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How many of you get involved in co-parenting?

Lea01's picture

How many of you co-parent?

By that i mean,

Share your opinion on their behaviour? Get involved if they misbehave? Chat and trying to keep a good relationship. Getting involved willingly with picking/dropping off alterations? Buying them gifts or anything they're lacking.

If anything ive learnt from this site is to DISengage, get little involvement. But it's hard not to sometimes.

My learnt mistakes:

  • Ive been accused for having too good of a relationship with SS to begin with that he told his BM I was trying to replace her. Which she messaged my partner for me to back off.
  • Ive bought him clothes which he seemed to lack here because they don't get returned, so whatever leaves.. doesn't return.
  • Buy him gifts on Birthday/Christmas, he says thanks but its the most empty, forced thanks. Other holidays receive nothing in return. 
  • His dads more on the lazy side so he doesn't involve himself much with his son in physical activity, id suggest things we all do and if he ends up hurt football etc.. its my fault
  • I would offer every now and then to my DP to pick him up from school as he is needed more in work.(less stress for him) Which ended up; biting back because he told BM and she now messages to get me to do it if he cant.. which he does ask because she treats it as its his responsibility and he needs to sort it, which then gets between us.

Now i disengage. I feel i can improve the situations sometimes because you see things that could be said which aren't being said.

Should you get involved, or let things deteriorate?

I know if i let things deteriorate BM would demand to have her SS more so she could gain Maintenance from it.

Which prevents us buying a place and moving on in our lives.


This site needs a live chat feature Beee





shamds's picture

from his kids which is often behind his back, i stay out of it.

stepparents are a convenient scapegoat. If you disengage because skids are rude disrespectful pos- you are a horrible stepparent because you apparently knew what you were getting into. If you are too involved, youmre overstepping and trying to replace bio mum.

even on steptalk plenty of bio mums abandon their responsibilities and are only interested in a free paycheck. 

So this bs on deterioration or the relationship, well it takes 2 people to mutually maintain and grow a relationship. So if you try and you are shunned and dismissed by skid, you just can’t have a rela Period!! You are just the convenient scapegoat in this dysfunctional bs of stepcrap family issues...

strugglingSM's picture

I totally agree that stepparents are always the scapegoat. I've been called "too strict" because I turned off the WiFi to my tween SSs phones at 10:30pm because I didn't think it was okay for them to watch YouTube all night and because I expected them to throw away their trash and put their dishes in the kitchen.

I've been told I'm not friendly enough when I do gush with hellos upon their arrival, even though when I come home after they have arrived no one even acknowledges my presence.

I've been called "some woman you are dating" (a month before DH and I were getting married), "she", "her", "your wife", but never by my name by a BM who will then cry that I don't mother my stepchildren. 

My SSs ignore me, are rude to me, complain that I don't do enough for them, and only rarely offer a perfunctory "thank you" once in a while. DH's family acts as if I'm a non-entity and complain that I'm not "making SSs a part of her life", even when I was playing games, doing homework and school projects, cooking dinner, taking them on adventures.

So, no, I have disengaged. I have more self-respect than to try to convince my SSs, BM, or DH's family that I'm worthy. I know I'm worthy and I know they are all just directing their anger about the divorce at me, even though I didn't even meet DH until he'd been officially divorced for 2 years and BM was already remarried.

Monkeysee's picture

I used to involve myself in ways but I’ve backed right off unless they’re being rude to me directly. They aren’t my kids & my stress levels have decreased dramatically by letting go of the reins. How these kids turn out simply isn’t my responsibility, the BP’s can have at it. 

luwh033's picture

I do sometimes. I try to stay out of any decision making unless it involves our house or me doing something. But he usually will ask for my opinion. I do help drop off and pick up from school occasionally and watch her a couple days if he works a little later. I do buy her things quite a bit. I go to her sport events and school events. We do activities together watch movies together etc.

ndc's picture

I do. I'm a SAHM and our arrangement is that I watch the SDs when they're in our home and DH is working (he has 50/50), in addition to being home with DD. Since I have responsibility, I also have authority to discipline and I have input into what skids do at our home.  DH often takes my advice where skids are concerned.

