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Inviting BM to stay with us...

sunshinex's picture

Y'all... I need to know if I did something crazy LOL 

DH and I live 5 hours away from BM. We have full-custody of SD, who is almost 8, and BM takes her for summer visitation (about a month and a half) and that's it. 

We are currently getting ready to move to another province. Now we'll be 21 hours away from BM. She will still get SD for summer visitation, but I went ahead and let her know if she wants to fly out for march break, she is welcome to stay with us. I didn't do this for BM, I did it for SD. So she knows that although we are moving away with her, we still value her relationship with her mother. DH didn't really care either way. He said he personally wouldn't of invited her, but he's fine with it if I am. 

Our relationship is quite strong and SD has never expressed a desire for her parents to be together because she doesn't remember a time without me in her life. We have a great relationship and I've been living with her full-time since she was almost 2 years old. 

Now I'm wondering... Did I do something stupid? Will it be weird? And what can I do to avoid it being weird? I'm really only looking at what's in the best interest of SD - but will this confuse her? Like I said, she's fully aware that DH and I are married, her primary parents, etc. 

 

tog redux's picture

Do you get along with BM? I spent a couple nights in the home of my sister's husband's ex-wife, for my step-niece's graduation. It was awkward but fine.  It was before I was a stepparent and now, I can't believe my sister did that! But the BM was not crazy and everyone got along well.

Evil3's picture

It's not weird for you if you're comfortable with it. You must be very secure in your marriage to be able to do that. I can't recall any of your posts where you had a DH who danced around BM "for the kid's sake," so without any issue like that, then why not? Many of us SMs on Steptalk have issues with our DHs forgetting which woman he's married to, but I haven't had that impression from your posts. Also, if you don't have a HCGUBM, then why not bring a mom and DD together?

I read all of your posts and you are an awesome SM!

sunshinex's picture

Oh thank you! I appreciate your kind words. 

But yeah, our marriage is quite secure and he's always, always put me first. 

Livingoutloud's picture

I am on friendly terms wuth exDH and SM and I stayed in their house. My exDH stayed in my house twice as well. Then few years back we all stayed together in a rented house (event pertained to DD). We all get along. So why not.

ExDH and I have been divorced for 28 years (we were 25 then and are 53 now) and are both happily remarried. No one is confused who is married to whom. Do what feels right for you and don’t worry about other people 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

Maybe approach it as an experiment? And since your BM is a bit of a lazy butt, drill down on the specifics beforehand:

  • Will BM be treated as a guest, a roommate, or an AirBnB client?
  • What will BM's contribution to the household be? Food, cleaning, etc.
  • How will she get around? Is public transport available in your new city?
  • What level of socialization are you comfortable with? You're not besties, so...
  • What are your house rules regarding cleanliness, visitors, quiet hours, etc?
  • What is the plan if BM doesn't prove to be congenial company?
  • Can your SO handle his ex effectively?

I would hate to see you get involved in a scenario where an entitled BM shows up and expects you to pick up the tab while she sits on the couch. She already gets away with not adequately supporting her daughter. Also, do you think your SD will find this confusing? 

 

sunshinex's picture

This is such a good point - and one I didn't think of at all. I will have to talk with my husband about this. 

I assume she'll be treated as a guest, however, it's also a visit with her daughter - so she will have to find her own activities/ways to spend time with SD at her own cost. She is quite a timid person and is very much so not confrontational so I imagine she would go to bed when we do, clean up after herself, and overall, just follow our lead. 

My husband and I did discuss that we would expect SD to follow our rules as it's our household. BM differs in parenting in terms of letting SD do what she wants, go to bed when she wants, eat what she wants, etc. whereas we have a lot more structure. Should we give BM a heads up that SD will still follow the normal household rules or let it come up naturally? 

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I'm not going to lie Sunshine, this is a looong visit and it could get very messy. In my experience, being too nice in steplife seldom ends well. 

Maybe you should make a list of points to discuss with your DH (including some worst case scenarios), brainstorm together, and then have him contact his ex to go over them? He could couch it as wanting to give the visit every possible chance for success. I worry that if BM is such a passive person, it will be like hosting an exchange student and instead of having a break from one kid, you'll end up caring for an extra one.

sunshinex's picture

It's actually only 1 week (march break) that she would come up, but I could see how it could feel like forever. 

I do imagine it'll be like caring for an extra kid, but the nice thing is, I have enough say/authority over SD that I can couch most problems. IE. if BM and SD make a mess cooking/playing, I can easily tell SD to clean up after herself. I would imagine her mother would follow through to avoid conflict. But I do like the idea of coming up with a list and having DH talk to BM about it! 

 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Adding one:

  • What if you decide to go on vacation during the March break? Will it cause issues since she has an open invite if you choose to do that this year or in the future? or are you cordial enough for it not to?

Curious Georgetta's picture

manage interactions with other mature adults. What works for you will depend upon your comfort zone and the level of all of the adults involved. If you are secure in your relationship and trust your partner, what exactly are you risking  by being  hospitable to someone who has been polite and perhaps even cordial with you.

Trust your instincts. You may just be among the group of  mature adults who can manage interpersonal relationships without hostility and animosity.

Kudos to you.

Sandybeaches's picture

It depends on the relationship you have with the BM and yours sounds ok.  If the BM was high conflict and troublesome you would not want to do this.  It could NEVER work with my husband's ex as she is Crazy and were pretty sure is borderline personality disorder.  BUT, my ex-husband and my husband get along great!!  So I could see it working with him. Also my ex-husbands second wife I would definitely let her stay with us if need be.  My son still considers her his step-mom even though my ex and her are divorced and he has married again.  We like her too but don't know her as well.... 

