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  1. #1
    cranberrydelight01
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    Default I am a Step Mom Dealing with Mom issues

    I am new on this site and maybe I can get some help from the other side of the coin As in from Mothers .. I Dont have any children of my own altho I did carry through a full pregnacy which I decided on Adoption when I was 19.. my first major Mom decision and my last.. But now I have been with a man who has 4 children from prior relationship.. He has his kids every other weekend as in most cases senarios. When the children are around for there weekend visits. I obviously do some sort of parenting roll.. I try not to involve myself with them and try to let there Daddy deal with most things.. My problem is every weekend we have them, the children keep telling me what there Mom wants me to do or not do with them... I guess the 5 year old is apparently now just become a vegan.. when all summer long she ate hot dogs around the fire and hambergers and steak and chicken.. I guess she ate one hot dog one night and now she cant eat meat or anything with meat in it ever again .. (altho she was liking the Turkey at the christmas party quite fine and had no problems with the Roast beef either since she stated that was her favorite ..) So what do I do .. After dealing with a nasty custody support issue with there mother last summer we have come to learn that the mother is pretty vindicitive and petty about almost everything..
    I asked the 5 year old if she new what vegan was and she told me that a vegan cant have hotdogs because it made her sick .. So Im guessing she has NO IDEA what vegan means.. I have no idea why all of a sudden There mother decided this aswell..
    Another simular issue is the 7 year old is now NOT allowed to consume Candy Canes because apparently the red in the candy cane stops him from concentrating.. So here I am at the mall with junior and the other little ones all sitting on Santas lap and as they tell Santa what they want for christmas Santa hands each a nice big Candy Cane .. and Ill tell you right now I will not take the candy away from that child.. as far as Im concerned hes 7 years old and Most children have concentration issues 95% of the time .. which I find is normal.. SO I ask what should I do? I find almost every weekend we have them My Boyfriend comes back with something new to add to the list of things we are allowed an not allowed to do ... just to mention many times threats of CAS has been tossed in about it from MOM.. If we dont do as she says..

  2. #2
    Zoo
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    Hi, cranberry, and welcome to London Moms.

    I'm sure it's frustrating, but I'd recommend staying well out of it. Mom says vegan, don't give the kid any meat, dairy, or leather shoes. Mom says no red dye? Keep it out of the house when the kids are around. She's been raising these kids since birth so even if it's a pain in your ass, she's the expert - not to mention the custodial parent!

    I don't mean to sound harsh but I can't help but see your post from a 'mom' perspective, so if one of our members (which I'm sure your boyfriend's ex isn't, because that would be awkward!) were to post that her ex's girlfriend was questioning her decisions to exclude red dye from her child's diet, or didn't adhere to other dietary issues, we'd probably be hopping mad on her behalf!

    It's going to be easier on you and your BF in the long run if you let the two of them deal with the parenting issues and take advantage of the fact that you get to be the 'nice' one.


  3. #3
    Expert Forum User ali's*mum's Avatar
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    Coming from a fellow stepmom, I know how difficult this kind of situation can be, believe me! My advice though is to make your life easier and just go with it. I believe there are certain times where it just comes down to 'different rules in different houses', but, like Zoo said, she's been raising them from birth, she's the primary caregiver, just try and respect her wishes as much as possible.
    It's a pain in the ass, I know, but you know she'll make your life miserable if you fight her on it too much.

    Good to have you here, Cranberry. I look forward to chatting with you on the boards, and I hope this situation calms down and the stresses ease.
    Mom to Ali (3) & Eva (1)

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    I'm a stepmom myself as well as a mom and a kid who survived my own parents divorce - so I've seen this from lots of the angles.

    You've already been given the best advice which is to realize you get to be the fun grown up living in Dad's house but you won't ever win the job of being the Mom and it's unlikely the kids will ever see you as someone who has advice or ideas that are better than their own parents.

    It sounds like the kids are fairly young and I suspect you'll find things will change as they grow older and they start seeing things from all perspectives. For now, please consider how much easier it will be on the kids if you bite your tongue and let them believe their Mom has made a good decision (in whatever that happens to be that particular weekend).

