Many of the aforementioned duties have become expected of me and, as a SAHM, I have willingly accepted them as part of my over-all parental responsibilities. Still, I can't help but to feel conflicted when I am advised not to claim her on the witness stand as one of "our" collective children or refer to my husband's custodial time with her as "our time." I have no right to do so, apparently. Nor do I have a right to contact the school, or her therapist or sign permission slips for school trips all on my husband's behalf because it implies that I think of myself as her parent/guardian. Well, duh! I may not be her mother, but I am THE mother of the house in which she lives and I do consider myself to be a co-parent along with my husband (and yes bioMom to a certain degree).And yet, the same people who tell me of my lack of rights also look to me for feedback, input and advice where my stepdaughter is concerned. Such as:
- While sitting in my husband's lawyers office this week, I was asked to review a letter outlining a proposed alteration to the existing custody/visitation schedule. I, being a person of very little rights, yielded to my husband to which his lawyer replied jokinlgy "Get a backbone!" Get a backbone?
- And her own mother, not a week after complaining about my SD being left at home with "her stepmother" had no problems with dropping her daughter off at our home one day (unannounced) in an attempt to manipulate the custody/visitation schedule. Apparently, I have no rights except when it's convenient for her and her evil plot to destroy us.
How do I respond to being told that I have no rights, and yet still have all the responsibilities as any other parent? How do I do this without completely detaching from this child altogether?