'My' child(ren)

keepitmovin

Seriously,

I know as humans we get to be a bit possessive, but if the SM/SD are wonderful to their SKs, and treat them and call them their children, why do BioMs and BioDs flip out about it?

If you know your child loves their SM/SD and this person is being a good parent, then why fight them?

Perhaps what I want to say, or the diplomacy of it isn't coming out right. But I really want to understand why Bio's would be opposed to someone who loved and cared for their child in a similar way that they do.

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imamommy

I just want to share what happened between BM and DH when they took my SD to her counselor for the first time. (I stayed away at BM's request) **now I am paraphrasing from what DH later told me because I wasn't there.

BM tells counselor "well, SM keeps trying to do "mom" things with my daughter. She isn't her mom."

Counselor says "you mean you would rather your DD have a SM that doesn't like her, is mean to her and won't do things with her?"

BM says, "well, no. But she isn't her mom. I am"

Counselor says "DD knows who her mom is."

BM didn't say anything else about that.

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keepitmovin

Its just frustrating. I see SS as my own and love him and cherish him as such.

I know I'm not his mother, and more importantly, he knows I'm not his mother. His mom is getting to be a better mom with time and I applaud that. But she'd rather not acknowledge me or my role, which doesn't really affect me .. except when she flips out about me picking him up from school or saying bye to him when he leaves.

Is it just an insecurity thing? And do SMs and SDs just ignore it and try to get on, or is there a better way of going about it?

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theotherside

There are teachers who are nice to my children. I have good friends who are nice to my children. None of them would ever take my children anywhere, or pick them up at school without clearing it with me first, or unless I asked them to.

"you mean you would rather your DD have a SM that doesn't like her, is mean to her and won't do things with her?"

There is a name for this kind of flawed logic, though I don't recall what it is. The point is, the speaker was implying that there were only 2 choices here - you either do "mom" things or you are mean. Those are NOT the only two choices. If it is not something you would do with your friend's child, it is not something you should be doing with a stepchild - baking cookies, fine, cutting her hair, not fine. Feeding her lunch, fine, taking her to the doctor for a routine appt, not fine.

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keepitmovin

TOS,

The thing is, the relationship that most SMs that I know, is not that of a teacher. And as a SM/SD you're simply not just "nice" to SKs. As an SM/SD, especially if you've known and raised the child since a very young age and the relationship develops as such, you're a parent to them.

And just so you know she was well aware of me picking him up and everything was agreed upon, she just decided to pitch a fit for whatever reason.

I personally don't agree with having a detached relationship with SS, its not necessary. I wonder if someone is human to do that if they were raising a child since they were 1 or 2 or any young age.

If you remarry (i dont know your situation)and there is a young SS or SD, will you be holding them out at arms length?

It irritates me to think that instead of thinking that ones child can have two healthy homes with more than 2 healthy parental figures, some would rather that they are the sole "good" parent and make their kid feel uncomfortable and tense around the perfectly good parents they have.

It just doesn't make sense.

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wrychoice1

TOS,

What you seem to refuse to acknowledge or respect is that in most of the cases of the folks who post to this board, either the father has sole custody of his children or the biological parents share custody of the children.

In either case, the father of the children has the legal right to "clear it with" or "ask" his wife (i.e. the child's SM) to do "mom" things with and/or for his child.

The child is not the sole possession of the biological mother; the child is the possession of no one. There are TWO parents who have the responsibility of caring and providng for the safety & security of the child. Just as you have the legal right to designate someone to pick up your child from school without first securing the permission or assent of the child's father, so, too, does the father have that right --- doesn't have to clear it with mom first.

So, if Dad has given his wife the OK to cut the child's hair --- fine; if Dad has given his wife the OK to take the child to the doctor for a routine appointment --- fine.

Clearly, it is in the best interest of the child for both biological parents to be in agreement with each other that these sort of designations are "fine;" otherwise, it becomes a nasty power play of who's going to be in charge.

It is also very clear that if you have someone who "doesn't play well with others," who is going to be obstinate, then the conflict continues --- with the child caught in the crossfire.....and, in those cases where one of the parents was jilted by the other, the jiltee can keep the jiltor entangled indefinitely....in a poignantly sad case of, "If I'm not happy, ain't no one going to be happy."

It may serve to make to make one ex-spouse miserable & give the other some twisted sense of retribution --- but in the long run, it is the child who ultimately suffers.

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cawfecup

I had this same basic conversation with BM ... she was upset the kids liked to cook and bake ... she told me infront of the kids that I was trying to take her place.... 1 of the kids asked her how mommy??? you don't bake or cook? All while I was thinking I couldn't be that useless if I tried.

I asked her would you rather I act like they don't exist? or just do what comes natural to me?

I said well at some point they have to learn to do those things... I am free, culinary classes are expensive.

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imamommy

"If you remarry (i dont know your situation)and there is a young SS or SD, will you be holding them out at arms length?"

keepit, perhaps that's why she probably won't remarry.

The "mom" things she didn't like me doing: taking her to girl scout events during DH's weeks (I'm a girl scout leader), baking cookies, helping with homework, taking her to karate lessons during DH's week (although she was fine if I drove her to BM's taekwondo studio an hour away during DH's week. Coincidentally, she didn't mind me taking her to doctor visits because it meant I had to pay, not her. In fact, this year I spent over a thousand dollars on doctor visits, prescriptions, counseling, and dental. And I would never think of cutting someone else's child's hair. However, whenever BM gets mad at DH, she chops off SD's hair and sends him a picture text message to show him because she knows he likes longer hair.

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kkny

Wry,

There is a world of difference between a dad having sole custody (which happens in 5-10% of cases) and parents having joing custody. Where parents have joint custody, child clearly has two parents, and one or more steps. Stepparents would be advised to respect boundaries. My sister is a very happy SM, and part is she never tried to take place of the mom, in language or deads.

I resent when SMs attribute the desire to establsih boudnaries as "insecurity". I see lack of respect of boundaries by SMs as their trying to establish territoriality. AS said above, a person can provide care and guidance without "mothering". I look after by DDs friends when they are visiitng, feed them, drive them etc. I would NEVER refer to them as my children.

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wrychoice1

I imagine you would not refer to your DD's friends as your children. Afterall, they are not your husband's offspring, which is the case of the folks who post here.

Like it or not, there is a familial relationship.

In my first marriage (I was widowed), my husband had three children from a prior marriage. In an effort to respect boundaries and the position of their mother, I never, ever referred to myself as their stepmother; I referred to myself as their father's wife. I would introduce them, not as my stepchildren but as my husband's children. It was only years later, when they were adults and we were all vacationing together, they revealed to me the feelings of rejection they felt as children when I did not claim any direct relationship to them; when I would define my relationship to them as one that was only indirect and through their father.

In my effort to be sensitive to the sensiblities of one of the adults in this circumstance (my husband's XW & the kids' mother), I unwittingly hurt the feelings of the children...in a lasting way.

With all due respect KKNY, I think you & TOS engage in a bit of projection here. I don't see SMs trying to establish territory; I see them struggling to figure out how to establish a healthy, stable home for their children and their husband's children.

As I have said before, it would be nice if the adults could work together in a cooperative and civil manner for the sake of the children. Divorce is traumatic enough for everyone involved; it doesn't need to be compounded by persistent hostility.

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imamommy

when my son was at his father's house, it was up to his father what the boundaries were for his wife (my son's step mom) and him. As long as it didn't affect MY relationship with my son, and her doing "mom" things for him when I was not there did not affect his love or respect for me, I was fine with it.

It seems that the parent that doesn't want to let the child have a relationship with a "mothering" step parent is the one being "territorial" when it doesn't directly affect them. And that is due to that parent's insecurity that maybe the other person might do a better job or the child might like that person more.

and it really isn't about sole vs. joint custody. The child ALWAYS has two parents, unless one dies, just that sometimes one is not involved or as involved. When the child is with either parent, they should be allowed to have whatever kind of relationship with their family that they like, some kids love having step parents and some don't. In my opinion, it's best for children to have the love and affection of all the people in their life.

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kkny

Again, I think you can do things like driving cooking etc without identifying yourself as doing mom things.

We must just have to agree to disagree here. SM has no legal rights in virtually all situatins. Legally she is Dads wife. And beleive me, for the nth time, I have no insecurity that either dad or his gf want to do a better job as parent. So please stop assuming insecurity is the route of all problems.

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imamommy

we can agree to disagree if you can admit there are other insecure mom's out there. I would hope you don't want to represent ALL bio moms, because you obviously and certainly don't represent my views as a bio mom. I didn't identify anything as a "mom" things, SD's mom did. As a person, I do what needs to be done for SD when she is here. I could just stick her in a room by herself and ignore her.... so as to avoid being perceived as a territorial step mom. That may satisfy her BM but that's just punishing SD.

and insecurity is not the root of all problems but it does exist.

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imamommy

and when I said moms, I meant parents. I'm sure it happens with men too.

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theotherside

I have noticed that several SM's here have married their husbands right around the time that their husbands were engaged in a custody battle. One poster in particular started her first post by saying something like, "I married my boyfriend to help him get custody of his child." Before I started reading here, I didn't think that was a common reason for women to remarry, first, because it is an incredibly bad reason to marry someone, and secondly, because I didn't realize that there were many courts that would take the father's marital status into account when awarding custody. Now I am wondering how many other women here married their husbands at least in part to help him gain custody, and how many husbands married their wives for that purpose, and/or to have someone to take care of the children. There seem to be an awful lot of only marginally involved custodial fathers - men who work long hours, who travel a great deal, whose wives (the SM's) have to take time off from work when HIS kids are sick. Many years ago, when I was married and working full-time, my H took our kids to daycare or school and I picked them up, or vice-versa; if the kids were sick, he was as likely as I to stay home with them; he never worked more than 40 hours a week, nor did I. That kind of involved parenting on the part of the father doesn't seem evident here. In the cases where the fathers had custody before the SM was in the picture, didn't they manage to take care of the children? Or are there any cases on this board where the father had sole (or even 50/50) custody of the children for at least several years as a single parent?

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kkny

If my DD has friends over, I feed them etc.

AGain, greater involvement by Dad is likely called for if SM is doing a lot more than I do for my DDs friends.

And I do think it would help not to call the stepchildren "My" children. They arent yours.

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wrychoice1

I wrote I did not refer to my husband's children as my "stepchildren."

For the kids, the fact that I would not claim them in some direct way (i.e. by introducing them as "this is little Johnny, my stepson" rather than introducing them as "this is little Johnny, mu husband's son") was hurtful. They felt rejected by me.

If I had to do it over again, I would not have been so concerned about not offending the sensibilities of their mother & I would have been more clear of my direct relationship to them as not only their father's wife but also their stepmother; that they were not only my husband's children but also my stepchildren.

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cawfecup

So as Stepmom's ... we can cook, clean, bake with, do homework, bring them to friends house, bring them to activities, pick them up from school, drop them off at school, make sure they take care of their bodies, eat healthy snacks, teach manners, play with them when they ask, shopping, pick up and drop off at mom's, keep them healthy happy and safe.

But we can't take them to dr's appointments or cut their hair... thats a mothers job!!!

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imamommy

hmmm, when I was raising my ex's three children, our house was the place to be in the neighborhood. We had a pool and the kids hung out during the summer a lot. I fed them, I watched them and a few of them nicknamed me "mom". I never got a phone call from anyone saying "you're not my kids mom" They were happy their kids had a fun place to hang out with a responsible adult watching them.

oh, and for two years, I was my kids' boy scout "den mother". I wonder if they knew that I was not their mother, but I had the title. No one ever complained.

and what about when I volunteered in my daughter's kindergarten classroom. I was called "room mother". I hope that didn't upset all the kids' REAL moms.

It's ridiculous. If you went into court and told the judge, "your honor, she lets my child call her mom, but I'm her mom", the judge would say it's just a word. The only person that really cares is the person who gets their feelings hurt because they might have to "share" their title. Like I have said in other posts, my son called his step mom "Mama Lisa" when he was small. He probably called her mom as he got older. He never came home and said, she's my mom and you're not anymore. Then it would be understandable to be upset. (or if the child starts calling you by a first name) It makes the complainer look insecure and immature.

I don't agree with anyone making a child use those titles but if a relationship builds and it's something a child wants to call me, it's an honor that I wouldn't refuse.

and to answer theotherside, my husband did have 50/50 (week on/week off) with his daughter for three years before I met him. He is very involved with his daughter and always has been. (if I have to stay home when she's sick, it's because he works an hour away (near where BM used to live and he's been there 20 years so he's not changing jobs) and is paid on commission) When he and BM split and she moved back into her mom's house, he actually kept SD until BM convinced her own mom to let her bring SD to her house for the 50/50. He filed for custody seven months after we were married because BM threatened him three times during the seven months, that she was going to stop the 50/50 (verbal) arrangement. He didn't have any court order to stop her from taking his daughter. They had never been to court. He finally got an order for 50/50 so BM could no longer threaten to take away SD and as everyone knows, three weeks later she handed over full custody.

