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Whats with the non-advice on here?

Posted by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM
  • 78 Replies
8 moms liked this

I would like to know, why is it the opinion of so many on here, stepmothers need to stay out of nearly all decisions made regarding their step children? I spend more time with my step kids than their parents do. Dad works 2 nights a week, and they are only with their mother on weekends. My hubby wants to involve me with EVERY single decision he makes regarding his kids. I text and talk with BM several times a week, and she has expressed how much she trusts and likes me because of how open I’ve always been towards communications about the kids, and not making it awkward for all of us. I know my boundaries, and if I don’t agree with her about something I let their father handle it, only talking with BM as like an informant. Like when we have to give one of her kid’s a consequence for bad behavior. I would never have committed myself to a man who has 2 kids if I didn’t want to be fully involved. I grew up with a SM who was very mean, and didn’t want anything to do with me. To this day, I can’t stand the lady and have no relationship with her. I would never want that with my step children. So, why have I and other concerned SM being told to stay out of it? For an entire year even before my partner and I moved in together he came to my daughter’s therapy appointment every week because he knew how involved he had to be as a step father. His involvement has enriched my daughter’s life in ways I never imagined before I met him. If he took the “stay out of it” attitude while I struggled with my daughter, I would not have considered him as a good choice to be my partner. I thought this group was for support of stepmoms, but telling us to stay out of it as the answer to everything is not just unhelpful, but REALLY BAD ADVICE! What their BM does affects her children, and in turn affects our whole family. So, if BM decides she is not going to check up on her daughter’s homework, and she comes home Sunday night without it done, you bet I’m getting involved. Or when she announced she plans on moving in with her bf and taking the kid’s full time, you bet I’m getting involved! If she decides she wants to dye her hair green, I could care less because it doesn’t involve the kids. See the pattern ladies? If your advice is to tell SM to stay out of it, then don’t give any advice because they wouldn’t be writing in asking for support if they planned on staying out of it. In fact, they shouldn't even be in the family if they planned on staying out of it.

by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:18 AM
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Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM
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Here, I'll make paragraphs for you so that more people will read/respond.  This should be interesting.

Quoting veggiemom474:

I would like to know, why is it the opinion of so many on here, stepmothers need to stay out of nearly all decisions made regarding their step children?

I spend more time with my step kids than their parents do. Dad works 2 nights a week, and they are only with their mother on weekends. My hubby wants to involve me with EVERY single decision he makes regarding his kids. I text and talk with BM several times a week, and she has expressed how much she trusts and likes me because of how open I’ve always been towards communications about the kids, and not making it awkward for all of us. I know my boundaries, and if I don’t agree with her about something I let their father handle it, only talking with BM as like an informant.Like when we have to give one of her kid’s a consequence for bad behavior.

I would never have committed myself to a man who has 2 kids if I didn’t want to be fully involved. I grew up with a SM who was very mean, and didn’t want anything to do with me. To this day, I can’t stand the lady and have no relationship with her. I would never want that with my step children. So, why have I and other concerned SM being told to stay out of it?

For an entire year even before my partner and I moved in together he came to my daughter’s therapy appointment every week because he knew how involved he had to be as a step father. His involvement has enriched my daughter’s life in ways I never imagined before I met him. If he took the “stay out of it” attitude while I struggled with my daughter, I would not have considered him as a good choice to be my partner.

I thought this group was for support of stepmoms, but telling us to stay out of it as the answer to everything is not just unhelpful, but REALLY BAD ADVICE! What their BM does affects her children, and in turn affects our whole family. So, if BM decides she is not going to check up on her daughter’s homework, and she comes home Sunday night without it done, you bet I’m getting involved. Or when she announced she plans on moving in with her bf and taking the kid’s full time, you bet I’m getting involved! If she decides she wants to dye her hair green, I could care less because it doesn’t involve the kids. See the pattern ladies?

If your advice is to tell SM to stay out of it, then don’t give any advice because they wouldn’t be writing in asking for support if they planned on staying out of it. In fact, they shouldn't even be in the family if they planned on staying out of it.



packermomof2
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:24 AM
2 moms liked this

Great for you.  The advice isn't for you if everything is hunky dory.  

I stand by my advice that dads need to man up and be more involved even if they are CP and have a woman there to do their job for them.  If mom doesn't check the homework dad could OR, get this, maybe mom is fine with the kid doing her own homework and owning any mistakes she may have made.  After all, homework is to show the teacher where the kid is struggling, not for what the parents, or in your case, SP can do.  

How do you get involved in a parent says they want their kid full time.  That isn't your call.  Ever.  It is between the parents.  

You didn't create the kid, you're just doing dads work for him and whatever mom wants you to do, basically.  You can be cut out of the equation very easily.  That is the pattern with SPs.

Support comes in many forms.  Don't like the advice?  Don't take it.  But no one has to shut up to appease your idea of what should be said.


alegna4
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:30 AM

are you me? im in the same boat minus being married. i talk to BM more than he does, it just makes comunication a little easier rather than going through a 3rd party and we get along very well.

i can see why  "stay out of it" is suggested sometimes though. like when its an argument between BM and DH that really doesnt have much to do with me or SS. in that case... nty i dont even want to get involved lol

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:34 AM
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Not every BM WANTS a SM to be involved, even if BF does.  That's where the "stay out of it" comes in to play.  In your case, BM is fine with your involvement.  But were she not, and your involvement was causing discord between the BPs, then it would make sense for you to take a step back and stay out of it.


DDDaysh
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:38 AM

 If your situation is working, that's fine. 

