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Becoming BM - Update in Red

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I wrote a post when I first started at CM that had to do with what I learned about being a BM once I dealt with a BM.  I always say that the best thing that happened to BF was me marrying DH and having to deal with a really awful BM.  

And the other day, it became really clear that a whole bunch of women on this forum are just SMs and have never been a BM.  At this point in my life, I think I am a pretty damn good BM.  Before SM divorced BF, we had made peace and had a really respectful relationship.  I bet she thought I was an angry crazy BM for awhile in the beginning.  Partially it was true but partially it was SM rationalizing her OW status.  I had to be an awful woman for her to feel OK about sleeping with a married man...

So, I ask those of you that are not BMs to imagine for a moment, what it would be like for you to have your beloved husband cheat on you and leave you for another woman.  That you divorce him and suddenly, after years of living a happy, intact family life, you have to pack your children up for days at a time to go live with their father and his new wife.  Maybe it goes well for your kids and maybe they hate her.  Doesn't  matter - imagine how it would feel for you to not tuck them in every night.  To suddenly not know everything about what they do every day.  To maybe hear about how fun SM is and how much they love DH.

Don't take this exercise lightly.  Really try to sit with what that might be like.

And please don't say it will never happen.  That would be the penultimate pinnacle of denial.  Many of you will be divorced within 10 years.

And then I would ask each of you who deal with a difficult BM, to attempt some empathy.  To try and change the lens you see her through and imagine her behaviors as just misunderstood by you and your DH.

I know some of you deal with certifiable.  This exercise can apply to you as well.  But most of you do not deal with crazy.  I do not believe for one moment that most ex-wives are crazy.  They might exhibit crazy behavior during intense emotional times, but they are not crazy.

Does attempting to walk a mile in BMs shoes change even the slightest bit your perception of some of her behaviors?

UPDATE:

Forget the OW.  It really is irrelevant.  Forget your current BM for a moment.  This is really not about her, This is about you.  What I am suggesting is just for a moment, imagine the very real possibility that you and your DH divorce.  Maybe you want it, maybe he wants it.  Maybe it is for all the right reasons and the two of you just grew apart; maybe just one of you became unhappy.  Maybe it was done honorably, maybe one of you behaved poorly.

Just imagine that as a mother, you no longer share the raising of your children with a loving partner who is committed and interested in being on the same page as you.  Imagine that your children will experience things without you on a regular basis.  Think about how hard it is to come to agreement on issues with your DH currently when you are married, happy and in love.  Now imagine what it will be like if you divorce to reach consensus. 

Imagine the money stress.  Imagine suddenly having to go back to work, deal with your grief, find a new place to live, create a new budget with significantly less resources.

Imagine dating again.  That was my nightmare after being with BF for over 20 years!

Imagine how different your life will/would be if DH was no longer your loving husband.

I remember when I first married BF, his older sister started having children.  And I remember being so incredibly judgemental of her child rearing techniques.  I knew I would never do it the way she did and I knew I would handle things better and I knew I would be a better mother.  What do you think happened?  I faced the same challenges she did and handled many of them the same way.  You don't really know how you are going to handle a situation until you actually experience it.  So, try not to simply say "I would never handle it the way BM did".  Again, BM is pretty irrelevant to this exercise.

Empathy?  Compassion?  A bit of understanding? A different perspective? Less judgement? 

Just wondering of you find yourself shifting ever so slightly from the place some of you are stuck at with your personal situation.  What is that expression - "There but for the grace of god go I..."

 

by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Replies (31-40):
closetmom
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:14 PM


Quoting pdxmum:

 May I never be tested.


That's exactly how I feel.

I also feel kinda guilty, because my step situation does require my skids' mother to share her kids with me, while I don't have to share mine with anyone.

