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Need to Vent!

Posted by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
  • 15 Replies
1 mom liked this

 Let me preface this by saying, I am not a perfect stepparent and I by no means claim my husband is a perfect father. There is a backstory behind everything and I give credit to the fact that having a challenging childhood can really impact your abilities and choices as a parent. That being said, since February, I have brought my SS to psychologist. Both BM and DH are aware. The only reason I was appointed for it is because my work scheudle allows me to have more flexibility and I have more PL and sick time than the two of them combined. Never a problem, I enjoyed going with him, the Dr is great and we get a lot accomplished which I in turn explain the contents of to BOTH parents. BM has been struggling with his behavior for over a year. He was kicked out of kindrgarten his first day for head butting his principal. It has been a downward spiral since where he became diagnosed with ADHD and ODD and placed on several medications. Now during this initial diagnosis, we sat down together (BM, DH, and I ) and discussed how to enhance our parenting and improve the well being of SS to handle his aggression and difficulties following directions...Mind you as well, Psychologist and current Psychaitrist believe he was diagnosed too soon (4-5 years old) and the causes for his behavior are environmental not biological.

DH and I set to a plan of rules deciding what would and wouldnt be tolerated, engaged in the counting system (once I get to three, you're going to lose something) and time out. It took two months of struggle but now he knows. Daddy and Stepmommy won't let me get away with anything. He has never hit us, he starts to talk back, goes to time out and its a wrap. And not just when Daddy is around. When I am alone with him, its the same thing. We don't buy his affection, we do things. Go fishing, swimming, to museums, art projects, science experiements, reading, etc.

BM on the other hand allows him to do anything and everything he wants. He drinks orange soda and has as many as six ice creams before bed there (not exaggerating, family memebers have witnessed it), refuses meals constantly and demands people make him seven to ten different meals (none of which he will eat) and beats the living H out of her whenever he feels liek it, which is rewarded by trips to Target to pick out new toys.

BM is constantly complaining about money and how she has none yet she works, gets child support from us every week, both kids are on state insurance where EVERYTHING is covered, gets WIC, gets food stamps, and please, in case you think it doesn't cover it all ( SD gets formula, G-tube supplies, monitors, etc all for free on her insurance so food is only for her and SS-who doesnt eat there anyways). She is literally responsible for clothes, diapers, and rent. She has full internet, full cable, the most expensive cell phone possible. And....SD gets a $700 a month disability check that can cover anythign related to her. Oh, and the electric and gas can never be shut off due to medical conditions within the hosue....so pleas complain more to me about how you have no money when yesterday you bought him a happy meal, in which they forgot the toy, and promised to birng him to Target where he came home with a new motorcycle that plugs into the tv as a video game and a helicopter. He is five years old!! You don't reward a child that has no respect for you and your well being and physically and verbally attacks you with things like this.

Since last month, both BM and DH have begun coming to therpay as well since SS's poor behavior isnt happening to the degree it is at BM with us, there's not much more I can work on with the psychologist. She looks him in the face and says eveyrthing is perfect and they aren;'t having any problems when in reality, he is attacking her daily and deciding on everything, including decisions that a five year old has no business making. I have tried a countless number of times to explain how things work at our hosue and to help her because I think its terirble that SS treats her this way but she doesn't ever do what is recommended and she constantly enables his horrible behavior. Im so tired of her telling eveyrone that DH and myself are horrible and that we lie about SS eating healthy and behaving, like there is any personal gain to be made by lying when we are trying to work as a team on his overall well being...It's just crap.

I'm not looking for perfection but as his mother, I wish she would put in the effort that he deserves. He is a different child when he is with us...Speaking of which, she has agreed to have him come live with us for a year starting in August...and I can't help but fear that as he gets even more consistency and routine with us, his visitatiosn on weekends with her are goign to get that much more out of control...end rant...

by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:01 AM
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DDDaysh
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM
2 moms liked this

 You need to step back.  If you keep letting yourself go down this path it is going to get destructive for you. 

