Wednesday, October 27, 2010
I know you are all patiently waiting for my blog about our wedding (it's coming I promise...there is just so much to tell...all good though), but I have to blog about today's court with DH and BM.
So, the day is here again in a long one year quest to change visitation from EOW to 50/50. We've physically been doing 50/50 for a year but BM has refused to sign off on it with the courts. Reason...she doesn't want her child support reduced.
Today the judge was supposed to make the decision based on the fact it's been 50/50, and that it's what the kids want. (They are 13 and almost 15). DH took the kids to court (BM seemed to be unaware of this even though he told her and the kids that he would be...I think she thought he was full of shit). He took them out of school, and the only reason that he is took the kids is that she consistently says that she is not signing because the kids don't want to make it legal. They told us the reason they don't want to make it legal is because mom told them that if it's legal then on the days that they are with dad they can only be at dad's. No friends, football games, or with mom or the cops will pick them up to take them to dad's. Um...it's not legal now and you've never seen the cops have you? This is just BM's last stitch effort to continue getting overpaid in child support. So, DH had the kids there just in case the judge wanted to talk to them for any reason.
Well, here's what actually happened:
It's not over yet. They have to go back in January. Another freaking 3 months. BUT it's all in DH's favor, and hopefully they won't have to go back.
Here's the deal. She got there before DH and the skids. So, she was already in the room and didn't even know the kids were there. DH had them sit outside the room just in case the judge wanted to talk to them. DH never even got a chance to mention they were there because the judge immediately starting chewing out BM. He asked her why this has been going on so long, and why she won't sign off on it. DH said the judge said, "let me ask you BM...if your 15 year old son said "mom, I'm going to have my GF over so could you just be gone for a few hours so we can have sex" what would you say?" she's like, "no" and then he asked DH "what would you say?" he's like, "no" and then the judge said, "so why would you let them decide this? This is not something the kids should be deciding. This is what PARENTS decide. Teenagers are going to change their minds 100 times in a day...I'm pretty sure that if I asked your 15 year old if he would live with me if I gave him a porsche he would consider it. He doesn't even know me. As a parent you are supposed to be doing what's best for the kids which it looks like you are with the schedule you have. It sounds like the only reason you won't sign is based on something other than the kids. Money? You aren't over your ex husband? You don't like that he has moved on? I'm not sure what it is, but it's not about the kids and I don't like it."
Then he went on to say that father's have equal rights as mothers and that for every child it is best to have 50/50 unless there is a crazy reason like drugs/alcohol/abuse/etc and there isn't here. Then he flat out asked her "do YOU have an issue with them being with their dad?" She said "no". Then he said, "since this is a hearing and not a trial I can't make a final decision" (no kidding the courts fucking take forever). He said, "I will schedule for the end of January. However, you should take care of this yourself. I will rule on the 5/2/5 (50/50) schedule that you already have and CS calculation will be exactly what the court calculator says. The only time I would give more money is if either parent was in poverty and you aren't BM. So, my advice to you is work out the paperwork and file it. I don't want to have to see you here in January. Do you understand BM?
That was it. They left the courtroom and she snubbed DH and then saw the kids. She was like deer in headlights. Even though DH had been telling her they would be at the next court date I think she thought he was full of shit. When she saw them she started bawling. The kids asked for a minute with her. Then came out 5 minutes later with her. She then said to DH "why are they here" and he told her "I told you they would be and I'm tired of playing your games, I wanted them to speak for themselves if they had to." She's like, "they shouldn't be here." He's like, "none of us should have to be here, we are all here because of you." This was all in front of the kids. Then she says "so...are you growing a beard" (because DH is doing the scruff thing right now). He's like "yeah". She's like, "oh, well, kids call me tonight" and then left.
DH said the kids were fine. Even when they got in the car they were like, "we don't know why mom is crying...and why does she care about your beard? so weird." They had lunch, he took them back to school, and we'll now see them later today until Sunday. She is so stupid. He's going to give her a few days and then text her to see when she wants to sit down to take care of paperwork. He thinks she'll just drag it to January to keep the money flowing. I told him that if she does that he should ask for a refund backdated to November 1st since she was only holding out for a few more months of CS. We'll see what happens.
Eventually this will be the end right??? God damn the courts take forever! Either way, even if we have to wait until January, the judge was VERY clear it will be in our favor. YAHOO!!!!!!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
We are a few weeks out from the wedding, and things are going pretty smooth. I am out of town for work for a week right now which has proven to be good and bad. Bad because I have wedding stuff I should be doing at home. Good because it's given me time to think about things other than the wedding, court, the BM, and skids. A much needed mental break!
I have had the good fortune of being able to do a few long runs outside the past few days and they have invigorated me. I was feeling really tired and bogged down by all of the constant "stuff" going on, and it was nice to grab my iPod, lace up my shoes, and head out into the fresh air. No cell phone, no people, no drama! I'll be so happy when the weather cools where I live so that I can get some similar fresh air at home!
With a free evening I took myself out to dinner and a movie. I saw Eat Pray Love. I enjoyed it. It was the perfect movie to see alone and to give me a new outlook on some things in my life. I'll be so happy when the wedding is over because I'm looking forward to having some of my time/life back to do the things I really enjoy instead of deciding if our cocktail napkins need to be personalized or not and other stupid shit I could really care less about.
I've got 2 weeks left of work and then 3 weeks off. I'm LIVING for that vacation right now. FH has been more frustrated than ever with work, and frankly, I'm so ready to not talk about negative shit (work, BM, skids, family, friends) for at least 2 whole weeks!
Things with the skids are going great. FH and BM will be going back to court after our honeymoon to hopefully finalize the year long change in custody. Good news is that the kids might be talking to the judge so that BM can no longer manipulate them. We'll see what happens. The skids are excited about the wedding and standing up with FH and I can't wait to see it all pan out and have them part of it. I'm leaving a few days before them to avoid any possible mama drama, and can't wait!
Wish me luck ladies :)
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So...with great sadness I am reporting that court did not go well this morning. After 8 months of dealing with filings and waiting for court dates, my FH still has to file AGAIN because the court made a "clerical error" and didn't send him a specific form he needed.
A little background...FH is currently paying close to $2K a month to BM. $1100 is CS and the rest is spousal support. The spousal support was to get her "back on her feet" after 12 years of marriage and her refusing to work once the kids were in fulltime school. Anyway... so, she is now making more money and has had a live in boyfriend for over a year and he decided it was time to request a change. Removal, reduction...whatever. His pay has continued to go down, and her's continues to go up. Well, the judge decided that the alimony will stay untouched because the boyfriend could bail at anytime, and that he's only paying a minimum amount to BM (supposedly) to live there. We all know she lied on her financial statements. Beyond that, she took a pay cut for work right after FH filed this and now the judge is like "well BM is making less than she was". Um, WTF, by her choice in order to avoid having alimony removed. Again...WTF! She's bought a new car, by her choice, but she can "barely" afford it. Give me a fucking break.
In regards to the custody and child support, he used to have EOW and Wednesdays, but after 2 years of doing that the kids kept begging for him to be closer and spend more time with him (BM was mostly leaving the kids alone or with this new BF that is a dirt bag to say the least). So, we put my house up for rent, moved 50 miles to their town and rent a house there. I still drive the 90 miles roundtrip to work though...but no one is compensating me for that are they? No.. anyway, we established a 50/50 schedule back in December that was chosen by the kids. However, BM rufuses to sign off on it legally becuase she doesn't want her child support reduced to about $300 from $1100. Pretty clear it's all about money. Well, today that was supposed to be adjusted and signed off by the judge, BUT the judge forgot to have the clerk include a piece of paper for a petition to change the custody. Although, 3 months ago when this got post-poned another 90 days because BM's paper work wasn't filed AT ALL with the courts prior to the date, the judge requested to do the alimony and custody stuff all at once. Today the fine judge says, "oh, it was a clerical error...so, Mr. You Pay WAY too Much Out Your ASS, you will have to fill out such and such paperwork and refile for a new date. We should be able to see you in 60-90 days." UGH. So, he is still over paying child support. By the time something will be decided we're talking about almost $9,600 OVER what he should be paying. Do you think he'll get reimbursed? Hell no...because the guys are always getting screwed. He pointed out that he splits stuff with me and that he was honest with his financial statement, but the judge said he basically could have claimed that he pays the full amount. So...he can LIE? And a "fiance" can't just walk out anytime apparently, but a boyfriend can? Are you fucking kidding me.
