~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"It Can't Hurt to Ask"...

Have you ever heard the phrase "It can't hurt to ask"? And it's typically followed up by "The worst that can happen is you get told no." Sound familiar? Well, I'm not so sure I agree anymore. We asked and it did hurt. Here's the situation:

By some strange fluke calendar situation, bio mom was going to end up with 4 weekends in a row because April is her 5th weekend this year, and Mother's Day lands on the 1st weekend of May (usually ours) instead of the 2nd (hers anyway.) So, we realized this and J knew there was no way he was okay with her having 4 in a row! She whines and complains anytime they are with us just 2 in a row! So he very courteously explained to her what we discovered and asked if she would be gracious enough to let him have the second weekend in May. After ignoring his 3 texts for 9 days (not surprising), she finally responded with, "Well what weekend are you going to give me for that?" Seriously!!?? We don't have ANY weekends--that was the whole point! There is nothing we have to give. I was so hurt that she can never, ever seem to put herself in J's shoes. EVER. Do you think for one second she would be fine with us having 4 weekends in a row and not ask for some time? PLEASE!! We've seen it happen way too much. She begged and cried and practically forced us to come home early from a trip one Thanksgiving just because it had been "too long" since she saw them and "would never do that to us." YEAH RIGHT! You're doing it now! Just last month she was playing the "Don't make me feel bad for asking to see my children" card, and now J asks for something WAY more reasonable, and she can't understand? I'm so sick of the games and her just using her children to get what she wants.

Forget we even asked. Forget their DAD would love to see his own kids. Forget that they will resent you for keeping them from him one day. Forget that when you have them, you're not even with them because your social calendar is always too full. Forget that when they learn your awful behavior, you're always asking us to help fix it. Forget it all. I'm so done being hurt by these things over and over. I need to be less involved with all the details so I don't get so worked up. J is always choosing the high road and being the bigger person. I just don't know how he keeps on and keeps on. I need to learn his secret. I would never be able to hold back or bite my tongue after 8 years of this like he does.

So maybe it's true that it doesn't hurt to ask....if you're dealing with a reasonable, non-manipulative, non-psycho, non-narcissistic normal, caring human being who doesn't have their entitled-princess-syndrome blinders to the world on. Then maybe it wouldn't hurt.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

The Immaturaty Never, Ever Stops!

The last several months, I've been holding back a lot of our drama to see if it would help me be positive. What I've found is I actually feel like exploding if I can't vent about all the craziness that comes with Stepmom territory. So here's some of the juicy details:

~~Our custody agreement states that on the kid's birthdays, whichever parent does NOT have them for the day can have a 2 hour dinner with them. The parents' birthdays are not even addressed. Since the kids were so young, when my husband and bio mom were first divorced, they would have their birthday dinner with the kids if it wasn't already their day. We've kind of gotten away from that lately and just celebrated birthdays the day before or day after when the kids were with us. So that's the background. This year, the MORNING OF her birthday, bio mom decided to ask if the kids can have dinner with her. It was a weekend, and the kids had plans with friends. We already had groceries and meals planned and prepped. J responded by stating that he hasn't had the girls on his birthday for a while and why can't we just celebrate when we have them already because we had made plans for the day. She went all into victim mode. "Don't you dare make me feel bad for asking for MY kids on MY birthday. I never remember telling you that you couldn't have them on yours." Etc, etc, etc. The point is--she's in her 40's. The kids are teen and tween--what difference does it make if you celebrate on Monday instead of Sunday? Your birthday isn't that big of a deal, woman! Get over yourself. But no, she just insists on creating unnecessary drama to throw our whole day off. Of course J as always took the high road and assured her she could have dinner with them. So we cancelled plans with friends, and put meal plans on hold. Then an hour before the designated time, she calls to cancel!!!! Totally just wanted to screw with us. You know, in case things had been too calm and we were beginning to think she was normal. She had to prove she is still a manipulative weasel who will stop at nothing to get her own way. My own feelings aside, what exactly does this behavior teach the kids?

~~If you've read many of my posts before, you know we have been trying to hammer "honesty" into Jane's head for years! We both know the problem is that her mother is a habitual liar. Her mantra was always "Lie and deny". So for Jane to be around that 50% of her life makes it very difficult for her to overcome her sneaky, deceitful habits. She really tries, and I can see the turmoil she goes through at times to make the right decision. Well lately, she's had this new, first-time boy crush. She's been very worried about how her dad would respond to her "liking" a boy, let alone spending time with him. So, we caught her lying about it at least the first 4 times something came up. So as we're working through all this, an extra pressure is that she started only wanting to talk to him or make plans with friends when at her mom's. We do not want her thinking she can have no friends or social life with us. Her dad is very reasonable and supportive, because she's always had such a hard time making friends. We want to encourage it, but it's hard to do that when she is dishonest. So we have been trying to find that perfect balance between openness and support and also demanding honesty. She finally started opening up and talking to us about this boy and J even met him. Then twice in one week, her mom lied to us for her to cover things up she didn't want us to know. She was over at the boy's house with siblings and cousins, but the oldest person there was 17. J was upset that bio mom would allow her over at a boy's house with no parents! Bio mom lied and said the parents just ran out for a few minutes, but Jane had already told us they were gone the whole time. Ok, does she really think she is protecting Jane by doing this? Then later that week, she lied for Jane about missing school one morning. It's so extremely discouraging, that as soon as Jane starts being honest, her mom starts lying for her. It's so destructive for Jane.

~~The other thing really bothering me lately is that I am so terribly TIRED of us being the bad guys. It is truly a beat-down. WE make them go to bed. WE make them shower and stay clean and brush their teeth. WE make them put electronics down for family time. WE check up on what they're watching/playing/texting/reading. WE expect them to use manners and answer when spoken to and do as they are told. It doesn't seem terribly unreasonable, does it? But we get eye-rolls and huffs and puffs and attitude because they don't have to do any of these things with bio mom. I'm so sick of it, that I've started letting things slide. You know what, if they have that much of a problem showering and brushing their teeth--fine. Let them stink and have nasty teeth. Not my problem. I'm tired of being made to feel like I'm such a Nazi for having rules and expecting them to be followed. Sure, let's have a 13 and 10 year old make all their decisions and do whatever they please. Then I realize I'm being just like bio mom--so I go back to being Nazi mom real quick! I'd rather be Nazi mom than to be anything like that piece of work!