Sorry, but I just can’t help myself and must chime in.
First, the stepmother should not be listed on the pickup list at school or daycare - simple as that. No one should be taking your daughter out of school early without your written permission. You should go straight to the school and take care of that.
Plsadvise, it seems you and I have a lot in common. My ex has been relatively unconcerned with our daughters since our separation six years ago. He has no set visitation (that is the way he wanted it) and has called me to schedule visits when he felt like it. Sometimes going as long as three months without seeing them and when he did, it was for 4-5 hours and then nothing for several weeks.
He remarried last year and I have had nothing but harassment ever since. Suddenly I was the malicious bitch (his new wife’s words) that was keeping him from his daughters and my daughter’s, who were always happy to see their dad when they did visit before, were suddenly refusing to go visit with their father at all. We never really had any problems, before his re-marriage, because he did not mess with me and I did not mess with him.
As for the step-parent involvment. First, my parents were married before and both had sons. They met and had me. My oldest brother (father’s son) was three when my mother came and my second brother (mother’s son) was 6 months. The biological mother did not have anything to do with my oldest brother until she kidnapped him when he was five. My father spent a year trying to find him. She did return him and was not heard from again. My second brother’s father never even saw him. My mother and he separated while she was pregnant. My father later adopted my second brother. We all knew the history, but mom was mom and dad was dad. The other parents were not involved.
Second, I am a child of divorce and have had two step-mothers. I also have also had a step-father, until my mother and step-father died in an accident.
Third, I am step-mother. When I married my ex-husband, he came with a six year old daughter.
Fourth, I now I children who have a new step-mother.
Fifth, I am now remarried and my husband is a very good step-father. He is more of a father to my girls than their biological father is
So, I think I have a well-rounded view on step-parenting.
I also have a real problem with my children going to their father’s house and his not even being there to spend time with them. I completely agree that children should not be visiting with the other parent if they are not going to be available. These are my children. I never wanted to be divorced. I never wanted them to have two households, but unfortunately, it is what it is. I don’t see my children as a burden that I need to somtimes take a break from. Childhoold is all to short and I want to be there for every bit of it. I understand that they need visitation with their father too, but I should not have to give up my time with them so that they can visit with everyone else.
I also have a very strong opinion about the involvement of step-parents with their step-children. I know there are very good step-parents out there who love their step-children. I am one of them. Step-parents, though, are not parents of these children and should not behave as though they are, especially when the biological parent is in the picture and most especially not when the biological parent is the primary caregive of the children.
I think of my role with my step-daughter as more of a god-parent or really close aunt. I was definitely an adult figure, not friend when my step-daughter was young, but she had both a mother and father and it was not my place to interfere. Many times I did not agree with how either of her parents treated her. I could tell my husband how I felt about a situation, but it wasn’t my decision in the end.
Many times my step-daughter came to visit and spent her time with me, rather than her father. I used to pick her up and drop her off for visitation, because her father was too disinterested. I wouldn’t make that mistake again. My step-daughter cared for me, but she wanted desperately to be with her father. At 21, she has some emotional issues from her desperate need to be loved and accepted by her father. Last year, she thanked me. She said she would not have any relationship at all with her father if it were not for me. In return, I apologized. I don’t think I did her any favors. I think she may have been better off if she was able to move on with her life years ago.
I have read many blogs on this forum and am thankful for it, but stepmother, you really need to back off. You are far too involved with your step-children and have over-stepped your bounds (IMHO). And you wonder why you have a difficult relationship with the mother.
I have been down-right pissed off over the past year. My ex’s new wife has e-mailed to tell me I am a malicious bitch who is just jealous of her. He is a good father and always pays his child support and I just want to keep the girls from him. (BTW, he owes me tons in child support). She has asked my daughters to call her mom. The children that I conceived, carried, birthed, nursed and cared for on my own for 8 and 1/2 years by myself.
The step-mother has intercepted my e-mail communication with my ex and responded pretending to be him (using words that he doesn’t even know the meaning to, let alone know how to spell) thinking I can’t tell the difference.
She has e-mailed me (pretending to be him) stating I am poisoning my children with medication for ADD. She thinks ADD can be controlled by diet. Until you become a medical doctor honey, I don’t want to hear your opinion.
She has e-mailed me demanding that I lower child support, allow him to claim the girls on his taxes, clear any “alleged” child support arrears, sign papers for their father to get passports for the girls that he will hold, give all doctor contact information, all teacher contact information, all daycare contact information, list his address as a secondary address for my girls, etc.
He has not ever been to the girls daycare or school and they are almost nine-year-old now. He has not carried insurance as ordered, paid half of the uninsured medical expenses as ordered, taken them to a doctor or dentist. He has never helped me when they are sick. I have had friends that have done more to help me with the girls when I needed than he has and it isn’t because I didn’t ask.
I know this turned out to be a bit of rant, but I do not apologize for it. Many step-parents out there need to mind their place. The biological parent does not like the interference and the children don’t like it either. It just creates more problems for everyone.