As many have said many of us here deal with crazy manipulative BM's that you would not want in your home!!! It is crazy how different my husbands' situation is from mine!!  My son has had 2 step-moms now and I have gotten along with both!!  

My point is it is all about the dynamics of the relationship between you and her and her and your husband.  How do they get along?  That is going to matter a lot too.  It doesn't sound like she is manipulative trying to get him back or any of the things we sometimes deal with.  It is kind of you to do that but a hotel might have been a better idea with her visiting every day and having meals with you but taking the awkward things out of it like where she sleeps and showers....  Baby steps and then if this works maybe some other time she could stay.  But now you have also opened it up and set a precedent so if it is uncomfortable now next time when she wants to come again you would have to either let her and be uncomfortable or say no.... 

Lady.Tremaine's picture

Before DH and I moved to be closed to his girls we did two trips down here . BM and the girls really wanted us to sleep at theirs the 2nd time. We did not because

1. There were tensions on our end due to BM being a snake and moving them 

And

2. The boundaries with them being very young.

Your situation is very very different. I think you were being hospitable and I think BM will likely still get a hotel because she will want time one on one with the kid and not in the usual envoirnment. If not just try to set some simple rules with DH but I do doubt she'll take you up on it

Also person above mentioned who mentioned the sexual aspect... Please no. Her DH and BM spilt for a reason and if OP was worried she would not have allowed it 

 

 

sunshinex's picture

Ha, it's funny, I've always said I wouldn't worry about my husband in a room full of naked beautiful women. He's such a moral, faithful man. I've even TAKEN him to the stripclub - his first time ever LOL he never went before because he felt it was degrading to women. It took a lot of convincing (and quite a few drinks) to get him there. 

Not worried one bit! 

 

StrawberryPie's picture

Any guest staying in my home for a week would drive me nuts - even if it's my own family!  (Maybe esp if it's my family!)

sunshinex's picture

That's so true. I'm the same way. I'm just thinking she's such a passive, timid person that she'll stay out of the way. Everytime I've been around her in a social setting, she's actually quite awkward and clings to me/follows my lead - even though we're not like, besties or anything. She just doesn't feel comfortable in like, any scenario, so I feel like she'll go with the flow and keep to herself a lot! 

shamds's picture

And you get along amicably then i think its ok if you feel comfortable about it. Just like you feel when family from overseas stay over for a week or 2.

if she is abusive and disrespectful then it would be a hell no.

maybe your husband feels awkward about her being at your home but doesn’t want to say that and thats why he said he wouldn’t have invited her if he had a choice

flmomma08's picture

Yikes! I mean I personally would never even invite BM into my house at all, let alone to stay for a week. But if you have a good relationship and are comfortable with it, that's all that matters. Everyone's situation is different. Hopefully it will go by quickly. I'm sure your SD will be thankful.

EatThisApple's picture

I've never shared a home with BM, but she's stayed at our house a few times to look after SS when we've gone on vacation, family emergencies, etc. She lives in a small apartment in a different city, so it's easier to stay at our house, close to his school, etc. We appreciate the favour and I usually buy her groceries and a bottle of wine to pass the time.

It depends on your relationship and trust really. I mean, in the end we're just people. As long as you're not dealing with a sociopath or have jealously/boundary issues with each other.

Sandybeaches's picture

You let BM stay in your house to wander about and snoop into anything she wants to and your not even in the same city??  Now that is more than trust!!!   As you said people are people and even if she is sane curiosity can get to anyone!!!  

One thing if you want to let her stay when you are there but alone in your house??? 

bananaseedo's picture

Unless I misread-I think the only problem was not consulting how your DH felt about it first as he's stated some discomfort.  I think in some scenarios where everyone gets along it's ok...but yeah-I would have asked dh first.  It's all about boundaries.

 

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

To me it's overstepping boundaries. But if you guys can do it, go you!!!

I think a few things to consider:

  • An open invitiation can cause future issues. She may assume it's a "EVERY" March break kind of deal. And there may be a point you have other plans but she thinks she has the open invite and it causes contention
  • March is far away, things come up and happen
  • A week is a long time to have a house guest
  • The contribution she's expected on doesn't sound like it's been written out. Food costs, cleanliness, etc
  • Change of home dynamic
  • Even SMs that fully get alon with BM, the longer you're having to stay with her, the more chance of some form of contention. I think that two adult women in a house, with different ways of doing things, can sometimes just be too much, regardless of how amicable the situation is
  • May actually be weird for SD, she's used to YOUR home dynamic, add her mom in, she may feel like she can't be herself because of different household expectations (every household is different)
  • What's going to happen when she's there? Likely you have house rules different from hers. She'll likely be taking on "mom" role for SD (naturally) but you're an adult in your house with your own set of rules. I think it may possible cause issues with authority. Who trumps who? Your house, so really you should. But her kid, so she may not see it that way.
  • Besides those, I find it strange to have an ex staying at the house for a week. But I also believe in strong boundaries.

If you can make it work though, that's awesome for you!!!!

Well This Isn't Fun's picture

Every situation is different. BM here is absolutely not welcome in my home right now, not even to use the bathroom let alone overnight, but even that may change with time. 

 Awkward is a guarantee at first, but of everyone gets along it should be okay.