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Mother of my step-child causing upset.. help!

(4 Posts)
hiltontribe Tue 05-Jul-11 12:12:51

VERY long and complicated (and expensive) court battle to force consistent contact between SD (now 10 yrs old) and her mother which is now all in the past.
As a result of the court order my husband has residence & sole PR of his daughter. Her mother is 'supposed' to see her 3 out of 4 weekends, Fri-Sun. This hasn't happened for well over 2 yrs, due to both SD and her mum changing their minds about contact. This has lead to a real breakdown in their relationship, to the point where SD's mother says she doesn't feel like my SD is her child anymore! (she says she feels like she is babysitting for me and DH, rather than spending time with her own child)
SD's mother has now decided she will be moving away with her 3yr old son (no biological tie to my husband). She is planning to move about a 2 hour drive away. My SD recently went for one afternoon to see her mum, first time in 8 weeks she has seen or spoken to her mum (this was the choice of both SD and her mum, nothing to do with me or my DH stopping contact). SD has come back from her mum's saying she wants to re-start contact once her Mum moves 2 hours away! SD's mum does not drive/work etc and is planning to make a 6 hour round trip (using public transport so it will take ages) to collect her and have my SD for the weekend at her new house. SD says her mum has promised to do this every third weekend, which worries me due to the financial costs/burden this will place on SD's mum (the weekend travelling to collect my SD and deliver her back to our home town will be in excess of £80), bearing in mind that her reasons for not phoning my SD to speak to her regularly include no credit on phone (along with other gems such as saying my SD is 'not the most important thing on her mind' and that she has been 'too busy' to phone my SD or that she 'forgot'... oh yeah she's a charmer!)
I am trying to get DH to understand that SD's mum is making promises that she will more than likely break, which will casue even more upset. But DH doesn't seem to be listening to me! DH desperately wants his DD (my SD) to have a positive relationship with her mother, he really is a great guy and is not one of these absent fathers you so regularly hear about. Bless him, it breaks DH's heart that his DD (my SD) still pines for a relationship wioth her mum who has a very chaotic lifestyle when she has a stable loving family all around her.

Me and DH have a 5 yr old DD who is very intuative. She knows something is going on. My DD got very upset when my SD said to her that she wants to spend more tiome with her mum. SD spends a great deal of time complaining to extended family members that she does not feel part of our family (Which cuts me to the core) and when she has the opportunity for family time she refuses point blank and says she would rather be on her own. sad

Then to top is all off my MIL wades in and starts spouting that she will cut SD out of the will if we let her go to her mums! How cruel?! I don't understand how my MIL thinks we could ever live with ourselves if we refused to allow my SD to see her own mother.

I hope this very length post makes sense.
I don't expect anybody to be able to fix it, I don't think it will ever be a simple family situation but it just feels good to get everything off my chest.

All hugs and tea and sympathy will be greatly accepted... I think I sometimes feel like I give my all to my SD and I treat my SD and DD as similarly as I humanly can but my SD still pushes me away. If I get close to my SD (emotionally) she rund straight back to her mum, if I back off she complains that my DD is clearly the favourite... I can't win!

mummytime Tue 05-Jul-11 12:55:18

She's 10. Sorry but 10+ girls can be like this. One of my DDs feels that she is neglected and unloved unless we give her far more attention than her siblings.

You DH needs to speak very bluntly to his mother about her unhelpful remarks.

Although you can see it will all end in tears, you need to support your SDs desire to see her mother regularily, and help as much as you can. However also be there (non-judgementally) to pick up the pieces.

(Maybe read Tracey Beaker to get an idea of how someone can delude themselves about their mother, and also how adults can deal with this.)

Good luck!

ladydeedy Tue 05-Jul-11 13:20:42

I would go along with it and see what happens. You cant control your SD;s mum - she will make her own choices, sad as that outcome may be for your SD (as she has already learnt anyway, in fact).
Ignore your MIL - people threatening to cut other people out of their will is just ridiculous attention-seeking in my view - who cares? Let her say whatever she wants - sounds like a rather stupid woman imho!
I would do you what you can in terms of facilitating a relationship between your SD and her mum and be there to pick up the pieces if that doesnt work (as I think you know will be the case...). It's heartbreaking and I can see why you want to protect your SD but I think you have to step back on this one. Good luck!

hiltontribe Tue 05-Jul-11 15:39:16

Thank you to both of you.

I do know it will end in tears (again) but I still wish for the impossible; that my SD will want me as her mother.

I love her absolutely and unconditionally, but just wish she could see where I as coming from.
If that can't happen I wish I could see things from my SD's perspective so I could at the very least understand her decisions!

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