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!

SidneyBristow Mon 24-Jun-13 09:16:30

You don't have to justify yourself. What's best for your children is really none of her business. Why was she even told the reason you couldn't make it? Of course your children's well-being is your first priority; that's as it should be and anyone who has a problem with it is being completely unreasonable.

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 09:24:41

She was asking last night how many tickets DP needs and he said just the one as he is going, then she asked why I'm not going. So DP told her the truth (why should we hide the truth and make up some lie?) and then she started. After thinking about it this morning I'm not upset anymore but really really angry with her. Like I said, if it was DS1 who was performing and there was nobody to look after DS2 then only one of us would be going. angry But of course as a stepmum I am expected to make an exception!!

TakingTimeOut Mon 24-Jun-13 10:37:24

TBH I don't see the big issue about it. Her dad is there - if it was you going and dad couldn't make it I'd kind of understand the kick-up. But really?

You can't expect a 2 year-old to 'switch off' that's just not possible. How would she react if during the performance your DS plays up due to boredom?

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 10:53:15

Exactly. The main point she needs to remember is that her dad is going and that's that. Both of her parent's will be there and will enjoy watching their daughter. It isn't like my DP isn't going, he should go and support her!

My DS would do just that. He'd play up and get bored and I wouldn't see any of the show anyway through running around after him and trying to console and entertain him, which would probably annoy her and others too. Why should I put my son through that?

She thinks that I should go anyway with DSs and make that special effort to see her daughter perform. She doesn't want to see her daughter hurt (what parent does?!) and think I don't want to watch her, but I DO want to. It's just that in this case I HAVE to put my own children first as it isn't fair on them. And the next show as long as we don't have the same issue I will there! But I won't have her trying dictate like that for the next few years.

DonutForMyself Mon 24-Jun-13 11:20:17

As long as DSD knows that you'd really like to go, but don't want your little DSs to spoil the show for her by acting up, then that's all that matters. With school plays etc they usually ask if possible not to bring younger siblings as they can disrupt the performance, so you are doing entirely the right thing, not just for your DSs (who, lets face it, won't really appreciate the show and will just get bored of sitting still) but also for all the performers.

When I started to read your post I thought it was going to say that DSD's mum didn't want you there (that seems the more common response) so its actually quite nice that she wants you to attend and sees you as an important person in her DD's life. Perhaps she's more annoyed that the ILs aren't going either and feels sad for DD that there won't be many she knows in the audience, but they will be the two most important people, so she's lucky they can both be there. Perhaps you could suggest a little treat like all of you going out for a meal afterwards to show your support?

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 11:33:59

As well it's only 1 out of many many shows. I will be there at the majority of them in the years to come. I think DSD's mum needs to cut me some slack really and realise that I do want to go but can't. DSD knows I want to go, and knows I take an interest. I get her to show me what she's learned each week as I can't make it to her lessons. Sometimes she shows me sometimes she doesn't want to, but the fact is I take an interest.

I do think her mum is being a bit precious. DSD has never had a hobby before, never done a show before and it's the first one. All of her mum's family are going and DP, so there are plenty of people going to support her. Give it about 2 or 3 shows she won't be thinking twice if I can't attend. As long as DP is there it isn't an issue. But like I say I will try and make every one of them.

PrettyPaperweight Mon 24-Jun-13 14:52:46

No matter what reason there is for you not being able to go, it seems absolutely outrageous that your DSD mother is dictating what your involvement in her DD's life should be shock

It really does seem that Step-mums can't do right for wrong; it's almost as if we lose our own identity when we commit to a man who has children from a previous relationship - and no matter how we feel, what we think, or what we believe, we are expected to fulfil the expectations of our DSC parents/grandparents/friends/strangers at the expense of our own lives.

holiday - it's time you put yourself and your DC's first. So what if your DP's ex is giving him grief about you? That's not your concern; it's her problem, and if he is prepared to give her airtime and headspace, then he can seek support he needs from someone other than you.

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 15:38:33

Thankyou paperweight Donut and TakingTime

Paperweight, i know exactly what you mean. You do lose your identity. My thoughts were that as long as DP is there then it wouldn't matter if I can't make it. How wrong I was. Even after DP explaining to her that the same would apply to all 3 of the children she still said she thinks I should make the effort, basically disregarding my thoughts and feelings and the way DS1 would not enjoy it. She basically doesn't give a stuff that by me attending it would be at the detriment of DS1.

