Lose Lose Situation!

(87 Posts)
needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 08:05:21

For the first time in a pretty long time DSD's mum kicked up a fuss about me last night.

Basically, DSD has got a dance show coming up soon, it's her first one since starting doing dancing. I've not seen her dance yet but DP says she's really good at it and she loves doing it. This show was a chance for me to see her dancing.

However, as I have 2 very young children aged 2 and 4mo to look after I can't go. We've asked around for a babysitter and tried really hard to get it sorted but we can't find one. I don't think it would be fair on DS1 to have to sit still for 2 whole hours, and to get all frustrated and it be a horrible experience for him. It wouldn't be fair on him. DS2 is fine, he's a baby and will probably sleep through most of it. But DS1 is a toddler and very restless and would get upset. DP told his ex I won't be going and she really wasn't happy about it.

She said if it was my son I'd be there watching him. Well, yes I would as he would be the one performing and obviously wouldn't need looking after. If DS2 couldnt go and we didnt have a babysitter then again unfortunately only one of us could go to that one! Same applies and I don't know what makes her think her daughter's show is an exception! This emotional blackmail was the thing that got to me. As much as I would like to go and watch her, I have to think about DSs' well being and ensure they are comfortable and happy. An environment like the show would not be suitable for DS1 but she just doesn't seem to understand this.

It is just unfortunate that I can't attend this show. My dad is away on holiday, ILs won't look after them (yeah they're not going either), my mum is at work that day. Hopefully the next show I can attend as I'd really like to see it, and in the future when they are older we can all go as a family to watch her and DSs will enjoy it, but this one is near impossible and DSD's mum doesn't understand that my commitments mean I can't go. I think if it was any other commitment like work the. She would fine with it, but because that commitment is indeed my children, she doesn't like the fact that I am putting their well being before her daughter's show. That's the impression that I am getting and I don't appreciate having to justify myself.

It's a situation where each outcome will mean someone is unhappy. If I don't go then DSD's mum will be angry at me, but if I do go then DS1 will have to switch off being a toddler for 2 hours, which ain't going to happen as its impossible!

daisychain01 Fri 28-Jun-13 17:08:10

needaholiday - can I ask the (perhaps impertinent) 'devil's advocate' question - why do you care what DSD's mother thinks or feels? Does it really matter? How does it contribute to your happiness to have her approval? Probably not a lot, I expect! I only ask this question having been there myself, worrying far too much about what someone thinks of me, when actually what they think has no bearing on my world! Especially as you describe a very lovely relationship with your DSD (that's the most important thing, surely?)

Not meant as a criticism in any way, but hopefully a constructive observation ... but the fact you talk about her in terms of her being upset at you, suggests that her opinion matters. Just a thought - because it is highly likely she will do the same to you again, and again, and likely you will never be able to please her (we all choose our attitude in life, and she has chosen to be a pain in the botty when she could be more understanding - probably fat chance of that!). I think it could take up "head-space" when it's time to let go. It can be very empowering when you finally realise what that person thinks about you isn't important any more wink

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 17:23:22

daisychain Oh I know you're right. What she thinks or feels shouldn't matter to me. I don't like it how exes are are at best a person who we want the approval of and we tip toe around them and at worst someone we are very scared of. My DP is pertrified of her just stopping contact just like that, and I hate someone having that power over him (and me!)

I constantly care what people think of me unfortunately sad This is just one example. My dad in particular makes me feel horrible and like a child and my in laws are bad for criticising. I am always surrounded by people quick to criticise and call me and DP so I'm a bit of a nervous wreck and on edge all the time.

daisychain01 Fri 28-Jun-13 18:25:27

You sound like a very similar nature to me tbh! I hope the messages of support you are getting from your posting will give you some strength so you slowly but surely move into a new phase. No need to lose the caring side of your nature (there is nothing worse than someone who is totally immune from what people think, that is the other end of the spectrum - being hard as nails isn't nice!). I totally 'get' what you mean about the desperate way some (not all) ex's can enjoy the feeling of power, using children like pawns in a game - but if you can keep the 'moral high ground' by remaining calm and not responding, you will always be able to look back and know you behaved correctly (unfortunately, best will in the world, you can't control what other people do - as many of the posters here have already said). None of us want you to be a nervous wreck flowers

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 18:40:28

Maybe she wants you there as a reminder that she had a child with your DH before he did.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 18:53:41

Thankyou daisychain That's why I come on here a lot of the time, to get that support I can't get in "RL". Apart from my DP there's nobody else I can talk to, and I must drive him potty sometimes! Lol.

And here is something for you in return wine on this Friday night smile Us stepmums need a lot a few every now and again!

