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Step parent boundaries...where do you draw the line?

Anonymous
Posted by Anonymous
  • 7 Replies
I will try to get my point across as quickly as I can but bear with me this may be long winded! First off, my ex and I share our daughter 50/50 and we have gotten along great this way for the past six years. For the last two almost three years he has been in a relationship and last year they were married. Everything was great and we all get along and communicate about DD. I just feel that SM is starting to get more and more controlling over matters that should be for me and DD's father to be concerned with. She is always making a mountain out of a molehill on small issues. she has no children of her own but ex has another daughter and her and SM get along fine...there is some favoritism in their house with the two girls. DD comes home and says SM is always yelling at her and she can't do anything right when she is there. Se said one time out camping that SM grabber her by the arm and tried to drag her to the next camper because she got mad at her. Well first off, I don't like that she thinks she can touch that little girl at all. At some point she should step back and let her father deal with the issue. Am I wrong? Recently she signed and returned the appointment slip for parent teacher conferences at school and didn't bother to tell me a date or time for my own daughters meeting.( of course I was on top of my game and made sure I found out when it was so I didn't miss it!) but I don't even like the idea that she is signing school slips and things like that, I think that is her fathers responsibility. If she helps her with homework and signs off on it that's fine but report cards and permission slips should go through her dad. Lately the communication is lacking and it seems they ignore more calls and texts then I need to count and then have some excuse y he forgot to reply or his phone died. It just seems like he cannot make a move without running it past SM first. DD said she asked her dad if she could wear her new earrings she had gotten from me and he told her she had to ask SM...and was was told no. Why on earth does an 8 year old need to ask permission to change her earrings?! And why can't her dad give her an answer without asking "the boss"?! Where is the line that a step parent just needs to step back and decide it's not their place?? I sometimes just want to tell her to quit playing house with my DD because she already has a mommy! That seems very childish of me and I really want to find a mature way to address this issue without ending up with everyone getting hurt feelings. I really like the fact that we all get along and can show up at school programs and sporting events and act like civilized adults and not have any of that awkward tension between us. SM family adores DD and that is so great! But somehow SM thinks that her family is entitled to time with DD and in return her biological grandparents are on the other end feeling hurt because DD couldn't come have a sleepover because it doesn't fit into SM's plans. They went out if town and DD got to come home for a couple days during her dads week. He didn't feel well when they dropped her off so SM brought her to the door and had the nerve to tell me "thanks for taking her!" She is mine dammit of course I want her here! That's some more of the mommy instinct, claws out kind of behavior I have been feeling lately lol!
Posted by Anonymous on Nov. 8, 2013 at 6:43 PM
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 2 on Nov. 8, 2013 at 7:12 PM

I'd be PO'd.  That being said, sounds like the dad is not going to set limits with the SM. I would consider talking to the school. The school should not accept forms from SM legally.  She does not have parental rights. Unfortunately, you will probably have to decide where your line is.  You could try going to lunch or coffee with the SM and say that you feel there have been some communication issues and you want to come up with plan. And tell her that you would like to discuss rules for your DD so there is consistency.  Good luck!


EireLass
by Ruby Member on Nov. 8, 2013 at 7:13 PM
My kids are adults now, but got a SM when they were young. I made a point to not get friendly with her. I only ever dealt with my ex. Sort of let her know her position without spelling it out. I've never had a conversation with her.
I also have 3 stepkids....I've never met their mom, never had a phone conversation with her. He deals with everything.
evilstepmomof4
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM
1 mom liked this

As a step mom (3 times) I will honestly tell you it's a LOT harder parenting than bio parenting. Esp when the bio parents turn away from their parenting responsabilities. This has been a problem in my home since day 1 with the 3 relationships I've been in over the past 20 years. I'm an evil step mom because I have rules and bark when they're not being followed. Sadly current BD bowed out when he saw I was a stronger parent. YOU need to be the stronger parent and get BD back on the same page as you, NOW !!  Don't point at just the step mom with these problems. BD dropped the ball and was glad doing it by the sounds of it.