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imamommy

and kkny, I may not help my children's friends with their homework, but I do help my step daughter with hers. She could wait for her dad to help her, but I like to try and have it done before he gets home. Some nights he helps with her homework and if she gets it done before he gets home, sometimes they read, watch a movie or play a board game (which she gets very excited about).

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theotherside

imamommy,

I can understand why working an hour away would make it difficult for him to pick her up at school if she got sick, but why would it make it difficult for him to stay home with her if she didn't go to school because she was sick?

Before you were in the picture, who took care of the child while the father was working? Who took care of her when she was sick? Who picked her up at school if she got sick?

cawfecup,

we can cook, clean, bake with, do homework (I think it is far better for the parents to do this, although once in awhile probably wouldn't hurt), bring them to friends house, bring them to activities, pick them up from school, drop them off at school, make sure they take care of their bodies (no, not your job), eat healthy snacks, teach manners (no, not your job), play with them when they ask, shopping (no, not your job, although taking them with you when you are grocery shopping or similar isn't a problem - I've done that with kids I was babysitting), pick up and drop off at mom's (no, not your job) , keep them healthy happy and safe (safe, yes - healthy and happy is their father's and mother's job). If you wouldn't do it for a child you are babysitting, or your friend's child, then it is not your job as a stepmother either. If you are doing most of these things, most of the time, then the father is not sufficiently involved.

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imamommy

If he stays home from work (which he has), he loses a day's pay since he is commission based. He gets a low hourly rate but not if he's at home. Before I was in the picture, she went to daycare after school. Like I said, her mom lived close to where he worked, so she went to school near her mom's house. If the school called, her mom would go get her. (she's never worked so it didn't affect her working) But then again, if the child was sick enough to need a doctor, she would have DH leave work to take her and he would stay home the rest of the day.

It would be really nice if her mom hadn't up and moved two and a half hours away for some random guy she just met. She seemed like a very good mother, before I came along. I probably wouldn't have continued to date him if I met him and he started telling me she was such a horrible mom. But as we got closer to our wedding and she started acting more hostile with me and controlling with him, we found out she was living another lifestyle (she posted pictures on her myspace) and that getting laid was more important than her girls. We happily kept his daughter many times because she wanted to go out and party, but she never wanted to make up the time with her daughter, which is also fine. It bothers me that she presented herself to be such a wonderful mom (which I was happy about since my kids were almost grown and I didn't intend on being a young child's primary caregiver) and I resent that she has done this to her daughter. I know you can say that my husband is her primary caregiver but he is also financially responsible for her and can't quit his job to stay home, so it falls on me. I run my own business and can take the time off (although I would rather not) when her mom is kicking back at her new bf's house doing nothing. Shc can't even pick up the phone to call her daughter and say hi. So, you may think that she's not so bad as moms go but perhaps because it's affecting me daily and I hadn't planned on this, I am a little resentful of it. (and yes, it is irritating that she complains that I am not her daughters mother when she is the one that put me in the position of doing the things she calls "mom" things that she doesn't want me to do) I have never tried to be her mom and I really wish her mom would clean up her act and do her own JOB. She even has her 73 year old mom (that still works full time) raising her 12 year old. Her own mom isn't happy about her up and leaving her kids. The only one that's happy is her, which I find selfish.

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bpts_chick

Wow. This whole thread is amazing to me.

When hubby and I married, I promised him I would love his children as my own. I would care for them and do whatever I could to make sure they knew they were loved.

I do take kids for haircuts, orthodontist appointments, dance class, whatever. Just today the 14 year old SD texted and asked if I'd bring wax by the school b/c her braces were rubbing her mouth raw. I did it.

I have wonderful relationships with my stepchildren. I know I'm not their mom, they know I'm not their mom. I have a parental role in my house. And I am very blessed that they have accepted me that way, that they think of me as family. Back in the day, the BM even thanked me for caring for them the way that I do.

I believe these children are blessed to have three of us who are genuinely concerned with their wellbeing and who are willing to do whatever it takes to ensure it.

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keepitmovin

TOS,

I think you can be a bit unreasonable in your expectations. Perhaps you've forgotten that in a relationship you are a team, you are partners. and with that partnership you help each other. If for some reason the BioParent can't do this or do that, the StepParent is going to step up. And what is this business about you can't teach manners,eat healthy snacks!!! etc. So you would allow a teacher to do that but a SP can't? GTFOH. Check your logic.

Fact is, YES life is most likely going to be easier if you have a SP to help rather than when you were a single parent. And I don't know what world you live in, but the role of a SP is sometimes a mothering or fathering role... a "bonus parent" if you will. I think that insecurity does exist because you're so adamant about the "mom" things to do and not focusing on the fact that your child might just be happy with who their SP is and the role in their lives... God forbid!

I think its pretty condescending and undermining of you to say that the SP is just a babysitter. I don't know of any babysitter who's ever had the type of bond that some SP and SK have.

I can't believe I've aloud myself to get sucked into this debate with you when I know that you've been one of the most closed-minded people on this forum. You forget that whether its step or bio, SKs have a family in both homes.

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imamommy

when it comes to a bio parent creating their so called "boundaries" for the step parent, perhaps it's NOT insecurity... perhaps the children are merely their possession!! (sarcasm intended)

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keepitmovin

Exactly. Why would you ever treat another human being as a possession?
I think Bpts said a lot of what I committed to as well.

If I was a BM (or BD) I'd prefer the SM/SD treat my children as they would their own... not like a "red headed step child"... Wouldn't you want someone who loves and cares for your children the way a parent does, rather than someone who complains and resents them? I hate drawing comparisons like that, but it seems some can't seem to see it.

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kkny

I think just as many, if not more, view stepchildren as possessions of the Dad. And they think they are the better woman, they got the dad, they deserve it all, the kids, etc.

When you introduce kids, why dont you just say, this is johnny, etc. Thats all the information most people need.

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keepitmovin

kkny,

DIdn't someone JUST mention how the children felt hurt by such a detached presentation? Though you might find it hard to believe, some SP and SK see each other as family. Culturally, for me, it is disrespectful to separate yourself from someone when introducing them. If I dont know someone, I could care less to give them the break down of my family dynamic. But for those who know me and know of the relationship I have with SS if its explained once, I dont have to explain it again. I'm not going to say these are my children and this is my SS! Specifically alienating him. How do you think a child feels? And unless he says he doesn't want me to refer to him as such, they are all my children.

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ceph

cawfe said: "I said well at some point they have to learn to do those things... I am free, culinary classes are expensive."

lol. That's awesome. I laughed my tooshie off.

TOS said: "If you wouldn't do it for a child you are babysitting, or your friend's child, then it is not your job as a stepmother either."

I disagree. If for that couple, and that child, it works best for SM to do those sorts of things, then great! Ideally, both the BPs are doing a lot of the nurturing, but I see no reason that a SP can't be involved in it too.
I might agree more with what you said if you had phrased it as "if you wouldn't do it for your sibling's child"... I lived with my brother for about a year, and helped him out with his daughter - playing, potty training, preparing meals, bathtime, reading stories, picking up from the sitter's, enforcing manners. He was "sufficiently involved" and gets by just fine now that I don't live there, but it's easier to have two people doing these sorts of things when there are two adults present. My niece knew I wasn't her mom, my exS-I-L wasn't threatened by my role, and my brother was the primary caregiver when she was at his place, but I helped.
My role with my BF's son is much like my role with my niece was (apart from that he's 8 and doesn't require help with the potty!). He knows I'm not his mom, his dad is the primary caregiver when he's with us, but I help.

Almost everyone said: "Job"

I'm struggling with this term for what parents and stepparents do. I don't help care for my BF's son because it is my "job". I help care for him because I love him and choose to be a part of his life. Same thing with my niece.
I think we're so culturally focussed on work, possessions, and territory, that we take this home with us and apply it to children. I think that our view of childrearing as a "job" as completely backwards and is part of what keeps us in a patriarchy, part of why we see custody battles, and part of why we see disharmony between caregivers.
I also feel that way about house"work" - the idea that it is "work" causes endless problems. So, let's use it as an analogy for childrearing. Cleaning the house is not a "job". No one's being paid for it and it shouldn't be assigned to any one specific person - it is simply something that all people using the space must do in order for the space to be a success. Saying that I shouldn't clean up after myself at my BF's house because it isn't my house is ridiculous. Should I should do my part to keep the space a success by helping out? Absolutely! Should I take it upon myself to reorganize his pantry without asking? Certainly not! It's a simplified analogy, but the idea that it's his space that I help out with to make that space a positive place, is much like that it's his child that I help out with to make that child a positive person.

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bpts_chick

Bottom line is DH and I are a team. When we have the children (which is most of the time these days). If that means I take the kids to a doctor's appointment or help with homework, then I do. And I think anyone who'd say I'm overstepping my role is really too tightly wound.

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imamommy

as I'm reading the post from keepitmovin, I remembered a day when my step daughter was talking to her friend and said, "wait, let me ask my mom" and turned to ask me the question. When she was having a play date at her friend's house, I went to pick her up and her friend's mom called to her "your mom is here". How sad it might have made her feel to say "Um, I'm NOT her mom".

Kids want to have a "normal" life. They don't want to explain to their friends that the lady that picks me up from school everyday is my step mom because my mom ran off with some guy. Especially if they are bothered by it because they see their friends being picked up by their moms.

If they are picked up by both, mom and step mom, then they might not mind differentiating it to friends that see two people coming to get them. At her old school, everyone certainly knew who her mom was and that I was step mom. It's really up to her if she feels the need to tell people. I'm not going to make her feel bad by correcting them so she can feel that her real mom abandoned her and I sure don't want anyone to think I'm her mom. She's had enough rejection already. She doesn't call me mom, but if someone assumes it and she doesn't correct it, I leave it alone. It doesn't hurt anyone... except her BM's feelings if she were to know about it.

and it isn't a step parent issue altogether, children in the foster care system will also sometimes call their foster parents mom and dad. What kid wants to tell friends they are a foster kid? Like I said, they don't want to look "different" or even have to explain what might be a complex living situation. Don't kids have enough to deal with in life (school shootings, drugs, sex, etc.)?

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kkny

I think a lot comes down to subtle differences -- relating to intent.

If you say to yourself "my children" I think that speaks loudly. If you say teachers understand who is who, that is good.

Bpts, yes, you and DH are a team, but that team has to stop at the child. Children are not material goods or possessions.

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keepitmovin

"Bpts, yes, you and DH are a team, but that team has to stop at the child. Children are not material goods or possessions."

Bpts never even referred to them as possessions. She's talking about as a team they are responsible in caring for the children together.

When someone states that they would care for children as they would their own, it means that you dont differentiate who's child is who in how you show them you care and love them.

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kkny

They are not responsible as a team for children. Only her DH and his X are responsible.

Most second marriages dont last. I would guess that the majority of SMs maintain relatively little contact with the stepchildren in the event that the marriage ends. XSM would have no legal requirement to do so. Mom and dad do.

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bpts_chick

KKNY, I think YOU are making the children possessions and telling me, as SM, they are NOT MINE. I help in the care and raising of the children in my house because I believe it is the right thing to do. You're suggesting I put a glass wall between the children and myself and I think that is the wrong thing to do.

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keepitmovin

"Most second marriages dont last. I would guess that the majority of SMs maintain relatively little contact with the stepchildren in the event that the marriage ends. XSM would have no legal requirement to do so. Mom and dad do."

And you know that there are millions of Bio moms and dads that have a legal requirement but DON'T hold up their end. I know of many Step parents who keep contact as a NCP would especially if they had a strong bond with their SK. No matter if its legally binding, believe it or not, but some SP actually do feel and act responsible... when you make a vow with your new spouse you are making a vow to their children as well, at least thats how I see it.

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bpts_chick

kkny,

You and I will have to agree to disagree. Our family works because I have parental authority in my house. My husband and I are a united front in working with the children on every issue, and as such the children don't have any means for undermining either of us or our authority. It works wonderfully, and I'd dare say, is more beneficial to the children than me keeping them at arms length and serving as little more than a babysitter.

I'm sorry for you that you have such a sterile, jaded perception of relationships between steps.

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imamommy

Most second marriages that don't last.... so true.

Why is that???? Could it be the frustration caused by a meddling, petty, bored/lonely, insecure, bitter, angry, and jealous ex wife, always causing problem????

Just a thought.

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keepitmovin

immamommy,

as much as I'd like to cosign, it wouldnt be productive.

Most marriages dont last, which is sad period. I just wish that it was easier to see that whats best for the kids may not be what some "like". If BMs are all like TOS and KKNY, then there is no way that the kids would be happy with their family with their father (granted I think i remember reading that their XHs weren't exactly great fathers anyway, but thats neither here nor there).

Why would anyone want their child to defy another adult? Why would you want your child to undermine another adults' authority just because you're scared of being replaced? Why would you confuse and manipulate a young mind so that you can be comfortable?

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imamommy

I was being sarcastic but sadly, there is a bit of truth to it.

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cawfecup

If I were "babysitting" a child who was here 5 days a week. I would be "teaching that child" manners and "making them take care of their bodies". If I didn't someone would be crying foul.

If they went to an afterschool program ... they would be doing homework there ...or is that wrong?