BM is going to do what she's going to do.  DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT.  Do not even think about it.  If she complains about DS, smile, say, "I'm sorry", and ignore it. 

Continuing to think about what she is or is not doing as a parent won't help anything at all.  The only thing it will do is make you bitter.  It will sour relationships.  It will eventually seep through your attitude and your SS will realize how you feel about his mother, and that will hurt him.  So...  just ignore it. 

The only advice I have for you guys is to get the court order changed to reflect that fact that SS will be living with you.  This is important so that there can't be any games about, "well I'm going to take him back if...".  At that point, let things be. 

If she's getting attacked by SS, well that's her problem, not yours.  Eating junk food at mom's house isn't going to kill him.  Getting spoiled rotten with toys he doesn't appreciate isn't going to kill him.  If she's broke - oh well, again, not your problem. 

It sounds like you guys have don't alot of good things with your parenting and consistency.  Now take the next step.  Acknowledge which things are in your control and which are not.  And if it's something that's not in your control, don't worry about it any more than you'd worry about the weather.  (Which basically means, know when you need to take an umbrella for protection, and just accept what comes.) 

EmbraceTheChaos
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:41 AM

 

I know I need to learn to not let it bother me. That's why I typically try to just vent it to get it off my chest and out of my mind and then move on. We could easily turn the other cheek and admit that it is her issue because we don't have the same problems but I just worry about his well being. I'm not talking about a small little tantrum that you see the normal five year old throw. He has bit through her arm to the point where it's bled straight through two large band aides and done other things that are above and beyond a child showing their emotions. That side of him is one that should never come out because it's horrible for him. Be mad, yell, stomp around, I can live with that,and we do ,but the attacks he does towards her aren't right. The other problem is because its acceptable with her, he tests it on other adults too. Older grandparents, teachers, etc. People who don't deserve it and because of that he has to repeat K this year because he literally missed a full half of the beginning of the year because we had to pick him up early daily for physical agrgession and poor behavior. I worry that the longer her continues to do this with her  and gain rewards for it, the situation is going to spiral out of control. She has been told previosuly by several different professionals that if the right mandated reproter witnesses it, dcf will likely have to be involved and she does and neglects so many things that in that situation a ridiculous can of worms would open that she can't recover from. Maybe I shouldn't care but I value that he has a relationship with his BM, even if it isn't stable or healthy and the thought of him having to go without that isn't one I can take easily. I love him and i treat him as though he's my child but I will never be his BM and no matter how much she does worng, I still think he needs her in his life. I guess I know it isn't my problem but I see how it's his and it frustrates me not being in the position to be able to fix it before its too late.

Quoting DDDaysh:

 You need to step back.  If you keep letting yourself go down this path it is going to get destructive for you. 

BM is going to do what she's going to do.  DO NOT WORRY ABOUT IT.  Do not even think about it.  If she complains about DS, smile, say, "I'm sorry", and ignore it. 

Continuing to think about what she is or is not doing as a parent won't help anything at all.  The only thing it will do is make you bitter.  It will sour relationships.  It will eventually seep through your attitude and your SS will realize how you feel about his mother, and that will hurt him.  So...  just ignore it. 

The only advice I have for you guys is to get the court order changed to reflect that fact that SS will be living with you.  This is important so that there can't be any games about, "well I'm going to take him back if...".  At that point, let things be. 

If she's getting attacked by SS, well that's her problem, not yours.  Eating junk food at mom's house isn't going to kill him.  Getting spoiled rotten with toys he doesn't appreciate isn't going to kill him.  If she's broke - oh well, again, not your problem. 

It sounds like you guys have don't alot of good things with your parenting and consistency.  Now take the next step.  Acknowledge which things are in your control and which are not.  And if it's something that's not in your control, don't worry about it any more than you'd worry about the weather.  (Which basically means, know when you need to take an umbrella for protection, and just accept what comes.) 


