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Stepmom, but mom?!

Posted by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM
  • 24 Replies

Hi I am new to this. I wanted to join because of my husband and I arguing over stepparenting and how I feel "not appreciated" and taken advantage of. I need advise of how to communicate with my husband and keep our marriage going. I will give some background..my husband and I have been together for 6 years, married almost 3 years and living together for almost 3 years.  We have full custody of both of his children.  There is so much that I feel I am in the right about, but need to hear from other mom's step moms, etc.  I feel as if I am more of a mother than theirs.  I am the one who takes them to baseball and basketball practices, games, fundraisers, doctor's, buys their snacks, stays home when they are sick.  Their mom only wants something to do with them when it's convienent for her.  I get frustrated when she wants to switch her time with them because then I have to adjust my work schedule.. I know they are her children, not mine!  My husband is great and gives me support, however, he does not tell me things that is going on with his ex, such as if something changed or coming up to his mother's house for a cook out that we are attending as well.  Boundaries?? this ex has none.  She will walk in to my house up the stairs straight to her children's room..is this normal??? I feel invaded.. and she has been in our bedroom twice... I have no clue what to say to her because the kids are around and we do not discuss her around the kids... boundaries also start with my mother in law..is it normal for a mother in law to be "friends" with an ex of her sons... she has her over swimming, dinners, cookouts... I am by no means intimiated or worried by this woman, however, it is still an an ex of by husbands.. for a while I was like well it's for the kids to see their parents getting along and such but after 6 years of this..I am like noo! this has to be faded out.. I expressed my concern to my husband and he said that he cannot tell his mother what to do.  I am conflicted because I agree with him, however, when we are there and their mother is there they will tell me to come watch them swim, go for bike rides, and such not their mom and I feel weird, ya know?? I am their caregiver primarliy, but am i overstepping my boundaries? we did have her doing things for the kids such as doctors, etc but she would miss appointments, not pay the co pays which was her child support and that was it...just co pays.. and she can't do that.. ALSO... my husband had a vastecomy after 2 kids and I want kids of my own.. we have not been able to save money for the surgey because of court costs ($10,000) to get full primary custody.  I feel selfish at times thinking when is it going to be about me?? I want children but I have put my dreams on hold...I will stop there.. hope I get some feed back because I need it!

by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:31 AM
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whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:47 AM
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ok, first - you're not "more of a mother" to them than BM is, no matter how much work you do for them. Child care tasks such as those a nanny can perform don't make you a mother in any way. You are an involved SM, and that's a good thing to be.  But she remains their one and only mother. She may not be a good mother, but she's their mother nonetheless.

Your DH should appreciate you for all you do for his children because if you didn't do it, HE would have to do it. You are doing a huge favor for him by taking such excellent care of his children. He should thank you. I take care of my DH's children too and he is always sure to thank me. I also thank him for what he does for my kids.

now on to the next thing - switching schedules without telling you. A big NO NO! You shouldn't have to adjust your work schedule. I think maybe if the next time that happens, you are "unable to switch your work schedule" and  DH had to take care of the kids himself, that might not happen so much anymore....

Now on to boundries - tell your DH you do not want BM in your home. You have every right to do that. Of course you feel invaded. That  is a huge invasion. If he won't tell her to stay out of your home, I'd meet her in the entry way and say "can I help you with something?" and physically block her from entering any further (it should be a pretty subtle block, I'd simply stand between her and the rest of the house, so she'd have to walk around me to get past me, and hopefully she'd get the hint). I'd keep my eyes on her, smiling politely, until she left. 

As for your in-laws, they have the right to remain friends with her and you can't do anything about that.

The vasectomy and wanting your own kids - it's not selfish to want your own kids. Every woman deserves to be a mother. But be careful that you don't transfer your resentment and/or longing for kids onto your step situation. That's very easy to do.


