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I gave up and stepped back... and I feel guilty

Posted by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
  • 26 Replies

Some of you may recognize me, I've posted a few times about my stepkids, particularly my 13yo SS. It's a long story but it's necessary that I give the history...

DH and BM have joint custody of skids. He's primary during the school year and she's primary during the non school year. Last August DH agreed to let SS try a year with BM. He was driving us (ME) crazy with attitude and BM assured us that he'd do better with her. DH wasn't much help and I was at my wits end. That was August. In November, SS was failing EVERY academic class with 30's-40's b/c he was not completing homework, turning in assignments, or studying. After the PTC we all three attended, DH asked what was up and BM told him that he was doing the work but not turning it in. She said she couldn't be in school with him to be sure he was doing as he should. DH threatened to make him move back but they both promised he would do better, so DH gave them another chance. In January he was still failing every class. DH still didn't move him back here because he didn't want to deal with SS's attitude. Not my decision but I said ok, whatever. In March, we find out from BM's latest bf that we should look into his attendance. When we do we find out that SS had been expelled. DH calls the school and they tell him he was kicked out for selling marijuana. DH goes the next day to get SS from BM. She says she didn't tell us because she thought SS should. He knew we'd be pissed so why would he? It turns out that BM knew he had the weed and did nothing but that's another story. Anyway, he was charged with posession and distribution. He was put on probation and expelled for the rest of the year so homeschooling him was the only option. That got left to me b/c DH does not have a HS diploma, plus he works full-time and I work part-time when I can. It was great at first, SS cooperated but then he started giving me problems. Not doing his work, complaining, arguing, etc. When Summer came BM wanted him to come there and do his schooling (that was one of my posts). The decision was mine. I felt that it was better for SS to stay here b/c I knew I'd make sure he did the work. 

A couple of weekends ago SS wanted to go to his mom's earlier than usual so he could see friends that were visiting. DH said ok as long as he'd do the work for Friday. He promised he would. I made a list of assignments for him to complete (we were using an online program). I texted BM and let her know that he would bring the list and he knew the website info. She said ok and she would make sure he did it. On Sunday, when we would usually pick him up, he calls and asks to stay until Monday afternoon. DH agrees but tells him to have Monday's work done before we pick him up. He agrees and I figure out what he needs to do and let him know. Well Monday comes and we go pick him up. I had watched the website and saw that he had done NO work for Friday OR Monday but wanted to see what he would say. When we get to BM's I ask if he did his work. He tells us he couldn't because they had company all weekend and he couldn't concentrate. We look at BM and she says, "I told him to do it". WTH?? So I was pissed to say the least. I had been working my ass off for months to help him finish his school stuff so he could attempt to pass and ONE weekends BM couldn't help at all. So, I told DH I was done and I texted BM to let her know that it was her responsibility now.

That was over two weeks ago and she has not done one thing toward taking over his schooling. He is with her enjoying his Summer and having fun. Now he will definitely repeat the 7th grade and I feel bad but I didn't know what else to do. I did everything I could and it blew up in my face. He'll have to come back out here in August for school and I can see how much "fun" that will be but I guess I will fight that battle when I come to it...

I just hate feeling guilty for giving up on him... :( It seemed like I was the only one trying to do what was best for him, now I don't know what will happen...

by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 12:50 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Tillymommie
by Silver Member on Jun. 25, 2012 at 1:26 AM

You did what you could. He is lucky to have a SM that cares but until BPs step up and do their part you did all you could and then some. Its hard to step back when you care but thats the downside of being a SP. We can only push so much, ultimately its up to BPs to make it happen. If they decide to help and buckle down then maybe you can help again. Until then just sit back hope for the best and let them know you are there (if you chose to be) when they need you

chanizen
by Platinum Member on Jun. 25, 2012 at 6:10 AM
Out the guilt and shame away. It is not necessary or helpful.

Your ss needs to make decisions as do bm and dh. Bm could have helped or pushed the issue with homework. And she enabled him up to this point anyways. And dh may be working hard, but it sounds like he needs to pursue this kid and shake him out of his lifestyle.

You cannot fight uphill alone. You did what you could. Now let the rest of the family and the universe take over.
lilangilyn
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 7:12 AM

BM and DH need to pay for a private school. It is not your job to home school. Christian schools sometimes have scholarship programs if you cannot afford it. They also will take in kids that have made mistakes.

