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Feel unreasonable and hurt.

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tryingagain74 posted 2/13/2014 18:06 PM

DS #1 came home from school today, and I saw a giant, homemade valentine in his folder. I was stupid enough to think that it was for me.

Who is it really for? His stepsister-- DS #1 is her "fourth grade buddy." All of the kindergarteners have fourth grade buddies who come and visit their classrooms and read to them. The stepsister chose DS #1. I'm sure I should feel all warm and fuzzy about that, but shoot me; I don't. Anyway, the fourth graders made these nice valentines for their kindergartener buddies.

In and of itself, that doesn't bother me. What does bother me is that DS #1 didn't do anything for me (and no, there isn't a surprise forthcoming tomorrow). Basically, if an adult doesn't tell him to do it, DS #1 doesn't bother. A friend told him to make me a birthday card; I doubt he would have bothered on his own. He will be 10 in a couple of months, and I think that's old enough to remember to do something nice for the mother who takes care of your every need, does nice things for you, helps with your homework, etc.

DS #1 troubles me-- he's very like XWH that way. XWH often did nice things for me because his mother told him to; I doubt the ideas would have occurred to him on his own. DS #1 is the same way. As long as I'm giving him what he wants, it's all good, but he doesn't try to extend himself toward others of his own accord. He has to be told to do it or guilted into doing it.

I'm sure he never would have made the card for his stepsister if the teacher hadn't made him do it. But after I sat there and helped him with his class valentines, it never once occurred to him to write me a little something (which he loves to do-- he's constantly doing creative writing; he could certainly have written me a poem).

Like my title mentions... I'm sure my feelings are unreasonable. There were a couple of occasions this week where CommandOwife asserted herself in a motherly role toward DS #1, and it pissed me off. I know that I should be glad that she's nice to him, but don't friggin' tell my child that you love him and are proud of him. You haven't done SHIT toward helping him in his life; you only set him back by helping his father act like a selfish dick.

That's probably where my thoughts are coming from. I hate sharing my kids with XWH and his family, and I hate that I'm left out of this whole life that they have when they're not with me. I know that my kids love me and that I'm important to them, but it's certainly nice when they take a moment to do a little something for me to show that they care. Sometimes, I feel like an old shoe-- the reliable, unglamorous footwear that you stomp around in and don't give much thought to until it wears out.

Pippy posted 2/13/2014 18:45 PM

Your insecurity is getting the best of you. He's only 5 years old! Give him a break. They don't know anything about giving/receiving valentines at that age.

As for him being treated well by the OW. Would you rather she treated him poorly. I don't love the idea that the OW is around my grandkids and I'm not (3000 miles apart) but at least I know they are happy and that she cares about them. That's all that matters.

You'll always be "MOMMY" no matter what. Don't fret about it.If you start to voice your concerns to him, then you'll put your son 'in the middle'. Believe me you don't want that for him. I was there as a teenager many years ago. Not fun!

tryingagain74 posted 2/13/2014 18:58 PM

He's ten, actually.

tesla posted 2/13/2014 19:02 PM

Just keep reminding yourself that the valentine is for his kindergarten buddy. The stepsister picked him because it's a new school for her and she was probably excited to see someone she knew. I suppose commandowife could have orchestrated it, but let's give the sitch the benefit of the doubt. Plus it probably gains him kudos over at Dopey's house.

I get the hurt. But kids are never as grateful as they ought to be...just ask my folks

DS #1 may have personality tendencies similar to his dad...but you know not to pigeonhole him into that. He may have the tendency but it's no reflection on the love he has for his mom.

tryingagain74 posted 2/13/2014 19:07 PM

Thanks, tesla. I re-read my post and think I sound like a spoiled brat... but that's why I come here. I need to get the ugly thoughts out so I can move past them and not take them out on my kids.

I sometimes feel like I'm surrounded by so much selfishness in my life that when I see glimpses of it in my kids, I start to panic. I think that they're going to end up like my XWH and that I'm not doing enough to raise good kids.

I think I need to chill!

suckstobeme posted 2/13/2014 19:40 PM

I get it. The valentine occasion and the step sister and the OWife whore interjecting herself into their lives - it all just highlights the unfairness of it all. It happens to me a lot when stuff in the house breaks or one of the kids gets sick and I have to juggle everything to be able to take care of the house and the kids - all the while managing mot to get fired - on my own. It just magnifies my anger and reminds me that he threw me away in exchange for this whole new life while I sit here and try to stabilize the old one I thought he wanted.

You're not a spoiled brat. Far from it. Sometimes things just hurt.

