You are here

need advice

caramia's picture

Hello, everyone!
I am really glad to have found this website. It provides great information and resources with being a step parent.
I am a step mother to a 4 year old boy who has been dumped on his dad by his mother when she realized she could no longer take care of him. She is not involved in the boy’s life other than calling one several times per month. The kid was 2 when he came to live with his dad. Mother does not provide anything and doesn’t help in any way raising this child. My husband, his parents and I carry all the responsibility. Actually, my husband and I. The grandparents have him every 2 weeks when they go to a function or a game. Grandma feels sorry for the child because his mom is not in his life and because of that spoils him rotten.
When my husband is at work, I take care of the child: feed, bathe, wash clothes, take to the park, read stories, play with…
However, sometimes I feel like I am just a babysitter and have a hard time with that. My mother-in-law keeps saying that the child is messed up because he is not with his mother. But I think that as long as he is in a stable and loving household, he is able to overcome the fact that his mother is not in his life. My mother-in-lawn also feels the need to step into the role of the child’s mother saying that the kid doesn’t have any discipline and shows lack of cognitive abilities. He has a hard time following directions, but than what child his age doesn’t.
Anyway, I am starting to build up some resentment toward this whole situation and don’t want that to happen.
What can I do to get rid of that resentment?
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.

angelas_shadow's picture

i was adopted at that age and i have to say my egg donor means nothing to me my mother is the one who raised me, and her mother use to tell her crap like that all the time. the reality is that you are his mother, have you thought about making it legal? then you don't have to worry about any of that and maybe you would have a little more peace of mind.

caramia's picture

I thought about make it legal, but we would have a hard time to do that as his BM would never give her consent. Not that she cares about him. I am not being mean, but she proved it so many times.

angelas_shadow's picture

the reality is that she has abandoned him an most states wouldnt ask for her consent.

caramia's picture

Thank you, guys, for your input.
Well, my mother-in-law spoils him every time he goes to her house. And when she reached her limits meaning that the child has misbehaved badly she starts complaining about him not following directions, needing a schedule, saying that the child has ADHD due to whatever medication the mother took while being pregnant with him.( his mother suffers from bipolar disorders).She tells all these to me because my husband doesn't really pay that much attention to what she is saying stating that she meddles too much. Anyway, I am a sp. ed. teacher and has worked with all kind of children,disability or no disability.I don't think the child has any adhd. He is just babied and spoiled too much by her. Like I said in my fist post, granmda feels sorry for him not being with his mother. But on the other hand, she is the one saying that the mother will never be able to take good care of him.
So every time, the kid goes to his grandma, he acts like a 2 year old brat.I really feel a lot of anxiety when I know that he is coming back from her. It takes me a few days to get him back on the schedule. Because he does have a schedule and little chores to do at our house.
Now, I feel bad every time my mother-in-law complains all the time about the kid's behavior.It hurts my feelings as I think that all these target me since the child is with me most of the time.
My husband tells me to sometimes ignore her. But I can't.
So that's my story.

caramia's picture

You are very right, Naturalmom.
She handicaps him.And when she can't handle him anymore, she calls us and complains.
I have spoken with my mother about the whole situation ( my parents don't live here in the States and I feel frustrated sometimes for not having them here) and she told me to be patient and tell my MIL that she doesn't do any good by spoiling the child.
Anyway,I am glad I was able to tell my burden. I will continue to stand my ground and perhaps my step son will thank me for that one day.

angelas_shadow's picture

again you are his mother and you know him best, if shes like that maybe she shouldn't get visitation?

caramia's picture

Well,she doesn't spend any time with him, just call from time to time.I guess it is because she doesn't want us to think that she is a dead-beat mother

Madam Hedgehog's picture

I see this all the time. Pitying kids can screw them up more than the other drama in their lives. The entire family, on FDH's side as well as mine (and probably BM's) spoil the boys because they're from a broken family and then they wonder why the youngest can pass for a tasmanian devil and the oldest has become the self proclaimed emperor of planet earth. Me and the oldest get along great because I give him zero slack with the bossy routine and make him use manners. The youngest is another story. When it's just me and him he is quite literally an angel. Dad, brother, or whoever else come home and it's all over.

So, maybe you should let her know she's the problem, not the kid. I've had to tell my mother this on multiple occassions. She is not allowed to spoil them. I had to outline exactly what behaviors were acceptable and it's been successful to some extent. A work in progress, I guess. The point is that you're raising this child and she better accept your rules. The end.

However, I know it's also easier said than done. I have had quite a few problems with my mother and her treatment of the kids and it's not easy standing up to a parent or grandparent (even if they're not yours) and telling them their behavior is unacceptable. But it needs to be done, and hopefully you can get FDH on board and have a talk with granny.

Good luck.

caramia's picture

Thank you.
I told her nicely in the past to stop spoil him,but it seems that she doesn't want to accept it. Maybe, I need to speak louder next time.
And I do feel sometimes that I carry a lot of responsibility for my step son and think I need a bit of appreciation.
I don't want to sound like I pitty myself, but that's the truth.
We, all the step parents, need appreciation.
I strongly disagree with everyone saying that the step parents should not have any saying over the step kids. Just because we did not give birth to them, we take care of them especially when biological parents are to selfish and don't want to make any sacrifices.

