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The mask slips on the stepmother

(69 Posts)
Aimc1970 Tue 08-Oct-13 19:53:37

My daughter 13 has been visiting her dad every 2nd weekend for the last 6 years. At first his new girlfriend was great and done girlie things with her but now they have a sin my daughter is feeling pushed out and each time she comes home from his she is telling me how the now fiancé treats her and threatens her with telling her dad everything. Making snide comments like N what is for dinner ? Answer. - none of your business and whatever it is you will like it as you are having nothing else. Another one when she turns up to collect her on fri. When I'm at work She sits in the car and lets my daughter struggle with bag of clothes school bag for Monday and her cello.

The dad works most weekends so is not there so I feel that N resents my daughter being there as she "wants to enjoy her weekend"
There is lots if other examples so I really don't want to send her and she doesn't want to go but I have to work late on Friday night. Saturdays and Sundays.

Can someone please help with some friendly advice as I could confront him but he always just gets angry shouts and doesn't listen

Please help

NotYoMomma Wed 09-Oct-13 14:11:27

so she has been a solid in your dcs life for over 6 years
has a young child
is left alone while you all work

and you take a couple of totally reasonable comments to be 'the mask slipping?'

that implies you have just been waiting for any little episode to pounce on you realise? it is grossly unfair on the sm!

tell yourself and dd to get some perspective (and possibly a grip) - dont encourage tattletales as you of course will only get one side of the story and to will be 100% pro dd the innocent only enquiring as to what was for tea and against the sm

Eliza22 Thu 10-Oct-13 08:20:30

If your ex is at work and therefore not doing his "access", why do you let your daughter go? When my ex isn't available to look after ds, he skips a weekend.

You and your ex have to sit down and discuss how (with all the work commitments) he is going to accommodate his daughter. Yes, the stepmum has been in her life for 6 years but, the fact that she has a young baby and her partner disappears and she is the childcare really isn't on!

If your EX cannot step up then you have to look at either different shifts or, some other child care arrangement for when you want to go to work. I am an ex nursing sister. I worked nights for years but I couldn't do it when my ex left. I had to fit in days shifts "as and when". That was just how it was and I would never have asked my ex's partner to step in.

WaitMonkey Thu 10-Oct-13 11:04:49

op are you coming back ?

racmun Thu 10-Oct-13 11:22:59

I think the step mum is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't. I'm sure you say things to your daughter that she doesn't like!

With regard to the dinner comment you don't know what had been said/gone on before. Children can be very selective as to what they report back. Tbh my mum would say similar comments to me as the step mum did to your daughter and I agree that if you don't eat your dinner you don't get anything else not should a special meal be cooked.

Also leaving her to struggle out of school? Presumably she's got the baby in the car, so she's got to faff around getting car seat out etc. I don't know many 13 year olds who get help to carry their bags Maybe the cello can be left at school until Monday?

I also don't understand why the step mum has your daughter all weekend. In her situation I would (and have with regards to ss) say that I'm not prepared to be used as free childcare and you and your ex will have to make alternative arrangements.

TheWinterOne Thu 10-Oct-13 11:55:36

I'm guessing when your daughter is struggling with her stuff that you are not there? SM does the picking up for your DD to see her father. What time does she get picked up? Why is SM picking her up each week? Is it because dad is already in work?

How much time does dad actually spend with his daughter during the weekend?

I may be slated for saying this but your DD is the responsibility of you and your ex. I say fair pay on SM being so hands on with your daughter. Willing to care for her while you are both at work and do pick ups. But if she's been doing it for six years with no change in arrangements I can see why she might be a bit resentful of the situation not your DD.

Have you thought maybe DD doesn't want to go because she senses the tension of the situation? Seems like SM is delegated with the responsibility of your child every weekend. If she's not seeing much of her dad - what is the point of the weekend access.

Your DD is obviously not happy with the situation either so other arrangements need to be made.