She really upset me last night, this expectation that I should just drop everything as soon as she says so outrageous! Like I said, she doesn't seem to like the fact that I can't go because of MY CHILDREN and is implying that I am putting them before DSD, but maliciously. I am putting them before DSD there's no denying that, but far from maliciously and more, I don't know... lovingly, because I don't want them to be uncomfortable.

At the beginning of our relationship we didn't have children together, so all school plays and swimming lessons, dancing had she done it back then etc.. were easy, but now DS is a boisterous, active, full of life little toddler who is not superhuman and can't suppress his typical toddler traits, it is much much more difficult, just as it would be if DSD was my own child and me and DP would need to manage the children between us so that they were all happy, and consequently one of us potentially missing seeing our child perform. She doesn't seem to like the fact that there are other children involved and that it complicates things, meaning I can't always drop my life commitments for her daughter.

needaholidaynow Mon 24-Jun-13 16:39:12

Oh and she said to my DP something along the lines of.. "She is your DAUGHTER, and X should be taking on a motherly role and coming to watch her with you. I bet she would be going if it was X."

angry <---- understatement!

bluebell8782 Tue 25-Jun-13 14:12:12

Wow - so strange hearing an ex say that rather than the usual 'You're not a parent - you shouldn't be going. You mean nothing to MY daughter blah blah..' Not nice for you OP at all - just find it odd that a mother is angry that you are NOT going!!

As long as you make it clear to your lovely SD that you want to go and explain why you can't that is all that matters.

needaholidaynow Tue 25-Jun-13 15:04:01

DSD really does understand why I'm not going. If anything she is very fortunate to have both of her parents going together to every show she does, as I will always be here to look after the children whilst DP goes to watc her. If this situation arises in the future when DS1 is doing something like this and someone needs to look after DS2, then unfortunately one of us will have to miss it. I'm not resentful about that at all, it is a reality that you need to work around your children, and when both parents are still together you don't have someone like myself to look after the younger ones so that both parents can go and watch their older child. Unless there is a babysitter on the scene!

DSD is very fortunate to have both of her parents there every time. Her mother needs to remember that instead of finding something to nit pick about.

bluebell8782 Tue 25-Jun-13 17:23:10

She is very lucky indeed, also very lucky to have you! As a regular adult in her life you are very important to her as well as her parents smile

needaholidaynow Tue 25-Jun-13 18:28:26

Well yeah that's very very true smile I know she looks up to me as a good role model. Not necessarily as a mother figure, but a good friend and a positive female figure. If people could agree with that instead of trying to force the, "You should see her as your own and be a second mother to her" thing on me then I would be much more relaxed in my role and maybe relax a bit more in general. I'm all for being in her life, i love her and care for her, but there need to be boundaries about what people expectations are of me smile

daisychain01 Thu 27-Jun-13 07:15:57

Just to concur with what has been said - you dont need to 'please' DSDs mother. The way I tend to approach these matters is to think "just get over yourself!" Complete mountain out of a molehill IMO. Totally agree that the normal scenario is "you are not the Mother, you are not important." That said, this situation is equally as frustrating and unhelpful. It will all blow over! Dont start bending over backwards trying to make amends, you have quite enough on your plate, than having to deal with trivia like this.

daisychain01 Thu 27-Jun-13 08:39:25

Btw just to clarify, I meant that your DSD's mother is making a mountain out of a molehill, you are rightfully upset by her making the fuss!

Jan45 Thu 27-Jun-13 16:45:55

Sorry but I can kind of see her point, and I'm assuming she's kicking up a fuss because the daughter is upset you are not going - why can't a toddler sit for 2 hours, especially if he is being entertained? So, whilst everyone is there watching the show, you are at home doing nothing - sorry, it sounds to me like in this instance, you should pehaps make a big effort to go along too and see the little girl perform, it sounds like a big thing to her and that's probably why the mum is kicking up such a storm about it.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 17:00:43

Jan, why should I make more of an effort for DSD's show than I would of it was DS1 performing and I needed to be at home looking after DS2 whilst DP goes? As a stepmum I won't show any special treatment just because her mum wants me to. Her mum doesn't know my DS1 at all, and what environments he is comfortable in and which he is not. Therefore she has no place telling me what to do with my child. If he will be frustrated and upset then I have to take that in to consideration. I'm sorry but she is being completely unreasonable even thinking I would ever make an exception just because she would do it differently. Not my problem if she disagrees.

