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How can I be involved with my boyfriends children while not stepping on bio mom's toes?

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. I've grown very close to his four children, especially his three girls (8, 10 and 12). I have an okay relationship with their mother, but I do not always see eye-to-eye with her children rearing strategies. I play games with the kids, teach them to cook, take them to the store with me to run errands and such. I spend lots of quality time. We read books, watch movies, I listen, and give hugs. I help their mom pick up the kids from school when conflicts arise. I feel like I am doing everything a good person would do. I love the kids and I love my boyfriend. But what is hard is when my boyfriend asks me to back off. For example, the other night I picked up the 12 year old from school. I bought her and her brother some dinner from a fast food place. Mom was at gymnastics with the little girls. I thought I was helping. They were hungry so I fed them. Not exactly the best meal, but the best I could do given this was not my home. I was told that night by my boyfriend to stop taking the kids for dinner because it was making his ex have to do the same for the other kids and she could not afford it. I understand the concern, but I am really confused as to what I can do right? I am always being asked to stop taking calls from the kids or getting involved with their worries. What am I suppose to do, tell the kids to go away? Or tell them sorry I can't buy you Subway because mom said no? I am at a loss. If anyone out there can tell me some watch outs or what I need to do to stay out of trouble without hurting the kids, please share your thoughts. It is affecting my relationship with my boyfriend. I feel he constantly takes her side and makes me feel like I don't matter. I am well aware that I am not their "mother" it is just hard to be told that when everything you do is exactly what a mother would do. Doesn't that count for something?

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pacey31

Asked by pacey31 at 2:45 PM on Mar. 3, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 3 (27 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • You and your BF need to have a talk about your role in his childrens life. I'm not sure why he doesn't want you involved in it or why he isn't happy that they feel comfortable enough to call you with problems.

    He needs to give you a list of what he does and doesn't want you to do.
    Jademom07

    Answer by Jademom07 at 2:49 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • If youre boyfriend asks you to back off then you really have no choice. It should count for something all that you do but you arent even married you are more like a friend of their father at this point. I would back off as he suggested and not put yourself in the position o be told to back off. If he takes her side now he always will. You will have more arguments and fights about this as long as you try and he says not to. Tell your boyfriend to pick the kids up. Youre only dating the guy so just date him dont be involved in anything else until he is ready to have you be a step mom. Thats what I would do.
    okmommy08

    Answer by okmommy08 at 2:50 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • I think this is a very courteous thing of you to ask! I admire how you are looking to be respectful of bio moms boundaries. I think you are doing a great job. I would just tell you what you are telling us. "I'm so sorry. I thought I was helping" It'll let her think about it. She may be a little defensive for awhile. Just keep it up!
    Musicmom80

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 2:50 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • Thanks for the advice. This really helps. Sometimes I feel like I am crazy.
    pacey31

    Comment by pacey31 (original poster) at 2:59 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • Sorry to hear your dilemma. I went through something like that when I was dating my DH and it was a never ending battle. If it wasn't the meals, it was something else. As a girlfriend, I would suggest to have your say but stand back. As a wife, being a stepparent does have so perks, not many but gives you an upper hand to the girlfriend status. My DH seemed like he was always defending his ex but in reality, he just didn't want to hear her complain anymore so he complied. Your losing an uphill battle but keep your chin high and remember that you seem to be a better person for trying so hard and showing those kids some love.
    Philly247

    Answer by Philly247 at 3:07 PM on Mar. 3, 2011

  • Pacey31, you sound like a kind and compassionate person. I think it would help to put yourself in the mom's position. Perhaps she knows that she needs your help and that you are a positive influence in her kids' lives, but at the same time, she probably HATES the circumstances that caused her family to break up and brought you into her life. Maybe that will help you to see storm clouds on the horizon, and maybe it will help you to extend your compassion to the kids' mom. She needs it too.
    BixNC

    Answer by BixNC at 11:40 PM on Apr. 10, 2011

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