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WTF do SMs/new partners want?

(48 Posts)
workingmumsarebad Fri 06-Jan-17 17:28:55

You frequently read on here that the second family are put upon for childcare / have to pay too much to the EX for child maintenance/ the EX does not work / if the EX works expecting the other parent to provide childcare appropriately / reducing maintenance if they are looking after the kids during holidays etc etc.

So what do the second family want?
( other than the EX and the children to drop off the face of the planet!)

I am being roundly castigated for working and providing for my DCs. Went back to work at 8 months after first and 8 months after second. Initially did 2 days per week - with DCs in nursery and then 3 days per week once the first went to school.
Used child minder for drop off and PU 3 days week and did the rest my self.
Now both at school I do 3 days in work and 2 days flexi at home - brill employer.
For this I am being slagged off on social media by Exs DP, for failing my children, putting my career first, obviously regretting my poor parenting decisions etc etc.
Forgetting that EX did not pay any maintenance for his DCs for the first 18 months and now pays well below the CSA minima. ( 8 ONs last year with their DF!)

I am damned if I do and damned if I don't! Have to say the constant criticism of me to mutual friends and family is extremely tiring and disheartening when all yu are trying to do is bring up your kids to the best of your ability on your own.

( I do not use social media - this comes from friends who do, the anti has upped, since before Xmas and has been awful. I do not respond as have no mechanism to defend myself - or one that I wish to engage in)

needsahalo Fri 06-Jan-17 18:04:12

Oh that's easy. You are managing. You are managing with dignity. Single parenting scares non-single parents. It is treated like a communicable disease, like you can catch 'single parent' by standing in the same room as one. By managing, you are debunking all the myths and people just can't cope. They up the anti but you just keep on managing!

Just ignore. This is someone else's,issue to deal,with.

WriterNeedsHelp2017 Fri 06-Jan-17 18:12:19

Does any lawyer know whether they would write a letter to her about this - isn't it slander?

WriterNeedsHelp2017 Fri 06-Jan-17 18:12:42

Sorry, I mean libel. I do know the difference!

Isthisusernamefree Fri 06-Jan-17 18:47:48

To be honest, she sounds like an enormous arsehole. I am a SM and I occasionally have my gripes about things that go on, but I would NEVER EVER put that on facebook or speak about the kids mum to anyone outside our little family, she's doing her thing and it's none of my business. (I don't engage in conversations about her in front of the children unless it's something positive and generally, not unless the kids bring her up, I want them to feel like they don't have to be awkward about her and feel free to talk to us about whatever they want)

I'd be mortified if I were your ex's partner, and to be fair, I'd be mortified if I was your ex. That's not acceptable behaviour. Especially if he's having them so little, what the fuck is he doing to help you and where does she get off criticising you??

AND if he's going to let her bad mouth you all over, take him to the CSA and get what you deserve from him.

So to answer your question, in this case, I have no idea what this woman is trying to achieve, other than piss you off or upset you. I bet she'd have just as much to say if you weren't working though, so fuck her. I'm sure that the people she's complaining to think she's a right tit, how can you be a bell end about a woman who is working hard to support her children and showing them that you can be a single mum, have a career and be a great mum?

Sounds to me like you're doing a great job and she's jealous. Keep doing what you're doing and ignore her if you can, as hard as that may be. Also the lack of response from you is probably annoying her too, that's why she's getting worse!

WiseUpJanetWeiss Fri 06-Jan-17 20:28:52

I'm a SM and think what your ex's DP is doing is appalling, and what you are doing is best for your DCs (and you of course - you are actually allowed to have needs of your own).

Keep on keeping on - you have much to be proud of from what I've read.

captainproton Fri 06-Jan-17 20:31:53

Please don't tar us all with the same brush. She just sounds a nasty, insecure cow. We are not all like that!

swingofthings Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:13

Different parents have different views of what is best for children when it comes to working vs not working, and usually, what we do, whether by choice or not, is of course the best!

I have always worked FT, including commuting, and took only 8 months off for my eldest, 5 months for the second. My ex new partner was a single mum on benefits. I know that she too initially slagged me for working and having our children in breakfast/afterschool/holiday clubs but I do think there was an element of envy of my financial situation.

Time evolve though. She started to have a problem with her son, whilst she had to acknowledge that my two were very well balanced (she has always got along great with them). Then she had another son, and decided to start working, and by the time he was 3, she was working FT herself!