Jan45 Thu 27-Jun-13 17:09:58

I don't understand why you can't go along with your children, I don't think you are showing special treatment in doing so. I can only imagine her mum is upset because the child is upset, if you had another engagement then fair enough but you don't, you're choosing not to go in case your toddler kicks up a fuss, sorry, I think you're making too much of this being uncomfortable for your son, why would it be, can't he behave for two hours in an environment where there will be other children just like him there? At the end of the day, it's up to you, we don't know you at all and you no doubt no what's best for you and your child, I'm just trying to fathom out why this is such a big deal and the only thing I can come up with is it's very important to this little girl, it's her first show and she wants you there.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 17:26:26

Maybe the other children there have parents who are on the same wavelength as DSD's mum? But equally so there will be others like me. I shouldn't have to explain myself to DSD's mum about any of my choices. DSD is ok with it, she understands that DS is very young and will end up running away and if I make him sit down he will get upset. She understands and is more excited about doing the show than dwellin on the fact that I won't be there. Her mum is (just stealing this phrase from daisychain) making a mountain out of a molehill.

It all boils down to her thinking I don't care about DSD and her not liking that that I am putting DS1's well being before DSD's show. If we had a babysitter I would be going and she knows this. If DS1 was older I would be going and she knows that too.

purpleroses Thu 27-Jun-13 17:46:58

Do you think maybe her mum is OK about you being in DSD's life, but rather jealous of your new DCs taking your energies and her dad's energies away from her?

Not defending her actions in the slightest - it's really none of her business whether you go or not and I think your reasons for not going are sound. But that may be where she's coming from - she may feel that her DD isn't getting the attention she used to now that it's being shared with two new DCs.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 17:52:46

That's exactly what I think it is purple. But it would be entirely different if DSD's siblings were her children. She wouldn't be jealous of the fact that her daughter would have to share her mum etc.. Before DS1 was born all of our lives did indeed revolve around DSD, but when DS1 was born life now revolves around both of them. The same would apply in a nuclear family, the attention will be shared.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 17:55:07

And because DS1 isn't hers, she has no feelings for him, so she feels threatened by him as she has no control over someone very much a part of her daughter's life.

dufflefluffle Thu 27-Jun-13 17:56:06

My DD is performing in her dance show next week and dh will not be able to make it - that's the way it is. Are we throwing tantrums??? Not a bit. I will record it (if I figure out how to) and DD will be fine too. Your DSD's Ma is mad!

dufflefluffle Thu 27-Jun-13 17:57:04

PS Would she love it if your baby or toddler kicked off throughout the performance grin

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:04:38

Duffle Exactly that's the way it goes. These things happen (or, in DSD's Mother's case, my DS "happened!" Lol) And I think her face would be as sour as grapes if my DS starting kicking off and ruining the whole illusion lol. I'm doing her a favour trust me! DS can have a right temper with a loud screech when he's unhappy!

stepmooster Thu 27-Jun-13 18:09:34

Hi Purpleroses, that was my thoughts exactly. Before our DD was born DSS was the 'baby' of both families. Now he is not the baby on our side anymore and the ex has accussed my DH of starting a new family to forget about the old one (completely forgetting DSS is a product of her Second marriage when she already had kids).

But in our case the ex doesn't care if I go to DSS end of year play just if DH didn't attend. DH is going and DD is at home with me for the exact same reasons as OP. So I'm not really sure what planet the OP's DP' ex is on?

CaptainSweatPants Thu 27-Jun-13 18:12:48

Well I'd go & if ds makes a fuss either you or dp could take him out

You said you wanted to see the show so why don't you try that?

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:20:47

I see your point Captain I really do, but what's going to be enjoyable about running out of the room, Sutton him back down, he has the tantrum of the century, runs away again, throws his juice across the room, I sit him back down again, he hits me in the face, shouts, disrupts everyone else and they could lose their patience and have a go, and by the time I've done all of that i didn't see the show? Sounds a bit daunting for DS1. When we went to Haven he didn't last 5 minutes at the shows, wasn't interested and wanted to run off or even worse, run on to the STAGE. Picture that happening at DSD's show: him trying to get on stage!

Honestly it's not even worth trying.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 18:24:19

After the first night (after literally those 5 minutes), we avoided the shows for the rest of the holiday. And me and DP knew after that night that he's just too young to do anything like that. He even hated the kiddy discos etc and tried to run out of the room to the arcades. Little terror!

PrettyPaperweight Thu 27-Jun-13 19:05:06

I'm just trying to fathom out why this is such a big deal and the only thing I can come up with is it's very important to this little girl, it's her first show and she wants you there.

jan I assume you're not familiar with step-parenting dynamics?

What the DC may, or may not, be feeling is frequently at the very bottom of an exW considerations!
Fathoming out why things are such a big deal for their DSC mum is a full time job for many Stepmums - why doesn't she want her DCs laundry to be done at Dads house, why can't her DCs say hello to their stepmum when they see her in the street, why can't stepmum go along to sports day?

What bloody difference does it make why the OP doesn't want to go? Would a grandparent be expected to go along to see a dance show if their DGC wanted them to, and told they were exaggerating if they explained they may not be able to sit for that long (aches, pains, weak bladder)? What about an aunt? Would toddler cousins be expected to sit through the dance performance because the DC wants their Auntie there?

Bollocks. This is yet another example of how Stepmums are expected to sacrifice their own lives, opinions, values and ethics in order to keep the mother if their DSC on side.
If that is what society expects then forget it - I'm certainly not cut out to be anything other than a WSM!!!!!

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 19:56:29

Paperweight You said that perfectly. That is precisely how I felt then other night.

I felt like as a stepmum my own values, opinions and my own commitments to my children just did not matter to DSD's mum. You made a good point about an aunt not going or a GP not going. Their reasons would be justified and would be accepted, yet as a stepmum I am expected my much of society to put my own reasons to one side and just "suck it up" Is my son expected to just suck it up too? He simply wouldn't understand as he only turned 2 in March! In a year or so I will be able to reason with him a bit more and he will understand that if he doesn't sit nicely he will be in trouble!

DSD's mum simply doesn't care or understand. To her, her main priority is her daughter (fair enough), but on the same note my priority is making sure that my children are happy too. If she had it her way then that means DS wouldn't be happy, so why would I put a grown woman's wants and expectations over my 2 year old son's. Oh, sorry I forgot, it's because she is my DP's ex and what she says goes, I am the stepmum, and my DS is the stepmum's child (together with DS2 we are second family) so he comes second, right?


ladydeedy Thu 27-Jun-13 21:24:15

Ignore the stupid woman and dont let it rile you.
there'll be other opportunities. Enjoy getting the full rundown from your DSD later.

needaholidaynow Thu 27-Jun-13 22:10:40

Thanks ladydeedy I refuse to suck up to her

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Thu 27-Jun-13 22:20:04

You can't win can you really - a Mum that is stropping because the step-mum isn't going... who'd have thought??

I would go with DS, then take him out if he can't sit still - IMO they need regular 'tries' at this before they can do it but because I wanted to go, not because of DH's ex.

She is being an idiot - best ignored.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 10:57:34

"can't he behave for two hours in an environment where there will be other children just like him there?"

A 2 year old? Are you serious? - "can't he behave for two hours" hmm. Yeah OP, why don't you just drug him up so he'll sit quietly to keep the ex happy.

2 year olds ruin many a school play/show - what's the point in bringing them to ruin it for the children performing/adults watching, make the toddler bored and miserable, just to keep the OP's partner's ex happy.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 12:47:19

Sounds ridiculous doesn't it allnew?
I do think she's threatened by him though. How I can't just drop everything for her convenience or to meet her values. Things aren't the same as they used to be and aren't as simple as they were before ds1 came along and I certainly won't have her say what I should be doing regarding DSD if it affects DS1. My time, attention, love, finances, priorities have to adjust and now I am a mother myself I have to BE a mother because who else will? If that means deciding to keep DS1 at home whilst DSD does her dance show then so be it. As much as it would have been nice for me to see her and trust me I really want to, my priority has to be my child being happy. I shouldn't make that my bottom priority because I am a SM. smile

Jan45 Fri 28-Jun-13 13:26:30

Ok, before anyone else blasts me for not having the brain to work out what a stepmum is all about, I've been there and wore the t-shirt. If the OP cannot take her toddler to a show that is so important it is causing friction between both families and upsetting the little girl then fine, her choice of course. Personally, I wouldn't let my badly behaved toddler stop me from going, in that case, you'd never go anywhere that involved sitting for more than an hour or so, surely if your child plays up you can take him outside for a bit, we've all been there, sometimes toddlers have to learn to suffer the boredom! Prettypayperweight: no need to patronise me because you don't agree with my opinion. If the OP really means she wants to see the show, the only thing stopping her is her toddler's behavour - looks more to me like you actually don't really want to go and perhaps the mum is thinking the same.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 13:36:16

No Jan, I do want to go. My reasons aren't any less valid than if it was work commitments, I end up ill on the day, I'm meeting a friend etc... It's just because my reason happens to involve my child that she is kicking up a fuss!

