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Hubby's Ex Hates Me Having 'Big Talks' with Stepdaughter

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Stepbomb: When I think of Easter, egg hunts, yellow Peeps and that annoying fake grass spring to mind. Not World War III.

stepmom

It all started with this kid at school (I like to call him "Google") who told my husband's daughter that the Easter Bunny was a bust. The kids were with us for Easter this year, so she came home and asked her dad the dreaded question, "Is the Easter Bunny real?" He told her the truth, then welcomed her to "the club" and told her that she could help keep the dream alive for her younger sister.

But then she came to me later and wanted my two cents. She felt silly for telling Google he had it all wrong. And as I gave her advice on how to handle the "mean girls" who'd made fun of her when she'd argued with Google, I wished the ex would be OK with the fact that I'd talked to her daughter about it. But I knew that nothing short of "you should really discuss this with your mom" would satisfy her. I thought to myself, Was I wrong to give her daughter advice? Was I assuming her role?

I suggested that my husband let his ex know about the E.B. discussion as soon as possible. We were still knee-deep in the custody battle, so he decided to e-mail her. We spent a painstaking amount of time crafting the letter to the ex, and when he pushed "send," we felt good about it and hoped she'd understand ....

Her response?

"You're a piece of sh*t and you and your wife did this to hurt me." (That's the CliffsNotes version.)

We just looked at each other and shook our heads.

And now I can only pray that when their daughter gets her period, is asked on her first date or hits any other major milestone in her life, she's with her mom when it happens. But if she's not, what do I do if she comes to me?

"Stepbomb" is a weekly column on momlogic.com, written by a new stepmom. Check in Wednesdays for the latest installment.


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37 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous July 14, 2010, 5:26 AM

Not YOUR daughter - leave it to your husband and his ex to have the big conversations. IF you want to be a mom so badly then have your own.

Samantha  July 14, 2010, 5:49 AM

anonymous up there is overlooking a big thing…your daughter HAD already talked to your husband about it. it’s not like you spewed it out without either of their permissions. kids are eventually going to find out that the EB and santa claus aren’t real..and the mothe ris over-reacting. I understand that she and your husband are still at odds over the children, and that situation can make every little detail of their lives seem painstaking, but it doesn’t have to mean war.

I can tell that you care about that little girl, and you are in her life, and the mother is just going to have to deal with that. She should appreciate the fact that someone who does care to think about what she would want for her daughter before jumping the gun is in her daughter’s life. you did a good job. don’t second guess that. you tiptoed around that situation as much as you could, and you did the right thing. Kudos to you. I hope that the mother can become more amicable before your stepdaughter does get her period and hit all those big teenage milestones. it might be necessary to try to have a really nice chitchat, or attempt to send an email, a la ” i know this isn’t the greatest situation, but i want you to know that i do care about your daughter, and that she is your daughter and i respect that. i tried my best in the situation to respect what i thought you might want to tell her. in the future, if there are any other issues such as this please let me know how you’d like it handled so we can come to some sort of agreement. i don’t want (daughter’s name) to see us all fighting and worry…”

best of luck to you. your stepdaughter sounds lucky to have you all.

Jamie July 14, 2010, 6:51 AM

Hmm, why didn’t she call the mom IMMEDIATELY? Some defininte toe stepping there. Agree w/anonymous

Lilith July 14, 2010, 8:10 AM

Maybe we could define what a Big conversation is? Because the stepdaughter needing reassurance and a bit of comfort after finding out she was wrong simply isn’t such a big matter. As Samantha said the daughter has already talked to her father. I think it does the kid more harm if in such a situation the stepmom would simply say “talk to your mother” instead of comforting her.

And sorry, but the mother’s response was a low blow. If she sees the matter differently, fine, her prerogative, but instead of behaving like an angry 12-year-old, she should try the adult way.
Best of luck to you.

