I'm mostly the get things done, make it happen evil person now. But the girls don't seem to mind. I think kids are a lot like critters. They like the stability. The most hard ass trainer is often well loved because everyone knows what is expected! No surprises.
I am the epitomy of the hard ass trainer if you ask them. LOL
I have high expectations because I know they can exceed them if not meet them. I probably need to relax a bit, but for now, I'm good with where I am. It's working.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
A hundred years ago I had to student teach at a high school. They advised you always start out very strict and with definite boundaries. You can always relax a little, but you can go from easy to strict, because it never works.
Here is my advice from personal experience:
1) You did sign on for this when you married a man with children. You can do this.
2) If things get personal and you're getting verbal abuse, just imagine the words as a bunch of wind and imagine it just blowing over you, not sinking in.
3) Learn to use phrases like, "be that as it may...." to reply to unreasonable stuff. Like, "you're so cheap, you won't buy SD a NICE phone like yours. You want to stick her with a piece of junk, blah, blah, blah...." You take a breath, smile and say, "Be that as it may, this is the what I can afford this month." No more.
The brand of clothes the kids want is unimportant. The brand of clothes their mother wants is unimportant. Having a cellphone is not a necessity for life. A very cheap, just buy the minutes, no texting phone will not make the children blind or prevent them from going to college.
If you're spending your money, YOU (and only you) gets to decide how it will be spent. You dont' owe your husband or his ex-wife anything towards their joint kids.
If you want to be a good stepmom, spend time and not money. They won't remember the phone they had when they were kids, they will remember the times you did things with them. Do they like horses?
BuddyRoo, you ROCK as a stepmom!!! I have to say that when I first married my husband we had an extremely rocky relationship with his ex wife. I am so glad that I have worked hard to turn that around and it worked. She's nothing like your husband's ex and it is really SO nice to be able to work with her and talk to her. I, too, am paying/have paid for quite a lot of my husband's obligations because his employment is by nature sometimes sporadic. I don't begrudge it. Only wish my SD (who was 16 when we met, now almost 19) had more interest in spending time with us. She's an awesome kid.
Armando del Fuego, Best Boy Ever (almost always)
Member of the Not Too Klassy For Boxed Wine Clique
Proud owner of The Roadkill Cafe
BuddyRoo, you're being entirely too nice. BM is not your ex-wife. She's acting like you owe her something because she can.
This is why I'm an advocate of not interacting with the mom. BM is far less able to irritate me if she's out of sight and out of mind. I forward emails and texts to my husband and then force myself to file or delete them, but I don't respond unless it's something completely benign. Then I copy Mr. A4B on it anyway just so he's in the loop, leaving me free to back out.
But yeah, the money thing... It's not about her. I wouldn't even listen to that crap. You're under no obligation to pay for a bunch of extras for your SDs unless you want to. It's your gift to give. If she doesn't like it, tough cookies. At this phase of being a custodial SM, if I were going to buy my SD a phone and BM was making some ginormous stink about it not being good enough, I'd put away my wallet and let BM buy whatever phone she liked.
"A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB