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  1. #1
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    Default mothers, step mothers and babies

    This is my first baby and my hubby and I are really excited - as are our families.

    My parents divorced over 15 years ago and they do not speak - there is still tension between them. I avoided weirdness by eloping but now that a baby is coming it will get more difficult.

    My friend wants to plan a shower for me and I really want both my mother and step mother there - they are both important women in my life. My step mother will be fine. It's my mother - I worry that she will be rude - she can often be inappropriate in social settings where she feels threatened. I don't expect her to befriend my step mom but just be civil.

    I know I just need to talk to my mom and set groundrules - these are her issues and she needs to deal with them, but I guess I wanted to vent. Anyone else have ridiculous family drama like this. Any tips?

  2. #2
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    We don't have the drama but my parents are divorced and my mom is re-married. I think a lot of the tension can be resolved by having the step-mom refer to the mom as 'grandma' (or whatever else the baby will call her). Make sure your mom does not feel threatened that your step-mom will steal the grandma thunder.

    Also make a point to your mom of saying something like the baby will be so blessed to have so many people who love him/her in their life. That some people grow up without extended family and you are so happy that yours will have 'extra'. If your mom starts making remarks then you can say something like "mom, I understand that there is still some tension between you and step-mom, but I really need you to put it behind you for the sake of your grandchild. You are both special people to me and I would like you to both be involved in my child's life".
    Mommy to DS Jan '06, DD July '09, DS Feb '11, DD Dec '12
    Wife to my wonderful DH of 8 years
    http://handsbetterfull.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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    I've had a little experience with this. The first time my Step-MIL and my MIL were in the same room together since the divorce was the DAY OF my wedding.

    We had just casually made statements to both of them (prior to the wedding) that it was our day and if ANYONE had any issues we EXPECTED they'd be mature enough to put them aside for the day. We set this tone early in our relationship. Since then they've co-existed at baby showers and birthday parties without incident. We never actually talked to either of them specifically about it, but we just set the tone that it was EXPECTED that everyone grow up and play nice for the sake of the kids. So far, we've never had an issue and everyone has been really good about everything.

  4. #4
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    I haven't had experience with steps at all, but I have a few ideas of how to maybe accomplish this without too much drama.
    Maybe, have your mom be the one who sits beside you at the main table to jot down on the cards what each gift is, etc. That way she's in the limelight too, and in a spot of honour beside the main person of honour, kwim so she would hopefully be distracted from the stepmom's presence.
    Your stepmom wouldn't likely take this as any personal slight, as generally only one person is that helper person kwim and why wouldn't you choose your mom, if she's attending?

    Another option is have two showers. One for work friends/stepfamily side, one for childhoodfriends/mom's side or something?

    I hope it goes ok for you.

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    We had a terribly hard time when our kids came along. It took a few years to get everyone figured out and out of respect to the step parents of my dp, we refer to his bio mom & dad as gramma & grampa and the step counterparts gramma firstname and grampa first name. My parents are still together so they are nana & papa. It was hard to figure it all out when they were little, but with a few hurdles, they did it. We also told all the grandparents involved that just because they have a problem with each other does not mean it's ok to pass that animosity to the grandchild. If they have a problem with the way one person has done/said something, me and dp will run interference, but they are not to ever bring their issues on our children. EVER. we were very clear on that. Just be as open with your concerns and I'm sure everything will work out fine. Don't be surprised if there are glitches along the way, it's never perfect.

  6. #6
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    Just curious, how old were you when step-mom came into the picture?
    Mommy to DS Jan '06, DD July '09, DS Feb '11, DD Dec '12
    Wife to my wonderful DH of 8 years
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