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littlegrlzx4's picture

This sucks. Here's the background.

The last few years, we've had a horrible "blended" Halloween. This is the ONLY holiday where BM gets to come over to my house, involve herself in MY family and in this case trick or treat in MY neighborhood. She's innappropriate, passive aggressive and just awful to be around. After last year I told my DH that it would NEVER happen again. He said he understood. I told him a few weeks ago that my plan was to take my kids and do my own thing- he, his ex and kids could figure out how they wanted to handle it but I had other plans.

He waited until last Thursday to tell her that she couldn't come over.

He told her by saying that "he was being made to choose" how to spend his Halloween. Now what he meant was that he was being made to choose because of the situation, not by me, but I'm sure we can all guess where that went. Bullseye, on me.

She flipped. She told DH that he had to tell the girls. So we did. We sat down a dinner last Thursday night, told them that like all other holidays Halloween was going to be seperate. Sure, they were a little bummed but they got it. We also got to talk about how it would be wierd if MY ex was TOT with them. Dissapointment, but acceptance.

Fast forward to the next day. 2 hours after BM picks the girls up from school we get a coached message from SD10 that she's mad at her dad, hates me and wishes her parents were married again- all because mom can't go TOT with us. BM continued to whip up the drama because she lost control of the situation AND told the kids that I was the reason for this, and that made BM sad. SD10 is hyper protective over "victim" mom (BM's worked for YEARS to get it that way)

We let it settle, called SD back in a few days and she was still mad. "I hate M." DH had to accuse BM of PAS to even get the kid on the phone to try and talk thru the issue. When she finally did, she didn't back down, probably because BM was in the room with her the entire time. DH asks why she hates me. SD10 hates me because my kids are spoiled because they have more toys (they don't), that I bark at her about her manners all the time (which I do, they're awful) That was about it. DH and BM aruged for a long time about LOTS of stuff and in the end, she agreed to get SD10 back in therapy which will help with so many issues, it was a win.

The other important thing to note is the day before the horrible voice mail, SD10 had a bad morning. She got stubborn, dug in and wanted to aruge with me about a stupid winter hat and almost made me and her sisters late. She does this stuff all the time. Mad over dumb stuff and then pouting/stomping/sassing for HOURS after. Only this time, I was the one to give her concequences for her mouthiness and sass and I dropped her off at school. Then she called Mom from school to tattle on me! (BM had way too much fun calling DH about that one) SD and I talked about it later in the day, hugs, I love yous, all that, and the next day, she hates me again, more than the day before.

I feel doomed! BM does not like me, which is fine, feeling is mutual. But I don't share that with the kids. Hating me has become a bonding thing for BM and SD. SD is showing loyalty and is encouraged to protect her mom and BM is too immature to see the harm that she's doing.

This is going to SUCK because SD10 is the most hard headed argumentative person ever. She argues with me, trained my her mom, about EVERYTHING! The color of the sky, brushing her teeth, putting on her shoes, you name it. Everthing is a power struggle. My very presence in trying to be the mom of the house and try to be a parental figure will give every bit of ammunition against me.

Trick or Treat indeed. Thanks for listening.


melis070179's picture

Time to disengage with that little girl. You're letting her get to you. My bio son, 5 yo, argues with me about everything too. He can't argue with himself, so if I don't argue with him, he has nothing to argue. I tell him which shoes to put on, he tries to argue he wants different ones, I say nothing. If he doesn't do as he's told, he gets punished. I have totally disengaged from arguing with him. And its really starting to work! I get less & less arguments from him each day because he knows that I will not respond. If she says she hates you, ignore it. Be a great loving mom to the other kids, disengage from her, and she will see that you aren't a bad person to everyone else and she will probably want to be treated that way too. Then hopefully she will start being nicer. This has worked for me at least. Good luck!

now4teens's picture

I don't know how old your other SD is, but obviously SD10 is getting to the point of feeling enormous pressure and conflict from BM about you. She feels that if she likes you or even listens to you in any way, it is a betrayal of her BM.

It's time to let DH take over ALL parenting with SD10 for now and be a parent to the other 3 girls. Again, I'm not sure how old the other SD is, but if she's younger, you may soon be faced with handing over the parenting reins with her as well sometime in the future.

