My husband’s daughters were in serious need of a haircut. It’s unbelievable how long their mother let it go, the kids looked like shaggy dogs, it was embarrassing taking them anywhere.( She always said she’d take care of it, but didn’t) On a whim, I got the okay from my husband and took the girls to a pricey salon as a treat had their hair cuts in the same exact style. The girls loved it. When their mom saw this, she absolutely freaked out. Screaming and carrying on as if I had the girls tattooed. It was a horrendous scene that eventually involved the police right there on our doorstep. I know other step mom’s deal with this, but now she’s filed some kind of restraining order against me to stay away from her children, which is also my husband’s children. Was I wrong to have their hair cut? Can she really get a restraining order against me on behalf of the kids? I really don’t understand why this is a big deal, hair does grow out.
I’ve stated before, I’ll state again- I’m not a licensed therapist or psychologist, lawyer or specialist of any kind. All answers based on my own meandering experience.
Ah, the battle of the haircuts. I’ve yet to meet a stepmother who hasn’t dealt with the battle of the haircuts. Like you, most agree, it is only hair., it does grow back. But many mother’s don’t see it that way.
First of all, no you were not in the wrong. Those children, regardless of whether they live with you or not, are still 50% of their father, 50% of his responsibility and 50% of his right. You asked him, which again, was the right thing to do. He gave his consent, consent he’s absolutely legally allowed to give and you ran with it. So why the big deal? Territoriality my friend. You infringed on another woman’s turf, to put it bluntly. Parents can sometimes tend to look at a child as ‘mine’ and not ‘ours’ in a separation or divorce.. It’s only natural. Everything else is being divided up as ‘yours’ and ‘mine’, why not the child too? In most cases, a father is not always going to notice when a child needs a haircut, so the mother usually will take charge of this aspect of things. A mother is the one who notices when Sara’s hair is ratty and scruffy and when she doesn’t, usually no one will say anything. But then one, who a mother will forever consider an ‘outsider’ such as a stepmother, comes in and notices the hair and does something about it, she may be reading it as the stepmother saying ‘you are a bad mother’. No, of course that’s not what was said or even intended, but it’s maybe how it was read. Many mother’s don’t think a stepmother has any right to so much as talk to their child, so it goes without saying, cutting hair is a huge ordeal to some mothers. For some, it’s a lack of control. If a mother had chosen to cut the child’s hair, then she’d have control over the style and length, but when the duty is done by another, perhaps saving her time and money, control is lost for the moment and the mother reacts. Did you overstep your bounds? Not at all. You were caring for children who needed some attention to their hair. If that’s punishable, then there had better be a lot of jail space available for caring stepmothers around the world.
As for the restraining order, without having a family law certificate hanging above my desk, common sense tells me that no, she will not be able to get a restraining order against you for getting the child a haircut. I rather relish the thought of this going before the judge and him having a good chuckle over the concept of a restraining order over a child’s haircut. When one thinks of restraining orders, people think stalking, harassment, threats, yelling, screaming…not a child in a pricey salon getting a much needed haircut. It will truly shock me if the request for a restraining order is not thrown out.