anything called step-mom etiquette??

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Registered: 04-09-2003
anything called step-mom etiquette??
Wed, 08-06-2003 - 10:55am
Is there anything called step-mom etiquette when it comes to communicating with the real mom??? Bless her heart she is stepping in to take over where my children’s dad doesn’t step in to communicate with me about “our” children’s issues. She has been around for a year now – a very take over, over board, flaunting person who tries to make me feel & look like the outsider and the “step mom”. I have been the non-custodial mother for 4 years and dealt with an ex-husband who loved nothing more than to degrade me and make me look bad in from of my children and others. Because of that and what he was instilling to my children – I played it low key during the years my twin boys were finishing school. They have now graduated this year and are on their way to college. I feel and have tried to communicate with their father on many issues – no luck. All he does is get mad when I try and then relays this hate and madness to my boys and two older children. Now the new “mom” is in the household and has completely taken over things I should be sharing in. At first the boys thought she was the perfect “new second mom” who was doing all of the daily things for them that I could not possibly do since I wasn’t living in the household. The bad thing she really likes to rub it in. Now as time has passed the boys and the two older ones have seen her true colors & realize who there “mom” really is. They have seen and heard her remarks and comments about and to me.

Does anyone have any ideas on how to deal with someone like this and to get her treating me like the “step-mom” ? I have tried talking to my ex about this – and he knows it is going on and says he doesn’t know what to do about it. It has been so bad that my sons don’t stay around and one moved out for awhile because of her trying to be the “mom”

Here a “few” examples of some emails from her to me about my children. (I am not saying I don’t appreciate her for doing the things she has done for my grown children – but she never let’s me do my part as their mom & when I do I can tell she gets jealous. Is she insecure or am I making a bigger deal out of this than it is???

EMAIL – (one son getting ready to go to college – I am getting his things bought for him & ready to go. She has know idea that I have been doing these things because she wants total control..I tried to tell her that my ex 7 I should be communicating about this and should have been for many months):

It is wonderful that you are willing to help with "some things", at the same time it would be nice to know what those "some things" are so we aren't both shopping for the same thing. I have spent many hours taking care of this for him. As far as communicating with Steve goes I hardly feel a screaming phone call accomplishes much. We are paying half of the $536.67 and Justin will be responsible for the rest, whether he gets it from you or pays it himself that is what we have agreed on. Thank you for your input. Kelly


received his final awards letter and then I called the college this morning to find out his final amount due out of pocket. Justin said that you had indicated that you were willing to share this expense so I thought I would let you know ASAP so you would have time to prepare. It really is about double what I had anticipated it was going to cost out of pocket. There are things he will need for his dorm also like towels, wash cloths, twin size bedding, laundry supplies, and grooming items if you have any of these I know he would appreciate that too. Thanks, Kelly

EMAIL (I was planning a scrapbook for the boys graduation gift – the ex would not share items for me to make copies of & return from the boys memory boxes I put together for them 3 years ago and gave to them for keepsakes. The boys didn’t want to retrieve these items because their dad didn’t think I was entitled to “touching” them – so to save hearing him gripe – I tried going through the “stepmom” for help & then she never did help get the items I needed):

I am willing to share what ever is at the house, like I said I haven't looked through anything. If there is something you know that you want, I'll be happy to share. I'm sure I can make Steve understand. I have no idea what they have or where it is at, but I plan to start looking this weekend. I'm not planning on a major project, but a little something.

EMAIL: (My son was seriously ill for a couple months & I tried to do what I could for him while he was living with his dad and new stepmom. I emailed her asking why she doesn’t let me take my son to the doctor & told her there was no reason why she should be taking of time from work to do these things I should be doing. Also my adult daughter was expecting – she took over and went to Lamaze & birthing classes & informed me that only 1 person could be in the delivery room. This daughter has one child already, single and I participated in her first birth as a grandma/mother should)

I would have called you before the doctor appointment yesterday but I didn't even call Steve (my ex) until after the fact. We talked in great length with Dr. about a high protein diet. I think I told you, but we talked with the track coach and Justin is going to stay out for track and only participate in one race and not practice to improve his time only maintain.. Along with Justin's recovery, I'm also hoping we can share Amanda's delivery too. There is no reason in the world for us not to get along. I've considered you a friend for many years and couldn't care any more about your children if they were my own. Any time you have questions I hope you will feel like you can call. Thanks for the info and we'll keep in touch. Kelly

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Sat, 08-09-2003 - 3:44pm

I remember that you posted about your sons graduationa nd the birth of your grandchild before. I'm sorry that you haven't been able to come to some kind of agreement.

But in reading the seesm that she is really being very nice and trying to include you. I know what it is like to do the daily care for someone that another is really responsible for.

But I know that you probably feel attacked by these things because you are in the middle of the problem. But do try and step back and see things from her angle.

Now that your children are older, they can chose for themselves. If your daughter doesn't invite you into the delievery room then that is on he not the step-mom. Maybe she wanted her other mom to be there since you were there for the first one.

Be available for your childrena nd let them decide what they want from you. having two moms is very difficult. I have an adult friend that was raised by her step mother and every day is a struggle for her. If she makes one phone call, she has to make two. Equal time but be spent at each hours. Her mother has made it horrible for her. I hope that you will let your kids decide what they need from who. You will always be their mom, no one has taken that away from you.

Wish you the best,