82 answers

Stepmom Goes to the School

A couple of weeks ago, my son told me that his dad's wife showed up at his school during his recess time. Apparently, she wanted to introduce herself to the teacher and to give my son stickers and candy. I immediately hit the roof since I felt it was inappropriate for her to 1) feel the need to introduce herself to the teacher and 2) disrupt my son's school day by giving him stickers and candy. Both of which he was unable to share with the rest of the class and ended up getting him into trouble with the teacher since he became really excited and disruptive in class. My ex's wife and I do not have a very good relationship at all and she constantly tries to override me as my son's mother. There is no use in talking to her because she thinks that she can do whatever she wants in regards to my son. My ex is no help either. On one occasion that I know of, she has posed as my son's mother to gain access to his medical information with the insurance company (that I pay for). She has absolutely no rights to my son and she continues to poke her nose in business that is none of her concern.
After my son told me about her visit to the school, I called the school office to discuss why this person was allowed on the campus during school hours. I was told that someone would get back to me but no one has. Should I pursue this issue with the school's principal? A person who is not a parent, guardian or blood relative should not be granted onto school property. They don't check IDs, not that they have time to do that for everyone but I feel some sort of security should be in place. My ex's wife is unstable and had clearly disrupted my son's school day. I think it is the school's responsibility to keep my son safe and it is obvious that they cannot but letting anyone onto the school grounds. The fact that I called the school and no one ever got back to me is ticking me off. Any thoughts?

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone for your response. I posted the question to get idea about what others would think about the situation. I had already decided to kind of let it go and not pursue it with anyone. I have since decided to just simply talk to the office staff about their procedures. The simple fact is our children are not as safe as they should be in school. It seems like anyone can walk onto school grounds. The person who visited my son was a stepparent, but the scary part is that it could have been anyone. The second part to this is that the stepparent chooses not to discuss anything with me. She could have had shown some respect for me as the mother by discussing her idea of going to my son’s school. She does not have any children of her own, but she is old enough to know that candy in school is not appropriate and neither is bribery.
For those who voiced their opinions about me and my situation, let me just say that you have no idea what my son and I have been through. My ex and his wife have created so much unnecessary drama in my son’s life it is ridiculous. No divorce is not easy, yes communicating with the other parent is key and no the child should not be in the middle. I would love to have a great relationship with my ex and his wife. Unfortunately, when the other parent and stepparent refuses to communicate with you and talks bad about you to the child, you’re only left to constantly fix things. My son is constantly being put in the middle and it is not by me. My son’s father is emotionally abusive, cruel and generally does not want to be a parent since he does not put any effort into it. Who stands up for the child in that kind of situation? The mother. I was a stepparent too (my ex is on his third marriage) so I know how both roles feel like. Simply put a stepparent does equate to a biological parent when the biological parent is active in the child’s life. If this person really did love my son then she would be supportive of me as his mother and I could do the same for her. It is all very sad.
When I posted the question, I expected to be attacked. But not nearly to the extent that I have been. Statements such as “grow up”, “deal with it” and calling me names just shows how ignorant you are. Why is it that the mother is always attacked for being a mom? I went to this website to “connect to other mom’s in my community”. Instead, I get a bunch of women attacking me with very little knowledge of my situation. Boy, some of you seem so eager to throw another woman under the bus. Thanks a lot!

Featured Answers

Kim, I am a former teacher and I know at the schools I have worked at you can put that a person is not allowed to be there on the records. I as a teacher would not be happy to have someone come by and disrupt my whole class. That is not at all acceptable and yes go to the principal with this concern.

1 mom found this helpful

I think you have enough information/documentation to go to the police and request a restraining order on that woman. Yes, if I were you, I would be over at the school in person right now. Good luck! A

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Tricky situation ~ you are viewing her actions thru emotionally charged lens, how could you not? It's completely understandable & normal, but not helpful to your son's situation. He has to deal with this women, whether he likes it or not and he is torn between his parents who he loves dearly. That's a lot for a 6 year old to handle. He needs his mom, dad & step mom to all let him just be a kid.

Can you change this woman's actions, no...is she allowed to be a part of your son's life, yes (regardless of your preferrence...I know that is the part that sucks!) :(

I do not think the school can keep her out of the picture if her husband doesn't jump in and ask her to stop. Can you control her actions, no...But you can control your reactions, and your reactions will influence her actions to some degree.

This is a fact, with studies to back it...and it's not a pretty fact...but divorce takes 10-15 YEARS to 'get over'for all people involved...longer if there are constant fueds.

So while you and your X and his new wife are all dealing with your emotions, your beloved son, who you would do anything for will be 16-21 years old before he will feel less stress about his family situation. You don't want him to have to carry that hardship for that long. Neither does your X or his new wife. The sooner you all can work out a plan to keep the peace, the better life your son will live.

You would die for your son, I know it, I'm a parent, setting aside your differences with his father and his new wife for your son is so worth it. Stickers, candy, etc...that is not the big picture, he needs his mom and his dad (regardless of your marriage) to be his rocks, his solid ground...he knows the difference between you and her. He knows you are his mother. If you are the bigger person, he will respect that, but if you are not, then she will 'win'...it's up to you to make a good move...

I know my message probably upsets you, and I'm very sorry, I just know from my divorced parents, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you do what you can for your son's sake. He needs you. Please don't let petty squabbles happen. Be the bigger person, water off a duck's back, you are greatness, prove that to your son with silent but strong honorable actions. :)

3 moms found this helpful

Hi Kim,

I am a former office manager of an elementary school. NO ONE who is unfamiliar to the staff of the school is allowed on campus without cehcking in with the office, and even the familiar people are supposed to check in.

