How Do you Solve A Problem Like Nic-ol-a?

By Alison February 10, 2007 38 Comments 3 Min Read


Mark’s girlfriend Nicky is upset. Everybody say aah.

In the time she and Mark have been together he has not yet seen fit to introduce her to a single member of his family, nor taken her to meet his friends. She is, I think, understandably cross about the whole matter and gives him grief  on a  daily basis, that up till now he has plainly chosen to ignore.

But now he wants her to meet my Finn.  My little boy.

From my point of view, the problem is  two-fold: on the one hand the thought of another woman stepping into the role of "step-mum" and  developing a relationship with my son gives me the heebie jeebies, but I wholly accept that it is part of the rubbishy deal, and yet on the other, this, remember, is a woman who has two children of her own she chooses to live three hundred miles away from and no longer has any kind of relationship with.

I have, as is my want, given this a whole lot of thought and you know what? I can’t think of a single good reason why any woman would choose to absolve a relationship with her kids. Even if as she says, that relationship had deteriorated to the point that they no longer wanted anything to do with me, nothing would prevent me camping a tent in their garden and making it my lifes work to be near them at all times. Once a Mommy, always a Mommy, surely?

And this is my issue with Nicky: not that she fell in love with a man who was for all intents and purposes married, (there but for the grace of God go us all, because falling in love is falling in love) but, that as a woman it chills me to think that she wants to form a relationship with my child when I am not privvy to the reasons why she either chooses, or is not allowed to have a relationship with her own.

However, I am not remotely bitter. I am trying soooo very hard to be grown up about the whole hideous  thing because I accept the fact that Mark and Nicky obviously see their relationship as a long term matter now, and from Nicky’s point of view, I understand why she needs to feel like being part of his family  matters .  I am reasonable. I can step outside myself and any residual hurt and try to offer a solution that protects all our feelings and above all else, protects my son.
And so Dearhearts, come up with a solution I did.

I have told Mark that Darling Nicky is absolutely, entirely welcome to come and meet my son, in my house, with me. I will pour her a cup of tea, offer her homemade shortbread, watch her squirm, evaluate the woman as a potential quasi-parent on my own stomping ground and above all else reassure my son that his daddy’s friendship with this strange lady is ok with me.

But guess what? She has said never in a million years, which is a shame because I was itching to meet the woman Mark once described as having a face like the back of a bus.

Lordy! Sometimes my inner bitch just won’t lie down. Must remind myself to give her the occasional slap.


  1. Nonnie says:

    Yay! Good for you Alison!! I can't even begin to imagine how difficult it is to deal with this situation as I don't have children yet but I reckon you've dealt with this brilliantly. You've totally got the upper hand and have been completely calm and adult about this. Absolutely right that if she wants to form a relationship with your dear little Finn then she must meet him on your terms and on your territory. If she doesn't have the guts and maturity to do this then it's no wonder she no longer has a relationship with her own children(something I totally can't get my head around by the way. How any mother can give up on her children!???). You stick to your guns on this one. Don't let him talk you round to another senario just to please her. She comes to you to meet Finn or not at all. I'm sure everone will be with you on this one.
    I'd love to be a fly on the wall if she does come 🙂 My inner bitch coming out on your behalf!

  2. lazy h says:

    Seconded, Nonnie! You put it perfectly. Alison always puts her son first and it's his well-being and security which must take precedence here, not Nicky's. It's none of my business of course, but it is worrying that Mark isn't introducing her to his family.
    (And I'd put chilli in the shortbread. But I'm not as gracious as Alison.)
    And Alison, your inner bitch is a lovely puppy, let her out without fear.

  3. Sarah says:

    I agree completely with the two wise people before me! I just wanted to add my approval for a difficult decision well handled lady!

  4. Meredith says:

    Good for you Alison! She probably sees him as a safe "win-over" b/c he is little. Not threatening to her. Easily bribed. And Mark knows that Finn won't judge his wonky choices and if their relationship does not last, then he thinks Finn will easily forget about her.
    Good for you. Perfectly reasonable. Love that inner b!!

  5. Claudette says:

    She may be a bit of a pikey by all accounts, but obviously not dumb. She wants to form a relationship with Finn as a control tool. How despicable to want to use him as a bargaining chip! Why else would she have asked for this? She is trying to get one over on you, fool Mark into thinking this is a purely alturistic act and exert a teeny-weeny bit of influence over your life. Remember the old adage, "keep your friends close and your enemies closer." There is definately an alterior motive. This is a woman straight from the Jeremy Kyle show, what benefit would your son have from knowing such a creature?

  6. Rhian Dennis says:

    Very well handled Alison, make sure you stick to your guns.