So, basically the court crap still goes on, and BM walks out all smug. Seriously, when is this $$$ bleeding from FH going to end? How many more people can she move into her house to help her pay her bills (she at one time had her sister living there too), and keep living off of FH's money while he can't afford to pay most of his own bills, our wedding, vasectomy reversal, the list goes on and on and on.
There is so much more to what the judge said and what he didn't say, but basically, if he gets a petition he "might" sign it to approve even though BM said in court today "I am fine with 50/50, I just don't want it recognized by the court in case I feel like changing my mind." Um, you have joint custody you tampon string...you don't have sole custody and make all the rules. Somehow even in 2010...judges still buy the bullshit from the BM's. I could puke...
Sunday, July 18, 2010
I had the pleasure of having my Bridal Shower and Bachelorette Party in the town I grew up in. My mom, stepmom, mother-in-law to be, and friends all live there. I travel there a lot for work, so I was able to extend a work trip into a personal trip for the weekend too.
My SD13 has wanted to go see FH's parents there, but BM won't let them travel without an adult (a totally different story, but no time for that here). So, SD was given the option to travel with me. I booked my work trip, we discussed it with her, and made sure that she was ok with going (she's never been on a plane before and was totally freaked...I think it doesn't help that BM is afraid of flying). She said she really wanted to go, FH talked to BM, she reluctantly agreed to it, and bam...the ticket was purchased.
In the weeks leading up to the trip SD was getting increasingly nervous, but myself and FH fly a lot for work. Enough to have status and my SD and I got upgraded to first class on the way out of town. YAHOOOOOO! A 3 hour trip in first class is always super nice, and this would be a more relaxing way for SD to have her first plane ride. I made a list of stuff for her to pack and sent her an email beforehand (not just because I'm a total control freak, but her mom is a total moron about these things and I was picking her up from BM's house so she'd need to be ready to go). Let's just say that BM told SD that she didn't need to "follow SIT's list" because "she knew better" and SD was missing multiple things I spelled out that she would need. Oh well...not my problem.
We got to the airport and BM kept texting her. I finally asked her, "who do you think is more nervous about this trip...you or BM?" She's like, "mom for sure...she wants me to text her everywhere we are...I'm not nervous anymore, I'm just really excited for a new adventure." Good for you SD that you don't let your freak out mom get the best of you.
I walked her through the process of everything at the airport. Getting your boarding pass, going through security, finding your gate, checking out all the little shops, etc. I wanted her to love the process of travel, people watching, and becoming a grown young woman. She was loving it!
When we boarded the plane she was so excited to be in first class that she started to forget all about being nervous about flying. I talked her through take off, and then let her sit by the window (she thought she wouldn't want to look down so she gave it up at first). I sat there thinking to myself how cool it was that I was the one getting to experience this first time thing, and how she'll remember this for the rest of her life. Maybe from me she will get the love of travel. Lord knows she won't get it from her mom!
By the time we land at our destination, she is elated! She "loves" travel, and is so excited to be there. She is beaming, and almost forgets to call her mom. I made sure she did, and she couldn't stop telling her how "awesome" everything was. She only talked to her for about 5 minutes and then we went on to my in-laws house.
My in-laws are amazing. I have the best relationship with them, and they are so welcoming, funny, loving, and I'm always excited to see them. It's good for SD to see me get along with them...BM never really did.
The next day was my shower where my SD finally got to meet my mom, stepmom, and some friends she'd never met in the 3 years we've been together. She was a little overwhelmed for sure, but I think it was good for her to see a lot of positivity and support for the wedding. I know it was weird but she was nice to everyone and I was happy for her. I think for her to be happy about our wedding means she has to be ok with mom and dad not being together. She will never be happy about that, but she seems to really accept that. It's incredible really.
She spent the rest of her trip with grandma and grandpa while I went out for a crazy night of fun and then worked for 3 days. Then we met back up at the airport and flew home together. We didn't get upgraded (sad I know), but we did get to bond a lot and talk on the way home. I feel like we got a little closer from this trip, and it's a good feeling.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I got home from work, and SS14 met me at the car and carried my laptop bag in. Wow :) Then I walked into a house filled with streamers and at the end of the hallway my SD13 was waiting in an apron and holding a glass of wine. Thank you very much wine gods, I am shocked as she hands me this :) My FH was fast at work cooking dinner, and my favorite band "Coldplay" was playing on the stereo. My SD tells me to take my shoes off and come into the living room. When I get there she has set up a new foot bath/pedicure thing and has magazines laying on the couch and a foot stool with lotion next to it. She tells me that this is her gift and that she is going to give me a pedicure and massage my feet! NO FREAKIN' WAY! The girl doesn't even like giving me hugs and now she's going to touch my feet! I AM SHOCKED! While I sit back and relax I start thinking about how far things have really come in my relationship with the kids. I actually feel my eyes well up a little bit while I think about how all of my frustration and hardwork is paying off with a loving relationship with my FH and my skids. My fiance even lips to me that this was all her idea and how shocked he is. My SS tops off my wine as it gets low, and after almost an hour of a pedicure/massage dinner is ready. We eat a great meal and then SS gives me my gift. A shakeweight (which I knew it's what he would give me because he loves giving me As Seen on TV gifts that we make fun of...last year was a Snuggie). So, they make me do the 6 minute workout video that comes with it...let me say, that thing is harder than it looks and the chick on the video is creepy as hell. I think it might actually work a little though...
We have my favorite ice cream cake, watch a little Dexter, and my FH and I head to bed. What a great birthday from the skids this year. Seriously...I am one lucky lady!
Today I got up early and bought the kids each their favorite Starbucks and taking them to lunch. Something I had planned already as a surprise for them today, but then last night made me want to do it even more!
Thursday, June 3, 2010
We are not religious people so we can't do the church premarital counselling, but through health care plans we can get a certain number of visits and might as well take advantage of it.
Our first session was this week, and we were kind of joking beforehand about it being a little weird to go when we aren't actively in an argument or with some major angry issue looming. My biggest stipulation before picking someone was that the person we went to had to specialize in stepfamilies. There is no way I was going to go to someone who didn't have extensive experience with the different things we deal with. When we got there it was awkward at first and the room was very cozy and welcoming. There is a box of kleenex by the couch, and I'm thinking...I'm not going to need these.
WRONG. We started talking about basic stuff. Our family history, our personalities, our issues, where we are in our relationship, and then she tells us that she is in fact a stepmom herself. PHEW! This is even better. She GETS IT! I am so relieved that I will not have to feel guilty about anything negative I say about the skids. Then she asked me, "how hard is it for you?" She said it in such a sincere way that it made me tear up. I started talking about how hard it is for me to feel like an outsider at times, and uncomfortable in my own home, not having control over schedules and my life. She made me feel really comfortable and even my FH really liked her.
We talked about our arguing styles, him wanting to talk immediately, and me needing time to cool off. She gave us some suggestions on what to do next time (I feel like we need to get in a fight just to see if it works :)). Then we talked about appreciation and showing each other love, and she suggested the book, The Five Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. She said it's really important to know how you receive love and how your partner receives love to make sure that you are doing the right things for each other. Most people do not speak the same "love language". So, we will be picking that book up this weekend and going through it while we don't have the kids.
We left feeling really good about her, and it gave us a lot to talk about. Which we did that night, and without a blow-up over topics :) We will be seeing her every week or so for a little while. I have always recommended that people go to see a therapist when they feel like they really just need some unbiased help. Now that we are doing it, I can see where it could REALLY help other people that I know who are struggling with their marriages. I do think it's important to both like the therapist and feel good about them, and if you don't...find a new one :)
In the end she told us that she felt like we had a really healthy relationship and doing all the right things with the kids, and that we could just use a little "tweaking" on some things that she would help us with.
So glad we are going!!
Monday, May 24, 2010
Let me just tee this up for you what bullshit it really is...
