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Author Topic: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........  (Read 8254 times)

shawneetears

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Ok,  I have my own opinion on this but I was curious about what others think.  All opinions are welcome even if I don't agree ( doubt you will change my thinking but you might make me think harder)

What makes a good step-parent?  What kind of role should they play in their SS or DD (steps of course) lives?  What if BM or BD is a decent person and on their own a good parent but unreasonable with the ex spouse (ie intent on doing anything to irritate them - not the extremes just generally being an pain in the butt anytime they can get away with it without the child(ren) getting wind of it short of NCP ratting the CP out...or vice versa)  How far should you go and when do you back off or do you?

Yeah I am opening a big can of worms here but conversation is good and the exchange of ideas is healthy.  Just play nice :)

Wish you all the best life has to offer! :)


leftoverinmn

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #1 on: Nov 27, 2004, 09:22:51 PM »
Just MHO, the job of a step-parent is to be a good friend, and a good host.

(Maid was not included in my list)


joni

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #2 on: Nov 28, 2004, 10:51:04 AM »

A stepparent's role is one of a mentor and a good life example.  

Stepchildren are not your children.  Regardless of the actions of the birthparents, it is not the stepparents role to be actively involved in the birthparent's turmoil.  A stepparent should be supporting, in the background, the birthparent they're married to.  Let the parents duke it out for themselves, it's their baggage to bear.  Practice at taking lots of deep breaths and biting your tongue.

I personally, am not involved in any of my husband's issues with his Ex wife regarding each other and their child.   I never have any discussions with the birthmother regarding her child.  It's not my business.

stepmom

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #3 on: Dec 01, 2004, 04:22:58 PM »
But doesn't the issue become the stepparent's issue as well when it affects them also.  For example as hard as I try to stay out of the issues the BM constantly called our house even knowing her ex was @ work and always fought with me and wanted me to relay messges.  I know she was jealous and furious that her daughter liked me and I have my own 2 1/2 year old daughter that I do not want this to affect.  As an example the language that is used and the way she acts I don't want my daughter to witness that.  I don't have any control on how she acts around her kids but I'll be darned if my daughter will be subjected to that.

joni

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #4 on: Dec 01, 2004, 08:22:55 PM »

Even more of a reason to disengage and stepaway.  Don't let the BM use you like this because she's too afraid to consult her Ex.

Don't answer the phone.  Get caller ID.  Don't engage this woman in her pettiness and disrespect for you and your own daughter.  You are absolutely right about that.  But engaging her like this will not put an end to it.  It only fuels her.

I understand your frustration and anger.  I share in it and have lived it for four years with my DH's Ex.  Last Christmas, I decided to emotionally disengage because I could no longer subject myself to the BM's direct assault and abuse on me.  It was ruining the quality of my life.  The only fights my DH and I had were over his friggin' Ex wife.  ENOUGH!

We took my 7 y.o. SD to airport  two weekends before Christmas last year.  SD was sobbing, didn't want to go home.  We were in the departure area of the drop off and I picked my SD up to hug and console her and to get her to stop crying.  My DH was getting her luggage out of the trunk.  That BM came up behind me and ripped that child out of my arms.

Could she be more jealous and petty?  The low self esteem she has that the jealously overwhelms her so much that she would rip a child out of a stepparent's arms instead of giving us one minute to finish our good byes at a respectful distance?  God forbid.

That was it.  I got caller ID.  I don't answer the phone when she calls the house (she's supposed to be calling my DH's cell but doesn't comply).  If I go to the airport with DH for the drop offs, I make him park in the hourly parking and he walks his child into the airport lobby.  I will not subject myself or my son to this evil BM's abuse.


oklahoma

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #5 on: Dec 02, 2004, 01:52:21 PM »
I can't just disengage as a stepparent.  I can certainly avoid conversing or associating with BM, or at least keep it at a minimum--I've always done that.  My part in legal issues is almost non-existant.  But when I am not a PARENT to my SDs, my entire family is affected in negative ways.  There are many behaviors that SDs bring into my home--accepted by BM, not accepted by my husband and I--which my 4 yo watches very carefully and then adopts.  (For example, we have been dealing with OSD putting down YSD, speaking to her very meanly.  My 4 yo is starting to use those same mannerisms in speaking to my 2 yo.)  If I leave the whole mess up to my husband, who is not home all the time as I am, then I have an even bigger mess to clean up with our small children.