  7. Carlie says:

    I just wanted to add that I think what you offered was no in the least bitchy, unless your request was accompanied by a lot of name calling. I personally would expect such a plan if I were about to become a stepmum. Meeting someone on their own turf seems polite, especially when you're talking about assuming a relationship with their child. My sister is about to marry a man with a little girl and that was exactly what I advised. I told her, meet the daughter and mother at the mother's house, be cordial and polite and always always realize that she's the mommy. You're going to be the stepmom.
    Such tough stuff though. I hurt for you.

  8. Your instincts sound right on to me. I agree with the above, she wants to meet the little one as that is easier than dealing with the scorn of anyone who knows what she has done, and who she really is. I think you really have the upper hand here, stand your ground, your terms…I'm thinking she may back off.

  9. Amber says:

    Aaaaaah! Poor Nicky.
    You are NOT a bitch for making those conditions, just a normal parent protecting her child. Would you let Finn go play over at a friend's house without having first met and gotten to know the Mommy? Of course not. What's the difference here?

  10. Angel Jem says:

    How old is Finn? About 3 or 4 max, right? It would be much better for him from the point of view of a safe and comfortable introduction to a new (potentially permanent) person in his life to meet her on his home territory rather than neutral or even strange ground. He has the right to make a favourable impression of and with this woman, and you as his mother have the right to insist upon his needs being met above all else. I think you're a saint for even thinking of letting her in your house, and I appreciate the effort you are making for your son. Be strong, Alison, and if all else fails, get the heavy guns on your side and ask the health visitor's advice, which you can use as back up (but only if she says something that agrees with what you want!)

  11. "…a woman who has two children of her own she chooses to live three hundred miles away from and no longer has any kind of relationship with." And on top of that, she's the woman who took your baby's father from home.
    Keep her far from your child as long as you can.
    She is not normal.

  12. Leny says:

    Well done Alison!
    You are soooo right, on
    your terms or not at all.

  13. Gail says:

    "You Say Bitch Like It's a Bad Thing"
    My girlfriend who works in construction with a bunch of manly men taught me to say that…
    You get big bonus points for being willing to entertain the possibility of allowing this woman into Finn's world for even a moment. You are the mommy, it's your job to keep Finn safe and you set the rules. And this is from someone with no children.
    Repeat after me: "As if!"

  14. Wendz says:

    I lurk on your blog I'm afraid..often – it's my secret little treat to come here..just wanted to comment because you've touched a raw nerve and something which eats at me too.
    I have never met my Ex's girlfriend..he keeps us apart, I don't know why as she is really a step-mom to my boys. They see her every 2nd week as we have joint custody.
    I wish I had your courage. Well done.

  15. Mabel Fortune says:

    I am afraid that to me you are wrong. Building new relationships (Finn to Nicky, you to Nicky-whether you want it or not, it has to happen) takes time and more importantly little steps. What you are asking Nicky and Mark to do is a giant leap and , of course, this is not acceptable to her.
    I too have been on the receiving end of a failed relationship, with children in tow, and it took many years (and many small steps with many a small tumble) to get to a point where we have a working relationship with 1. my partners ex-partners partner and my ex-partners partner but my children have grown up in a positive enviroment where they see adults being "adult" something you may not be fully allowing Finn to experience. Small steps win the race.

  16. Pamela says:

    You did the absolute RIGHT thing, and she showed her true colors, didn't she? I'm with you- I can not think of a solitary reason why someone would give birth and then not want to drink up those precious offspring forever and ever. We have problems with our children. We work very, very hard to make it right. Such is life. No one in her right mind would just detach like that. Sounds very toxic to me.

  17. La Chouette says:

    You are handling this situation with wisdom and maturity, in Finley's interest. Seems to me that your ex's relationship with this woman is unhealthy (and it won't last, trust me). I understand why you want to protect Finley.

  18. pinky says:

    Blimey, Alison. This one really brought out the girls hackles, woo woo woo!!!! 17 posts!Well done anyroad lass, the other bint sounds like a right bitch. Stick to your guns.

  19. June says:

    I agree with almost everyone's comments. If she can't meet your son on his home turf where he feels safe and has more resources for handling this new conundrum in his life, then that woman is really just playing control games. Also, if Mark hasn't introduced her to his family, then how serious is this new relationship really? If not a true relationship, then why confuse Finley with women like that popping in and out of his life. What life lessons would he learn from that–that it's okay for a daddy to jump from woman to woman? It's not at all okay. Also, I would invoke the protective mommy unwritten rule that if that woman cannot mother her own children, then I wouldn't want her anywhere near my own child without some control measures in place. Follow your instincts, Alison, they're good, real and rightfully protection of your son.