SS14 is lazy...and I mean LAZY! He always tries to just coast on by, and thinks that someone will feel sorry for him if things don't go well. Hmmm...wonder where he gets this from (*cough* cough* BM). He's been this way since I've known him, but before it was all about being too lazy to turn in homework. Not because it wasn't done...just because it was SO hard to just pull it out of a folder and hand it in. This year as a freshman we told him that school is going to be harder than K-8 and that he really needs to focus and ask for help when he needs it. He had been struggling with Algebra I, and everyone suggested that he take the tutoring available at school. Well, he didn't. Then Algebra II came around, and he struggled even more. Again, everyone suggested that he see the tutor that was available at school during his free period at least 2-3 times a week. He was turning in his homework...I will give him that, but he wasn't doing well on the tests. So, let's jump ahead to his last day of school. My FH had the pleasure of getting him that day, and the second that SS walked in he could tell something was up. SS finally spilled it that he failed the final and was going to have to take an extension class for a week. Well, he made SS call BM and tell her about it, and then FH and BM talked about what to do about everything. If there is one thing positive I can say about the BM is that she is a hard worker when it comes to school. The woman has multiple degrees, and gets amazing grades. Now only if she could do something with them...oh yeah...don't want to get off topic here :)
Let me just say there is only one thing that brings FH and BM together to agree on anything...and it is SS's lack of giving a shit about his grades or anything else. Thank you SS for getting them to talk nicely to each other after almost a year. Basically here's how it went down...because SS not only lied about saying he used the tutoring more than he did (turns out he only went 2 times right before the final), and he didn't do anything to try to help himself (like I don't know, maybe crack open a book and study once in awhile) BM suggested that this 1 week extension was a cop-out and wanted him to take summer school for Algebra I. That would be $160. Then she called the school and found out he can take Algebra I and II back to back for $320 for the entire month of June. BM and FH are going to split the cost and SS has to work off the entire bill over the summer. So, free chores all summer long! YAHOO! Not to mention that he's grounded from anything other than reading, showering, and breathing. If he complains he gets more time added to his sentence.
Even better still is the fact that BM and her BF were talking about their summer vacation being in June, and she was worried she couldn't take SD and her BF's daughter, and my FH was like, "listen, don't ruin everyone else's summer because SS fucked up. We'll take him that week if we need to and put him to work." We haven't heard back on what she's going to do, but frankly, I hope she goes. SD would really miss out if not, and it would pain SS even more knowing he missed the summer trip. Seriously, nothing else works on this kid so maybe 6 weeks of grounding with 30 hours a week of Algebra will put more of a fire under his ass. If not, nothing will.
So, I think most of the "laughter" is coming from FH and I right now because the kids were with their mom this past weekend, and we had to drop the check off for 1/2 of the summer school fees and low and behold, BM's BF had SS cleaning out the garage. You should have seen SS's face, and him knowing we are all taking so much pleasure is probably the worst part of all.
$320 for summer school
$0 paid for chores all summer
$0 for anything fun for SS for 1/2 the summer
Seeing his face and knowing that on the inside he's cussing up a storm at all of us while we enjoy his misery = Priceless
**oh, and SD13 had great grades and is already enjoying a fun summer**
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
A lot has happened during this school year, and although there have been some ups and downs there have been a lot of great changes. Moving closer to the kids was the best decision that we ever made. It sure has been hell at times, and quite an adjustment getting used to having them 50% of the time. The normalcy is so much better. It's no longer these Disneyland Dad type weekends where we have to cram 30 days in a month down to 4. It's amazing how much better the kids are with our relationship, their grades in school have been great, and getting to know them on a regular basis and having their friends over is something you can't even quantify. Both FH and I had reservations about moving an hour away from where we were, to be in the same small town with BM, her BF, and the kids. I have had my freak outs about how much my life has changed and what I've given up, but if I really focus on what I've gained...it's a new family.
This summer we will be doing some traveling again, and spending a lot of time getting ready for the wedding. I'm sure there will be endless friends in and out of the house for pool parties and sleepover. There will be times when I will want to kill them, and times I'll be so happy my house if filled with laughter. Let's just hope for everyone's sake that it's mostly laughter! :)
Happy summer break to all the stepmamas out there who get their houses turned upside down during this time of year!
Ok, that's saying it nicely. The facts are this...she had been married less than 2 years to a guy with a kid (so she was a fellow stepmom) when he said "I just don't feel like being married anymore" and left her. There had been rumors flying around since before she even married him that he was cheating on her. Frankly the guy has always made me sick, BUT it was my friend's husband and I didn't have to be married to him so I really never said anything. However, when all signs were pointing to him cheating on her I had to tell her. She of course was in denial and made a million excuses for this loser. The thing of it all is that we all worked together. Friend, her husband, his girlfriend, and me. Well, in my job I have to work with hundreds of people and they all wanted to keep telling me stuff and gossip it all out to me. I did my best to stay neutral and protect my friend even when it has put me in a bad spot with my job. Unfortunately it is now almost a year since he's moved out and she still thinks they might work it out. Ok, he lives with his girlfriend, and sure he hasn't filed divorce paperwork, but come the fuck on...it's over. He won't go to therapy, won't break up with the girlfriend, and really other than not filing (which I think he has alterior financial motives for why he's not filing) he's not giving her any reason to believe that he's coming back. I gave her a lot of time to join reality and see that he was no good for her and continuing to pine after him was no good for her. One night I had texted her telling her that I was sorry if I was taking my frustration with people gossiping at work about her on her, and that I hoped that one day she would be able to move past everything and have a better life. She didn't want to speak to me after that (which I'm still not exactly sure what I said that made her that upset). After 2 weeks of not speaking to me or telling me why she was upset I sent her a long email like an intervention where I pointed out what she's doing to herself and how unhealthy it is to keep at the rate she's going. How she can't continue on the way that she was, and that after this much time I can no longer sit around and listen to her act like she is a victim when she was not willing to stand up for herself, protect herself financially, or face up to the truth.
Let me be clear. We weren't just co-workers. We had been friends for nearly 6 years. We started out as co-workers, but then over the years it evolved into spending a lot of time together, going on trips together, spa days together, spending holidays at each other's houses with each other's family. That kind of friend (in my opinion) needs to hear the truth sometimes that they don't want to hear. Not just sugar coating. It's like dealing with a drug addict, but this douche bag is her drug. After quite some time you start to really lose respect for a woman like that who is willing to be a punching bag, but then whine about it. Especially since this started over 2 years ago with his lying and cheating and being an absent husband. This didn't just happen yesterday.
Eventually she refused to talk and only responded that she no longer wanted to be friends. So, on with the wedding plans without her. All the other girls coming to my wedding and family have really stepped up to fill in for anything she was involved in. It's been refreshing to see people be so willing to help out.
Some might think that I was too blunt, and others might think I did exactly what I needed to do by saying what I said after biting my tongue for so long. Either way, it doesn't really matter because the friendship is over. I don't really need negative friends like that, and I certainly can't be the fake friend who sits around acting like what she's doing is totally healthy and normal. I feel sad for her that she has chosen to live the way she is, but I'm also happy that I won't have to tiptoe around about my wedding and happy things in my life because I don't want to upset her.
Will I miss her? Of course I'll miss her. She was like family to me. She was my first stepmom friend and helped me get comfortable with dating a guy with kids. I also ran my first 1/2 marathon with her, and asked her to be in my wedding...the most important day in my life so far. Unfortunatly, a lot of things that held us together (which was mainly the stepmom thing) were no longer something we had in common and it did make it awkward to talk to her about things with my skids thinking that it might hurt her feelings because she no longer talks to her skid. Some friendships are meant to just be during a certain time in your life, and it looks like this is just one of those.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Well, last night (after a particularly stressful day) I met my FH at the gym for a kickboxing class. I get out of the locker room to head to class and my FH informs me that he just saw BM, her BF, and the kids. WTF?!?! I go into the class but see them outside of the class working out the entire time. Yes, I imagine I'm punching the crap out of both the BM and the BF, but I am near tears feeling like I now have no place that is mine. The other thing that really pisses me off is the fact that we are the ones paying for the kids, and now BM is taking them there. It makes me want to shut the kid's memberships down. Not to mention the fact that it was MY thing to add them to the membership and when we go SD wants to hang out with me...now I'm going to have to hear about how her lazy ass mom knows best about everything at the gym. UGH.