As I have said before .... when they are running around like fools, being rude to others, and other adults are giving me evil eyes... I can just say "not my kids" ... and that excuses their behavior!!!!

I wonder if they have t-shirts ... Don't blame me I am not their mother! that would go over well.

or just a plain "not the momma" tshirt.

Just a thought?

You have never told a child you were babysitting to wash their face and hands? (taking care of their bodies)

You have never used manners in front of or with a child you were babysitting? (teach by doing)

So when another adult says to children who are not their own... go wash your face .. that child can say You're not my parent I don't have to listen to you?

Child burps adult says "what do you say" childs says can I have more? (wrong answer)

As far as haircuts and drs appointments.... they cost money and since mom "pays child support she doesn't have to pay for anything extra"... should hubby be giving BM money to take the kids to the drs and get haircuts?

BTW most of the stuff I do for my SC is between the hours of 3PM and 5PM. While hubby is at work and BM is no where to be found. We have 5 children living with us ... if he had to take time off everytime one of them was sick or needed to be somewhere... he wouldn't have a job.

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finedreams

once again the same story of my exH who is on his third wife now with live-in girlfriend in between. All of them were very decent normal women who were nice to my daughter (none of them overstepped the boundaries though). But is my daughter their daughter? no, of course not. they come and go.. She remains our (sorry for sounding possessive ;)) daughter, mine and my crazy ex's. lol Maybe it sounds possessive, but that's what it is.

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theotherside

"I know you can say that my husband is her primary caregiver but he is also financially responsible for her and can't quit his job to stay home, so it falls on me."

I am my children's primary caregiver and I am also the one who is primarily financially responsible for them - I can't quit my job to stay home, but I wouldn't go out and marry someone just to make my caregiving situation easier, like I suspect a lot of custodial fathers do.

"And what is this business about you can't teach manners,eat healthy snacks!!! etc. So you would allow a teacher to do that but a SP can't?"

No, I wouldn't want a teacher teaching my kid manners either. I didn't actually say anything about healthy snacks, but that usually isn't something teachers are involved in either, unless you are talking about day care providers - and they have to, in order to qualify for federal subsidies. I HATE it when teachers try to tell kids what to eat. The daughter of a friend of mine decided to become a vegetarian. Unfortunately, she didn't like eggs or milk, so her mother was pleased that at least she would eat cream cheese - until her health teacher informed her that it was a "fat" not a dairy product. Luckily my kids are not so easily convinced that their teacher knows what he or she is talking about.

ceph,

It's fine if you want to compare it to a situation with a sibling's child. When I was taking care of a good friend's daughter, and she took care of my child, I treated her child the same as I would one of my sibling's kids - but neither of us would ever have referred to the other's child as "my child."

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hlmhr

wrychoice1 - thanks for sharing your story. i'm in a sort of similar connundrum now. i had to pick up ss at daycare last night for the first time at his new daycare. the daycare manager knew i was coming, but introduced me to someone else and doing so, she clearly hesitated at the end of the introduction saying, "oh, jane, come meet hlmhr - this is ss's..........?" i threw in there that i was ss's soon-to-be-stepmom, but then awkwardly also just said i was his father's fiance. it was pretty weird. i haven't had to clarify stuff yet with any of the other adults in ss's life. i don't even really know what to call myself.

i thought it was interesting that you tried to keep a respectful distance in your title, but then later the kids admitted that they were hurt by it. sometimes i see the same thing in my ss's face when he brings it up. he asked the other day if i'll be his mom when his dad and i get married (which he pretty much wants us to do tomorrow for some reason). i told him once that no, i won't be his mom. he has a mom who will always be his mom and i will always be his stepmom. he asked me to tell him a story the other night at dinner too, so i made up some cheesy story with a little boy in it, and he asked if he was my son in the story. i find it hard not to be baffled by how to answer. I feel like I already know TOS and KKNY's position on this, but after reading some of the other posts, I guess it gives me more to think about.

*note* his BM has recently been removed from his life, legally, for a period of some years. so that just leaves me and his dad. the daycare and school folks all know what's going on for security reasons, so they know *who* i am, but i find that everyone loves to smack a title on me once i become affiliated with him in those environments. oh, and also, his father has had primary custody since the day ss came home from the hospital (long before I came along) while BM has floated in and out of his life, alternately wanting to be mom-of-the-year and then claiming she's just "not mom material."

imamommy: i also thought your comment about the title was interesting. others call you your SD's mom and if she doesn't mind you don't mind. that makes sense - more to think about i suppose.

for me - i think it just comes down to semantics. what really matters is the quality of relationship i have with him. my fiance has sole custody without any upcoming possiblity of visitation from BM. ss is young and is craving a normal family. he draws pictures of 3 stick figures - me, him and his dad. but at the same time, he mentions his BM from time to time or shows me her picture and seems to understand that she's around, although not physically present. i'm just kind of going day by day right now and figure it will settle into a comfortable thing - and right about that time, BM will have some legal right to see him again and everything will get turned upside down, i'm sure...

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imamommy

Nobody is going to dispute with a parent that is a constant in his/her child's life. Regardless of the situation, a child can love more than just his/her mom and dad. If they build a loving relationship with a step parent, then even if that marriage doesn't last, the step parent that has that connection with the child is more likely to stay connected, if the bio parent allows it. Unfortunately, they think of their own pain before they consider the feelings of their child.

Not all bio parents are in their children's lives. My daughter's father hasn't been in her life since day one. When she was 13, I located him and talked. I tried to get him to spend time with her, write letters, an occasional phone call, ANYTHING. I offered to give up the over $100k in back child support he owes me if he would have some sort of relationship with his daughter. Instead, he promised her he would get together in a couple of weeks and then left the state.

Four years later, we found him in Texas (and my daughter got to chat online via myspace, with her half sister). Her dad saw my profile (and wedding pictures) and called me up and the only thing he had to say was "oh, you didn't wait for me?" I laughed, thinking he was kidding. But he went on to inquire if I was happy and said that he would consider leaving his wife to come back if I wanted. I haven't talked to him since. He still hasn't had anything to do with our daughter and she feels more comfortable with my husband. she has toyed with the idea of calling him dad, but doesn't want to upset his daughter with that. It's sad that kids can't just do what feels right to them without jealousy getting in the way.

fine, you are right, step parents or SO's may come and go and the parents will always be the parents, but what harm is it to the child for them to have a close, loving relationship with a step parent or SO if that's what they want? Just because there is no legal tie if it doesn't work out between the adults, that doesn't mean that the child has to stop caring about or seeing that adult. and if the adult cares about the child, why should they have to stop just because they end their relationship with the child's parent? If they have a relationship that is close enough, then they should be allowed to continue it. Of course if there isn't that close of a relationship, they won't keep contact by their own choice.

One of the saddest things in my life was when my ex "erased" me from his life, including his kids. Our kids grew up together, much like siblings. His daughter continued to visit me for years because she is the same age as my daughter and they were close. i would go pick her up (a 5 hour drive each way) and keep her a week or two during her vacations or summer. Her new step mom was glad to be rid of her. She was going to be in my wedding to my current husband but she backed out a week before and I'm sure he talked her into that. It meant a lot to me to have her there as I raised her from the time she was one. She hasn't talked to me since. So, sometimes even if it doesn't work out, the kids (and step parent) suffers because the parent is being "possessive". My ex got married soon after we broke up and his new wife, literally wants nothing to do with his kids. She had her tubes untied and gave birth to twins and pretty much only counts her children & their children together as a family. His kids are treated like outsiders. Their mom hasn't been in their lives at all. She was addicted to drugs and left when the youngest was less than a year old. It's very sad for them that I was the only woman in their lives that "mothered" them and he shut me out because I left him.

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keepitmovin

immamommy,

That must be extremely painful. I'm sorry that you (and your step daughter) went through that. It could not have been easy for her at all.

Thank you for sharing.

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gellchom

It occurs to me that this would not be an issue but for the negative connotation that some people attach to the term "stepchild" (or step-anything). Too bad "my stepchild" doesn't feel good to some people.

I can understand how it would make a parent feel odd to hear another person call his/her child "my child." And I can also understand how it would make a child feel distanced to be called "my spouse's child."

It reminds me of the discomfort some people feel hearing their married children call their in-laws "Mom" or "Dad," even without the emotions that divorce arouses. And the grown children themselves often feel funny calling, say, a mother-in-law either "Mom" or "Mary" -- let alone "Mrs. Smith." Too bad we don't just use "Mother-in-law" as an address in English (other languages do, by the way).

Whether or not it feels good, "my stepchild" is exactly accurate. And it's too bad that it doesn't feel good. I am very close with my brother-in-law, but I don't refer to him as "my brother," and I don't feel like it devalues our relationship to call him my brother-in-law or that it would add to it to call him my brother. It would just seem strange and forced.

So I think that is how it would sound to me to hear someone refer to his/her stepchildren as "my child" -- forced, strange, like s/he is trying a bit too hard to prove something -- like when someone introduces a boy- or girlfriend as "my lover" or "my soulmate." I might also be confused about who the person is talking about, and, once I figured it out, possibly a bit annoyed that s/he is sacrificing my understanding to making his/her point. I'm not saying that that is what the OP, or anyone else, is doing! Just giving you what I think my impression would be.

"Our children" is different, especially where families are blended.

Do you think that there is a way to remove the emotional load from the prefix "step-"?

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imamommy

it should come down to what the kids are comfortable with. My step daughter doesn't call me mom (I don't know if she'd like to but she knows her mom is against it) but like I said, she has used the word mom in reference to me with her friends and doesn't correct someone that assumes I am her mom, so I am not going to step up and say "no, I'm not her mom" If she wants to correct them, it's her choice. It's not a big deal. My feelings won't get hurt. But hers may if I correct it.

However, if I am introducing the kids as a group, I might say "these are my kids: and name them off." I'm not going to say "these are my kids and she is my step child" then the focus is not on introducing the kids, but it becomes pointing out that she is a step. and I guess some of it would have to do with the circumstances.

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finedreams

"fine, you are right, step parents or SO's may come and go and the parents will always be the parents, but what harm is it to the child for them to have a close, loving relationship with a step parent or SO if that's what they want?"

you assume things that nobody said here at any point. I do not remember saying that anybody's including mine children cannot have nice relationships with their stepparents or they should not continue seeing them if relationships end. i never said that. Reality of life is that in most cases when relationship ends stepparenting ends as well unless steparents comletely replaced bio parents and raise children in absence of parents. Other than that it is pretty rare.

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theotherside

On another board there was a woman who had married a guy who then got custody of his son. She went on and on about how horrid his ex-wife was, and about how much she cared for his son (who was about 8). Then her new husband not only cheated on her, but also turned out to be using cocaine. All of a sudden she not only was furious at her husband (understandably), but she wasn't so fond of the boy anymore either. Apparently she never saw the boy again after they divorced, and it didn't seem to bother her.

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imamommy

fine,
your comment was "(none of them overstepped the boundaries though). But is my daughter their daughter? no, of course not. they come and go.. She remains our (sorry for sounding possessive ;)) daughter, mine and my crazy ex's. lol Maybe it sounds possessive, but that's what it is."

if you read from all the posts, you will see that apparently kkny (and you?) believe that there are boundaries that step parents must maintain to keep step children at arms length and that it's not right for them to develop a relationship beyond child & babysitter. In my experience, I was the only mother my ex's children's life and I was talking about my experience when I was cut out of their life when things didn't work out. It was very painful for me and it wasn't really fair to them either. So, when it was said that there is no legal ties for step parents, even though that's true, that doesn't mean that once the relationship between the adults ends, the one between the child and their parent's ex should. Unfortunately, the step parent that doesn't build a relationship with the child (because they respect your so called boundaries) so it's easier to leave and forget the child. I think this hurts children more than it hurts adults. IMO, if that relationship is fostered, the child and step parent would have a good relationship that both would want to keep, even if their parent's relationship ended. That was my situation and it was my ex that decided he didn't want me in their lives anymore and yet, he married someone that put his older kids out as soon as they turned 18 and treats my, well I guess she isn't mine, but she treats her step daughter like a second class resident of her house. (the house I helped the ex buy for "our" family, including his children.) and I did maintain a relationship with his daughter for several years after I left. I still think of them as my children and if they ever called me to ask for help, I would do what any mother would, I would be there for them. (and it's been almost 9 years since I left)

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finedreams

Iammommy;
I did not say they MUST maintain boundaries, I said they maintained boundaries. As there are boundaries in every realtionship. Whenever there are no boundaries there is trouble, conflict, confusion and unneccessary drama for children.

They did not tell my DD how long I am allowed to talk to her on the phone, didnot check phone logs, they didnot attempt to control my relationship with my DD and my X's relationship wiht her, they didnot tell my X how and what he should be doing with DD, how he sould be spening or not spending money on her, and they never thought that they should be hateful towards me just because I was his wife first. That's what i mean by maintaining appropriate no drama boundaries.

Iammommy you do not have relationship with children of your former BF. If they would ask, then you would help, but neither they ask nor you help. If my daughter would call her former SMs of course they would help. But the point is that it is not going to happen, as it is not happening with you. I would help my neighbours if they call too. But I do not have a life long relationship with them.

