Not quite sure where to begin, but I need to get this out.
So there is an issue in our lives, where as parents, my ex-husband and I have made a decision about how we are going to raise our daughter. Not important what that issue is per se….and I don’t want to digress into a discussion about said topic, but let’s just say it has to do with medical beliefs. While ex-husband and I are in supposed agreement, it’s because I am so adamant about this that he is likely going along with it, but not super convicted either way.
Been teaching my daughter that as a family, we don’t choose to do “ABC,” but some families do, and that is their choice for their family. I want it crystal clear for my daughter that she knows beyond a doubt, that WE don’t do “ABC.”
Over the last few weeks, she has been coming to me, saying that her soon to be step mom, has been telling her that doing “ABC” is important and necessary. She has also told me that “Future-step-mom (FSM) doesn’t believe me when I tell her that I am allergic to ABC (which she is).”
The first few times it happened, I just tried to explain to her that families have different rules, and our family does it one way, and it doesn’t make it wrong that others do it another way. And it’s not her job to have that discussion with FSM, and not to worry about it if she doesn’t believe her. What matters is that we know what we do.
This afternoon, when we were in the car, out of the blue, my daughter brought this issue up yet again. And this time, I was done. I repeated what I had said before, and that for her not to worry about whether FSM agrees/disagrees/thinks otherwise, or whatever. This is a grown up discussion and FSM is free to discuss it with me directly – not a 6 year old, but ME. And if she mentions it again, that my daughter need not talk about it with her. (to that, my 6 year old says “can I plug my ears, Mommy?”) And as her mother, I calmly said, “Sure.”
Underneath it all, I was SEETHING. Some other mama bear was stepping into my territory and I was going to defend it with my life. (Yes, that is how strongly I feel about said issue.)
I was seething for two reasons.
First, because how dare another woman try to make my 6 year old question something that is our family’s choice, and is none of her business.
Secondly, and WAY more importantly, because I don’t want my daughter to feel in the middle, feel like sharing something with me is going to be problematic in any way, or cause an issue. Clearly she is talking with me about it because she is confused, and is wondering how to handle it. As her mom, I want to teach her that not everyone thinks the same things, and that is quite OK. But a 6 year old should not be put in the position to be questioning something of this adult magnitude. I resent that this woman’s lack of awareness of what’s appropriate for a child, and lack of tact, has caused this disturbance in our equilibrium. It’s not OK. She should know that, and now I am dealing with the consequences.
Isn’t there some mom code that dictates these rules? Maybe she skipped that day in class.
And I do get it, that if my daughter stated in front of her daughters, that doing ABC is bad, and she has done ABC with her daughters, that she may have been trying to save face with them on the topic. I do get that. She was trying to keep her little bears from worrying that what she had chosen to do with them was wrong. However, that should be handled separately, and rather than discuss the issue itself, it just should be said that people have different opinions, and then be left alone.
Have you ever had a situation with your child’s step parent where their beliefs are in opposition to yours? How have you handled it with your children? With the step parent?