Step Mother Overstepping Her Bounds!!!!

Updated on November 06, 2010
K.A. asks from Dunlap, IL
19 answers

i have a 10 yr old boy who wanted to live with his father 1 yr ago....i also have a 4, 5, and 14 yr old step son living with me. i figured to make him happy he could. problem is his father never wanted to have anything to do with him til he was child support or even visitation. my son craved attention from his dad.. when mentioned he could live with his father, my son jumped to the idea and wanted to do it right away. to me it sounded a little silly, cause his father never would have come up with this idea on his own.....PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!!!! he didnt! he has a girlfriend that cant have children and it was her do i know this? she has completely taken over and wont let me know anything that is going on with my child unless i pry or find out on my own. what do i do? have an app for a lawyer later on this week.... i have legal custody of him. dont want to let him know the issues we are having, but want to fix them...i did not plan on another woman taking over my son, just wanted to let him be happy with his father... which has been very deserved!

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So What Happened?

he has an app with his therapist tomorrow, for his adhd and she insist that she go.. i know by law and working in the medical field she is not allowed to by hippa. my ex says lol we will find out tomorrow...mind you i am the custodial parent..nothing has been legalized yet...the only thing i told him he can get is joint custody...i just dont understand where she is coming from... i have a step son, that my husband and i have custody of, but would never do this to his mother... i stay back and do what im told because i would never want to step on her feet (i act like im the babysitter... which is what you shoud do if you are the stepparent) the child will decide on what relationship you will have later on. she just cant have kids and thinks she is going to take mine over!!!!! im still his mother!!!!!!!!!

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answers from Tulsa on

I am a step mom and would never do that. pay for his cell phone so you can keep tabs. good luck and +I wish more moms were as understanding as you

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boca Raton on

If it were me I would obtain legal advice from a qualified attorney immediately (as in THIS WEEK).

Good luck.

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answers from Washington DC on

hm. you allowed your son to move in with a father who had never been involved with him, even though you knew it wasn't something his father wanted. now you're surprised that there is a GF in the picture, and angry that she wants to parent your son?
she is completely out of line for trying to keep you out of the loop, but i must say that my heart breaks for this little fellow. he may well have felt shunted aside in your home, even if you were trying to help him fit in with all those step-brothers. if you have legal custody and don't like what's going on, why don't you take him back?
have you tried to work with her? it may be that if you give her a chance, it could work out to be a wonderful opportunity for your son to have TWO women who love him and want what's best for him in his life.
it seems a bit much to just send him off to a disinterested dad without knowing much about the situation, and now to be upset that it's not perfect.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Enid on

i would talk to her and put her in her place. she is a GIRLFRIEND, she is not married to him and she is not his mother. i would simply tell her that you have custody, not them and if she wants him to be around she will tell you what you want to know or you will come and get him. plain and simple... she needs to know her boundaries since she obviously doesnt know what they are! maybe im to forward, but, my moms (at the time) boyfriend tried the same thing and i told him off. told him i had a dad, that he was who my mom chose to be with and when he proved himself he could be my step dad. maybe thats why we get along so grreat now lol

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Problem #1... why would you let your son go live with his father if you didn't want "them" to become the primary caregivers?

Problem #2... you didn't set boundaries at the outset surrounding your roles in your son's life.

Problem #3... someone else is raising your child (with your permission) and you're annoyed.

Meet with the lawyer and renegotiate the custody situation. Don't be surprised, however if these three points are brought up by their attorney. If you want his father to be part of his life, be reasonable about what YOU can tolerate. Maybe rotate weeks, but don't hand over your son willingly and then get upset with the fall-out.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

It’s a tough problem. I had the same experience as your son when I was a little girl. My parent divorced when I was nine year old, and I remember I was extremely sad, helpless and scared. Then, I moved to another city with my dad, and never see my mother since then. I even cannot remember what my mother looks like.
Children have rights for a happy childhood. If you believe his father is irresponsible, and his stepmother is trying to keep his real mother away from him, you should let your son back to yourself. After all, you are the one who really concerns about your son, who will do everything for him.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Redding on

I hope I don't piss some people off, but in my opinion, a girlfriend should not be sticking her nose into things this much.
Like it or not, a child has two biological parents. Yes....step mothers can be cool and supportive....I've been one. But even legally married, I knew full well that I didn't have any say pertaining to legal matters with my step kids. It was between their mom and dad.
While at my house they had to pick up after themselves and go with the flow of things and be respectful, but when it came to arguments or custody or anything like that, I stayed out of it. The girlfriend is obviously in the child's life to an extent, but she bears no legal gravity in the situation whatsoever. And, if she wants to get on her high horse and get pushy with people who evaluate your child, she might be told she needs to butt the hell out and your ex might find himself in a situation where he can't have his child around her. You have legal custody. You can work things out with dad. She is completely peripheral at this point whether she likes it or not.
Express your concerns.

I hope it works out. Let us know.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

She is NOT a stepmother. She's a girlfriend of your ex.

Your son doesn't need to be dragged into messiness, but the lawyer needs to know what's going on because I doubt she can be involved in any school or medical decisions, etc. If she wants to help, that's great, but she needs to back off. You need to find out what legal concerns are in this situation for the safety and well being of your child.

