Long rant - help to stay disengaged
*very long rant heads up thanks*
I've read a few post on here and there and it seems so easy to completely disengage from skid. I've come to this thread a few times and I tell myself I'm disengaging just to find myself quickly back to how things were before. I overly care about ss and it makes sense bc I've known him his whole life. Knew his dad before bm and broke up their relationship lasted less than 2 yrs but she became pregnant and much worse very quick in that time yrs ago.
Ss 9 has been an okay kid. He is annoying at times with traits of bm but I've been handling it well. Our ss sm relationship isn't too bad. Saying all of this to make some things make sense. Anyways dh and I have kept bm at bay alot of these years esp after the CO that began when he was 4yo. We have primary custody now as of 2021 pretty much. She has eow now it's flipped from the years before.
With disengaging it was much more difficult since we became primary. We have ss9 ds7 and a new baby under 1yo. Been okay. Anyways back in 2018 to 2020 bm really played the antics pretty high. She is diagnosed pretty mental. Idk how to sum up past years but the relevant part is she sent nudes twice in the past. After the warning she was reported during a case where ss was injured with proof for both and applied restraining order for dh and ss and domestic violence. It was granted for the 10 days but unfortunately both dh and I were very sick the day of court we got there right at the minute and the judge dismissed it bc he took roll call a min before considering dh late.
Since then bm hasn't sent any and tbh antics were completely down during end 2020 to recently. Only she's been getting in trouble with the law by herself and not affecting ss since he was with us fully the first yr dss sent all her kids to their dads. It's been a great long break not being affected by her craziness. Again so far past 2 yrs she's just been in trouble with the law. My recent posts share other things that's happened. So this past weekend she lucked out since ss was lying to them both about what happened the previous weekend. Ss is in trouble for this with dh as we were serious about breaking the CO for his safety. Dh then allows ss to go with bm this past weekend.
So essentially bm is thinking dh and she are on good terms again. It's been a long time since he's really said anything to her other than speaking of the time changes from bm when they meet for the exchanges. With ss lying this made dh talk directly to bm about this in person Friday. She texts saying they should talk more etc. Dh says I just don't want him lying anymore u should talk to him about that. Bm is caught lying so many times it's ridiculous but now seeing dh can't trust ss or bm he kind of wants to give up. He was very disappointed Friday of course so ss will be punished for awhile. Bm calls dh yesterday after dh picked up ss and says they need to talk more and be better coparents blah. She then mentions me and says I yell at ss and I shouldn't and if dh has an issue she should tell her everytime blah so she can talk to him whatever. All seemingly triangulation like. Dh was letting me hear the recording of their phone convo. One big thing to say over the years how we kept bm at bay bc of this point that dh shares whatever she does or says bc most times he's wasnt sure how to respond but I have to be honest he's gotten better than me at responding now past few yrs. She really triggers me..speaking of she ends up sending herself in underwear and bra yesterday....then texts wrong picture I meant to send one of ss and I. Really...I was so triggered by this bc its been years since dealing with this and I'm like seriously this again? She never sent the other picture bc were not dumb knowing she jus wanted to send that. I'm telling ya everytime she gets an ounce of attention from dh she thinks it's a green light to be dumb. So dh hands me the phone. I document it and delete it. Most times these days dh responds himself bc again he's pretty good at ignoring her bs or reading thru bs and giving a "professional" resonse that sticks to ss. This time he's like whatever I wanna say send that. I basically respond as him saying I don't wanna see u at all and I don't need a pic of ss unless he ask also don't send the other pic. She supposedly meant to send one of them both but I gave it time and it mever sent confirming she sent this on purpose...of course.
So anyways all that to say....it was a great reminder that I want and need to disengage. I know dh is disgusted with her and yes that pic should be reported for sexual harassment. She called it a mistake....would it count idk? The ones few yrs back she never called them a mistake. But if another came it would 100% be reported regardless, but if this one can count that'd be great. Anyways before the pic and during the phone convo she also told dh how we should discipline ss in our home...that was stupid. But things like this remind me I need to back away. After yesterday alot has flipped in my mind like a switch. I just want it to stay bc the past 2 yrs with having ss primarily I felt a bit confused. Should I step up as more of a mom? I decided I needed to but then came the frustration of turning ss to correction all the time. I backed off after the first yr and so this past yr it's been mentally engaging and disengaging. After this weekend antics.. im telling myself no. He has a mom thar wants to be more involved suddenly and I don't need to put in all this work when he has 2 parents that can do more than myself. Dh does alot. He's great at discipline. He said and always said if I have any issues he can enforce whatever. He reminds ss he must respect me and that works so I just need to really follow that. Also I need help trying to not get so triggered by ss. I can't completely disengage bc ds is so close in age to him. I always try to treat both equally and that's worked. I fairly split their chores, fairly take away things from both etc. Ss always finds a way it's not equal...but yea I guess what ticked me was dh said ok don't yell just put him in the corner. Which I do and it works and I want to take dh advice....I just know ss is great at pissing me off at times. How do you all ignore ss messing up and doing things backwards all the time? How do you ignore the incessant annoyances? Also ss being narc at times he's this way with ds and ds has had enough. I really don't wanna yell or snap but with a baby under 1 just 3 kids in general...I may just need a vacation maybe that's it lol help!