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imamommy

no, kkny did and you mention boundaries so that is why I said (and you?) as a question to if you share her views?

and you must miss the point entirely. I could have had a lifelong relationship with them if he hadn't decided it was too hard for him to deal with it. He tried to get me to stay and then come back but I didn't believe he truly wanted to marry me. He didn't want to be alone or he enjoyed all I did for his kids. He only stopped pursuing me to come back when he met his current wife. and I did maintain a relationship with his daughter up until last year when she backed out of being in my wedding. She had the dress and everything but just stopped talking to me and gave me no explanation why, one week before the wedding. I was very hurt. We may resume it later, after she's 18.

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theotherside

finedreams,

I think the neighbor analogy is a good one. I am very fond of my next-door neighbors. If a tree fell on their roof, I would be happy to have them come stay with me for a month or more (not that they would, since they have kids in the area). But if either of us moved away, we might continue to exchange Christmas cards, but that is about it. From what I have seen, that seems to be the way it is with most stepchildren and their stepparents - their relationship is a function of their parents' relationship, and if that dissolves, so does the stepchild-stepparent relationship.

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hlmhr

It's not entirely true that steps have no legal rights. There has been legal precedent set for parental rights of a step as a "parent by proxy." I believe the case was a homosexual couple who had a child together through artificial insemination and then split up. The disenfranchised non-biological mother sued the other (biological) mother for shared custody and won under a theory of "parent by proxy." It sets a precedent in the gay community as well as in the step community since steps also are not related by blood to the child, but may have an equally strong parental bond with the child. I'm not sure the case has been tried in a step situation, but with the evolution of the American family as it is, there's bound to be a time where a step sues for custodial rights and wins.

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imamommy

yes, and although there are not laws giving step parents visitation rights (in CA), a step parent (or anyone) can sue for custody if they prove it's in the child's best interest.

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justnotmartha

You can bet that if something were to happen to my DH (the CP) tomorrow I would exhaust every effort to keep my SD here with me and her siblings to some extent. I have raised her, been her "real mom" as she says, and put her needs first for 10 years. I know in doing this I would prolong contact with her mother and the thought chills me, but I love my SD and I can't imagine doing anything else.

BTW - my SD has called me mom (against her mother's loudly and nastily voiced complaints) since she was 6. I never encouraged this and tried to find another term for myself, but after she responded with tears asking why I didn't want to be her mommy I gave in, because to me her feelings are much more important than her adult mother's. Her friends all refer to me as her mom, and if she is speaking about her bio-mom she clarifies that. I have just let her take the lead with all of this - if that is how she wants it to be so be it. Who am I to tell her how she should feel, or who she should recognize as mom? I suppose one could say that if her mother did a halfway decent job of fulfilling the "title" there wouldn't be room for someone else??

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imamommy

Tonight at dinner, my SD told us that she calls her mom's new BF 'dad' when she is visiting them. Of course BM thinks that's ok. After all, she's been with him a whole three months.

Yet, I've been with DH for three years and and she resents me doing "mom" things, let alone her daughter calling me mom or anything closely resembling it.

I just find it ironic.

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justnotmartha

I feel you, Ima. I truly do. We're in the same "ironic" boat.

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kkny

Good luck suing for custody. But in many states parents are responsilble for childrens college tuition. ARe you ready to step up to the plate -- or are we back to child should pay his own way.

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ceph

"They did not tell my DD how long I am allowed to talk to her on the phone, didnot check phone logs, they didnot attempt to control my relationship with my DD and my X's relationship wiht her, they didnot tell my X how and what he should be doing with DD, how he sould be spening or not spending money on her, and they never thought that they should be hateful towards me just because I was his wife first. That's what i mean by maintaining appropriate no drama boundaries."

I think the difference in your case is that you seem to deserve the title of "Mom" not "Woman who conceived and birthed the child, but has ignored it or been abusive for most of its life"... It sounds like you're a good mom, so your ex and his SO have no need to control your relationship with your DD.
In most of the cases here where phone times are monitored or money is a problem, and so on, it seems to be because there has been problems with abuse or neglect and these are either for the child's safety or because of a court order. Not just because BM is "the ex".

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keepitmovin

I think this post turned in a different direction than I intended.

I said: "If you know your child loves their SM/SD and this person is being a good parent, then why fight them?"

My question was why would a BM or BD fight off a perfectly good stepparent. One who doesnt discriminate b/n their own children and their spouses children, etc, one that cares for and worries about the well being of all their children, not just their biological ones.

A woman once saw me with my SS and said, I KNOW thats your son. I corrected her and was surprised b/c we don't look anything alike. But she said, she's never based kin by how much they look alike but how they treat/interact with each other.

I'm surprised that Birth Parents would be so adamant to say that the Step isn't a part of the child's family... especially if the child feels that way.

Its not like the SP is in front of the BP saying "I'm so-and-so's father/mother". Thats just weird and disrespecting the BP.

I don't believe in treating your SKs like distant relatives or neighbors. I come from a very blended extended family and you treat the children as your own. But that's just my opinion.

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imamommy

keepit, I agree with you. Sorry it got turned into a debate on how much a step parent can do for, care for or think of the step child. But, the value of the opposing team (the ones that insist children should be kept at arms length) is that it demonstrates the position that the biological parent takes, even when the step parent is good to their child. In my first response above, the counselor was not telling BM that there are only two choices on how to treat a step child, she was merely pointing out that BM is complaining that someone is being nice to her child when there are step parents out there that are not nice.

In my opinion as a parent and a step parent (and even as a step child), giving birth doesn't make you a parent. I treat all children as if they were mine and I would hope that any adult that is there when I am not, would treat my children as if they were theirs. (assuming they like their own children and treat them well)

I believe in respecting the boundaries with the child's parents. But I don't believe that the child's parent (that doesn't live with you) is entitled to place boundaries on the relationship with the child.

In our home, my husband is the one entitled to place boundaries in regard to my relationship with his daughter if he feels it's necessary. Especially regarding discipline. I don't believe in spanking a child that isn't yours (and it's a personal choice with your own kids, but I don't think it's an effective method of discipline)

Of course, the are also just my opinions.

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theotherside

"We have 5 children living with us ... if he had to take time off everytime one of them was sick or needed to be somewhere... he wouldn't have a job."

At the time of the separation, I too had 5 kids living at home. I had to take time off every time someone needed to be somewhere, etc. Is it easy? Of course not. Does it mean that I earn less money than I would if I could take a job that required a long commute or extensive travel? Yes. Would I marry someone just because I could use another adult around the house to chauffeur and babysit my kids? No - that would be insane.

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keepitmovin

"Would I marry someone just because I could use another adult around the house to chauffeur and babysit my kids? "

Please, please, please read what's written... and then make some sense.

No one here is talking about marriage of convenience. Of course its not easy being a single parent. But it is easier to deal with the unexpected when you have a partner... and it goes both ways.

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kkny

Keepit,

I think what TOS says does make sense.

People have to distinguish between wife and SM roles. DHs have to deal with it to.

Too many mixed motivations. Is wife doing it to keep DH happy (role as part of team with DH)? What happens if marriage folds?

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theotherside

And I suspect that some people, perhaps quite a few people, remarry because they think it is going to make their life, or child raising, easier. That doesn't mean they pick some totally random person to marry, but they may be making a hasty or unwise choice for a not very good reason. Of course if they read this forum for awhile, they would realize that remarrying often makes their life much more difficult - especially for women.

If they just want another adult to make life easier, it is less of a commitment to hire an au pair.

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ceph

I realize my glasses are rose-coloured to a fault... But could you two please try to treat lifestyles and choices other than your own with a little more respect?

The reasons people marry, or past choices they have made are not for us to criticize. We should be here to try to help other people with the situations they currently face in stepfamily situations and receive help with our own troubles in return.

*puts pretty pink glasses on and goes back to being patient with you*

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ceph

On second thought, I will not just limit that to you two. I will expand it to everyone (myself included). We all need to remember to treat other people's choices with more respect.

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imamommy

I got my chuckle for the day.

People marry for convenience....

I totally agree with KKNY and TOS for a change. I think marriage is all about convenience.

Women marry because their clocks are ticking and they want to have children and family. They want to find a good man that will be a good father to their children. They want a husband to take care of them, financially and emotionally. They want a man that is a good provider, will protect them and comfort them. Someone that is a companion and loves them.

Men marry because they are tired of playing the field and want a good woman to come home to and that takes care of them. Someone that will do the dishes and cook them meals. One that will bear his children and be a good mother. They want to settle down and raise a family. They want someone that will put up with them when he is just being himself, so they don't have to put on a front (think back to all your first dates you ever had).

Can they do a lot of these things on their own? Sure.

Women don't NEED a husband to have a baby (or raise a family). They can work and take care of themselves financially. They can buy and learn to use a firearm for protection and have friends to comfort them. Nobody NEEDS a man.

Guys can find easy women, even if they have to pay. They can hire a maid and go to a diner to eat. And they can sit at home alone, belch, fart, leave socks on the floor, etc. and nobody says anything to them about it. They can get a dog or hang out with the guys for companionship.

But, what an insult to say that because you have children, that you would marry just to have another adult there to help you with your children. Some people choose to NEVER marry, some marry and when it doesn't work out, they choose to never remarry. Perhaps the rest of us enjoy the family as a unit. And yes, all it's conveniences.

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theotherside

"Women marry because their clocks are ticking and they want to have children and family. They want to find a good man that will be a good father to their children. They want a husband to take care of them, financially and emotionally. They want a man that is a good provider, will protect them and comfort them. Someone that is a companion and loves them."

I think it is interesting that you put the reason that is by far the most important last. Of all the other reasons you listed, the only one that was important to me (before I had any children) would have been the good father one. I didn't marry my exH because I was looking for a "good provider" or someone to "protect" me. He sure didn't marry me to do the dishes or cook for him! (He is a wonderful cook, but neither of us much like doing dishes.) It would have been more likely that he married me to do his taxes (not that that played a part either).

If I were ever to marry again, after my kids were grown, the ONLY reason would be the last one you mention - the companionship of someone you love.

There don't seem to be too many people here who seem to be enjoying "the family as a unit." The family unit seems to be making most of them pretty miserable.

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colleen777

Geez TOS you almost sound gleeful that most of the people here seem to be pretty miserable. You aren't the Grinch are you?

We know you would rather swim nude in the Arctic Ocean than have some other woman "PLAY" mommy to "YOUR" children.

And KKNY as usual your sense of humour shines through.
"I resent when SMs attribute the desire to establsih boudnaries as "insecurity". I see lack of respect of boundaries by SMs as their trying to establish territoriality."

Speaking of people who don't respect boundaries, you most definitely are one of those people. That being that you are no longer your ex mother in law's, daughter in law.

People have to distinguish between EXwife and Wife roles.

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wrychoice1

With respect to your obsevation about KKNY remarking that she sees a "lack of respect of boudaries by SMs as their trying to establish territoriality."

I think it was about her third response to this post where she wrote:

"And I do think it would help not to call the children 'My' children. They aren't yours."

Now, I ask, who in that statement is attempting to establish territory?

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finedreams

I am not entirelly sure that all SMs who want to control SK's relationships with their parents do it because of obvious neglect and abuse.

In most cases (on this forum) there is no proof of any abuse and neglect, SMs just decided that what BMs do is wrong. But who is to judge? I mean for some people not putting a warm coat in a cold weather is a sign of abuse, but for some it is strengthening of immune system.

If your child goes to other parent and comes home sick, maybe instead of making a judgement you can start thinking if you dress up a kid too warmly, kid does not exercise etc.

I never made my kid to bundle up too much, by other people's judgement it is wrong because they believe kids have to be in warm hats, gloves, coats all the time. In my opinion raising your kids with weak immune system is bad parenting, in other people's opinion not bundling kids up is bad parenting. Who is to decide?

Maybe giving up control is a solution. When my daughter was at her father, I gave up control over the situation. maybe he won't dress her warmly, maybe he won't be as protective as me, but you have to let it go! If kid has parents living in two households, you simply cannot maintain 100% certainty how things are when kid is not with you. I think sometimes SMs have to give up that control what and how SKs do when they are with their BMs. Of course serious abuse is a different story.

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finedreams

It seems to me that one of the issues with step-parenting is: fathers are not the ones who take care of the children or make any decisions. SMs are the ones who take care of the kids while SKs are in the father's households. I guess if I would have to be a free caregiver for SKs while father is not that involved I would become resentful as well.

I have to say that there is at least one thing I appreciate is that my X took care of DD when she was with him (she is grown now), never SMs had to babysit. I mean they ould cook dinner but he cooks as well. If there was a situation, when he could not be there then grandparents would step in.

He didnot make SM to be a caregiver and a babysitter, maybe that's why there was no resentment or anger neither towards my DD nor towards me and vice versa.

It seems to me that the issue is not in BMs or SKs being bad, but fathers making SMs to be free babysitters, caregivers, housekeepers.

