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OW is wearing jewellery with the initials of MY children on it. Freakishly overstepping the mark, or touchingly nice gesture of her love for them?(73 Posts)
Just noticed this weekend, on collection of my two pre-schoolers from their dad's house, that the OW is now sporting a new piece of jewellery... presumably a gift from STBXH. It contains the initials of both her own child, and my two children.
To put into historical perspective... STBXH left me two years ago to be with OW and has recently confessed that they were indeed together for 6-8 months prior to that (although i suspect possiby even longer). So she has been in my children's lives since they were tiny, certainly since the youngest was still considered a baby.
After a turbulent first year of our split, I have worked really hard to try and keep things civil and nice for the sake of the children, and have accepted OWs place in their lives (albeit begrudgingly). I know she is very close to them, and in the logical part of my brain I know that if they sadly can't be with me ALL the time then far better they are with someone who accepts them and loves them as part of her family as much as she does her own child.....
And yet... and yet... there's another part of my brain screaming out that how DARE she walk around with their initials on her jewellery like they are actually her family. It feels like STBXH is gradually writing me out of history and creating this brand new 'family' with her where she has stepped into my shoes. Oh god, it sounds so petty written down....
I'm sure the jewellery would have been bought for her for Christmas (I didn't notice it before today) so it's not even her fault... I doubt she chose it. But I can't work out my feelings over it.... on the one hand I'm pleased she's showing such a loving gesture of acceptance of my kids (my new partner has children too, so I'm aware of the trials and stresses of blended families only too well), but the other part of me feels repulsed that's she's wearing their names round her neck like some sort of claiming ownership move. I don't mind her taking my STBXH off my hands now I've got used to the idea, but ill happily fight her to the death if I feel she's slotting herself into "mummy" roles with them. Gah. Someone talk some sense to me.... what's the right way to view this situation?? Anyone with experience of blended families got anything positive to say about it?
Well, I think you're right in one sense. Your ex is creating a new family, and so are you. It's not a question of airbrushing so much as it is adapting.
I know I would find it upsetting in your shoes as well, but I don't think it's being done to hurt you, and I don't think it threatens your own relationship with your children. She could have got a necklace with only the initials of her own child, I wonder how that would have made your dc feel when they were there?
I would try not to dwell on it. Maybe think about doing something of your own that celebrates your children (and step-children?) - not something as obvious as a necklace of initials but maybe something else?
I'd hate it too, but then I have issues with someone else caring for my children at all, so to me it would be a particularly horrible part of a wider picture.
I know we're not meant to stand in the way of this stuff but it is like writing you out of history.
You could try getting one the same and wearing that. With her children's intitials on it.
I don't know - that's not a serious suggestion btw. But I'd find it very hard to deal with.
The grown up in me is saying that it's good that she's accepting them etc. But I would absolutely hate it too. There's no way you could be written out of your wee ones lives, you're their Mum.
But it's horrible, I really feel for you
If she is looking after them for any length of time in step mum capacity I think it's is nice gesture. He could hardly buy her necklace with just two of the children on that would be like saying you don't care/love/count in the lives of my child (whom you look after).
Do understand the shock and ewwww feelings though.
Very, very tricky.
Two years feels very soon. If it was the OW in my situation I'd want to rip it from her and stamp on it. On the other hand, thinking about my own DSC (I wasn't an OW though), I can imagine they'd be sad if I had a piece of jewellery with everyone's initials on but not theirs.
SMs who try and do the happy families, new mummy thing usually end up in a mess IMO. The children don't want a new mummy.
I think it would be better not to have a necklace like that at all tbh. It's hardly necessary is it? It sounds like s/he's rubbing your face in it a bit.
But I might be wrong - how is the dynamic generally?
