On a blog of a stepmom group I belong to someone asked the question..."Does anyone feel jealous of the BM? Is this normal?"
There were so many posts and responses to this discussion, and I wanted to share my response...
Depending on the day, I have different feelings towards the BM. The things I'm mostly jealous about revolve around her trying to control my fiance's life still and the money aspect. He pays close to $2K a month, and the kids are still always without the things they need. What makes me most mad is when he pays all that money, and then still has to pay more on top of that to make sure they have what they need because she doesn't take care of them. I'm glad because he's a good dad, and I know he would never disappoint them, but I feel bad for the kids because they will eventually realize that mom is a loser and can't be counted on. I hate to see that happening to them. They are already making comments about how mom can't follow through on anything and she's never there for them. It's sad, but the kids will always figure out who their parents are...but they are their parents and no matter what the kids will always love them.
Someone made a great point about how kids HAVE to love their BM's, but don't HAVE to love us. As frustrating as things can be, I have a great relationship with my stepkids. I am starting to realize all of the things I bring to their life that their mom never could, and it makes me see how I fit in...just in a different way. My SD needs a strong, independant, thoughtful woman in her life and I can be that for her because her mom is not. My SS is taking French this year, and I took French so he will be able to come to me for help. There are so many things that I bring into their lives, but that they also bring into my life. The fact of the matter is that it is not a competition with the BM. If we look at it that way we will always lose. Instead, we have to look at ourselves as someone different in their lives and realize what we bring to the table, and be proud of ourselves for that.
Something we don't think about enough. Is the BM jealous of us? You bet your ass she is. I know for a fact that the BM is jealous of me. The kids used to talk about me a lot at home, and she finally told them she doesn't want to hear about me anymore. Points scored for me :) She might be their mom, but there is another influential woman in their lives and I can guarantee she doesn't like it just as much as we don't like that the past woman is there.
We know all the frustrating things the kids tell us when they are at our house, and we have to imagine they do the same thing at home. I'm sure that at our house they tell us they don't like our rules, and I'm sure at home they say things like, "this isn't how it is at dad's house". Kids are smart little creatures and play everyone to their advantage and to get attention.
On the bright side...child support doesn't last forever, and although it feels like the BM will be involved in your daily life forever...she won't. Speaking as a child from divorce, my parents have been divorced for 20 years, and once my brother and I were out of school...the only times they have had to see or talk to each other have been and will be for big life events. Not on the regular basis we all deal with now.
My fiance told me this a few months ago when I was bitching about all the money that is going to the BM. He said, "I hate the fact that I have to pay her more than you ever will. I love my kids and have no problem taking care of them, but for the money to not go towards the kids that is what really pisses me off. However, she is not stopping us from moving on with our lives. We still travel when we can, we're getting married, and we can do things with the kids she doesn't. She has controlled my life long enough, and now I am marrying someone I truly love and want to be with. If it costs me $2K a month for 5 more years, it's still worth it to not have to be with her."
Whenever I feel pissed about everything, I think about how much worse it is for him to have to have gone through the whole thing to begin with and it helps me put it back into perspective.