MerryMarigold Thu 10-Oct-13 11:59:15

The 3 things that stood out to me were:

- Why is your dd going there if her Dad is at work? Can't they arrange a time when he is at home for her to go round, for dinner in evening or whatever.
- What do you do about work on the weekends when she is home?
- Perhaps the evil stepmother stays in the car, because her baby is in it. If she took baby out, she'd have a carseat and then wouldn't be much help to your dd anyway.

Eliza22 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:20:32

The more I read of this....the more it rattles me.

This is your child, you and your ex. This SM has been doing the "job" for 6 years!?! I'd be pretty hacked off myself and now, she has a young baby of her own and you and your daughter are not happy that this woman isn't carrying daughter's stuff and providing ^ suitable^ food while you and your ex aren't there!

Please. Sort yourself out.

Eliza22 Thu 10-Oct-13 13:22:01

Poor woman! I think under the circumstances, SM's done well to hold onto that "mask" until now.

Bonsoir Thu 10-Oct-13 14:36:27

I'm not surprised your DD's stepmother is pissed off if she is caring for your DD every weekend while both her parents work!

mynewpassion Thu 10-Oct-13 15:50:01

Its not her problem that the ex is working on his ACCESS weekends instead of spending it with their daughter. The SM needs to take it up with her DH, not the OP. Also, the OP should not have to curb tail her working hours so that she can satisfy her ex and SM's need to not care for the daughter.

The OP takes care of child care when it is her time. The ex and SM need to work out a solution to take care of child care when it is his time.

Dontlaugh Thu 10-Oct-13 16:01:58

Mynrepassion, HOW on earth can sorting childcare be the role of the SM?

TheWinterOne Thu 10-Oct-13 16:08:28

Actually I think you're wrong Mynew. It's not the SM's responsibility. It's up to both parents to come to an arrangement between the two of them about childcare when the current situation clearly isn't working.

Daughter in question is the responsibility of the ex and OP not SM so it is up to them to come up with something that suits all.

mynewpassion Thu 10-Oct-13 16:26:31

Fine. The ex needs to find child care when it is his time, not the OP. The SM can offer an opinion.

horsehatred Thu 10-Oct-13 16:39:38

I would feckin' HATE having somebody else's kid around at all, let alone be expected to look after them by myself. I would find it extremely hard to be civil in that scenario so I sympathise with this woman.

Get your kid out of this arrangement (the SM isn't free childcare!) and if the dad ain't happy, well he can put some bloody effort into sorting things out so he sees his daughter properly.

daftgeranium Thu 10-Oct-13 17:26:07

I agree with the comments that look at things from the stepmother's perspective, it seems to me that the two biological parents aren't taking their responsibility for the daughter seriously and are landing it all on the long-suffering stepmum, who after all shouldn't have to do this stuff. Particularly the father needs to get things in better order and show some respect for his partner.

I find the title of this thread really offensive to stepmothers in general. What 'mask' ffs? Is this Snow White? OP, you need to change your attitude. This is a real woman with real feelings who didn't ask for a 13-year-old to be part of her relationship, and she has been spending a lot of time looking after YOUR child. Perhaps you should be grateful?

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 10-Oct-13 17:50:57

I find the title of this thread really offensive to stepmothers in general

Stepmothers generally develop fairly thick skins - that kind of attitude and comment is fairly typical of even the most benign Stepmums life hmm

I'm sure the OPs DD is aware of her Mums feelings towards stepmum, dad and her half-brother and that is no doubt influencing the DDs emotions about being in her Dads home. Factor in the teen attitude and frankly, I'm impressed with Stepmums tolerance, tbh - I'd have told her to walk/get the bus - not been acting as taxi only to have my efforts thrown back in my face.

Ungrateful parents lead to unhappy stepparents in my experience.

Tuckshop Thu 10-Oct-13 18:17:16

I agree with new passion. If he has to work when he has care of his child he needs to arrange childcare or negotiate a different arrangement for contact. Perhaps he thinks its ok for his partner to have her. If the girlfriend isn't ok with this it's down to them to sort it out - not for the OP!