Whatever belief people have, they have no right to judge the choices others make when they are self-sufficient or aiming to be and certainly through the mean of social media.

My kids are now teenagers and are no trouble at all. They are hard working, resilient, confident, and independent. I have no regrets at all. However, I know children with the same quality whose mother stayed at home. I have asked them if they'd wished I'd been a SAHM, but their response was immediate that they never did as they enjoyed the clubs and they are grateful they got to do many things because I was/am able to afford them.

FudgeBiscuits Fri 06-Jan-17 20:35:23

It's nothing to do with your ex's dp love! Ignore it.

Are your kids happy?
Are your kids fed?
Are your kids clothed?
Are your kids as healthy as they can be?
Are you comfortable with your current situation?

If you answered yes to these then change nothing!! Don't contact the ex other than kids arrangements and block them on social media, will cause a lot less hassle in your head ❤️

Livelovebehappy Fri 06-Jan-17 21:40:23

Unfortunately OP, because this is a step parenting thread, you are going to get a lot of negative stuff said about the Ex. After all, a lot of the time the Ex's DP is hearing a lot of very negative unpleasant things from their DP in relation to the crazy ex, so obviously their judgement is going to be clouded by what they are hearing. But as long as you are happy with what you are doing, ignore, ignore, ignore. Clearly their problem, not yours. Maybe all is not as Rosie as it used to be in their relationship, and you're being used as a punch bag for your ex's DP to vent her frustrations on. Sounds a very bitter unhappy woman.

ZouBisou Sat 07-Jan-17 00:28:11

Uh, we are not some homogenous groupvwho all think and act alike for god's sake.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 07-Jan-17 00:44:02

I'm a step mum and a 'single mum'. I think your DPs Ex sounds awful!

You are doing fine, ignore the comments they are nasty.

P.s. I wish you were my DPs Ex... smile

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 07-Jan-17 00:45:36

I mean ignore the comments from your Exes DP....

heidiwine Sat 07-Jan-17 10:45:01

Sounds like your ex's new partner is pretty dreadful.
However, posting on here and therein suggesting that her behaviour is typical of stepmothers is pretty unfair.
You ask WTF stepmothers want. I don't know what they all want but this is what I want:
- not to be stigmatised by virtue of being my partners second wife
- the mother of my stepchildren to put the needs of her children first and not to use them as pieces in a game
- a fair financial settlement where both parties can look forward to being independent of each other when the children are grown up
- to be treated with fairness and respect by the mother of the children who I care for (and have done for almost 10 years)
- supporting rules/decisions etc made on our house in the same way that we do with the rules in hers.

That's it. It's a long complex list though. Being a non resident stepparent is (in my opinion) the most challenging (and thankless) family role that there is. You've clearly been landed with a total dud but we are most definitely not all like that. Many of us sacrifice a great deal for our step children and many of us would (if we had our time back) run like the wind from doing it all again (in my case because my DPs ex wife can, at times, make our life (and the children's) a living nightmare. That said I know that her behaviour is not typical of all exes and I would not be asking all ex wives what they want from step parents based on that.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sat 07-Jan-17 15:33:37

Being a non resident stepparent is (in my opinion) the most challenging (and thankless) family role that there is.. I would add resident and non resident, but I'd totally agree Heidi! Imho it was much harder than being a single parent but that was just my experience. I hope you get your list Heidi, it's very reasonable.

OP most people would be put out in your position, SM sounds nasty. However I don't know why that would make all SMs awful. My DPs Ex is a witch but I don't think all Exes are, quite the contrary I imagine!

Also, be careful as you may well end up a SM in the future and may want some support!

workingmumsarebad Sat 07-Jan-17 17:32:55

Never implied all SMs were like this particular person - believe me, I have been berated for taking too much monies ( Haha!!!) working, taking time off for sick DC - you name it.

Most of it i ignore but this latest volley of abuse has caused some of our mutual acquaintances to ask me some very probing questions about my childcare set up and whether I was damaging the kids and a nice little visit from social services. I hesitate to call them friends anymore.

Heidi - as i say to my kids, respect is earned and you can not expect it as a right because you are older, younger, disabled etc. Their SM told them they had to respect her in her house - eldest told her ( probably unwisely) that he would listen and do what she asked, but he was unable to respect her as she did not respect him. That resulted in contact being blocked for 2 months!

