Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the time...help!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills but..how to do so…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

I want my bed back
Cathryn,
I have lived with my boyfriend with shared custody of his daughters, SD11 and SD9. BM allows SD9 to fall asleep in her bed every night and now the poor kid can't sleep/won't sleep on her own at our house.

I feel like having her in our bed - between me and her father - is unfair and inappropriate. I want to sleep through the night with my partner. This happened just again last night, and my boyfriend actually suggested that when she does that, that I go sleep in another room. I refuse to cede my bed to a spoiled 9-year-old.

In addition to my feelings on the matter (and lack of sleep), there is the fundamental development issue for SD9 who needs the independence of sleeping in her own bed every night.

Do you have any advice for me?

CATHRYN’S REPLY

Hi there, This can be a very controversial issue. The “family bed”, like how long to breast feed, is such a subjective thing. Let me tell you what I’ve seen, learned and experienced on this topic. Then you can sift and sort through to see if anything feels right for your situation.

To me, the most important thing you wrote is that YOU are not OK with what is happening. Over the years this has happened to 3 SMOMs I know personally and they each handled it this way...they chose to get out of bed and go somewhere else when the skid came into the bed and the bio-dod allowed it. One went into the guest room, the other got up and exercised (her ss came into their bed in the early morning) and the third, left the house each time it happened. What was the same about their different re-locations is that they had all passed the point of anger and got to a place that said, “if he makes a choice to let his child sleep in our bed, I’m going to make the choice to leave it and take myself somewhere I can be comfortable.”
The three of them had all tried talking to their husbands. At our SMOM meetings we’d all brainstormed, did research about child development, sought out therapists we could quote but nothing moved any of these bio-dads. The bio-dads just couldn’t seem to stand up to their kids or help them by getting up and moving into their kids beds’ or giving them soothing sound machines, etc.

Once the SMOMS realized talk, logic, facts and pleading weren’t going to get them any where, they made the choice to leave the marital bed whenever the skid came into it. This choice is not a concession and I understand how it can feel that way so hang in there with me.

They decided to take action to stop the arguing, to take care of themselves and to make an important point. The point was, “I’m not going to sacrifice my well-being for anyone. If you won’t change, I will.” They adopted an attitude of compassionate acceptance, “I see that you’re not going to honor my needs right now so I’m going to honor my needs as best I can.” This felt much better than leaving with hostility or anger. Making this choice to leave the bed is empowering when it is done for your well-being and because you choose it over the option of staying there stewing in anger or hurt or awkwardness. It is more empowering even if it isn’t your first choice.

The good and perhaps surprising news is that all 3 husbands changed their tune within a week. They each took a different path but each man’s need to sleep with his Sweetheart took on a new urgency when it seemed that it was the only way to get his lover back into his bed. Somehow by leaving quietly leaving the bed, the bio-dads weren’t distracted by anger and ultimately realized they didn’t want their kids their either...they wanted their Sweethearts. Isn’t that something?!!!

While some may say this was a manipulation, I would disagree. If we are faced with a wall, finding away around it feels better than continuing to bang our heads against it. In our group of 12, we were 3 for 3 with this approach. I believe they were successful because they took a stand for themselves and did so out of love and respect for themselves and therefore didn’t have to be angry about it. This is a powerful gesture that got them what they wanted without threats, ultimatums or resentments on either side. I reckon it’s going to be easier for some and harder for others. This is the only experiences I was a part of...worth a try or not?

As a SMOM we’re asked to move over, step aside, wait, come second and/or be patient so often that it can be easy for our husbands to take our willingness to help him for granted. There are a few things each of us feel strongly about and have the right to insist upon. When talking doesn’t change things, action is another option.

I know this is hard. It’s hurtful when the man we love seemingly chooses to collapse all boundaries and disregards our needs in order to avoid conflicts with his kids. (now if he is a solid supporter of the family bed, you two have another challenge.) It’s usually divorce guilt that crushes them into compliance with their kids wishes but that doesn’t change the impact on you. I’m so sorry for the stress, hurt and anger you’re feeling now. I sure hope you get what you want very soon. Have you posted this on the BB for more ideas and experiences? Hope this is helpful in some way, Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055
609.206.2009
Cathryn@smoms.org