She's said that bringing it up would lead to him being angry. Perhaps he's the sort to insist on contact whether he is there it not, or who would drag her through court to get it, then palm off the care onto his partner. We don't know and the op seems to have disappeared.

The issue though is over the SM and the dd's relationship. It could be embellishment or the dd playing you off against each other. It might not be. What I did OP - if you are still reading - when xh's gf was being vile to dd was stop any contact when she was going to be alone with the gf. It forced xh to talk to me and dd about things as demanded to know why. He hadnt listened to me until that point (despite admitting that his gf was jealous of dd).

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Oct-13 18:34:53

"Childcare" doesn't really apply for a 14yo. It's all very well saying he has to sort something out as its "his access time" but this is not a small child needing looked after and the child is clearly not happy with the arrangement anyway. What parent would insist on a scenario that their child us unhappy with, just because its the fathers "access time" and therefore his problem.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 10-Oct-13 18:38:08

tuckshop It may well be the case that Dad in this case is taking advantage of his DP and expects to be able to delegate parenting his DD, but it's clear that the OP shares that view - which is what the replies are challenging.

Dad may be expecting stepmum to collect his DD for contact, but it's Mum who is complaining that stepmum isn't acting as porter as well as taxi driver when she does this.
Dad may well insist that stepmum cares for his DD while he's at work, but it's mum who is complaining about the fact that Stepmum reports back to Dad when DD plays up.
It's mum who is complaining that stepmum doesn't willingly give up her weekends in order to care for the daughter - we don't know if Dad is insisting or not.

Yes, Dad may well has created the situation which may prevent the OP from working her shift pattern, but the OP is pointing the finger of blame at stepmum; who is the only adult of the three with no responsibility towards this child.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 10-Oct-13 18:53:13

What parent would insist on a scenario that their child us unhappy with, just because its the fathers "access time" and therefore his problem.

One who views 'contact' as an opportunity to work while avoiding childcare costs.
The OP says it herself - I really don't want to send her but I have to work.

I'm not unsympathetic to that, but equally, I have (in the past) changed my working hours/job in order to remove my DD from a nursery, and later an after school club, where she was unhappy.

At present, contact with Dad is linked to Mum working in this DDs mind. Who/what will DD begin to resent if Mum insists that contact continues despite DDs unwillingness?

needaholidaynow Thu 10-Oct-13 20:05:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theothermrssoos Thu 10-Oct-13 20:21:16

@needaholidaynow - I don't want to hijack the thread but this 19 year old has caused so many problems. Ex not seeing the kids because "we want to go out this weekend." Sodding off on a fortnights holiday abroad and not paying his Child Support because he needs the money "to spend on holiday." To name just two of the things that have made my blood boil in the last year. She cant stand the girls. Doesnt want to share my ex with his kids (and he sees them very little, 3 nights a month if they're lucky, and mostly he sods off out with her and leaves his parents to babysit, as thats where hes been living for the last 2.5 years)

I know step parent relationships are complicated. My Dads on his 3rd wife. (2nd wife was horror bag, his first wife was my mum, the less said about her the better) I don't speak to my Mum but I do speak to her 2nd husband who was in my life for 20 years (so much so that he attended my wedding this year and she did not.) And my kids call him Grandad 2.

I've got step parents and now I am a step parent. I've had a terrible SM and a fantastic SM.

allnewtaketwo Thu 10-Oct-13 20:27:44

What 19yo? confused

theothermrssoos Thu 10-Oct-13 20:32:39

@allnew - don't want to hijack, was just responding to @needaholidaynows comment about my post. was basically saying be grateful her ex has a partner willing to look after her kid, cos my ex is currently with a 19yo who cant stand my kids and causes a ridiculous amount of problems.

ChinaCupsandSaucers Thu 10-Oct-13 20:37:27

Am I right in assuming that stepmum is the 19 year old?

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