Hello - I need help on how to be strong and firm but not seem like a witch either!!! My husband has custody of his daughter and if we set plans for something, the bio mom calls and by the time I hang up - she done changed my whole plans and I'm the one with the shortest straw!!! I always end up letting her have it her way and I hate myself for doing that. She has a way to make me feel guilty or sorry for her and then I give in. Any advice on how I can be assertive and ignore her "poor me act"?
What does she do, like say she can't take care of her daughter so you can't do something? I think if you were a little more exact it would help, just remember that that is her daughter, she literally brought her into this world and loves her (I hope). Too many variables in your situation to give a clear cut answer.
Sorry - I was in a hurry. Mostly what she does is decides she wants her earlier and at the last minute or she needs to bring her back home at a later time (even though we have plans and waiting for her arrival). I always say ok - almost all the time. We cut our hours short to make her happy or we cancel our plans so she can have her for that day. Yes, I understand she brought her in this world but you don't see how she puts the child in the middle of every situation between the parents.
I have tried to talk to the bio mother until I was blue in the face. She acts like she understands and really cares about how I feel but give it a few days and she's back to her usual self - selfish and unpolite and no respect for us. The child is 9 years old and she is always playing her mother's messages to us and sometimes she forgets to tell us until days later.
How about avoiding her when you can, avoiding her calls. For example, you have plans to go to the park with daughter on Saturday. You can almost count of bio-mom to call on Saturday morning and say, "oh, would it be ok to have DD today even though it's not my day to have her; I want to take her to see her grandma." That's hard to say no to.
So...you don't answer the house phone (turn of the ringer and turn down the volume on the answering machine or unplug the machine...). You don't answer your mobile, neither does DH. See, occasionally cut of communcation. And, DO NOT tell daughter what you are doing.
How does DH feel about bio-mom's last minute changes/requests? And, why does DH have custody. That's unusual for dad to have custody. What's the backstory on bio-mom?
I actually have turned the ringer off but then I feel guilty for doing that. It's a long story about why father has custody - mostly because bio mother could did not act like a mother and the daughter was not being treated well.
I just want you to know that you are not alone. My DH also has full custody of DD and for good reason. I have found my self sticking my neck out for her bio mom on numerous occasions (not anymore). Sometimes you just have to put your foot down or in my case your husband will put his foot down. Don't feel sorry for her, she probably did it to herself, but if she's the type that only calls when it is CONVENIENT for her to have a daughter you will soon tire of feeling like you have to help this woman have sometihing to do with her daughter so you don't look like the bad guy.
I know what kind of person it takes to raise another womans child and treat them no different than your own. Just make sure YOU are always there for her. She will know who will always be there for her and won't let her down.
I know its takes a hellofa woman so just keep doing the great job I'm sure are doing.
My story is a little different to yours but I feel your pain and had to post. I have the same issue with my in-laws. See they want to see their grandchild at least once or twice a week. Since my mother takes care of her I told them they can come pick her up any day they want as long as they give me a day or two notice beforehand and make sure she is home by 4:00 which is the time I come home from work.
They have NEVER EVER done either! They call me the night before they want my baby, making my mother change her entire day. They NEVER EVER bring her home before 6:00. Which means I see my baby for three hours before she goes to bed in which I have to give her a bath, feed her and make time to play with her.
I am so fed up with them they have no respect for me or my mother and are plain selfish and arrogant people.
Last week was my final straw. They called the night before and wanted to pick her up in the morning and said they would try to bring her home by 5:30 - 6:00. So I put my foot down. I told them they could not pick her up because they did not give me enough notice but I would go over to their house for a couple of hours and leave early. They were upset that they wouldn't have her but even more upset that I would be there. I am playing their game.When I went over I very nicely told them that they have to respect my mother who has to plan her days. If they don't call they won't get to see her.
My advice is to play her game, come up with excuses. If she says she will be late make her bring her daughter to you where ever you are. Make her plans change. I know its tough on the child and I hate to do that. BUT I think she will do it once, maybe twice by the third time she won't want to run around and change her schedule.
The previous post also suggested not answering your phone. I agree with that. I do the same thing. They call my cell I don't answer, they call the house I don't answer. I come up with excuses all the time and sometimes it works but sometimes it doesn't.
I have cried many hours and have spent many days upset over their actions but this is my child and I have to stand up for myself otherwise I will spend my entire life catering to them. You need to do the same. She will never go away, she will always be in your step daughters life.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions but I have tried everyone of them. Like I said - I have not answered the phone or turned the ringer off and then feel bad for doing that to her mother. I'm not into playing her game because I feel it will never end then. It will just go on and on because she has to be the one on top or the so called "winner" of the game. I have told her face to face to please let us know a few days in advance but no luck there either. I do want to put my foot down because it's not right for her running my life and I have to jump when she says to- I just fear that she will tell step-daughter that I'm keeping her away from her mother because she has done this in the past. I love that little girl and do not want her upset with me when I'm trying my best in everything!! It's a no-win situation!!