I agree that we strive to raise good, decent, thoughtful people. At the same time, a lot of times they aren't. That doesn't mean they won't be good adults - its just means they're kids and as kids they believe the world revolves around them at all times. It doesn't mean he's going to grow up and be like his father.

I also understand the whole idea of feeling like an old shoe. That hurts too. They may kick you around a bit and wear you out sometimes, but they will never, ever throw you away. Reliable is good - that's what they expect from their moms. I'd rather be the one they know they can count on rather than the one they won't ever fully trust.

Dreamboat posted 2/13/2014 20:04 PM

It is acting like most every kids. Most every kid only "thinks" to do nice things for others when someone else, usually an adult, asks them to. Normal kid behavior. While most kids have empathy, they rarely think ahead to anticipate what someone else will feel ahead of time. What I mean is that if they see someone sad then they feel empathy, but they are not capable of thinking "If I do (or don't do) this, then it will make so-and-so sad".

Saying that, I have not gotten a gift of any kind since my mother passed away. It hurts. My DD usually makes me a b-day card but no present. And no presents at xmas. It hurts.


Pippy posted 2/13/2014 20:48 PM

Sorry TryingAgain that I got their roles reversed. Still, don't sweat the small stuuf. Some guys never give gifts, no matter how old they are. My EX was like that, until "reminded" by my kids. He was still a good husband for the first 29 of the 30 years.

I hope you're feeling better now. Just getting it out helps dissolve those little streses.

Tearsoflove posted 2/14/2014 02:13 AM

I remember that feeling. My son was 9 and in 3rd grade. All the kids in his class were making Valentine's cards. That evening, they had an open house and all the cards were on their desks. I walked around the room and every card said "Happy Valentine's Day, Mom" except my son's. His said "Happy Valentine's Day, Leah." I can't explain exactly how I felt but I remember feeling a twinge of sadness that he wasn't making a card for me but it was also sweet that he was thoughtful with someone else. He still is- thoughtful with everyone else. He totally takes me for granted and he's 27 now. And maybe that's the best compliment, really. He takes me for granted because he knows that I'm the one person who will always be there for him no matter what. He doesn't have to give presents to get my love.

Your son doesn't either.

caregiver9000 posted 2/14/2014 11:39 AM

Can you set aside some time and craft items for the two of you to make cards for each other? I don't see anything wrong with flat out telling DS that it would mean a lot to you to get a card from him, and that you want to make one FOR him as well. Sometimes we have to teach them the right response.

(((big Valentine hugs)))

sparkysable posted 2/14/2014 11:50 AM

don't friggin' tell my child that you love him and are proud of him. You haven't done SHIT toward helping him in his life; you only set him back by helping his father act like a selfish dick.

I know the popular view is "be glad OW is nice to your kids, it's better than the alternative." Well you know what? It is bullshit. The worst thing about infidelity is that these fucking homewreckers get to come into our lives, tear apart our families, and then get to play fake fucking happy family and prance around with our kids like stepparents of the year because they are "nice" to the very kids whose families that they invaded and dropped a nuclear bomb on. Fuck that. And fuck commandowife and her Ashley Madison profile making abilities. She is a terrible example of a human being and an even worse example to her kids.

StrongerOne posted 2/14/2014 13:15 PM

Trying, I get the hurt feelings! But gently, he's ten. It's an exceptional child who will think to make his mom (or dad, or anyone else) a card for valentine's day without prompting. The onus here is on his father.

My 14-year-old is awfully good, a sweet boy, and he adores and relies on his mom -- but it does not occur to him to make me a card for any occasion. My H reminds (and re-reminds) him. The only time I did not get a card from him at all was during the A (DD was three days after valentines. Then again, I didn't get anything from H that Val day either. First time ever...)

Sorry, t/j'ing!

Your boy does love you.

tryingagain74 posted 2/14/2014 13:57 PM

Thanks, everyone. It's been a harder week than usual for me. In other circumstances, I don't think DS #1's behavior would have bothered me as much, but after having CommandOwife's faux love for DS #1 shoved in my face on a few occasions, it really bothered me to see a giant valentine for her daughter. Couple that with DS #2 being sick all week, and I'm just emotionally wrung out. Fortunately, we just started our mid-winter break, and I have some nice, relaxing plans for this weekend, so I will hopefully get out of this funk soon.

sparky, as ever, I appreciate your view on the AP. It's frustrating that I'm supposed to feel grateful that she doesn't lock my kids in cages. The very least she can do is be nice to my kids. She's already contributed to hurting them enough.

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