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BM trying to alienate SD from me

Posted by on May. 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM
  • 44 Replies

Something happened this weekend that has me pretty upset and not knowing the best way to handle it.  I know that SD can sense, or is being outright told, that her mother doesn't like me or something along those lines.  When we were at a family function for DF's family a few weeks ago, DF's sister referred to me as SD's stepmom (since the wedding is only 4 weeks away from the wedding, people have just started useing these terms. and SD said "I'm not allowed to call Erica that, my mom said if I call Erica that, then she will be mad at me" and DF's sister asked her why and said "She WILL be your stepmom though, so what's wrong with you saying it" and SD put her head down on the table in her arms and said "I know, but I'm not allowed to say it".  SD and I have a very close relationship - we snuggle and say we love eachother, give hugs and kisses, we both have heart necklaces, one that DF got me, and one that I got for SD and she wears it when she is at our house and she made up this thing where we make our necklaces touch and make a kiss sound and she says "We make them kiss because we love eachothers!" We have tons of fun together and we just adore eachother, we truly do. 

This weekend she said to me "I wish you could go to the mother's day tea at my school" and I said "well I would love to go if that's what would make you happy, but I would only go if your mom said it was ok".  She said "I don't really think my mom would let you go" and I said ok, well that's fine sweetheart, I don't need to go."  Then my daughter said "SD) told me that her mom said she can't call you mom even after you and (DF) get married". I said "that's ok, I don't need (SD) to call me mom, she already has a mommy that loves her. She probably wont call (BM's boyfriend) Dad either.". SD said "My mommy told me that I can call him dad, but I wont call him daddy". Then I said to SD " Well, I just want to be a grown up in your life that loves you LIKE a mommy does and helps take care of you when you are at daddy's house, and that you can talk to. I would rather not just be "Erica" forever, but we can just come up with another special nickname for you to call me." SD then said "Can I call you 'M' and have it be short for Mom?" and I said "do you really want to call me that" and she said "yes!" So I told her it's fine with me if she wants to call me "M". 

   DF took the kids shopping for mother's day presents and she gave me hers before she left since I wouldn't see her on mother's day. She was so excited and talking about how happy she is to have a second mom and how much she loves me. I told her I'm excited that she is a part of my life and that I love her too.  Well she went home and a few hours later we got a text from BM saying that she doesn't appreciate us telling SD to ask her if I can go to the mother's day tea, that it is rude and playing mind games with SD!  DF explained to her what the conversation had been and she said "Well, (SD) says that you guys brought it up to her) DF told BM that SD is probably nervous to tell her that it was actually SD's idea because she knows she doesn't like me and doesn't want her mom to be mad at her.  He also told her that it's very confusing to SD that her mom dislikes someone that she loves and that BM shouldn't make her feel bad for wanting me to be a part of her life or for loving me. She never responded back. I texted BM today asking her if she would like to get together and try to iron out some of this stuff. She never responded. I'm so frustrated.  I don't want to go to SD's Dr. appointments or parent teacher conferences, or infringe on any milestone moments or anything like that. ALL I want to do is make sure that SD feels like she has a home with us - that she has her own bed and clothes and toys and everything.  I want her to feel loved and like she is a true part of the family.  I want to help my DF be as involved in her life as he possibly can.  I want her to know that I love unconditionally and that she can love me back without fear. 

   I'm worried that all of the negativity that BM has toward me, and isn't afraid to show to SD, will harm me and SD's relationship AND harm SD emotionally. I want BM to understand that I'm not trying to take HER place in SD's life but rather just taking my own, unique place in SD's life, so that she's not radiating negativity toward me and having it effect SD.


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by on May. 6, 2013 at 4:59 PM
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narmac13
by on May. 6, 2013 at 5:28 PM

 I have been there and still live it pretty frequently. SS and I have a great relationship when he is here but he has certainly told me that I am not invited to anything because BM doesn't like me. He has witnessed her scream at me on more than one occassion. And he has had the confused moment of trying to figure out why BM doesn't like me because he does and he doesn't understand that. It's hard. Unfortunately you can't change BM and you probably won't be able to make her see the light. All you can do is keep doing what you're doing. Keep encouraging positive relationships with everyone and keep loving her.

Tinkerbellmama
by Platinum Member on May. 6, 2013 at 5:33 PM

I can't say about your SD and BM, but I can tell you what happened in our situation.

SD and I are very close. I was the first "mother figure" in her life. She had grandma (DH's mom) and she had BM as "mommy" but to SD the term mommy didn't mean mom/mommy it was like it was BM's name, you know?

Once BM decided she wanted SD and there was all sorts of crazy nastiness, BM ended up with custody and DH had EOW Wed-Sun (that went to Fri-Sun once SD started school). The craziness with BM continued. I HAD to be referred to by my name (which was fine), but SD couldn't say step-mom. She couldn't call her siblings (DS and DDs) her brother and sisters. BM did her best to try to destroy SD's relationship with DH, me, and our kiddos.

