Should a stepmother have a say in a childs life?

Brittney - posted on 09/25/2014 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My fiance has a 1 and a half year old son with his ex girlfriend. I have lots of experience with children. I've been babysitting since I was 10 and even raised 2 of my nieces. He has no experience with kids. So obviously when he has his son, I help him with his son. She has no experience with kids either. Every suggestion I make she says is dumb. Or she pretends to like my idea then later twists my words. I mentioned a bedtime schedule and she said kids shouldn't be on a bedtime schedule. The baby throws tantrums when it's bedtime, so we put him in his bed and let him have his tantrum. He got over it within 20 minutes.I even sat in the room with him (my fiance was at work). I told her about that and she said it seemed like a good idea. But later she told her boyfriend that I locked the baby in a room and ignored him all night. I asked why she said that and she said "well how do i know you dont do that?" She accused me of abusing the baby when my fiance asked why she wouldnt let him see the baby for any holidays and i confronted her. Her response was "im not there when you two have him.so how do i know youre not abusing him?" She says that i have no say in the babies life. I have tried talking to her and explaining that i dont want to take her place. But she won't listen. She's too busy being jealous that my fiance wont take her back. He told her he doesnt want her back and she thinks thats grounds for denying visitation. Am I overreacting, or is she out of line??

3 Comments

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Ev - posted on 09/25/2014

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You almost make it sound in your post like you know it all about raising kids. If this is their first child, of course, you would know a bit more about how to handle children but its totally different when its your own child. Without that experience of having one of your own, that makes a big difference. I have raised two kids and helped to a degree raise others related and unrelated. My kids also have step moms who have tried to tell me and dad how to do things (this after my kids were half grown already). You have to understand that if this is her first child she will be protective no matter if she does ask you questions or not but its dad's place to tell her and communicate things to her. It is also dad's place to make the major decisions with mom. As I did point out, what goes on in your house with him is none of her business really unless she asks how something went. She is jumpy because she is most likely scared that you might be trying to take her place or that she feels that she has nothing compared to your experiences in handling kids. One can babysit and help raise kids for year and years, but until one has had one of their own and has had to have a girlfriend, step mom or other come into the picture and have hands on to her children, you can not understand what she feels.

Brittney - posted on 09/25/2014

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Okay I never claimed to be an expert in childcare. She asked if the baby slept well at our house and my bf said yes. Then later she asked ME how we got him to sleep. So I told her. I realize that I didn't add this information. I didn't think it was relevant. But I guess it is. She is the one who usually asks me. She even told me that if I have a suggestion to tell her.

Ev - posted on 09/25/2014

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Actually you are out of line. You should not be addressing her on issues. It should be dad. You should not be giving HER advise unless she is the one that approaches you for it. Just because you have experience babysitting children and helping to raise two nieces does not make you an expert on other people's children and how to raise them. Though this is her and his first child, you have to expect that they do not know a lot because children do not come with a complete guide on how to raise them. As for the twisting of words and such, that is a lot of drama and you are playing into it. THEY need to sit down and come up with what THEY think is best for the care of their child and you should support that and implement it. You have no say over their child at all in important decisions. But in the house with you and the BF, if you two find a way to do something with the child that works then do so, but you do not have to tell her everything you do or she might still twist things around. A first time mom is going to be more protective of her child and you seem not to understand that. Add to that a girlfriend or fiance that is trying to place her 2 cents worth in. As for her withholding visitation, if there is a court order in place for visitation she would be in contempt of court. He would have to pursue this issue with court and an attorney, and there is nothing you can say in the matter either as you are not the parent. If there is no visitation or court orders in place, he is going to have to file for visitation to get her to comply with his ongoing visits. And she is also a tad out of line saying the twisted things she does. But you have to step back and let them parent this child how they feel necessary. You are not yet married to the guy so you are not quite a step mom. I know you take care of the child if dad is working and what not, but you have no rights where this child is concerned. I know you do not want to take her place and that is not necessarily the reason she is so resentful towards you. Its the way you offer advice when she never asked for it or how you might give your opinions when not asked for them either.

This is not meant attack you but you did want an honest answer.

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