, but if he says both, then maybe you should suck it up and have both of you attend.

Dove - posted on 03/13/2015

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No, you aren't being unreasonable at all. IF you were not involved in his life it would make perfect sense for her to be there for him, but considering that you ARE involved... Morning w/ Mom should be all yours.

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Raye - posted on 03/13/2015

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If he has wanted to make sure you were going, but didn't say anything to her, then that seems a strong indicator of his preference without having to ask him.

When you last talked to her about it, did it seem that she was still set on going, or is there a possibility that she might back down? If she left doubt, then (if you decided to talk to her again) you could just act like she has already decided to do the right thing. Say it was so nice of her to understand that you and your son want to share that special time together. Say there will be other times for her to bond with him, and how much more comfortable you are with her knowing that she is respectful of your wishes. She may think you're crazy and think to herself that she did no such thing, but that might just get the point across that she should butt out without getting nasty about it.

If she digs her heels in and still decides to go, then that would be very disrespectful. You would still have to continue trying to have a civil relationship with her and your son's father, for the sake of your son. But I'm sure things would be very different after that.

I hope she can see the light, realize that it is important to you, and decide to bow out of this one. Good luck!!!!

Sealhenry - posted on 03/13/2015

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Thanks for your thoughts! My son is generally not shy about asking for what he wants. He confirmed with me on several occasions whether I was planning to attend. By step-mom's own admission, he never mentioned it to her. I feel like asking him about it would be inviting further consideration of something that I am probably never going to be okay with. One day it might actually be his idea and even then I wouldn't think it to be appropriate. In that case I would think the stepmom should redirect it "Oh thank you for inviting me, but that's a special day for you and your mom...we can have some special time another day." No big deal, just the fact of the matter. I think my son would understand that and it would only seem problematic, or put him in the middle if there is generally acrimony...which there isn't.

My son has a dad and a stepmom and I support those relationships 100%. I am my son's mother and that is an absolute and immutable fact. Just because someone feel's that they have the right to insinuate themselves into that, doesn't mean that I should acquiesce. The fact that she's even pushing this makes me question her motives in ways that I haven't before. I am pretty flexible about this whole situation and I bend a lot for my son's happiness and the good of the order, but this is just one of those things for me.

Ev - posted on 03/13/2015

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You are not wrong to be upset she is trying to get in on this mother/son event. You have explained it to her already.

My kids' step mom was put out when prom weekend fell on my weekends both years my daughter could go and we went out and did the dress search, did the hair and makeup, and then I took her to her dad's so they could see her. Each year we took turns taking her to drop her at prom with her date. But that was a mom and daughter thing and I would not have minded her going along with us if she had been more tolerable with me.

The point is there are some things that step moms should be part of and others they should step back on unless invited.

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