Elizabeth - posted on 10/25/2012 ( 5 moms have responded )
I've only been in my husband and stepson's life for a total of 8 months, but our family really just meshed well from the beginning. Our marriage was rushed due to the fact that I became pregnant, and 2 days prior to getting married we miscarried. I truly couldn't be happier, and I know that we made the right choice, but the quickness of the situation really gave me no transition to my "new" life. I changed from a 22 year old who only has myself and career to worry about into a 23 year old married woman with a 3 year old stepson in the matter of 8 months, and suffered a miscarriage 2 days before my wedding.
Despite the negative, the transition of us becoming a family has been simple.. My husband and I make a great team and our strengths/weaknesses compliment one another, and I've always had a strong maternal instinct which helped me bond (almost instantly) with his son (currently 3.5).
My husband and the Bio mom had switched their custody arrangement to split custody (50/50) a few months before I came into the picture (she had custody, and he would only have their son on the weekends), and the paperwork is still being finalized through the court system. As time passes situations keep occurring that show she is not a competent mother, and the compassion/courtesy/friendliness that I felt/had for her when I first came into the picture fades a little every day.
Their son was the product of a 1 night stand. They never dated, and he will never have the chance to know what it's like to have his parents be together...... My parents divorced when I was 6 months old so I feel that I can relate with what he is going to go through as he grows up, and I also can picture MY mom standing in the "BIO Mom's" shoes, and I try to always think about how she (My mom) would feel if my stepmom was doing what I am before I do things... But, my dad/step-mom only saw me every other weekend.. and my mom was a good mom.. I can't say the same for this woman!
I keep giving her the respect (as his mom) to do things, BE A MOM, but she doesn't do them. (I've got examples listed below.) I give her the chance to be responsible, but she doesn't do it, and I feel like I am more of a mother to him than she is... but, I also know that I'm NOT his mom, and it makes life very difficult!
Am I crossing the line in these situations? Wrong for being frustrated?? What is my place as a stepmom, really?!
1.) My husband wanted his son to start preschool. The bio mom never followed through with researching anything.. so I did it, and within a month of it first being mentioned we had him enrolled. I researched schools near us (which the 2 of them already agreed on), and made a comparison chart with pros/cons, date availability, cost, reviews, distance from both of our houses, etc... She changed her mind and said that she "didn't have anyone to help her out and works full time as a single mom and would need time to look at schools by her".. I'm extremely busy (own my own business), but offered to research schools by her too because it needed to be done. I followed through, but in the end he (within a month of it first being discussed between her and me) was enrolled in a 3 day program by us.
2.) In order to enroll him in school we had to provide them with medical records. Although the child turned 3 in APRIL he had still not been to his annual checkup in SEPTEMBER. I made sure that was scheduled, and my husband and I brought him in. She doesn't follow through with the doctors advice to limit juice to 8 oz a day, and still gives him milk products even though the doctor recommended none.
3.) At the same time that we discussed his need for a checkup I mentioned the dentist, and that I'd seen black spots on a few of his teeth. I left that in her court thinking that she'd make an appointment... she never followed through so I scheduled an appointment for him (per my husband's request). When I informed her of the date/time/cavities she offered to take him, but at this point we don't trust her to pass along complete information to us.. and my husband would rather she not take him.
4.) He was in the ER for a stomach problem in April (when they were first told that he should have limited diary), and they said to take him for a follow up appointment within 2-3 days. She never took him.
5.) Now that he's in school she is only responsible for getting him there/picking him up 1/4 of the time. I (or my husband) do it the other 3/4. 2 times a month she is responsible in the same day for dropping him off AND picking him up... He missed the first time because "she couldn't wake him up", and had to reschedule the 2nd time because "she couldn't afford the gas to get there". Are you kidding me??? She went to a concert earlier in the week with friends (on one of the only 3 nights that she had him that week), but couldn't afford the gas to bring her child to school???
He may not be my child, and I might not have been around for his whole life, but I love him and want him to grow up to be a good, well rounded, person. He's our family's first child, the child that makes our marriage INTO a family, a sibling to the future kids that my husband and I have.... and I will love him unconditionally AS MY child because that's what he deserves. He never asked to be brought into this world, and It is our job (as parents) to nurture, love, discipline, teach, and protect this innocent little miracle.