“Boss Boning Blaire” saw my preview yesterday and emailed me to add some pertinent new developments. Those developments require further work on that blog so bear with me as I take the time needed to fully appreciate her situation.
In the meantime, some of you can probably relate to the letter below, whether you are a parent whose kids have stepparents or a stepparent yourself. Blended families are tough but it’s possible for everyone to get along! Or is it…
I was divorced three years ago and I share custody of my two kids 50/50 with my ex-husband Steve. We both work full-time. He’s a surgeon and I am a nurse practitioner.
We have always gotten along after our divorce even though he had several affairs. One of his many conquests, 32 year old “Sarah” managed to convince him to marry her last year. I have no problem with Steve being remarried but I do have a problem with Sarah.
Photos of my kids on Facebook and Instagram are now popping up on a daily basis and she calls them “my girls” or “my family.” She planned my oldest daughter’s 12th birthday party without consulting me, explained sex to my 7 year old (and promised to get her ears pierced), took the girls for haircuts etc.
I’ve tried to speak to my ex-husband about it but he feels sorry for her because they can’t have kids of their own (he had a vasectomy 2 years ago).
Last night my ex called me and said that he would like me to consider changing the parenting time from 50/50 to 40/60 (in his favor) because Sarah doesn’t work, has no plans to work, and has more time to spend with the girls than I do. I said no and he hinted he might seek a modification in our parenting plan.
The gun laws in my state are pretty lax. Please talk me off the edge before I do something stupid. 😉
While I understand your anger and frustration, please step away from your google search for “undetectable poisons” and “hit-men for under $5,000.” Sarah sounds like an insufferable twatbucket, but spending the rest of your life in prison isn’t going to help your girls.
What Sarah obviously didn’t learn in her “How to Marry a Rich Man and Sit on Your Ass for the Rest of Your Life” class is how to strike the delicate balance between being a loving, supportive and encouraging stepmother and venturing into territory that should remain that of the children’s parents.
Robin’s Musings and Advice
1. You told me you have never met Sarah because you felt you “weren’t ready.” That is unacceptable.
I know it is difficult shaking the hand of a woman whose lips were all over your husband’s kielbasasicle while you were still married, but you admitted you weren’t happy for years and were relieved when he suggested divorce.
2. Your girls like their stepmom but they don’t like the overboard attempts to win their favor or being posted on social media accounts. OK, we’ve got some really good stuff to work with here.
3.Time to call a meeting!
Contact Sarah and tell her it’s high time the two of you get to know each other. Be pleasant and warm, even though your favorite way to relax when you can’t sleep is picturing her bobbing and lifeless body, made buoyant by her ridiculous high and hard implants, bumping up against the filter in your ex-husband’s pool.
4.Invite her to come to your house so you can be on your home turf. Should you serve wine? Hmmm…
5. Here’s the hard part: what to say. Thank goodness I’m here to provide your outline so you can blame me later if it all goes to shit:
A. Thank You
My girls really enjoy spending time with you. While I am sorry they come from a family of divorce, I am happy their father has met someone and created a new family unit. Thank you for being a kind and caring stepmom to my kids.
B. I’d Like to Get to Know You
I know from reading www.robindescamp.com that it is best for the kids and the parents to maintain as positive a relationship as possible between the exes and their new partners, so are you willing to get to know each other and work together?
1. (If she says no)
Stab her with the corkscrew, finish your wine and figure out where to bury the body.
2. (If she says yes)
Great! I have some ideas on how we can do this co-parenting thing and keep our relationship positive, so let’s discuss!
C. Ways to Improve Our Co-Parenting Relationship and Yours With My Kids
1. Major Kid Decisions
I need to be in the loop on decisions relating to my kids – even those issues that may seem trivial like haircuts and ear piercing. Having them come home looking so different, talking about sex or being promised things I don’t agree with is damaging. Can we agree these sort of things should be handled between me and their father?
2. Social Media
I can understand why you are proud to be a stepmom to these wonderful girls, but they are uncomfortable with the amount of photos you are posting on the Internet, and I am too. Can we agree you will try to limit the social media postings?
3. The Biggie
Sarah, as much as you care for my girls, you can’t possibly understand how much I miss them when they aren’t here. Their father and I made a decision together when we divorced to share custody 50/50. This has worked very well for us and it is what the kids are accustomed to.
I think it is wonderful you want to spend more time with them, but I simply can’t agree to a change in the parenting plan as it would be incredibly disruptive to the girls and to me.
The absolute last thing in the world I would ever want to do is enter into litigation with my ex-husband, but I will be forced to fight any proposed modification and my lawyer tells me that remarriage to a woman who wants to be a more active stepmom is not a ‘substantial change in circumstances’ that would warrant an alteration of our parenting plan.
D. Closing Arguments
1. Reiterate your desire for cooperation, communication and an amicable relationship between the families. Try not to barf.
2. Emphasize that your girls like her but she doesn’t need to try so hard.
3. Tell her that although you will not agree to changes in custody, you will be flexible on occasions when your ex-husband and his future alimony recipient would like extra time with the kids.
4. And now, the best part!
Give her this link: Un-snip Your Baby Batter Boner! and tell her this:
Sarah, your superior step mothering skills make it obvious you should have kids. There is no joy in the world that can compare to having a child of your own. You are still so young and since it hasn’t been that long since the vasectomy, the chances of reversal are pretty decent!
If Steve really loves you, he will do this for you. He gave me two beautiful daughters, the least he could do is give you a child as well.
That should keep her busy for a while.
Being a stepmom is a very tricky business and I don’t envy your situation, but I suggest taking this line of offense first because it will be exactly the opposite of what she is expecting.
If her behavior continues talk with your ex-husband, who apparently left his balls in the doctor’s office when he chose to close his sperm bank branch.
Finally, teach your girls to stand up for themselves. They need to speak their own minds and let Sarah know when she is acting inappropriately. Perhaps they should flip the bird so those social media posts aren’t quite so cute.
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