Being a stepmom means winning last place

A few months ago my media feed was full of a video showing a determined father dragging his daughter’s stepdad down the aisle at her wedding, showing the world that he cared more about his daughter’s happiness and inclusion of her whole family in her wedding day than his own (twisted) sense of patriarchal pride. I sobbed and sobbed while watching and re-watching that video.

I have been a stepmom for four years, and I absolutely do not see that kind of collaboration in my future. Honestly, I hardly see myself being included in big things like weddings and the birth of future grandkids. Blue Eyes’ x-wife and I are not exactly bffs, in fact, she hardly acknowledges that I exist. If we attend the kids’ events (school program, dance recital, ball games, etc) she pretends I am invisible; her “Ignore Harriet And  Blue Eyes” game is a strong one. She could be an Olympic gold medalist with very little additional training. The one time I sent her an email (to refute ridiculous accusations she had emailed directly to me) she threatened to file an injunction against me if I attempted to contact her again. And frankly, her dirty attorney is sketch enough to try and get that thru the court (he’s also a big fat liar-pants).

So, if in the future it comes down to the kids having their Mom at an event or her threatening not to be there if I am invited…she will always win. I’m not the Mom, and I refuse to put these two kids in that kind of situation. However, she has no problem creating that kind of drama, so because I don’t fight as dirty as she does using kids as ammunition, she wins. Always.

I know some of you are stepparents yourselves, and it can be a really difficult role. Granted, it can also be relatively drama-free if all the parties act like grown-ass adults who want the best for the kids who are involved. I do not have one of those relatively drama-free scenarios (clearly, see above and then read through the lines for the rest of the story that has to happen to generate those few highlights).

Mr. Blue Eyes and I are unable to have kids of our own, so I always thought it was tremendously lucky that he had two munchkins I could love and play with and support and watch grow. I have been a lot more removed from that process than I thought. Even though for the last four years I’ve lived 700 miles away, the lack of involvement in their lives has been pretty remarkable, for both Blue Eyes and myself. That was the biggest reason for him moving to Arizona a year ago, he wanted to have some kind of normal relationship with his kids, and his crazy X has done as much as she possibly can to hinder that as well. (She’s an absolute delight, a true gem, I tell you!)

A few weeks ago I had lunch with one of my favorite humans; Aunt Mouse is a dear friend and surrogate mother, as well as a stepmom herself to kids who are in their 20’s and 30’s and now having kids of their own. Mouse did not have children either, and was thrilled to be a grandma to three new babies in one year. Sadly, her stepkids always choose their mother over their stepmother (not entirely surprising), but due to a pretty antagonistic relationship where Mom is a bitch and Mouse tries to be a good human, the end result is Mouse is completely uninvolved. Mom wins, and when Mom refuses to even be civil to Stepmom (again, using her children as the go-betweens who have to choose to exclude Mom or Stepmom because they can’t include both), Mom quickly becomes the only player in that game. And Stepmom loses everything. It’s a pretty tough pill to swallow, ya’ll.

I am the Stepmom. I will always just be the Stepmom. I make sacrifices for those kids that are far and above what I thought, yet I get zero benefit or even any feedback. I can’t even text them on their fancy iPhones because SOMEONE thinks I have a criminal record and am a regular extortionist of children and so she has blocked my number in the kids phones. (I really wish I was exaggerating, but the truth is you cannot make up this kind of shit and she has it all nicely (falsely) documented in threatening emails she has copied her attorney on, so it is all ready to be entered into a case-file if she even gets a hankering to be truly evil.) If you think motherhood is thankless (and I’m not trying to insinuate otherwise), try and imagine what it is like to be one step removed from any positive interaction while still being up to your neck in all the crap and drama that comes along with raising small people.

Camo and Mimi are 13 and 11, respectively. They are too young to have to deal with the fallout of this crap, and old enough to be able to see what is really going on, which puts them in the position of having to deal with this toxic bullshit. Sigh. It’s a never-ending cycle of crazy. I can only hope that as time goes on Ms. Crazy-Pants will calm down a bit and make all of our lives easier. I don’t anticipate that happening in my lifetime, but one can hope.

