SM cut my childs hair - AIBU?(107 Posts)
I can't tell if I am or not.
Right now I feel like sobbing and have a lump in my throat. My dd can tell something is up and I'm annoyed at myself for not being better at hiding it from her. She thinks its lovely - and I've told her I think it is too, but in my initial shock, I asked her why her dad and sm hadn't told me they were going to do it - something that is beyond a 6yold and not her problem. I feel bad about that:/
It was long, (not hugely) and now it's shoulder length. SM did it at home. Things are very bad between us for loads of reasons (one being over-stepping of boundaries in my opinion). I spoke to dd last night while she was at her dads and she didn't mention it. I asked her today why she hadnt told me on the phone and she said her dad told her not to tell me. I am desperately sad that my child is being made to do such things. Not the life I had planned for her at all.
That aside, aibu? Do I say nothing? To be fair, I've cut dd's hair in the past without 'permission' per se, but did text beforehand to mention it and send photos of finished version. I found out when I picked her up from school.
SM makes a point of giving dd instructions that she must follow in my home - to the point that dd defers to her knowledge an awful lot. I feel dd no longer trusts me to parent her. (Think giving me instructions not to wash xyz piece of clothing as SM knows how to do it mummy and you dont)
I always ALWAYS let these things go as I don't want to mess my child's head up- but I honestly feel like my child sees SM as the one who she has to listen to. I don't know what to do.
(It was my complacency that had me standing back, not wanting to make waves for the kids, trying to keep the peace - which gave her all the space to march in and take what she wanted. She made it so clear what she wanted but it was so outlandish I didn't take her seriously. I wish I had gone to war when I could.)
Hear me right when I say this: I'm glad you're scared. imo you have something to be 'scared' about. This woman is stealing your daughter from right under your nose.
I hate to say this but I have the t-shirt on this. I also thought time would tell, that she couldn't do much damage in 4 hours every fortnight. Sadly, I was wrong. As I said above, please move quickly on this. Don't think anything is too petty - it is all very damaging. She is making her intentions crystal clear. yy ex is very probably feeding her a truckload of bullshit about you [also getting her to do his dirty work so his hands look clean - a favourite tactic of an abuser] but that's besides the point - she is carrying it out to the letter - and how
Move quickly OP. This is very damaging for your daughter as well as for you, of course. Nothing is too petty - get moving!
This woman sounds pretty toxic, is everything a good step parent is not! She is nt the girls mother, op is, dd only has one mum, op! She is undermiming op, and chipping away at her confidence. She is also gas lighting dd, messing with her head so tat she doubts her own mother. I believe all this is probably in aid of getting full custody of dd, which is nt working thank goodness. As little contact as possible, only with te girls father, teir is no need to seak to stepmother. And a whatever approach to stepmother is needed
There is no reason why she turners up at your dd events, it should be her dad! And arranges playdates with your friends . Tell your friends to not talk to her, and that they should contact you to arrange your dd playdates
Yes no contact, if you have to through ex and not sm, whatever she thinks she is not dd parent. There are some good suggestions of how to talk to dd with regards to sm, you are dd mum nt her!
Love MN, thank you all so much. Gonna do some love bombing on dd
The only way your DD will trust you to be her parent, is for you to trust yourself.
You are doing exactly what a caring, loving parent does, by trying not to hurt your child. But in this case, it's time to step up and be the Mum your dad needs.
Spend one to one time with dd each day (phone and TV off, do DD's choice of activity), lavish care and attention on her. And use humour to deflect sm's shit wherever possible 'she thinks Mummy can't wash clothes? Who does she think does the washing here, Cinderella? Haha.' 'Stepmum knows better than the Dr about your wart? Well, that's a bit silly isn't it? Hahah.' DD needs to know that it's okay not to believe the controlling bitch, but she also needs to not be responsible for your feelings.
It's hard, but you can change things. 10 days of a loving, caring relationship can stand up to 4 days of manipulative weirdness
Sorry I should have made that bit clear. The application was in ex's name but when we got the papers, she provided her contact details as the point of contact for the court - weird or what? All info from my sol went to ex's sol via her email address.
No experience myself but just wanted to say do keep a log/diary of all the kinds of things you've described, and talk to someone official (eg solicitor) about it, then continue keeping the log. Partly because it will back you up in the event of them trying to edge you out. But also because it will make you feel powerful, and every ridiculous/nasty thing she does will be "one for the diary" and you will feel better recording it and knowing you are collecting it.
Agree with all the others who've said be confident about your role in your own home with your own DD.
You would not look mental taking this to court over haircuts and shoes. You absolutely must screw this woman down by any and every means - she plans to take over your role (entirely) and push you right out. It means nothing to her that it's your dd who will be split down the middle.
I also can't agree that DD will 'see through this eventually'. this is wishful thinking imo. YOu have to get in quick and you have to get in decisively OP. Have you read Lundy Bancroft's 'When Dad Hurts Mom'? There is a chapter on the continuing abuse post divorce/separation. It may not speak directly to your situation but it helps to get the gist of what it is like for the kids to be manipulated, heart and mind, in this way. It is very serious and I really would do all you can to put a stop to this very damaging and manipulative behaviour. I hope you can see that, at 6, your daughter is already viewing you as an idiot (who can't even wash clothes). You must move on this. It is domestic abuse - in stereo.
Out of interest if the application was in SM's name how did you end up with her not being named on the residency bit?
Sorry shared residency is between ex and I. We also have a contact order so it all bollocks really.
China yes that's me
No she doesn't have PR <shudders>
I guess things have settled in their own way- mostly because I've gone NC. We literally don't break breath and although I think that must be awful for dd (she is largely shielded from it for now) she won't be blind to the Cold War forever, sadly. Not engaging with them really helps me though, which is why I know I can't bring up this new issue- it would kick it all off again.
Really feeling for you. I'd feel as you do. Accept your feelings rather than consider you're wrong. But maybe try to also give the benefit of the doubt to sm and consider it as a helpful way for her to show care for and give attention to your son. As long as he is happy with it, that's great.
Residency shared between whom, though nickname?
Has SM got PR? She will have automatically if she's named on the residency order.
I'm sorry things haven't got better for you (We've chatted before - think Mickey Mouse ) and I had hoped since the court order things would have settled.
On its own, the hair could be a genuine mistake on a SM part - in your case, no; definitely not.
I'm not sure why either it means bugger all in practise given that you also have the contact order.
For the record, I agreed to shared residency by consent at the last hearing. Ex and sm were whooping about that but not sure why really. It means nothing at all in terms of the access arrangements.
Your DD will see through SMs controlling behaviour eventually. It may take years. In the mean time make your relationship with DD as wonderful and close as possible.
In think your DD feels SM must be obeyed. SM obviously sets lots of firm boundaries.
So from now on talk and act like you are the solid steady parent and laugh off SM quotes from DD. if she says washing has to be done a specific way just laugh and say ' don't be daft in my house we do x and x'
I wouldn't mention the hair. I would ask your DD what hair style she wants and in a month or so text DH telling him DD's preference hair style wise.
Blatant, another lovely post. Thank you. It never actually got in front of the judge for the final hearing. Ex didn't submit one piece of evidence to support his slander- whereas I submitted over 20 pieces to refute it. My barrister said he was advised by his to avoid cross examination (in the face of so much evidence, I like to believe he would have looked very silly). In essence, the court thing was a circus, a waste of time designed to 'sort me out'. It didn't work.
Tasmania- I think it's probably easy to assume that I am the stereotypical step parent basher. This just isn't the case. I don't see my dd as a possession that I own or feel jealous of other people's love for her. I love the fact that other people care so deeply for her. She has siblings at her dads and I'm glad for her as she has none here. The thing is though, I don't believe that any stepparent needs to show love for child by undermining and slandering the actual parent. That can't work. My dd's sm doesn't just feel the need to control her own home, but mine as well. I believe any parent will rally against that.
I agree with you can't speak to your ex or the sm so concentrate on your relationship with dd and make sure you are both well wrapped up in a good relationship, do the girly treats and lovely things together and have a lot of fun and laughs. Dd and me often go for a coffee and cake on a friday after school - it is our time when we can chat and being out of the house we do talk to each other a lot more.
I would also agree on under minding this woman in a very gentle but broken record way
oh goodness sm is silly to think that - of course mummy can wash the clothing
oh goodness sm is silly thats not how mummy does it and then wink
you are a great mum as you care so much and no one will ever replace you as mum
Oh darling. You have been bullied and cowed into a corner by these people (at least that is what your posts sound like - yes there are 2 sides to every story but the examples here sound like it). All the insidious undermining is in the little things - the things that when taken in isolation sound ridiculous to any normal person, but when taken as a whole serve to undermine and erode ones confidence. And as you are a normal person it has eroded your confidence precisely because you look at these incidents and know they are 'silly' because you feel shitty because of it you label yourself as 'stupid' for feeling a perfectly natural and normal emotional reaction. [sorry pop pyschology from the armchair]
You cannot control or influence what they do but what you can do is change your reaction to it. Stop letting it erode your confidence as a parent. stop caring what they think. I have very little experience of step families (I have my own wicked step mother but she only entered the scene when i was already an adult) but there are basic rules with other people's children - you don't undermine their parenting being the main one.
You are in control. You are a fabulous mother and have an incredible amount of resilience to face all of it down as you have - and take the court result and cafcass as external validation of your parenting skills (if you need it).
I remember the thread about the playdates - it was the actions of an insane woman.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.