At the end of class I bolted out of there and just wanted to get in my car and go home. FH was talking to my SS14 and I stopped to talk, and he was acting so weird. Like he'll get in trouble for talking to us if mom sees him. She's always made the kids feel that way, and it's so uncomfortable. Another reason we don't like running into them. Also, I find it odd that the kids never mentioned they were going there...SS said they've been going for a few weeks now.
Yes, I know that this is public space, but seriously...there are a million other gyms and ones less expensive and closer to the house, but they have to come to my turf? It's just maddening!
When I got home I ended up crying and having a meltdown to my FH about how I feel like I have no space from all of them. How I have to share everything. Him, the kids, our town, my grocery store, and now MY gym! He just hugged me and let me cry for about 10 minutes. I know he can't help any of this, but it makes me start to wish we never moved closer to the kids. Part of me wishes we still lived on the other side of town (an hour away) and had the kids every other weekend instead of 50/50. The other part of me knows how much better off the kids are with both my FH and I by having 50/50. They have had such an improvement in their quality of life and their attitudes/grades/etc since we moved closer. It's just that sometimes I get sick of doing everything that's best for them when it's not always best for us or me.
All we can hope for is that she doesn't keep going for very long. I am not going to let her stop me from going there, and I will just make sure I kill her with kindness if I see her there and hope she'll stop going. My FH said that she joined 5 different gyms while they were married and never went to them longer than a month. Here's to hoping she'll quit.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
I tell her that for her 13th birthday I'm going to take her to a real salon to get her hair done and then we will go shopping for a few new outfits and a little bit of make up (lip gloss and mascara) nothing crazy. She is really into this whole thing, and I book her appointment with my hair dresser for the same time that I'm going. She's been talking about a bunch of different styles and looking in magazines, and wanting highlights. Something different from what she has (which frankly makes her look like a mini version of her mom...and it's not flattering). She's been doing this whole "part down the middle and bangs straight down" thing for several months now and it hasn't gotten her many compliments...and just continues to make her look like a little kid.
So, the day is finally here. I pick her up from school and we head out. She's excited but nervous. My fiance was worried that BM would take her before me when she caught wind of it, and I told him "yeah right...the BM hasn't done a single thing for her in the time we've been together...I'm not worried about it." Of course the BM didn't do a thing, but I can tell that my SD is worried about something. When we get to the salon and I start telling my lady what SD12 would like to have done, SD starts freaking out and changing her mind. At first I think it's only because she's nervous about a new style, so I give her an extra push (which is what SD always needs to do something new). She starts freaking out when I tell her that we are going to do the highlights and that they will wash out in a few weeks, or can be changed if she really doesn't like them. Her face starts getting REALLY red and she starts yelling at me that it's her hair and she can do whatever she wants and I can't force her. I say that she's been talking about doing the highlights forever, what changed? She says "nothing, I just changed my mind yesterday". Uh huh... Then she finally spills the beans and says, "mom said I'm not allowed to have them done." I remind her that it's something dad and I are ok with and she's with us 50% of the time as well, and that her mom isn't the one getting them that it's her hair. She says, "I know, but mom said that since I have sensitive skin the dye could irritate my scalp and give me an allergic reaction and die." I say, "die? really?" SD12 says, "yeah...what if I die?"
Ok, ok, ok..."you aren't going to die, I can promise you that you won't. I'm sorry you are so scared, but look at all of these women here...they aren't here to die either." I tell her that it's her hair and she can do what she wants with it (within reason...she's barely doing anything and it looks like she's just been in the sun for a few weeks). She's like, "if I get in trouble I'm going to blame you." I tell her that's a deal and that I will take all the blame. That she can tell BM that I forced her and held her down and I'm a huge bitch. I also say, "honey....your mom already hates me...let her hate me some more...do what YOU want". She laughs and finally people stop looking at me like the evil stopmom who is forcing my SD to do something she doesn't want to do.
Now, let me just say that normally I wouldn't just go against the BM so blatantly, but the thing is that my SD is going to be 13. Her mom buys her clothes from a hunting store. She won't let her wear lip gloss, and she is getting picked on. I want SD to be happy and feel good about herself.
On the way home she calls her mom (because she only has until 10pm and we are running late). BM kept saying over and over that she misses her and finally SD was like, "I miss you too mom...gosh, I'll see you tomorrow". And then looks at me and rolls her eyes. She was telling her mom how awesome her hair was and how much she liked the cut (didn't mention the highlights), and her mom changed the subject and started talking about something else. I could tell that SD wanted to share how excited she was, but also that her mom wasn't going to be excited that I was the one to do anything for her daughter. NEWS FLASH...you could get off of your ass and do something yourself to help your daughter, but you are too lazy so someone has to do it.
SD couldn't stop talking about it to me and to my FH and her brother when she got home. The next day she was so excited to go to school and show everyone and asked for my help in the morning. I got her to take a picture with me before school, and all she said was "please don't put it on Facebook"....lol...she doesn't want her mom to know we take pics together :)
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I have been in your shoes and want you to know you are NOT alone!
It CAN happen...to come out on the other side. I am proof of this. At least today/this week/this month. I am not going to sugar coat it. It's is hard shit! It has taken every bit of strength and patience I've ever had to get to this point so far.
A little bit of background if you haven't read my blog before...
I was 29 when I met my man...I'm almost 32 now. I had been living alone for 7 years. Dating, traveling, moving, changing jobs, and loving my life. But I still felt alone. I was missing something. I was missing a real love...a love from someone other than friends and family. I kept hoping and wishing I would meet this amazing man some day. After kissing MANY frogs (no, I'm not a whore...I just kept thinking no one was good enough)...I met my FH. He had every single thing I ever wanted in a man. He's sweet, sensitive, sexy, hard worker, does laundry and cooking, likes to travel, isn't jealous, is a good dresser, thinks I'm the most amazing person he's ever met, is super supportive of every crazy ass idea I ever have, and has a heart bigger than anyone I've ever known. He also came with an ex-bitch and 2 kids. At first, I will admit...I thought, "I love kids, kids like me, and this is no big deal." I got warned by a friend who was married to a man with a kid, "do you know what you are getting yourself into...this is hard stuff, and you are in for a rocky road." I thought, "yeah...ok..."
Let's skip forward to me meeting the kids.
OMG, it was hell! This is not an exaggeration. I never had anxiety over anything before. I would suddenly get the shakes on the way to see him and the kids. Not to mention if I had to see the BM. I almost pulled my car over to puke on many occasions on my way to joint events where I would have to see her. I am a strong, independent woman. I'm in sales. I can make anyone like me and sell anything to anyone (almost...if that was totally true I'd be rich). I couldn't understand this situation. I have stood up in front of hundreds of people to train them or give a presentation, and this horrible bitch of a woman could make me want to turn around and run away. Why??? Well, it's because I knew I was being judged about something so major. Because can a woman like me with no kids and no experience with kids treat her kids good enough? I HATE being judged. I hate not feeling good enough. THAT is where she has made me question my abilities. She is everything I'm not (rude, selfish, thoughtless, old, mean, gold digger, etc.) and she thinks I'm just this little goodie goodie sorority girl. Which is NOT true either. I have worked for everything I've ever had, never went to college so sorority girl idea out the window. I am badass and stand up to anyone and everyone if I am passionate about something. I am a runner, and work with non-profits when I have a chance. To me, I'd been living a very well rounded life waiting for the man of my dreams (sick I know, but kind of how I saw it).
The BM told the kids the worst stuff about me. That I was the reason for the divorce (I wasn't), and that I didn't really like them and only acted like I did so their dad would like me. She would act as if they would die if left alone with me (still does), and has been meaner than ever to FH since I've come into the picture. She actually was getting a little better until he proposed to me. This is called JEALOUSY.
The second she realized that our relationship was for real...she freaked. She has been a major thorn in my side ever since.
