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Step-Mom is Taking Over!

My husband had an affair, in front of our children, for many months while I was away at government training. He continued to see his gf after I came home from training. I filed for divorce after he refused to stop dating his girlfriend and refused to move out of my house for about 6 months. We divorced and he remarried immediately. His new wife insists the kids call her "mom" and tells them that I have been "gone half their lives" (I was gone 16 weeks and then in training for 11 where I would be home 3 days each week.) She is on the school's email lists and signs "mom loves you" notes in the kid's homework folders at school. She has the kids call her "mom," and my 8 and 9 year old are not sure if they should or not- they are on the fence. I am present 100% for the kids and always have been. Ex and I share custody 50/50. Is she interloping? What do I do?

Answer Question
 
raquel1982

Asked by raquel1982 at 8:48 PM on Nov. 26, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Nothing you can do. Your children know you are their mother. It is up to them what they want to call her. She can try to insist that it be mom, but they do not have to comply with desire.
    2autisticsmom

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 8:52 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • I am so sorry. Your ex and his new wife are totally out of line, but I'm not sure there is too much you can do about it.

    The best thing you can do is to try to let go of what they are doing (and I know that has to be difficult and very hurtful) and focus on putting your kids first. don't engage in their little mind games. Eventually your children will know who did what.

    Myr rule, always put my son first, always try to do what's fair and right even if my ex didn't. I can't say I was perfect, but I did my best, and my son who is now an adult knew figured out who was doing what on his own. Your ex is willing to use your children to hurt you, don't be willint to do the same.

    Big hugs Mama, I'm so sorry.
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 9:11 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Thanks ohwrite. It hurts and I'm just trying to cope with it. The divorce was only final five months ago- don't even feel like there was proper time to mourn that before being confronted with a whole new bag of worms. The boys will call her what they choose and in the end I will have to be ok with that. I am struck with grief over the whole thing- I already feel like she took my family. Whether or not she likes me, I love my kids. She can love them too, I just am having trouble with the silly power plays.

    My ex insists I be happy that he has a wife who wants to be a part of our children's lives, and I am happy that she wants to be present. Her own kids have their own problems and I hope she puts as much energy into them as she is putting into my children. I just wish she could participate with a little less of the role stealer mentality. Oh well. Sigh.
    raquel1982

    Comment by raquel1982 (original poster) at 9:22 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • Nothing you can do. Love them the way you always did.
    She's doing it for show and to impress your ex-husband, but as the kids get older, they'll see what she's all about.
    PartyGalAnne

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 9:31 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • If she is saying bad things about you to them, then you could have your attorney address their parental interference in a letter demanding that the cease that behavior or you will take them to court.

    It sounds like you have accepted that he has moved on with this woman and that she is a part of your children's lives. It's not fair of her to demand that they call her anything. Especially if they are not comfortable doing so. That just makes things weird. Just be understanding of your children's situation and how this plays out for them. It sounds like you already are.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:03 PM on Nov. 26, 2013

  • You could always take it to court and get an order that says she can't do these things. But that might add more stress and tension and make things worse - even if she does actually stop doing this. But if it really bothers you so much, then maybe you should do it.

    Otherwise, I would just continue to love your kids, and make sure they know they don't have to do anything they don't want to (whether it's calling her mom, telling her they love her, or whatever0. I would address it with your ex, too. I would tell him that while I appreciate that his wife wants to be involved and cares about the kids, she is overstepping her bounds and needs to back off.
    wendythewriter

    Answer by wendythewriter at 7:32 AM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Wow... that's extremely sad of her, isn't it? Even if you had been away half their lives, she still isn't there mom, as far as I'm concerned. If my stepmom had ever wanted us to call her mom, I would've been livid.

    There's probably nothing you can do though. As long as your kids know that you're their mom, try to ignore what the stepmom is saying.
    AdensMama0308

    Answer by AdensMama0308 at 12:56 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • Thanks everyone. Sometimes a person just needs to get on and vent. I don't want to take them to court- though it is looking that way since dad hasn't paid child support in 6 months. Divorce just sucks. Period.
    raquel1982

    Comment by raquel1982 (original poster) at 1:51 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • If you have a court order for child support, you should be able to just file to have his wages garnished if he isn't paying. Here in California it's through the County Clerk's office, but it could be a different agency in other states.

    Good luck raquel1982, hopefully you can relax and have a Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow. Hugs.
    ohwrite

    Answer by ohwrite at 7:46 PM on Nov. 27, 2013

  • If this was my situation I would be quite upset. Not because this woman is a part of my son's life or the affair. But mainly because I know my child. He would be upset, confused and would not what was going on. I can imagine if this was me that I would make copies of her notes, seek a lawyer and request the family court judge give me primary custody. It would be for my son's mental health. I would allow liberal visitation with my child's father, I would say so in the request to revisit custody, but I would prefer for the next year it be strictly supervised given my ex spouse is known for manipulative and sneaky behavior. I could not imagine allowing it to go unchallenged when I would have my child's father telling my child his mother is not there for him, has missed half his life, and is now trying to forcefully make this new woman instant mom. Not healthy.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:58 PM on Nov. 28, 2013

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