Harriet sig

 

 

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “Being a stepmom means winning last place

  1. I usually try to refrain from swearing, but damn. That is some messed up…poo. I am neither a mother nor a step-mother, so I have absolutely no advice nor any leg to stand on if I were to give it. But…if the kids are cool with you (not necessarily love, or even like a lot…but generally accept your presence and say hi) then you are winning the step-mother game. Screw that crazy bat from hell, obviously she is a crappy person. Once the kids get older, they will be able to have more control over their lives, and crazy bat mom will have less. All you can do is keep being awesome, I guess, and muscle through it. And even if you are winning last place, you are winning!

    And although you may consider murder, crazy batnapping, etc, dont go through with it! Don’t need to make your fake criminal background a real one! Best of luck, my dear

    Like

    1. I kind of know how this ends, my Mom acted in very similar ways to my Dad. In the end, the kids will not put up with it, even if it takes until their 20’s to put their foot down on Mom’s behavior. But, dang Geena, that’s a long road ahead!

      xox

      On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 7:33 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Funny you say that, my parents were the exact same way. We (my siblings and I, and I was last because I was youngest) finally realized all the nonsense. I’m hopeful but trying to be patient (even if some days it doesn’t work as well as others), but like you said, that’s a long road!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I can’t even imagine being in your position. Being a parent is hard enough, but having to be a step-parent with such a negative force against you must be the toughest thing ever. Kudos to you for dealing with it with integrity and grace. Hang in there. ❤

    Like

  3. Oh boy that sounds like a tough situation. Will the kids be living with their mom most of the time or with you guys? For safety reasons I would think that eventually mom would allow you to text the kids- what if you are the person picking them up and something is wrong? Hopefully will both of you living closer the relationship will get a little warmer as you will have to see each other more.

    Like

    1. Right now they are with her full time, we have them one evening a week for a few hours and two weekends a month. Which is the BARE minimum of parental visitation, the whole thing is ridiculous.

      You would think she’d care about safety and ease and general good-will for her kids, to be able to contact me or their paternal grandparents/cousins/family on their phones. No. We are all blocked. It’s a control thing that she can currently win, so because she can and it hurts us, she does, nevermind that it might also hurt the kids, that is not a factor in her thinking, ever.

      xox

      On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 8:19 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

      >

      Like

  4. I hope you and the kids can build positive relationships going forward just by dint of proximity. I hope most of all X has a Come to Jesus Moment, but in the likely event she never changes, I hope one day the kids wake up and see everything you’ve done for them and come thank you. Big hug.

    Like

    1. I used to think that as soon as they were 18, or at least out of the house, this crap would end. But having a brutally honest heart-to-heart with Mouse made me realize that she will probably continue to play this game, and I will always lose. It takes a LOT of shit and hurt and anger and pain to completely disavow and disengage from a parent (I would know), and I wouldn’t wish that on them either. Which means, I’m last. I need to just accept that and move on, I suppose (easier said than done).

      On Wed, Jan 6, 2016 at 8:24 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

      >

      Like

  5. I’ve often said, or at least thought, being a stepmom is “all the fun, none of the glory”. Sometimes the fun actually is fun. Sometimes it’s, well, see above. It seems like we get to be in the same “fun” boat with crazy ex’s with a-hole lawyers. If you can point me in the direction of those grown ass adults who actually put the kids first that you were talking about, it’d be much appreciated. Well, I have my husband – but the ex, not so much. I know I often feel like “just” the stepmom too, I think we all do. We just gotta stick together and know we’re more than that, even without the recognition. Keep doing the best you can for you and the kiddos and your family as a whole. You’re doing great! One day we might “win”, when the stepkids are old enough to really comprehend all the nonsense. Not that it’s for us to tell them (especially when they’re young), but one day they’ll see the truth for what it is, it always comes out in the end (although I’m certainly hoping it’s a lot sooner!)

    Like

    1. I have two girlfriends who have fairly civil relationships with their husband’s x/mother of the kiddos, they talk about kid-things and even sometimes venture into “friendly” non-kid-related topics. They are at events together as a family and support each other and the kids. It’s not trouble-free or frustration-free, for sure, but it sure is a hell of a lot better than what you or I have.