CKuse
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:40 PM
I just don't understand why everyone says they aren't for sharing their children. It's a child not a toy. They arent really "sharing" their child, they are accepting that the child has another adult figure in their life. Idk its just to me the term sharing sounds possessive and materialistic. That's why I've never understood when bm said that.
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closetmom
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:45 PM


Quoting CKuse:

I just don't understand why everyone says they aren't for sharing their children. It's a child not a toy. They arent really "sharing" their child, they are accepting that the child has another adult figure in their life. Idk its just to me the term sharing sounds possessive and materialistic. That's why I've never understood when bm said that.

no, it's not the same as having another adult figure in their life. A nanny is an adult figure. Sharing means having the child think of another woman as her mother. I know my SD thinks of me as another mom and I know that hurts her mother. And it would hurt me if it happened to me too. So I have some empathy for BM in that regard. I know I can make it easier for her by not shoviing it in her face. Or I can make her life hell by shoving it in her face....  and quite frankly I have not always made the right choice between those two options there.

But for NCP BMs who have had to watch a SM raise her child - it IS painful. It's not just another adult figure.  Just watch how many CSMs insist they are 'a mom" or "mom of hte house" or some variation on the mom theme. Most of them will scream bloody murder if you tell them they're just an adult. You can't have it both ways.

mikiemom
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM

Do you have your own children?

Quoting CKuse:

I just don't understand why everyone says they aren't for sharing their children. It's a child not a toy. They arent really "sharing" their child, they are accepting that the child has another adult figure in their life. Idk its just to me the term sharing sounds possessive and materialistic. That's why I've never understood when bm said that.


CKuse
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:51 PM
I'm not trying to have it both ways. I was just saying that I didn't understand the term sharing when it came to children. I'm a ncsm and I'm going to be a mom to my own children but to my SS I'm not going to claim to be his mom but I am going to be the woman of my house ya know? Bm uses the term sharing with DH though, like she has said she didn't plan on sharing their son with him. I just didn't get that.
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dinaweena101
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:52 PM

According to even the Federal Government, children "belong" to thier parents.

 Kids are not equated with toys ~ they are human beings who *generally* have parents who invest wholeheartedly in their lives and don't go into having kids with the thought that one day they have to give up thier 'rights' to another adult, outside of the children becoming adults themselves and gaining autonomy according to law. 

 This viewpoint is belittling to involved BP's.

Divorce doesn't equate to 'step-familial socialism' where what's yours is mine and what's mine is yours. Perhaps if more people, male and female, coming into these broken family situations viewed the kids as already 'belonging' to someone else, they would have less strife, or less accusations of overstepping. A marriage license does not a 'parent' make. Becoming a SM takes time, investment, and understanding, just as letting go of being the 'ONLY MOM' takes time, effort, and consideration on the part of BM. :-)

Quoting CKuse:

I just don't understand why everyone says they aren't for sharing their children. It's a child not a toy. They arent really "sharing" their child, they are accepting that the child has another adult figure in their life. Idk its just to me the term sharing sounds possessive and materialistic. That's why I've never understood when bm said that.


jenessamarie
by The follower :) on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

There was a poem in English 102 called "Read This Poem From The Bottom up" and in the penultimate stanza, there was the word. I had to look it up then, remembered though! guess I deserved the A :)

Anywho, you called me out once, just playing it forward ;)

It was a really good post though!

 

Quoting jenessamarie:

Penultimate means next to last... So did you mean almost denial??? :) 

Really?  I've been using that word wrong all these years?  I meant something like the pinacle or the highest order or a shitload or pull your head out of the sand of course it is a possibility...


dinaweena101
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:57 PM

Poor wording on her part ~ maybe she meant she never thought she' be divorced and have to have their kid go back and forth, not having both of them involved at the same time?

Quoting CKuse:

I'm not trying to have it both ways. I was just saying that I didn't understand the term sharing when it came to children. I'm a ncsm and I'm going to be a mom to my own children but to my SS I'm not going to claim to be his mom but I am going to be the woman of my house ya know? Bm uses the term sharing with DH though, like she has said she didn't plan on sharing their son with him. I just didn't get that.


jenessamarie
by The follower :) on Jun. 29, 2011 at 3:59 PM

I've always been good with sharing :) I once let my BFF have my car for 3 months! I'm a giver. lol.

It was hard at first though...I have been known to snatch a baby or two in my time... It was my son's first BDay, I saw RED! However, I apologized for that 6 moths later :) I didn't have to, but I like being ME!!!

CKuse
by on Jun. 29, 2011 at 4:01 PM
They were never married. But that could be what she meant. Who knows.
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