For some of us, these bumps come in the form of co-workers, for others it might be an in-law or a friend. For me, it's my husband's former wife - the bio-mom (BM) to my step-kids. I usually refer to her as BM (for the obvious "piece o' crap connotations) or "The MOMSTER". Of course, I never speak badly about her in the presence of the children, and am quick to remind them that their mom loves them and cares a great deal about them. Personally, I am not really sure about those things (she truly isn't the maternal type), but I think it's important that the kids feel they are loved equally in both homes.
Anyway, I digress... It seems I have again hit a speed bump on the road of step-momming. It's frustrating, to say the least. For the next few weeks (months?), I will be cruising at a solid 5 mph, afraid of hitting another bump and causing even more damage. I know that when my husband and I make decisions regarding the children, we always consider what is in their best interest, and we try to factor their opinions into our choices. Believe me, we've been reminded by BM on a number of occasions that we need to "Do what's in the best interest of the children". However, when we make decisions that are obviously based upon the best interest/wishes of the children, we are then accused of "appeasing" them and not being parents.
As far as I can tell, it all comes down to the issue of control. BM would like to have control over everything that goes on in her household, as well as ours. When that doesn't happen, we get the "You're spoiling the children" or "You're not teaching the children responsibility" email. When we decide on something that is not in favor of what the children want (for example, not letting them miss a day of school to see a ball game when they're already behind on their homework), we are accused of being "too strict" and "not taking into consideration what the children truly want". It's enough to make my head spin.
I assure you, I am not perfect - far from it. However, sometimes dealing with BM's insanity is more than I can handle. I realize there are two sides to every story and that she is probably in her home right this moment, venting to a friend (or a blog!) about what a horrible step-mom I am. But I really do try to consider everyone's feelings and wishes when I form my opinions regarding the children and our unique situation. My own feelings/opinions are usually at the bottom of the list.
It's really very hard to please a husband, who I vowed to always treat with respect and kindness; three children, who change their wishes/demands from day to day; and a BM who will continue to find fault in all I do, no matter what it is.
Either I am too giving, soft, appeasing OR I am too mean, rude or unbending - there's no middle ground.
This, my friends, is the reason I like my wine.