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imamommy

Fine, I agree with you. We can't control the other parent's home or actions. I've posted my feelings about how I feel BM neglects SD. I didn't call BM and tell her I think she's a terrible parent or tell her what I or DH think she should do. Aren't we allowed to have our own feelings and express them here? My SD lives with us and goes to her mom's three weekends a month. She hasn't gotten sick while here, only when she comes back from a visit. Could it be coincidence? sure. But when it follows voiced concerns for her health by DH and BM voices that she'll be fine and then comes back sick, I think I'm entitled to my feelings and vent them because it is frustrating for me. I've spent over a thousand dollars on her daughter's medical bills and she is supposed to pay half. The doctor won't bill both parents so we end up paying. I don't think I would call it abuse but to a degree, it might be neglect if she disregards the health of her child. and who is to decide? I guess the custodial parent? or is it only limited to the custodial parent when it's a biological mom? I get confused with some of the double standards I've come across on this board.

and another insult to fathers???

"I guess if I would have to be a free caregiver for SKs while father is not that involved I would become resentful as well."

I'm resentful of a mom that, before she moved away to live with her boyfriend, she was living with her mom and not working, collecting child support and openly admitted in a deposition that she gives her mom nothing. Her 73 year old mom works full time, pays the rent, utilities and buys all the groceries. SD was wearing hand me downs from her older sister (that didn't fit her) and we'd buy her clothes that fit, she would keep them and send her back in the hand me downs. She used her child support to pay for her new truck, taekwondo lessons (and we paid for SD's), a cell phone for her and her older daughter, going to concerts and bars, and she's a smoker, which isn't cheap. Then she moves away and doesn't call her daughter. Is constantly late or cancels visits. Doesn't pay support or buy anything for her daughter. Still doesn't work so she has no excuse for being late, except now she wants to wait for her boyfriend to come with her.

My husband comes home from work. Does his daughter's laundry. Reads to her. Helps with her homework if she isn't done. Supervises her hygeine (makes sure she takes her shower, brushes teeth and hair) and tucks her into bed every night. I'd say he's pretty darn involved. So, I don't resent doing things for his daughter because of him, he's gotta work to contribute to our family. I resent the woman that gave birth and isn't living up to her role as a mom, but doesn't want anyone else to step into her "territory". I don't think fathers "make" their wives into free babysitters. The reality is that most SM's have kids of their own or together with their husband and do those things for their own kids already. That is like saying that a SD would resent his wife for not working, instead of resenting the Bio Father that doesn't pay support so he has to work more to support his SK's.

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finedreams

Your husband does sound involved, but frankly that's his daughter and he is supposed to be involved. And hopefully he wants to be involved. BM sounds bizzare, true. In your case you might not be a free babysitter, but what i see here so many SMs are. I understand you resent BM, i would too.

But see here is the difference. SMs want to come across as parents who want to be treated as parents, they want to be called parents, they want BMs to acknowledge them as parents etc, But if you are a true parent who loves his/her kid just because it is your kid, not because you married their father, then why would you resent anyone or be angry at anyone for the fact that you cook, clean, and pay bills? (I mean hypothetical "you"). I don't resent anyone for the fact that I cleaned and cooked and paid bills.

I was a CP parent way more involved with DD than my X, but isn't it why I had her-to be involved? You can't deny the difference. I do all that just because it is my child, nothing to do with who her father is and how good he is and if I love him. SMs do all that because they love their husbands (And it is very understandable). But if SMs' motives of taking care of children are so very different, why would they not acknowledge the fact that their roles are different.

This is nothing to do with being possesive. You take care of your own children because they are your own and you take care of SD because you love her dad.

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kkny

FD, you have articulated this very well.

Colleen, I dont see anyone here happy with any SMs unhappiness. What I feel, is that it is a shame more FSMs dont read these posts before marriage.

And Colleen, I never said I was still a DIL, I said MIL said that.

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colleen777

You are so predictable KKNY. So by the same token, I guess if a child refers to their stepmother as mommy that should be just fine too.

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finedreams

"The doctor won't bill both parents so we end up paying. I don't think I would call it abuse but to a degree, it might be neglect if she disregards the health of her child."

This makes no sense. You consider BM a neglectful parent because the father paid the bill? So what? I bet you if your children's fathers would pay doctor's bills for them in full you would not consider yourself neglectful, but would be just happy about it. He is the father, he paid the bill. Where does it say that if one parent pays for stuff the other one is neglecting child's needs? If it is a court's decision, then go to court with it, but if not why do you resent that the father pays daughter's bills? Especially since he is CP. If he does not want to be a CP, he can argue it in court.

I paid doctor's bills and it never occured to me that it makes XH neglectful parent.

I do not pay for my daughter's college, her father pays tuition and majority of life expense. So, does it make me a neglectful mother not carrying about DD's well being? It makes no sense.

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imamommy

kkny, I agree that it's a shame more FSP's don't investigate what is involved in being a SP before they get married. I think a board like this is good to get ideas from other people's experiences but it's also not what I would call unbiased. Most people here are here because they are frustrated or having problems. I come here to vent and I love my step daughter. I get angry because she's being hurt and there isn't anything I can do. I am frustrated by that. Biological parents get frustrated and have problems and if they go to a parents board and voice those frustrations, should potential parents go there to be forewarned about having children and let it change their mind about becoming a parent.

There are good times along with the bad and if you want to be a parent (or step parent), you should find out all you can. A better place to start is probably a parenting class or counselor. Just as we go to premarital counseling, if kids are involved, that should be something the counselor should be trained in and discuss these issues with the couple. It would even be good to include the other parent but only in a perfect world would this ever happen.

and finedreams, I understand what you are saying but I disagree that a step parent only does it for the love of the child's parent. I stayed with my ex for three years after he had me drive myself to the hospital with a life threatening condition. I stayed because he wasn't an involved father. His kids didn't have a mom in their lives. I loved them and worried about how they would turn out. I was there to potty train the youngest. I went to the first day of school with all of them. I felt like more than a step mom and we weren't even married. It didn't hurt any less when he cut me out of their lives and now I see that they have grown up without any parent being there. The two older ones are covered in tattoos, one has a drinking/drug problem. I feel guilty for leaving and I never felt like an unpaid babysitter. I felt like a mom. and I never resented it, of course I didn't have their mom to complain about me loving her children.

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kkny

Coleen, possibly you did not understand. I did not encourage my XMIL to refer to me as such. And I dont pursue it.

Relationships with children, especially if they have less control over situation, are more complex. Judging by the title of this thread "My children" how many SMs encourage children to refer to them as mom? I guess not all, because some dont even want them in the house.

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keepitmovin

Where has this all gone?

Lets all try to detach our emotions from this, I know its very difficult. But I only ask so that perhaps there is a unattached answer out there, and from BMs as well.

Hypothetically, all the parents are caring and well. All the children are happy and well. Is it terrible for the SK and SP to see each others relationship as more than neighborly or distant relatives? Some of you have very sorted relationships with Xs or SM/SF/BMs etc. so aside from that, is it seriously that offensive?

I'm not talking about bad BMs or neglectful BDs. I'm not talking about SM/SF only liking the kid b/c they're married to the parent. I'm talking about genuine love between SP and SK because they love and care for each other.

Can we ALL try to answer this without our own agendas? Its much easier to hear each other that way.

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finedreams

There is nothing wrong with SMs loving their SKs. It is wonderful. Who says otherwise?

iammommy if you took care of your SKs because you loved them then why three of your children are still with you, but former SKs are gone? Not to say you did not care or did not love them, of course you did, but they are not your children that's why they are not with you anymore. They are children of your former partner whom you loved and no matter how well you took care of them, you never became their real mother because of the nature of a realtionship- it is not permanent. Even the most wonderful step-parenting relationship is not forever.

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keepitmovin

KKNY
The title was not to say that SPs should or should not be calling the kids theirs or not. It was more along the lines of "possession" and how people can get caught up in what they believe is theirs instead of seeing the bigger picture.

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colleen777

"no matter how well you took care of them, you never became their real mother because of the nature of a realtionship- it is not permanent. Even the most wonderful step-parenting relationship is not forever."

Stepparent relationships absolutely can go on forever. And please define what you mean by "real" mother. You mean biomother?

PS, I understood you completely KKNY.

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imamommy

they are not with me because I had no legal rights. My ex's daughter did continue to spend a few weeks a year with me for several years (up until last year) but it's not the same to visit with them as it is to give them daily guidance. As soon as he found someone else, the kids were in the way of their new step mom and left to fend for themselves. I would have gladly kept them all and believe that if I had been given that opportunity, they wouldn't be where they are now. My love for my ex died while I lay in the hospital alone and yet, I stayed for three more years. I sometimes wish I had toughed it out until the kids had finished high school.

Perhaps there will come a day when a loving step parent has some rights.

As for the original post, I believe that a parent that has a problem with their child's step parent, who clearly cares for their child, has to do with their insecurity as a parent. I am saying that as a biological mom that has a son that called his step mom "MOM". I believe there is a certain amount of guilt a parent feels when someone else (not the other parent) is taking over part of their role as a parent. It is possessive and territorial, no matter what anyone says. I know I felt that way too, but you have to think about what's best for your child, even if it's not what feels good to you.

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kkny

Ima,

You may feel insecure and guilt (although I havent seen strong feelings of such) when your children are with a stepparent. It doesnt mean every mother does. And whether or not a stepparent truly cares for a child, and will do so if something happens to the stepparents spouse or their marriage and how the other parent is supposed to judge such are all difficult questions.

Colleen, absent adoption, yes I define the mother as the real mother.

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hlmhr

I'm a new SM with no biokids of my own (yet). I'm in my 30's so have enough experience in life in general to know that I have to consider entering this situation from all perspectives - mine, his and ss's. in fact, ss asked me today what would happen if his dad and i divorced - would i go away like his real mom. i told him that i don't think it will happen. he seemed content with that.

i was thinking back about my own upbringing - my parents are still married, happier than ever - 38 years strong. i have a few brothers and even though we were raised in the same house with the same parents, i think we each have our own perspective on our relationshps with our parents and each have a different and unique relationship with them. i would be willing to bet that all kids, in all families have their unique and different perspectives and comfort levels with their families and their relationship with their parents.

so why should it be any different in step families? i think so many posters seem to have the *right* or *best* idea about how it should work, but ultimately, in a successful parent-child relationship (bio and step) i think the parent and child find a way to best relate to each other and comfort levels that suit them best.

i think i started to read this thread for some answers, but the mix of ideas and strongly voiced opinions is overwhelming. some of the experiences roughly match my circumstance, but none exactly - and that's when i realized that my experience is just mine. as each of yours is just yours. it's never black and white and even though some advice is helpful, it all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. some kids will call their SM's "mom" and some won't. Some BM's will be ok with that, some won't. There isn't one universal rule that applies to all - but knowing that you're doing the best thing in your own situation is all you can do.

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kkny

Hlmr,

Situations where dad has sole custody are extremely rare -- 5 to 10%. So I dont know what you mean by mom going away.

As to your potential marriage lasting, second marriages have significantly less liklihood than first. I was married for 25+ years when X left me. It still happened. I thought my marriage would last also.

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hlmhr

KKNY - so negative....

My fiance has had his son since the day he was born - BM floated in and out for years and now is not legally allowed to see him for several years, so my fiance does indeed have sole custody and she has indeed "gone away." BM was around when we first met, and played many of the same games that the other unstable BM's seem to play (strangely, it was almost a relief for me to find out that she fits a stereotype of a certain type of BM). That's what I meant by no one is in the exact same situation I am (as far as I can tell).

I have also never been married and neither has my fiance. BM didn't want her son, but my fiance refused to let his son be given away, so he took him and has raised him from the get-go.

And based on your stats, and presumptively, your own personal experience - there's no point in anyone getting married...ever? Or at least, no point in anyone ever saying that "their's will last?" My folks have been together for 38 years and I've watched their ups-and-downs. I believe I have a good example of what it means to make it last and I've consciously attempted to imitate it the better parts of their marriage into my own relationship.

If 50% of marriages fail, 50% will survive. Like all other "young loves" I *choose* to *believe* that *mine* will last. If I didn't, I wouldn't be doing it in the first place.

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kkny

No, I dont think there is no point in getting married. I just think people should be very realistic about getting involved with stepcildren.

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finedreams

By "real" I don't mean biological because parents who adopt children are as much real as bio, i meant the ones whose relationship with a child is for life.

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finedreams

Yes stepparenting relationship can go on forever if SM or SF stays with his/her partner forever. In a very rare cases stepparents remain in a picture if marriage ends up in divorce

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finedreams

ima if you consider SKs the same as your children why do you refer to your former SKs as my "ex's kids"? You do not refer to them as "my kids".

You do not refer to your children as my ex's kids, right? I don't call my DD daughter "my XH's kid". lol Why? Because she is my DD. Does not matter if I would win or not legally. If let's say I would not get custody or even if let's say (hope not) she would become etsranged for whatever reason I would still refer to her as "my kid". Not my ex's kid.

Do your ex's kids refer to you as "our mother who unfortuantelly couldnot get custody of us because she had no rights"? I doubt it.

See the difference? Or you still think it is all the same?

