- blended family advice

Hi all,

I find myself in a new situation and would just like some words of wisdom from the many more experienced people of KH.

A while ago I posted that I have a new BF(I’ve known since I was 9)…here is the link so I don’t have to repeat the whole story.

Ok, basically I just met my BF’s son’s mom. Now we’ve met before about 5 times over the last 8 years, when they were together, but I met her as the GF, and the one who their son has been spending time with. So she knows my family, what kind of person I am, and she knows that her son really likes me. We went to the kindergarden granduation yesterday, and when the kids got released to the parents he ran past mom, waved at her and came straight to dad (my BF) and me showed us his diploma and asked if he could come home with us…to my house and stay. Mom kind of left the room at that point. Little jr. a few minutes later wanted to know where she was I told him she was outside and would love to see his diploma. He wanted me to come with him to show mom…I told him that mom would love to have him show her, and I’d be out in a minute. So he went out and showed mom the diploma for about 30 seconds then came back in to get me and daddy.

Mom was very nice, although when she realized who I was she got quiet and left pretty quickly. She’s a very nice person, and I think things will go ok, but I just want to make everything as smooth as possible. There is going to be some adjustment period, as daddy will soon be moving to where I am to be with me, and we’re getting more and more serious.

Little jr. is going to be spending more time with us now, as he will be on vacation, mom now knows who I am, knows that BF and I have known one another forever, knows my family, and saw how her son interacted with me. At graduation lunch he wanted to sit with me not her…and not daddy.

She didn’t bring a camera to the graduation, I brought mine and took pictures and video. I told her I would put all of that stuff on DVD for her and send it with daddy when he picks up Little jr. next time.

I guess I just want to help make this as smooth as possible. I don’t think she’s going to throw a fit, or cause problems, she’s not really that type of person. But I want to make her as comfortable with me as possible, and not be ‘threatening’ to her if you know what I mean.

I think I would like to get a printed copy of a picture I took of mom and Little jr. and get a little frame and send it down to her with daddy.

I know things will work out as they are supposed to, but I’d like to help them work out and not just ‘ride the wave’ so to speak. I’d appriciate any advice or words of wisdom that anyone would like to share with me.

:hug: You’re in a really rough spot. My parents never really fought, but relations were always very chilly, even before my dad got remarried.

My brother and I were also older when that happened, (14 and 10 when Dad and Sue got married), and my father rarely came to events, let alone her. (I’m not bitter. :roll:) So for the very few that there were, we had to sort of split our time between them, but we were old enough to “get it.”

:hug: Good luck. I think you are doing a great job!

My sisters had a really hard time understanding why my brother and I didn’t live with them. They knew that Dad was my dad, but the whole “We live with our mom” thing threw them for a long time. I [I]think[/I] they get it now (9 and 7.) :shrug:

Hi there !.. i know you are in a difficult position … it seemed that jr is really attached to you … i had to say you did a great job finding balance between all of you …you have a great heart… maybe the mom would able to see it that you care and love the jr and come to appreciate what you did for him… do not worry too much okie…cos only time will tell eventually… just do your best and enjoy your relationship with the daddy and jr …or event that involve the mom… i wish you the best and happiness … i am happy for you ;)… we’ll be here for you 24/7…

All in all, mom and daddy have a fairly good relationship. We’ve had quite a few discussions about it, and it is very important to him that Little jr. not feel tension between them. He is always careful to be nice to her, and get along with her. They have joint custody and it wasn’t a bad fight they did mediation.

He is extreamly involved with his son, frankly if he wasn’t I wouldn’t be with him. And his son is the most important thing in his life.

Daddy’s philosophy is “I wish things had worked out differently, but since this is the way they are, I need to make this as positive as possible for Little jr.” He really wants his son to know that just becasue mom and daddy didn’t work out, that it doesn’t mean they can’t be friends/civil/polite/nice to one another. He is always positive about mom when Little jr. is anywhere around, and in fact really trys never to say negative things about her, so that he will never slip with something in front of Little jr.

Daddy also wants her to know what is going on with him so as not to side swip her with his life (aka, me). Now she really is a nice person, and I do like her. I think my main thing is, I don’t expect that she and I will be best buds or anything, but I want things to be as cordial/nice as possible. I’m really expecting in the long run that he and I will get married and do the family thing.

I just want it to be the best it can for Little jr. and that most definately includes mom, as…well…she is mom. It’s going to help that she’s all in all a good person, and that his family is going to be behind me, and he’s already doing what he can to make things smooth and positive.

