Stepdaughter wants B-Day

by ajsmama 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • ajsmama

    Hello all! So yesterday my two soon to be stepkids boy12,girl 9, came over for a visit with their dad. Their mom is a dub, her dad is an elder, my man is D'Fd.

    Anyway, I was just sitting in my room feeding the baby when girl comes in and asks if im gonna start throwing her birthday parties. I said why do you ask and she said that she was just thinkin about it. Oh, keep in mind that I sent an email a couple of days before to my mans cun# of a sister because she called my newborn a mistake and kinda went off the deep end, calling her names, threatining lots of violence if she ever said anything like that again(which I meant) , and concluded with "and while you will be busy with the rest of your pathetic little existance, being miserable within your [email protected] religion, I, along with Mark, alex(the new baby) and the stepkids will lead normal happy lives, full of birthday parties, Christmas, friends, joy, peace, and yes perhaps even a blood transfusion or two!" I was just kinda running off at the mouth, but I think that she mighta said something to their mom.

    So I asked Mark what he thought and he said to do whatever I wanted. Also keep in mind that I have a 5 year old from a previous relatoinship who these poor kids are gonna have to watch have his own birthdays, and everything else and their baby half-brother too. I cant imagine how bad that is gonna make them feel, so I jumped at the chance. I told her that if she wanted one I would throw her the best one I could. The only thing that has me concerned is the fact that the ex might get pissed at my man and cause drame that we dont need. Also I have a little guilt about doing something that is against what their mother believes, not alot but a little. Maybe I should invite her. Any opinions?

  • SickofLies

    I wouldn't invite the mother, I would keep it quite and just tell the girl to kept it as a secret between you and her, she will probably be ok with this because she wouldn't want her mom getting mad at her for wanting such a pagan ritual being preformed for her.

  • ajsmama

    yes but if do that, wont I be teaching her that there is something wrong with it,when there isnt?

  • SickofLies

    No, I think your teaching her that it's ok not to tell her mother everything and have to do everything her mother tells her.. This is a judgement call on your part, I only offer suggestions, I take no responsiblity for any fallout!

  • Brigid

    This is a tough one. I would start small and only at the child's initiation. Nothing that makes her feel uncomfortable in the slightest. Maybe a little cake or some non-threatening cup-cakes (listen to me--"non-threatening" cupcakes HAHA)

    This is unexplored territory for all involved. They have been hardwired to think this stuff is bad. They will likely not feel comfortable in lying. But some well-meaning gifts and recognition that this is indeed a special day will be good for the beginning. Next year, maybe a little more and so on and so on.

    You're right, no one needs undue drama--sounds like there's enough of that going around already.

    Good luck. I think the girls sound lucky to have you in their life. Just keep loving them the best you can and reaching out in love and trust in the universe to unfold as it should.


  • Seeking Knowledge
    Seeking Knowledge

    I agree in starting out slow. I have the same (sort of) problem. I'm not a JW but my ex is. My son is with me on his birthday each year and we celebrate it. I don't have to worry about his dad finding out, he knows. What I do have to deal with is the fact my son feels he has to hide this from his dad because of how his dad feels about it. I do everything I can to express to our son that just because his dad doesn't like birthdays doesn't make them wrong. It's hell. He won't share any part of his birthday with his dad because of this. My son is 5.

    Let your stepdaughter decide what she would like to do. Maybe a nice dinner out with a hot fudge sundae for her and a balloon or something along those lines Maybe when she's a bit older she'll appreciate more of a show. I'll bet she'll love feeling special. If you let her set the pace then maybe she won't feel that she's doing anything wrong when it comes to her mom.

    Good Luck


  • Scully

    My son was 9 when we gave him his first b-day. He invited friends from his school and the neighbourhood and had an absolute blast.

    If you don't want to offend her mother, though, and create even more animosity between you, her mom and her dad in the middle, maybe just plan to have a quiet celebration at a restaurant of her choice, where they'll sing Happy Birthday to her and parade her birthday dessert in to her. She is at an age where she realizes that anything connected to birthdays is considered wrong by JWs, so you don't want to make her feel like she's doing something wrong or that her mother wouldn't want her doing.

    Maybe she asked you about birthdays because she's "testing" you too. She may have been put up to it by her mom, and will shy away from visiting you or getting to know you better. It's probably the best thing to ask why she wants to know how you feel about birthdays, other than "she was thinking about it".

    It's so tricky with kids - especially step-kids.

  • bocephus

    My children wnet for years without spilling so much as a word to my now Exwifes mother about having celbrated birthdays . It was unfortunate we had to tell them to make this little omision but they did it willingly to sve theyre mother the agony of being disfellowshipped .I think kids are more inteligrnt and cunning than they are given credit for . It all comes down to this Kids want gifts ... they want to fit in . It was extremely hard for me growing up to try to explain why I didnt participate in all the fun stuff . Let them be kids

  • limbogirl

    I don't know that I have much wisdom to impart on this....the scenario brings up a lot of memories for me. My jw parents divorced when I was eleven and my brother was eight. Former elder-dad remarried a "wordly" person and mom married a jw. I was so conflicted growing up in that situation about birthdays, holidays, etc. Although your step-daughter may say that she wants a birthday party this will undoubtedly inflict feelings of guilt and confusion -- right now at age nine she's thinking about presents and a party but is she really prepared for the feelings of guilt when hiding this from her mother and grandfather and other jw's? If her belief system in jw teachings is strongly ingrained and all she knows she might feel worse for having a birthday party.

    Ultimately, it's not about the adults but about the children and she's not really of age yet to deal with some of the push/pull that will occur as she grows up trying to please a jw parent and a non-jw parent. That is the sad part...her feelings and desires possibly will be lost between the two. The situation you describe is going to be a difficult one for years to come.

    My father and step-mother had two other children and I grew up watching them celebrate holidays, christmas tree in their house, birthdays while I didn't participate.

    Again, I don't know the answer to how to make this better but it's a pretty intense situation and while you don't want to encourage her to be a jw you probably also want to take it slowly and gently introduce her to other ideas about life.

    Sorry for the ramble...your email reminded me of myself at a young age torn between two very different ideals and worlds. It's a lot for a young child to deal with.

  • greendawn

    Far from being bad, birthdays help ppl boost their self confidence by becoming the centre of attention and seeing that many ppl care about them, so psychologically they are very positive.

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