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Are we the A-holes?

TrueNorth77's picture

So we are at the point where skids are literally ALWAYS in their rooms, unless DH drags them out to do something. Usually something that costs money. When DH and I are home, we are hanging out together (trust me, I'm not complaining) with maybe a 30-second appearance from a skid to go to the bathroom.  

DH and I are pretty social people who made a sweet/unique setup for gatherings, so maybe once or twice a month we have friends over- skids aren't even here half the time. This doesn't affect skids- their rooms are upstairs, no one even comes inside the house except to use the bathroom. Skids can come hang out for a little if they want, or not. We had an impromptu gathering last time skids were here, and during it SD12 asked if she could go have a sleepover at her friend's who lives exactly 2 blocks from us. Fine. The next morning was Easter and Crazy was picking them up- I should mention that Crazy is hell-bent on making us look bad to skids, she will spin every single thing we do to make it look like we are just the worst people. Crazy text SD on Easter morning asking if SD had a ride home from her friends or if she was walking, because it was "freezing out". SD said walking. Crazy said, Ugh that sucks, I'm so sorry! SD replied "no". lol. Because again, it's 2 blocks!! And "freezing" = 50 degrees. But she tells SD and DH that we "make SD walk" to school (also 2 blocks), just to try and make it seem like we're bad people because walking is just THE worst thing ever. She also sent DH a message last week saying we "always party and then make skids go stay at friends houses". Um, no. If anything, SS15 comes out of his room more than usual because he wants to try and hang with the adults. But he certainly doesn't go to friends houses, and we don't make skids do anything. Us having people over doesn't have to change their routines at all. 

Anyway, DH suggested we invite some friends over this Sunday to watch a playoff NBA game (we are big fans). One of our friends is SD's teacher, and he apparently mentioned it to her. She said to me "are you guys having a party on Sunday"? I said, why? She said, "Oh my teacher mentioned it and I was wondering if I could go by my friend's then (the one that lives 2 blocks away)". She is also spending the night there on Sat. night. I said, well it's not a party, we're watching basketball...and you don't have to go to a friends house every time we have people over you know. She said she wants to, because she "doesn't want to have to listen to our friends (we are in the garage, she is upstairs in her room, but she says she can still hear them), she doesn't know them, and she doesn't want to come downstairs when they are here because someone might talk to her". Ok, our friends are VERY nice people. They do talk to skids when they are here if they happen to see them, and SS even works with 3 of our friends. SD said she "only wants to talk to family and friends". I told her, ok you DO know our friends, you've met them a million times, (she says she can't remember their names so that's why she doesn't know them), and you can say hi and be polite. She insisted she only wants to talk to family and friends. I told her that sounds kind of stuck up, and what if she looked at it a different way- instead of deciding she doesn't want to know them, she could say, these are nice people my dad and SM are friends with, I could get to know them. I told her I know your mom tells you that we party SO much and it's such a bad thing for us to have people over, but it's quite normal, and when I was young my friends parents had people over all the time, and we would chat with them when we saw them. This is normal! But I know she is listening to Crazy and is already biased. 

As I'm trying to determine what bothers me about this, these are my thoughts:

1. That she just thinks she shouldn't talk to people who are trying to be nice to her, and that every time we have people over she's going to run to a friend's house. 

2. Do I actually care if she goes to a friends house? No.

3. I could see it possibly being awkward with her teacher here, but him coming here is new, and she likes him, so she decided she didn't like when people are over before he started coming. She doesn't even have to hang out or see him anyway, she's in her room. 

3. I'm more annoyed that she will tell Crazy, which will just give Crazy more fuel to spin this into "all they do is party, and SD has to go to a friend's house". Which furthers the PAS, and will also spur on some crazy messages to DH on OFW. Also, Crazy has been in communication with SD's friend's mom, and I'm sure with Crazy's narrative, combined with SD going over there all the time, SD's friend's mom probably believes Crazy. I shouldn't care, I know. 

4. That the whole thing puts this negative spin on it because a child "doesn't like it". Crazy and SD's friend's mom are very child-centric, if SD doesn't like it, you shouldn't do it. Does it change anything SD does except her talking to our friends for 20 seconds? No. But DH would probably be annoyed/feel guilty if he gets wind of this, and he will certainly get messages about it. And apparently SD thinks DH and I should just be sitting in the living room when they are in their rooms, so she "doesn't have to talk to anyone or hear people talking". (And no, she doesn't have any weird social awkwardness, and she's not even an introvert really). 