I do not get totally involved in everything, though. I will not be the only one handling school stuff. I do day to day stuff, but if BM and DH don't care enough to contact teachers and keep up with the school/teacher websites, I'm not going to do it for them. I used to, but not anymore. They don't think education is as important as I do, so I'll save my efforts for DD.  Same with health care - I used to advocate for SDs on that, but if BM and DH don't like taking the kids to the doctor when I think they need to go (and believe me, I'm not a hypochondriac or excessive user of the medical system), that's out of my purview. I can only take my DD as I wish and keep skids away from her when they're sick.

lieutenant_dad's picture

I'm actively involved in some things but disengaged in others. The only reason I remain engaged in some aspects is because DH has given me authority and I have decided to take on the responsibility. I have full authority to discipline the boys, make them do chores and their homework, make them keep their rooms tidy, etc. That's not to say DH doesn't also enforce those things, because he does, but if I need something done now, or I think they're being rude, I can step in.

I also choose to cook, take the boys shopping, buy them gifts, organize birthday shenanigans when they're with us, etc. Not because it's expected (DH thinks I can go overboard), but it's how I show love. 

ALL THAT SAID, there are things I am disengaged from and things I won't do. I have disengaged from bedtimes, electronics use, involvement with the school, involvement with medical care, and I'm sure a few others. I have very different opinions on these issues than DH, and he has held a hard line on them. That's fine, but I've made my boundaries clear. Example: if the boys stay up late and I have plans to cut the grass and weedeat under their window at 9AM before it gets too hot, I'm not waiting because it'll wake them up. If we have somewhere to be by 8AM, I guess they'll be up and moving on no sleep. With school, I've told DH that no failure-to-launch adult SK is living with me past 18; either SK lives with him or I do. I think he knows I'm serious.

I also don't clean the boys' rooms, bathroom, or hallway. I don't do their laundry. I don't make food for just them - they are teens and can use the appliances themselves. I will TEACH them how to do something, but I'm not going to step in to just do it. DH has also gotten better about not doing that.

The three reasons why this (typically) works is because 1) my DH gives me authority without the expectation that I MUST use it, 2) the boys have been taught to be respectful to me (and been punished when that hasn't happened), and 3) I don't battle on the things that don't impact me that DH is steadfast on. Without the first two pieces, though, I'd be disengaged and likely divorced.

justmakingthebest's picture

I am very involved but only on the "back side" -- I leave it all up to DH on the surface.

I used to make sure that SS had great b-day presents, Christmas presents, Easter baskets send, cards with little token presents for 4th of july and Halloweee, etc- However, I have not bought anything in the last 2 years. I refuse and DH is right there with me. We even told SS when he was out here for spring break that if he wants presents and stuff from us, he has to be a part of our family. We aren't buying present for someone who is rude and refuses to communicate with us. 

When it comes to all of the court and lawyer stuff, I do most of the communicating with the lawyer- my job makes it easier to be able to do that kind of thing.

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

I only focus on enforcing rules for behavior that directly effect me. I will encourage SO to handle bigger issues. I dont sweat the small stuff, if that's how thier parents want to raise them, so be it. I treat them the same way I treat my BFFs children. I talk with them, buy them a gift on thier bday and Christmas.  But have stopped giving them money to go places, buying them special groceries, clothes or worrying about them. I dont take them to thier friends houses.  I only go to school events if they invite me. If they are unprepared for something or not ready, I do not wait for them. 

tog redux's picture

I had a good relationship with my SS, and we would play games, toss a ball around, watch movies - I'd help with homework here and there, help DH sometimes with drop offs and pick-ups.  I bought him clothes off clearance racks and thrift stores (but that was to help DH, and because I love to find a good bargain, so it was fun). 

I treated my SS like I treated my nieces and nephews. Mostly just fun, but would have talks with him about important stuff and comment on inappropriate behavior.

What I didn't do was parent or discipline. DH was in charge of making sure he ate, bathed, did his homework and behaved appropriately. SS was never rude to me and BM never targeted me at all.

Disengaging is different for everyone. There is nothing wrong with having a positive relationship with a skid that is respectful of you.