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colleen777

Secret One: Put the marriage first.

As a more mature person, you can do it right this time. You are entitled to another chance at happiness, but this time the love that you start your marriage with has to be big enough and wise enough to embrace a ready-made family. Divided loyalties, guilt, unreasonable expectations, unscrupulous people, and manipulative children, even your own, can be obstacles in your way to a successful remarriage.

While it's true that all families have a past, blended families have a more complex one-the ghosts of marriages past. These ghosts of prior marriages and divorces can haunt your house and everyone in it, even ruin your present marriage.

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imamommy

fine, I refer to them as my ex's kids because 1) I was never married to their father. I was not legally their step mother. 2) We are on a forum that in order to differentiate them from the children I gave birth to, the one I am legally a step parent to, and the ones I wasn't legally related to, I use the phrase "ex's kids".

They called me mom sometimes, and they called me by my name. It's very possible that I was more attached to them but I don't know how they feel. He wouldn't let me see them on a regular basis. His daughter would come to my house during spring break and summer vacation for a week each year. (when I lived in the same town, she would stay at my house frequently and came over after school all the time) The boys, who were going into high school, did not show an interest in maintaining a relationship. They wanted to have no rules and do whatever they wanted. I am not surprised, my other sons were also rebellious at the same age and were difficult. The difference is that I did everything I could to keep my son's in line and his two sons were allowed to do whatever they wanted. And to be honest, I have no idea what they think of me. I will always think of them as my children. I don't know what he ever said about me after I left. What I do know, from his daughter complaining to me, is that his new wife couldn't wait to kick them out of their house. His daughter was at one point going to move in with me (ex had agreed) but she ended up staying there because of her friends and here, she didn't know anyone. The offer is open to her and she may change her mind when she gets out of high school and the friends go their ways. I will always be here for them.

and kkny, you twist my words a little. I didn't say insecure and perhaps guilt is the wrong word. The feelings that a mom might have when another woman that is in her old role as dad's wife doing the things for her child that she would be doing if she were there. Perhaps its guilt, insecurity, jealousy, I don't know what the right word is, but you'd be lying if you say it wouldn't bother you at all. It bothered me a little. But I also was glad that my son had a step mom that treated him good and didn't resent his presence. Perhaps if I let my son know that SHE is NOT your mom, I am and you don't have to listen to that B*tch, then my son would have treated her in a way that she would resent him. As a loving mom, I had to put my feelings aside and let her care for my son so I could feel he was well taken care of. It's no surprise that the majority of people here with problems in their step families, also have BM's that are difficult or are causing problems. I'm sure the step families that have a BM that doesn't mind that a step parent is involved and having a good relationship with their child are using their time enjoying family activities, instead of going to a forum like this to get help. Those families are laughing together and playing monopoly tonight.

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imamommy

and kkny, where do you get your statistic of 5-10% of father's having sole custody? Give us the breakdown. I worked in an agency where many of the cases I saw were fathers, grand parents, aunts, siblings, and non relatives had custody of the children. It was surprising how many mom's don't have custody. In my own life, in both of my serious relationships, both mom's gave up custody.

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theotherside

I don't know where kkny got the statistic, but it agrees with this:

http://www.divorce-lawyer-source.com/html/custody/fathers.html

which says that fathers are given sole custody less than 10% of the time.

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finedreams

iammommy in both cases you described (your own children and your current DH) when dads got custody the whole situation was less than sofisticated and kind of on a troubled, messed up side. Nobody was married, nobody was maintaining healthy life style, kids were troubled etc This kind of situation, although is not uncommon, represents only small population-possibly those 5-10% mentioned before. In the rest of the population women are CP, or 50/50.

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kkny

Ima,

Possibly your sample is biased. I dont know what agency you deal with but many many divorces get nowhere near an agency. I never went to court or spoke to anyone other than a private attorney. No process servers were used.

Maybe this board is mostly SMs married to CPs, as rare as that is. But to extrapolate to most SM situations does SMs in more common situations a disservice.

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imamommy

I am talking about families. I worked for the department of social services and family services. I agree that in many of the cases, the parents' were never married. There were issues of drugs and abuse in most of them. Poverty in all of them. But it might be more accurate to say, only 10% of father's in "divorces", get sole custody" But if you took the population as a whole and include ALL familiies, that percentage would increase. Not all families go through a dissolution prccess so they don't get counted in THOSE statistics.

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kkny

That number is based on custody, as per court filings. Even where no dissolution, unless amicable, there will be court filings. I doubt many mothers have given up or lost custody without any court filings. And I have no reason to think that unarried families have different stats. Do you have anything to back up including all the families the percentage would increase? I think just as likely where dad didnt even marry the mom, the stats would decrease.

I think your working in DSS gives you a very biased viewpoint.

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imamommy

There may never be a completely accurate statistic as I found several conflicting ones. does it really matter? My husband has custody and the order filed in the court has 50/50 on it. She signed an agreement that will be filed with the court, but she did hand over custody without an order or filing it with the court. My ex NEVER had an order regarding custody. His ex wife simply left. when my sister divorced her first husband, their son stayed with his dad and they didn't go to court for a custody order. She married her second husband, who has sole custody of his daughter (her mom is a drug addict living out of state and doesn't see her) I don't know if they have a custody order but my point is, that just within my family, there are at least four instances of dads having primary custody of their child. Considering there are only four of us, and two are married (in nuclear families) that seems a little more common than 10%.

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finedreams

dads having CP is probably more common than 10% in families with drug abuse, neglect, children being born outside of marriage etc. Although it might be common, it is really not a typical family.

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imamommy

what is a typical family? no one on here has a typical family. that's a redundant comment at best.

am I from a typical family? Parents married, had four kids, divorced after 19 years of marriage. The two older children were grown & moved out on their own. Dad had custody of my sister. (which again, wasn't filed with the court) Mom had custody of me. Dad remarried. Mom didn't. Dad paid child support. Mom didn't. Dad worked two jobs. Mom expected dad to support him and her.

My point is that all custody arrangements are not filed with the court. Fathers do have custody. There are bad mothers that don't pay child support, that don't visit their children, that are not there because they are selfish or have problems in their own lives. It may not be the majority but those things exist. If TOS or KKNY are not comfortable with the number of step mother's that live in a situation where their husband is the custodial parent, then perhaps there is a forum that is designed for custodial moms dealing with non custodial dads and their wives. But this is a stepfamily forum and we don't get to decide which step moms/dad come here. KKNY has repeatedly stated the statistics as if that matters. To a stepmother that is raising someone else's child because that mother can't or won't raise their own child, the statistic of how many people are in that same situation is irrelevant. That's like telling a victim of a crime how unlikely it is to be the victim of that crime. They are there living it so the statistics mean nothing to them.

Do you think it makes a difference between families that you consider "typical" or ones that have social problems? (which I believe ALL families have social problems) They are still families with children and they count. (or should we only consider it relevant if they are of a particular race, income level, etc.)

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eandhl

Talking statistics really doesn't help situations here. Here it appears a fair number of Bio dads have full custody and dealing with difficult bio moms. Years ago you only heard about dads walking out now days that simply isn't true. There are a lot of moms that walk out. The people on this stepparent forum want help in their situation. It is sad so many threads scare posters off due to going off topic, stating statistics and it appears not believing some posters. Many of these posters are in very difficult positions.

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kkny

Ima,

And my custody says 50/50, but at most Dad has dinner with DD once or twice a month. So my guess is at best it averages out (mom vs. dad with more time than scheduled).

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finedreams

I guess by typical I meant more or less normal: no drugs, no sleeping around, no jail sentences and at least being legally married. Also when women trick men to get pregnant, it is very predictable that there will be some kind of custody issue in the future. I personally know a lot of people with 50/50 custody or custodial moms. I do not know too many CPs fathers in my surrounding. I know very few families where fathers are CPs. There usually is some kind of trouble involved. Moms are on drugs, in jail, or both parents are somehow involved in something questionable. I applaud those fathers but in my over 40 years of life I haven't meet that many of them.

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finedreams

I wonder in how many families actual visitations are different than what is scheduled? I think if a parent spends every single weekend with NC child, it is a pretty involved parent! On the weekdays kids are in school most of the day anyways. I would not call a parent picking up kids every weekend uninvolved. It is 3 days out of 4. Almost 50/50. My X used to have DD every weekend at some point. I always thought it made him pretty involved parent. But he was never CP. So how much do you believe custodial papers?

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theotherside

My H supposedly has EOW and one evening a week visitation, and two weeks in the summer. He has never allowed all of the younger ones to visit for even one week, he cut way back on visitation very quickly, and it has been years since he has allowed most of them to visit more than about once a year. My sister's ex-spouse saw even less of his kids. I have met exactly one custodial father in the over 50 years I have been around, and his children spent the entire summer with their mother.

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finedreams

I have met custodial fathers- because mothers died. And then few more cases where moms are on drugs or something like that-actually I can think of two right now. I meet a lot of families due to my occupation, but fathers having full custody is still a very uncommon thing. Or they do have 50/50 or moms see kids every weekend, which is a lot.

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hlmhr

Imamommy: THANK YOU for this: "To a stepmother that is raising someone else's child because that mother can't or won't raise their own child, the statistic of how many people are in that same situation is irrelevant. That's like telling a victim of a crime how unlikely it is to be the victim of that crime. They are there living it so the statistics mean nothing to them."

I believe it was my post that started this whole inane banter about stats and honestly, I was not inclined to reply. It is insulting for KKNY and TOS to write from their silvery perches about how "they don't know any men who are CP's" and how it must be the worst of the worst situation for the father to get sole custody. That is not the case in my situation - the BM did something specifically related to her child that got him taken away from her. My fiance is college educated, professionally employed, a great father and an honorable person who did what was right for his child. I'm sorry if that makes him some kind of mythical creature in the mind of TOS or KKNY. He's real, he's mine, and believe it or not, my situation, although different than most, certainly comes with it's fair share of challenges.

eandhl: thank you also for your comments, "The people on this stepparent forum want help in their situation. It is sad so many threads scare posters off due to going off topic, stating statistics and it appears not believing some posters. Many of these posters are in very difficult positions." --- So true!

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kkny

Hlmhr

My X is has college and graduate degrees, profecssional job etc. Which may be part or all of what made him attractive to his GF.

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bnicebkind

From the step moms who posted regarding the bio moms being possessive of the children, I am wondering if "any of you" are actually bio-moms yourself, and have to send "your" children over to another woman who is also in the role of "mom". Until you yourself have walked in the shoes of a woman, who is ordered by the court to send her children to her ex husbands place, where his newest girlfriend, or new wife, or the woman he met in a bar last week, will either try and win their hearts to impress him, or treat them badly...until you have walked in her shoes, please don't be so hard on her. It takes a strong woman to hand over her children to another woman who is now in the role of "mom" to her children, not to mention who now has her husband too. Unless you yourself are walking in her shoes, sending your own children to "your" ex's new woman, have some compassion for what this must feel like for her.

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finedreams

"Or the woman he met in a bar last week" lol That's the funny one.

I wonder how my X's exwife feels now when he left her for TOW, who he has a long affair with. I wonder how she feels sending her son to TOW who stayed for over a year in their house, slept in a guest room, ate dinners and all this time slept with the host's husband!

And this TOW will be talking that she is a good wonderful SM and maybe will critisize BM. My XMIL says that my X's exwife cries all the time of embrassment that she welcomed a woman in her house who slept with her husband. And now when her son is with his dad, he is there with that woman! It sucks big time. In fact little boy does not want to go there because he knows his dad left for another woman! I wonder if TOW will be calling him "my son" and encourage a boy calling her "mommy".

My colleague's husband left her for TOW just about a month ago. Now he already showed his preadolescent kids pictures of "his GF". And soon he is going to make them meet her. Poor woman, kids were terrified and asked mom: GF? What the...? Do you expect her to be all warm and fuzzy and tell her kids to call a GF/TOW "mommy", or what?

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kkny

I think any woman who dates a man while he is still legally married has shown she has no integrity and does not care about the children. But it doesnt seem to bother some people here. I think any one who isnt brain dead will listen with sceptism the stories re marriage is dead, we're seperated, etc. etc. But some women dont let it bother them.

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finedreams

I asked my X why did he leave his wife so unexpectedly. He told me because marriage was dead for a long time. When I found out that he cheated on her for a long time and left for TOW (wife of his friend, ew...), it ocured to me that he probably told the other woman that marriage is dead! It gave green flag to jump right in.

But the funny thing is that his wife did not know it was dead, she was clueless, they never argued and she saw only one problem is that he was always gone on business trips (of course! he had an affair), but other than that she was absolutelly unprepared.

So when man says I am free for dating because my marriage is dead and I am on the path to divorce or I am separated blah blah, his wife might have no clue!!!