In summary, I'm annoyed that something that doesn't feel wrong, has this negative spin on it now, and will surely create more drama. Am I looking at this wrong though, AWTA?



Cover1W's picture

You are NOT A-holes! 

The skids have been raised without learning how to properly socialize. As my SDs were. They hated any change to the 'routine' or DH and I having people over. They were so whiny about it when they were younger, and clingy, that we avoided having people over when SDs were at our home. As the SDs got older, we loosened that up and oh, they did not like people they didn't know in their house. Seriously - that was the attitude. And why should they bother getting to know people? It's boring. If SDs don't want to learn something they tune out - they are both incredibly incurious about everything unless THEY themselves alone find something interesting.

YSD is particularly stunted in socialization but not my issue. I have ignored the complaining and whining about our adult friends coming over for years. I mean, even some had kids their age and the would 100% ignore them. Rude and entitled. I cannot do more than the parents though. It's on your DH really.  I would ignore the skids opinion because they don't dictate what you do.

Funny aside:  YSDthen13, about 6 mos after it was clear OSD was PASd and not coming back, started critizing our: coffee/ta drinking, movie/tv watching, going out to eat, food, alcohol drinking (any amount), swearing (any amount), visitors, etc. And I must say DH got on her about ALL of it so she doesn't do it any longer, but since BM is a complete abstainer from most fun things adults do in even moderate amounts, I'm sure she still thinks it. And I could care less. I remembered how fun it was when my parents friends came over and they played cards all night!

Merrigan's picture

Are you me?  Your situation is eerily similar to mine. Even down to the criticism of my food and drink choices. 

TrueNorth77's picture

Yes! Crazy is an obstainer of all things adults do also- drinking, concerts, travel, literally any activity that a child wouldn't do, and you know, having this it's a perfect opportunity for her to make us seem like extremists or like our "priorities are not straight" since not every moment is spent focused on skids. 

I am not sure I'm going to tell DH what SD said, but I am going to ignore it and live my life. It makes me feel better to know you experienced similar. Unfortunately, as a kid you have to deal with a lot of things you don't like. Sorry not sorry!

Winterglow's picture

I vote you tell him and you buy SD a box of earplugs that you give her as lovingly as you possibly can (with a straight face). 

TrueNorth77's picture

I don't know how she can hear anything over Tik Tok anyway. *unknw*

stepmomnorth's picture

I also grew up in a very lively house where my parents always had friends over to play cards and aunts and uncles and friends always popping by.

It's really unfortunate that things that are very healthy for your step kids are being spun so negatively by bio mom, who very obviously needs to get a life.. She's not doing them any favours at all.. She's actually stunting them.

Yes.. The kids can walk.. Yes the kids can be polite if there are visitors over... Geesh. Bio mom is a busybody!! She needs to mind her own business 

TrueNorth77's picture

She comments on EVERYTHING we do, if not to us, to skids. I can't tell you how many messages she has sent DH accusing him of "making skids walk" (all communication is only supposed to be about Dr. appt's or emergencies, but she still has to criticize everything we do). We have a very normal life, and she's brainwashing them to believe it's unhealthy. SS doesn't believe it, SD does. It's exhausting. 

stepmomnorth's picture

I would respond asking exactly what is wrong with walking? One of the healthiest things you can do as a human being, lol. That and drinking water. Does she have a problem with water drinking? Lol. Yes it's ridiculous 

TrueNorth77's picture

She actually only buys soda and chocolate milk and encourages them to drink that, and, new development this week, Kool-Aid for skids! SD said to me, you should buy Kool-Aid, SS and I made so much of it last week, we couldn't stop drinking it. Now don't get me wrong, I drank a ton of Kool-Aid as a kid. But also, that was before we knew how terrible it was for you. I told her under no circumstances am I buying Kool-Aid for them. SD has a heart condition that requires her to 1. Get moderate excercise, like walking, and 2. Eat a heart-healthy diet with limited sweets and no soda. Crazy does not give 1 single F*ck about any of that. Instead WE are the bad guys for making SD walk a small amount, while she follows none of the Dr's orders. Gah, I just can't. 

stepmomnorth's picture

Water =bad, Koolaid=good. Walking =bad. Hmmm... Lol.

We were the "bad house" also, cause we eat meat and the kids had to share a room. 

Winterglow's picture

Tell Crazy that you're sorry she feels that way but she wouldn't understand ... not having any friends.