 

DDDaysh
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:45 AM

 Oh, I agree those are not wonderful things.  But it still comes down to this.... 

You have no ability to control what happens with his mother.  None at all.  Unless it's something that is actually bad enough to call CPS about, the only thing you can do is ignore it because you can't change it.  Worrying about it when you can't change it only makes things worse.  To avoid making things worse, you have to make yourself let go. 

Quoting EmbraceTheChaos:

 

I know I need to learn to not let it bother me. That's why I typically try to just vent it to get it off my chest and out of my mind and then move on. We could easily turn the other cheek and admit that it is her issue because we don't have the same problems but I just worry about his well being. I'm not talking about a small little tantrum that you see the normal five year old throw. He has bit through her arm to the point where it's bled straight through two large band aides and done other things that are above and beyond a child showing their emotions. That side of him is one that should never come out because it's horrible for him. Be mad, yell, stomp around, I can live with that,and we do ,but the attacks he does towards her aren't right. The other problem is because its acceptable with her, he tests it on other adults too. Older grandparents, teachers, etc. People who don't deserve it and because of that he has to repeat K this year because he literally missed a full half of the beginning of the year because we had to pick him up early daily for physical agrgession and poor behavior. I worry that the longer her continues to do this with her  and gain rewards for it, the situation is going to spiral out of control. She has been told previosuly by several different professionals that if the right mandated reproter witnesses it, dcf will likely have to be involved and she does and neglects so many things that in that situation a ridiculous can of worms would open that she can't recover from. Maybe I shouldn't care but I value that he has a relationship with his BM, even if it isn't stable or healthy and the thought of him having to go without that isn't one I can take easily. I love him and i treat him as though he's my child but I will never be his BM and no matter how much she does worng, I still think he needs her in his life. I guess I know it isn't my problem but I see how it's his and it frustrates me not being in the position to be able to fix it before its too late.

Quoting DDDaysh:

 

 

Gr521
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:49 AM
I think all you can do is express your concerns about what you have heard to the counselor. Remember because you don't see what actually happens at her house, it is just heresay in the eyes of the court and counselor (as I was told by a judge). You can however express concerns to a counselor that he can bring up with his time with BM. I have had the same issues with my son (ADHD, ODD and Bipolar) and my ex. Unfortunately, I was told that I can not control anything that happens when he's with his dad. All the junk food eating, staying up til 2 in the morning, telling his dad what to do, being rewarded for misbehavior and only for his to return to my house with strict rules and him being VERY oppositional and defiant the first few days back EVERY time.

I wish I can tell you it gets easier. I knew my son was that way after birth, was diagnosed at 4, we have been seeking counseling since then every month and now he's 16. It only gets harder as the stricter parent but I know he thrives and does better under structure. It kills me when he tries to get physical or says he wants to live with his dad where there are no rules. I just keep praying one day he will realize I was trying to do what I thought was best for him. He's starting to see that now.

As suggested above, I'd also suggest lots of open talks with him or having his dad talk with him about his actions and being very clear on consequences. Although you have been there, you are still the step mom and rules need to stem from his dad first especially if BM is in the picture more now.

I do think 1 yr from now with you guys getting custody this next year, it will be completely different for the better. Be prepared though for misbehaving when he returns from any visits with BM. It's usually 2 steps forward, 1 step back as I see it, but as long as you are consistent with rules and structure,he will still be moving forward in this journey of life.
EmbraceTheChaos
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:50 AM

 

I def do need to stop worrying about the things we can't control.  It's just hard sometimes...

Quoting DDDaysh:

 Oh, I agree those are not wonderful things.  But it still comes down to this.... 

You have no ability to control what happens with his mother.  None at all.  Unless it's something that is actually bad enough to call CPS about, the only thing you can do is ignore it because you can't change it.  Worrying about it when you can't change it only makes things worse.  To avoid making things worse, you have to make yourself let go. 

