Dear Annie: I am a stepmom to two wonderful little boys under the age of 4. I treat them the same as my own children. The problem is their mother. “Carla” acts as if I am the wicked witch. I know it is hard to let another woman care for your children. I have assured her numerous times that I am not out to take her place. She is their mother and always will be.
Two years ago, the children were removed from her home due to anger issues and drug abuse. She had some counseling and now shares joint custody with their father. But if I happen to run into Carla when she is with the boys, she causes a huge scene, yelling and cussing at me if the boys say hello. She has sent me awful text messages and threatening Facebook posts. I always try to be the bigger person and ignore her, but it’s hard. I have had to call the police numerous times when I felt she was a danger to my children or me.
My husband tries to keep the peace because no one knows what Carla is capable of. I feel she is unstable. The youngest son has minor surgery scheduled, and Carla told my husband I better not show up at the hospital. As a stepmom, what am I to do? – Not-So-Wicked Stepmother
Dear Stepmom: It doesn’t sound as if Carla’s counseling was sufficient to overcome her anger issues. She is a loose cannon and could be dangerous. Please keep records of her threatening texts and posts in case your husband chooses to fight the custody arrangement. We understand that he fears rocking the boat, and there is no simple solution. Sometimes the best thing is just to stay out of the way and be as non-confrontational as possible. That includes not going to the hospital. Have your husband convey your good wishes to your stepson. Also try the National Stepfamily Resource Center (stepfamilies.info) for a support group in your area.