Whenever SD would come back to us repeating the crap BM said, we'd just tell her that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes and sometimes we say things that aren't true either on accident on on purpose. We'd tell SD that we all still love her, and we'd leave it at that. It always made SD feel better in the short term.

SD has a great relationship with myself, DH, and her siblings. Not so much with BM. SD is 12, almost 13, and makes no effort to contact BM. If BM tries to contact her, SD will talk to her, but SD makes no effort to contact BM at all. If we ask her if she'd like to contact her mom she always says, "No, not right now." 

SD is a happy, mostly well adjusted kid now. In fact, BM hasn't contacted her or seen her in a month and she's doing the best she's ever done. 

packermomof2
by on May. 6, 2013 at 5:44 PM

You don't love another woman's kid like a mom does.  You love her like she is your SK, other people's kid; there are differences.

You said you would go to her tea IF her mom said it was okay.  This kid isn't that old.  Ask your mom is exactly what that sounds like.

You aren't the SM yet.  Nothing wrong with not calling you that until you are.

If she was alienating dad, that would be one thing.  But his?  Isn't alienation.

And dad being condescending to mom telling her she shouldn't not like you because it confuses the kid was wrong.  Mom doesn't have to like you.  You have crossed lines, you've posted about that.  If you want her to like you start by respecting her.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on May. 6, 2013 at 6:03 PM

I don't think this really qualifies as alienation.

From your post, it sound like BM isn't badmouthing you or anything, she's just clarified to the child that she has one mom, BM and that BM doesn't feel that it's appropriate for the child to call you mom and that Mom's rules apply regardless of where the child is. I think it's actually MORE confusing and problematic for you guys to be trying to offer work arounds or put the child in a position where she's feeling the need to get more clarifcation from mom.

Put another way, you want to go canoeing.  SD says "my mom says I have to wear a life jacket any time I'm on the water".  You and DH think it's overkill.   What kind of message would it send to SD to say "well, that's just Mom's rule so how about if we just keep it in the boat, you don't have to wear it."

It's just a bad idea to do stuff like that.

And I'll go one step further when it comes to your future inlaws and this stepparenting thing:  ignore them.  They have no bloody clue what they're talking about or how the things they ASSUME about step mom life are often so far out there. 

This is one I would just let go.  What you call someone does not affect how you feel about them or your relationship with them.  You can have a good relationship with your soon to be SD and be called by your name or a nickname.  


chanizen
by Platinum Member on May. 6, 2013 at 6:18 PM
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Hon, if you have no malicious agenda, then wait until you are married, provide a happy space for sd, let her call you Erica and stop pushing. Seriously.

You will get away with it while she is young but really you are putting sd front and center in a war. She is NOT your child. So make her comfortable but you are putting yourself in the "mommy" role and mom objects. Stop. Mom is present and involved.

How would I handle the school function? By saying "enjoy your day with your mom". You and I can do a special girls cake on our own and have a little fun. Why? Because you love the kid, RIGHT? Because you don't want her stressed out over a school tea for mothers. I'm suggesting that you love her enough to bow out of that struggle completely.

I loved my sd from my first marriage and still do. Loved her enough to be delighted that her mom loved her. Loved her enough to NOT compete for a title and position that were not mine. Loves her enough to make peace. Loved her enough to require nothing of her.

I still see her. I still talk to her. She is a beautiful young woman now.
amantonacci
by Platinum Member on May. 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I don't really see the problem....

viv212
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2013 at 7:21 PM
Oh my gosh it sounds so much like my story. I'm in the same boat as you. I think the BM in my situation doesn't realize what she is doing to SD by making her feel guilty for liking you. How old is your SD?
Mins just turned 9 and she's old enough to I think possibly tell BM whatever she wants to hear to make her happy- which means basically that she really doesn't like me. It's so frustrating.

The best way to get "revenge"? Continue treating your SD good and love her. That's what I do.
EricaG87
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2013 at 9:14 PM
2 moms liked this

For those who don't think it's any big deal, I don't know, maybe I'm not conveying it right because I can see that the way that all of this makes SD feel is a big deal to her, and that's why it's a big deal to me.  As for me backing off and stuff, I just think about what I would have wanted as a child.  I had a few different step parents growing up and I was very sensitive, and at times still am, about my place in their life and in their hearts. I always hated that my dad didn't like my stepdad and it made me feel upset and uncomfortable. If I had asked my stepdad if I could call him "D" for dad and he said no, I would have been devastated. If I had asked him to come to my father's day thing at school and he said "no, I'm not your dad" or even something along those lines I would have been very sad and hurt.  Same thing when it came to my stepmom.  I try not to do that to SD, I will always let her know that she can be as close to me as SHE wants and think of me as much of a mother figure to her as she would like. I'm not going to hurt her and make her feel like less to me than my own child just because I didn't give birth to her.  I do love her like I love my own children.  I don't love her exactly the same way that I love my biological children, but then again I don't love any of my biological children in the exact same way either.  I love her with all my heart just as I do my bio kids, I would give my life to save hers just as I would for my bio kids, when she hurts I hurt, when she's happy I'm happy just like with my bio kids, I pray for her and she is always on my mind just like my bio kids, she takes a piece of my heart with her everywhere she goes just like my biokids do. I love her unconditionally.  Others may  not have the ability to do that with "other people's" children, but I guess I do.