Here's how the whole thing shakes out though. I treat the kids with respect. I ask them for the same in return. I told my FH (even when he was just my BF) that I expect him to stand up for me, and never let the kids disrespect me. I set down my own expectations as fast as I could. I told him that I will always love him, support him, and support his kids, but I will not be treated like a second class citizen in my own home. For me, if a relationship doesn't enhance my life...why be in it. I have been through hell. I have felt sad, depressed, like I've lost my own identity. I've lost closeness with friends, and I've been judged and put down by more people than I can count because I've chosen to be with a man with kids. I spent a long time feeling this need to prove everyone wrong...that I can be a stepmom...I can handle what they all think I can't handle. There is nothing I love more than a challenge...this is just how I am. So...I have fought it. I have read a million books, blogs, joined this site, and kept pushing on.
I am a stepkid. My parents split when I was about 12ish. I feel like I can relate to the kids. This has helped me A LOT! When I am getting so mad about the BM or the kids acting the way they are, I have to summon up old memories of how I felt at that age. I tried to bury a lot of it, and so it takes some work to really remember, and then I can really remember how much it sucked. I use those memories and feelings to help my FH and myself deal with all of this.
The only thing that has worked for me is to be me. I had to just stop giving a rat's ass about BM. I have tried to be nice to her...it did nothing. I have given her space...it didn't help. I never stood up for myself with the kids about the horrible stuff BM said about me...it made me feel like crap. I was tired ALL the time, my FH said my hair seemed thinner, got huge pimples, lack of sex drive and I stopped doing all the things I loved...like running, going out with friends as much, and instead stressing all the time about money, custody, time, driving, schedules, court, what BM was going to pull this week, etc. It was starting to drive me into the ground.
So, here is my advice. You literally can't worry about her. I told my FH that if I tell her she has great shoes...she's a bitch, if I ignore her...she's a bitch, if I tell her she's a bitch...she's a bitch. Really...she's a bitch all the time every time. She is just a miserable unhappy person in general. If you are dealing with a BM like this...you will NEVER make her happy. My FH said he spent 13 years trying to make this woman happy and it didn't work. He bought her a house, cars, let her be a stay at home mom, bought her horses, whatever she wanted...and she was still a miserable old hag. Some people are just like that. So, I have this new found freedom to feel like I just don't care what she says or does. I'm a good person, I'm good to the kids, and good to my FH. That's all that matters. SHE WILL NEVER LIKE YOU OR BE HAPPY. You aren't her, and she HATES that. Yeah, well if you were her, your BF/FH/DH would not be with you.
The BM gets $2K a month from my FH (if this makes me mad...it makes my FH 1000% more mad because he's the one working hard for it and divorced her). She has 3 degrees and is working on a 4th because she'd rather go to school than get a real job and work hard to provide for her kids. She's a loser, she has a loser BF, and she cares more about herself than her kids. She is everything I am not, and I'm thankful for that. I wouldn't want to be the kind of mom she is, and I bring something different to the kid's life. I am confident in who I am and what I can do for them. The world will not fall apart if I screw up. I am not a druggie or alcoholic (although I do love my drinks now and then), and I am not a low life who lives off of others. I am good to the kids. I spend time with them, I get to know who they are individually, and I tell them I love them and will always support them.
I am still trying to let a lot of things go. I just recently (like in the past 2-3 weeks) feel like I'm really on the other side. My stepkids really do love me. Even if they don't use the word love...I can see things in their actions. You will never get rid of the BM. Not ever...unless you want to be on Dateline NBC which isn't really an option. Instead, don't listen to this "kill her with kindness crap". If you have a nightmare BM...stand up to her, stand up for yourself with the kids, tell them you love them and want the best for them, do your best, and keep on pushing. Lower your expectations. Expect NOTHING...you'll be surprised by any act of kindness. Do what you are comfortable with doing and know you may never get thanked by the kids. Your DH will appreciate it...and if he doesn't...leave him...he doesn't deserve you. The money going to the BM won't last forever. It will eventually end. Live within YOUR means, and try to be happy with your DH. The kids will be in a great place by seeing a happy/healthy relationship instead of the B.S. they have seen with their parents and are likely to see in their BM's house.
The feeling never really goes away. It will lessen if you are confident in yourself and find your own peace with who you are and know you could just tell her to f off if she tries to cut you down. Be cordial with her around the kids, but don't even bother with her otherwise. She's not worth it. DH obviously realized she's not worth it...he's not with her. Don't let her continue to ruin his life and now your life because she's a biotch.
Hang in there girl. It really can get better. If you read my blog you'll see some things where even last summer SD12 wouldn't use my deodorant...now she's wanting to borrow my clothes. Kids will see if you love them/like them and come around. The BM's won't and it's likely that the more the kids like you...the more she'll hate you.
Think of what BM has given you by being such a nightmare. For me, she's made me realize that I will be an amazing mother..I was never sure if I would be or not. I've found my inner patience when I had none. I have a great fiance who loves me like no one else ever has. I have a "home" that when I come home to it there is life and laughter and crying and sometimes yelling, but it's our life together. Think of all your positive things, and if you have to write them down and repeat them all the time...do it. It will really help :)
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
I had been traveling for work, and landed at the airport around 8pm. I let my FH know that I was heading home and he said they were waiting for me to have dinner. WHAT?!?!?! You and 2 teenagers are waiting? Not only that, it was SS14 and his GF15 that were there, my SD12 was at a sleepover. When I got home everyone was so nice to me, the GF was making pancakes and they were setting the table. SS came out to the car to bring my bag in (although he got distracted and never really offered...he said he was so distracted by his GF's outfit and her looking so cute...awwwwwwee!) We sat down and had a great (breakfast) dinner together talking and laughing and I thought to myself. Wow, this is my life...it's a good life, and we've come so far. I love that I'm spending my Friday night eating pancakes with my fiance and 2 teenagers that are happy! Wow! BTW, funny thing is that the GF was saying she doesn't think the BM likes her and that she's not as nice. Shocker, BM isn't exactly Molly McNice. Score another one for me :)
Saturday we got up and went to the gym without the kids and had some time alone, before we headed out of town for a 3 hour drive to see my FH's parents. We had a great car ride talking and joking around, and then had a great dinner with my future in laws. Damn, I love those people. They have been so accepting and nice to me, and are NOT at all the dreaded in-laws. I think it helps that they absolutely couldn't stand the BM, and they tell me they are so thankful I brought their happy son back into their lives. After dinner I wanted to give my FH time alone with his parents so I took the kids back up to the hotel room for the 3 of us to hang out. We watched some TV and they called their mom. She was drilling them about what was going on, and kept thinking they were left alone in the room. Finally I heard SD say, "no mom...SIT is with us"...then a lot of "uh huh uh huh's" and goodbye. They both rushed off and seemed bored talking to her. FH got back to the room and we played charades for about an hour. It was so funny!
**I do need to mention that during my alone time with the kids, my SS14 tells me that BM's BF is going to buy a shotgun for him when he saves up enough money. WTF? I asked him what his mom thinks about this, and he said she doesn't know yet and swore me to secrecy not to tell my FH. I told him he needs to tell his dad before he finds out otherwise, but I told my FH right away. I am so happy my SS feels like he can trust me, but FH still needs to know about this. What the hell is wrong with this BF secretly buying a 14 year old a shotgun. Um, isn't this something the parents should be deciding? Ugh.Sunday we got up and all had breakfast with FH's parents and then played some games and cards with the kids most of the day. We all had a really nice family weekend, and got them home just in time for BM to show up to pick them up. My SS14 yelled and said, "bye guys, love you". Not "bye dad". Hmmmm...am I finally breaking him down with love?
Oh, and a little funny for anyone that's been following my other blogs about the BM...the whole soap thing. I think I figured out that her rash isn't from the soap. It's only on her legs, and I think it's from her razor her mom got her. But who am I? That's right...the bigger person...so I sent SD home with a different razor to have her see if that does the trick.
