Hey B,

My ex peter and I were together for 8 years and his son sam lived with us the entire time so he was pretty much my son too.  We broke up in 2011 but I stayed in Sam’s life and continued to provide for him by getting school supplies, Christmas & birthday gifts, anything he needed really.  Peter is in a new relationship and his girlfriend has a problem with me still being in Sam’s life so last year they banned us from seeing each other.  Sam is now 11 years old and sneaks to call me and lies to his father about speaking to me & seeing me.  His biological mother helps him visit me but she doesn’t have custody of him so she has no real say.  I really love Sam like he is my own son and I don’t think it’s fair that he has to lie about our relationship.  I know Sam needs  & wants a few things and my question is should I continue to get him gifts?

-Monique
Monique, I have to start off by acknowledging how painful this probably is especially since it sounds like you helped raise Sam.  The next thing I have to remind you of is the hard truth, Sam is not your child and you have no rights to him.  Your relationship with him was through his father who you are no longer with.  I sound super harsh for saying this but that is the reality of what you & Sam are working with; sadly the person that this will have the worst impact on is Sam!
Your question is should you continue to get him gifts. You probably should have stopped getting him gifts when you and his father split! We can’t change the past so let’s move forward.  You have a few options here Monique, you can:
1. Get Sam the gifts and have him continue to lie to his father about where he got them from and you continue to be the “Side mama”
2. Do not get the gifts and deal with the pain of no longer providing for Sam.
3. Reach out to the father or have someone reach out to him to explain the benefits of a continued relationship between you & Sam, have your relationship in the open and shower him with as many gifts as your want.

No matter the approach to this situation there will be difficulty and probably pain.  I know you love Sam but be honest with yourself Monique, if Sam were your child and you forbid your ex from spending time with him, for what ever the reason is, how would you feel if your kid snuck around & had a secret relationship with an adult? While you’re thinking “but I was practically his mom!” encouraging this behavior might not be best for Sam in the long run. If your relationship & gift giving cannot be above board then you probably should not being doing it. I’m sorry girl, the results are in and you are NOT the mother!

B

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