      And yes, it will come out in the end, and that is going to be painful for the kids and for their mother. And I’m sorry about the first, but kind of relishing that hurt for the Crazy X (if this makes me a bad person I am *so* beyond caring).

      xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If it makes you a bad person… then I’m a bad person too 🙂

        The funny – although really not – thing is that things were fairly civil between the husband and his ex, and even myself and the ex for the first three years I was around. I was able to share pictures of the stepson when he was with us and even texted on an occasion or two. Buuut once news of us getting married came around, came the first round of court papers. A few years later now we have the next round. Oh the joys!

        It really is great for your friends though, it’s something to be admired and desired. Not everyone has to be buddy-buddy (unless they want to, and that’s fine too), but at least being able to be amicable is all I’m asking for.

        Like

        1. Yep, same-same. Things were fine until we got engaged, then all hell and fury broke loose (despite the fact that she was already married and having kids with her current husband. She can move on, she just cannot stand that he might move on as well.).

          xox

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh friend I am so sorry, I knew the situation wasn’t easy but this sounds truly horrific. It makes me so sad that their mom can’t see how this is just terrible for everyone, especially her kids. UGH. I am just so infuriated for you. xo

    Like

  7. This makes me so mad. Why can’t people act like adults? Especially when kids are involved. I know (unfortunately) too many similar stories where the x can not behave like a grown up person. It’s so ridiculous… and you know who suffers from that stupid behavior the most (besides the step-moms and dads of course)? The kids: because they’re constantly put in the middle of that drama and I cannot for the life of me understand why a parent would do that to their own children.

    I applaud you for being so sensible. I mean, this is so infuriating and downright unfair to you.

    Like

    1. I think it happens a LOT, but stepmoms talking about their frustrations and concerns are somehow relegated to the very outer edges of family and society; it’s crazy-taboo for a woman to criticize another mother, even when she’s doing things that are horrible for her child. And ESPECIALLY when she is somehow viewed as “the other woman”, whether or not infidelity ever enters the equation, I will always be “other” when it comes to me vs. her. It sucks, big time.

      xox

      Like

  8. Our stepkids are the same age.

    I don’t have to deal with what you are going through. Opera Boy’s ex-wife is a normal, well-adjusted human being who does not use her children as ammunition. She has never been unkind to me, and I have a good relationship with my stepdaughters.

    But I do relate to being just a stepmom. Of the four parental figures in the girls’ lives, and I am the newest and probably the fourth person to be called in the event of an emergency. At this time, it is unclear if I will be able to have kids of my own, and if I cannot or if Opera Boy no longer can, I will just have to be resigned to always being the stepmom. That I’ll never be the first one called if a child has good news or whatever. That my nursing home might not be picked with as much care as a biological parent’s would be. Being in last place really stinks.

    Like

    1. Oooufff. Talk about a punch in the heart. Stepmomming is so, so hard. And I get frustrated sometimes that people (including husband) really just don’t seem to understand that my experience is and will forever be any different than their experience as a parent. It’s totally totally different. Always. I have several friends who are divorced with kids, and talking to them about my experience on the other side of their (hypothetical) child has been frustrating too. It’s like they somehow refuse to believe that I’m telling the truth. Without ever having been in my position they already assume that all stepmothers–myself included–are like X (generally: usurping and sly, trying to “be the Mom” and replace them. Um, no. I am just trying to get through the day with this crazy set of circumstances I’ve been dealt.

      Ugh. It’s hard. So much harder than I ever thought. And it is not talked about openly by hardly anyone which makes me feel like I am alone most of the time.

      Stepkids are kind of awesome. Stepmomming sucks.

      xox

      On Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 9:38 AM, Feisty Harriet wrote:

      >

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Gah. I’m so sorry. I have no personal experience in this area, but I have seen friends’ kids go through this. The only thing I can say is that ALL of the kids wake up – sooner than you’d think – to what is going on and know who really has their backs. It doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily reject the X in favor of you… but it hopefully will mean that they start to naturally gravitate toward you as a pleasant addition, without you having to be a replacement. Good luck, and I hope the X gets what’s coming to her. What a B.

    Liked by 1 person

Say what you've gotta say!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s