If it were me, I would go get myself a job so I wouldn't be the one automatically looked to for schooling. You didn't mention if you have a job or if you have your own kids at home.

The BM sounds very weak. And the kid seems to be playing all of you. Don't feel guilty. Step back.

lilangilyn
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 7:14 AM

And of course BM won't take over his schooling. You are doing all her work for her. You are enabling the situation. If you were not around, what would happen?

MDStepMomma2
by Member on Jun. 25, 2012 at 10:52 AM

How did you give up? His BM most likely doesn't value education does she? Because I can tell you if I was the BM. He would have had NO friends over until that homework was done. When all his friends are in the 8th grade in the fall and he is still in the 7th.You can simplely tell him, the for every action there is an equal reaction or consequence. He didn't do school - consequence. He stays in the 7th grade. He flunks again..he has to do 7th grade again or summer school.

 

 

mmkess
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:11 AM

You are trying to take responsibility in a situation that is not your responsibility. Putting SS in new school and cutting out bad crowds he has associated himself with at the old school might help. It might also make him hate everyone too. lol. SS's parents are the ones who need to be dealing with this. DH needs to assert more discipline with SS and stop letting BM blow off everything entirely. Seems like SS is better of with DH than BM. DH needs to make some decisions.


Marie9076
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:31 AM

Thank you! I have always fought, no matter what, to do what was right. So, giving up and watching the disaster that is the result is hard for me.

Quoting Tillymommie:

You did what you could. He is lucky to have a SM that cares but until BPs step up and do their part you did all you could and then some. Its hard to step back when you care but thats the downside of being a SP. We can only push so much, ultimately its up to BPs to make it happen. If they decide to help and buckle down then maybe you can help again. Until then just sit back hope for the best and let them know you are there (if you chose to be) when they need you


Marie9076
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM

Thank you! I know that is should be ultimately up to DH and BM. DH tries, maybe not as hard as he should but he has always left a lot of it up to me. I had no problem until the last year or two when it got harder and harder and I began to feel like a single parent to kids that aren't mine. DH and SS both have anger and communication issues. Another thing I am trying to fix but having trouble. DH doesn't know what to do anymore either.

Thanks again

Quoting chanizen:

Out the guilt and shame away. It is not necessary or helpful.

Your ss needs to make decisions as do bm and dh. Bm could have helped or pushed the issue with homework. And she enabled him up to this point anyways. And dh may be working hard, but it sounds like he needs to pursue this kid and shake him out of his lifestyle.

You cannot fight uphill alone. You did what you could. Now let the rest of the family and the universe take over.


Marie9076
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:39 AM

DH can not afford to pay for a program himself and when he approached BM with the idea of paying for a program she said she couldn't afford it. The program that I was using was only $20/month and she wouldn't or couldn't even help with that.

I work part-time at a daycare but not as much during the Summer. I watch my handicapped aunt while my mom works and I do have two kids of my own. They are 3 and 17mo. I will be going back to school full-time in August.

BM wants to be their FRIEND, she has told us over and over. And, apparently she can't manage to be a mother at the same time.

I have stepped back, that's why he is no longer being homeschooled like he should be. He will get an imcomplete I guess... I'm not sure how the BOE will handle it yet. They may call the police for truiancy (sp). I just know that SS needs a good education and since I've given up it won't happen... :(

Quoting lilangilyn:

BM and DH need to pay for a private school. It is not your job to home school. Christian schools sometimes have scholarship programs if you cannot afford it. They also will take in kids that have made mistakes.

If it were me, I would go get myself a job so I wouldn't be the one automatically looked to for schooling. You didn't mention if you have a job or if you have your own kids at home.

The BM sounds very weak. And the kid seems to be playing all of you. Don't feel guilty. Step back.


Marie9076
by on Jun. 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I know that she won't. That's the problem. Even since I have stepped back and let her know that I was done, she has done nothing. If I were not around and DH didn't have another woman to do the mothering for him and BM then SS would not have gotten this far or he would've been in trouble before now. If I had not stayed on his case about studying and behaving in the past, he would've failed school years ago.

Quoting lilangilyn:

And of course BM won't take over his schooling. You are doing all her work for her. You are enabling the situation. If you were not around, what would happen?


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