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imamommy

"From the step moms who posted regarding the bio moms being possessive of the children, I am wondering if "any of you" are actually bio-moms yourself, and have to send "your" children over to another woman who is also in the role of "mom". Until you yourself have walked in the shoes of a woman, who is ordered by the court to send her children to her ex husbands place, where his newest girlfriend, or new wife, or the woman he met in a bar last week, will either try and win their hearts to impress him, or treat them badly...until you have walked in her shoes, please don't be so hard on her. It takes a strong woman to hand over her children to another woman who is now in the role of "mom" to her children, not to mention who now has her husband too. Unless you yourself are walking in her shoes, sending your own children to "your" ex's new woman, have some compassion for what this must feel like for her."

bnicebkind,

I don't know if you read my post earlier but I am a step parent now. But, when my biological son (now 20) was going to his dads growing up (from age 4-12) and I did have to let my son go and I know how it feels. My son's step mom wasn't very nice to me and it was very hard to accept her doing things that I felt were "MY ROLE" as a mom. But, I didn't want my son to be treated badly and have her resent him because I was being a b*tch to her or encourage him in any way to treat her badly (and thus possibly giving her cause to resent his existence). Your child is entitled to see both parents (unless the court decides one is so unfit to stop visits) and when there is a step parent involved, then that person is going to be around your child. Like it or not. Making waves only makes the situation that much harder for YOUR child. I'm not saying step parents don't cause problems. She slapped me on Christmas morning one year during an exchange. But, unless she did something to my son, the courts were not going to halt visitation. I had to take the high road and hold my tongue so many times. Unless the step parent (or dad) is abusive or neglectful of your child, then you really have no say in what dad does in his home. (and that doesn't mean just because you don't agree with their rules or lifestyle) It's hard to see another female in your role as mom. I felt jealous at times when my son came back talking of the fun he had with her. I resented that I had to share my child with someone I really didn't like and didn't like me. But I did everything I could to keep it to myself and not let my son know how I felt. He surely knew I wasn't crazy about her but I certainly always told him that he's to mind her and follow her rules in her house.

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theotherside

bricekind,

But according to imamommy's earlier posts, her misgivings about the SM were well-founded - imamommy eventually was able to halt visitation after the SM rammed the car in which the child was riding with his father and his father's OW.

In most cases, if the mother feels uneasy about sending her child to visit the father while the father's latest GF/OW/wife/hook-up is there, there is a good reason for it.

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imamommy

I don't know what that has to do with how I felt letting my son go to his dad's where he had a step mom.

but yes, visitation stopped (when my son was 12) after my son's father and step mom had separated. My son was riding in a vehicle with his father's new girlfriend when the step mom struck the new girlfriend's car. I'm not defending the step mom in any way because her actions are inexcusable, but she may not have known my son was in the vehicle with the new girlfriend. At that point, the step mom was no longer living with my son and even after that, his father did not pursue to have visitation reinstated, which he could have. If theotherside is implying that it's mother's instinct that if she has a problem with the new girlfriend or wife, then there is good reason, she's overreaching. It bothered me more when my son was 4 or 5 years old and less as he got older. My son, even today, tells me his step mom was nice to him. Neither of us think she was trying to hurt my son that day in the car, but I wasn't going to keep him around his father's love triangle where he could get hurt unintentionally.

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imamommy

and I would like to add that my son continues to have some contact with his former step mother. She is the mother of his half brother, who is eight years old.

He has also resumed contact with his dad after he turned 18 and moved to the town where his dad lives.

He just moved back in with me a couple of weeks ago.

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theotherside

I do think that "mother's instinct," AKA misgivings, should not be ignored. I would certainly be concerned that if someone were to assault me, that they would also assault someone they might see as an extension of me, i.e. my child.

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cawfecup

Guess I have walked in those shoes....

After 15 years ex left for TOW and my children visited every weekend. Two years ago my son moved in with his dad and SM and reversed visitation he came to visit me on weekends. My son moved back in with me in Sept. to attend high school and now visits his dad on weekends. We do not have a court order there is no written visitation agreement.

As far as being possessive.... teachers call the children in their classrooms "their children". Are you going to go raising he11 in a school because the teacher became possessive?

More and more fathers today are stepping up to the plate and mothers are walking away. Guess it could be the drug using mom's but I know of quite a few ..."professional women" who are weekend mom's. Years ago and in older generations ... fathers were "supposed" to walk away... but so many grew up without fathers ... that they sort of "vowed" not to do that to their own children. No matter what or how they feel about the ex-wife they put their chidlren first and deal with vindictive women for the sake of their children. Years ago vindictive women were left to fester and blame the world for their problems.

Nothing should come before your children... career, drugs, friends, partying, mid-life crisis, etc.

Although I do subscribe to put your marriage first ... if parents are not happy neither are the children. As the little ditty goes ... first come marriage then comes "junior" in the baby carriage.

Yes...for the first year or so... I was bitter.... she wanted you she should have known you were a package deal... you didn't come alone you came with two children.
Seven years later I don't think she is going anywhere... so I guess it worth "getting over it" ... She is good to "my" ex and good to "my" kids.

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finedreams

"weekend" moms is not the same as none exisiting, "walk away", abandoned, uninvolved mom etc. Some SMs described BMs as pretty much nonexistant and yet mom comes and picks the kid up every weekend or EOW. I would not call it nonexistant parent. That's what all NCP do. If a father sees kids EOW it seems to be fine but when BM is on the same arrangment she is called "nonexistant mom who abandoned her SKs".

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finedreams

Why do you say that NCP walk away? Sometimes children choose one parent over the other one, or sometimes it is better for the kid to live with the particular parent, or sometimes parents split the kids, all different reasons, sometimes parents trick the judges and come up with bizzare ways of winning the custody etc. I would not call NC parents "walked away". I know that some people win custody because they make more money, are married (and other parent is single), live in a better neighborhood, multiple reasons. Not because the other parent walked away.

I know that my BF's grown daughters do not like to stay with mom because mom is not a push over and has rules and expects everyone to stick to plans while BF never had any rules and spoiles both women rotten up to a ridicilous point. For an outsider his X must look like horrible BM (and I at first made this conclusion) who abandoned them because kids would rather hang out with dad all the time. But if you look deeper it is not the case. So i would not necessarilly make conclusions why children choose a parent.

They are grown but young children do that too. whenever angry at me my DD used to say i will go live with dad. And then sometimes while with him she would call and say: he makes me do this and that I am coming home. So who knows why and how parents got custody.

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bnicebkind

cawfecup, why would "anyone" care whether a teacher called students "my children"? Or feel that was in any way possessive? Or one teacher telling another teacher that "my kids" have the computer room from 10:30 until 11:00. Or "my kids" will be at recess at 1:00? Or telling the students that "my children" will behave when changing classes and set a good example in front of the other students or teachers. Why would anyone care?

On the other hand, it is a whole different ballgame, when "the other woman" who had an affair with a married man, and destroys someones family, is now calling another womans children, "my kids". O.K. She has her husband, and now she is trying to claim the children as her own? Can't imagine that would go over very well.

I was at an outdoor concert once (a type people bring families to). Sitting in front of me was a family of four. At first I thought how nice it was that mom and dad were so in love, as they kept kissing. It did not take long to realize that only the dad acknowledged his young sons at all...actually very rarely. As the concert continued, and I watched the situation around me, I realized how uncomfortable the two children were. They must have been around 5 and 6 years old. I finally figured out why. Throughout the concert, dad was making out with his new honey. Serious making out, in front of his two young sons. He completely ignored them, and was totally into his new girlfriend. He was absolutely oblivious to how his behavior affected his sons. I imagine in his mind, they should be grateful he took them to the concert. And he will probably have no clue why his sons don't want to be with him. He will probably say his ex wife is poisoning them against him. I saw the same situation played out on an airplane once too. This time it was mommy who was behaving this way, and her daughter was watching her mom do this throughout the flight. When she tried to get her mommies attention, her mommy would snap at her and tell her to be quiet. Her mommy continued to make out and giggle with her lover, and the little girl was completely ignored, throughout the very long flight. The little girl was like 6 years old, and apparently an only child.

If only mom and dad could step back and look at this behavior through the eyes of their children. And if only they could "feel" what their children must be feeling watching the behavior of mom and/or dad with their new love.

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imamommy

" * Posted by theotherside (My Page) on
Mon, Dec 17, 07 at 8:16

I do think that "mother's instinct," AKA misgivings, should not be ignored. I would certainly be concerned that if someone were to assault me, that they would also assault someone they might see as an extension of me, i.e. my child."

TOS actually makes my point with this statement. The courts were NOT going to stop visitation because she assaulted me. It was brought up in court and the court stated she did nothing to my son. I HAD to send my son to his dads. If I had given her attitude or reacted to it by being hostile back to her or whatever TOS might have done, it WOULD have given her a reason to view my son as an extension of me and possibly she would take it out on him. I chose to diffuse the situation and not fuel the fire with her. I parented my son when he was with me and let his dad parent him (or allow her to parent him) when he was there. If I had let my feelings or resentment get in the way, my son could have been affected.

and I don't see too many posters here saying mom completely walked away. I see moms that are inconsistent, come around when it's convenient for them (without regard to the effects to their children), that put their own wants before the needs of their children. Sure, there may be SM's and BM's that just don't like each other because they are in a tug-o-war over their "territory" and role.

As for weekend mom's that think it's their "RIGHT" to tell a full time Step mom what to do in dad's house, those are the mom's I take issue with. The same goes for weekend dads telling custodial mom (and step dad) what to do in her house. That seems to be one of the themes in the case of NCmom's. They like to scream "Those are MY kids" yet they can't, won't or are not fit to have them live with her. The kids are NOT property that belongs to you. and it is less likely for a NCP to be just as involved as CP, they have all week to plan a "fun" weekend. My SD comes home from mom's house very happy that she baked a cake, rode skateboard, went rollerskating, chuck e cheese, and played video games all weekend. She hasn't brushed her teeth or taken a shower and her hair is matted from not brushing it. Her mom complains that I don't let her play video games in our house. Instead, I have her practice her cursive handwriting like her teacher asked. I'm glad she has fun at her mom's house but it's hardly the same involvement that a CP has.

and finedreams, I think your BF's ex sounds like a WONDERFUL MOM. I think the kids should be with her and not a pushover dad. (I realize they are grown now) and that is the problem i had when I left my ex. The boys didn't want me with my rules and structure. They wanted to have fun. They got it and they are dealing with problems in their lives because of it. And if my child said "I'm going to live with dad" and then wanted to come back because HIS rules were too strict, I'd probably hesitate to let him come back so soon. That is what is a big problem in our society, that kids bounce back and forth to what is easy and they never learn boundaries. The parent's that LET them go back and forth are NOT doing their job as parents. They need to be a team, even though they are no longer together.

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cawfecup

They are not my children... its my fall back... I can just say "not my fault, not my kids".

I have heard the TOW/SM refer to "my children" as our children not the same I guess. Took me by surprise but wasn't ready to physically attack her over it.

Not just their new love ... how they behave or react to everything in day to day life... if your parents fall apart everytime something comes up ... thats how you will deal with things as an adult.

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finedreams

My BF's daughters are not troubled by no means, they are very well adjusted. But they certainly like to be taken to expensive restaurants, meals cooked for them daily, stuff purchased, and dad catering to them when they visit etc. Mom wouldn't do it. He (and mom) did have rules and still has but they are in regards to do well in school and pursue a good career, don't sleep around and don't do drug and don't get pregnant at 15. They are very well adjusted and they brought them up properly. They are just spoiled and mom wouldn't participate in this spoiling. It is different from not having rules at all and then dealing with troubled kids.

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finedreams

To add: My BF and his X divorced after children were already grown. But if divorce would happen earlier in life, I bet kids would prefer him for reasons I described. And then when he would be CP he would talk how BM is a "weekend" mom and how she walked away. I am not so sure about reasons behind some BMs being "weekend" moms.

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cawfecup

Well she used to be thurs night and sun night mom... now she is weekend mom.

Two overnights per week Thursday afterschool drop off at school and Sundays at 5:30pm overnight drop off at school.

Hubby asked her to pick 3 nights a week any 3 nights but one had to be either a friday or saturday ... she said take me to court... the Judge gave her two nights a week friday and saturday... thats what makes her a weekend mom.

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imamommy

I cringe when I imagine how that must make the child feel.

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kathline

I know two women, one of whom is a friend, the other a distant relative, who voluntarily let their husband assume custody after the divorce. In the one case, the children were all boys approaching their teen years, and mom thought that the kids needed to be with their dad more. In the other, the woman knew she would have to work shifts, and the kids would be with sitters most of the time they were home from school, so the kids were better to stay at dads.

In both cases, I think these women were selflessly thinking of what the kids needed first, and themselves second.

ANd yet, I am sure on this board, both those moms would be condemned. WHy is it that we can admire when a man does what is best for the kids, but not when a woman does? In the real world, these two women have had their share of people who revile them, because they cant understand that the kids well being was FIRST. They could only think of what they would do, and lack the ability to empathize with anyone else.

In most situations, both parents are decent enough parents. We may not like the way the other person parents, and its human nature to critize our "rival". In reality, someone has to be the custodial parent, and both parents should be respected, regardless of who has primary custody.

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bookworm_2007

TOS-I am shocked by some of your posts. Being a SM is completely different than being a teacher or a babysitter!

#1) A teacher, babysitter etc....does not live with the child like the SM would.