I’ve just never been in this situation, and don’t really know where the pitfalls are. I don’t want to make a big snaffu, if I can help it. Little jr. is the one who this whole thing will effect the most, and I want to have it be a good and wonderful as possible.:hug:

It sounds like you are doing the best you can. How long have you and Dad been dating? And have you had a lot of contact with Junior the whole time? I ask because in a lot of ways the running past mom to get to you and all that sounds very much like what a lot of kids do over someone new that they really like. My dd1 did this very badly when she started preschool. It was all about her teachers, and she could care less about me.

THe situations are always tough, no matter how careful you are. I say this as a child of divorce and having seen both my parents in relationships afterwards. I can tell you now which of the people they dated really cared about them and me by how they acted toward and about the other parent.

I can tell by your concern over the situation how much you care for Dad and Jr. So for that, I say way to go! :cheering: Hope everythin g continues to go as smoothly as possible for you.

Well I think it’s obvious that you are a wonderful person with a big heart. No wonder daddy and jr love you so.

While I have absolutely no experience with blended families, my advice is that maybe you could go out to lunch with mom and have a heart-to-heart with her. Let her know how you feel about dad and jr and that you have no intention of replacing her as mom… and you just wanted her to know that. If lunch is a little to personal, or awkward, perhaps just a phone call? I think talking to her about your feelings would be a really good thing. If you might become stepmom to her baby, now’s a really good time to cultivate a friendship with mom. Maybe you two CAN become good friends? Or at least co-moms to jr. :slight_smile:

Dad and I have only been dating since May 21st…but since we’ve known each other since I was 9 and he was 10 (22 years), and we’ve always been in very close contact. Whenever we needed to talk, were having problems, etc. he would call me, and I would call him. Because of this everything is kinda on fast track. We’ve jumped into a relationship where we know the other person so intimetly already. And it’s super bizarre, I see this adult super imposed on teh 10 year old/14 year old/18 year old/etc. that I knew back then. And I see Little daddy in Little jr. so much.

Since May though, we’ve had Little jr. 3 of the 4 weekends (Friday-Monday).

Mom lives about 1 1/2 hours away, so there is little chance to go out to lunch. The phone call might be good, but I think I want to give her a while to get used to the whole thing. Since his having a GF is one thing, but she knows who I am, and knows that he liked me when we were little, and knows I was his first kiss and all, I think I want to give her as much time to get used to the idea as I can, before I just kinda invade. :slight_smile:

I’m hoping by getting her pic. with Little jr. printed and framed, and sent down to her, it will give the same kind of impression as the lunch/phone call option, without me seeming like I’m trying to be too pushy.

thanks so much for the comments already left! bouncing things off of you guys always gives me such a better perspective. I really was just thinking about getting comments from parents, but the comments those of you who are children of a divorce are soooo helpful.

My parents are still together, and so I don’t have that perspective. All (well the large majority) of my friends growing up were children of single parents and so they don’t have that perspective either.

Any additional comments will be super welcom to! Thanks again everyone. It’s going to be an interesting road.

From what I know, this kind of situation is not uncommon. Think about it… Mom is probably doing most of the discipline and takes care of his schedule, so in his mind, mommy is boring and you’re cool! It happens a lot with aunts/uncles or grandparents too. Kids can say things like “Mom, I prefer to be with grandma, I don’t like staying with you”.

It would be nice for mom to know she’s not doing anything wrong and that her son’s reaction is normal, as heartbreaking as it can be. If you do get married with your boyfriend and become a stepmom, there’s a good chance his reaction towards you will become more “normal”, when you’ll need to use authority and discipline. :teehee:

Letah,

What a wonderful thing for you to do! She’s probably going to have a hard time at first, but I think that maybe your gesture will be a nice “official” start to this relationship with her. I’m sure she’ll see what a well-balanced person you are and appreciative of that fact…given that her son is spending so much time with you.

PLEASE PLEASE (I know you wouldnt do this cause you are a wonderful person!, but I have to say it anyway…) :heart:

Dont EVER talk poopy about her to your bf…there is always a chance that the little one will hear it.

I only say that because my ex remarried, and his wife HATES me. And she ALWAYS…no matter WHAT, finds SOME way to take a jab at me…or my DH. And it is awful. AND…when my oldest goes to visit her dad…(like she is leaving today for summer vacay with them) she always comes home with at least ONE instance of something that stepmom says about me, DH, or our family…and it infuriates me.