TrueNorth77's picture

This is funny cause it's true. She has zero friends. Not 1. She doesn't go out, doesn't do fun things. She only does activities when she's dating someone, and only if the person she's dating suggests they do something, because she has no interests. Or when she has skids. 

strugglingSM's picture

I hate the "I'm so sorry" texts from BM. Our BM used to send a lot of those when Skids would complain. One complained that we didn't give him food, when really he wouldn't ask for it and never said we he wanted, so, surprise, we didn't always have what he wanted. It's alienation. 

We don't often have people over, especially when Skids are here, but they still stay in their rooms 90% of the time. I actually prefer that, since the alternative is one of them sitting in one of our common spaces and expecting to be left alone. One always lies down on my living room couch and watched loud videos on his phone...even if someone else is watching tv or other people are talking, so the videos interrupt. 

TrueNorth77's picture

Skids tried to do the whole "watching videos on their phones out loud" while we were watching TV, and then again when we were all in the same room on vacation. I shut it down immediately and told them it's rude, use headphones. They don't even try it when I'm around now, but they still do it when DH is around because he doesn't yell at them for it. Whatever, as long as I don't have to hear it. 

Crazy texts "I'm so sorry your dad is never around", because DH works 3rd shift. She just loves those little digs! And funny about the food thing, one time years ago SS didn't pack his lunch right when he got up like he was supposed to (he woke up, got dressed and went back to bed, so it's his own fault) so he went to school with no lunch, then text Crazy that he didn't have a lunch knowing she would bring him she called CPS and told them we have no food in our house. CPS actually followed up on it and I had to explain what happened and that we DO have food in our house (we have enough food to feed a family of 4 through months of the apocalypse). 

Ispofacto's picture

Sounds like SD is flouncing because #4.

#4 is so true, and it really grinds my gears.

This reminds me of something that happened recently.  DH and I were at a cancer fundraiser event in a posh countryclub, seated at a large table across from total strangers.  The young woman across from me was angry, because at one of the appetizer stations, they had toasted walnuts alongside the sliced cheeses.  "They have walnuts over there, how stupid!"  and I was like, "You're absolutely right, Becky.  They're following hundreds of years of classy tradition by serving walnuts on their charcuterie board, but they're the stupid ones.  God forbid you stop and try one, they're delicious.  If they knew you were coming, I'm sure they would have consulted you first before doing something so offensive.  Those neanderthals should have served Taco Bell instead."  

She reminded me exactly of Kill-Joy.  Nothing is good or interesting unless she is interested in it personally, and if not, it shouldn't exist at all.


TrueNorth77's picture

#4 Grinds my gears also. 

I think Crazy would be happy if fun didn't exist at all. Or at least, if DH and I didn't partake in it. 

stepmomnorth's picture

This brought back a memory I had where my brother came to visit and we made a nice lunch to eat in the backyard. My step daughter hid in her room the whole time. Then came out and looked at disgust at what we had made her for dinner, ate a bite and left back to her room, annoyed at *something*. I think she was mad we were all eating meat?? I had made bacon twice baked potatoes and made her a separate one with no bacon. There was some nice summer salads. She just wasn't happy at all with any of it. (hide in their room, don't want to face anything) 

I feel like these kids are likely very coddled at their bio moms house. They're over there more often, potentially and form more of a bond and have more time to get into a groove of meals and family life. (in our case all of the vegetarian meals, etc) and it's all very child centric. Kid gets whatever they want, no problem and never told no. Then they come over and scoff at everything at the other parents house as it doesn't compare to whatever is going on at bio moms house. Doesn't help if bio mom is speaking ill about the other household to them, just takes away from any progress. 

What you are doing at your house is totally normal, but skid has some chip on their shoulder and bio mom is definitely inferring wayyyy to much. Delusional... She doesn't think her poor kid can walk 2 blocks... Seriously?!! 

Mominit's picture

She only wants to speak to family and friends.  Well how did she make friends?  If she never ever talked to someone new, she wouldn't HAVE that friend.  She talked to someone new, found something in common, and now SHE has a friend she likes to get together with.  You have friends you like to get together with.  Define the word hypocrite.

Then, if you can, invite her friend, and her friend's mother over to an evening.  You can get to know friend's Mom.  She can get a feeling for your "wild parties".  Friend and SD can join in or not as they see fit.  The friend can spend the night at YOUR house.  SD doesn't get to play her pity me I have to run away card.  SD has to admit that she likes hanging out with friends too.  You don't get told what you can and cannot do by an ex and SD!