    It's a hard role to step into - remember there will be LOTS of ups and downs but this isn't likely the kind of issue you want to make a battle out of.

    Best of luck

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    I am also a stepmom who went through some horrible years with BM (birthmom). I came into my SD's life when she was less than a year old and she is now 5.5.

    My best suggestions have already been put out there. Remember different house, different rules. Let your DH do the majority of the parenting, especially the discipline and never bad mouth BM no matter what the kids say.

    If you are looking for a forum of stepmom's to bounce ideas off, pm me. A lot of them have been there, done that and are fantastic to bounce ideas off of and vent to.

  6. #6
    cranberrydelight01
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    Thank you all for your Input I really appreciate it muchly I guess its not so bad its just everytime my BF picks up his kids its something new.. I just feel its like we arent allowed to do anything with the kids and new rules and regulations are being stated on pick up and drop offs.. My BF was married to her for over 7 years and apparently She was ok with how he was raising the kids .. but now that he isnt in a realationship with her its all of a sudden changed with him and his parenting.. He is most upset by this and I really feel for him.. Like I said tho I try to stay out of main parenting issues but the menu is getting slimmer and slimmer when it comes to food for the kids.. and I guess when the kids grow up they will make there own judgment on the issue I just want them to realize that Our home is good for when we have them

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    Expert Forum User The Ultimate London Mom! mamabear's Avatar
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    I agree with everyone else. You need to respect her decisions, even if they are not ones you would make yourself. I'm sure it's not easy and it's probably pretty frustrating/irritating, but life with kids is like that.

    And FWIW, some kids are sensitive to red dyes, and you may have one of them on your hands. *Shrugs*

    I really think you should give the mother the benefit of the doubt here. I mean, it may seem like she's doing this just to be vindictive but it's also possible she is trying to make good decisions for her kids. I'm sure you also understand that everything is different when you are a mother and that if you were ever to be in a situation with an ex and a step-mom that you would feel so helpless basically giving your kids away on the weekends, and you would only hope that your parenting decisions were being respected and that there was as much consistency as possible. So it's possible that any controlling behaviour is her reaction to this helplessness, KWIM? Remember, there are 2 sides to everything and you can never fully know what happened in their relationship; you can only know your partner's interpretation of it.

    Anyways welcome and good luck!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tami&amber's Avatar
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    I have been a stepmom for 5 years and it isn't easy.
    Some women are so *****y when their ex forges ahead with a new life.
    Some are just wacked!!! -lol
    DH ex can be bitter, and if she so much as hears my name from her son, she is on the ohone so fast. DH just doesn't pick up anymore when he sees its her.
    She hates if I tend to him for health reasons, or education.
    The threat of CAS is just that and CAS will see it as a manipulation.
    Endurig this type of women is hard and it might take a toll on your relationship.
    I wish I could offer more then my story but in these situations you really have to roll with the punches.
    It isn't fair, as the child suffers the most.

    As a divorced mom all i asked of my ex was to not call after 10 pm, and to call if he was going to be late, and if he was going to be not coming to let me know so i could make arrangements. It never worked mind you, but I figure what goes on at his house is his business unless it is immoral, or illegal. Emotional issues aside as I can't teach him to be a parent and in the end natural consequences will repay his beh. 8 years later....it has.

    The future is uncertain... but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity

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    Quote Originally Posted by cranberrydelight01 View Post
    I just feel its like we arent allowed to do anything with the kids and new rules and regulations are being stated on pick up and drop offs..
    You guys need to put your foot down. Your house, your rules!!! BM's house, BM's rules. Do not let her influence what you are doing with the kids. It's, probably, a power trip for her (speaking from experience) to dicatate what can and can not happen on your time. Our BM tried this with us, even trying to tell us what specifically to feed SD at every meal during our time. Not gonna happen. As long as you aren't doing anything illegal or immoral with the children, it is not BM's business or place to put rules on your time with the your BF's children.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tami&amber's Avatar
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    BTW if you feel this stressed out can you imagine how the children must feel?