Quoting EmbraceTheChaos:

 

I know I need to learn to not let it bother me. That's why I typically try to just vent it to get it off my chest and out of my mind and then move on. We could easily turn the other cheek and admit that it is her issue because we don't have the same problems but I just worry about his well being. I'm not talking about a small little tantrum that you see the normal five year old throw. He has bit through her arm to the point where it's bled straight through two large band aides and done other things that are above and beyond a child showing their emotions. That side of him is one that should never come out because it's horrible for him. Be mad, yell, stomp around, I can live with that,and we do ,but the attacks he does towards her aren't right. The other problem is because its acceptable with her, he tests it on other adults too. Older grandparents, teachers, etc. People who don't deserve it and because of that he has to repeat K this year because he literally missed a full half of the beginning of the year because we had to pick him up early daily for physical agrgession and poor behavior. I worry that the longer her continues to do this with her  and gain rewards for it, the situation is going to spiral out of control. She has been told previosuly by several different professionals that if the right mandated reproter witnesses it, dcf will likely have to be involved and she does and neglects so many things that in that situation a ridiculous can of worms would open that she can't recover from. Maybe I shouldn't care but I value that he has a relationship with his BM, even if it isn't stable or healthy and the thought of him having to go without that isn't one I can take easily. I love him and i treat him as though he's my child but I will never be his BM and no matter how much she does worng, I still think he needs her in his life. I guess I know it isn't my problem but I see how it's his and it frustrates me not being in the position to be able to fix it before its too late.

Quoting DDDaysh:

 

 


 

DDDaysh
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:52 AM

 Ya...  it's hard.  It takes practice and doesn't happen over night.  But, sometimes not adding to the damage is the only thing you can do. 

Quoting EmbraceTheChaos:

 

I def do need to stop worrying about the things we can't control.  It's just hard sometimes...

Quoting DDDaysh:

 Oh, I agree those are not wonderful things.  But it still comes down to this.... 

 

:

 

 

 

 

 

EmbraceTheChaos
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

 

It's so true. Our schedule right now is Mondays, Wednesdays and every other weekend from Friday to Sunday and it literally only takes from dropping him off Sunday to picking him up Monday for him to change by the time we get him and it normally takes a solid hour for him to return to "normal" with us. We are hoping to try to get custody next year. This was our first step and the courts already have the agreement on file for the coming year. Im hoping by documenting everything that we will have enough evidence next year to make our home the primary residance. I do think he needs to see her I just think at this time, with the way she allows him to be, it's healthier for him if he has our structure and stability more often.

Quoting Gr521:

I think all you can do is express your concerns about what you have heard to the counselor. Remember because you don't see what actually happens at her house, it is just heresay in the eyes of the court and counselor (as I was told by a judge). You can however express concerns to a counselor that he can bring up with his time with BM. I have had the same issues with my son (ADHD, ODD and Bipolar) and my ex. Unfortunately, I was told that I can not control anything that happens when he's with his dad. All the junk food eating, staying up til 2 in the morning, telling his dad what to do, being rewarded for misbehavior and only for his to return to my house with strict rules and him being VERY oppositional and defiant the first few days back EVERY time.

I wish I can tell you it gets easier. I knew my son was that way after birth, was diagnosed at 4, we have been seeking counseling since then every month and now he's 16. It only gets harder as the stricter parent but I know he thrives and does better under structure. It kills me when he tries to get physical or says he wants to live with his dad where there are no rules. I just keep praying one day he will realize I was trying to do what I thought was best for him. He's starting to see that now.

As suggested above, I'd also suggest lots of open talks with him or having his dad talk with him about his actions and being very clear on consequences. Although you have been there, you are still the step mom and rules need to stem from his dad first especially if BM is in the picture more now.

I do think 1 yr from now with you guys getting custody this next year, it will be completely different for the better. Be prepared though for misbehaving when he returns from any visits with BM. It's usually 2 steps forward, 1 step back as I see it, but as long as you are consistent with rules and structure,he will still be moving forward in this journey of life.


