BM refuses to acknowledge me unless it's about my salary...
I've been a stepmom for about 7 months now. My SS is 5 years old, is in his second half of kindergarten and is a wonderful little boy. We have a good relationship and DH is very supportive and nurturing. I've been involved with DH and SS for about 2 years in total now. I have still not formally met BM and have only spoken to her on the phone once so she could yell at me and tell me I couldn't go to a school event because she would be there and I'm not his real mom so I "have no place being there."
She continually criticizes everything I do and says I'm playing "bad mommy," calls me a whore, homewrecker and homely runt in front of the little guy on a regular basis (could be happening more often, but that's all I hear over the phone). Mind you, I was not in the picture until well after BM had an affair, filed for divorce, kicked DH out of his own house and was ready to sign a divorce agreement. I am by no means the cause of the divorce.
I have offered through DH to meet her wherever she is comfortable whenever she is ready, she has been invited over, and have made other offers so that the hostilities can end. She refuses to meet me and now every school event becomes stressful. We have fortunately only ever had to jointly attend one and I kept my distance out of respect for her and to avoid an embarrassment for the little guy. I do not want to miss out on activities and would like to be there to support my SS as much as possible but I'm concerned BM will be hostile and embarrass all of us.
We have 50/50 physical and legal custody and a regular schedule. Because DH works early I end up bringing my SS to school on the days that we have him. I do quite a bit for our half of little guys family including ironing school uniforms, making breakfast, lunch, sometimes dinner, helping with homework, keeping track of school events, paying for half of DH's half of the expenses for uniforms, tuition, clothes, toys etc. I would think that I do an excellent job for not having kids of my own. Some things to keep in mind about BM:
1. She has been the cause of my SS being between 5 and 90 minutes late to school over 15 times now;
2. Does not return clothes, uniforms, toys, lunch boxes, silverware, underwear, etc. for up to a couple of weeks (if ever) even though we ask repeatedly for these things and complains when we do not return something that she has not asked for or that we don't have;
3. Demands to have a good night phone call every night that my SS is with us but rarely returns to courtesy when my SS is with her. She often calls between 2 and 5 times a day when he is with us which interrupts the already limited time my husband gets to spend with his son;
4. Refuses to do any transportration between households and cries poverty although she gets a handsome child support check every week despite having 50/50 custody;
5. Works only 8 days a month but somehow cannot find the time to purchase necessary items for my SS for school and life in general;
6. Spends a lot of money for non-essential activities (tubing, overnight skiing trips, movies, aquariums, etc) but says she cannot pay for school field trips, afterschool activities that my SS was signed up for without consulting DH at all first, or child care that we didn't know about and was not established out of our need but hers;
7. Has not paid for even half of one my SS' haircuts in over 18 months, refuses to clip his fingernails and toenails, and regularly leaves DH with the bill for medical issues and will make doctors appointments and specialists appointments without consulting DH first;
8. She keeps items such as school pictures, books, clothing etc. that we ordered through the school and returned home from school with my SS to BM for some reason and says nothing about them until my SS indicates that she has them and we confront her about it. Our checks get cashed but she claims to have no clue what we're talking about and says she does not have these items but we know she does because my SS talks about them;
There are MANY, MANY other examples of a severe lack of cooperation, inability to coparent or even just parent, and siginficant demonstrations of a lack of responsibility. BM has caused my SS enough emotional stress that he will not say my name to his mother because he says "she goes crazy when I say your name" so he cannot really be comfortable telling her about his other home with us.
I have also had to put up with phone calls from BM to DH in the middle of the night completely drunk accusing him of blocking access to her son even though she had just spoken to him a few hours beforehand. She is the cause of a significant amount of stress, confusion, anxiety and unnecessary financial loss.
I wrote her one letter indicating that I do not appreciate the personal attacks, threats, the language used to reference me, inability to cooperate and offered to meet her on her terms to clear the air and discuss any issues she might have with me. She ended up threatening to get a restraining order against me and claimed that I threatened her and my SS. I really have no idea how to handle this. I would like to know that we can all go to a school play or soccor game without risking a hostile confrontation but it seems impossible. She even went so far as to hire a private investigator to find out where I live, work, spend my free time and put a tracking device on DH's car. I'm dealing with a dangerous, irrational person and need some advice on how to handle it... DH has made it very clear that he wants to avoid court at all costs so that is not an option. I truly believe that we could end up with full custody of my SS based on her history, the fact that she never argued about custody of the little guy during the divorce, and that she is clearly incapable of taking care of him adequately since she lives with her sister and shares a bed with him every night...
If someone out there has advice, I would really appreciate it.