Friday, June 02, 2006

evil stepmother

When I met T, my step-daughter was eight and my step-son was four. Now they are fourteen and ten.

Big kids. Easy to deal with.

But they always were.

In fact, I've always considered myself lucky in the whole step-department.

I heard so many horror stories growing up that I was determined from the beginning not to become the evil step-mother. Being younger, I considered myself an easy target for this. But the kids took to me pretty quickly, and I got along with their mother straight away, too - the last dregs of the break-up were long over by the time I came into the picture, and she was happily involved in a long-term relationship.

It was pretty neat and tidy, really.

But it feels less and less neat as time goes on.

Two years after I met them, their mother decided to move to the other side of the country with her partner and the kids.

Now, Australia is a big country.

To give you some idea: We are in the city on this map that is furthest South. They are in the city that is furthest north. There is approximately 3000 kilometers between us. That is over 18oo miles, or the distance between Denver and New York City, or Moscow and London.

It's a long fucking way.

I don't think I really understood the gravity of this at the time. We kind of knew we were powerless against the force of M's careful decision (and it was careful, I'll give her that). We just accepted it, telling ourselves that several good weeks a year was better than every second weekend in some ways.

The trouble is, the more I think about having/not having my own children, the angrier I get about this. Add an inexpliciably no-longer-fertile husband, an impending IVF cycle and many many dollars to the mix, and you have one pretty angry Meg.

On so many levels.

How do I feel about the fact that our maybechild will hardly ever have contact with their half-brother and sister? How do I feel about the fact that both the kids were accidents; that T. used to work and they didn't even really want him to? How do I feel about the fact that A, my step-son, really has no male role model, and the fact that he so clearly needs one? How can I avoid getting pissed off on principle that we have to pay for airfares for T. to go visit next month (Not me. Hell, we can't afford that!) instead of putting it toward IVF treatment? We were certainly not the ones who made the decision to move the kids to the other side of the country!

And how can M. have the nerve to get all touchy when we dare to broach the idea of S, my step-daughter, coming to live with us for a bit in a year or two? Is being far away from your children difficult or something? Yes. Well.


I could go on.

But I'm probably boring you enough already, and I'm sure I made my point:

That some things just fucking bite.



At 7:10 PM, Blogger GZ said...

Yeah, that really does suck. All of it. I am always amazed at how much infertility sneaks into every crack and corner of our lives...things that would normally seem so simple...buying a plane ticket...You're right, it bites.

At 10:26 PM, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

Definitely bites- sometimes I'm amazed how hard some fathers have it. A good friend of mine in Perth has 2 kids that his ex took to Brisbane; it broke his heart to be away from his kids and it is costing him a fortune to pay all the air fares backwards and forwards....

At 12:46 AM, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

It must be so hard for you and your husband to be so far away from the children. I am sorry that you are having to deal with this on top of your infertility issues. You are in my thoughts.

At 1:18 AM, Blogger soralis said...

I am so sorry you have to worry about extra expenses during IF treatments. It is so sad that the mother took the kids so far away from their father.

Take care and I wish you the best

At 1:35 AM, Anonymous Jennie said...

it just sucks bites and then spits.
I'm sorry your facing this as well as the hellcoaster of IVF treatments.
I heart Meg

At 5:08 AM, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

That does bite, you have every right to be p/o'd. I was mad when the ex moved the kids an hour away, let alone to the other side of the country. The entire money issue surounding SK's is hard during IVF.
I can't blame you for wanting his daughter to live you - maybe she would like to go to college in your area. It's amazing how one-sided these things get after a while.

At 9:24 AM, Blogger Sarah said...

Definately sucks! Especially since it puts extra burden on you guys at a time when you hardly need any more stress.

At 10:35 AM, Blogger Flygirl said...

There are lots of things that bite and this is surely one of them. How frustrating!!

It should be against the law to move any kids that far away from a willing and loving parent. It's just not right.

At 1:47 PM, Blogger Bea said...

Gravida Zero is right - it's like, first there are problems. And those problems are complicated enough.

But then! But then!

Then there's *also* the infertility.

There's no problem that can't be related back to infertility. I swear. You don't even have to try very hard. It makes even little problems big.

But I'm extra sorry to hear your problems with step-kids etc are actually big enough problems all by themselves.


At 8:24 PM, Blogger Lut C. said...

I didn't realize you were a step-mother.
That must be a bittersweet experience.


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