I REALLY like Stacy H's answer :)

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Antonio on

I feel the same as many posters on here, step-parents are not babysitters but an additional parent. If she is a girlfriend that is different but if they are legally married she is an "extra" mom. When my husband and I got married we sat everyone down his kids, my daughter, our parents, siblings, etc and said the word "step" do not exist here, we are family -mom, dad, brother, sister etc. If you do not like or are not willing to be part of our new family that is okay and we will try to understand your feeling but until you decide to be family we will not be apart of your life. I do not call my step-children that they are my son and daughters when I introduction them and mother them. There mom understands this and supports it, she even mothers my child (my daughter has gone with her to do things with the other kids like birthday parties) also my ex-husbands wife I found out of scared of upsetting my daughter and my daughter telling me to get her into "trouble" so I called her and told her your her mom do what you need to do and displine her as well as teach her all you can. Weeks later I got a card from her thanking me for making her feel like a "person" not just a free staff I have seen many times where people want you to leave all the displine to the bio-parent only but that for one just makes you a target for the kid and two is not reasonable when many times the step-parent may have the child for days while the bio-parent is at work or so forth. My step-daughters mom says and I agree we may not like each other as people but we are both your moms and respect is what we both will get and displine is what you will get.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

The therapist will not allow the "stepmother" into the session.
And you said you're seeing an attorney soon.
The attorney will advise you.
Probably you'll need a custody agreement
that defines all parties' rights and obligations.
Your son should be coming home to visit you at regular intervals.
And, as another mom pointed out, giving him his own cell phone
would probably be a good idea, too.
Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

The lawyer should be able to help you with this, although generally "possession" plays a big part, and you gave them physical possession of your son.
I also wanted to comment that I am a stepparent, and the kids live with us about 11 months out of the year, so I AM raising them. But if their mother asked about them, we would respond.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dover on

You are his mother and she is his stepmother. Yes, you have the right to know what is happening w/ your son.

I don't believe stepparents should "act like the babysitter". The should treat their stepchildren as they would their children or they shouldn't be married to the biological parent. Yes, they may need to defer to the bio-parents at times but that does not me "hands off".

You need to get your custody and placement arrangements ironed out and go from there. I see nothing wrong w/ both parents and step-parents being at the therapists office especially since he is living with his dad and stepmom. She would be allowed if the parents said it was ok. If all the parents (both step and bio) could work together to co-parent it is much better for the children.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Anchorage on

Is she the GF or the Step mother? I am confused on that point and it makes a big difference. A step parent to a younger child is not a baby sitter, they are another parent, but if she is only a GF, that is different, unless she is long term and they live together? I would really need more info to know if she is really overstepping, or if you are just having a hard time accepting another mother figure in your son's life.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Step-parents aren't babysitters. They are parents. When a child is in their home, they need to respect that parent, as such. My 4yr old just got a new step-mom and we are trying to deal with that, because he doesn't want to respect her, because she stole his daddy and she has 4 kids.

You need to have a sit down talk with your ex and his gf, with your husband as well. You are all going to have to work together. She needs to understand that while she is like a parent while he's living with them, she doesn't have the right to leave you out of the loop. He is still your child and you still have custody and she needs to understand that. I'm sure she is just reacting out of a need to have a child when she can't, but that doesn't need to be over looked. What if it were something major? Like if he got hurt and had to be taken to the ER, would you get a call? You all need set some ground rules, or all you'll get is tension and anger which he will notice.
I don't envy your position. Our situation is very amicable, my husband has been with me since before my son was born. (ex and I had separated, due to many things, including a son before who had died at birth) So he's always had him here, he's Daddy, he's important to him.
Good luck, this is going to be a difficult road if she's really trying to keep you out. God bless.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Minneapolis on

Hmmm. I agree that a step-parent is not the same thing as a parent but I think downgrading them too the role of baby-sitter is going to far.

How about this....The step mother (or girlfriend in this case) should play whatever role the actual mother defines for her. So that is your job. Meet with your lawyer, outline how custody will work with dad (letting it go as an informal arrangement can be more trouble than it is worth) and outline exactly what role Girlfriend/future step will play. Be veeerry specific.

She can assign him chores but only ABC and not XYZ.
She may attend school programs but not school conferences.
She may not schedule or attend medical appts unless invited.
She may not travel alone with him for distances >30 miles.
She may not buy him gifts >$50 (avoids steps who want to buy love) w/o consulting you.
She may not bring him to a church w/o consulting you (religious upbringing is a very sensitive parents-only thing).

These guidelines can always be changed as you get to know her and as her role with your ex because a more committed one.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

stand your ground mom, i have a similar issue, my daughter's step mom and dad used to beg me to let her step mom take her to dr's appointment for teeth, vision, or just for shots at a dr i don't know HELL NO!!! I would stand my ground on the appointment, however you can't stop her from being at the office in the waiting room, but to go back during the visit you can, she clearly does not know her boundaries with your child. the only time i've visited my step kids when at dr was when my youngest step daughter was in er, and i didn't come in until invited (we were only there to pick the other up so she didn't have to wait all night and go to school the next day).

however, i do let my husband take my daughter when i ABSOLUTELY need it because her dad will not take off work, i can't and my husband is unemployed and her step mom will only take her to THEIR doctor's....not rocket science, although he perfers me to do it but when i can't i can't



answers from Chicago on

I would take him back. If the dad wants visitation, let him come and visit or arrange visitation on holidays. He should be the one to go out of his way to make the effort. I think your son probably misses his friends and siblings anyway.



answers from Chicago on

I am looking forward to the answers. I am having a similar problem with an older child.



answers from Chicago on

then be his mom and go to the meeting...they cant not let you into the meeting....he is your son and maybe you need to get a mediator to resolve some of the conflict.

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