What do you want to disengage
What do you want to disengage from? Are you wanting to disengage from the drama of his mother/BM? because that kind of sounds like what you are saying.
Because.. yes.. with kids near the same age.. full time in your home.. it's not like you can completely ignore or refuse to deal with the kid.
Now.. you can disengage from all BM crap.. your DH made a kid with her.. so she is HIS problem. You can care for and about your SS.. but you can also have a healthy amount of requirement that your DH be doing a lot of heavy lifting with ALL of his children.. including SS.. and especially SS.
But.. you can disengage from some things.. like worry over the kid's academic progress.. his dad should be the one on top of that.. and major behavioral stuff.. again.. dad needs to be the one doing that. the minor.. wash your hands.. time for dinner kids.. you can direct generally at all of them.
obviously the kid IS a part of your household..and you really can't exclude him from that life.. but you can make his father step up and don't overfunction for his dad by doing too much of the parenting his dad should and could be doing (teacher conferences.. dealing with BM etc)
This is what I need to do
Dh I believe has been telling me this time and time again. He knows I'm around ss the most bc I have the kids I'm home and he's working. He's very involved with all of the kids fortunately and he disciplines them all and bonds with them all.
With dh speaking to bm directly I guess that reminded me for the first time in awhile oh yea she is a parent of ss.. she's been so distant the past 2 yrs I forgot she existed or had any say or even cared to have say. With what happened and dh reminding me hey don't yell agreeing with bm and even myself I don't wanna yell or fuss but I'm so bugged out by him bc ds picks up on what he does. I do not wanna tolerate either of them disrespecting me. I guess I needed that reminder I have been doing too much and I can truly step back.
I guess I wondering how and your response helps thanks! I may just need somehow to get therapy to not overreact with the things he does daily lol. Drives me nuts inside.
Your DH sounds like he's handling the BM situation well
Your BM is a pita but I admire the way your DH is handling that situation. He couldn't do much better, imo. She must be driving you crazy, I empathize.
It's not really possible to totally disengage from SS when he's living there full time and your BS is near in age. You are in a mother role to him. I had a similar situation with OSS, BS and YSS where there was only 4 years age difference from oldest to youngest. Like you, I tried to treat them all equally and like you, that worked pretty well.
Your SS doesn't sound like a bad kid but he's probably trying to play his mom and dad against each other for his own advantage. Plus, his mom probably likes to hear any criticisms and he wants to gain her attention. When I think back about YSS, now 55, I realize how his loyalty bind to BM affected our relationship. I have a feeling your SS is going thru something similar. In his mind, "If I show Levina disrespect, I'm proving my love for Mommy".
The best thing you can do is stay firmly with DH and the two of you decide what's best for the kids. He sounds like a good, sensible man. Good luck.
You're right I said the same after hearing the phone call. Only she sound like a nutcase and he asked questions to SS and she wanted to keep bringing me up etc. The punishment he's handling that. He's very disappointed with ss lying bc its been 2 yrs trying to get him to stop and he only seemed to have gotten worse esp to involve lying to both dh and bm. This is new for a lie to be that big so dh is not sure what to do.
Ss really isn't too bad especially from other post I see it can be so much worse. I so agree that he may feel caught in the middle. This is all so sudden. Going from hardly hearing from her to now she's telling us what to do in our house like before, sending inappropriate pic and most likely once again triangulating dh and I and now SS and I. I'm not looking forward to the next few weeks.
Ss and I are pretty cool with another. The disrespect was just getting toned down again and now this. I guess i was moreso giving a rant and thoughts. Lately the issues were minor and i wasnt sure how to move forward but after this weekend I was just so turned off from everything. Thanks for understanding with the pics. Soo ridiculous at this point. Then she's begging for my number again. It's never happening. Have no clue what she wants to talk to me so bad about but I haven't spoken to her since ss was 1yo and I'd like it kept that way really lol.