Ispofacto's picture

Hypocrisy doesn't register with these types.  Thinking takes effort and self awareness.


TrueNorth77's picture

SD's friend has stayed over here a few times, all went well. Not sure why SD goes over there more (probably because I'm just a SM and DH works 3rd shift/sleeps a lot), but whatever. So I suggested inviting Friend's parents over to our house to DH, but he isn't so sure because once I did text with the mom and she gave off Crazy BM vibes!! Very child-centric, "not our kind of people" vibes. Nice, but a little...over the top? I showed DH the texts and he goes, oh I said well maybe we could invite them over and he said, honestly, she reminds me of Crazy in these texts. And he's not wrong.  

Oh, this is the same woman who has only text with Crazy, never hung out, but asked SD for Crazy's ring size so she could buy her a RING for her bday a week ago. Who does that?!  Still, DH works most nights so maybe I'll invite her and SD's friend over for a BBQ some night when he's working. 

lieutenant_dad's picture

You're not a-holes. My SKs don't chat with our friends when they're over. It's not their "thing", even when we're doing something that is their "thing". 

Could your SD be PASed by Crazy's lies? Sure, absolutely. But it sounds like SD knows, at least a little bit, that Crazy is...crazy. She'll flip-flop loyalty as a teen because that's what teens do. And yes, you all will be the bad guys for *gasp* setting boundaries and expectations.

As for inviting SD's friend and her BM to the house, if you get GUBM vibes, back ever so slowly away. ET was friends with all the kids' parents, and I assume talked mad trash about DH and I. Oh well. Guess how many of those folks ET is still friends with? Zero. Guess how much of a difference it made in the kids' friendships that the parents thought we sucked? Zero.

If Friend's BM is not "your people" then she isn't "your people". Very few 12 year olds are excited to hang with adults, especially if they can hang with their friend away from adults who are going to try and make awkward small talk with them. Crazy is going to say whatever Crazy is going to say, so just keep doing what you're doing and confront SD's false notions when they arise. Crazy is hoping that you'll change your behavior so she knows she gets under your skin. Don't fall for it.

TrueNorth77's picture

I think this is spot on. Trying not to let it all bother me is where I struggle. I shall ignore work on ignoring the whore! 

TrueNorth77's picture

DH just told me that SD copped a little bit of an attitude with him about us having a "Party" on Sunday also. We discussed it and of course, he mentioned how he was glad she has all these sleepover plans this wknd because he was going to feel kind of bad for being gone Sat night (his bday gift), and then having people over on Sat, after SD had an attitude about it. So his guilt is because SD tried to make it a thing, which is what I was afraid of. But, we both agreed that it's ridiculous, and he said if she's trying to avoid people, that's a bigger concern. He said he thinks there was an opening for Crazy to really work some PAS magic on SD since DH was working on nights so much, but his schedule is lightening up next time SK's are with us, so he thinks that will change if he has anything to do about it. We shall see. I'm going to not worry about SD, and if she brings it up again I'm going to let her know that her guilt trips are not appreciated...

Rags's picture

own delusional PAS focused narrative.  So what?  This kind of crap is easily confronted by the facts.

You are doing exactly the right thing confronting BM's manipulations of the Skids with the facts.

Kids need the facts so that they can learn to protect themselves from manipulative toxic POS parents like BM.  The older the Skids get, the more they need the facts. The toxic crap does not end when the Skids reach adulthood.  BM will still sling her PASing crap. 

Over they hears our son has learned to call the SpermClan bullshit in real time with the facts. That SS knows the facts, all of them, every detail in the CO, etc... chaps their asses to no end because they can no longer sling their crap without him baring their asses. 

As for "are we the assholes"?  Sure, upon occassion we all are. The key is... to enjoy it when the opportunity arrises.


hregal2011's picture

Screw her. She can deal with being at your house and MAYBE having to interact with a person..I find a lot of kids (my SD especially, not so much my kids) have some sort of issue with having to be even the slightest bit social.  Get over it kiddo..

TrueNorth77's picture

Yes! So true. They can learn things from other parents. And 2 of our friends are teachers in the school, 1 is a Doctor, everyone is successful and thriving (her mom is still on state insurance and living off DH's child support, although she finally has a somewhat decent job). These are all people who can impact her for the positive!