Just tired of the unjustified abuse. I

ZouBisou Sat 07-Jan-17 18:41:25

I'm sorry about your situation and it does sound very hard and unfair. But your thread title and the first two paragraphs of your post did heavily imply that stepmothers all have similar irrational motivations. It suggests we as a group are guilty for your situation.

heidiwine Sat 07-Jan-17 18:58:28

Actually OP you asked "WTF SM's/new partners want."
You then went on to suggest that you know what they want:
"So what do the second family want?
( other than the EX and the children to drop off the face of the planet!)"

Both of those statements suggest that you think all stepparents / new partners want the same thing. As a stepparent who frequently puts the needs of my stepchildren ahead of my own I find that offensive.

Isthisusernamefree Sat 07-Jan-17 19:15:23

It certainly sounds like you're having a really bad time of it at the moment OP flowers i'm so sorry that you're having to deal with a SM like that and I feel even more for your poor DC's. My SM was a lot like how you describe your Ex's DP and it was awful. I'm a grown woman and to this day my SM dictates what contact my 'D'F can and cannot have with me. Which is next to bloody none.

Women like the one you are describing give us all a terrible name and perpetuate the idea of all SM's as evil. It's very frustrating as, like heidiwine said, a lot of us sacrifice an awful lot for our SDC's and put a lot of time and effort into them. In my opinion, you do not make the decision to be with a man with DC's if you're not prepared to commit to the kids.

Are you in a position to be able to speak to your Ex about what's going on? Is this actually how he wants contact to be or is he just trying to keep the peace with his DP and dithering about, ultimately sacrificing his relationship with his kids because he has no balls? (This is what happened in my 'D'F's case)

You are the parental example that your children see day in and day out, so know that you're doing a fantastic job of showing them how to be dignified, strong and resilient in the face of such utter ridiculousness from their father and SM. You're doing a great job.

workingmumsarebad Sat 07-Jan-17 19:29:17

" many of us would (if we had our time back) run like the wind from doing it all again "

So what part of that does not equate to dropping off the face of the planet! You want the partner but not the baggage. You have confirmed this by your reply- I do understand that. Your aggression is unnecessary .

Everyone would prefer, first family, no history, no complications - who would not - am completely understanding of that view as I myself negotiate the world of step parenting.

Often the implication on here is that the EX is always at fault, just posting the juxta position. Some lovely responses - thank you ladies.
The constant nit picking is very tiring and the little knock from SS, came close to me actually repsonding to her, but then I know she would have won and got a reaction from me.

I am firmly of the belief that what goes around comes around - am just wondering how long I have to wait before she gets hers!!! (TFT)

PigletWasPoohsFriend Sat 07-Jan-17 19:36:09

Never implied all SMs were like this particular person

Apart from the goady title you mean?

Not all SM or SD are angels, neither are all DM or DF or exs.

You are going through a tough time. Please don't however, stereotype everyone.

ZouBisou Sat 07-Jan-17 19:36:10

People are more likely to post when they have a problem, hence a lot of people on this board posting about difficult exes.

Just like on the relationships board, you read a lot more about 'bad' DPs/DHs than good ones. It's a totally skewed sample.

I get on very well with my DPS ex and we all have a really good relationship. None of us wants anyone else to drop off the face off the planet.

I don't think it helps anything to try to lump people together and assign them similar motivations and characters.

swingofthings Sat 07-Jan-17 19:45:54

You mean that your friends questioned you working full time and damaging your kids as a result? Surely there must be more to it than that as otherwise SS would need to come and knock on a lot more doors.

SomethingLikeFlying Sat 07-Jan-17 19:49:08

The thread was goady and I expect you wanted to create a bit of a bun fight with this thread. Luckily people given you nice friendly responses.

heidiwine Sat 07-Jan-17 21:39:39

To clarify, I'm not sure that I would repeat my choices (if I knew what I know now) and I may well run like the wind. BUT I stay with my DP. It's a conscious and considered choice. I do it because I love my DP and because I love my DSDs, they enrich my life. I know that if my partner and I were to separate his children would also suffer and they have had enough instability in their short lives to last a lifetime. My commitment is to them as much as to my partner. I definitely do not want their mum to "^drop off the face of the planet"^
And you know why?
Because if that was to happen it would cause an unimaginable amount of long-lasting distress to my partner's children and that's the last thing I want. I don't think my view is unusual and very much hope that's what most reasonable people would think/feel.

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