Your ex's wife has no right to go to the school and has no right to contact your son if she is not specifically listed as a contact on the emergency card or your son's paperwork.

Call the school one more time and ask to speak to the principal. If you don't get a satisfactory response, take it to the superintendent's office.

If you have court documents that outline any specifics regarding custody, etc., it would be beneficial to have that on file with the school as well, if there are terms that involve school time (pick-ups, etc.).

I'm really sorry you are going through this and I wish you the best.


2 moms found this helpful

Wow there are some really pissed off ladies here!!! I have been on both sides of this fence and let me tell you, by NOT working with the step mom you are doing your son a huge disservice. Are you not secure in your role as mom? My daughter has four parents who love her, and while we do not love each other we work TOGETHER to make sure she had what SHE needed. We tried to make a bad situation better. Did it hurt when she called stepmom mom, at first, but she didn't know that, plus I was mommy. Get over hurt because of the divorce and think of your son. Work with her FOR YOUR SON. In the long run your son will appreciate it. Sorry I am not more sympathic but I have been coparenting for 20 years, it can work if you put your big girl panties on and deal!

2 moms found this helpful

I can see why you are upset about her going to the school for no real reason but to make herself "known". Candy and stickers... talk about bribing a child! I would call the school principal and let he/she know that even if there is nothing that can be done, fine however a response is necessary and that all of your concerns should be addressed IN WRITING (keep that for your records)! And with regards to the step mom accessing your sons medical records... that is illegal (she committed fraud by doing so) and you need to document this! How did you find out about her doing that? She seems very insecure. Remember that YOU are your sons ONLY mother no matter what the step mom wants to think or do. Keep a record too of anything that she does that is unlawful or plan weird. If you ever have to go to court, exact dates and descriptions of what happened will work in your favor. Sorry that you have to go thru this and know that you have every right to feel upset.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through! Can't your ex help you with this situation?

It seems that whichever parent has custody should be the only one who has full access to their kids' medical records, doctors, and school. Perhaps the school will work with you--they can't want a stepmom to show up at school randomly with stickers and candy! If the stepmom is posing as you--isn't that a crime? Fraud??

Best wishes to you!!!

1 mom found this helpful

She "posed" as your son's Mother to gain access to his medical information. This is FRAUD... this is a criminal act.
You SHOULD pursue this, and file a report. You also MUST contact your insurance company and report this to them.

DOCUMENT everything, this posting included, and keep track of everything.... this will be your "proof" for any legal action.

You need to take legal action... or file a restraining order. You Ex is not doing anything about it, you must. SHE does not have any "legal" Parental rights over your son, right? So, this is key.

I would file a police report. It is not only the school's fault... you must take care of this woman in protection of your son. **ALL schools have "authorization" consent forms... per WHO is ALLOWED to pick-up your son or anything else of that matter. The school was REMISS is enforcing this... I would, put it in writing, (to document it for your own proof), and send it to the Principal. ALSO, any "visitor" to a school HAS TO check in at the office... and sign a "check-in/check-out" form. At least at my daughter's school this is also the protocol. MAKE SURE of these rules.

You also might want to make it legal, that your Ex's "wife" is NOT THE LEGAL GUARDIAN/PARENT of your son..... NOR does she have any say in the medical/well being NOR is a "decision maker" in your son's life.

If you do not take care of this, it WILL happen again. AND, what if she takes your son from school, without your knowing?

All the best,

1 mom found this helpful

Hi Kim, if the stepmom's name is not on your emergency card then definitely she should not be allowed on the premises. Contact the principal and have a memo put on his info that she is not allowed to contact your son in school. The school has to take care of hundreds and sometimes things are not taken care of or relegated as not important. You only have one child to take care of and this needs immediate attention. What if next time she tries to pick him up? Do not be rude to school personnel but definitely make yours wishes known.
Also as to medical information. You can call the insurance company and ask if you can establish a password that needs to be asked before any info is given out. Some companies will do that.

As to those insulting "advisors" throw out the bad and keep the good. If the advise begins to be insulting, stop reading and go on to the next. Don't let the good advise go by.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, Kim,

Yes, the step-mother is over-stepping the boundaries a little.

But she is also wanting to make her presence known in your son's life. Not sure of her motive, but having been a step-parent, I can tell you that my motive was to show my step-child that I wanted to be a part of her life as much as we could. See, her mom didn't want us around either, although all of HER lovers and 3 subsequent husband's were to be treated as permanent fixtures.

Amazing, though, as much as she didn't want my Husband and myself to be in their daughter's life, she sure has no problems coming up with new and improved ways to try to get more money every time we think we can relax.

I am a step-parent. Most of the time, we genuinely don't want to stick it to the custodial/birth parents. We are just trying to define our roles in the extendeded (usually dysfunctional) family. If you cannot talk directly to step-mom about your boundaries, do discuss it with the office staff, and they have no choice but to comply.

Just please make sure YOUR motives are genuine. I saw by one of your earlier posts that "Dad is around, although you wish he wasn't" (something like that). Please re-examine this. It only does harm to the child, because they do pick up on your feelings. If he knows this is how you feel, how can HE ever relax and enjoy himself while spending time with his father and step-mother????
Good luck!

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