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Step Mom vs Bio Mom

Discussion forum for parents in Australia


Step Mom vs Bio Mom

Let’s start out by saying, we have a very blended family. I have 2 girls, 8 and 13. He has 2 girls, 4 and 13. None of which share both mom and dad. So there is a lot of parenting differences but we usually are close to being on the same page, except his 4 year old daughters mom.
When his daughter was born, we’ll call her Ace, she was born with a heart defect and had to have immediate surgery. I can’t imagine the rough road they had to go down. Fast forward 4 years later, she is thriving and as smart as a whip but struggles with basic school skills. When we first got together 2 years ago, she was very sheltered. Didn’t go to daycare or any kind of play dates to get her accustomed to a toddler life because her mom used her heart condition as an out. Yet her heart doctor told them to treat her like a normal kid because she was doing awesome. At this point she had little to none social skills. Her dad works long hours and wouldn’t get home till 8 pm and at that time he lived with his mom who worked at a bar. She would take Ace into the bar to sit till her dad came and picked her up. Once our relationship progressed he told me I could quit my job where we worked together to have the 8-5, Monday through Friday to be there for our kids. I stepped in and drove to another town after work so Ace didn’t have to be in the bar atmosphere. I told him that I had no issue doing that and I thought she deserved stability. After Covid started to slow down, I started to mention how it would be great to put her in daycare to start learning socializing and basic toddler necessities. She was still wearing diapers because she didn’t know or wasn’t taught with consistency on how to use the potty because she was here for 2 days and at her mom’s for 2 days. It was a hard road but he finally agreed to put her in daycare and her mom agreed after some very unnecessary hostile conversations. She’s done nothing but succeeded and they all talk about how much she’s grown since she’s started. This year she will finally be starting preschool and will be living full time with her dad and I.

Now to the Bio mom part. When they got divorced they agreed to joint custody. He was to pay $90 a month in child support. I later on find out he is giving her an extra $300 a month on top of that, but not from him, from his mom who handles his money. Im the one that buys the groceries, pays the bills, does the school shopping, and pays for the daycare. He makes decent money but he worked very hard to get there after his divorce. His ex wife is constantly trying to take advantage of that in my perspective. The topic of preschool came up in April, I reached out to our local school where my kids went to ask if there was availablity and they had a couple spots open. He asked his ex about it and she said no way is she going to school there. She later called back and said there was no availablity in any preschool in her bigger town. Today, 4 months later, reached out to the preschools there to see and there’s 5+ spots throughout the town that are available. Also, I asked if they ever had a waiting list and all but 1 school said no. So there was availability then. She also said she will not put her in a school that has anything to do with religion, I didn’t include those schools in my contacts.
His ex can’t hold a job to save her soul, she’s been in a few different relationships since my Fiancé and I have been together and the cops have been involved a few different times for domestic assault reasons. Ace is with us over 75% of the time. If Ace says something out of context in their mind, his ex is constantly calling and saying he is a POS father and he will never see his daughter again. Yet the next day she’s asking when he’s going to pick her up. There was drug use in their relationship when they were together but I know he is no longer using, I wouldn’t tolerate that. But I’m not sure what’s going on when Ace is at her moms. He says nothing, but to me, the constant mood swings and random accusations that are beyond ridiculous has me concerned. About a couple years ago she had her other 2 kids taken from her and she says it’s because her exs wife can’t have kids so she wanted hers. I know that’s none of my business so I don’t follow up on it. My issue is, my fiancé hates animosity and confrontation so he doesn’t stand up to her. Also his mom is in contact with his ex and sends clothes and food with Ace when she goes there yet talks so much negativity on her so I’ve distanced myself from her. I don’t want to over step my boundaries but I also feel they are constantly enabling her. Am I selfish for telling him to chose between the extra child support and our family? I don’t care about the money but I feel like it’s the principle. I also pay child support, for one of my kids and insurance and medical bills for both of my kids while his other kids moms live off the state. He’s honestly a great guy but he needs to grow a back bone and I’ve told him that. Any and all advise is more than appreciated! #livingthebiomomANDstepmomlife
Prolific scribe

Re: Step Mom vs Bio Mom

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Welcome to the community @sassX5 ! This does sound like a really difficult situation for you to be navigating and we really want to commend you on the great steps you and your fiance have taken together already. It sounds like many of the common challenges that can pop up in blended families have been overcome already for you both by clear communication, a lot of love and some boundary setting.

We can also understand why you have concerns about your stepdaughter's ongoing safety in the care of her biological mother given her history with substances and a number of domestic violence incidents. Do you have concerns about your stepdaughter's ongoing safety in her mother's care? We really encourage you and your fiance to consider escalating concerns to authorities in your community if you are ever concerned for her wellbeing.

You have asked some important questions here about the boundaries you have established with your fiance around finances and the ways he currently manages what feels like almost abusive contact from his ex-partner. I wonder how your partner responded to the boundaries you proposed to him?

It sounds like you're trying a manage a lot at the moment @sassX5. Aside from your partner, what kind of support do you have? Is there anyone in your life that you can talk to about what you're going through as a step-parent? If you think it might be useful for you, the National Stepfamily Resource Centre has some fantastic resources and referrals if you need some extra support.


Re: Step Mom vs Bio Mom

I had to reply as I could have actually written this, sounds exactly like my husband and unfortunately his ex..

I don't know have a lot of advise but it did get better for us, once she settled down and found a man.. a very older one but a man none the less, she has held down a job for 5 years amazingly..
But I have completely and totally disengaged from her, I have not laid eyes on her since 2016 lucky me..
I just hope your situation gets better; my hubby still won't stand up to her which drives me insane but I have just tried to let it go..easier said then done! Goodluck x