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SM cut my childs hair - AIBU?

(107 Posts)
nicknamegame Mon 30-Sep-13 19:04:59

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. confused

nicknamegame Mon 30-Sep-13 19:18:50


BrokenSunglasses Mon 30-Sep-13 19:20:50

Yanbu. That would drive me bat shit crazy.

MissStrawberry Mon 30-Sep-13 19:23:36

SM is clearly going too far and she appears to be the one messing your child's head up. It is time to speak to your ex and ask him how he would feel if your partner/new lover was telling him stuff because "you aren't as good daddy."

BarbarianMum Mon 30-Sep-13 19:26:10

V difficult one. I guess you and her dad are going to have to agree who decides on haircuts. However many boundaries your dd's sm crosses if her dad is deciding it should be cut - well, he could just take her to the hairdresser's, couldn't he.

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 19:28:43

How is your relationship with your ex?

nicknamegame Mon 30-Sep-13 19:29:26

Things are awful between us though. We are literally not on speaking terms. He took me to court this year - think a pair of bullies and you have it about right with ex and his wife.

The only way I have been able to gain some semblance of mental health was to go NC unless absolutely necessary now (ie arranging pick ups etc). To enter into another phase of communication with either of them would be catastrophic. SM continues to text me on occasion even though I've requested NC from her ( her last contact was to say my child had lice and giving me instructions on how to treat myself and other family members)

BarbarianMum Mon 30-Sep-13 19:29:39

I think you should ignore such 'controlly' messages coming through your dd tbh -in your house you decide how you parent. If you want to wash something, do so.

I can see you're in a very difficult position but don't let her undermine your confidence. It's really clear from your post that you are a very caring mum.

HopeS01 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:32:28

YANBU! I would be FURIOUS! Poor you, OP shock
Speak to your ex, the haircut sounds like the tip of the iceberg!
Good luck x

thebody Mon 30-Sep-13 19:32:59

fucking cheeky cow. I would be livid. you need to have a meeting with your ex and agree boundaries.

you however have been wonderful in putting your child's needs first and restraining your anger.

however do tell your dd that noone is always right, even her sm.

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:33:13

YANBU. That would upset me greatly.

I've never been in your situation. But I used to get the 'nana does it better/nicer/faster' comments from DDs.

I think I would let dd know that there are more than one way to do any task, and while you might both do things differently that neither way is wrong, just different.

I think I would also be clear that is is your house, your rules. And that Dad/SM can have their own rules for their own house. I think your dd should be able to cope with that. From Playdates, etc, kids understand that different houses have different rules.
There are usually only a few key things that you should all be in agreement with. So many 'rules' are just the small stuff anyway.

I wouldn't let dd off with a comment regarding instructions not to was a certain piece of clothing! (Unless you have form for being a disaster with the washing machine.)

I would also be having words with ExH. I don't think SM should be issuing any instructions to be followed in your house. Cheek of her!

OHforDUCKScake Mon 30-Sep-13 19:34:21

Whats SM?

nicknamegame Mon 30-Sep-13 19:34:55

People always tell me to let it all go- that dd knows who her mum is and that when she is older, she can work it all out. I have listened and held on to that advice for years (mostly from MN and my own mum!) but honestly now- I'm losing faith in that belief. My dd defers to sm's knowledge- she questions me. If I ask her a question about sm in any way she gets defensive, tells me that sm has said she can/can't do xyz.

The dilemma I now have is that I could ignore all the overstepping stunts if I had faith that my dd would still know that I was her mum and trusted me to parent her. I no loner feel that way:/

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:37:37

And don't let them undermine your confidence. Practice thinking 'silly cow - here we go again' and then put it behind you immediately when you get one of those txts.

Think of her as an ould bossy boots who has to be in control. Think of it as her problem, not yours.

CailinDana Mon 30-Sep-13 19:39:00

What a nightmare. I think keeping quiet about it will acrually do more harm than good to your dd. Kids pick up on these things and I think you need to explain things to her in very simple terms, such as, sm and daddy do a good job of looking after you but I am your mummy and always will be. Sm sometimes says silly things about me like (examples) but only because she doesn't really know me. But you do know me better than anyone and you know I can wash your clothes etc. So if sm says anything about me you don't need to worry about it at all. Ok?

Nancy66 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:39:35

I know you don't get on with your ex and his new partner but you really have to sit down with them and set some rules.

The step mother overstepped the mark. Do you think there's even a chance she did it to rile you?

Don't let it impact on your relationship with your daughter. Kids say stupid things and know how to push your buttons.

Even couples who are together get the whole 'daddy is better than you, you're rubbish at this' thing.

You are her mother, she loves you and you need to focus on that.

parakeet Mon 30-Sep-13 19:40:09

I don't want to sound harsh, because it sounds like you're very upset, but to be honest, none of the examples you have given so far sound that bad to me. Maybe there are other things they have done that make them bullying or boundary-overstepping, but to me, this stuff isn't.

Why shouldn't her dad get to choose when she has a haircut? He could have taken her to the hairdressers, as another poster says, but with six-year-olds, it's very common to get a family member to do it. A text message to say she has lice doesn't sound that unreasonable to me, and passing on advice on how to get rid of it, well, meh, so what? So your daughter said you weren't supposed to wash an item of clothing? I would have laughed it off and slung it in the wash, saying something like "Dirty clothes go in the wash, in this house." Are you sure you're not building this up to be more than it has to be? None of it sounds worth getting desparately sad about, in my humble opinion.

gamerchick Mon 30-Sep-13 19:40:41

everything combined in what you've said I would go NUTS.. especially the don't tell on the phone thing.

I would be knocking on the door (I have done in the past with the exs wench) and telling them both in no uncertain terms the score.

with regards to the instructions.. I would simply say each time that 'i'm your mother.. not [insert name here].

I appreciate that you may not want to do the confrontation thing though.

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 30-Sep-13 19:41:41

I'd completely ignore any communication from this woman. It has fuck all to do with her how you look after your child in your home. If you want to wash your child's stuff (ffs!) in your house go ahead and do it. As for the message about lice treat tea te first line "DD has lice" and ignore the rest and treat it as you would do so anyway.

The haircut... Well I guess what's done is done hmm it will grow back. I certainly wouldn't dream of cutting someone else's kids hair (obviously tho your ex gets a day as he's her dad) especially if I wasn't a qualified hairdresser. I remember my own home haircuts from childhood with a feeling of horror and revulsion!

The SM sounds a sad pathetic control freak tbh. She wants to pretend she is top dog or whatever. You don't need to enter into battle with her. Your the mum (and a lovely one by the sound of it) not her. She's not all that important in the grand scheme of things. That said I'd be boiling with rage under the surface if anyone ever acted this way with me and my DC! Where do some people get off?

Yorkieaddict Mon 30-Sep-13 19:42:35

I think if it was the hair cut alone I wouldn't be too bothered. It sounds like that is just one of many many incidents though, and I can see why it is bothering you.

I think you are doing the right thing by not engaging with it. It sounds like you lack some confidence in your own parenting though, which SM is playing on. I would be saying to your DD that everyone does things differently, and just because SM does it one way, doesn't meant that your way of doing it is wrong. You don't need to tolerate being told how to do things by DD or SM. I agree thought that when she looks back as an adult your DD will see that you were the bigger person. The SM must be very insecure if she feels the need to try and use a child to get at you!

pigletmania Mon 30-Sep-13 19:43:26

The sm sounds awful, and is overstepping te boundaries and undermiming you, making you doubt yourself as a parent. Bloody hell ignore the cow, your dd mother not her, trowel her booming lice instructions in the bin. I am sorry no good advice bu really angry,
For you

MomOfTwoGirls2 Mon 30-Sep-13 19:43:46

I think you need to take a stronger line with your dd. Insist that you are mom, and you know what you are doing. In a nice way, but staying strong and calm.

I also think it is OK to tell your DD that she hurts your feelings when she speaks like that.

Again, I would stress that there always more than one way to do something. And that is even something you can show her in day to day things she does herself.

And that nobody is right all the time!

auntmargaret Mon 30-Sep-13 19:54:53

How old is your DD? The poor child, she must be very confused.

knickernicker Mon 30-Sep-13 19:55:08

I would keep a log of inappropriate conversations dad and stepmum are having with dd and get some advice on controlling their access to her.Its emotionally abusive to tell a 6 year old keep secrets from her mum. Do you go on any websites for single parents? I wonder if you could get some help with this. Otherwise they're going to step up the undermining.

LtEveDallas Mon 30-Sep-13 19:55:33

I am a SM and I once took DSD for a haircut that her mum went doolally about.

I did it because:
1. DSD wanted her hair cut.
2. DH wanted DSD to have her hair cut.
3. DSD teacher kept telling her she needed a haircut and it was upsetting DSD.

I posted about it on here and got absolute skinned by other posters because it 'wasn't my place to get her hair cut' 'I was overstepping my boundaries' 'I was a control freak' and so on. I'm not.

Funnily enough I also had an issue with nits that ended up with me giving DSD instructions about how to deal with them - instructions that she possibly may have passed on to her mother.

Two sides to every story and all that.

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