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.

ThisWayForCrazy Fri 20-Sep-13 14:11:53

Yes, I think you should leave, they don't need such a nasty person in their life!

noisytoys Fri 20-Sep-13 14:13:17

I think leaving is the kindest thing you can do for your step DD.

Lj8893 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:13:43

Why don't you like her or your in laws?

Dobbiesmum Fri 20-Sep-13 14:15:20

Hang on, don't assume she's a bad person because she feels this way!
OP what happened to make you feel like this? Have you always disliked them or has something happened?

wonderingsoul Fri 20-Sep-13 14:15:26

yes, i think you should. itd be kindest for every one.

mrsravelstein Fri 20-Sep-13 14:15:46

gut instinct - you've got the choice to leave and not really have anything further to do with your stepdaughter, she doesn't have that choice, so yes it should be you to leave not her. (but i'm biased, as ds1's stepmum can't stand him either)

RoonilWazlibWuvsHermyown Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:13

YANBU. It would be kinder for everyone really. Y

woollyideas Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:29

ThisWayForCrazy That was totally unnecessary.

If you can't stand your step daughter then yes leave, best for everyone.

VodkaJelly Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:40

Maybe we should find out the backstory before we judge if the OP is a nasty person or not.

Walk a mile and shoes etc

GrownUpYOYO Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:53

Do what feels right. Staying for the sake of the kids barely works out well. I've recently married and I HATE MIL. (Didn't like her before but now she is trying to control our marriage) so I sympathize on the inlaw bit.

Your stepdaughter will be able to pick up on your negativity (I know this because I had a stepmother who couldn't stand me). It would have been best for everyone if she had left (not only for me but for my younger brother).

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:53

Is it horrible that I won't make an effort to maintain contact with her? I understand that she'll need to see her brother but I refuse to sort that and will leave it to their dad?

KoalaFace Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:53

Why do you think you feel like this OP?

catsoup Fri 20-Sep-13 14:16:56

How old is your step DD? Why did you have a child with a man who already had a DD if you don't want to be a step mum.

Delilahlilah Fri 20-Sep-13 14:17:08

Op, I think you should ask for this to be moved to relationships.... it sounds like you need the help you can get there

JackyJax Fri 20-Sep-13 14:17:44

Is this for real? You state your feelings so baldly that it makes me doubt the authenticity of your post. I'm a step mum too so do understand some of the difficulties (as well as delights) of that role. Your language seems so extreme though- seeming to dislike even your 'stepdaughter's existence'. Maybe some counselling would help you to make sense of your feelings and then to move forwards in a way that is healthy for everyone.

How old is she?? Why exactly don't you like her?

Dobbiesmum Fri 20-Sep-13 14:18:22

Your OP read like the online equivalent of taking a deep breath and blurting it out. What's brought it to a head after 4 years?

GrownUpYOYO Fri 20-Sep-13 14:18:41

If you split with your childs father your stepdaughter won't be your responsibility. (That will be up to their dad)

wantsleepnow Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:10

Please head over to the step-parenting board and give a little more background. You will absolutely get flamed for saying you hate a child without giving any reason for why you feel how you do.

Often it is the situation that people hate, but focus it wrongly on the step-child. Those on the step-parenting board have experience of giving support and understanding to those struggling with a situation.

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:11

It may be reasonable depending on the circumstances.

Do you and your husband love each other?

What is upsetting you to make you want to leave so much?

How old is the SD? (There is a huge difference between say, a meddling shit stirring 25 year old SD and a very young 5 year old SD)

Is the problem mainly with the in-Laws?

mrsravelstein Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:40

it doesn't matter if it's 'horrible' to not maintain contact with her, i just can't see what possible benefit it is to her to have a stepmum around her who feels as you do. and yes her dad can sort it, no need for you to be involved.

Queenofknickers Fri 20-Sep-13 14:19:44

I'm a stepmum too, Flower, and it can be SO hard...and acknowledging that doesn't take away from step children's rights etc - it is simply how it is. We aren't angels or martyrs or evil!just human....

What's happening/happened, flower? You sound completely at the end of your tether...

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:20:09

I agree with moving this to Relationships.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:24:51


Met my partner when I was 21 and it was fine at the beginning. I would have done anything for my stepdaughter and we got on so well. Relationship was brilliant. Ever since our son was born I changed. It hasn't been easy.

I have felt trapped and pressurised to look after my
stepdaughter when I had just had my baby, and I began to resent her. My in laws have always poisonous, saying that she needs my love as a second mother and needs overcompensating for because her mum and dad split up.

So now everything about her and them just fills me with dread. All I wanted was to be a mother to my son, and they got her to call me mummy. Her mum has her half the week as do we (or shall I say I as my partner works a lot?) and I'm sick of it.

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 14:24:58

Depends why - is her behavior bad and being so from encouraged by ex or DH wider family ?

Cause if it's her mere existence - she is his DD and will always be so and you knew before relationship -In that case YABU and leaving is probably best.