Caligirl06 July 14, 2010, 8:28 AM

It’s not ur child let the daddy tell her alone u stay out of it, none of ur business!!! Some stepmoms walk in a try to play mommy to the kids and buy their love. Some just act like a friend. We need more who act like a friend u have to remember the kids already have a mommy. Let her do her job

Sara July 14, 2010, 8:40 AM

If one of my daughters friends asked me the same question I’d answer it. It’s not like you were talking to her about religion or even sex. It wasn’t a big talk.

Is she going to get mad at you if you comfort her child if she’s bullied or left out by friends? “Sorry honey I can’t give you advice on anything because it might upset your Mom?” That’s absurd.


Anonymous July 14, 2010, 9:08 AM

I feel she should have gone to her mother, and the fact that she went to her father is a good thing. Normally I would say it’s not your place to speak to her about the big issues, but you are a stepparent and the more alias she has is a good thing. I would say to tell her to speak with her mother about these things and listen to her response. I would let her know these conversations happen and that you told her she needs to speak with her, but I would still be there for her when she needs information and comfort!

Robin July 14, 2010, 9:25 AM

I don’t understand all of the people telling her to butt out. She IS a parent to this child and is going to be a major part of her life. Just because she is a step doesn’t mean she’s not a part of this family. How would you feel if she had bio kids and was telling the child “sorry you can’t go to the movies with us, you’re not my REAL child”?! It’s the same thing! She may not be THE mom but she is A mom to this little girl.
Besides that if the “real” mom is this paranoid and immature she probably isn’t a great source of social advice. Just saying.

Robin July 14, 2010, 9:44 AM

Also the only way to “lose” your place as the mother to a step parent is to cause this kind of awful tension and division. Kids can tell who the trouble is coming from and they resent it. Plus the mom here doesn’t strike me as the kind that would bother to watch what she says in front of her daughter so she won’t exactly have to be Sherlock Holmes to see who is the problem between the three parents and it won’t be stepmom.

Michelle July 14, 2010, 10:21 AM

As a mom myself I agree with Samantha, Lilith and Robin. By the answers of the other people I can “see” their immaturity and how they would be of NO help in any situation!

My biggest concern for my daughter in terms of her fathers future girlfriend/wife is that she will be someone my daughter will like and feel comfortable turning to, if I’m not around to talk at the moment! I’d rather things be good then bad, for my daughters piece of mind!

Mothers like in the article and some of the commentators to this post, contribute to make a situation worse then it is or has to be!

Micaela  July 14, 2010, 10:27 AM

REally, she should have minded her own business? WTH? 1st of all it wasnt a “big talk”. Sounds to me like the bio mom is immature & very, very insecure as a mom. I am a mother, I am also a step-mother, & I also am a step-child. If all the parents involved would pay attn to the best interest of the child, life would be so much better for the child. Sounds to me like step-mom is doing a great job.

Anonymous July 14, 2010, 10:44 AM

I think the best solution when she came to you would have been to tell her to talk to her father or ask him to join the discussion. Tell yourself that these children are not yours in any way shape or form. How would you act if the neighbor’s child asked you a question about God? You’d probably tell them to talk to their parents. I might give someone else’s kid advice on what to do about a situation with another child, but if I didn’t get along with the mom, I would keep my mouth shut in most cases. With a friend, I might give my honest opinion and then let the mom know. This woman is not your friend, she’s in the middle of a lawsuit with you.
If the girls ask you about their periods someday, tell them you’re not their mom and they should talk her. No excuses or blaming, just this is the way people do things. They talk to their parents not other adults about certain issues. Then let the mom know that they asked about it. If they’re bleeding, tell them it’s just their period and call their mom on the phone to deal with it.
Also, remember, right now the mom is in pain. You have her kids for Easter and they are turning to you for advice. This is a loss for her and there is really nothing she can do to prevent it. Divorce sucks. People don’t realize that they are going to end up having no control over their kid’s lives half the time.
She’s not being fair or rational. You can’t change that. With time, she will probably calm down somewhat, although it’s probably never going to what you wished for.
Maybe, if you’re lucky, things will change someday and she’ll trust you enough to let you handle things with her kids. You know, even if she were being rational and you weren’t in the middle of a custody case, she might not trust another woman she barely knows with her kids. You didn’t live near them and really all she knows about you is that a guy she can’t get along with likes you. You’re going to have to prove that you’re trustworthy and it may take years of being patient and deferring to her.

