Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Do Actions Speak louder than words?

Posted by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM
  • 28 Replies

On this, and other similar boards, there are posts about not wanting to be the kids mom.  K... I understand that and MOST people get that SM can't be mom even if she really wanted to be. 

However, after that is said there is a "..., but I will do this or that, discipline, not care what mom thinks..." that is added after that in a lot of those posts.

So... do people who say " I don't want to be the mom BUT.." give off the wrong "vibe" to the Sks OP possibly and that is what causes some of the problems? 

The actions that some SPs do... the discipling over things they feel need to be disciplined over but the parent doesn't see the problem in what the kid did or feels the SP doesn't "get it" as to why a kid would do something/act a certain way and instead of deferring to the parents they take matters into their own hands.  Or the I will help with homework crowd - while mom is saying I want my child to learn responsibility the SP is saying well, i this house I will help if I want (switch it around if you like).  Or when the parent wouldn't like their children watching/listening to/playing certain movies/music/games and the SP sees no problem with it so they don't care about the kid doing the opposite of what mom has asked... Do things like this, while not always intentional or harmful, cause more problems than some are willing to admit? 

 

"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." - Theodore Roosevelt
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:42 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
happyblue
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:50 PM

Well I wouldn't say that actions speak louder then words, but I will say sometimes actions can be misunderstood.  Sometimes a BM will think that because SM has said or done xyz then that means she must [instert random determination that later turns out to be all in their heads]. 

newwife1
by Silver Member on Dec. 3, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Unless someone is doing something harmful or really wacked out to the kids, I don't see the big deal. Personally, I wouldn't do anything that I knew BM didn't want SS to do. I think there is also common sense that comes into play. 

I think this even happens with married parents. I remember clearly my dad allowing me to stay up late on Tuesdays when my mom was at bowling. As soon as we saw her headlights in the driveway my dad would say, "Hurry up and get in bed and pretend to be asleep". He did exactly what my mom didn't want me to do by allowing me to stay up way past my bedtime on a school night. I survived:)

SammyJK
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 2:06 PM
1 mom liked this
I don't know that it's so black and white that you can really compare saying "I'm not trying to be mom" to what physical role you take on in your home/family. I hope that made sense :)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
chanizen
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 2:35 PM
Sure.

But I also think that some bms earn that disregard from the sm.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
LemonZest
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 3:05 PM
4 moms liked this
Problems between whom?

DH and I are very much on the same page regarding discipline. He tends to take things more personally than I do though. I'm not sure if that's a BP thing or a fast-burn vs slow-burn personality thing. Overall, he and I don't have issues forming a united front for the kids or working out a plan when havin difficulty with one of the kids.

With that said, I don't view myself as mom. I view myself as DH's wife and an authority in my house. My personal feeling is that a CP unwilling to share household authority with an SP shouldn't remarry. That has a lot to do with my view of marriage as a partnership.

As far as the BM is concerned, she's not a member of the household. DH doesn't concern himself with what she does during her visitation or the role her fiancé plays. When I see BMs complain about how they don't need help from SM, it strikes me that while they acknowledge their lack of authority over BF in his home, they haven't really accepted his authority to choose his own helper under his roof. So on that note, I don't think it's all about fearing replacement or overstepping by SM as mom. I think there's an element of resentment over SM's role as wife and the authority that entails, which includes enforcing boundaries with the kids. Does that make sense?
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
SassyMom25
by Gold Member on Dec. 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Personally, I help with homework as little as I can. SS brings home great grades. Anyway, BM would probably let SS stay home if school wasn't required, as she is not interested in her kids education. She pulled SS from PreK for 2 months because 'he didn't need it' and has pulled her kids from school 3 times this year due to issues with her DH.

What do you do when BM sends home a movie or something that we consider inappropriate, but gets upset because we don't allow SS to use it in our home? BM won't keep it at her house because the other kids will tear it up.

What do you do when BM considers her 9yr-old, old enough to babysit (kids 6,5,4) while she goes to the store for 30min-1hr? Only proof is SS's word and SS exclaiming that he can watch DD's (5 & 1) because he has done it at BM's.

I discipline SS. Not often anymore, because he is fairly well-behaved. It is not in the same way BM does, because I don't feel the way she disciplines is appropriate. I believe at this point BM trusts what we do with SS, since he is much better behaved than her other kids.