 

EmbraceTheChaos
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

 

I do think both DH and I make every effort possible not to worsen it. We never bad mouth BM in front of the kids and we do what we can to show we value his relationship with her. Sometimes the only way to get over it is just to let it out. I would probably lose my mind if I was never able to vent but its never in her prescence or his.

Quoting DDDaysh:

 Ya...  it's hard.  It takes practice and doesn't happen over night.  But, sometimes not adding to the damage is the only thing you can do. 

Quoting EmbraceTheChaos:

 

I def do need to stop worrying about the things we can't control.  It's just hard sometimes...

Quoting DDDaysh:

 Oh, I agree those are not wonderful things.  But it still comes down to this.... 

 

:

 

 

 

 

 


 

Gr521
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 11:58 AM

It's so true. Our schedule right now is Mondays, Wednesdays and every other weekend from Friday to Sunday and it literally only takes from dropping him off Sunday to picking him up Monday for him to change by the time we get him and it normally takes a solid hour for him to return to "normal" with us. We are hoping to try to get custody next year


Quoting EmbraceTheChaos:

 


It's so true. Our schedule right now is Mondays, Wednesdays and every other weekend from Friday to Sunday and it literally only takes from dropping him off Sunday to picking him up Monday for him to change by the time we get him and it normally takes a solid hour for him to return to "normal" with us. We are hoping to try to get custody next year. This was our first step and the courts already have the agreement on file for the coming year. Im hoping by documenting everything that we will have enough evidence next year to make our home the primary residance. I do think he needs to see her I just think at this time, with the way she allows him to be, it's healthier for him if he has our structure and stability more often.


Quoting Gr521:

I think all you can do is express your concerns about what you have heard to the counselor. Remember because you don't see what actually happens at her house, it is just heresay in the eyes of the court and counselor (as I was told by a judge). You can however express concerns to a counselor that he can bring up with his time with BM. I have had the same issues with my son (ADHD, ODD and Bipolar) and my ex. Unfortunately, I was told that I can not control anything that happens when he's with his dad. All the junk food eating, staying up til 2 in the morning, telling his dad what to do, being rewarded for misbehavior and only for his to return to my house with strict rules and him being VERY oppositional and defiant the first few days back EVERY time.

I wish I can tell you it gets easier. I knew my son was that way after birth, was diagnosed at 4, we have been seeking counseling since then every month and now he's 16. It only gets harder as the stricter parent but I know he thrives and does better under structure. It kills me when he tries to get physical or says he wants to live with his dad where there are no rules. I just keep praying one day he will realize I was trying to do what I thought was best for him. He's starting to see that now.

As suggested above, I'd also suggest lots of open talks with him or having his dad talk with him about his actions and being very clear on consequences. Although you have been there, you are still the step mom and rules need to stem from his dad first especially if BM is in the picture more now.

I do think 1 yr from now with you guys getting custody this next year, it will be completely different for the better. Be prepared though for misbehaving when he returns from any visits with BM. It's usually 2 steps forward, 1 step back as I see it, but as long as you are consistent with rules and structure,he will still be moving forward in this journey of life.



 


Gr521
by on Jul. 12, 2013 at 12:07 PM
Well that didn't come out right!! Lol..anyway, I know we had 50/50 custody and switched back every couple days like you are but once they were in school and had more homework it was really hard on them going back and forth that much, so we all agreed to do week on and week off as we both lived in the same city which worked MUCH better.

How far away does BM live? DEFINITELY get the CO to show she's letting you guys have custody for a year and what visitation if any she is allowed during that year and the dates so that she can't just come and get him "whenever" VERY IMPORTANT!!

Also, document EVERYTHING. Put dates, copies of pictures, texts, emails, who told you they saw it (like the teeth marks on her), document it all as evidence against her if you are looking to get full custody later on. I have a binder I kept it all in and it has come in handy many times over the years and all the times he tried taking me back to court not once getting what he originally sought.

You can only control what happens in your house and when you have him. Be strong, be vigilant in your structure and betcha he will thrive.
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