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to leave because I'm a stepmum?

(195 Posts)
Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:10:58

I know I will probably get flamed for this, but I hate being a stepmum. Would I be unreasonable to end my relationship because of my stepdaughter's existence?

I have been with her dad for almost 4 years now and we have a child together. I feel like our child is the only reason I have stayed so long, just so that he doesn't come from a broken family as well.

But I want to get away from my stepdaughter and the rest of my partner's family. I can't stand her or my in laws. I've had enough of pretending that I like any of them and keeping a straight face.

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 14:36:34

I don't understand the references to 'someone else's child'
Looking after 'someone else's child' half the week, etc. surely if you're in a long term relationship/marriage, the stepchild is your child too?

caramelwaffle Sat 21-Sep-13 14:42:14

Adopted step children are your children, otherwise they are your step children.

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 15:08:47

semantics, surely? If you are step mum/dad, you're in 'loco parentis' and do everything a bio mum/dad does? A couple of my friends are stepmothers and they treat the step dc's the same as their bio kids.
I do think you need massive support and enormous patience to do this, however. I know I couldn't. One of my dc's Mum's just got divorced after a brief marriage cos she couldn't get on with the step kids and found the blended family scenario impossible. The four kids involved were all preteen/teens though, so possibly easier to stepparent when the dc's are much younger and less resentful of the situation.

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 15:12:12

from what the op describes, this sounds like it could be a similar stage to what my stepmum friends went through. I know in their cases, the relationship with step dc's got worse before it got better and worked out fine in the end, after a lot of soul searching, some initial conflict etc

caramelwaffle Sat 21-Sep-13 15:19:39

Well there is the nub: expected to be the parent but not be the parent.

It's not simply semantics where the law, essential decisions, general decisions or behaviour of others are concerned.

For example "Oi, you! You will call yourself this child's mother and will do as you are told to put this child above all other children but Oi! don't be getting all uppity now and thinking you are this child's mother. You will not discipline this child. You will not make any decisions over their health treatment or schooling. You will let them eat/watch/smoke what they want! Who do you think you are? Their mother (or father)?"

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 15:34:01

that's why I couldn't do it and admire those who do and parent successfully without using the kids as lawns.
I've seen it up close and personal and it's a tough, tough job. I wouldn't do it unless the kids were fully grown adults.

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 15:35:03

pawns, not lawns

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 15:49:49

"A couple of my friends are stepmothers and they treat the step dc's the same as their bio kids."

Of course they do, all kids deserve to be treated well, the issue is about whose children they ACTUALLY are.

"Looking after 'someone else's child' half the week, etc. surely if you're in a long term relationship/marriage, the stepchild is your child too?"

Well no. The stepchild is your stepchild. If dh and I split and he started a relationship with somebody else who assumed that our children were now somehow 'hers' I would think she was a basket case. I'm my dss's step-parent, his dad's wife, who looks after him (extremely well thank you very much) sometimes, not his mum (who is herself a bit of a basket case, but should be respected equivocally as HIS mum nonetheless). I can't begin to imagine the world of trouble and confusion forced upon those poor sc's who are snatched up by some new partner as 'their own'.

I might be able to explain it better if somebody could explain what a child would gain from having a self proclaimed 2nd mum over having a clear honest and respectful relationship with a step-parent.

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 17:34:59

that's the crux of the whole issue, the status and definition of a step parent, what it entails etc. A very tricky balancing act.
In the most successful step families I've encountered, it's usually one where the bio dad has buggered off and Mum's new partner steps forward and basically adopts role of Father and everything being a Dad entails.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 17:37:10

sorry, *unequivocally.

I've just asked dss (he's 12) what he thinks about the idea of having a 2nd mum and he said "What, like in Coraline" [then spooky voice] "I'm your OTHER MOTHER!!"And then laughed his head off. I rest my case on that one grin

usuallyright Sat 21-Sep-13 17:50:59

OP, I wish you all the positive vibes in the world and hope your situation improves. One thing I'm 100% certain of, is that all step parents feel some degree of this. And if they don't they're either a) superhuman or b) lying!

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 17:54:02

Good answer, random's son smile.

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 18:03:55

usually, yes, surely the title itself "step mother" implies that there is some maternal expectation.

random, calling a Step Mum a 2nd mum obviously conjures up some mad psycho hand that rocks the cradle picture in your mind. It really wasn't meant like that and obviously I put it across very badly. I stand by my personal view though that being a Step Mum does have some maternal expectation if the kids are very young and they live there half the time.

Well done on getting the affirmation that you needed from your 12 year old DSS though.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 18:58:33

Nobody has said that they don't actually look after their dsc's mango! You seem to be judging people on their worst inner feelings. Who the hell are you, Mother fucking Theresa? Am I supposed to feel bad, is the op supposed to feel like a bad person, because we don't feel the same way about our sc's as we do about our dc's? Because I don't and neither should the op. Talk about kicking someone when they're down eh?

MatryoshkaDoll Sat 21-Sep-13 19:12:25

It's human nature to love your own DCs more than your step DCs. Anyone in a step mother's position would (and does) feel the same.

I'm not going to apologise for my biology. And nor should anyone else feel like they have to.

That doesn't mean I'm unkind to DSD or that I don't look after her.

BoozyBear Sat 21-Sep-13 20:12:17

wether your step child sees you as a 2nd mum isn't up to anyone but you and the child.

As i said, i NEVER tried to be a mum to my DSD, i made sure we made progress as friends, let her know i'm here for her and over the last 12 years our relationship has grown and blossomed to the point she actually trusts me with some private stuff and respects the fact i treat her like the adult she now is, more than her actual mother does... infact she has a very bad relationship with her mum at present.

I have EARNED a place in her heart as '2nd mum', i never ever demanded it and nor did anyone else.

When there are other people demanding you step up to be that, instead of allowing you and your stepchild to make your own relationship, of course you're going to notice the GLARING difference in how you feel towards your own child when they eventually come along.

LovesBeingOnHoliday Sun 22-Sep-13 11:26:12

Op have you called to make your appt yet?

Pigsmummy Sun 22-Sep-13 14:04:01

I hope that things pick up for you, I think that telling your DP that you are/were actually leaving should give him a kick up the backside to improve your life.

bishboschone Sun 22-Sep-13 14:10:33

It sounds like you were with your dh because he had a child and you wanted to be a mum. Now you have your ds you don't need her or him. This may be way off but it is either as calculated as that or you have pnd.. Your parents inlaw are probably over compensating for her dads marriage breaking up so worry about her more..

caramelwaffle Sun 22-Sep-13 17:37:38

Hope you have called (or will call in the morning) your GP.

Do look after your health and make sure you get lots of sleep.

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