I am on the road again for work this week (and feeling a lot like Mr. Clooney right now), and won't see the kids for 2 weeks because they are with their mom for spring break next week. It's weird not seeing them during the week this month. I am so excited to have a weekend with just my FH, but dare I say I miss the kids? :)
Friday, March 5, 2010
Just a Ride by JEM
Life, it's ever so strange
It's so full of change
Think that you've worked it out then
Right out of the blue
Something happens to you
To throw you off course
and then you
Yeah you breakdown
Well don't you breakdown
Listen to me
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you round and round
Sometimes you're up
sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
don't be scared
don't hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don't forget it's just a ride
Truth, we don't wanna hear
It's too much to take
Don't like to feel out of control
So we make our plans
Ten times a day
And when they don't go
our way we
Yeah we breakdown
Well don't you breakdown
Listen to me
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you round and round
Sometimes you're up
sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
don't be scared
don't hide your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don't forget it's just a ride
Slowly, oh so very slowly
except thatthere's no getting off
So live it, just gotta go with it
coz this ride's, never gonna stop
Don't you breakdown
No need to breakdown
No need at all
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
no need to run, no need to hide
It'll take you all around
Sometimes you're up
sometimes you're down
It's just a ride, it's just a ride
don't be scared now
dry your eyes
It may feel so real inside
but don't forget enjoy the ride
Monday, March 1, 2010
Ok, ladies...here is her response to my fiance. She hadn't respond to me yet...which I didn't think that she would anyway. What's funny is she does this with every argument. She always acts as if he is bullying her or that there are all these untold lies. I think she does this to have some kind of record of her saying that he's bullying her and disrespecting her...even though he never does anything close. I also think that she is under the impression that he didn't tell me the truth about their marriage/divorce which I know more than I probably should. We were co-workers when they were married, but she most likely assumes that we were together before we actually were. My opinion of her is based on how she has treated me, my fiance, and her kids...which is poorly. Not based on what he has said (I know there are always 2 sides to a divorce story). She has never spoken to me, so she doesn't know anything about me either. Oh well, at least we both tried to extend an olive branch.
Grow up? I have no problem with the kids having a relationship with SIT. I am glad she is good to our kids, but the fact of the matter is that she is not, nor will she ever be their parent and she is crossing the line by acting like she is. I don't carry around anger, I am not immature. I don't even think about you unless you are instigating something. And for the record, I don't come to your door because your courtyard gate is always locked. Contrary to what your ego wants to believe, I'm not bitter, I don't carry around a bunch of anger, I forgave you years ago, but that doesn't mean that I will tolerate the constant disrespect. You can and will paint me out to be something I am not, because if the truth were to come out then you wouldn't be able to play the "poor me, my ex-wife is such a bitch" card, but don't expect me to just continue to let you bowl me over just because you call me names. We're not married anymore, I don't have to be bullied by you anymore. My behavior is not petty, or angry, there is nothing mandated that says I have to go out of my way to be friendly toward your girlfriend. The kids completely understand why I don't speak with her. Perhaps if you told SIT the truth, she would understand my position and have a little respect for me and then maybe, just maybe I might be able to have a "functional" relationship with her, but until that time, it won't happen. I will not deal with someone who has prejudged me so harshly based on lies. And to tell me that I should take a lesson from someone like her is completely out of line and you know it. She has no reason to hate me, she has no reason to feel anything negative toward me, she doesn't know anything about me. I am not going to banter back and forth with you about this, as I told you before, all I want from you is a little respect. You still can't do that. You won, you got everything you wanted...and yet you still have to poke at me and disrespect me and I am tired of it and I'm not going to take it. SIT is NOT a parent of our children regardless of how much time she spends with them, there is NO reason why she should ever contact me about anything with regards to the kids...that is your job, you are the father, it is your responsibility. I am not being petty or immature about this issue and I will not budge.
You keep saying the same things over and over. What we have been talking about really has nothing to do with you and I, but the kids. SIT knows that we were married when we met, I never told her that we were separated until we were separated. When you started dating your BF he was still with his ex-girlfriend that he had a baby with, I don't judge you or him, which I told him directly. What does any of this have to do with communicating about the kids? You act like I call you names all the time, but I don't. You act like I am not civil to you, but I am. You act like I bad mouth you to the kids, but I don't. You act like I tell SIT our entire life was shit and that you were a horrible person, but I didn't. You act like I am some big, bad, evil person and you know that is not true. I have not claimed to being perfect and have admitted as much. I told the kids I take 100% of the blame that you and I split to protect you, what more do you want from me? If the disrespect part is that I don't always agree with you or have a different opinion, that is your problem. What is it about me that prevents you communicating and be civil to me for the sake of the kids? As for SIT, I believe that she was very clear that she does not consider herself the kids parent, but she is an adult, like your BF that has influence in their everyday life. I didn't realize that SIT reaching out to you on our daughter's behalf, about a rash and soap would cause you to again blow things out of proportion. This is just another example of your unwillingness to put your own feelings aside to benefit the kids.
Funny...and all this time I thought you stopped answering your door because you felt awkward (being the other woman) facing me...I actually thought that maybe you had an attack of conscience. The bottom line is this, there is no reason why we should have to communicate unless your fiance slips into a coma when the kids are at your house. If you have a concern, you can express it to him and he can bring it to me. I wouldn't expect him to be aware of every tiny detail of the kids' daily life, but SD's rash problem is something that has been an issue for 8 or 9 years, it was a constant struggle to find products that didn't cause her problems....and we have talked about several times since we split up - especially when he first started to bring the kids to your house, so this particular issue is something he should have been familiar with.
Just for the record, I don't feel any need to defend myself to you, however, I do want to say a few things, I have always tried not to be rude to you but I will never be friendly. Perhaps when it happens to you, you will understand. You do not know me, you have this idea of who you think I am, but you know nothing about me and I can guarantee that anything you think you know about me is far from accurate. But that is the life and the reality you have chosen to be a part of. My kids, sadly, understand why I feel the way I do...they were apart of our life when everything imploded on us. They do not expect me to be cordial to you let alone friendly - occasions when I do say hello or speak to you they are always shocked. I am not certain (but I have a pretty good guess)why you think I'm angry and bitter, but that couldn't be further from reality, I forgave your fiance a long time ago. I have never bothered him, never picked fights with him, never EVER told him he couldn't see the kids, never once behaved in a vindictive way, as most women would have considering what happened. On the contrary, I have always been overly respectful of his choices. Last thing I would want is for his "happily ever after" to be ruined because THAT would hurt my children. The only time there is ever an issue is when he starts one.
My children like you, and for that I am thankful because you are right, you are a part of their lives. I have always encouraged them to accept you because I knew, from the day I decided that I couldn't forgive & forget this time, that you would eventually be their step-mother. Obviously you have no clue as to the efforts I have put in to ensure that my kids don't hate their dad or you. I have always encouraged them in a healthy direction regardless of what you may hear otherwise. But at the same time, I do not lie to my kids. This is their life and they have a right to understand things about it so if they ask, I answer as truthfully as I am able. I always encourage my children to go to your house, have a good time, follow the rules and make the best of the situation that we are living in now. Unfortunately, your fiance continually instigates my animosity and then pretends to wonder why I get upset. And quite honestly, it's not you that I am avoiding at functions, it's him....in a way, I feel sorry for you because you are in the dark. For all that he has done and continues to do to try to hurt me, I would prefer never to interact with him at all, unfortunately that is not realistic. But that is my reality and has nothing to do with you. All I have ever asked for from him is a bit of respect which he refuses to show. Perhaps one day you'll take a look at both sides of the story. Maybe when you have your own children and you spend 13 years fighting to keep your family together, you will begin to understand.
I still can't believe you've gotten this bent out of shape over soap. It seems so trivial to me, and I was only trying to help SD. It's a shame you reacted this way about something that would actually help your daughter. Since you and my fiance really can't seem to discuss anything without arguing with each other, and he's had more important things on his plate lately I thought I could help SD out on my own. I send both of the kids home with new clothes when they tell me that you can't buy any for them. I thought sending a bar of soap would honestly be no big deal. I'm sorry it got this far.
I won't ever contact you about anything ever again, so no worries. I see now that there is no benefit even for the kids in doing so. For the record, I don't know where you got this idea of what I think of you. I don't know you, just as you really know nothing about me. I met you one time before my fiance and I got together, and we hardly got to know each other. Anything that I know about you,or the ideas of what I have of you come from the kids or your behavior over the past 2 years that I have witnessed or been apart of. With the kids, I know that the kids exaggerate the truth in both houses most times just to make each parent feel better so I don't put much stock into everything they say. My fiance has told me all kinds of bad things and good things about you and your marriage. It has not just been one horrible BM bashing story. He's actually said a lot of nice things about you as well. No offense, but I couldn't care less about what happened over the 13 years you were married. I know there are 2 sides to every story, and truthfully...only you 2 know the real truth of things. I do not consider myself "the other woman". Unfortunately you do not know the full truth about our relationship either.
I don't want you walking around thinking that I hate you. I don't really have any feelings about you because I don't know you. To me, you are the mother of SS and SD and that's it. What's interesting is that the kids have told me on numerous occasions over the past 2 years about bad things that you have said about me, and that your ex-BF used to say about me. I have told them my side of the story as well, because it's not fair for you to tell them about things that you were not apart of...just as I would never them things that I know about that you did to damage your marriage to their dad because I wasn't there and wasn't part of your marriage. I only know my fiance's side and he wasn't perfect either. We all know that it takes 2 people to make and break a relationship. I know I'm the perfect scapegoat for you and why your marriage ended, but it couldn't be further from the truth. You say that you have done nothing but encourage the kids to have a relationship with their dad or even me, but your actions at times have proven otherwise, and the kids have said otherwise. It really hasn't mattered though, because despite everything that you said about me to the kids they still like me and I have a close relationship with each of them.
I will still say hello to you at functions, and over the course of our lives together when we see each other at their graduations, wedding showers, baby showers, etc. I will always be respectful of you for the kid's sake. I don't want them having anxiety about "what will happen with mom and SIT". I was hoping that you could do the same for them...that's all.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
This is about the sex talk my fiance had with SS14. So, if you are stressing nothing but abstinance in your home...don't read this.
SS14 has a new girlfriend. His first high school girlfriend. She's a year older than him, and is very outgoing and more mature emotionally than SS. Aren't all girls at that age anyway? So, they have started doing the obsessive texting, hanging out, and following each other like puppy dogs. We have always been open with the kids about sex and talking to them about waiting, safe sex, reasons why you should wait, emotions with sex, how birth control and condoms fail, and how just because a girl says she's on the pill doesn't mean you are safe from disease and even pregnancy. My fiance said that he wanted to buy a box of condoms and show him how to use them. We were at the store, and he bought a box of 3. We got home, and my fiance was all ready to have "the talk" but realized we didn't have a banana or cucumber...but we did have a good really sized chili pepper. Oh my god, I was dying!
So, he went to have the talk. He told SS that he was just as embarrassed talking about all of this, but that he wants to make sure that he's fully informed. He told him why he should wait, and other than pregnancy/disease, how it is a big emotional commitment and how it brings a lot of drama into your life. How girls might take it more seriously than boys, and it might increase a reputation with boys but other girls might not want to date him if he sleeps around. He told SS that he would prefer that he waits until after high school, but that if he does decide to have sex that he needs to know how to be protected. Here come the condoms and chili pepper....
They work through all the logistics of putting on the condom in extreme detail. My god man...that poor kid is never going to look at chili peppers again! Bye bye mexican food night :)
Once most of the talk was over, SS tells his dad that BM asked her BF to give him the talk 2 years ago (no longer the same guy around). He said that the BF started telling him about positions and things like that. What a douche bag...and nice that BM asked her BF to talk to him instead of his dad. Perfect example of why she has no right to say anything when I talk to SD about things.
It ended with my fiance telling him that if he can't get condoms or he's too embarrassed to buy them he shouldn't be having sex. HOWEVER, if he is embarrassed he needs to ask him and he will give them to him. He then says, "I'm giving you these 2 other condoms. This is NOT because I want you going out and having sex with everyone. This is for protection if you need it." SS14 says, "dad, it's not like I can sleep with everyone...there are only 2 here." Oh man...teenagers.
It took A LOT for me to even reach out, and by the time I sent my last email I just finally got out everything I've ever wanted to say. I feel like a MILLION bucks being able to get that off of my chest.
Here are the emails:
My initial email:
SD mentioned to me that she has been getting a rash, and she thinks it's from the soap she's been using at our house. She's been using this soap for almost a year without an issue, but she said there is a different soap that you get her at your house that she's had no issues with. Can you please send a bar of that soap with her the next time they are at our house (next Wednesday) so that we can make sure we are getting the right brand in the future? I know she has really sensitive skin, and want to make sure that we take care of this right away.
Thanks so much!
Stepmom in Training
I have forwarded needed information to their dad. In the future, I would appreciate it if you would discuss any questions or concerns you may have about MY children with THEIR father and he can contact me directly.
I understand your request, however, I will be their stepmom soon, and it would be best if you and I are able to discuss the needs of the kids while in my house. I'm not going anywhere ever, and the sooner that you realizeit the better adjusted the kids will be.
Wow...you sure do have a lot of balls. I will give you that. First off, just because you will have the title "stepmom" does not mean you have any authority over my children. I will not discuss anything with you, ever. As I said, if you have any concerns, speak with their father and he can discuss our children directly with me.
I will never claim any authority over your kids, nor was my attempt at trying to help SD asserting authority. The fact of the matter is that I do CARE for the kids. Not only emotionally, but also in other ways that parents do. We both know that you and I do not think highly of one another. That is no secret. You and I don't have to like each other, but if it is something that is in the best interests of the kids...the kids feelings and needs should come first. I am here helping to raise your children 50% of the time.. I feed them, buy them clothes, do their laundry, do the shopping, listen to their troubles, and take care of them when they are sick...among other numerous things. I'm sure that is hard for you and I'm sorry for that. My fiance does not know every little thing that the kids need, and the kids don't hardly pay attention to what they use. Do you think that my fiance knows what kind of pads to get for SD? Neither do I, but I do my best to try to get the right things for her. He's not the one scrubbing period blood out of her jeans when she has an accident either. It would have been nice to be able to contact you to discuss. Not all teenage girls want their dad involved in every discussion. For over 2 years I have tried to give you space. I stopped opening the door to my own house so that you didn't have to feel awkward. I have only tried to say hello to you in public, and try not to crowd you. It seems like no matter how nice I try to be to you that you are going to remain bitter and angry. I had hoped that one day, for the sake of the kids, that we could be civil enough that they wouldn't feel that they need to lie so much in each household.
You are the kids mother, you will always be that. I never claim otherwise, and don't treat them otherwise. I will never treat you otherwise. But I am another woman that your kids live with who has a great impact on the adults they will become, and trying to do my best by not stepping on your toes. I guess that if you and I cannot talk about soap then we won't be able to talk about bigger things that already are coming up and will continue to come up. Ie: sex, makeup, boys, driving, etc. Things that I hoped I could make sure I'm saying the same things to SD that you would be not to take any authority away from you. I'm sorry we won't be able to do that. Sorry that I upset you with the needs of your children. I didn't think askingyou to send one bar of soap for your daughter would be that much of a headache.
So, we'll see if there is any response. I'm sure that if there is it will be more backlash about how I have no clue or it's none of my business. She did email my fiance and tell him how she doesn't want me contacting her and that I don't need to be concerned with the kids. She is in obvious denial about my role in her kid's life and in my house. He ended up responding to her with this:
Fiance's email to BM:
When are you going to grow up? It has been quite some time since you and I split and for you to carry around this anger is ridiculous. You don't think the kids are impacted by your immaturity when it comes to communicating with SIT & I? i.e. not saying "Hi" when we are at joint events, or you sitting in your car and waiting for them rather than coming to the door like an adult? You used to and now you don't, not sure why that changed. What kind of example are you setting for the kids that if they don't like someone that they work with or had a relationship that broke up, that they need to be petty and angry toward them? Is it really good for you and people all around you, for you to be this bitter and angry that you can't answer a simple question for the benefit of our kids to SIT. I am the one who broke it off with you, I am the one who hurt you, not her. She genuinely cares for our kids and is a positive influence on them on how to treat people, how to respect people and how to put your our feelings aside to benefit them. Maybe you should take a lesson from her example. She is an important part of the kids life (50% to be exact) and she has always respected the fact that I am their father and you are their mother. But the fact of the matter is that there are 2 additional people that will, whether we want it or not, shape our kids' lives and who they will become. I truly believe that SIT and your BF, both, love our kids and want the best for them. I do not see any issue with any of us talking with the other in regards to the kids well being. Over the next, at least 5 years, there will be times where I will be unavailable and there may be something that is needed or an answer given in regards to the kids and SIT should be able to contact you in those circumstances What about when the kids get married or have a baby? Do you want these moments to be even more stressful for the kids because you are quite obvious of your disdain? That is not the way it should be and not what I want for my kids. You cannot act like SIT does not exist, I never expected you two to be friends but if it is about the kids you should be a bigger person. If this is a problem, maybe you should talk to someone about your angers and frustrations so that we can all move on with our lives, otherwise it will be a long, bitter life for you carrying around all of this hate.
The best fiance EVER!
Is he not so great for standing up for me? Can we see why I am marrying this man, and why I put up with this crap in my life?
I feel bad that the kids have a mother like this, but we have both tried so many times to make nice with the BM. The skids at 12 and 14 are understanding and seeing that their mom is miserable. I will still say hi and be cordial in front of the kids, but no longer will I worry about what I allow them to do at our house that she doesn't at theirs. I'm not going to worry about talking to them about young adult issues, and I'm going to just keep being me. My fiance loves me, and those kids love me. Even if she doesn't want to see it. It doesn't matter what she says or thinks she is making herself out to be a joke to her kids. They already make fun of her at our house about what a bitter spiteful woman she is and how she acts worse than a teenager. Karma will kick her in the ass eventually and she'll wish she was a little nicer.
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I read a lot of different blogs where women talk about trying to be the superstepmom, and are getting so frazzled and stressed out trying to do so. It got me thinking about all of the expectations that we deal with on a regular basis.
Let's start with the expectations of others. I'm going to talk from only my point of view because that's what I know. These are the people I feel I'm expected to be:
1.) A good person. In general I'm a good person. I've never been arrested, I do charity work, I am a functioning member of society, I'm very protective of those I love. I open doors for people, I try to help friends and family when I can. I pay my bills, I take care of people when they are hurting or sick, and I'm always there for a friend who needs me.
2.) A good friend. Since all friends are different and have different expectations of what a good friend is I'm different friends to different people. I'm sensitive to some, harsher to others, and some friends I just talk to on occasion and have a good laugh together. Each friend expects me to be a certain way, and I have to juggle which person I'm supposed to be when.
3.) A good fiance. I have to be loving, compassionate, caring, supportive, sexy, strong, independent, a good woman to his kids, and the list goes on and on.
4.) A good future wife. Not the same as a good fiance...this is an expectation of what I'm supposed to be like in the future...like I have a crystal ball. All the talk about how I will or won't be in the future can be draining.
5.) A good "almost" stepmom. This applies to so many people. What the kids think of me, what the BM thinks of me, what outsiders think of me. They all have different expectations of what makes a good stepmom, and yet none of them are the same and almost all of them have standards/expectations that are impossible to meet. Some people think I shouldn't be involved too much, some people think I'm not involved enough, and others just judge everything I do or say that if I happen to have an ounce of stress from my life that's it's all my own fault for being in this position. Like I'm never allowed to have a bad day without being blamed for deciding to become a stepmom. The BM has expectations of me. To this day I have no idea exactly what they are because no matter how much I've done for her kids and bend over backwards I've never heard a peep out of her and she still talks crap about me all the time.
6.) A good daughter. I am expected to still act like I'm 13 at times and not worry about my parents. I'm not supposed to worry about their health or lifestyle. I'm not supposed to worry if they are doing harmful things to themselves or others. I'm supposed to just "do what I'm told" as if I'm not a grown woman with my own life. I cannot do this, and I often break down their expectations.
7.) A good sister. I have 3 siblings. 1 I grew up with and 2 that came along in my 20's. I'm supposed to involve them in everything in my life (even though we don't live near each other and we aren't very close). I'm supposed to want them all at my wedding. I don't want kids at my wedding (other than the skids) and that doesn't make me a good sister. I don't really want to invite my closest in age brother to my wedding because not only do we really have no relationship, but has he even called in the past 7-8 months to congratulate me? No. But I am the oldest...I'm supposed to be a good sister and make everyone else happy.
8) A good worker. I bust my ass for my job. I love my job. I just don't always like the people I'm doing my job for. I am expected to agree to take on additional responsibilities and be a "team player", and go above and beyond to be recognized as a good worker. No matter what I do, I rarely hear a "good job" or "thank you". With the economy being as crappy as it is I'm always worried about what's next.
9.) A good weight. I'm a runner. I have been a runner and active for years. I haven't been working out as much since we moved. A few times a week instead of 3-4 or more times a week, but I haven't put on any weight...I've actually lost weight from stress and anxiety. I've always been tall and fairly thin. I like to eat bad food from time to time, and I'm always judged by people when I do. Like I must only be skinny because I don't eat, have an eating disorder, or good genes. God forbid I put on a few pounds. These people are not exactly in the best shape of their lives and really shouldn't worry about me.
10.) A good dog owner. I didn't even like animals. Don't care for pets and never wanted one. Now I have a dog that I love the crap out of. He's so cool, and he needs me to help feed him and walk him and take care of him. We have a dog sitter for when we travel, and I wonder what she thinks of us leaving him. I'm so glad he can't talk to tell me anything he's disappointed...even though I see his looks of shock when I don't let him on the bed or leave him at home alone for too long.
Those are just a few things that seem to be on my plate on a regular basis. It's enough to make a person go mad.
Over several months I've tried to work on not worrying about everyone's expectations so much, and I've come up with what MY expectations are of myself. Those are the only expectations I can control.
1.) To do the best I can with whatever situation is at hand.
2.) I am a good person, so I don't need to worry about being one and that makes me good to those I love. I am human and not perfect. I'll never be perfect, and if people have an expectation of me being perfect THEY are the ones that need to lower their expectation of me or they will be greatly disappointed.
3.) I will eat whatever the fuck I want to eat, and workout when I feel like it. I don't believe in diets and I exercise because I like it...not because it's a chore. When I feel like a good spin class, yoga, a hike, or going for a run I'll do it. It's really no one's concern. If I get super fat and have to buy 2 plane seats like poor Kevin Smith, then it will be my company's concern for when I travel for work.
4.) I am not a mom of a SD12 and SS14...I am a woman who is becoming a stepmom and working through getting to know 2 kids that I have not had the benefit to get to know since before birth. I am bound to make mistakes and no matter how great I am...they (and BM) will always find something wrong with me so why worry about being perfect. I am doing the best I can. I plan things for the kids when I want to, I am thoughtful of them, I listen to them and their feelings, and I treat them with respect. I provide them with the things they need when I can...ie: clothes, food, fun stuff. Really...what more does a parent do anyway? Parents are not miracle workers and neither am I just because other people think I have to doubly or triply prove myself because I'm "not their mom". I'm not trying to make friends...I'm trying to help raise someone else's kids to be functioning adults who will live a happy life of their own.
5.) As for being a good fiance/wife...well, I've made no secrets that I don't love to cook, and I don't love to clean all the time, and my favorite pastime isn't picking up after people. I do always have my family's back and would kill anyone who tried to hurt them. When I love people I love them with everything I have. I'm faithful, thoughtful, respectful, and a partner who shares in 50% of the chores and expenses. That's more than most women I know, and if that's not enough then there isn't much more I can do.
Basically I have realized that it's impossible to please everyone and live up to their expectations and if my entire self worth is based on what others think of me...I have more issues than just too many expectations.
We should all think about what we allow others to expect of us, and then in turn try to lower our expectations of others. No one person can live up to all the things they are expected to be and do, and trying to do so is just exhausting and frustrating. Everyone needs to free themselves from these expectations. Otherwise what are we doing? Just living our life for other people based on their expectations and not our own. We need to take control of our own lives and if you are feeling like you are losing control...do what you need to do to get your life back!