abigailsmommy11
by Kelli on May. 6, 2013 at 9:28 PM

I agree with you and know exactly where you're coming from, this is very well said. As for advice, all I can say is to keep doing what you're doing and hope that Bm relents a little as Sd gets older. Good Luck!


Quoting EricaG87:

For those who don't think it's any big deal, I don't know, maybe I'm not conveying it right because I can see that the way that all of this makes SD feel is a big deal to her, and that's why it's a big deal to me.  As for me backing off and stuff, I just think about what I would have wanted as a child.  I had a few different step parents growing up and I was very sensitive, and at times still am, about my place in their life and in their hearts. I always hated that my dad didn't like my stepdad and it made me feel upset and uncomfortable. If I had asked my stepdad if I could call him "D" for dad and he said no, I would have been devastated. If I had asked him to come to my father's day thing at school and he said "no, I'm not your dad" or even something along those lines I would have been very sad and hurt.  Same thing when it came to my stepmom.  I try not to do that to SD, I will always let her know that she can be as close to me as SHE wants and think of me as much of a mother figure to her as she would like. I'm not going to hurt her and make her feel like less to me than my own child just because I didn't give birth to her.  I do love her like I love my own children.  I don't love her exactly the same way that I love my biological children, but then again I don't love any of my biological children in the exact same way either.  I love her with all my heart just as I do my bio kids, I would give my life to save hers just as I would for my bio kids, when she hurts I hurt, when she's happy I'm happy just like with my bio kids, I pray for her and she is always on my mind just like my bio kids, she takes a piece of my heart with her everywhere she goes just like my biokids do. I love her unconditionally.  Others may  not have the ability to do that with "other people's" children, but I guess I do.



chanizen
by Platinum Member on May. 6, 2013 at 9:30 PM

And that is why you are creating war.  Just saying.  It is really easy to remove the conflict from the child.  Really easy.  But you choose not to.  So instead of making it okay... You help her feel conflicted.  Blindly, willfully becaue of your agenda.

My sd often brought mom stuff to me.  If it caused conflict with her mother, I stopped it.  I also diverted things peacefully and happily to her mom when appropriate.  It's also about loving a child enough to not pllay tug of war over her.  Which is EXACTLY what you did with the mother's day thing.  You KNOW her mom is going to say no, back off. You aren't even married.  You are NOT her mom.   So why would YOU as an adult ever put a child in that situation? 

IT is super easy to deflect.  To create peace for the child. Peace knowing that she can celebrate her mother without feeling guilty.  Peace knowing she isn't in ANY way being asked to solicit her mother on your behalf.  Peace knowing that she is loved no matter what.  

Or you play little games.  "if only your mommy would let me go".  It's a game.  A nasty thing to do to a child.  TOTALLY unnecessary.


Quoting EricaG87:

For those who don't think it's any big deal, I don't know, maybe I'm not conveying it right because I can see that the way that all of this makes SD feel is a big deal to her, and that's why it's a big deal to me.  As for me backing off and stuff, I just think about what I would have wanted as a child.  I had a few different step parents growing up and I was very sensitive, and at times still am, about my place in their life and in their hearts. I always hated that my dad didn't like my stepdad and it made me feel upset and uncomfortable. If I had asked my stepdad if I could call him "D" for dad and he said no, I would have been devastated. If I had asked him to come to my father's day thing at school and he said "no, I'm not your dad" or even something along those lines I would have been very sad and hurt.  Same thing when it came to my stepmom.  I try not to do that to SD, I will always let her know that she can be as close to me as SHE wants and think of me as much of a mother figure to her as she would like. I'm not going to hurt her and make her feel like less to me than my own child just because I didn't give birth to her.  I do love her like I love my own children.  I don't love her exactly the same way that I love my biological children, but then again I don't love any of my biological children in the exact same way either.  I love her with all my heart just as I do my bio kids, I would give my life to save hers just as I would for my bio kids, when she hurts I hurt, when she's happy I'm happy just like with my bio kids, I pray for her and she is always on my mind just like my bio kids, she takes a piece of my heart with her everywhere she goes just like my biokids do. I love her unconditionally.  Others may  not have the ability to do that with "other people's" children, but I guess I do.



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