You are here

Volunteer at SS School - thoughts?

Elise's picture

Hi. I just joined today and have never done this before so apologize if I get any of the abbreviations wrong. Gosh- I am recently remarried to a wonderful man with a not wonderful ex. She was completely distraught about their divorce even though during their marriage she was cruel to him (why he left). Since I've come into the picture (together for 2 years) it's been nasty with her. I'm the enemy. Were damaging the kids. Blah blah blah. All my other friends are still married happily in their 1st marriages so I have felt so alone and like I've happened upon this unique crazy situation. Reading the blogs here I see that I am not!!!! So thank you all to help me realize I am not alone..and also I am sorry for your difficulties.

Here is the question that led me to the site for answers. We have our ss (twin boys) 50/50. Overall, we get along great as a family. We have a lot of fun. They love their new SS (my daughter). We try really hard to treat everyone in the family as equals no step this and that. They go to school an hour away and 2 to 3 days a week either myself (sometimes husband) drive them back and forth. It's SO much driving!!! One solution we thought of was to volunteer in the boys classes one day to eliminate driving back and forth while they were in school. I was all set to go today and had it already set up with their teachers. I found out from the boys that there was also event at school and their mom would be there. Wanting to prevent a scene. I asked my husband to let her know I'd be at school working. She FREAKED! I had no right to work there. I am only his wife not their Mom. I need to get her permission. Blah blah blah. She went on to say "how pathetic I am that I can't understand how wrong what I am doing is. She's consulted all her friends and they all agree". So I started I off base here? Should I step back and not attempt to do the same things for them that I do for my own daughter. Should I try and maintain a distinction? It's so hard to know what to do. I love the boys very much and want to help provide them with as normal and consistent childhood as possible. Thanks!


Nicky's picture

I agree with erinjb1. You do not need her permission. My SS soon to be ex stepfather used to volunteer at his school. If you really want to do it, then don't let BM's fit stop you. It's up to the school, NOT her to who volunteers. I think it's great that you want to do that for your stepchildren.

Chocoholic's picture

Too bad if bm has an issue with you loving and caring for your ss.... you are in his life now whether or not bm accepts it and you have every right to love and care for your ss as if he were your own.... why on earth any bm would accept, much less WANT otherwise is due to their own complete and utter selefishness....

I say go for it! You DO NOT have to ask bm's permission for anything.... she can get over it!

"Don't be distracted by criticism. Remember, the only taste of success some people ever have is when they take a bite out of you."

Mici07's picture

I just don't get some bm's. Shouldn't they be happy? Now there is someone in the life of their kids who care and they just complain. Talk to her about it! It's not easy but it might help. Let her know that you don't wanna replace her as the mother. She might be afraid of that. At the end bd,bm and you have to work together. It is in the interest of the kids.

Trina's picture

I really think you are overstepping your bounds, perhaps with good intentions but those are her children and she is the one that should be dealing with the teachers. If you want to have a good marriage, I would be respectful of the fact those are her kids. If you don't she will likely cause many more problems. If it was another situation, and bm needed the help and it was a working relationship that would be altogether different. But its not, and if you choose to keep pissing her off fine, but it will only come back to bite you imo.

Persephone's picture

and look at it from BMs perspective. I could see how she would be p'od.

"I found out from the boys that there was also event at school and their mom would be there. Wanting to prevent a scene. I asked my husband to let her know I'd be at school working."

This statement reads like BM should have been warned to not show up because you would be there. If even it was just a head up so no surprises it's a recipe for disaster. Especially since you two don't click. Prearranged or not.. BM presence in the classroom I think trumps yours.

If it is the distance thing, could you do volunteer work throughout the school and not in the classroom? That way BM would not feel threatened and you save a drive. Or you could work out a schedule for both of you.

Most definitely think you attempt to include her.

Elise's picture

By informing her I'd be there I was in know way asking her not to show up. I just wanted her to know I was there so it didn't come as a surprise. She normally works on the day we are scheduled to volunteer so we didn't think there ever be much of a chance to intersect.

I think that's a good idea to volunteer elsewhere at the school vs. their classes specifically. That way the school still gets the support (it doesn't really matter what class I am making copies, etc.) but she doesn't feel threatened and I have something to do versus driving back and forth.


Riley's picture

Would BM tell you to stay out of "it" if the skids fell at your house and needed some nursing...or were sick...or were hungry? If "not being their mom" fits in one situation, then shouldn't it apply to ALL situations? Either she accepts you in their life as their step-mom and or she doesn't. But she can't have it both ways...and then determine when you should be involved and when you shouldn't. That's just not how real life works.

Your reasons to volunteer at school are valid. Your decision to give her a "heads up" was thoughtful. Her knee-jerk response shouldn't then determine whether you go on with the plans that you and DH determined was best for your family.

Of course her friends agreed with her. They are her friends. I hate it when people use that as their source of validation to their responses.

You and DH are nurturing a family with skids on both sides. YOU two do what YOU two think is best for that success. If BM feels threatened by any of your decisions, then honestly, it's HER problem. Especially with something as innocuous as volunteering at SS school/class.

I think the teachers are intelligent enough to discern between you and her and who is the mom and who is the step-mom and who is the better parent and who is...blah, blah, blah. And that's all this is about. It's a sandbox issue. Her reaction is based on emotion.

I would encourage you and DH to not feed that emotion by changing the plans that you two already determined was best for your family. Especially when that decision was based on valid reasons and not on how to "trump" the BM, or her status.