I have TRIED so hard to be nice to her and her daughter for MY daughters sake…but she makes it SO hard!

She wants school pictures of DD…I tell her I will order an extra sheet, but she needs to help pay…she refuses.

She wants to rearrange visitation for DD’s dad…I try to help…she makes it a pain in my butt…and not convienent at all.

AND…the part that upsets my daughter the most…is that her stepmom clearly favors HER daughter over MINE…and it shows alot.

Please, take extra care to make sure that you and BF dont do that to the little guy.

And Im SURE that you wont…but…its just my experience…:hug::hug::hug:

:shock: Oh Paper Girl,

I am soooo sorry! She sounds like a very spiteful jelous women, who is very insecure in her relationship. How awful!!!

I would NEVER say anything negative about mommy. She is a nice women, and daddy is always very careful not to talk badly about her in anyway shape or form.

My philosophy is I can’t be upset or jelous of her, because had he not been with her, he wouldn’t be the wonderful man he is now. there were lessons he learned with her, that are important to who he’s become. Also, if he’d never been married to her there wouldn’t be wonderful Little jr.

No, I’m very concerned with making this as good of a relationship as possible. The most important thing is Little jr. and his knowing that just because mom and daddy aren’t married doesn’t mean that they can’t be friends. We all need to model healthy, positive adult relationships and behavior for him as that is what will help him most in life.

If daddy and I do get married, we’ll have babies of our own. In my philosophy Little jr. and any future babies of mine will be brother and sister or brother and brother. There will be NO “Oh that’s my half brother/sister…” They will be siblings, not half this or half that.

To me when there is a child, all adult concerns/issues/etc. become secondary. The most important thing is that child and what is best for him/her.

I thank you all so much for your kind words and advice. I know I will have to keep on my toes, and just keep checking myself.

I did get the pictures printed up and framed for his mom last night. One of Little jr. and mom 5x7", one of Little jr. by himself (with his kindergarden diploma)5x7", and one of daddy and Little jr. 4x6".

I figure Little jr. should have picture of him and daddy at his mom’s house, and since they were are part of each other’s lives for a long time she deserves that too.

I have pictures for daddy too, and I will be putting a picture of Little jr. with daddy, and Little jr. with mom up in his room (in my house). So that he knows his mom is known to be an important part of his life, and that she is welcome in my home and my life. Because she’s his mom, and one of the most important people to him.

I know that I have already said so, but i just want to say again that i think you are doing a wonderful job and thank you so much for caring so much. :muah:

That is EXACTLY how I TRY to be with my ex and his wife. But she will NOT have it. I have been to their house NUMEROUS times, but they will NOT come to mine. She is SO insecure about he and I seeing each other. Funny, since Im the one who left him…:thinking:

Seriously. Im about 10 minutes away from where I have been asked to meet them to drop DD off this afternoon.

Will they take the 10-20 minutes to come here?

No.

:doh::hair:

You are being a WONDERFUL sport about all this, and I think the mom is quite lucky to have someone like you in her sons life. :hug:

Paper Girl,

I think it’s so sad when people can’t just realize that a former couple isn’t together for a reason, and there is no need for jelousy or catty/childish behavior.

You know I have ex-friends that I no longer talk to (hence the ‘ex’ :rofling:), but I still have pictures of them up in my house. They were friends and we had good times, and I am who I am because of some of those good times. I try not to let the negative experiences sour me on people.

I know she is a good mom, and above all she IS HIS MOM. And therefore she deserves my respect and at the very least she deserves me being polite and courtious to her.

Paper Girl, I think you are a wonderfully strong and special person to not only deal with a brat like her, but that you are being an adult about things around your daughter. I have sooooooooo much respect and admiration for you!!! I give you my :heart: and :hug:and :muah:. I hope that someday she will come to realize that she has nothing to fear from you…but I know that your daughter knows who the better person is, and I know that her love for you will grow and grow.

When your daughter is an adult she will have had such a wonderful example of strenght and womenhood from you that there is no doubt she will be a loving and strong adult!

I will keep you and your daughter in my prayers, and that other women. I hope she will grow up some day.

well speaking on the ‘ex’ side of the fence - you are being great …

I have had a birthday present from the boys to Daddy returned to the shop because ‘it didn’t fit’ :hmm: - I knew that it was because I chose it but ‘whatever!’ - apparently when Dad went to put it on (in front of my oldest) he was told ‘you’re not wearing that’ … and then there were questions made when my oldest said to her face that he hated her!!!

