Looking for advice from step moms

Mallory - posted on 12/04/2013 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I need help with a very complicated situation. I have two beautiful and very different stepchildren. To give you an overview of my problem, I met their father (Kenny) in march of 2011, him and his ex-wife were going through the divorce process when she had their second child on March 29th. Promptly after she gave birth to her son Ben she left the hospital... WITHOUT Ben. I began seeing their father romantically In the beginning of April, and obviously because we had just met (and I'm very young) we were not ready for me to be emotionally involved with his kids. So the "mother-son" bond made at birth was formed between Ben and Nana (Kenny's Mother) Ex-wife moved in with her new boyfriend and saw their daughter Lily (then 3 now 5) periodically throughout the custody battle, but wanted nothing to do with Ben and did not see him for the first 3 months of his life. During which she got pregnant with her new boyfriend and got engaged to him. When she did finally agree to take Ben for a weekend (because we wanted her to be in his life) we got him back and he was drinking out of a moldy bottle and had a diaper rash so bad he was bleeding. Kenny won primary custody of the kids, and after a year of being together I moved in with them. Lily and her mother are very close and I support that, despite the issues between me and her mother I have always strongly encouraged their relationship and would never say anything negative about her mother around Lily. But I find it extremely difficult to encourage a relationship between her and Ben when she basically abandon him and he gets ignored over there. If anyone should have the right to call themselves his mother it's Nana because she was there before I came in. But now that he's old enough to entertain himself and tell her that he's hungry or thirsty, or needs a new diaper (we're working on potty training at home but she always reverts him back) she suddenly wants to be his mother. Im sorry I know that's a long story but I really need help with this, and I know as a step mom I am NOT their mother... but it's so hard when I know he's not getting the love he needs from her.

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Jodi - posted on 12/04/2013

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With PPD, you can have negative feelings about one child but be perfectly fine with another all at the same time. That's how I felt with mine after I had my daughter. As Shawnn said, a traumatic experience can trigger it, and it is perfectly possible it has taken this long for her to deal with it. Abandoning him at a young age is not a good enough reason for her not to be able to come back into his life. A judge will also likely see it that way. Fathers abandon children to pregnant mothers ALL the time, and yet, they end up being able to be given a second chance. This should be no different.

Jodi - posted on 12/04/2013

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Is it possible she was suffering some sort of PPD and it is now getting better? While it may be difficult to understand how she could have been like this towards her son for this long, it is actually a very difficult thing to overcome. It took me 3 years. Sure, I didn't walk out on my child, but there are cases of extreme PPD, and maybe her feelings toward her son were a result of that?

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 12/04/2013

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PPD doesn't happen with every child, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was an issue with the younger, simply because of the situation. The divorce happened during the pregnancy. That could be considered a traumatic enough event on its own, topped with the birth of the child that she'd conceived with her husband who subsequently divorced her. (Or subsequently agreed to the divorce, whichever)

If she WANTS to be involved, you can't (and shouldn't) stop her. If Kenny doesn't feel (and has proof to back him up) that she should have unsupervised visits, then he can request supervised visitation, but if she's not been proven a danger to the child, and she is expressing a desire to be in his life, she needs to be given that chance.

Mallory - posted on 12/04/2013

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I have thought about that, and I don't know a lot about PPD. But would that only affect your relationship with one child? She acted the same around her daughter, and her son with her new husband. It is also really hard to tell with her because she has been diagnosed bi-polar and we never know if she is taking her medicine or not, which could be part of it too.

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