Rags's picture

Caramia? I guess that makes your DH's name Gomez ..... right?

As far as your MIL ... the next time she gives unsolicited parenting advice tell her "you raised yours, let us raise ours". That ought to shut her up.

As others have indicated, Skid regression when visiting the NCP and extended family on either side of the gene pool is common and IMHO is one of the more frequently frustrating elements of Sparenting. At least it was for me. Dealing with pre-visitation behavioral issues and post SpermClan visitation detox were some of the most frustrating behaviors we had to deal with as far as my SS-18 were concerned. It really never improved from his first visitation when he was 1yo to his last court ordered visitation in Aug 2010. The good news for us is that SS will now likely never see his SpermIdiot or the SpermClan again.

Welcome by the way, I hope you find this a good place to vent, contribute and pick up some useful advice from others who are living the blended family dream.

caramia's picture

I hope we don't have to deal with this all the way up to 18 years old.
And yes, this is a good place to vent as I don't want to discuss my frustration with my parents.They don't live here in the States and don't want to worry them to much.
I am glad that I have the opportunity to learn from other families' experiences.

anabihibik's picture

BF's mom was providing most of the after school care for his son (8). She's currently away with her mom who is in hospice care in another state. She is nice, she means well, but she is a pain in the butt. BF's dad isn't much better. They both let him get away with everything. For instance, we went to brunch last weekend for BF's sister's bday. I asked kid how his breakfast was. Instead of saying it was good or bad or ok, he gives me this sideways thumb thing halfway between good and bad. I get so annoyed when he does that when I cook, so my new response is to offer to not cook if he can't respect me, only worded a little nicer. He has been told repeatedly not to do this. BF saw it and scolded him. BF's dad jumps in with, "You can't scold him like that in the restaurant." At first, kid just had the good grace to look like his behavior was checked and was picking up his fork to continue eating. But, once grandpa begins his participation, kid starts sulking and looking like he's going to cry. Seriously? Then, they wonder why he is so disrespectful to them. :? When we went to the other state to see BF's grandma, kid had a total personality change around BF's mom. He was lippy and rude. I corrected his behavior, but usually subtly. The one time I didn't, five minutes later, BF's mom snapped at me for something on a whole different subject and was short with me for a bit. BF chewed his mom out.

In summary, I wouldn't stick around in a situation where this behavior is tolerated. BF and I have discussed alternatives to after school care. Heck, we make it work now. I also let BF's mom's bounce off me. And, when push comes to shove, I'm not going to tolerate her interference with my relationship with kid or my authority, and BF has my back on that one. Maybe your DH could try to have your back a little in this. And, maybe you should tell your MIL that she is hurting your feelings. You could try saying, "I'm sure your intent is not to hurt my feelings, but when you say ____, it makes me feel ____."

caramia's picture

Well, my father-in-law doesn't spoil his grandson and doesn't like all the whiny behavior. But there is something he says every time the child doesn't want to follow directions- that the kid has a lot of anger and we should take him to a psychologist.And the kid just learned to play games with them since no rules are in place.
I remember one day last year the kid was playing outside in the yard and his grandfather told him it was time to go inside to take a nap.The child didn't want to take a nap so he started to yell at his grandfather. And the granddaddy was literally begging him to come inside.In my opinion, things don't work with begging and bribery.Sometimes, a parent needs to be firm with their kids.
And they keep bringing up the fact that the kid is not with his biological mother. And by them saying that it frustrates me a lot.

MamaBecky's picture

Tell your husband to speak to your MIL. What does she mean he does not have a mother in his life? What are you, chopped liver? You might not be THE mother in his life but you are a mother figure to him and should be treated as such. My MIL has a hard time swallowing my role in my SD's life sometimes but she has to...and I dont care if she chokes on it. She knows better then to step on my toes or interfer because my husband would tell her quickly to back off and she knows it! To lessen resentment talk to your husband and tell him how you are feeling. Tell him that it is tough for you to be a mother to his child but that you will do it with love and support from him. Anyone that cannot be supportive needs to butt out. Get him on your side and supporting you and you will feel better.

caramia's picture

And she should know better.They adopted my husband.So she is not a biological mother either. But she raised him.
There are women who don't want to get involved with men with kids especially when it is a lot of drama involved.I am not trying to make myself looking like a heroine, but it is difficult to raise a child especially when there are people who think they know what's best for the kid.

hismineandours's picture

So just limit the kids' time with the inlaws. Maybe that sounds harsh but if you feel like they are causing him behavioral issues-just limit it. Unfortunately, I do think he will likely have effects of not being with his bm. It's not as if you adopted him at birth, kwim? She had 2 years to bond with him and kids bond even with crappy bm's. She maintains the phone contact which keeps the bond going. And who knows, tomorrow, next month, next year she may decide it is convenient to be a mommy again. His mother, whom he bonded with, has rejected and abandoned him. It is likely going to cause him some sort of issues at some point. Sorry to be negative.