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SS open evening and they have to go together!

(25 Posts)
Muller Tue 15-Mar-05 18:49:44

Consider myself a pretty rational fair kind of person most of the time, but cant believe how wound up i got tonight. SS asked hid dad to take him to a college open evening. Obviously he said he would. Just as he was about to leave his phone rang and it was the ex wife, asking if she could come to "as long as it didnt cause problems for him". What the hell she meant by that i dont know as i have always stepped back and been very much in the background on these occasions. He said yes she could go. Obviously i know that there is nothing i can do about this situation, and to keep the peace nor can he!! But it really winds me up that she is sitting in my seat in our car and they are acting like a couple for the evening!!! GRRRRRRRRRRR how selfish of me i know, but cant seem to help it!!

Bonkerz Tue 15-Mar-05 18:53:33

AGH this is my worse nightmare and DH and i have discussed what will happen when dsd starts school and have both decided that WE will request separate appointments on parents evenings as i would feel awful if DH and his ex went together!!

Is it a parents evening or just a visit to the local college? I know how you feel and NO i dont think its selfish!

Muller Tue 15-Mar-05 20:37:55

It was a college open evening. Glad someone understands. Its not the fact that i think he holds a torch for her or anything, cant explain how annoyed it makes me feel. There wouldnt be a suggestion that i should go and my partner is quite a laid back bloke who doesnt like making waves with her so he wouldnt rock the boat by suggesting it. Its good you have decided how to deal with it before the situation arises, take it ex wife accepts you exist cos his doesnt.....

LooptheLoop Tue 15-Mar-05 21:57:18

Muller - you're in an impossible situation!

Your feelings are completely understandable and justifiable and I've been there a thousand times. But unfortunately they are both SS's parents and both have a legitimate role there. Fair for SS but not fair for us hey? Feeling for you and big hug (sorry can't offer any better words).

Bonkerz Tue 15-Mar-05 22:29:08

his ex cant help but acknowledge me really and to be honest Dh is really soft when it comes to his daughter and i had to watch him being taken advantage of before we got married as i felt it had nothing to do with me. Since getting married i have actually taken over arrangements and stuff for dsd so deal with ex all the time and we have had our run ins. Dh doesnt like exp but also hates making waves, he now tells exp that she will have to arrange stuff with me.

As far as i am concerned dsd is just as much my responsibility now and i would expect to go to open days etc with her and dh!!!

valleygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 11:36:14

as far as arranging to go to these kind of things I understand how it might grate to have your dp/dh appearing to be playign happy families with the ex, but this is not about them, it is about the kids, and having a step-son myself who is incredibly gifted but in a classroom with a teacher who was useless, I was 110% behind my dp when he accompanied his ex to school meetings to sort out his son's problems at school. As a result of their united front my step son now attends special sessions for gifted children, consequently his behavious in school has improved dramatically, which is great news for EVERYONE.
Everyone take a step back and realise that this is about the kids welfare and how important it is for them to see both parents and step parents supportign them together.

otto Wed 16-Mar-05 12:41:43

I agree with Valleygirl. You have to grin and bear it. The college won't care whether they are a happy couple or bitter divorcees. This is about the future of the child and not your domestic situation.

karenanne Wed 16-Mar-05 13:12:19

my dds only in reception but my ex and i have attended her 2 parents evenings together and will always do so.are you a parent yourself if you was in that situation im sure you would want your childs father to go along.you should be glad he shows interest in his childs education.many single parents dont have that luxury.

im very lucky that my ex and i are friends and get along well and i understand many dont have the relationship that we have.

teachers know of their pupils home situations and dont assume all their pupils parents are happily together.but its the childs education thats important here.my ex has a girlfriend she hasnt met my kids yet but i honestly wouldnt care whether she was upset about this or not .as i said maybe im lucky that my ex always put his kids before anything else but he does have the right to have access to knowing how his child is getting on at school.

dont worry lol youve nothing to be worried about and you should be proud your partner takes such an active and responsible role in his sons life.

