Blended Families

Bring it up or don't bring it up?

Yesterday K was at our neighbor's playing.  After K got picked up by BM, the neighbor came over to talk to me and DH about something K said when she was over there.  I guess while the girls were playing they started talking about T's (the neighbor who is K's age) birthday coming up and T told K her birthday is on a Wednesday this year and that she wants K to come to her party.  K said, "I'm with my mom on Wednesdays so she'll just rip up the invitation.".  My neighbor told K that the party would be on a weekend and that she would talk to me and her dad to figure out a good date, and then she changed the subject.

DH and I talked about this last night and we're kind of split on what to do.  I feel like we don't need to really discuss it with K, because we already know BM does this stuff.  There have been times when K has been invited to parties on our weekends and we never see the invite, BM just calls and RSVP's "no" without asking my husband about it.  We have found out later about the party and now the parents at school send home 2 invites with K, one on a day BM picks her up and one when I pick her up.  I know this behavior hurts K, and that's why I feel like if we try and discuss it with her today she's just going to be more upset.  My husband wants to talk to K about it and try to reassure her that BM has her bests interests at heart and doesn't want her to be hurt. 

Why should we make up stuff in order to paint BM in a better light?  I feel like K is starting to see what BM is doing, and as sad as it is and as much as we hate seeing K hurt, the sooner she figures stuff out the better.  I'm not saying we should bash BM or start disclosing more of her antics to K so that K sees the full picture, just that it's not our responsibility to defend BM or lie on her behalf. 

Thoughts?

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Re: Bring it up or don't bring it up?

  • Leave it alone. If she does things to hurt K even if not on purpose it will only hurt her relationship with DH when he lies to her. What does your lawyer say about this stuff? Is there any chance with all of these incidents and witnesses that you guys could get 50/50 or better?
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • imagejobalchak:

    My husband wants to talk to K about it and try to reassure her that BM has her bests interests at heart and doesn't want her to be hurt. 

    My SD's therapist has told us to stop making excuses for BM.  SD is going to figure it out eventually and having you making excuses compounds the lies.  We are just non-committal and emphasize how we cannot control other people's actions, but only how we react to their choices.  Our SD is starting to pick up on her mom's shortcomings and expressing her feelings about them.  It is a hard thing to watch a child realize their parent isn't perfect.

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  • This is a tough one. I would not address BM's actions unless K actually asks or seems like she wants to, but I would want her to ask about them first. When SD used to ask and on the very rare occassion she still does we never cover for BM because there is no excuse for what she has done in case SD does actually have memory of it or will remember it in the future. But we do say something like:

    Some parents love their children but just have trouble prioritizing things. Responsible adults who love their kids more than anything else in the world always make sure that everything they do is for their kids first. Some people just don't see that or know how to do that. It doesn't mean they don't love them deep down somewhere, though. Just know that you have your daddy and me that love you more than anything. You are at the top of our list, and you are completely safe here. Even if you don't always realize it, everything we do is for you and your brother.

    I have said those very words to SD many times. It is long, but it was the best I could do to not defend BM and to reassure her at the same time. She was 4 the first time she broke down and needed this. At 6 now I feel like she still needs some reassurance rather than just, "Sorry, your mom is a ***."

    But as she gets older, there will be less BM reassurance and more focus on our family as it is. At least, that is where I think this goes. But like I said, I wait until she says something first before the other parent gets brought in, and I never said, "your mom", so I am not directly defending BM. Maybe it is a technicality, but I think it makes a difference and allows her to think on her own.
  • imagejobalchak:

    ...

    I'm not saying we should bash BM or start disclosing more of her antics to K so that K sees the full picture, just that it's not our responsibility to defend BM or lie on her behalf.  

    I agree with you on this. 

  • I wouldn't bring anything up. But if K brings it up on her own, I wouldn't cover for BM. BM is a peach and K is starting to see that. Let BM's immature and selfish actions do the talking.
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  • image10-4LilBuddy:
    imagejobalchak:

    My husband wants to talk to K about it and try to reassure her that BM has her bests interests at heart and doesn't want her to be hurt. 

    My SD's therapist has told us to stop making excuses for BM.  SD is going to figure it out eventually and having you making excuses compounds the lies.  We are just non-committal and emphasize how we cannot control other people's actions, but only how we react to their choices.  Our SD is starting to pick up on her mom's shortcomings and expressing her feelings about them.  It is a hard thing to watch a child realize their parent isn't perfect.

    My SDs counselor says the same thing.  Her mom does NOT have her best interest at heart, so there's no reason to tell her that.  You're not tearing her mom down to her, you're just not addressing it.

    Mama of 2: one who grew in my womb, both who grow in my heart.
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