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What am I supposed to do, being the step mom when Mom doesn't want to take care of her kids properly?

My boyfriends ex wife is not very good at doing the whole mother thing and her new husband doesn't really get it either.
She lets her kids stay sick during the week she has them and then send them to us sick and un-showered. She spends no time doing homework with the oldest or even reading to her first grader. I am at my wits end with how she raises these kids. She is not very sanitary and considers ensure an ok thing to constantly give her kids and take out is always whats for dinner.
I feel my step kids think they have it so bad when they are here for the weekend. What can I do??

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Asked by SwtLi78InOr at 1:54 PM on Apr. 26, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (6)
  • There is not much you can do about how the EX takes care of her children. The only thing you can really do is make them more comfortable when they are at their fathers house. Been there done this and you can't change the kids but you can be a postive influence and hope the things that you do for them stick and they can change their own habits as they grow. Don't cram your "ideas" down thier throat, its foreign to them and they will dis-like you, also you can't treat them like your own it just don't work.. cause they are not your bio-children.. you have just invaded their fathers life lol... sorry I know this is harsh but it is the truth from my experience. You can hope that in the future you form your own bond with them and they begin to see that your not trying to be the dominate parent, your only trying to help make everything work for their good. A little family unit takes time to build, it cannot be forced or molded.

    Answer by Mommy2seven at 2:26 PM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • Unless you and your hubby are willing to take full custody, there isn't much you can do. Just make sure you and your hubby take care of the kids when at your house. I would have them change their clothes and shower, put the clothes they came in a plastic bag and when they are ready to leave they change back into them. My friend and her hubby did this and the ex is now taking better care of her daughter, they also threatend to sue for custody if she didn't change her ways.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 2:29 PM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • If he's just a bf then they are not your step children. Until you are legally responsible for them full time I don't think you should judge others. If you think they are being treated badly at their home then call cps.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:07 PM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • Until you and their mother reach common ground you will be seen as the enemy. If you want to have a say express your thoughts to your boyfriend and if he feels you are right and he is man enough he will address it. Kids also do not like girlfriends taking on mother role too early. Yes when you enter a broken family then the kids are included in the package but not motherdom!!!! I am 28 have 4 kids and the father is a whore but they have 1 mother and no stepmoms(do not have because he's not married). Maybe her kids are pickier with her because they can get away with it! Your boyfriend was married to her and should know her habits with the kids as well as how she is when she's involved, if anyting is strange or different with her behavior or the kids he will know and should address it!!!! I hate to say this but its a family problem you need not be a part of, have your say with him but you shouldn't get involved, better for kids!

    Answer by ladyd6280 at 6:02 PM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • Bull shit, If you're an active part of thier lives & they are residing in your home on the when they see thier father, they are your steps, unless you don't consider them that way which clearly you do. I'm a SM, not married to my SS's Dad but, am the primary female (he lives with us full time) and caregiver in his life, Dad's working, I'm at home. Don't let ignorant bitter people tell you what you are: if they feel like your steps refer to them that way.

    The only thing that can be done in your situation OP, is for Dad to go for Full or joint custody to limit the BM's time with kids.  Also, just be there for them the best way you can. GL.


    Answer by BubbaLuva at 6:07 PM on Apr. 26, 2009

  • One idea, I don't know if you do this already, is to make sure all their clothes are washed before they go back to her house. At least you will know they have good smelling clothes to wear for the next few days. My stepson comes to us smelling like a barn. No joke he makes our car stink when we pick him up. His mom and her parents (they live together) have 10 ferrets and 6 dogs. What we try to do is give him the life that he would have if he lived with us full time; homework together, dinner at the dinner table, baths and brushing their teeth everynight, reading books before bed, prayers and hugs and kisses. These kids' mothers may be morons but at least we can give them a break from that life and let them be a well cared for child while we have them.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:27 PM on Apr. 27, 2009

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