  20. Danielle says:

    Fan-bloody-tastic!! I almost whooped out loud for you. Of course you've done the right thing. She is a complete stranger to you. Would any sane Mother hand her child over to a stranger? Even his own Daddy turned out to be a stranger at times! I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him. Lord only knows what kind of character she is. If she was genuine (or at least ballsy) she would have agreed to meet you. The woman has no dignity whatsoever. Giving up on the children she gave birth to? Burn the witch, burn her. OK I know I'm getting a little carried away now……. I can't help myself.

  21. Gayla says:

    Well, Mama said there'd be days like this. I've been in your exact shoes on this one, only Gerred was 13. Meeting at your home is a lovely gesture. (I think you were referring to the back of the bus comment on the inner b thing???)… haha.. There is never only one right solution, and one that makes the most people happy would probably be best AS LONG AS TWO OF THE HAPPY ONES ARE YOU AND FINLEY! You might also take Finley to a large restaurant with Helen and let Mark and the other woman take him on and have lunch with him?? Let her see him where he can be himself and not in front of Mommy and yet comfy in the heart that he can run "Home" if need be. Sit where you don't have to look at them. You never know about brilliant, precocious tots… He might play both ends aginst the middle if you know what I mean when he has you all in the same spot. Gerred always did that… kind of showed off good, as my Gramma used to say. … I have no doubt you will do the best thing for you and for Finley. Mark and bus back woman will have to fend for themselves. They probably have their own friends, but as for the Brocante Bunch… we are in your corner two thousand percent. Be whole! Love you…

  22. Cherished says:

    Looking from the "outside" in, just a matter of time, dear Alison, before this problem will be nil and void. Love and schnuggles, Cherished

  23. Susana says:

    Nicky is so immature! "Never in a Million Years!" What a coward! If she really cared about Finley she would have said yes and swallowed her pride. That's what a real woman would do. I totally side with you Alison. Honestly! You obviously want to take care of Finley, with Mark running off and all, it seems like you're the one who's got Finn's best interest in mind. She should respect that and stop acting like a baby. If she argues and insists then she's being totally selfish and is just trying to make herself feel better or something. Stick to your guns. Mama know's Best! -Susana in ALbuquerque

  24. Nancy says:

    I had a similar situation. My ex hooked up with a despicable creature that his family abhors. I reluctantly allowed my daughter to spend time with them, trusting her dad to protect her and take well care of her. Well, long story short, the bitch got messed up on something, struck my ex about the face and caused him to bleed, then attacked ME on my front stoop, slapped my face twice and cursed me…in front of my daughter! After I soundly whupped her butt in front of the neighbors, I had her arrested and a restraining order placed on her. (I can be a scrappy gal when I have to be, especially where my child is concerned!)
    If the ex couldn't be man enough to protect our child, I could, by damn!
    Sad thing is, he still went on to marry her! My daughter was never allowed to be alone with them until she was a senior in high school. She is about to graduate college now and has NEVER spent a night under their roof.
    Follow your best mommy instincts. I wish I had.

  25. Karla says:

    Alison, make no mistake. That is not your inner bitch talking – that is your sensible, protective, sane and rational Mommy Bear coming out.
    I'm proud of you. And I agree – I can't ever think of a reason why she'd give her own kids up. Boggles the mind.
    Don't back down or give in to anything less than the boundaries you've set. Who knows, Nicky may come and go, but there is only one Finn.

  26. laura says:

    If Mark doesn't think bus-face is acceptable enough to introduce to any of his family why does he think it's at all reasonable to introduce her to Finn? They've only been together, what, a matter of months and whilst they may see themselves as being together 'forever' surely he thought the same about you, him and Finn at one time not all that long ago?
    I don't have children but I think that until she's been introduced to the rest of his family, and has been a permanent fixture then no way would I have her near Finn. I just don't understand – he wants her to meet Finn but not his mother, dad, sisters/brothers? Might it be because they'll immediately see her for the child-abandoning, marriage-wrecking, neurotic, selfish, woman that she is and they think that Finn will just see some stranger who'll play with him like a new toy until she's bored of him too? hmmm….,

  27. cindy says:

    Hi Alison, girl what a mess he has made for not only you but even more for your child!He has totallly NO RESPECT for the both of you!! Plainly one can see that he and Bus-face aren't quite normal and want to live out there little fling with all the trimmings! Well, NOT over the back of Finn and you girl!!! If I was you, I'd take it to court! I know that that will be tuff but you MUST keep and maintain your boundaries, for your child and yourself. Let them PROVE they can and will be and provide a SAFE HAVEN for darling precious Finn! These matters you must have the Law behind you for not only protection for Finn but also for your and Mark's rights. They may 'seem'to stay together….what if they eventually split up? Like I said: Let them PROVE they are worthy…..The nerve of it all ey? But these types of people do, sadly…exist!And we must do all that we can to protect ourselves and even more so if children are involved! My ex was/is the same: he whent off with someone of which he said with much passion: She's so TOTALY NOT MY TYPE! But obvious she was(is still?)his type to F…K! Then he broke up with her…coming back to me me on his knees, to wich I DID NOT give in…for I came to know the real him, thank GOD!…and guess what? The next week they were off on holiday to the Dom. Republic!Inspite(?)of the fact that she knew how he had talked about her to me: about him finding her irritable, sexually discusting etc., she took him back and he knew that she knew this: they took eachother back!! Doesn't that say it all? Man, I'm sooooooo glad that I left him way back then and that I stopped loving him! Ha, ha! Man, are they losers or what???He messed up his kids from a previous marriage, nearly messed up my kid…so think this well over dear!Get professional and Legal help! If possible: talk to Mark, in private, without her!! about this…try to keep it all together, for FINN'S sake and happiness…and therefor your own and Mark's…for he is his father. Let him know very well that HE mesed everything up: for not only you, but mostly for FINN! Don't forget that dear and don't let Mark forget that! No matter what he wants or says! You both must only think of Finn's well being! Let her and he prove that they can and will be a good and healthy for him,thougthsnd prayers are with you's! Love and hugs!

  28. lisa says:

    My goodness Alison, just look at the sheer amount of comments! We are women, listen to us roar!! (Ahem) Just felt the need to add that Claudette's comment "a woman straight from the Jeremy Kyle show" is absolutely SPOT ON. She is a freak of nature and is not worthy to occupy the same air as you and Finn, I really admire your grace and dignity in coping with this situation, keep on being as strong as you are. And by the way, do you think she whose name I do not wish to even mention reads this site?? x

  29. lizzie says:

    I see we are all coming out of the woodwork on this one !! Say it is not convenient at present and think about it some more. I dont think you should have her round at your place (polluting the atmosphere) home is a safe zone – you dont want to associate it with her. Also she will see though that little ploy. Maybe send him off with Dad for the afternoon and go get a massage. Your F s mum so dont worry about meetings like this. Do get an assurance that F wont be left alone with her though and dont have any overnights. She sounds horrible really.

  30. Julie says:

    Trust you instincts Miss Alison, they are there for a reason. You already know youre right, and you are. Your right to protect your child supercedes ANYONES hurt feelings. Trust yourself!..Good for you.

  31. Julie says:

    Trust your instincts Miss Alison, they are there for a reason. You already know youre right, and you are. Your right to protect your child supercedes ANYONES hurt feelings. Trust yourself!..Good for you.

  32. Zara says:

    Good for you. Your kid, your turf. Perfect solution.

  33. Sandi says:

    I feel for you. No advice except to do what feels right for you and little Finn
    Sending you good wishes

  34. Gena says:

    Stick to your guns Alison! its your way or the highway! and I think you are being very generous!

  35. Gaaah, the audacity of it. I'm delurking to say that I applaud your decision and think it's mature and sensible. My soon to be ex husband moved out on Friday and I feel relieved – but I don't have a child to consider. I think your solution is reasonable as their 'passion' may fizzle out, she'll disappear, and why confuse Finn? Nicky gave up very easily when told she could only see him at your home, which suggests to me she was 'playing house' rather than being honest about wanting a relationship with her partner's child. Though you don't need any validation from us, I think you acted wisely.

  36. Aaah, poor back of the bus! No sympathy for that woman at all I am afraid. How any woman could not put her children first is beyond me and all sorts of things come to mind as to why she no longer sees her children. Her ex might even have a restraining order against her for all you know. I think you are very admirable and she has knocked you back. You are the one who looked after and protected your darling Finn, when his father was not there and you should be the one who decides whether this woman meets him or not. I would never let my children meet a potential step-mother without them being near me. He is a little person for goodness sake. Let her get stuck with his parents, etc. first and then see how long she lasts!

  37. Colette says:

    Wait a minute! He has not seen fit to introduce her to his family or friends….but he wants her to meet his son, the one whose mother he betrayed… the nerve! To quote the other woman, not in a million years. You behaved beautifully, I have to say. More power to you!

  38. Rapunzel says:

    Wow, Alison, this is a toughie! I find myself in the unique position of being both the protective mommy and the anxious stepmom right now so I can feel for both sides. Considering Finn's age, and this woman's apparent lack of parenting skills, I don't blame you at all for your concern! My "rule" was that my children were not to meet any new girfriends until the ex was truy serious about them, I didn't want my children exposed to a parade of bimbos.
    Please keep us posted, I look forward to watching this story unfold.

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