New stepmom is trying to tell me how to raise my kids...

Niki - posted on 04/19/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Ok my exhusband is getting married in a month or so and they see the kids every week. Well his girlfriend who will be my children's stepmom is now trying to tell me that I spoil my kids too much and that I am not strict with them. My 3 year old son is a very big momma's boy so normally won't listen to anyone but me. My 2 year son is daddy's boy and our 7 month old daughter is momma's girl. The baby crys when I leave the room and looks for me, the 3 year old tells the new stepmom to go away and the 2 year old won't leave daddy's side. I don't know how to get her to understand that they aren't being babied they are just not use to her. Any advice befor I yank my hair out?

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Jackie - posted on 04/29/2010

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Well Sarah, I guess it depends how you define being a parental figure. B/c yes, if this CHILD is in my house, I do expect them to respect and listen to me just like my own child does. Yes they have a mother, but she doesn't come to our house with him....there's no reason he should get to run wild and do whatever he pleases just b/c she isn't there. So ya not trying to take over the life type of mom, but the way I read your post it's like you are saying dad is the only one that has a say and if dads not around anything goes......NOT OK. My 1 yr old isn't going to get corrected for things and watch her older "brother" get away with it just b/c i'm not his mother so he doesn't have to do what i say....I don't think so. I'm not teaching my toddler that double standards are ok just b/c he has a mother at a different house. Sorry. (And P.S. Sarah, I don't meant that to be an attack on you, just a general comment about the role of step parents. I just don't believe in the "be friends" thing b/c that leads to no respect - not the type you give a parent anyways)

Geralyn - posted on 04/24/2010

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I agree with the other mom that getting along for the sake of the children is a good thing. I am confused though... how does the fact that the children do not listen to their father and step mother become your problem? They listen to you in your home. It sounds more to me that the soon to be step mom should be more frustrated with the lack of parenting skill that their dad has.... My son listens to both of us - because we parent equally. This seems like a situation where perhaps the dad has been somewhat absent - whether simply caused by circumstances of not living with the children and "visiting." The dad and step mom have to learn to teach respect, following directions, etc.... I am not sure why it should fall on Brittney, solely. I do agree with Jackie that because Brittney has been the "primary" parent, you should talk with your children. I think it should be done very positively (not "discipline") with your children about how they should respond to the dad and dtep mom... good behavior in that house... etc. It will help. And then there will be peace and no issues.

Jackie - posted on 04/28/2010

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Well I am a step mom myself in a less than desirable situation...so one thing I will say is it almost doesn't matter what you say, you will almost always be made out to be the "evil step mother" by anyone who is not a step mom. No one who isn't in that situation has the slightest clue what it's really like and think it should be no big deal to blend a family like that. Well...IT IS a big deal, and many times it doesn't go smoothly...and the other side will always point fingers....but it's not worth it to get bothered by it. The only people's advice I will even consider are those that are step moms...b/c they are the only ones who know what its really like.

Nakita - posted on 04/26/2010

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Remind her who is the parent, yes she will help your ex-husband but she is not your replacement or your monitor. let her know what you will tolerate and what you will not. you need to talk to your ex- husband and he needs to talk to her.

Tomi - posted on 04/26/2010

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The best thing you can do for your kids is to try to get along with this woman. She certainly doesn't have the right to tell you how to raise your children, but she is most likely just trying to fit in and be "minded" and truly doesn't know how else to express that. So, it comes out as a criticism of you.
You would be doing yourself and your children a world of good if you try to see her side as well. She's probably just as terrified of this situation as you are and as your sweet little ones are. And if she doesn't have any children of her own, her inexperience is adding to her difficulty. Having children is not like the movies. They cry, they get mad, the throw tantrums, they spill things, they keep you up, and Toddlers don't listen to their own parents in their own surroundings half the time, let alone a new person in their lives.
And now she has three children at once who don't listen to her. It has to be daunting at best.
As she spends time with them, they will start to trust her more and listen to her better when they are at her house.

The very best advice I can give you is to have a heart to heart with her. She's not the enemy. You don't have to be best friends, but you do need to be on good terms for the sake of the kids. It's so hard in both of your situations to remember that the kids are the most important part and your own hurts need to be put aside for them. They are watching you all and learning how to deal with others based on what they are seeing. So, you need to be the person you want them to grow up to be in all of this.
Let her know what you are feeling and listen to what she has to say in return. Try to find a common ground. If she wont come around, then just smile and thank her for her advise
If you have a 7 month old and he's already getting re-married...he doesn't sound like the lasting commiment kind so she may not be in your lives forever. But you can't operate as if that may be the case, you need to work it out.

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Arreyn - posted on 11/10/2012

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As a stepmom, I can tell you that the roles of a stepmother are many, varied, and complicated, but rule number 1 is DIPLOMACY. Sounds like this woman, whether she has a point or not, has seriously overstepped herself.



Now that I've agreed with you, advice: tell your ex to keep her in line. Sounds harsh, but really, if you're able, sit down just the two of you and ask him to remind her (privately and nicely) that she is the newcomer in this situation and needs to act accordingly. These are not her children, and much as she might become an important figure in their lives, that will take time and a lot of work on her part. You've done the grunt work of raising these kids-- she has to earn the privilege of voicing her opinions to you.

Mommy - posted on 11/09/2012

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First of all if children have two decent parents, a mother and a father, then no step parent should try and replace that or act in a motherly or fatherly role and try and take over. This happenes so much...."oh this is my kid too." Well news flash....when people divorce that steochild is no longer "your kid too". I was a stepmom and it was ten times harder than being a mom, and the best thing for a stepparent to do is shut their mouth, be a friend and communicate to their spouse about problems. Sure, correct kids just as you do when neighbor kids and your childrens friends come to visit, dont let them control your house. But major issues should be handled by the childrens biological "active" parents. My ex has had three wives, his older son has had two stepmoms and now he is working on wife number 4. So this will be my sons first stepmom if it works out. I will not allow her to make decisions ro have her input in decisions regarding my son. And now days there actually laws you can put in your custody plans that say that as the "biological" parent you have to prevent interferance from the new spouse in the event of remarriage. I believe this is a great thing. Too many people, esp women come in and try to control situations with other people's children. And that is wrong and unfair to children and the parents who have raised them. In being a parent, you can screw up, you may yell, spank, have lapses in judgement and its just considered a parental mistake. WHen step parents do it, its a deal breaker. They are automatically the eveil "stepparent" My ex step son would act so sweet to me when his dad wasnt around and then when he was around hang his head and pout like I was so horrible. I got treated like crap because of it, and in the end he was just being a kid that knew how to push his dads buttons against me. But i let it really get to me and it changed my attitude completely on stepparenting. Its a tight rope. And no matter what, you never ever replace or hold a canlde to the childs "real" parent. And if you try, you are just hurting yourself, the child, and the real parents. Don't ever let a stepparent, esp one who has never had children of their own tell you how your child needs to change or be raised.

Marcella - posted on 05/02/2010

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this joel wish i could post on my own name but i'm a father well for one my fiancee has had 4 kids of her own and as far as the reports go from court she is an asset to the kids in parenting and for another I left my wife at the time after the kids were taken from us cause i blamed her for it but i admit it was my fault to so as far as i'm concerned ya'll need to stay out of our business unless your helping us and keep your bs to yourself

Jane - posted on 05/02/2010

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give yourself a pat on the back b/c i would've beaten the crap out her by now. what an ass! tell her she should read some parenting books or tell her if it's too much, you're happy to keep them on the weekends w/you. your ex needs to step up and handle her, not you. she shouldn't be marrying someone w/kids b/c she obviously too self-centered and is jealous of the kids. i think it's his to handle. and if she comes to you again, you can say whatever you like to her.

good luck.

Katie - posted on 04/29/2010

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Well no offense but the new step mom to be is prob going to be in the pic for awhile so I think you dad and her need to sit down first with out the kids and set up some comon rules and consiquensis for when the rules are broken together then the three of you after they are all worked out need to sit down with all the children and tell them the new rules and what will happen if they break the rules. also try doing a play date with all of you together so the kids can get to know the new step mom. I know as a mom we all tend to feel like we should be able to do things our own way but sometimes we need to step back and listen to what others are telling us. as for the three yr old even if he is a mommas boy he need to know that he has to listen to other ppl weather he likes it or not specialy if you are not around. He should not be telling her to go away thats very rude im shocked that a parent would allow their child to talk to someone like that and or think its cute. its pretty normal though for the children to be more clingy though when some one new is around though so i wouldnt worry about that. my concern is with the three yr old boys behavior.

Jackie - posted on 04/29/2010

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No I don't think she should have to change her parenting either....she can let her kids run wild while with her if she wants...but the step mother shouldn't have to deal with that. There is no reason why the kids shouldn't have to listen to her too is my point.

Sarah - posted on 04/29/2010

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Jakie, as a parent i don't believe in the" friend" method but if someone is entering there lives in a later stage she has to develop their trust and by being a friend instead of a authority figure it will come easier.
I also never said to let only the dad deal with it or to let them run a muck.
I just don't think the mother who posted this conversation should have to change her parenting to accommodate their step mother.
I also don't believe in double standards...I may not have any step children but if I am watching other children I treat them no different then my own even when their doing something wrong.

Sarah - posted on 04/29/2010

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well a stepmother doesn't necessarily have to be a mother figure...you and a their dad are still active parents in their life and this maybe a confusing time for them...I think you should explain to her that maybe she should concentrate on maybe being a friend to your kids...they already have two active parents
aslong as your children respect her or learn to I don't think there would be a problem and reasure your kids that she isn't going to replace you.
I didn't take to well to mystep dad...at first things were great...I had a big buddy but when he moved in... oh boy!! He tried to be a father figure and I had a dad.

Marcella - posted on 04/27/2010

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Jackie the problem is if I say anything it is automatically taken as a "threat" or something along that line. I stated what I saw and have experienced in the past never once did I "tell" her how to raise her children it is not my place I know my place, the children are not in either one of our care at this point and I wont indulge. Yes there is a 7 month old involved but the problems in the marriage was thee long before I came around, the older children do like me the oldest never tells me to go away and the younger one does not cling to daddy. I let the boys call me whatever they want and some days its one thing somedays it is another as long as it is appropriate that is fine. I only know how to be a mom I do not know how to "limit" my love for these children as I was raised by a man who adopted me, there is my side oh and to let all know my children are soon to be 21 years and 19 years so yes I do have a "little" bit experience

Jackie - posted on 04/27/2010

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Marcella, if you want to tell your side of the story then tell it...I would think that's why you even bothered to read this post in the first place.

Marcella - posted on 04/26/2010

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I do have children everyone that post in fact I am a grandmother and yes they have a 7 month old and were together for quite a while. I am really getting quite upset that I am being made out to be an evil stepmom and no one asks what my side of the story is

Geralyn - posted on 04/24/2010

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Very sad situation for the children. I am not interested in reading this post anymore.

Annemaree - posted on 04/23/2010

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ok well first up she has no right on telling u how to raise ur kids or weather u can spoil them or not after all U r the mother ......fair eneoughit would be a tough situation for her not to be able to controll the kids when they r under her roof but she has to understand these children are young and have to fully understand whats going on with mum n dad n what roll this new lady has in there lives they will eventually work out n probly start being good for her but in the meantime always remember u are there mum n she has to relise that u will do as u want with your babies she has no right sure u may have different concepts of bringing children up ,but she should compromise with u on there upbringing and she should give the kids time to adjust to her ....good luck luv!

Angela - posted on 04/19/2010

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They r your kid thats y she is saying that. She want the childern to respect her and she is not getting that she might never get that. u will always be there mother and they love u. this stanger in there live took day away from there momy thats what they see. its going to take time for them to get use to the hole thing. she need to understand what they r going its not spoilling them they just don't know her like they know u . she need to bond with them just like u . tell she need to take the effort to get to know them and they might like her. try to understand what the childern r going through its hard for them.

Kristen - posted on 04/19/2010

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I'm sure if I was in your position I'd take anything the stepmom says personally too. HOwever, you aren't doing your kids any favors if they are not taught to be reasonably obedient with adults other than yourself, especially with the new stepmom. If she doesn't have kids of her own, she's going to be especially green in the parenting department, so after at least trying to discuss with your children that she is apart of their family and they need to be respectful of her also, it may also do good to try and come to some sort of understanding with the ex so he can help her learn how to be the kind of parent your kids need. I do agree though that its in everybody's best interest to at least try to get along, because no kids want to be in the middle of feuding adults. Good luck!

Connie - posted on 04/19/2010

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bottom line in my opinion is that it is none of her business how you choose to raise your kids and it's natural for the kiddos to want to be around their mom more. not trying to say she doesn't matter and whatnot, i don't think it's her place to tell you how to raise your kids. yes they do need to get more used to her and that will happen, but she can't expect change overnight. secondly, they will have their own rules at their house and that may conflict with what goes on in yours. that's ok. the children will learn that different people handle things differently.

from experience (my oldest son has a stepmom) it really works when everyone can get along, so i wouldn't suggest saying it's none of your business! but being able to talk things out and sort them out as adults will be easier on everyone especially the kiddos. i feel lucky and privaleged to have such an agreeable step mom on my side and helping to raise my son. luckily we're similar enough to not argue about everything, and i have a better relationship with her than i do with my son's father. more in that we are able to hang out alot and do stuff together, not just parent together.

Jackie - posted on 04/19/2010

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I PROMISE you 100% that no matter how this comes out I am not trying to offend you. =) It's just that I am that step mom...not specifically like that one, but just a step mom in general. For my husbands son he was much older, so the true "baby attachment" issues weren't there. But regardless, he could do without me.

As far as how to get through to her...it really depends what type of person she is and what type of relationship you have maintained with your ex. You can and should have him try to explain it first. Obviously she can't tell you what to do when they are at your house....but I can say from her point of view, it's nearly impossible to have someone else's kids come into your house that are the complete opposite of what you expect from a child...and still have harmony. I understand they only go there to "visit", but if they are getting married it's her house too. I get that your son many not like to listen to anyone but you, but that doesn't make it ok. The way I was raised, you listen to and respect any adult in your life. Your 3 y/o is old enough for you to have a basic conv. with about how he needs to listen to more than just you.

I mean I could go on about this forever really, lol, but bottom line is I am just trying to convey that yes they are you and your husbands kids, but they are part of her life and in her and your ex-husbands home now. So it does affect her, and it's not something you can even conceive of if you have never had a step child yourself, that's all.

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