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New Stepmom to Toddler

17 years ago

Hi everyone!

Well, I'm not to sure what I want to ask specifically, so I apologize in advance for any rambling that may occur. My questions will run the gamut of "how to deal with his ex" and "what might I expect from my stepson over time?"

Alright, so I am a new stepmom to a toddler...his father and I have been married for almost a month now. I adore the little one, he's a good boy (for a 2 year old!!) and we have fun together. My problem is that his mother is extremely wicked and uncooperative/uncompromising in the amount of time DH gets to spend with their son. Against his better judgement, DH signed a custody agreement that wasn't particularly "fair" (I know, life's not fair) trusting his ex would keep her word that the visitation plan was based on "the bare minimum" and that he'd "get to see [him] plenty more than the order states!"

One of the biggest problems is she likes to imply that I'm a "homewrecker" (she hasn't so much as stated so, but I already know too well how this woman thinks)...ignoring the fact that SHE cheated on DH repeatedly which was the ultimate reason divorce proceedings went under way. So, she spends most of her time trying to blame her failed marriage on me. She repeatedly emails me saying we "need to be friends and get along" for the child's sake (we will not be friends, but I am adult enough to want to get along)...and then turns around and tells DH that "no, you can't pick him up for a couple of hours to play at your house because KCJ is there!"...obviously I'm going to be there, it's my house, too! I will point out that I do give DH and his son time to themselves, I know it's important for their relationship to bond without me around.

My biggest concern (and I know there isn't anything I can do) is that she is the type of person that probably does and will talk poorly about us in front of her child. We refrain from discussing her in front of him even if he is "too young to understand now," because we know bad habits are hard to break.

I've read a lot of posts here and else where discussing pre-teen/teenage stepchildren, but not much related to toddlers. Does anyone have any insight on the best ways to deal with the ex (or ex's out there that have advice for me on how to interact with his ex based on their previous experience?). I have a long road ahead of me and would really just like to hear about people's experiences pertaining to becoming a stepparent to a very young child.

On one hand I think him being so young might make it "easier" for us because my stepson never really knew his parents as officially living together (he was too young), and he won't remember a time without me around. But the bitterness between the two of them is still pretty fresh and I fear that will impact him as he gets a little older and is more able to pick up on little things. You can see some anxiety and confusion if for instance DH stops by there to drop off something and his son thinks that it's time to leave and go to Daddy's...when he's not allowed to leave with Daddy he gets upset. I really just would like to hear from/about instances in which a much younger child was involved and things that did/didn't work best in building your relationships. Thanks!!

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