Sounds like you hear what I'm saying. That's great you're not dealing with that anymore. Ss hasn't been turned against me too far before and he's seen how much I care the past years. The boys are at school and I'm a bit curious to how he will act...he may act how u stated but maybe he knows me well enough and will go back to before? Wonder what bs bm will pull to keep us apart bc I so feel that coming if it hasn't worked this past weekend.
Finding a way to say this to SS
I wonder how DH can convey this thought to SS "You don't have to show disrespect to Levina to prove you still love Mommy".
If I bring it up he will enforce it and tell ss. Ss has been disrespectful at times before all this so if it's blatant or suddenly worse, dh will need to address it. Good point! That would stop that in its tracks, right.
The boys just came home and I did my usual on telling them thing for the day. I get back to my room and play with the baby and come out to put her on the mat. Ss hands me his cookie and says I can have half. I was so shocked...but relieved still keeping my eye out but little gestures don't go unnoticed. It seems he can differentiate his mom's bs and what he's seen me do for him at times. Although I'm harsh on him at times I think he knows I care...maybe lol.
While disengagement is effective for some, I have not
generally been fully on board the disengagement train.
IMHO, keep it simple by focusing on the behaviors of all involved in the blended family dynamic. Skids/Kids have to be held to the standards of behavior and performance in the home. The blended family opposition must be held strictly to the terms and stipulatioins in the CO. Why they may choose to deviate from standards, is irrelevant IMHO. They comply... or they reap the consequences of that choice.
That BM is batshit crazy makes no difference. That DH is keeping her in her place is outstanding. So many SOs in these situations abandon the testicular fortitude to hold their X accountable to comply with the CO or hold their failed family spawn to the standards of behavior and performance that they should.
As my DW's equity life partner I was also an equity parent to any children in our home regardless of child parental biology. In our case, SS-30 is an only child in our marriage and has been since he was 2yo. Also as her equity life partner, when the toxic opposition over stepped, I was at her side in those battles as well.
As equity life partners, SParents are IMHO fully empowered and engaged in anything that impacts our lives, our family, our home, etc.... If our SO does not have the balls to deal with it, then it is our place to both bolster our mate's spine, and smack the crap out of the opposition and ill behaved failed family spawn. Figuratively of course.
That's a bit relieving to hear. The previous posters seem to say thr same also that I can't really disengagenand it definitely makes sense why I remained a bit involved bc I do see both ds and ss equally as my kids especially when it comes to rasing them. I'm highly against favoritism. It can't even go unnoticed at their ages. It'd be very uneven if I truly disengaged.
I guess I wasn't sure if I should back off mentally in a way. It's only a day hardly that bm has done this and so idk the changes thatll truly happen was just a bit nervous about everything. Ss seems to be his normal self today. He even shared a cookie with me. Idk why maybe he can see thru her bs like his dad idk really. Keeping an eye out. Yea dh truly has grown alot over the years and it's helped this process for sure. Can't stand that I've been so bothered of bm recently but I'm sure it'll subside once time passes. For now my home is my biggest concern and it's good to know stepping in at times is needed and okay but also for myself learning when to not engage too too much for my own mental I guess.
As a non breeding SParent who became "Dad(dy)" when my son
was a toddler, I understand how a parent can love a child that they do not have a biological association with. He is my own child. Though I do not have a comparison to my own BK. DW and I married the week before our son turned 2yo. He is now 30. I raised him as my own. He asked me to adopt him when he was 22. We made that happen. His mom and I are proud of the man we have raised. He is living a great life.
I navigate the whole SParenting/blended family map primarily by focusing on behaviors. Set and enforce behaviors and there is little need to worry about treating kids equally. Even full sibs in intact initial families are not treated equally. There are always differences due to age, gender, performance, etc... It was my 6yrs younger brother who expressed this to our parents.
They went through a phase where they would give us the same gift. I was in my mid to late teens. My brother was in his pre-teens to mid teens. He asked them not to give us the same things any more. So.. they didn't.
Do not lament differences in feelings, differences in interface, or any other differences in your personal relationship with each of your children. They are individuals and so are you. You can love both of your kids and not torture yourself with guilt over the differences in how you interface or even feel about them individually.
Focusing on how they each engage on the standards of behaviors and standards of performance you hold them simplifies things and puts the honus on them to make solid decisions.
Be kind to you.