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New to stepparenting... is there anything I can do?

12 years ago

I've been with my fiance for almost a year, and a week ago the inevitable happened. I have become the subject of the BM's distaste (new to the forum also, can someone direct me to where I can find out what all these acronyms mean? ;)

DH has the children every other weekend and spoils them silly, taking them to amusement parks, the beach, tourist attractions all around our area. He's a great father and very dedicated to making sure their time here is filled with good memories. Three times a year he takes a vacation on his own or with me, usually adult stuff like hunting and fishing or camping with his adult brothers - he doesn't get that much time off either because yes, he works very hard and has a very stressful job! But, almost always, the BM calls and screams at him because according to her, he never takes the kids on vacation.

What is aggravating is that she doesn't work - she can't because she was arrested at work for selling drugs and has a criminal record for shoplifting. Of course his child support is based on the fact that she is unemployed. Now, she's engaged to a very wealthy fiance... and has made it obvious that she sometimes loans the child support payments to her mother. She has even hired a nanny because she apparently can't handle being a mother to the girls 24/7. She doesn't work! (do I sound bitter?). Am I wrong in thinking that with no job and ample funds, she is in a better position to take the kids on vacations?

What's worse is, she's now turned to me as something that is "getting in the way" of the children's time with their father. I'm in a very demanding nursing program and don't get much time with DH, much less the kids. Last weekend we went downstairs and left the kids (SD11 and SD7) upstairs alone for 10 minutes so we could talk to eachother alone after my 12 hour shift - SD7 ended up telling BM. That coupled with the fact that we are missing BM's birthday celebration for SD11 in order to go on a vacation together (I get one 5 day break until November - this program is INTENSE) has made BM livid. Yes, DH usually even attends BMs birthday parties for the kids, even though her and her friends will sit and talk negative loud enough for us to hear! This time - DH has promised to be there on SD11s actual birthday and yesterday we made our own celebration with a cake, pizza, and gifts.

I am so frustrated that this woman has any influence on how we live our life, our vacations, or the time we spend together. She's completely unreasonable and while I wanted to give her the benefit of the doubt I'm starting to believe that her one goal is to try and make DH miserable (maybe I'm a bit naive in this realm?). She loses it on the kids and thinks it's ok to slap SD7 on the face with an open hand - which as you can believe leads us trying to undoing 2 weeks of damage every time they are with us. I'm not sure what to do, other than seek some counseling on how to not be influenced by her tirades. Is she jealous? I don't understand why she even cares what we do? Are all BM this crazy?

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