Issues With Bio Mom?

I have been a step mom to two girls (ages 10 and 14) for 8 years now. My husband and I have twin 7 year old girls and have joint custody of the older girls. I know how lucky I am to be able to say that I have good relationships with both of my step daughters. I'm not one of those people who acts like everything is perfect, because it's not, but I've been a part of their lives for so long and since they were really young, that I haven't had to deal with some of the issues that I know alot of stepmoms deal with when blending a family with older kids. We live in suburban Baltimore, and made a point of buying a house within 10 miles of my stepdaughters home with their mother and their school. They have their own room and all their own stuff at our house because we didn't want them to have to pack a bag everytime they came to our house- we wanted them to feel like this is their home too, because it is.

That said, the biggest issue I face, as a step mom, are issues with my husbands ex, not the kids. I'm curious to hear how others have dealt with issues on that end. She is not remarried; she was engaged to someone for about a year, but they recently broke it off. She continues to go out of town with her ex-fiance and also has another ex-boyfriend hanging around and claims to be "just friends" with both of them. She just told us yesterday that she is going out of town next week with the ex-fiance, so we would have the kids for the week. While we welcome the girls at any time, I will be out of town for work next week and it will make things extra challenging. We will make it work, but this is typical for her, she has no consideration for our schedules or lives and I feel like she just treats us as a drop in daycare on some level. But really, that is just annoyances that we can deal with and have begun to expect. The thing that is breaking my heart is that when my husband told my oldest step daughter that her mom was going away (again- she just went away last month with this same ex-fiance) she said "I guess mommy really just doesn't love us- she really doesn't want to spend any time with us, does she?" That is just heart breaking to me. My husband is adamant that we don't say anything to his ex- about our oldest saying that. His thought is - she is selfish, we can't change her and it's not like she is going to cancel her trip if we tell her, so why even bother. I guess I still have some hope inside of me that if she hears what her daughter said, there may be a flicker of something inside of her that will do the right thing and actually stay home with her kids.

Our philspophy has always been that we can only do our best to be sure the girls have a loving, supportive, and stable environment when they are with us since we cannot control what happens with her. There are just times like this when I feel like I am at my wits end with her and I feel like I should do something, just don't know what to do. I don't want to cause friction between the 3 of us because we all still need to co-parent and the kids can sense the tension, no matter how hard you try to hide it. I just feel like I need to attempt to talk to her, for my older daughters sake. I just don't know what good it would do. I guess I'm just curious to see if others out there have dealt with similar situations and have any advice, or can just commisurate with me! :)
MarcandKaren1 MarcandKaren1
1 Response Nov 6, 2012

I have dealt with this to some extent too. We have no custody arrangement with the mother, but my SD has always lived with us, is 12, and we were married when she was two. She sees her mom on the weekends, where she is exposed to a completely different value system. Sometimes, her mother has other plans and chooses not to get her. The disappointment on her face is heart wrenching, and sometimes she cries. I used to be the parent that dealt with her mother, because she and my husband literally could not be civil, and he was equally confrontational, if not more. My son's situation is totally different, but not necessarily better. He saw his dad none from birth to two years, regularly from two to nine or so years, then a few times a years for the last four years, BUT our values are similar. My SD's mom is purposely "nonconformist" and alternative, which is fine for her. I believe we need to be careful in how we proceed because her mom's new mission seems to be becoming besties with her daughter,while we spend the week instilling values and trying to promote stability. I fear for her relationship with her father, and can see the strain beginning between them. Her grades are slipping, and staying down despite our increased effort to promote better study habits, and conscientious work. What do we do? I feel like there is little point in talking to the mother, or in my husband doing so, as she just feels right promoting this "being different" to her daughter. I guess your husband has a point, there is little we can do when she is not with us. It does not seem like there is a solution. Thanks for sharing! Feel free to communicate back