Such is the role as a stepmom. Mother your own girls and let DH father his. It sucks, but that's the way it usually turns out.

I have 3 SDs (now 18, 16 & 13) and my own two boys (now 18 & 15). When we started out 5 years ago, I tried to "parent" the girls just as I would my sons and soon realized that I was fighting forces that I could never overcome. So I simply handed the responsibility of the girls where it belonged- all over to DH.

Oh, they have to still follow the rules of the house and respect me, but I don't ever try to parent any of them. I will give them guidance if they ask, but I will never offer any on my own. And believe me, I am all the more happy for it.

"If you have never been hated by a child, you have never been a parent."
-Bette Davis

NorCalStep's picture

Wow, this is so similar to my situation. I have a SD10 who is very disrespectful towards me and my BD (11). We've had to go to counseling because I feel so disrespected in my own home. My SD didn't greet me when I came home from work, never said good night, never says thank you to me. I cooked for her bday party and go to school for family functions when her dysfunctional mom can't go and never ever did I get a thank you. She always has to have the biggest piece of pizza, the last drop of milk, the last candy bar. She always says "I call that piece". When she has something to eat of her own, she only offers her dad, not me or my BD. I used to get mad and say stuff like, "Aren't you going to offer me or BD some?". She is very selfish, and I know she gets that from her mom. Her dad, my DH, is nothing like that. She is very immature and still acts like a baby. She is scared of everything...very, very sensitive. Her mom still "coddles" her, like she's 5 still. She still shares a bed with her...come on now, she's 10. She should be sleeping in her own room. No wonder she has separation anxiety, but her dysfunctional mom can't tie two and two together. My DH is very supportive of me, but I feel he is also "guilt parenting". If he wasn't supportive, I'd be long gone. I love my DH very, very much, so I've decided to try to disengage from discipling her. It's just so hard to watch when she acts like a spoiled, selfish brat. My BD is nothing like her and she's always trying to please SD by letting her have the biggest piece or letting her do what she wants. I told my BD don't do that anymore, especially when she doesn't say thank you. How hard is it to disengage? I just find it so difficult.

Rags's picture

If SD10 does not comply with your instructions leave her. 10 is old enough to be left home briefly for non compliance. As an example if she does not put on a coat when you tell her to let her leave the house without one and let her suffer the cold for a while. (obviously avoid frostbite and health problems).

It took me years to get to this point with my SS. What he responded to was that if he was screwing around when he was supposted to be working (school work) then he could work when he was supposed to be screwing around. It worked and he eventually figured out that it was easier to do what he was supposed to do when he was supposed to do it than it was to procrastinate and bear the consequences of his poor decisions. One example other than the coat example from the Chronicles of Rags SS is this one time when we took a day trip to Hawk Mountain in North Central PA. He wore flip flops rather than tennis shoes or hiking boots as instructed by his mom and I. He ended up with painful skinned up feet because he had to do it his way. We had to take him to the Dr to get a couple of thorns removed from his feet. We made him pay the $25.00 insurance copay out of his pocket (allowance). He was 13-14y/o at the time of the coat and flip flop incidents.

Now when we climb in the car on weekends he wears flip flops but throws a pair of shoes and socks in the back just in case. We don't even have to tell him to bring shoes any more. He of course has to maniplate by not putting the shoes on until we are at are destination and his Mom and I are standing around waiting on him but we let him have his little victories of stubbornness. But sometimes we head off down the trail without him, hide behind a tree and jump out and scare the crap out of him when he comes stomping by in an effort to catch up. We do have to have our little evil chuckles at his expense. But hey, what are parents for? }:)

Don't argue just apply appropriate consequences and she will come around. Obviosly you will need to mitigate any severe risks but feeling a little cold or getting a thorn or scratch on your foot is not a big risk. IMHO

Only my thoughts of course.

Good luck and best regards,

littlegrlzx4's picture

You're right. "Disengage" has been my mantra more and more over the last year. It's been harder with this kid becuase she's SO good at pushing my buttons AND my DH is still in denial that parenting his kids is not my responsibility.