squirrel3 Wed 16-Mar-05 13:51:04

Its my SS's open evening tonight, I have just been told that the ex has phoned DP to make sure that I am not there. Why am I good ehough to help with the homework etc but not allowed to go to school open evening?!!!

valleygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 14:07:12

Squirrel - some people are just mean, bitter and spiteful. To avoid a scene your dp will probabaly not cause a fuss which I don't blame him for. Unfortunetaly it's her right to ask that you not be there.
I have to say that as a step-mum I let me dp deal with all the school meetings thing - it's not really my plaCe to be there as i'm not the parent and i don't have any legal say in how my step-sons are educated. i am happy enough to know that i am always there for the boys, that i help in their care, nurture, support, and emotional and educational development as much as i possibly can with the time I have with them. It means that I can take a back seat now and again when it's not my place. So long as your ss appreciates all that you do for him f**k what she thinks.

Caligula Wed 16-Mar-05 14:15:39

At the risk of being shot down, would any of you want another woman to turn up at your DD's/ DS's parent's evening? Wouldn't you find it intrusive? I certainly would. In this situation, I think three's a crowd.

I have some sympathy for the difficulties of step-parenting, but if I were in that position, I think I'd just accept that I am not the mother of this child, and it's not really appropriate for me to be going to events like this unless the child actually lives with me for 50% or more of the time.

TBH, I wouldn't want to turn up as part of a happy clappy post-modern family (especially if it was going to cause tension) - and if I were a child, the embarrassment of having four adults there (potentially) instead of 2, would be quite mortifying. (Mind you, that could be a generational thing - I remember finding it excrutiating that my father turned up at parent's evenings - most of them didn't in those days. I used to wish he'd stay at home, or go to the pub, like everyone else's dad! )

squirrel3 Wed 16-Mar-05 14:16:14

Valleygirl, your right, it sounds really petty but I think I only want to go because she doesn't want me there!!!

I know SS is doing very well at school but BM is a very pushy mother when it comes to school (even though she doesnt seem to give a ** what they do the rest of the time) she is so pushy she regularly puts SS on weekly reports and makes his teachers fill in reports on how he is doing, how he is improving etc. Its good that she cares about his education but the poor kid gets the mickey taken out of him.

I know its really nothing to do with me and its her call but I do feel sorry for him.

Bonkerz Wed 16-Mar-05 14:20:54

step parenting is SO hard. I found that ex was being very funny about certain things we did with dsd when she came at weekends and eventually i got so annoyed with this that DH and I aquired parental responsibility for dsd SO although im only a step mum i have every right to look after dsd and act on her best interest. At weekend i am the mother role and she is my daughter. I care about her education and as dsd was only 14 months when her mother left dh she will only ever remember my and dh being together and hopefully will never expect 'mummy and daddy' to do stuff without me!!

Caligula Wed 16-Mar-05 14:25:28

Well that's fair enough Bonkerz. But one question (which you might get annoyed with me asking, but I'm not trying to pick a fight, I'm genuinely interested in the answer) if you and DH divorced, would you continue to see your DSD and act as her mother?

It is such a minefield - at what stage does a step-mother appropriately become involved in events like this, and at what stage a mother accepts the right of of an exes partner/ wife to be involved with her children.

squirrel3 Wed 16-Mar-05 14:25:48

Just read that last msg.... Mmmmm sounded really petty, its not just that she doen't want me to go to the open evening, she doesn't want me to be within 5 miles of the school if she is there!! She doesn't like me even sitting in the car outside her house when DP picks-up the kids!

Although I am good enough to take the kids to school when we have them!!

tamum Wed 16-Mar-05 14:49:43

I have to say I completely agree with Caligula and valleygirl. It's the children's welfare that matters. Of all the many things I found hard about step-parenting, this wasn't one. I thought it was entirely appropriate that dh and his ex-wife should go together to things like the children's graduation, because it's so much nicer for the children than having a crowd of parent-y type people. I know it's hard, but I think it's just something that has to be dealt with.

squirrel3 Wed 16-Mar-05 14:58:54

Actually I must agree with Caligula and valleygirl, it is really up to the parents, thinking about it I don't think I would like somebody I didn't know to be at my childrens' open evening.