Everything is fine now - I have constantly told my boys that it is ok for them to like the new girlfriend etc and never say anything horrid about her (in their presence :teehee:).

I think you are doing a wonderful job and I hope it is as easy for me when (hopefully) I meet someone new :pray:

I’m going to speak knowing that I may be in the minority here…

This is such a delicate situation. My first literal gut reaction was heartbreak for the child’s mom. A child has many “firsts” in his/her life, and if this is her first (or only) child they are even more special…and now she will always remember that her son ran past her to his dad and his girlfriend.

You are being very kind and considerate and the picture is a very nice gesture and a good start. There is nothing though that can change the fact that dad is bringing his girlfriend to these special occasions and kids being kids often react the way he did.

If your being there is causing her pain you might consider not going to some of these things, but joining the group later if there is a party or something. When/if you are married at some point then the dynamics change and you should be there, but for now give her some time. Divorce is painful enough and she may feel like she’s losing her child to another woman, too. It may not be a rational feeling, but that doesn’t make it go away.
:hug:

I was worried about that too! She has two older boys (two different dads). I definately don’t want her to be hurt. I don’t have kids yet, but I can only imagine how hurt I would be, and that is the last thing I want to inflict on her.

Daddy and mom had agreed to have Little jr. go to lunch with us after graduation. We invited her and she declined. When we got to the restaurant she called and asked if we wanted to meet her at the restaurant she was at. We immediately went to where she was, so that Little jr. could have both of his parents at his graduation lunch.

It took us about 10 minutes to get there, then when we’d gotten our food, she left and went home. I don’t know why she left, but when she did we exchanged plesentries (“It was nice to meet you. I’ll see you again next time”). Daddy did mention to her that she and I have met a couple of times before over the years, at church. She knows my dad and mom (my dad’s the priest at the church), and realized that daddy and I have know each other for years and years. I’m hoping that since she knows my family (in a general way), that it will give her a little better feeling because she will have an idea as to how I was raised, and that I will be good to and around her son.

Since it was our first meeting as me being GF and her being mom, it wasn’t uncomfortable, just slightly awakard. I’m hoping that over time we will be able to talk, and become understanding towards one another. I really do think it’ll be ok, because she is nice, and has a fairly gentle personality…here’s hoping.

Jan, thank you so much for your advice. You always have wonderful information for people, and I really have come to respect your opinion over the time I’ve been on KH. And Jan, minority is wonderful, that is exactly why I posted. I really do want to hear all of the angels. I won’t see them, and every little bit, most of all the minority opinions…because those are the ones I’m less likely to get to on my own.:hug::muah::heart:

Thank you, Letah. I’m glad I didn’t offend and you took my advice how I intended it. :hug:

Another thought is to tell jr to go to mom first in these situations. He’s old enough to understand a little bit and more so as he gets older. :wink:

You are quite right. This is why when he grabbed my hand and asked me to come with him to show his mom his diploma, I told him that she would like to see it just from him and that I’d be out in a little bit.

I don’t want her to think that I’m “trying to be his mom”. Definately not. I know who mom is, and I never am going to try to take her place, just add to how many people love him and cherish him. But mom is mom and dad is dad.

Now saying that I am not counting myself as his friend…that sounds kinda harsh, but I’m also not going to get into the “well she lets me…” I know this isn’t going to come off how I want it to. But I figure that children have enough friends, etc. I will be one of the adults, and when necessary I will curb negative behavior I see…when the time is right and when necessary. I’m not one of those “wait til I tell your dad” people.

If I see a kid misbehaving I will say something, and especially if it’s in my house and on my time. But I will do it in a way that mom and dad are both ok with. I know how dad feels about discipline, and I know from him how mom is. But one of these days (in the future), I think she and I will have to discuss what her feelings/philosophy on discipline is.

Luckilly, dad and I were disciplined very similarlly as children, and I remember a time or two that his mom got me for bad behavior and my mom got him…because they were the closest adults, and when we were kids, the closest adult gotcha first, then your parents gotcha best. :roflhard:

Isn’t that the truth!!! these days that attitude is rare. (lol- don’t get me started about saying “no” to someone else’s kid…)

I’m glad you are being so sensitive of everyone’s feelings- it sounds like everyone is trying really hard. Little JR will thrive with so many to love him. your idea of the pictures is very nice and I hope it is accepted in the spirit in which it is given.