However, conflict is almost always the WORST thing for the stepkids.  Unless the situation is actually abusive, to the point that CPS would intervene, increasing conflict is usually a very bad idea.  If it is to that point, then you do have to increase conflict, but generally by having the actual parent initiate a court case, not by actually having SM get involved. 

Therefor, if SM's involvement is INCREASING conflict, she does need to "just stay out of it." 

Likewise, children don't choose their stepparents.  Therefore, stepparents don't have any automatic authority in a child's life.  The child's bio parent has to actively instill authority in the step-parent (which is WAY more involved than the BP just saying "sure, I want you to discipline" or whatever) if they want the SP to have any.  If this process is frustrating to the SP, then truly the best thing to do is simply stop trying to have the authority and let the parent actually parent. 

If you get involved with someone who is a crappy parent, you're not going to be able to magically fix that.  You might be able to band-aid it for a bit, but not actually fix it.  Most of the SP's that have the most problems with their SK's actually married people that aren't very good parents and that's the real problem. 

Sometimes there is a real problem with the SK.  Some kids have issues, that's just a fact of life.  However, in those situations, it's even more imparitive that the actual parents of the child take the primary roles in getting those children help.  The SP can absolutely be a valuable resource to their spouse if they are properly trained and the child is accepting of the role, but that can't happen until the parents have already gotten the situation under control. 

Pero3
by Silver Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:40 AM

You seem to conveniently ignore external influences .. also known as BM. I share my DD 50/50 with her BF, and in 7 years I have only spoken once to SM, when DD had her accident. I merely asked her to pass on a message to BF.

She has never attended a PTC, never been asked for her opinion (by me, that is), never been a part of the equation. We never speak on the phone, or in person, because we've never been in the same place at the same time.

I personally don't give a monkey's arse about SM's family ... because SM had the great advantage to look at the situation very closely before she got involved with BF. She witnessed the way DD was raised, knew the path BF and I had chosen for DD. Don't like it? Find a new family!

packermomof2
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:47 AM



Quoting MojoRsn:

Why is it that my husband has been a full time SP to my kids for years and he would never feel the need to write about all he does simply because he shares a house, fulltime with my kids. He doesn't feel any more entitled as "dad" just because of that fact.

Because he's awesome like that.

Why is it that because I am mom but I am married, I still have everything under control where my kids are concerned yet, when a man marries he needs a new wife to have it all under control? What is with that fucked up dynamic?


Because you're awesome like that.  And the guys who need the woman to take control aren't awesome like your husband :)



whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM
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I think  you  have misunderstood the "advice" you have read. Was this advice given to you? or to someone else?

Advice is given to individual posters based on their specific situations. You cannot take advice from one situation and apply it to another situation.

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM
2 moms liked this



Quoting veggiemom474:

If your advice is to tell SM to stay out of it, then don’t give any advice because they wouldn’t be writing in asking for support if they planned on staying out of it. In fact, they shouldn't even be in the family if they planned on staying out of it.

I wanted to address this line.  You are talking about people not being supportive and in the very next breath, making a pretty inflammatory statement.

"shouldn't even be in the family if they planned on staying out of it"

Excuse me?  There are lots of SMs who have very happy step lives, great relationships with the kids, and stay out of most things.  If that works for them, just like your situation works for you, why not just support the fact that it works?

I did not marry BM.  I did not birth two children.  Ultimately, BM and BF are responsible for their OWN children.  I am not.  I am happy to be involved in limited ways, but I get pretty sick and tired of people--BM, BF, in laws, friends, complete strangers even--telling me that I should "love the kids like my own" else I'm a miserable wench.  Or to expect me to want to banrkupt myself making sure the kids have everything they want--not what they need--what they want.  Or that I should happily drop everything at any time to accommodate the kids or BM or BF simply because I'm the SM and by goodness, if I were a "good one" I'd WANT to sacrifice all time, money and energy for two kids who ARE NOT MINE.

It's attitudes like yours that perpetuate the whole evil stepmother myth.  Now, I get that there are big meany doo doo heads out there.  But in general, just because a step parent doesn't want to do the heavy lifting doesn't mean that he/she is a jerk.  or evil.  Or doesn't care. 

I care very much about my stepdaughters.  They are bright, funny, beautiful young ladies.  I WILL go mama bear if someone tried to hurt them or if there's something so out there, so important, that I feel like their safety and well being is tremendously at risk if I don't.  But I would do that for a complete stranger's child too.  

You can be a good person, a caring person, etc and not feel the need to be involved in every. single. detail. of a kid's life who is not your own.

Do I help with homework?  You bet, when I'm asked, I do.  Do I help get kids to and from things?  You bet.  Do I talk to BM?  Sure.  Do I cook?  Yep.  Do I try to teach life lessons along the way and be a caring adult?  Yes.  But ultimately, I know my place and I have learned over time that the "safest" place for me is a place where I get to choose how involved to be (or not be) and where I don't let pressure by folks like you guilt or shame me into being more involved than I want or need to be.

My stepkids have two parents.  And then they have me too.  Why NOT step back and let parents parent?





looneytunes290
by on Sep. 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM
1 mom liked this
Whenever the children's parents decide that they don't need or want you to raise their children anymore then you will understand why some say- just stay out of it. Many if us spent years doing exactly what you are doing to be told years later by bio parent to do things differently- and also end up with skids that are resentful even after jumping through hoops for everyone concerned. Remember that the well meaning advice given by someay be ladies that five years ago thought they had happy blended families.
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