Isn't it funny how little things like this (even though you know its unreasonable to) make you feel like an outsider again!

valleygirl Wed 16-Mar-05 16:20:15

having said all that I have, I am lucky enough that the ex in my life would be more than happy for me to attend any school meeting regarding the kids. I don't go because I know that the two of them are more than capable of sitting down in a teacher or headmaster's office and agreeing on every single issue when it comes to what's best for their kids. But it would be another thing altogether if she tried to stop me from attending school plays, graduation ceremonies (when that happens in 11-14 years time!!) etc, etc because that is ALSO about the kids - and the kids love me, as do all your step kids out there, so to deny them the opportunity of having all their parents (yes I AM a parent, even though i am not their "mum") there is selfish and petty. I guess i am very lucky that after 3 and half years I am in a very good relationship with the ex and we always try to make life as easy as possible for ourselves and the kids. Lucky me, eh?!

lilibet Wed 16-Mar-05 18:12:16

If it's a college open evening, do they not have more than one? Dh and I went with dd to one night an d she went with her Dad to another. exh will never go to any school things because I will be there!

beansprout Wed 16-Mar-05 18:35:46

I know this can feel difficult, but they really aren't a couple anymore and to be honest, he is probably being reminded why they split up!
It's all about how secure you feel in your relationship at the end of the day.
Dp not only goes to parents evenings with his xp, but along with dd they have been attending family counselling sessions for a few years now, due to some problems that his dd had been having. I'm completely fine with it. They are a family unit and I always ask myself if I would want to be with a man who refused to stomach his ex for an evening a) to dd's detriment, and b) just to appease my insecurities?

Muller Wed 16-Mar-05 19:37:33

Hi me again, the one who started this off. Just to let you all know that i apologised in the end for being a stroppy cow and realised i was just being insecure really, and as i genuinely do like my SS and care about his education, that i had to be the one to eat humble pie. Anyway what made me laugh in the end is she sat in the back and SS sat in the front, which made it seem ridiculously better for me!!

beansprout Wed 16-Mar-05 19:45:27

Car politics!! Fab!!
Muller - you sound like me in a thousand situations! I SO understand what you are saying!!

Caligula Wed 16-Mar-05 21:57:39

Muller, well done you.

Step-parenting must be hell at times, and I've got nothing but admiration for those who do it well. It must take endless portions of humble pie, biting your lip and not rising to very tempting bait. There's a thread on how marvellous lone parents are atm (and of course we are! ) but I also think that people who enter into step-parenting with maturity and grace, and manage to keep their sense of proportion and common sense, deserve a huge round of applause which often isn't forthcoming, because the sacrifices they make go unnoticed.

Just wanted to let you know that this one hasn't.

islean Fri 18-Mar-05 19:42:30

I just went to my stepdaughters parents evening with and my partner and her Mum (same appointment) - her invite

I was so nervous beforehand I nearly threw up but it was worth it to see the look on the teachers face.

Last year I sat at home while they played happy families and threw crockery across the kitchen

be careful what you wish for........have you any idea how BORING those events can be, and now I'll spend years going to them

Surfermum Fri 18-Mar-05 23:01:43

I encourage dh to go with his x to parents' evenings, but she won't go with him. I really don't think it's my place to go. I'm banned by the x from sports days, although dsd would love me to go. She threatens to have me arrested if I step foot in the school premises, so I don't go as I wouldn't want to put dsd or the school in the position of there being any trouble.

Caligula, that's a lovely thing to say. Thank you . And you've got it spot on, lots of biting of lips and not rising to the bait. I always think to the future. I don't want dsd telling me when she's older that I really didn't help the situation by anything I did or said, so no matter how many feathers I might be spitting, I always take a step back, having a think and make sure I do what is best for her. And for the record I think you lone parents do a fantastic job too.

And good on you Muller too!

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