RubyLu
by Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:49 AM
3 moms liked this

I can completely relate. I come from the same type of relationship, For a second, it looked like a post I've wanted to write many times. DH has full custody of both children, and I am the runner because my DH has a terrible work schedule. We also can't rely on the BM because she will only do what is convenient for her.
I can say that luckily, the ex doesn't have the "balls" to walk into my house. Nor would I allow it. That is your house, and she needs to respect that. The mother in law, that's a tough one, only because I wouldn't even know where to begin. I was always taugh to respect my elders.. The only thing I can think of is letting her know why it bothers you? And I hope for the best for you!

I know I will get yelled at and corrected and told I am wrong, because people do that a lot on here.....
BUT I do not feel like you are over stepping your boundaries. You are in a situation where the mother won't step up to the plate. So luckily, you will. You are in a situation where you see the children not being taken care of by their mother, and are giving them as much as you can, even though you aren't their Bio-mom. Just because you didn't carry these children in your womb doesn't mean that you don't love them and want to do right by them, and be all the mom you can be. I think people are too quick to tell the SM that no, you aren't the BM, so deal with it. But I am sorry, I have seen many SM become something far beyond what the BM could ever hope to be. And it's a double standard. As a SM, if you step up and be a good SM, you are over stepping boundaries, but if you don't step up, you are a terrible SM.
Being a SM can be a very unrewarding job, and isn't for the weak at heart. Stay strong, and give all you can to be the best SM to the children.

And thank's to a few responses I received asking if I was selfish by wanting one of my own children too, I can say that I don't believe you are being selfish at all. I am right there with you on feeling like I am putting dreams on hold. How about rather than putting them on hold, put them in order? It helped me think of things in a more positive light.

Hope this helps

lilangilyn
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I have a DIL. I love her for herself, not just because she is my son's wife. I also love her because she is the mother of my grandchildren. If they divorced, I would still want contact with her and it would upset me if the new wife for girlfriend wanted me to only support her.

One thing that jumped out at me was that your Dh needs to do more communicating with you about what is going on. And I agree with the PP that you should just say no to any requests that come without any scheduling or planning.

And I would tell the children that mommy is not allowed past the front hall. Because it sounds like that they might be the ones letting her in. Have their dad tell them and then do what the PP says if she tries to come in. I wouldn't be able to stand that.

newstepmom61811
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:56 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow, you do have MAJOR issues. First, you are WAY too enmeshed with DHs old life, it is ABSOLUTELY APPROPRIATE for DH to communicate with his ex about the kids, that does not mean he has drag you into any of it, his obligation is to keep you informed and if a decision he makes with BM inconveniences you, HE HANDLES IT, his problem, not yours. As for boundaries in your home, it is YOUR home, if you don't want BM in it, you can plan PUs and DOs somewhere outside the home, you DO NOT have to have her in your home. As for MIL, you cannot control her, of you have to share events with BM just be polite and ignore her the rest of the time. You do have the power to set boundaries for yourself whether DH agrees or not.
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andie646c
by Silver Member on Jun. 4, 2012 at 9:58 AM

I agree with WIKN but would also like to address the MIL situation as well.

It sounds great to me that a MIL would still be friends with their grandchild's mother. My exMIL and I are still on talking terms. We do not "hang out" but we do communicate. She is part of my sons life (whether I like it or not) and I am happy to have her as a "tool" when her son does something completely stupid (she usually agrees with me when he does those things). She is often able to speak to her son and talk some sense into him while he won't listen to me at all. If she has concerns, she is also able to talk to me.

My own mother would often stay with my brother and I for cookouts at the houses of my fathers family. They would have a cook out and we would want her there or my aunt would ask her to stay. I still remember a joke my aunt told my mother during dinner that involved a milk factory. Seeing my entire family get along with eachother made everything easier for me as a child. I never felt like I couldn't be "me" or that I needed to hide or pick a side.

Perhaps request that someone "warn" you if she will be there ... but at the same time, try not to get upset that she is. She is STILL her childrens mother even when you are around and has every right to be where she is invited (including MIL's house).

ErinRenee815
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Perfect response. Let us know how it goes Sharsh. 

Quoting whatIknownow:

ok, first - you're not "more of a mother" to them than BM is, no matter how much work you do for them. Child care tasks such as those a nanny can perform don't make you a mother in any way. You are an involved SM, and that's a good thing to be.  But she remains their one and only mother. She may not be a good mother, but she's their mother nonetheless.