1st) Your daughter is 8 and if she wants to change her earrings then tell her to do it when she wants to do it. (2nd) I had my step son come home, take off his cloths from mom's and wash them. He wore the cloths we had for him when he was with us because the cloths my family bought him as well as us never came back to our home. Then he wore mom's cloths back home.  (3rd) tell ex hubby that co-parenting is thru you two, not the new step mom. HE IS THE FATHER!!  If he can't keep you in the loop and return your calls than perhaps he hasn't the time to be 50/50 and a visitation schedule needs to be motified.   (4th) out of state family visits / functions should trump normal visitation days. Esp if the kid hasn't seen those family members often. Work that crap out by swaping a day. That should be a given and if not then the parent not allowing the child to see their family is an as**ole !!.  (5th) If you feel your daughter isn't being treated right in dad's home politely ask dad what's going on over there. You darling girl may be jealous of the new sibling. So before you go storming the door be sure to get your facts straight. Kids like to play the parents off one another and NO child is a perfect child. They ALL do it.. This will also let your ex see that your all over the parenting situation and he mays follow your lead. Good luck

waytomanykids10
by on Nov. 8, 2013 at 7:26 PM

 I am so glad I have a good relationship with the mother of my step-children. Her and I are really good friends.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 8, 2013 at 8:39 PM
Great advise coming from the other side of things! Thank you! I have in fact said he needs to do more and take control around there...he does leave her to take care if the kids quite a bit and he is the type that if you help him just a little bit he will keep expecting more and more until he has nothing left to do himself and someone else is doing it all for him. I have explained to DD that SM is also in charge and will have house rules and so forth. It just seems that there is excessive rules and they change them and make them up as they go along. Thanks again for some perspective from the other angle!


Quoting evilstepmomof4:

As a step mom (3 times) I will honestly tell you it's a LOT harder parenting than bio parenting. Esp when the bio parents turn away from their parenting responsabilities. This has been a problem in my home since day 1 with the 3 relationships I've been in over the past 20 years. I'm an evil step mom because I have rules and bark when they're not being followed. Sadly current BD bowed out when he saw I was a stronger parent. YOU need to be the stronger parent and get BD back on the same page as you, NOW !!  Don't point at just the step mom with these problems. BD dropped the ball and was glad doing it by the sounds of it.

1st) Your daughter is 8 and if she wants to change her earrings then tell her to do it when she wants to do it. (2nd) I had my step son come home, take off his cloths from mom's and wash them. He wore the cloths we had for him when he was with us because the cloths my family bought him as well as us never came back to our home. Then he wore mom's cloths back home.  (3rd) tell ex hubby that co-parenting is thru you two, not the new step mom. HE IS THE FATHER!!  If he can't keep you in the loop and return your calls than perhaps he hasn't the time to be 50/50 and a visitation schedule needs to be motified.   (4th) out of state family visits / functions should trump normal visitation days. Esp if the kid hasn't seen those family members often. Work that crap out by swaping a day. That should be a given and if not then the parent not allowing the child to see their family is an as**ole !!.  (5th) If you feel your daughter isn't being treated right in dad's home politely ask dad what's going on over there. You darling girl may be jealous of the new sibling. So before you go storming the door be sure to get your facts straight. Kids like to play the parents off one another and NO child is a perfect child. They ALL do it.. This will also let your ex see that your all over the parenting situation and he mays follow your lead. Good luck


Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 - Original Poster on Nov. 8, 2013 at 10:30 PM
I wouldn't say we are good friends but we have been getting along quite nicely. Just over the last six months or so I have been feeling a bit agitated at some of the stuff that has been happening. I hope to resolve all this without creating that uncomfortable tension whenever we have to be in the same room. Glad your situation is great, that's so refreshing! I know people who can't communicate at all and fight constantly about the kids and have much bigger problems than what I am dealing with!


Quoting waytomanykids10:

 I am so glad I have a good relationship with the mother of my step-children. Her and I are really good friends.


Anonymous
by Anonymous 3 on Nov. 9, 2013 at 2:04 PM
Well if you ask my DH's EX she would tell you that I am nothing to her kids. And that My DS with DS isn't even their Brother because he is only half. Previous to DH I had a long-term BF who shared custody and I made it a point to get akong with their Mom since their Dad was a farmer and worked long hours they were with me most of the time. When they came over they changed into clothes we had for them and the others were washed for them to wear home. Their Mom made a list of foods they would and wouldn't eat, if they needed to be disciplined she told me what worked best. Their Dad was literally POS at parenting he let them do whatever they wanted and eat whatever they wanted for dinner even if it was just chips and cookies.
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