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Step-Parenting Ask other step-parents your questions about being a step mom.

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Old 12-22-2007, 01:57 AM
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Any Advice out there is welcomed

Over a year ago, I moved to kentucky and the step children moved in with me (15/20)even without their father here(he lived in Alabama).We were not married yet.
I had no problems with this living situation because the mom was to busy with her own life (a boyfirend)to really pay attention to the two of them. So I stepped in and did everything for the parents. The kids and I grew very close, and had a wonderful relationship. Mother had no problems with me having them, then all of a sudden dad moves home, and mother has a problem. Now Im stealing her kids from her, when in actually I was doing them both a favor, since she had no time for them. Now, it seems that the only time Im included in the lives of the kids is when they need something.i.e. help with fundraising, a new car for the daugther, a ride to functions. I was very active with the daugther in her school activities including the Sports and Booster clubs, now Im not included in the meetings, but because of my background they want me to be part of their fundraising team. I feel used. i get no repsect at all. It seems that the mother has turned a hateful eye toward me. So I decided that I would not include myself in any functions at the school, boosters or any other descision that was made and would only participate in those things their dad would. Well, this seems to have back fired also, now the kids dont talk to me, its like I have done something terribly wrong to them. I have not spoken bad about their mother, not fussed with decisions she or they have made, stayed out of any activities that should be for a mother/child.
But it seems now that this taken that I am being hateful to her kids because Im not running them every where, and will not participate in the fundraising activities. I feel like no matter what I do... I am not respected and will never win in any situation.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:17 AM
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Hi cnorton and welcome

Any chance of a "clear the air" meeting with everyone involved? These are not little children; they are teens/young adults who should be able to discuss things with all the adults involved.
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:28 AM
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We have tried a meeting with all involved, but when it comes to meeting Mother will not sit down with us. She seems to just think Im stealing her kids. its sad for the kids.
I have sat down and tried to explain to the kids that I am not their mother and understand my place. I have raised a successful 26 yr old, who had a step mother (who actually wanted nothing to do with him nor wanted his father to do for him) It only left my son hurt. So, I have tried to balance all of this out logically. But with your advice I will try one more time to see if there is a possiblity for a meeting. Thank you
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:47 AM
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Hi cnorton
Welcome. It sounds like you are in a really tough place at the moment. I agree with barbszy that a meeting might help. Just wondering what the older child still needs help with/for? Where is their dad standing with all this? Do the kids still have a good relationship with him?
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Old 12-27-2007, 08:19 PM
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I think it is normal for the step parent to feel used. I doubt that will ever change. The biological mother may feel threatened that you may replace her or be a better parent to her children than you. I don't think you should stop being involved in the kids' lives because of the mother's actions as it would only serve to punish the children.

I like Barb's idea. If the mother isn't willing to sit down with you there are other ways of communicating with her. For example, you could email her or write a letter to her. She may need reassuring that you are there for her children and not to replace her. It may help the relationship if you were to ask her opinion on a few things. Most people like to be asked their opinions and it may open the door between the two of you. It you don't respect her as a parent, try to put those feelings aside for the sake of the children. Remember that your goal is to establish a good relationship with the mother for the sake of the kids, which will make your life easier.

Also, the mother may also see you with her ex and it may remind herself of a better time or even a terrible time. Therefore, you may be triggering some feelings in the mother that have nothing to do with you.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2007, 08:12 AM
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I agree with all that has been said. I too have a step son (but he is MINE in my heart where it counts) and did not become his "mom" till he was 17. We are very close. His Mother passed away in '86 when he was 14 so did not have to "compete" with her. But David told me shortly after his Dad and I married that he knew his Mother would approve of me . Don't know about that but would like to think so.
I will take what I am served knowing someone out there is being served MUCH less
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Old 12-28-2007, 05:03 PM
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I was raised by a step dad that became more of a daddy than my own dad.
My kids were raised with a step dad and had a step mom as well.
What seems to be bothering me here is the lady didn't have a problem with them being there with you until daddy came home. If I understand that right, then maybe there is a reason mom don't want the kids to be around the dad... there could be skeltons in the closets and she not comfortable in talking about it in front of the kids.
Try getting her by herself in a meeting, and lay it on the table, that you do not understand why she is having a problem with the kids being around dad and not you. Then ask her if she could shed some light on it. You not there to condemn her but to be a help and friend to her and the kids.
It may be hard to be a friend but it does pay off.
My kid step mother and I were close until something came out of the closet and she does not want to admit that it could be true and wants to say it coming from my daughter and it has to be a lie.... since my daughter has told lots of lies.
I understand where she is coming from, yet I know this statment could be true too. Due to all of this the step mother is staying clear of me and will not even call to check on the grandkids since I'm raising my daughter girls.
I have talked with her lots of time in the past on the phone and in person to air things out...hopefully you can do the same with your kid's mother.
Also in that meeting ask her if she feels threaten, you may need to do some lead in questions to bring out things from her, so be prepared before this meeting.
Have you asked the kids why they think mom feels the way they do? Maybe they can shed some light on the situation as well.
I do hope everything works out but keep in mind if it doesn't at least you tried and that all you can do. DO not break that bond you have with the kids. You will only be hurting them.
Another situation, when I married my husband I have now, he had kids too, much older.. in fact they were 7 and 8yrs younger than I was. It been a long haul but his kids are friends. We do not think of one another as parent vs child but as friends..
My husband daughter and I are getting so close over these 22 yrs that we can be opened about things, and it pleases my husband and I feel if you continue this bond with the kids, your husband will be pleased as well.
GOD BLESS and hang in there. For if you quit who knows you could be right on the cutting edge to solve this situation, and you gave up to soon.... The kids will noticed what you are doing and will love you for it.
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