I (32f) am a divorced mom of two. My son is 11 and my daughter is 9. My ex and I ended our relationship in 2017 and he remarried in 2021. His wife has no children of her own. This topic is one that she approached a few times with me. Starting when my ex first married her.
She told me that now that they were a two parent household, there was no need for me to show up to all games, recitals, plays, etc, because she would be going to them and there only needed to be one. I ignored her because I have always gone to that kind of thing.
I'm self employed and so I can easily plan my working day around events for my kids. My kids also want me there. They always tell me about the bigger moments in their extra curricular's or school and tell me when I should be there or if I need tickets, etc. My ex goes when he can which is not often and he never goes to anything he doesn't consider big enough.
My ex's wife mentioned it to me again last year that she wanted to go alone and I needed to only show up when it's my parenting time. Yet again I ignored her request and continued showing up.
My ex mentioned it to me also and I told him that we could both go to their activities whenever we like and it is not dictated by the court order since it doesn't take parenting time to show up and support our children. My son had a recital a couple of weeks ago and he told me they were asked if they could get parental volunteers.
I said of course I would do it. My ex's wife had asked when she was picking him up from his dance class one day if she could do more, they mentioned volunteers and she offered. We both arrived together and she was upset the whole two hours we were helping out.
She was especially upset when I stayed. Afterward, she told me that she's trying to create a special bond with the kids but they will never want her around as long as I'm there. She said, if I was a good person/mom, I would do the right thing and not show up every time and give her a chance to do it so she can show an extra effort for my kids.
I told her I will always show up as long as my kids want me and as long as I can physically do it. She told me her relationship with the kids is important though and I honestly told her it's not important to me. My kids wishes, as well as my relationship with them, is more important.
My ex's wife told me I was an ass and she called me a selfish and jealous baby momma and accused me of "unreasonable hatred". My ex also gave me a hard time about it afterward. AITA?
Stepmother here. You're absolutely NTA. It's great that your ex's wife wants to be involved with the children, but only if it comes naturally and she doesn't have to force it.
My stepdaughter (7) asks me to do stuff with her. Her mother hates it, because she's been trying to "win" every interaction since as long as my husband remembers (we met after they'd already broken up.)
But she sucks it up most of the time when it's clearly what SD wants. And I can't even imagine asking her MOTHER to stay away from some event if SD wants her there. I'd suck it up, too. It'd be the grown up way to do things.
That's kind of how I view seeing her now. It's like sucking it up for my kids because if she wants to show up and support them then that's great. She told me she feels like a consolation prize or second best when she shows up. Part of me wonders if she's also jealous because the kids invite me vs she takes it upon herself to show up and she takes that out on me.
NTA. At this point, I would go nuclear and get a lawyer. She is actively trying to force you to alienate yourself from your children. They are NOT her children. What she wants means absolutely NOTHING. She has no rights, no say and a lot of audacity.
Tell your ex that you are going to get a lawyer involved if she keeps trying to overstep and bully you into abandoning your children. He needs to get her firmly in line. No excuses, no discussion. She is not their mother. She needs to respect you and leave you alone.
This would not be grounds for parental alienation where we are. At least not yet and not at this level of interaction. But I am documenting things from here on out so I can make sure I have proof if she does go down that path.
NTA. She’s got issues….It sounds to me like she wants you completely out of the picture so she can play happy families with your ex and just pretend you don’t exist. If you have joint custody she has NO right to interfere and your ex needs to grow a pair and tell his wife to back off.
I’d document EVERYTHING OP so if it does end up back in court you’ve got proof of conversations etc….I wouldn’t put it past her to try and make you out to be the bad parent so she can have her “Perfect” family.