Your DH should appreciate you for all you do for his children because if you didn't do it, HE would have to do it. You are doing a huge favor for him by taking such excellent care of his children. He should thank you. I take care of my DH's children too and he is always sure to thank me. I also thank him for what he does for my kids.

now on to the next thing - switching schedules without telling you. A big NO NO! You shouldn't have to adjust your work schedule. I think maybe if the next time that happens, you are "unable to switch your work schedule" and  DH had to take care of the kids himself, that might not happen so much anymore....

Now on to boundries - tell your DH you do not want BM in your home. You have every right to do that. Of course you feel invaded. That  is a huge invasion. If he won't tell her to stay out of your home, I'd meet her in the entry way and say "can I help you with something?" and physically block her from entering any further (it should be a pretty subtle block, I'd simply stand between her and the rest of the house, so she'd have to walk around me to get past me, and hopefully she'd get the hint). I'd keep my eyes on her, smiling politely, until she left. 

As for your in-laws, they have the right to remain friends with her and you can't do anything about that.

The vasectomy and wanting your own kids - it's not selfish to want your own kids. Every woman deserves to be a mother. But be careful that you don't transfer your resentment and/or longing for kids onto your step situation. That's very easy to do.



TempestRayne
by Donna on Jun. 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM
1 mom liked this

The BM should not be walking in to your house uninvited and unnannounced. maybe you should start locking your doors.

rose0919
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 3:20 PM
2 moms liked this

first things first, keep her out of your home. she has no rights to it at all. have dh tell her she is not welcome to wander your home. wth was she doing in your bedroom!!!! i would have had a fit. that is MY sanctuary not her place to be in it. second if she changes thing then your dh is the one to deal with it. not your kids not your problem. if she does it to him a few times he will put his foot down and not allow the changes. third as for mil ok they are friends  BUT you can leave if she is there.or dh can ask if they dont include her in family functions , she is no longer family she is the nc parent of the gc. if mil insists on seeing her then they can get together at other times. honestly its rude to have her there when you are there. she isnt part of your life, she doesnt need to be. 


herbiehamlin
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM
Wow!!! Where do I begin.
When I met DH and SD8, I heard all sorts of horror stories about BM, but I blew them off as just talking trash. These came from all sides of DHs family. One time BM came into my home during winter, it was very cold out, to pick up SD then 10, she looked at pictures, checked out kitchen, and made her way to SDs room. Never again has she been inside. Just the once. I definetly wouldn't allow that. Considering the MIL, I understand how you could feel like nanny on duty if she's around at a family gathering but the skids still call for you. Sucks that you have to have her around at those times but consider yourself blessed that you have a good vibe going in the family like that. I sometimes wish everyone got along that way and I could have a better relationship with BM. However that's not My case. My mom and dad are divorced for five years now. He was my stepfather. Is.. my mother and his mother get along great. She took my youngest brother. His DS, to Florida to spend the summer with dad just the other day. Where did my mom stay for the duration of the drop off/pick up?? My dads moms!! My Sdad is remarried now, and I'm sure that was uncomfortable for his nw, but it is great for us. I'm so glad mom and Nanna can hang out for those times. Looks like you have some boundaries to set in your home, but you should just let their relationship be what it is and chalk it up to a good thing. I know it six, but it could be wayyyyyy worse..
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herbiehamlin
by on Jun. 4, 2012 at 5:44 PM
As for wanting children of your own. I totally understand. We were going to court with BM over SD just last year in march and all I could think was I was helping him fight for HIS child whom I cared so much about, but no matter what I did or how I loved her or cared for her, she would never be my flesh and blood. I was preggars and didn't know it. About two weeks later I found out and I couldn't have been happier. Now I have two lovely girls to care for and I feel much better about having to play mommy all the time since one of them is legally mine and I dont have to share her with another woman. It is such a dreadful feeling to care so much about someone but not be their true mother. Don't let what you want fall wayside. Find a reasonable way to get your dreams accomplished. If u can't afford surgery, how about a donor??
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