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 18:59:42

MissStrawberry I pity her if that's the only reason she wants me there. It's been nearly 4 years so she should be well aware that I am happy with the man she chose not to love anymore and that I don't envy her one bit about having one of his children before I did. If she wants to get nasty I can always say that I gave her daughter a sibling before she did, but I would never do that.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 19:18:42

Miss strawberry I didn't understand that at all. You think she wants to remind who- him, herself, or the OP? Either way I'd struggle to understand, isnt it obvious by the very existence of the child?

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 19:37:01

Well yes, but the tone of the posts implied the previous wife really did not like this boy so I just wondered. Obviously not reminding herself hmm.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 19:42:40

So trying to remind the 2 year old she doesn't like? Jeez hopefully she's not that bad.

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 19:57:53

No, not trying to say anything to the 2 year old at all.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 20:26:46

Who to then, the OP?

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 20:32:52

I think it is obvious in my original post on the subject.

Ledkr Fri 28-Jun-13 20:45:33

My dd is in a show tomorrow night and I only bought one ticket as dh will fall asleep needs to look after dd2 who would spoil the show if she came.
She's being an idiot if you ask me.
Dance moms are a bit weird.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 20:47:37

That just doesn't make any sense. By the sounds of the OP sees the child on a regular basis. Are you suggesting the ex is wanting the OP to attend, leaving her own child behind, to illustrate how important her partners first child is? That seems twisted to me clearly to the extent I have great difficulty comprehending it!

PrettyPaperweight Fri 28-Jun-13 21:16:54

missstrawberry I don't think you're far wrong there; this is a perfect opportunity for the OPs DPs ex to publically mark her territory - after all, he is the father of her DD who is starring in the show!

Some Mums would actually set their DCs stepmum up - invite her along to an event and then play the victim to her friends/other parents about how insensitive it was of her to turn up.
I don't think that's the case here; Mum is clearly marking her territory by dictating how her DCs stepmum should behave - playing the trump card of I'm the mother as a way of pulling rank, putting the OP in her place and reminding her that despite having a family with her ex, he is her ex, and therefore she had him before the OP!

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 21:23:30

How bizarre. Sometimes things make me realise the human race really hasn't evolved very far from our predecessors

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 21:26:38

<shakes hands with PrettyPaperweight>

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:44:06

It's horrible but I actually think missstrawberry and prettypaperweight are speaking sense here and there are people out there who behave like that. And you know, I do believe there is an element of this in DP's ex's attitude.

This whole marking her territory lark- its pathetic. DSD's mum doesn't seem bothered that the in laws aren't going. She hasn't once mentioned them. But when she learned about me not going, well, that was a whole different story. I'm the one that came along after her aren't I, and despite her not wanting him, she didn't want him to have anyone else. Then he fell for me and basically got over her. Now we have two children together as well as his daughter. The only thing that they have in common is that they have a daughter together.

So when she learned that I wasn't going, this riled her because she realise that she wouldn't be getting her big moment to prove to me that she "got in there first". It makes me laugh really, thinking I actually give a damn. Whether my children were born first or second for DP, they are still our children and we love them. This must bug her that not everything revolves around her daughter anymore.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:46:15

She is basically clutching at straws to prove a point.

MissStrawberry Fri 28-Jun-13 21:48:09

Maybe you could do a trial run to see what you need to give to your DS to keep him happy and quiet for 2 hours at this show?? (as long as you could leave sharpish so the child isn't distressed) wink

<remembers shovelling rice cakes into DS2's mouth aged about 2 at DS1's assembly in a vain attempt to keep him quiet.>

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:48:54

Oops, their daughter. Not her daughter!

mumandboys123 Fri 28-Jun-13 21:51:20

why, why, WHY??????

mother is happy to have step mother in child's life. Mother believes she is doing the 'right thing' by inviting step mother to child's dance recital. Step mother can't attend. Mother put out by this - rightly or wrongly - and expresses it. Step mother, egged on by god knows how many other step mothers, twists what to any sensible person is simply something where two people are somewhat at cross-purposes and not getting on, into something really quiet sinister involving hours of careful thought about just who is important and who isn't in the father's life. The father. What on earth has he got to do with it?

you do realise that you have constant conflict with the ex because you look for it, don't you?

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:52:45

Haha well my DS has taken quite a keen interest in the iPhone/ iPad MissStrawberry I am actually considering giving him that to play with you know. And the more I think about her wanting to prove a point to me, the more I want to prove a point that I have two children of my own that I want her to see. Hmmm, I am actually considering going now, but if DS gets upset and unsettled I will take him home.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 21:54:38

That's unfair, how was the OP to expect trouble from the ex for no attending her DSCs show? She didn't exactly ask for that hmm

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 21:58:22

Actually sod that, it's not a competition. She'd feel like she's got her own way! Can't believe I've actually just said that and gone against my own values. sad

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