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Homework Headache

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Stepbomb: How quickly we went from sleeping in, sunshine and sunscreen to backpacks, lunch sacks and homework!


The school year has begun, and as the girls excitedly rushed off to school, giggling with their friends about their new outfits, I smiled on the outside. But on the inside, my head began to pound. I felt another headache coming on.

Last night, I received an e-mail from the ex. Under no uncertain terms were my husband and I to keep any original homework that the girls brought home from school.

This isn't the first time the ex has made this demand.

It began last school year, when the girls started coming to our home every day after school because the ex was at work. In order to make sure the ex saw all of the girls' schoolwork, I'd photocopy everything and give the ex some copies and some originals. In turn, I kept some copies and some originals. But more often than not, I'd give the ex most of the originals.

When she first saw photocopies in their folders, the ex called my husband and said that she was their mother and her home was their primary home, so she deserved all original schoolwork. My husband argued that as their father, he was also entitled to some of the originals to frame or use as keepsakes. They couldn't agree, so we continued giving her some copies and some originals, and we didn't hear from her about it again. But in the back of my mind, I wondered if this was about more than originals vs. copies. Could it be that she was really upset that I was home with them after school?

So when we received the e-mail last night, my husband called his ex to try to come to a compromise. Still not able to agree, they were at a standstill yet again.

As I pop another Advil, praying that someday we will come to peace with the ex, I wonder what we should do this year. Do we give her all of the homework, to avoid conflict? Because she's the mother, is it rightfully hers? Or does my husband keep what he feels is rightfully his?

next: Should Moms Be BFFs with Their Kids?
26 comments so far | Post a comment now
Unfair and Unkind September 21, 2010, 9:05 PM

As a mom, here’s the difference for me…

If I don’t agree with the way a babysitter or after-school provider has treated my child, I have clear recourse. I get a say, and it usually gets listened to.

If I don’t agree with the way a stepmother is treating my child, I am labeled a shrew who should just get over myself and let some woman who is unrelated to me do whatever she wants because that’s just life.

Wendy September 28, 2010, 5:12 AM

Wow, this is the first, and last time I visit this board. I came here for my own mother/stepmother, (yep, I’m both), issues we are having in our home. What a hateful group.

realstepmom October 7, 2010, 10:58 AM

Stepbomb—if it’s just homework, can’t you just look and go through it, then send it on to mom? My stepkids are with my husband and I during the week and with their mom on weekends. Whoever gets the homework 1st looks it over and sends it on to the next house. Although, since they primarily live with us projects and things they want to keep just end up here. But if the kids want to take it somewhere else I don’t care. It seems like both mom and stepmom are being petty. Pick your battles. This would not be one I would choose.

step&realmom December 9, 2010, 9:19 AM

I cannot believe some of the things said in this. I understand it was months ago but I couldnt help the need to add my input. It is ridiculous of any mother to say “if you can afford this and that, then you can afford to pay me to do this or that”. First… she is married, tell her husband to get a better job if she wants that. The only thing that needs to be paid for is things for the kids and their well being. Second… You are an adult, it is your job to be responsible. Dont expect to live off someone else.
Anyways..stepbomb, I have skimmed through these and I dont see where you are over stepping too much. Maybe some. I have a stepson and we have split custody and we have him 4 days a week. Of course I am not just going to stand back and not spend time with him. Why would a mother want that? Mothers whose kids have good stepmoms who want to be involved and keep the moms involved should count themselves lucky! Life is not easy anyways, why add extra drama and stress.

A mom and a step-mom December 19, 2010, 1:36 PM

It is sad to see how many jaded mothers have decided to project their frustrations onto stepmother. I am both a mother and a stepmother. I have to say that I have been in both situations. My stepdaughter struggles in school a lot, she is currently in two after school support classes and has been for the past two years. My husband and I only see her every other weekend and we too have been very involved in checking her homework and following up with her teachers to make sure her homework is turned in every week (this has been a problem since day one) and her mom hates the fact I show interest in her daughters education. She has called my husband in several occasions telling my husband to “tell your wife to stay out of my business. she shouldn’t be checking my daughter’s homework.” My husband’s ex-wife, because of her jealousy, can’t see how much we care about her daughter. On the other hand my ex-husband has a new relationship and every time she volunteers to help out with my son (taking him to Muay Thai practice etc.,) I welcome it. I think children look to adults to show them how to handle them self in reference to others and in different situations in life. All those people here who said stepmother has over stepped her boundaries and have attacked her character and her husband’s without really knowing them are probably those type of mothers who leave of their kids child support and their ex-husbands and see “step-moms” as someone who will make their source of income (in this case their children/child support)disappear.

MomOf_5 January 25, 2011, 6:59 AM

I think that mom and dad of these girls should be thankful that stepmom has such interest in their children. So what if she named herself “Stepbomb”…I believe she likely feels she can’t win and meant “bombed out.” My question is this: does mom WANT to come home from work and spend time with her girls doing homework? OR is mom thankful that stepmom is providing childcare and tutoring services? I am a stepmom to an eigthgrader and a kindergartener. I have a thirdgrader of my own. Until October 2010 I was a working parent.

The older one went to mom’s after school as a latchkey kid and the two younger ones played in aftercare everyday until picked up at 5:30pm. Since I am now not working, we have the same setup as Stepbomb. It’s easy to say what others “SHOULD” do here. My husband is very involved with the children. There is no indication from Stepbomb’s post that Dad is not involved. Obviously Dad WANTS the best for his kids or he might insist that Step work outside the home and let mom deal with the children.

My advice: Let mom handle after school care and homework for a week or two. More than likely she will come to realize that you aren’t trying to “take” her children. She will come to realize how fortunate all involved are to be blessed with a step parent who has the children’s best interest at heart. If she has remarried, would her spouse provide such care?

Think about it

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