    The future is uncertain... but this uncertainty is at the very heart of human creativity

  11. #11
    Zoo
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    Quote Originally Posted by Momof2boys View Post
    You guys need to put your foot down. Your house, your rules!!! BM's house, BM's rules. Do not let her influence what you are doing with the kids. It's, probably, a power trip for her (speaking from experience) to dicatate what can and can not happen on your time. Our BM tried this with us, even trying to tell us what specifically to feed SD at every meal during our time. Not gonna happen. As long as you aren't doing anything illegal or immoral with the children, it is not BM's business or place to put rules on your time with the your BF's children.
    I disagree with this when dietary issues are involved. I'm sure your partner doesn't want to feed red dye to a child who's sensitive to it. And if the kids are vegan or vegetarian, I think it's unfair and confusing to feed them meat just because it's your house with your rules.

    That said, I agree that you can't control everything that goes on in another household and having different rules within reason is not going to hurt the kids.


  12. #12
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    Dietary issues are not what I was speaking of. I was speaking of a BM, in MY situation, who wanted so badly to control everything that she attempted to forbid us from doing certain things and even went as far as to write out what she felt SD should be eating. I was not just talkin about meals, that was just the example that I gave. There are no dietary concerns for my SD. I was speaking to the fact that every time there is a p/u, the rules change or are added to.

  13. #13
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    I've been a step-mom, but never really had any issues with the kids mom as their dad dealt with her. Pick up and drop offs and pretty much what she wanted, went her way, but she didn't ask for anything that I would have considered an issue. Now I'm the "ex", but never really had issue with what their step-mom did. The kids did, but I didn't (they didn't like the meals made... too bad lol, they sounded good to me!). That relationship didn't go far though because their father has not kept up a relationship with any of his kids for either marrage (now he's an ass).

    Could you 'kill her with kindness' type of idea? Send a note next time along the lines:

    "Hi ......, As I know you have only the best interest in (jr) & (jr) in mind as we do, it would ve helpful to us if you could make a list of foods you'd prefer the children eat. This will help clarify the information being past through the children. Thanks!"

    I don't know? Is that tackie?

  14. #14
    Junior Member highlandmom's Avatar
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    I think that when diet is an issue, you have to support the BM. She is the one that has to deal with the fall out on a food sensativity on Monday morning when she has to get the kids up and ou the door. If they are Veggie, you have to respect that, but you should have a clear deffinition on what their diet entails. A routine should be semi-consistent at this age, just to ease the transition from house to house. This doesn't mean her rules at your house, just be respectful of what she allow their children to do. If bedtime is 8:00 at home, make your place a bit special and say a 9:00 bedtime (a compromise, of sorts).

    Maybe a cue from my old Homecare lady. We had a journal that was updated that had drop off/pickup times listed, diet needs, medications, and basic rules and routines at home. This way you know what is new in their 'home' life, and you can keep track of it at your house. This way too, if she changes the plans, you have what the parents agreed to in writing!!
    Lindsay
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    Ryker - Midwife Home Waterbirth April 2010. Yes, I am still nursing!

  15. #15
    Junior Member thesods's Avatar
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    I'm going to add my encouragement to work with the birth mom on the dietary issues. AS much as she may enjoy manipulating her ex and making things rough for you guys the bottom line is that she is those kids mom, and she loves them. There are tons and tons of moms that don't let their kids eat hot dogs and red dye etc because of the chemicals and the reaction in the children from consuming them. She's just trying to protect them the best way she knows how.

    My brother has a lot of food sensitivities and consistency is the only thing that keeps him going, and that means he can't always have the candy etc. The chemicals stay in his body for days and effect his behavior long after the food was consumed. It would be totally probable that if he had a candy cane on the saturday he could have major concentration issues on the monday/tuesday at school. There are great organic products without the extra chemicals that are still tasty and fun for kids. I agree with the PP that send to send a note home asking what they kids should and shouldn't eat.

    But big hugs because your situation does not sound easy and it can be really hard to be treated like the enemy when you are not one!

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