Dealing with parental envy

I always thought it would be the boys mom that I would be jealous of. They adore her and I know I will just never be their mom. And I’m ok with that. I think I have a pretty healthy view of what my role in their life is.

Today, it’s Curtis I’m jealous of. I would never begrudge him a close relationship with his kids. I love how much his kids adore him. And he deserves it because he is a great father. I wish he could see how much they love him. 

While I think the kids all like me well enough (most of the time, anyway), I’ve really only developed a palpable bond with one of them. Reegan (7) wants me to read to him. So every night I read to him. It started because Curtis always fell asleep while reading to him but it became our little thing. Until tonight. Curtis has been asking Reegan for a little while to read to him and Reegan finally agreed. So out I go. Taitum only wants Daddy and Nolan gets both of us. I feel like he crushed the one parenting win I had. I have spent two and a half years trying to build that bond. That was our thing, and now it’s not. Not that the bond is gone, it still exists, of course. But he won, he gets to have that, too. I’m hurt and I’m sad and I’m full of envy. It’s one of those moments where it’s very apparent that I’m not a real parent.

Too Good to be True

Well, we knew it wouldn’t last. She needs money and if her favourite ATM won’t give it to her, she’s going to stop letting the kids go to sports until she gets what she wants. She sent her message through Nolan last night. He’s 10 and said to Curtis that ‘Mom said you owe her money and she’s going to stop the sports thing if you don’t pay her tomorrow.’ The thing is… we don’t actually owe her money. She wants more in child support and, technically, she has to go to court to get that. She’s threatening court now, and we might beat her to the punch after how she’s crossed the line. We put this verbiage in the agreement about how the parent will not have adult conversations with the kids or use the kids to communicate a parenting issue, but she just ignores the agreement. I can’t even imagine the effect this is having on Nolan. The very thought makes me feel sick. How can she be ok with putting that poor kid in the middle of this? Just let him be a kid. Don’t punish him to get a couple hundred dollars from your ex. It makes my heart hurt so much. I had no idea. He didn’t say anything to me. I shared my prize for the hat he helped me make (for the contest at my recital)… I let him stay up to watch his hockey team in the playoffs… he made his own strawberries… I thought he was good, but Curtis said it was like he was waiting to tell him, said he wanted him to know. It all makes me sad. I’m hoping it means he understands how much it means to Curtis for the kids to go to sports and how hard he tries… it all sucks…

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The award-winning hat that Nolan helped me make.

So here’s the thing… how can we protect them if she ignores a court order? How can even a judge enforce that if she just doesn’t care what it says? She ignores it all… She ignores the fact that is clearly states that sports are an outstanding issue and tries to bully us into doing it her way, she ignores the fact that she can’t change doctor’s appointments without Curtis’ permission, she ignores the fact that he’s allowed to talk to doctors and goes so far as to remove his name from the kids’ files, she ignores the fact that she’s supposed to turn over the kids birth certificates and the fact that she’s not supposed to bad mouth him to the kids, she takes the kids to the US without telling him… and she’s ignoring the fact that the agreement does not call for them to review child support every year, it just says that this is the amount to be paid. Well, the agreement is about as good as toilet paper as she will continue to do what she wants, no matter the damage done to those kids. So what are we to do? We’ve said we’re ready to go to court… but what can a judge do? Can someone make her do the right thing, or just obey the court order? We’ve been afraid of the emotional cost paid by the kids as she tries to exact her revenge on Curtis, but she’s already doing it… How do we know when the good outweighs the bad? Curtis is so angry at her right now, he’s ready to take a stand. We are ready to take a stand.

A Step-mom Navigating Mother’s Day

This really felt like my first Mother’s Day. When I got home from work on Friday, Reegan gave me a gift he made for me at school. When I booked lunch for my mom, he told me to say there were two mothers, and when he planned a Mother’s Day meal with his mom, he meant that to be for me, too. We ended up arguing about it and that’s how I found out, but certainly the intention is there. I really didn’t understand that they would celebrate me… a step-mom is its own unique thing and I know I’m not their mom, I know my role is unique. My gift from Reegan

The kids woke me up this morning with home-made cards, and I love them. Can I wake up that way every day? Lol.


Today, the boys went to be with their mom, as they should. Reegan ran back into the house so he could show his mom the gift he gave me. He ran back to find his coat, without the gift. When Curtis asked him, he said his teacher didn’t know he needed two. She kept it. Part of me feels bad for her, how awful to find out that your son gave your Mother’s Day gift to his step-mom, and part of me is furious at her for putting him in the middle. Of course I’m sad, that was my first Mother’s Day gift, I was going to hang that baby in a place of honour. I was so proud of it… poor kid must have felt so awkward. Curtis said he took it out of his backpack and said he made it for me. It must be hard to be a kid with two families. 

I worry about what she is going to say, I worry about the fight we caused. Will she stop taking the kids to sports, will she keep all of Curtis’ Father’s Day gifts for her husband? Will she make us out to be the a-holes who stole her gift? Or will the taking of the gift and what it represents be enough? 

I am not their mother. I am my own special person in their life. I am secure enough in myself as a person and in my role in their life to understand that. And to feel bad for everyone involved in this – her, Reegan, Curtis for having to see that, myself. Shared custody is a hard thing for everyone. And on the other hand… that woman stole my first Mother’s Day gift.