I'm not sure what kind of signal my actions send, DH agrees with the rules we have in our home, its just that I'm around more to enforce them.

newstepmom61811
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 3:16 PM
2 moms liked this
You ask some very very good questions...I'm one of those SMs who when I post don't want to be the mom but follow it with a ... I should probably clarify myself a little better...I'm a custodial SM, I live full time with the kids so by sheer hours spent with them I do spent time alone with the kids and end up having to do some disciplining about immediate things. The things I tend to discipline I think most BMs would be ok with like I stop the kids from hurting each other, fighting, that can't wait until dad gets home, the aggressor gets an immediate time out/scolding (ages 11,8,3), I also stop excessive rudeness or disrespect to any adult or each other, I think stopping it in the moment is more effective, scold them, make them apologize, and I do little manners corrections: take off shoes in the house, pick up your own messes, homework gets finished before any play (that's as far as I help, oh and I sign nightly agenda verifying homework completed), feet off tables, etc...so I don't think I'm disciplining too harshly by most BM standards. You'll have to correct me if I'm wrong. So that is my definition of my personal disciplining. I do take the kids to things (school and doctors) again simply for schedules sake, we have them 12 out of 14 days and both DH and I work, not because I want to take over. None of this does BM know, she won't give me the chance to speak to her, hasn't since we met. We have only really ever had one conversation, te first time we met where she did all the talking and all she could say was how the kids were hers, no matter what I was thinking, how much money I had or how good I was to them they would always be hers. Since then once she has slapped me for picking up on son to help him into a car seat when we were taking them back home. I just kept calm and told her she could speak to me like a rational adult if she didn't like something I did but she would regret ever laying hands on me again. And most recently when the 8 year old addressed me by name at one of the drop-offs and asked me a question she told me it wasn't my place to answer him, even though it was a question directed at me by name. I would like to actually discuss how she wants her kids raised and work with her on it but she's not really approachable. Not quite sure what terrible transgression I've done other than breathe and live in the house wih her kids but I'm obviously going to get no where so I don't try with her anymore and just figure I will never understand her hatred of me, and yes I do think she hates me, her actions are too actiely aggressively negative towards me, she's expending too much energy not to hate me. I'm just not sure what I've done, I really stay out of her way and really as far as I can tell don't interfere with her or her relationship with the kids...
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
happyblue
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 3:56 PM
1 mom liked this

And it sounds like you are speaking of two divorced parents that neither see eye to eye on things or respect each other much in the parenting department.  DH and BM's policy seems to be agree on most things, and whatever they disagree with they just do differently in their respective homes.  Doesn't everyone do that?  If you don't, then who in reality is causing the problems?  SM for not "following orders", or BM for enforcing orders where she has no jurisdiction in the first place?  SM's place is her DH's territory, not BM's. 

paladinmom
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 4:08 PM

 I see what you are saying Packer!  Some of these things I have asked myself when reading these posts you are speaking of.  I think "If you don't want to have a 'mom' role in your SKs lives, why are you there?  Why do you participate so much?" 
My idea is this:
The SMs who post these types of comments cancel out their statement of "I don't want to..." when they add the word BUT.  In many parts of speach, when you add this word (or however...) following the first part of your sentence/paragraph, you are retracting your initial statement by adding "I do this and I do that..."
These SMs are confused about their role in their Stepchildren's lives as well as their role as a Stepmother in itself.  Although they have most likely spoken with their DH - and this does not matter if EOWESM or CSM - they are still undecided on how they would like to handle stepchildren.  That is why they post - trying to get a feel from other stepmoms who have been there, done that, in the same situation for the most part...
I have been harsh yet not completely ruthless - unless I see a response I agree with, then quote it and say Agree!!!
Also, it does send a mixed message - not only to their stepchildren, to their DH and themselves when they have this attitude about being a SM.

newstepmom61811
by on Dec. 3, 2011 at 4:29 PM
1 mom liked this
I think there is confusion too on this: not wanting to be a mom does not equate with no contact with SK. It means I don't want to be a mom, I want to be a SM, and when the but comes along I think most SMs are trying to clarify examples of duties they see in the SM role that they may see as should not be a problem for BMs. They may or may not be right or wrong. They can only know the boundary if BM communicates, hopefully, rationally...


Quoting paladinmom:

 I see what you are saying Packer!  Some of these things I have asked myself when reading these posts you are speaking of.  I think "If you don't want to have a 'mom' role in your SKs lives, why are you there?  Why do you participate so much?" 
My idea is this:
The SMs who post these types of comments cancel out their statement of "I don't want to..." when they add the word BUT.  In many parts of speach, when you add this word (or however...) following the first part of your sentence/paragraph, you are retracting your initial statement by adding "I do this and I do that..."
These SMs are confused about their role in their Stepchildren's lives as well as their role as a Stepmother in itself.  Although they have most likely spoken with their DH - and this does not matter if EOWESM or CSM - they are still undecided on how they would like to handle stepchildren.  That is why they post - trying to get a feel from other stepmoms who have been there, done that, in the same situation for the most part...
I have been harsh yet not completely ruthless - unless I see a response I agree with, then quote it and say Agree!!!
Also, it does send a mixed message - not only to their stepchildren, to their DH and themselves when they have this attitude about being a SM.


Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)