When I first met my husband and he first told me about having two daughters from a previous marriage, I was completely clueless about the impact that would have on our marriage and family!!  I considered some of the more obvious issues, like having to pay child support, having to see BM at special events, etc.  But even after almost 5 years of marriage, I am finding ways that BM somehow manages to intrude upon our lives (and I think most of the time she doesn't even realize it.)  Very frustrating!  But, my husband did not marry me just so that he could still raise his daughters by himself....  It's not fair to make him do so.

joni

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #6 on: Dec 02, 2004, 02:29:12 PM »

I haven't disengaged from my stepdaughter.  Her and I are very close and I treat her the same as my own child.  In fact, SD once told me that I treat her better than I do my own child (my son was 2 y.o. at the time, you know how 2 y.o.'s can be!).  Many times my SD has told me she forgets I'm her SM and sometimes she thinks I'm her real mom.  The house rules apply equally to everyone who lives here.  Often, SD is solely in  my care due to DH's work schedule.

I've disengaged from my husband's Ex wife and their turmoil.  The decisions regarding their daughter is between them.  I would never give my DH's ex wife any opinions regarding her own child.  If you read one of the posts above here, the SM was stating the BM was trying to send message via the SM to the child's father.  That's wrong, wrong, wrong.


4honor

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Having had 2 SM's and having been a SM for nearly 10 years...
« Reply #7 on: Dec 08, 2004, 09:07:00 PM »
The most valuable thing one can give their step child (and I received this gift from my second SM) is to be brutally honest with a step child about their own life and to speak in nothing but generalities about their other parent (not the spouse) while supporting and loving their spouse.

For example. I messed up big. BM pulled no punches and showed me my own responsibility in the matter. BUT she never bad mouthed my mother. She promised me she would never tell me a lie or offer advice about my parents. She kept her promises. She loved me for me and we built our relationship on our own, apart from our mutual love for my father. She was a REAL PARENT, the ideal parent, not some mock old "friend". I didn't need a friend. I needed a parent who would do the right thing for me.

My father showed very little back bone after the divorce and my mother was queen PAS'er. But my step mom became someone I could trust, even when I was not sure I could trust my parents (after all, they had a vested interest.)

[First SM was avindictive evil woman who went after my father because her ex cheated on her... she ended up cheating with the (female) skank next door.]

My SM, Norman Jean, died three years ago and I cried harder for her loss than for my own mother's loss in 1987.

So, when I became a SM, I promised SS I would never tell him a lie and if he wanted advice about his parents he needed to talk to grammy. I love SS more than I hate BM for the torment she has put SS  and DH through. I parent him the way he should be parented. We build our relationship apart from our mutual love for DH. I see SS warts and all and love him because I chose to, not because I am supposed to. SS will leave the house without kissing DH goodbye sometimes, but he always comes back to hug and kiss me

...much to his mother's chagrin.
A true soldier fights, not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves whats behind him...dear parents, please remember not to continue to fight because you hate your ex, but because you love your children.

Coty

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #8 on: Dec 09, 2004, 03:16:49 PM »
I think it depends on the situation, actually.  I am a csm with no contact from bm, and I have taken over as mom because ss had no other, and dh asked for my help.  

Before bm took a hike, I stayed out of their arguments, didn't go to mediation appts, kept my mouth shut, basically.  My input to dh was the only way I was involved.  

Like I said, bm has been out of the loop for years, and imo, has no rights to ss.  She has really done a number on him, and me and dh as well with her absence.  

smtotwo

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I was going to post this but this seems like a good place
« Reply #9 on: Dec 12, 2004, 10:15:28 AM »
to ask some advice.

I, too stay out of DH's and ex'sparenting.

But for me its gotten complicated.  A little background...when my ex and I were separated I wrote checks for groceries and school clothes for my children, my ex was supposed to turn over half of state and federal income tax checks.  Instead he signed my name and I had planned on using this money to cover the checks.  STUPID I know that, but at that time I was quite desperate.   I was charged for writing the checks and given probation until they were paid.

The problem we're having now is that when on probation you can be put in jail when ANYONE claims you've done something, while they investigate.  DH's ex found out that I'm on probation. Now every time she gets angry at him she calls probation and claims I've done something wrong.  In the past year and a half I've spent 20 days in jail (2 times 10 days each).  Both times her claims were deemed false.  But through probation I have no recourse.

I'm thinking that maybe I should file a civil suit against her, the most recent time was last week and I lost both my jobs.  And coincidently, her claims came just 2 days after stepson was punished for stealing at our house.
Any suggestions?  I'm to the point where I'm seriously considering asking DH to leave.  This affects not just me, but my 13 yr old as well.
Of course if we separate then she gets exactly what she wants, to make DH's life a living hell!!

HELP!!

shawneetears

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RE: I was going to post this but this seems like a good place
« Reply #10 on: Dec 13, 2004, 12:40:46 AM »
Yikes!!
Ok, you made a mistake in trusting someone who is obviously NOT trustworthy...lesson well learned I am sure.
Question....where did he cash the checks?  You see if he signed your name he has committed forgery.  I don't know but maybe you have some recourse there with the bank or the IRS...it may have been too long but it won't hurt to check into it.  Banks are supposed to have BOTH people sign and present ID.
Please look into the civil suit....this BFH has cost you money as well as putting you and your family through the ringer IMHO she deserves what she gets...this is pure meanness.
You need to have along talk with your PO....does he know everything that is going on? You have to stay sqeaky clean (and I am sure you know that).
Is there any chance of getting a loan to pay off the debts? What about DH...can he help? For now you might be better off working with a temp agency...sign up with several...at least then you don't have to worry about losing a job you want to keep... sign up with a couple of them and you can get more hours and many pay weekly.
Look, don't seperate just because of this woman and her machinations..... Talk to DH, tell him how you feel. Talk to your son...he is entitled to know what is going on.  And above all, talk to an attorney.... you may not be able to do anything while on probation but if you can find a way...beg, borrow, pawn...whatever... to raise the money to get it over with...  Then you can do something.... in the meantime you need some advise.  Some places even have legal aide.... they might be of some help.
 
wish you all the best life has to offer!  :)

smtotwo

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #11 on: Dec 14, 2004, 07:27:15 AM »
The first question people ask me about DH's ex is did he leave her for me?  Because of her jealous and out of control behaviour!  And no he didn't leave her, she left him and was already remarried when DH and I met.

DH and I have begun therapy, not for ourselves but to help us deal with her and her actions.  

The therapist thinks that the ex has borderline personality disorder.  

Yes, everyday we as second wives have to deal with the fallout from these ex's.  Unfortunately.  I have even recently considered separating from DH because of his ex.  But I shouldn't have to live my life around her,  and this has been going on for soooo long now that  I REFUSE TO LET HER WIN!! And if I left him then she'd get what she's worked so hard for, to make dh miserable.

joni

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I'm with you sister!
« Reply #12 on: Dec 14, 2004, 08:34:23 AM »
Feel the exact same way at times.  Hate that BM can make me regret my relationship at times.

wendl

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #13 on: Dec 14, 2004, 06:31:17 PM »
God do I know how you feel, however dh and I have never let the bm ruin our relationship as hard as she may try. I guess we are lucky cuz we talk everything over. And we love eachother to much that her drama will not take over our lives, we only have control over ourselves, so let her make an ass of herself and smile while she is doing it.

Think long and hard before deciding to seperate with dh, I think the counseling will be good for both of you.

Also dh and I have decided to enjoy life and not let anything the thing does bother us or get us upset at one another.

Remember, we can only control our own actions, and don't get trapped into her crazy drama games, you two are better than that.


Believe me there is a brighter side one you can do that. But it take hard work from both you and dh.

**These are my opinions, they are not legal advice**

shawneetears

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #14 on: Dec 20, 2004, 11:29:29 AM »
I started this line because I am going to become a SM next year.  I had a wonderful SF who was more of a Dad than my BF; not that my BF was bad or that he didn't love me; I know he did but being in the service he just could not be around very much. My mother was always positive in anything she had to say about him.  I was lucky.

All that said, I can only hope I am as good at being a step parent as my dad was.  He was my mentor, my teacher and as much a parent as our situation called for.

And that seems to the the consensus....it all depends on the situation.  If the child has two biological parents who are willing and able to parent the child then they should be allowed to do just that. A step parent should be a bonus, friend, mentor, role model.  I know there are situations where the step parent has to parent just as much as the natural parent but they shouldn't try to replace or oust the other parent.

Just MHO.

wish you all the best life has to offer!  :)

flewwellin

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #15 on: Dec 29, 2004, 10:03:28 AM »
I absolutely adore my step kids.  I have a 5 yr old SD and a 3 yr old SS. Now so far their BM hasn't interfered with my relationship with the kids.  Then again she spends all her time trying to damage their relationship with their BD.  My hubby and the BM can never have a polite conversation so a lot of our problems unfortunately end up solved in court.  Right now we have paperwork about to be filed about this holiday's visitation interference.  That's a different topic though.  
           I think that as long as you are there for the kids and are willing to bend over backwards for the children than you are a good step parent of course more goes into that.  Treating them like your own, loving them, providing for them, etc.
          As for how far I'll go and when i back off.  I never back off of the BM.  She then will think she has the upper hand.  The only way i've learned to deal with her as of yet.  Still new at the step parenting thing. :D and as for my hubby, well he really has the final say because they truly are his kids.  BUT i have a lot of sway with what is or isn't done about most things.  He tends to be more giving in certain aspects that I would fight tooth and nail about.  But that goes back to picking your battles.  

rachaelmomma

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #16 on: Jan 02, 2005, 07:05:01 PM »
Shawneetears,

I think a good step mom is many things.

A provider - You will be expected to provide a warm, clean, and loving environment for the stepchild/children when they are in your care.

A friend - You are not your Skids mom (provided that you will be NCP and that the BM is relatively saine and takes decent care of her kids) You can therefore occupy the role of confidant for issues that are not serious and you can be the "cool" older girl/woman that your step children can look up to.  A note about confidentiality... make it clear to your skids that you are there for them to talk to if they would like to discuss things with you however if you feel that anything they say could put them in harms way it is your right and duty to discuss it with their father.

A role model - The BM and BD have a lot of emotion tied up in this battle.  You don't.  You can see things much more clearly than they can and as my MIL recently told My DH's Ex "Rachael is the only one of the the three of you who truely only has the best interests of SD at heart not winning stupid head games"  GO GRANNY!!  This does not mean that BM or your DH will listen to a word you have to say but that you are most likely the parental figure who can see the truth of any situation without bitterness, or "my-perfect-angel" syndrom clouding the view.

A parental figure - If you are NCP then you are an athority figure and a parental figure but you are ultimately not the parent and therefore final say and any physical punishment should be left up to BM or BD.  However, it is your house too and therefore your Skids should follow your house rules and treat you with respect.  They should treat you as an athority figure in their lives.  If you are CP then you will most likely take on more of the MOM roll.

Hope this helps.

Rachael

sweetnsad

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #17 on: Jan 03, 2005, 05:33:40 AM »
Rachael, your reply was a good one!

Shawneetears,

Being a good step parent means knowing your boundaries.  Period.  It's tough to do, but in the end, it works.  

Being a good step parent means being there for your step kids, no matter what....you have to remember, their world was turned upside down and they need all the stability and comfort they can get.

Being a good step parent means NOT getting in the middle of your husband/wife and their ex when it comes to issues regarding the children....be supportive....

Being a good step parent means that when the children are in your care, you treat them as you would your own children....no favoritism, especially in front of them.  The same rules apply to all.  And yes, when they are in your care, they should follow the rules.  There has to be boundaries set in both homes and there shouldn't be any interference.  That applies to both the bioparents and the step parent.

Simply, it means that you be there for them.  Regardless of what the bio parent may think, most step parents are good people and are good to the children.




almostastepmom

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #18 on: Jan 12, 2005, 02:28:20 PM »
What about if you DH/SO doesn't do anything at all... Just lets the BM do what ever she wants.  Mine doesn't want to "rock the boat" I think he is affraid of her.  She did some heavy damage to him when they were married and he actually never wanted kids.  He is a good day, ALWAYS pays cs & alimony and has actually overpais her. But he just seems to let things slide instead of dealing with her and her unrational ways.  So I as a SM (or almost one) think that if he isn't going to do anything I should..... It's gotten me into trouble a time or two, but if it is going to benifit my skids then why not?

joni

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RE: A question about SM/SD 's (opening a can of worms)........
« Reply #19 on: Jan 12, 2005, 04:24:16 PM »

I understand how you feel and most us SM's feel the same way for our DH's or SO's.  We love them and defend them passionately and it drives us crazy to watch them be exploited.

Your fiance is going to have to fight his own battles and find his own way.  He will, just be patient.  Everything runs it's course.  I too, had this frustration with my DH.  For 4 years, he let the BM walk all over him.  The last 6 months he's found his fire.  

Probably follows the saying, revenge is best served cold.  Seems my DH knew when his time would be.  You fighting his battles for him will not solve anything and will only make the matters worse.  Take my word for it based on 5 years experience.

kawaii

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I will tell you what my therapist told me
« Reply #20 on: Jan 13, 2005, 09:43:58 AM »
a household needs controll -- either your DH needs to take control(ideally) or he needs to get out of the way and let you do it.

a house without control is not an option -- no matter how much the skids don't like you or your rules, to live without control is NOT in their (the skids) best interest.

There is NO way that you can completely disengage -- otherwise what is the purpose of the marriage if not to tackle life together.

as a step-parent you ARE a parent, like it or not, call it that or not -- there is no getting around it -- you are an adult with influence and it's your job to help raise that child.

Did you know that a person who has taken a CPR class, and is CPR certified CAN BE LEGALLY LIABLE for standing by and doing nothing!!  meaning, that if a person needs your help and you are able to and withhold it, the law can find you guilty.

the bible too (for those of us who hold it dear) states (paraphrased) "woe to him that is able to help his brother and doesn't"

And, YES we are our brother's keepers -- so YES we are responsible for anyone in our homes and in our care -- and, let's face it, most of our skids spend more time with us than they do w/ DH.

The best we can offer our skids is to treat them as we would our own kids -- because there is NO GREATER LOVE than that of a mother (ideally).

kawaii

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Don't do it!! at least not without counseling
« Reply #21 on: Jan 13, 2005, 09:55:11 AM »
there is no way you can disengage completely -- especially not when so many of the decisions regarding the kids will affect BOTH your finances.

when DH and I got married the EX wanted revenge -- so she filed a petition to reduce visitiation to 2 weeks a summer down from the 2 months we already get -- and only IF I (SM) wasn't there.

ok, so as a stepmom and newlywed, what do i care, less time with 3 bratty kids in my care and less expenses involved in caring for them the whole summer -- heck i might at well go to the dayspa and enjoy my time away from DH when he goes to visit the skids

WRONG

in CA child support is prorated for EVERY DAY you see your kids -- to allow that change would mean an increase in CS of about $500 a month -- for 12 months -- or $6000 a year -- that's OUR money -- not $$ that should go to the EX

PLUS of course it really isn't in the skids best interest to only see their dad 2 weeks a year (lived across the country) and it certainly isn't in their best interest for them not to spend any time with me as i am now very much a part of their family.

 

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