Step mom over stepping boundaries on social media

Jacqueline - posted on 05/18/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I love the fact that my son has a great step mom, but there are several things that are really getting to me. 1. After my son's dad and step mom got married, she dyed her hair blonde to look more like my son's mom when they are out in public. She doesn't correct anyone when they say "what a beautiful son you have". 2. She has continually posted photos of my son, over what is considered "normal" (a photo here and there) of my son. I have asked her not to do that anymore, and she has disregarded my request. Everyone thinks she's his mom. Our mutual friends thought he was hers until they saw me with my son, and asked what I was doing with her kid?!. And 3. They won't let me trim my own sons hair. I feel as if my moments of having a son are taken away. If I say anything, they somehow with quiet voices and kind words make me come across like I'm being abrasive, but I think I'm only requesting to have the same authority of my son that I'm giving to them. Ultimately, it's about my son's happiness, so I don't make a fuss or express more than an uncomfortable feeling here and there. Am I wrong in my feelings or requests, or should I just let this go?. We share 50/50 custody (if anyone was curious).

She's now pregnant with her first child, and I'm happy for her. But still overdoing it with photos of my son in everything! Publishing videos, talking about my son's first and last day of school, how big he's getting... Just really weirding me out inside.

Please advise.

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 05/19/2016

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Ok, out of the gate, you’ve confused me. Are you, or are you not the child’s biological mother? If you are, why do you state this: “1. After my son's dad and step mom got married, she dyed her hair blonde to look more like my son's mom when they are out in public”~~I realize this is semantics, but its strange. Do you always refer to yourself in the third person? The second thing about this statement that sticks out is that you are attempting to exert control over another human being’s choices. She’s an individual, and as such, gets to choose things like hair color, etc. I change mine regularly.

“She doesn't correct anyone when they say "what a beautiful son you have".”~~Ok, so you’d rather she make a big deal about the kid being her STEP??? You really want to keep putting that label up, which may be making the child uncomfortable? Personally, I think it’s much more uncomfortable for a child to hear “He’s not my son, he’s my STEP child”…way to allow the love to flow there!

“2. She has continually posted photos of my son, over what is considered "normal" (a photo here and there) of my son. I have asked her not to do that anymore, and she has disregarded my request”~~Yeah, and you’re not the only biological parent here. The kid has a father…Ever think that HE may have granted permission to post photos of HIS son???

Furthermore, nitpicking over who give the kid a haircut is just that, nitpicking. If you are THAT disturbed by all of this, then I’d suggest two things: 1) request mediation to decide who gets to choose things like who cuts the kids hair. To me, that’s beyond petty, but if it will make you feel better to have your thumb on every single aspect of your child’s life with HIS FATHER, then go for it. I’m not sure a judge would consider the petition, but… and 2) counseling. It doesn’t sound as if you’re adjusting well to the situation.

Ev - posted on 05/19/2016

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1. After my son's dad and step mom got married, she dyed her hair blonde to look more like my son's mom when they are out in public. She doesn't correct anyone when they say "what a beautiful son you have".~~~~~~~Okay, on this dying of hair, unless you heard it from her or dad, you do not know for a fact that she did it to look more like she was your son's mom. And in public does it matter that he is her "son" or not. It makes it easier on the family being out and less of an embarassment if they have to give a long explanation of things. It is no ones business.~~~~~~~~~~

2. She has continually posted photos of my son, over what is considered "normal" (a photo here and there) of my son. I have asked her not to do that anymore, and she has disregarded my request. Everyone thinks she's his mom. Our mutual friends thought he was hers until they saw me with my son, and asked what I was doing with her kid?!.~~~~~~~~~~While she should have listened and not posted so much of your son online I have to agree with the others that there is no control here over her use of social media and you can not forbid her to do it. Be glad that she is so involved with your son and is proud to post those pictures! She could be the wicked witch of the west for that matter. My kids have had two step moms and both were horrid to them. I am not saying all step moms are that way but in their case that was what ended up happening. And of course the second step mom did post pictures on facebook or other social media as a family or school events I could not make it too. I never once yelled about that. Sometimes it was the only way I knew what the kids were up to if I checked her facebook and my ex husbands time to time. It was a good chance to be informed indirectly.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And 3. They won't let me trim my own sons hair. I feel as if my moments of having a son are taken away. If I say anything, they somehow with quiet voices and kind words make me come across like I'm being abrasive, but I think I'm only requesting to have the same authority of my son that I'm giving to them. Ultimately, it's about my son's happiness, so I don't make a fuss or express more than an uncomfortable feeling here and there. Am I wrong in my feelings or requests, or should I just let this go?. We share 50/50 custody (if anyone was curious).~~~~~~~~~~~~~~You are allowing them to dictate to you what you can or can not do with your own son. If you want to do this then do it. Do not allow them to run over you.