#2)The SM is the one who is married to the dad...not the teacher or babysitter.

Does your child's teacher or babysitter cook their dinner for them and wash their clothes? Do they have to scrub glue off of the floor or try to plunge the toy out of the toilet??? Those are things that SMs do...just like BMs do.

My fiance has 2 kids (twins) if they are coming to our house to stay the weekend and they are painting my walls a lovely pink color and running around the house with a lighter etc....I have every right to do something about it. What I am supposed to do...tell the kids "well what you are doing is bad but I won't do anything about it because I did not give birth to you...even though you are living in my home and I am married to you father"??????? That would be crazy. Kids aren't stupid either. If they think that BM is going to be upset with SM for correcting them on something...they will use that to their advantage. Trust me...I know. In the end it leaves SM's confused on where the boundries begin and end. That is not fair. BMs love the kids unconditionally but a SM has to learn to love that child and it takes a lot of work sometimes. What comes easy for a BM does not always for a SM. BMs are so quick to bash SMs though and I do think it is because they are insecure with their own relationship with their child or because the dad left them and causing problems with the SM would make them feel better. Very childish! I think the BMs (not all of them....I am also a BM myself) are jealous that the dad is remarried and has a helping hand with raising the kids. It then becomes BMs goal to destroy that. No one ever stops to think that it is the kids who get hurt in the end though.

The day that I am told that I can't correct the SKs when they are doing something bad or I can't cook, bake, clean for them. That is the day I am out the door. Which is what maybe the BMs who feel this way towards SMs are hoping will happen. To make things so complicated with boundries and such that the SM will eventually throw in the towel and walk away. I refuse to be a SM and help raise my husband's children but have no say in their up bringing at all. If that is the case then I would have to be someone who does not have kids. The way I look at it if the dad is happy with how the SM is being a S-T-E-P-M-O-M....then the BM has no say in it.

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bookworm_2007

To imamommy....yes I am also a BM. So..I have walked in the shoes of a SM (fiance and I live together and he has 6 yr twins) and I also have a 10 yr daughter myself.

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bookworm_2007

yes I am also a BM. So..I have walked in the shoes of a SM (fiance and I live together and he has 6 yr twins) and I also have a 10 yr daughter myself.

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bookworm_2007

"Too many mixed motivations. Is wife doing it to keep DH happy (role as part of team with DH)? What happens if marriage folds?"

Regarding your comment above about the marriage with the dad and the SM folding. Well...if there is a SM in the picture then apparently one marriage already folded. Don't think that should be a concern for the ex-wife...to worry about the new wife and dad possibly divorcing.

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kkny

Bookworm,

The difference is the mother will always be the mother, dont know re stepmother (or series of GFs). The point is SMs who want to be treated as parent have different relationships. The issue is what happens to relationship with the CHILD.

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imamommy

Well, which is it???

You are quick to point out that second marriage fail more often than first. And equally quick to point out that step moms should have boundaries and keep their step child at arms length, which as you probably are aware, makes it harder to live in a blended family. Thus, leading to the failure of the marriage.

I keep hearing "what happens then?" So, tell me, what happens? Are you going to encourage YOUR child's step parent to stay in his/her life? Or tell your kids, "good riddance, didn't I tell you THAT wouldn't work out?"

I don't even think you have to respond. Your answer is painfully obvious.

So what valuable advice or opinion do you have to contribute? Or are you just here to say once you have kids, you should never get remarried if it doesn't work out the first time? That may be your choice in life and your situation is not the same as most of the step families here. You are not saving anyone any pain or helping with anyone's problems by your vindictive contributions to this board.

And I wanted to add a thought that goes back to the earlier part of the thread. It has to do with "possessiveness"

I'm a stepchild. My step mom came into my life when I was 17 and when I was 27, she had an aneurysm. She's been home for nine years and I've been caring for her since her own daughter quit because she couldn't deal with it anymore. It was a few months later, that she (and her brothers) filed to take my dad to court (worried about their mom's money) and since she was co-conservator (care only),she would drop by for ten minutes once a week. She would criticize some of the care her mom was getting and write notes in the care log. Her visits gradually went from weekly, to bi weekly, to monthly and we haven't seen her for several months now. But when she did come around, she always had something to say about what we were doing with "HER" mom.

Let me tell you that I change her mom's diapers. I give her mom a bath. I feed her mom formula five times a day through a feeding tube. I clean her mom after bowel movements. I give her mom her medication on a schedule. I clean her mom's trach so she can breath. I hold her mom's hand and talk to her. I comfort her when she looks distressed.

I am there and she isn't and what gives her the right to come in and tell me what to do? And that's no different than being a step parent. The BM isn't there when the SM is doing what needs to be done in her absence and instead of griping about it, she should be thanking the SM for it.

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ceph

"I am there and she isn't and what gives her the right to come in and tell me what to do? And that's no different than being a step parent. The BM isn't there when the SM is doing what needs to be done in her absence and instead of griping about it, she should be thanking the SM for it."

Agreed, Ima!
Another example, but a positive one...
My SM had breast cancer about two years after she and my dad married. Her oldest daughter lives about 4 hours away and wasn't able to be around after her mastectomy to help care for her. Her younger two daughters lived in the city and were at the house almost every day for about three weeks to help her bathe, change dressings, aid with her physiotherapy and so on. I was the only one of the seven total kids who was living at home, so while I didn't help with the "personal care", I did most of the food prep, house cleaning and so on. My sister came over to help a few times too. My SM must have mentioned this to our oldest stepsister, because next time we saw her, she said "Thank you for helping my mom after her surgery. I couldn't be there and it was nice to know that she had you two as well as my sisters."
Now I think that's a healthy attitude about stepfamilies!

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kkny

No

Ima, I mean to encourage both biological parents to do their share, and not push off on steps.

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imamommy

I can't speak for other steps but I do for my step daughter because I love children. Is it convenient for my husband? perhaps. Can he do some of those things? Of course. He does his share. He does what he would be doing if he was still with her mom, and that's work to pay the bills and spend time with her in the evenings and his weekends. If they were still together, she would be taking her to doctor visits, and activities while he was at work. And before she moved away, she lived close enough to do those things for her daughter all the time, even during his weeks. And now that she can't do those things because she chose to move away, what gives her the right to call up and be angry that I do those things in her place?

I'm sure he could put her in daycare (like she was a few years ago) and he could leave work early to take her to the doctors, but since we are married, we are a family. Why should we incur the added expense because her mom moved away? When I said my vows to my DH, we also made vows to each other's children. It wasn't pushed off on me by my DH. If anyone has pushed their share on me, it's the mom that ran off with a guy she hardly knew for a week. And yes, I resent her for that. It would be fine if she does her thing and accept that she chose to leave and not complain about me or tell me what to do, but then she resents me and treats me like I've done something wrong for stepping up and being the mom she refuses to be. How is that right?

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theotherside

I never said that anyone - SM, teacher, babysitter, friend, whatever - should let a child run around with a lighter. Anyone can take the lighter away. Only the biological parents have the right to ground the child (or whatever appropriate punshment) for running around with it.

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imamommy

sure they do. Teacher's "ground" kids all the time. What do you call it when they have detention or lose a recess? In a SM's home, she sure does have the same right to restrict an unruly child in her home (unless DH disagrees and that's between them: Not BM)

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theotherside

I definitely would NOT call detention "grounding." It is not the same thing at all. And I don't think detention or losing a recess are effective methods of discipline. Detention just punishes the parents, who have to leave work to pick up the kids because they can't take the bus home, and missing recess is the last thing you would want to do to kids who have trouble sitting still to begin with. And no, my kids have never gotten detention, and the only time they missed recess was when the whole class did. I have only grounded a child twice in all the years I have been raising my kids, and those times were when they did something dangerous.

If a child is purposely throwing away her glasses, it is important to find out why. Kids who see better when their glasses are on generally are willing to wear them, even when they are only toddlers, unless someone or something else is involved, such as teasing or a serious self-image problem. All my kids have had glasses and they all wore them willingly as soon as their vision was bad enough that the glasses were a noticeable improvement. They have broken several pairs, but not intentionally.

Kids do not throw away their glasses, skip school, flunk out, or annoy their siblings just to drive the adults around them crazy. There is a reason behind what they do, not always an obvious one, and it helps to find out what that reason is rather than using punishment as a knee jerk reaction.

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bookworm_2007

Posted by theotherside (My Page) on Mon, Dec 17, 07 at 22:04

I never said that anyone - SM, teacher, babysitter, friend, whatever - should let a child run around with a lighter. Anyone can take the lighter away. Only the biological parents have the right to ground the child (or whatever appropriate punshment) for running around with it.

TOS-I never said you said that kids should run around with lighters. Your missing the point. That was an example...one that I had happen to myself recently. As far as the bio parents being the only one to discipline-I strongly disagree. I don't mean that I should have a right to beat my SK until they can't sit down...as a BM I wouldn't do that to my own child even. If a SM doesn't have any parenting part in a stepchild's life then why are SMs given the title Step-Mom. It does not mean that I would ever take the place of the BM...I respect that she is their BM. However if a SM lets the SKs walk all over her because she is afraid that the BM will get upset....then that is exactly what the kids will continue to do...walk all over the SM and they know that they can get away with it. I can't count how many times in the past I get that look from the kids when I say "No, don't do that". They give me that look like you are not my mommy and if you punish me for being bad..I'm telling. If the BMs and the SMs could work together and realize that instead of 2 parents (not to step on the toes of the bio parents) but that there are 3 or 4 parents to help raise the children...the children could actually benefit from it. Bio parents seem to forget that when you make the decision to divorce the other parent...things are going to change and that may include your child having a step-parent. I am a step-child myself and I am a BM and play the role of the SM too. In a perfect world everyone would stay together and raise THEIR children together but we don't live in a perfect world. I just think that BMs need to let go of the jealousy and anger towards the SM. Sometimes being a SM is not a picnic and it can be a real challenge. I have struggled with blending families for a while now. If I am going to have the SKs stay with me and I am the one helping to look after them..they are not going to walk all over me and disrepect me because I did not give birth to them. I will love them and treat them (which includes correcting them) as I do my own child.

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bookworm_2007

Posted by TOS-"Kids do not throw away their glasses, skip school, flunk out, or annoy their siblings just to drive the adults around them crazy. There is a reason behind what they do, not always an obvious one, and it helps to find out what that reason is rather than using punishment as a knee jerk reaction."

TOS-I don't know about your kids but I know plenty of kids who do things like what you mentioned above to drive the parents crazy. It is called "rebelling". Most all kids have done something at some point to rebel against their parents...Bio and Steps.

For an example-last weekend SD is taking a fork and grinding into my coffee table as I am demanding her to stop. I have to take it away and of course I wasn't going to say "Oh..hunny that was bad but I'm not your BM so I can't do anything about it". She was sent to her room for it. Was there a reason behind her purposely taking a fork and scratching up my coffee table which I can't fix without it costing me money??? If so...I would love to know the reason. She may be able to do those things at her BMs house but not mine and just because I am not her BM does not mean I will let her get it away with it. I wouldn't let my own daughter get away with it.

In my case the BM doesn't really discipline the kids at all. They pretty much do as they please when they are with her...so due to her wonderful parenting...by the time they get back to us they are out of control. I don't feel for one minute that I don't have the right to set them straight when they are in our home.

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kkny

Book,

I am confused? You have stepchildren? Last I thought I read you had a fiance, which I assume means you are not married?

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ceph

Does it really matter if Bookworm simplifies on this forum by calling her fiance's daughter her SD?
I know what a pain it is to use "my BF's son" all the time on here, so that's why I just shorten to A__. She can shorten to SD if she so chooses.

We also see cases where the original parents weren't married but posters refer to them as EH or EW for brevity... And nobody seems to have an issue with that.

I hope our poor use nomenclature you can't accept doesn't keep you up at night! (Although, lack of sleep could explain your sometimes disagreeable disposition)

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hecallsmemom

*bites my tongue* ha! Very funny Ceph!

Sorry....

Bookworm, I can't blame you, I'd have sent her to her room too. Who teaches these kids to be destructive like this? I know it's not normal. I have an enormous family with multiple neices and nephews. Each and every one of them different and parented differently, but I can't see them doing something like that.

SD did something like that with a silver magic marker on the black fridge. Now I have "i LuV YoOh ZaCh", hearts, "UR So HoTt", and various and sundry other things on my fridge. Who taught her that this was acceptable?

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imamommy

book,

Perhaps tos & kkny would agree and suggest you send a bill for a new coffee table to BM instead of sending SD to her room. It IS BM's child and at the very least she should pay half the cost to fix or replace it. (especially if you are NOT her step mom, then you have absolutely NO legal ties that suggest you should eat the cost of HER child damaging your property)

My SD destroyed a coffee table too with a knife when DH and I were dating. He replaced it with his when he moved in and we got married. But, had BM said a word about how I handled it, I would have sent her a bill to fix it. Fortunately she didn't say a word. (and SD's punishment was pretty much the same, time out... no games or activities. She just sat on the couch the rest of the day, looking at what she had done.) She hates being bored and just sitting there.

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