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Question
Posted by: plastic mom | 2007/04/15

stephson

Hi,

I met my husband years after his divorce. His son chose to live with us.On the day he made the choice I phoned his mom and promised her that I will look after him as my own and that I will keep her up to date with any problems. He was 8 at the time when he moved in with us. It was not an easy process in the beginning. until one day I sat with him and explained that we both here because we love his dad. i also said that I will never take his mom's place and have always garded myself against anything negative towards my son's mom. I have grown to love this boy as my own. And I have been treating both our kids the same. My husband and I do have another daughter.

The problem is that his mom wants to visit every now and again. I dont perticularly like her as a person although I have respect for the fact that she is my son's real mom. I therefore bear her in my personal space for the sake of him! She is unhappy about almost everything we do in our household and has comments on especially his homework. (he is homeschooling)I am going out of my way to help my son, but he is sometimes very lazy to do his work and are therfore behind. We as a family feels that he needs to take more responsibility by now as he is 16 years old.he has al the resources he can possibly get but he doesnt use it! I have said to him that if he fails this year it is back to school, for his own benefit.
When his mother is visiting he treats me like a stanger. all of sudden I wont be greated or told where he is going. I 'm shuffed to the one side and a basically ignores me! That just hurt my feelings as I am really trying to go out of my way to be a mother figure for him. Dont get me wrong, I just want him to treat me the same way as he always does , whether his mom is there or not. I wont take her place. I have the biggest respect for their relationship and I can understand as I have a daughter of my own.
i am planning to talk to him as soon as his mom has left. Am I being unrealistic here?


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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

I suppose you've discovered one of the idsadvantages of home schooling, that due to the relative lack of outside assessments and standards, there is room for this sort of disagreement about homework and the standards being adhered to, as well. Any mom, like her, might be concerned about the homework --- but you arenow in the odder position of being stepmom, and teacher, and examiner !
From your description, you handled the issue of becoming a step-mom uncommonly well and wisely, and have reaped benefits from doing so. It sounds as though he feels uncomfortable and uncertain about how to behave towards you when his biological mom is around, and tries to minimize demostrations of his affection for you so as not to hurther --- maybe she has even implied to him that she has some concerns about this, whereas he feels confident enough with regard to you, to hope that this method won't risk his relationship with you, while letting her feel better. SO maybe it's time for one of your skilled talks about the issue, explore why he does this, and inicate that you don't think his biological mom will feel offended if he is simply pleasant towards you while when is visiting. and that you still expect basic courtesies such as greetings and information about where he is going.
Good luck, and tell us later how the discussion went !

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