A little over a year ago, my ex-husband let me know he was seeing someone new. I didn't really know what to say at the time. I mean, it's really none of my business and, for the most part, I want to stay on good terms with anyone who would play a role in my kids' lives. Now that I have seen the impression she's had on them, I can safely say that it's normal to have more than a few things you'll want to say to your co-parent's new partner, but shouldn't. At least, I hope it's "normal."
For one, I'd really like to tell her all about how horrible and abusive my ex-husband, and her current partner, was during our marriage. Mostly just to warn her, hoping that he treats better and, if not, that she dumps his *ss. I won't, of course, because I know she's probably heard an entirely different version of the story and, in the end, I don't want to create drama. While I will always be friendly, because I want her to be kind to my kids, I know don't have to be friends with her, either. It's just that, of course, I wouldn't tell her that. I mean, there's no reason to, and it's rude.
My kids don't have to like her either, by the way. I expect them to be polite and respectful, of course, but they don't have to like her or be her "friend." In a way, I feel bad for her. Being a caregiver is hard AF, and it's even harder when you haven't known the kids for very long. I get it, because I'm a stepmom, too. Still, she's not their mother or their stepmom (at least, not right now), so I absolutely do not want her to make future promises or ask that my children call her mom. It's inappropriate and even a little creepy. But, again, I will never say those things to her, no matter how much I want to. their mother or their stepmom, so please don't make promises or ask them to call you mom, because that's super inappropriate and even a little creepy. As a co-parent you pick and choose your battles and, thankfully, I'm not petty enough to say the following things:
"Your Partner Is A Jerk"
Seriously. He's a creep, and I am so glad I am no longer with him. I hope you find happiness together, of course, and who knows; maybe being with you will make him a better dad. One can only hope.
"You're Not My Kids' Mother"
I want you to treat my kids well, I really do, but please remember that you aren't their mother. That means you shouldn't ask them to call you mom or pretend that you are.
"You're Not The Best Co-Parent"
Even though my kids don't see you very often, every time they do you freaking buy them a toy. When you do this, you aren't buying their love as I can only assume you're trying to. Instead, you're teaching them some horrible values about material possessions. You definitely aren't doing anyone any favors when you let them stay up late, buy them a kitten, or let them see scary movies. Seriously.
"My Kids Don't Have To Like You"
They don't have to like you. Also, it seriously makes them uncomfortable when you say things like, "I love you." They honestly have no idea how to respond, so they say, "I love you" back, because they think it will make you happy. Just don't.
"Your Partner Is A Cheater"
I'd tell her that he cheated, but she already knows. Did I mention that he cheated on me with her, while we were still married? Oh yeah that happened. So, as you can imagine, I really hated her for a long time. Now, though, I sort of get some pleasure from the idea that they ended up together; like no one else would date him so he went back to an old flame. I would never say this out loud, of course, because I am not petty like that.
"I'm Not Your Friend"
I will always be polite, especially in front of my kids, but I am not going to make idle conversation with you or tell you anything about my life. Nope. I'm not your friend.
"I Don't Envy You"
I really don't envy you. Not only are you dating my ex, who is a pretty terrible human in my opinion, but helping to care for other people's kids is hard. Seriously, I know because I've been there. It can really suck sometimes.
By the way, if you are wondering where my ex learned to cook, do laundry, load the dishwasher, and anything else even remotely related to adulthood: it was me. He was an absolute mess when we met, so if he does anything helpful around the house now, please know that he learned from me. You're welcome.
"Please Treat My Kids Well"
Above all else, please treat my kids well. I may get annoyed with you for spoiling them and for pretending you are their mom. I don't like you at all, and I'm fairly sure you don't like me either, but please don't take it out on them. They are great kids, and if you are going to be in their lives, even if it's just for a while, please be kind. They deserve it.