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 13:43:28

"badly behaved toddler", "the only thing stopping her is her toddler's behavour".

FGS the child is 2 years old. A bored/fidgeting 2 year old has got nothing to do with bad behaviour. Good god.

SidneyBristow Fri 28-Jun-13 13:52:00

Even if she just flat out does not want to go, and is using her toddler as an excuse - what business is it of the DSD's mum?

Is the OP allowed to review the DSD's mum's diary and weigh in on whether her reasons are "valid" for going/not going to events?

Personally OP I still think you never owed an explanation and your DH was wrong to give one. The only answer should've been "Needaholiday can't go; hopefully she'll be able to make the next one; DD is fine with it and understands" - end of. Once she started in with her opinions, your DH should've said something along the lines of "your opinion is noted" and changed the topic.

It's ironic how so often on MN you read "No is a complete sentence." Why doesn't that apply here?

Jan45 Fri 28-Jun-13 14:46:41

All toddlers can be badly behaved, I'm not singleing out one child, you all need to chill out a bit and respect other people's opinions whether you agree or not. If you don't want opinions, don't post.

This is my last bit of input here as clearly if I don't back up what is said then I'm talking mince, nice to see folk seeing two sides to every story.

OP, you must do what you think is right, you asked, I gave my opinion, I can't help it if you think it's wrong, I still stand by it, it appears to me to be a very lame excuse on this little girl, it's nothing to do with the mum.

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 14:55:32

I will make no bones about disagreeing with anyone who labels a 2 year old badly behaved just because his or her mother is reluctant to make them sit still and quiet for 2 hours

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 15:14:36

Actually it's got everything to do with her mum. She is the one kicking up the fuss when I actually thought my reasons were perfectly acceptable and nothing more would be said of it.

You think its a lame excuse and that's your opinion. You also don't know my DS, just like DSD's mum doesn't. She knows naff all about his personality and his likes and dislikes, and where he feels comfortable/ uncomfortable. Granted nobody on here does either, but they still respect my reasoning as I know what is right for DS. She basically doesn't give a stuff.

If I was working and couldn't book the day off I wouldn't pull a sicky, if I had arranged to meet a friend from down south months ago I would not change my plans, if I was ill I know I wouldn't be able to stay in bed but I wouldn't be going out if it made me feel worse. If I have a 2 year old I'm not going to take him and make him sit down for 2 hours and it be a horrific experience for him.

Can you see any difference at all? These all sound like very reasonable "excuses". Mine just so happens to be the latter one and this is what DSD's mum can't stand.

PrettyPaperweight Fri 28-Jun-13 15:31:17

jan Assuming your still reading, I think you are quite right. The OP doesn't need an excuse to say no, she doesn't want to go. She has the right as an independent human being to say that.
And you know what? It's a parents job to teach and support their DCs to learn that lesson if they are disappointed.
Only in this case, the DCs mum doesn't want to parent her child, she wants to control the actions of others so that she doesn't have to parent.

Parents cannot control the environment their DCs experience - good parents teach their children how to deal with life, lazy parents expect others to deliver the environment they want their DC to experience.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:01:59

I Might have been a bit unclear in my last post. Thinking about it, my reason is much much more valid than any of the other reasons. If my DP was to go and watch his daughter, I would be staying off work for childcare reasons, and I would re arrange with a friend for child care reasons, unless she fancied coming to mine or we went out somewhere for the children, If it was DS1 performing I would do the same in order to look after DS2. Usually babysitters are easy, my dad is 9 times out of 10 available, but on this occasion he's away on holiday, so it's tough luck. If I did have a babysitter and I had to work I would have to go to work. Life is shit and as paperweight said we all need to experience disappointment. But the only reason I would ever get off work is to look after the kids! If I have explained that as well as it is going through my head then you probably get my point.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:04:50

But it is all hypothetical because I'm on mat leave and I only work Monday to Friday! So it doesn't apply to me smile One less complication because my weekends are always free.

