It was the end to a long weekend of soccer. My stepson was in a soccer tournament and there were five games in two days. Unfortunately, his dad was stuck at work for both of those days. So I gathered both toddlers and drove a hour to support him on both days. I am obsessed with soccer, so it was quite easy for me to go, I just had to make sure the toddlers were well dressed and entertained. My dad joined me the first day because he too is a soccer fan and loves to support my stepson with all his activities!!!
I had been keeping my distance from my stepson’s mom, in order to avoid the coaches who would try to tag team us about some stuff we had been avoiding. It was the last game, the boys were undefeated and I felt it was safe to sit next to his mom.
But I was wrong …. Five minutes before the championship game was about to start and the coach cornered us.
“Now that I have both of his moms here I wanted to talk to you guys about him getting into club soccer.”
Instantly, I knew she was pissed!!!
In our family dynamic we have allowed my bonus son to call me what he wants, which has been Jade. Whether or not that influence came from our side or his moms, it is what he calls me. Ultimately, if you think about it, it is just a title. I don’t need him to call me mom in order for me to treat him like my son. I don’t call him son, I call him by his name.
As soon as the coach said this I knew I had to defend her, as she is my stepson’s mom. I instantly said “No that’s his mom,” looking at her. I then turned away acting as if I was disengaged from the conversation but of course I was still listening.
“Yeah, I am the boss, they do as I say” she responds nervously.
“Yep she makes all the decisions and tells us what to do,” I add trying to make her feel more comfortable.
“I basically slap them around until they do what I say” she continues. I know she is just saying these things because of the relationship we have and I am ok with her saying whatever she needs at this point to calm her from his initial comment.
This guy had no idea how much havoc his comment could cause me for months to come, so I had to make sure it didn’t get worse. I avoided saying anything else, allowing her to do all the talking.
As soon as he left, I turned to her and put my hand on her knee, “I am sorry he called us both his mother, I know you are his mom. He had no right to corner us like that and obviously doesn’t understand the blended family dynamic.”
I can tell she is upset and try to talk to her about the things they had discussed, trying to make her forget about the first comment. I brought up a conversation the coach had with me and my husband the other day and filled her in, so she doesn’t feel like she was being left out.
We live in a co-parenting style called parallel parenting. When my stepson is in our house we do what we think is best for him and then when he is with his mother she does what she thinks is best. We try our best to respect one another’s judgment and mind our own business. Of course, if my stepson was in harm’s way we would step in, but at this point the things we disagree on are just ways of parenting. When it comes to extra activities and or sports we discuss in length what is best for my stepson, and make things work. Unfortunately, the topic that the coach brought up wasn’t something that his mom and dad had discussed yet- which caught her (and I) off-guard.
This has taught us a lesson. To avoid this sort of issue in the future. We can easily be around one another so we should approach the coaches of any sports together and use the names we do in our blended family. For any of you, the name conversation should be first discussed between the parents, and then revealed to coaches, teachers, etc. So that they are aware of the family dynamic and to use the respectful titles. And that the most important thing is to let the bio parent know that they are respected as the primary parent, but that you can work together to keep that child safe and happy.
I am sure this blog may offend some of you and I am sorry for that, but the truth is that we all live differently and have our own blended family dynamic. I am ok with my stepson not calling me mom: he respects me and treats me just like he does his mother and father even without using the title.
Respect one another and do your best to be the bigger person.
Jade San Nicolas
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