It woulnt work for the OP to have her children on necklacw because she dosnt spend any time with them/look after them
I have a necklace with my dsd name as well as my own children on it. I devote every weekend to Dsd and have done for 12 years now. I may not have given birth to her but I do help raise her and care for her and that's a choice I made when I married her dad and a responsibility I take very seriously. Thankfully in my case her mum understands this too
I'm a second wife (not a OW) with two stepchildren and it would never occur to me to do this, and I would have thought less of my DH if he'd suggested it or bought such an item for me. There are many other ways I can show them that I consider them part of my family and that I care for them without doing something that feels like trying to lay claim to them.
Ooh good god. TBH I'd be both gut churningly horrified and then probably also relieved that she feels they are part of her family. These are feelings. They are what they are. They aren't wrong.
for you snd well done for doing a great job of facilitating the best possible outcome for your dc.
And think of it from their point of view - they're in bugger-all doubt as to who is their mummy.
More for you.
I mean I think it's tokenistic. I don't wear anything with people's names on - and I tend to think that the more outward signs of love, eg tattoos on neck, obvious jewellery - the more it's needed to make up for something that's lacking underneath.
Not always, for sure - of course sometimes it's just a lovely thing - but why, oh, why does she need to do this? It's like she has something to prove (or he does)
Thanks for all your comments. It's good to know I'm not being a complete ogre in feeling odd about it... but it's nice to have some perspective on looking at it from the other viewpoint too.
Hadn't thought about how my children would feel if her necklace only had HER child's name on it tribpot, that's an interesting concept. Not least because I have always worn a necklace with my children's names on, but I'd not given any thought to how the children of my new fella might feel about not being included on that (it's obviously not as pertinent since I've had the necklace since long before I knew them, but it's food for thought about at what point - if at all - I would feel ready to add their names to my own jewellery. It's certainly food for thought)
I am a step mum and I can imagine dh buying me something similar as he wouldn't want his dd's to feel left out. I would wear it so they felt included, so as not to differentiate too much between the dc. I wouldn't buy myself something like that though.
I do consider them family, but still very aware I am not their mother and see my role more like an aunty I think. I would never want to step on their dm's toes and try hard to always think of her feelings about things too. You will always be their dm, no matter who or what comes along, no one else can take that special role.
You have my total respect for putting all of the ow issues aside, it can't have been easy at all.
Sorry if that came across wrong. I don't think everyone who wears such jewellery is trying to prove something.
But some people are.
I know I'm here for my children, but other people don't need to be told by my wearing something that says so - if I started wearing stuff with their names on I think they would get a bit worried.
I can see both sides.
It's horrible to see, but on the other side it's lovely to know your children are loved when they are there?
ExH and his fiancé have Christmas decs etc with my children's names. Hurt when I saw them. They Are MY Children. But actually love that their step mum does stuff for them like that.
And I class my DPs son as my step son, and everything now includes him. It might look like we are playing happy families, but tbh he is part of my family now.
Ah I don't know. I can see both sides. Hope you're ok OP
The point is though you personal do not see spend any time with look after the OW children. So you can't possible compare adding them to a necklace you have. To her doing the same. Even if she only sees them every other weekend she's still spending hundreds of hours a year caring for your kids.
Majorly overstepping the mark.
Would your DP perhaps consider getting tattoos of your children's names somewhere visible so your ex can see them
I think it's nice.... Sometimes step mums can be just as important as real mums. Especially as you get older
Sorry Akire, wasn't clear in my post.... I meant I would give thought to adding the names of MY new partners children to my jewellery (or not, since I'm not sure I feel it's right). I am also now in a /tentatively fairly new/ relationship with someone who has two children as well.... so I can see this situation from both sides of the "step-parenting" coin as it were.
Yes, the OW does love your children - she loves them so much she had an affair with their dad when they were babies and encouraged him to leave. That's true love. That's what I'd be saying to her.
I can see all the reasons why it might be a good thing and I would try not to let it bother me, not make a fuss to the DCs feel bad etc etc etc but it would upset me very deeply indeed. I'd hate it so much on a very deep and visceral level.
And btw why would your children think anything at all if they saw only her children's initials there? They know she's not their mum so why would she have their initials? It would be different if their dad only had his children from that relationship's initials on a chain, but his girlfriend? It wouldn't be something they'd give a second thought to.
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