Robin M July 14, 2010, 11:56 AM

I can’t believe that the responses on here are actually mothers. A REAL Mother’s concern is for the child. The Easter Bunny, come on ladies, it wasn’t as if she advised her to get on the pill. the fact that the father had already answered is major. Thumbs Up to all the step mothers who love the children (notice no step)they share with their husband and ex’s. Besides a REAL, TRUE, GOOD MOTHER IS NEVER INTIMIDATED BY ANYONE OR ANYTHING SHE’S KNOW’S HER POSITION NOT PLACE…

Micaela  July 14, 2010, 12:01 PM

The child did not ask about GOD, she did not ask about SEX, she asked how to handle a bully at school for Kristes sake!!!! How are they supposed to create any kind of bond if the step mom is afraid to talk to the child at all. I am so sick & tired of these crazy baby mama’s & oh, thats my kid, dont talk to her, give me a f-ing break! Be happy that the step mother gives a crap about the kid. If my step-mom would tell me to go tt my dad every time I needed advise, or asked her anything, I would have wondered WTF was wrong with me & why she didn’t want any kind of relationship.

Anonymous July 14, 2010, 12:15 PM

I’m one of the moms who thinks the stepmom should back off. I am not saying the mom is doing the right thing (she sounds crazy, but could be more to the story). I’m saying, this is what you have to do when you’re not the mom and the mom hates your guts. From what I can tell, the keys to being a good stepparent are 1) accepting that you are not a parent and these are not your kids and 2) taking it slowly. And you know what, being pushy about your imaginary rights as a stepmom is the very best way to make the kids hate you and only love their mom. So if you really want to make an angry ex happy, stand up for your “rights.”

anonymous July 14, 2010, 12:18 PM

@Stepbomb - just a thought. A lot of what’s going is probably about your husband not you. Maybe they fought a lot about the kids, maybe he criticized her as a mother. Maybe she doesn’t like the way he is raising them already. Maybe her standard of living has gone down while his went up. Maybe she’s just angry at the way he treated her when they were married or when they were getting divorced. There’s not much you can do about it, but it might help to realize it isn’t about you (unless you cheated with him).

Anna July 14, 2010, 12:27 PM

Sorry, but it’s the MOM’s right to get to dispell holiday myths, not the stepmom.

All of you backing up the stepmom please invite me over for your next set of holidays and I’ll be the one to tell your kids Santa and the East Bunny are fake and you’re mom’s been fibbing about it all this time. BUT I’m the cool one who told you and we’ll keep it a secret from the little kids. YUCK

Lucida July 14, 2010, 12:36 PM

When the husband communicates with the ex just leave out the part about you being involved in anything (conversations, volunteering at the school, etc…). Hubby’s a big boy. He can handle the ex’s wrath.

Stepbomb July 14, 2010, 1:52 PM

Once again, the comments from ALL SIDES have been very helpful. It’s an incredibly challenging situation to say the least. I really do my best to put the children first. But I’m certainly not perfect. And I believe that I can always do better.

To the anonymous person who asked if he cheated with me, the answer is no. I came into the picture after they were divorced and after the ex had already moved on with another man (who she’s now married to). Yes, there is a stepfather too.


Pamala July 14, 2010, 2:04 PM

I think people aren’t reading what you wrote. This poor child has a psycho mother who is jealous. Like someone suggested, don’t tell this woman you do anything with the child. She doesn’t need to know. If your hubby wants to communicate something to his ex, he can do so, but leave you out of it.


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