50shadesofvomit Fri 28-Jun-13 16:05:44

Its probably been suggested but you should have said that you weren't going because ds1 would spoil the show by being restless.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 16:25:33

50shades that is basically what DP told his ex but she wasn't happy about it

twinkletwinkle9 Fri 28-Jun-13 16:59:55

I completely sympathise. My DS was very difficult as a toddler, would not sit still for even a minute. Just waiting in the GP's waiting room for 10 minutes was stressful.
If you went to the show you're going to end up hardly seeing any of the show, you'll be stressed, your DS will be bored (therefore get up to more mischief), the people sat around you will get annoyed, you'll get even more stressed.
You'll get plenty of opportunities in the future to see her dance. Deep breath and let her BS go over your head.
I've had similar things off DP's ex but one minute it's a case of "she should be treating her DSC like her own", the next minute it's: "I'm not having her playing mum to my kids". FFS you can't bloody win!

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

allnewtaketwo Fri 28-Jun-13 22:02:33

OP, think of it this way...for her to be this bitter and twisted she must be very unhappy with her life. I think of this when DSSs' mother is being evil.

needaholidaynow Fri 28-Jun-13 22:16:10

True true. I've got to say that usually we all get on and everything is amicable. This is why it took me so aback when she actually kicked off. She's had her moments in the past. It just struck me as a bit odd that she only had a go about me not attending yet didn't mention anything about DSD's paternal GPs not going and then decided to throw the emotional blackmail in, trying to make me go down the guilt trip to try and get me to change my mind. Well that's what it felt like anyway.

daisychain01 Fri 28-Jun-13 22:16:24

Nice one :-) I'm enjoying a nice vino * hic *

PrettyPaperweight Sat 29-Jun-13 07:21:52

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

......why,why, why?

Stepmum is happy to play an active role in stepdaughters life. Stepmum (rightly or wrongly) thinks she's doing the right thing by declining invitation to daughters dance recital. Mum put out by this and has a go at her exH about it.
You do realise that there is conflict between ex partners because Mum is looking for it, don't you?

daisychain01 Sat 29-Jun-13 08:12:12

Prettpaperweight, it is a shame you appear to be stirring negativity a bit too much. OP has given some further helpful insight to her original post saying that in general terms they all get on, and yes she is upset by this latest situation and needs to move things forward I sense that needaholiday needs support but not in the way you are doing! your latest post is contining to take the contrary view by responding negatively to mumsandboys (who aimed to illustrate there could be a different explanation, given OP and DSDs mum do normally get along reasonably) Having read your latest post it comes across as perpetuating bad feeling rather than suggesting to needaholiday to step away from things and detach, for her own peace of mind, rather than keep going on and on. Do you really feel you are helping the situation or making things worse?

emilyeggs Sat 29-Jun-13 08:23:39

Bravo prettypaper! I'm still gutted about sports day, never mind. I also got told not to wash dsc clothes once (that's in the past now) grin

PrettyPaperweight Sat 29-Jun-13 09:50:03

Do you really feel you are helping the situation or making things worse?

Of course I think I'm helping - but perhaps I don't think you are? Taking the moral high ground can be soul (and relationship) destroying over time - sometimes fighting fire with fire can be more effective.
Surely it's up to the OP to decide for herself which approach to take - and maybe we won't all agree with her wink

daisychain01 Sat 29-Jun-13 20:00:52

Sure the OP is able to make her mind up, as I am sure she will. On that we can definitely agree. I am sure we have her best interests at heart whatever approach we choose to use.

needaholidaynow Sun 30-Jun-13 13:09:30

Just seen DP's ticket for the show, and it starts at 4:30pm.

My DS refuses to nap on most days. Some days by around this time he gets really cranky, depends how he is feeling, and will want to go to bed by 6. It is a phase he is going through at the moment; hates napping during the day so by late afternoon he has a little meltdown lol. It'll pass.

I thought the show was at around 1ish! Even more reason for him not to be there an therefore me not to go.

Dejected Sun 30-Jun-13 17:30:39

You will never be right in this situation unfortunately so do what is best for you, your DH and your children (including DSD). Sod everyone else.

Tuckshop Mon 01-Jul-13 08:41:52

If you usually get on why don't you just ring her and explain? You haven't actually heard from the horses mouth how she feels, you just have your dp's interpretation. Like you say, it doesn't seem to make sense in the context of your previous relationship with her.

I think I'd be speaking to her direct before I started to get caught up in the whole she's just doing this to give herself an opportunity to point score thing.

psychologymum Mon 01-Jul-13 10:13:18

You can only do your best. Don't worry about what DSD's mum thinks or says. It sounds like you have made the right decision.

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