Raye - posted on 05/19/2016

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How old is the step-mom? How long has she been in the picture? And how old is your son?

I am a step-mom, and I would like to weigh in here...

First, I want to say that your feelings are what they are. So I wouldn't say that you're wrong for having them. But there's probably a lot more to the story.

1) Did someone tell you that she dyes her hair to appear closer in resemblance to your son, or is that just your opinion? Lots of people dye their hair for lots of different reasons. Unless you've heard it from her, then I would dismiss this.

I have an internal fight with myself every time someone makes a comment about "my kids" on whether it's appropriate to tell them that I am "only" the step-mom. I AM helping raise them. And it's really nobody else's business what our personal relationships are. I don't usually correct strangers when they make those comments, and I don't feel bad about it because who cares what strangers think anyway. And if I keep correcting people, it could be misconstrued by the kids that I don't want to be a mother figure to them, which would be untrue. I don't want to replace their mother, but I love them and do want to be a good step-mom to them.

There was an incident at a restaurant early in our relationship where the waitress told the kids to "ask mom and dad" about dessert. My boyfriend's son (now my step-son) made a statement of fact that I was not his "real" mom. The waitress was very uncomfortable about that and we barely saw her the rest of our meal. I know he was not intending to hurt my feelings by saying it, but I was a little sad that he felt he had to point it out to a stranger, and as I said it made the waitress feel awkward as well.

At one of my step-son's baseball games last year, his mother went up to talk to the league manager. Afterward he asked my husband and I who that woman was. I said that's Drew's mom. He was surprised and sad he thought I was Drew's mom, because he'd seen me at all the practices, but not her. So, if people (especially someone you called your friend) are mistaking someone else for his mother, then maybe that should make you consider how involved you are in his activities. I don't know you, so don't take offense. But my step-kids' mom has cancelled on birthdays, Mother's Day, not shown up to recitals and sports games. So if she chooses not to give attendance in her kids' lives, then why should I feel bad for being mistaken as their mom because I show up and support them? Isn't that what a mom (even a step-"mom") should do?

2) About photos on social media... FaceBook is the devil in my opinion. I try very hard not to overstep my role as step-mom on FB, even when I am so proud of their achievements, and their mom has yet again let them down and not shown up to an event. I generally let their father post anything he feels he wants to share. I have occasionally posted some photos while on vacation and tagged their mother so she could see what they were doing and know they're safe. But I refrain from making any other comments. Your son's step-mom should respect your wishes if you ask her to stop posting, but you can't control her. And you're letting her control you if you keep getting bent out of shape about it. I would just set your preferences to hide her posts if she won't stop and it's upsetting to you, or you can make comments about how great your son looks and thank her for keeping you updated on your son. Kill her with kindness, then she won't get the pleasure of seeing you upset. She's probably feeling very insecure about herself and trying to overcompensate to make her feel like she'll be a good mommy to her baby.

3) How do they "not let you" trim your son's hair? Do they take the scissors out of your hand? You have 50/50 custody, so you should have "moments" that you're spending with him that they don't get to have with him. And yes, there are some things you're going to miss out on when it's their time. But make the most of what time you DO spend with him. Again, you can't control what happens in their house. And they can't control what happens at yours. Who knows what's going to happen when she has her baby, and your son may need you even more in the near future. Be there for him. Help him through any insecurity or other feelings he may have about his new half-sibling. You can be the bigger person and help your son know he's loved in both households.

Just my two cents.

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Michelle - posted on 05/19/2016

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Why do you have to ask them if your son needs a haircut? You take him and get it done.
If your mutual friends though he was her son then they aren't very good friends with you.

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