Are there other problems in the marriage, are you not getting DH support?

Do you have to see the IL or could that be avoided by DH seeing them by themselves. Could that also be a short term option with the step-DD that your DH see her by himself or with your DC accompanying him ?

Lasvegas Fri 20-Sep-13 14:25:31

OP thinking about your child here, wouldn't it be better to stay in a hotel sometimes when step child visits, rather than leaving the marriage all together?

So really, it isn't her you don't like, just the way others have dealt with it?? Sounds like your bigger issue is with the inlaws.

How old is she? What is your relationship with your partner like?

wonderingsoul Fri 20-Sep-13 14:28:16

las vegas.. no.. how do you feel that would make the sd feel..

and it wont be good for the op, how old is your child? it sounds and forgive me if im wrong that things where fine before the birt of your child? could you be feeling over whlmed by all of it?

how old is your step daughter?

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 14:28:59

X-posts but sound like you need to talk to your DH about access and him being around for his DD visits and this may lead to a discussion with her mother about visits amounts for a bit.

Ignore the IL - and find ways to minimized contact and don't give in to their emotional blackmail.

You also need to work on not blaming a DC for your feelings of resentment, its not the DC fault,- but work out a situation that you are happier with.

KoalaFace Fri 20-Sep-13 14:29:24

You seem completely overwhelmed, have your emotions felt outside of your control since having your DS?

Dobbiesmum Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:04

Sounds like you have overbearing in laws who pushed things along at a pace that made you feel uncomfortable. Did you say anything to your DH and did he back you up?

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:19

In that case, the problem is most definitely your husband and in-laws; but it seems that is because you feel you have been bullied or emotionally blackmailed into doing more than should be expected of you.

Perhaps a course in Assertiveness training, or sole counselling would help you at this moment in time.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:27

I love my partner but I know that he loves me more than I love him. I love him but I'm not "in love" with him.

livinginwonderland Fri 20-Sep-13 14:31:49

Lasvegas that's awful! How unwanted would you feel as a child if your stepmum buggered off to a hotel because she didn't want to be around you?!

OP, you need to think about whether you want to be in a relationship with step-children. My DP has a 4 year old DD previous relationship and yes, it's hard to know his ex will always be in our life somewhat (although their contact is very minimal). Are you prepared to put with this for the rest of your life, bearing in mind that if you and DH split up, your step-daughter won't be your responsibility anymore, although she should absolutely still have a relationship with your son.

Ok, again, how old is your SD.

I take it your partner has no idea how you feel about his daughter.

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:32:41

X post with everyone.

and I agree with Living - the hotel idea is just dreadful, don't even contemplate that!

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 14:34:33

The DC ages might also be a factor in how your are feeling - how young is your baby and how old Step-DD?

As DC have gotten older I've found having more DC round easier as each DC is a bit more independent.

DuelingFanjo Fri 20-Sep-13 14:35:18

is this more about how you feel like your own child is not getting the same attention and about how you are getting left with too much of the childcare?

Could you change that by insisting your DP does more?

catinboots Fri 20-Sep-13 14:35:47

No - I think you should do it now rather than later.

When I met DH I told him I wasn't prepared to continue a relationship with him if he remained in contact with his ex-SDD.

She was only a year younger than me and a poisonous, vicious piece of work. It wasn't an ultimatum as such - but just me telling him that I wasn't prepared to have someone like that in my life.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:36:56

My step daughter is 9. My son is nearly 1. I definitely think my feelings changed after my son was born. I am completely withdrawn from everyone.

VanitasVanitatum Fri 20-Sep-13 14:37:21

You're not in love with your partner and your hatred to your DSD sounds like it has actually nothing to do with her as a person, but because you don't want her around 'getting in the way' of your time with your son. It sounds like a negative situation for all of you, and maybe best for you to take some time out from the relationship and living as a family, to evaluate clearly.

FatPenguin Fri 20-Sep-13 14:37:25

Sounds like you feel taken for granted Her mum has her half the week as do we (or shall I say I as my partner works a lot?) and I'm sick of it.

saying that she needs my love as a second mother and needs overcompensating for because her mum and dad split up do you feel that your in laws prioritise SD over your DC?

You'd probably be better off posting this on step parenting board.

QueenofallIsee Fri 20-Sep-13 14:37:58

You don't love your husband, you dislike his family and clearly feel very trapped. I think if that is the case you can only leave. I am not sure how old your baby is, is it possible that you have touch of depression and this is how it is manifesting? As you say you got on OK before the baby came

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:39:33

It may be a good idea to speak with your GP.

You could get some ideas from them about other people to talk to.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:39:43

do you feel that your in laws prioritise SD over your DC?

Yes, absolutely.

Thumbwitch Fri 20-Sep-13 14:40:03

Setting aside the problems with you having to look after your SDD, do you actually like her? Is it the situation that you hate, or is it actually her existence that you resent?
Because the situation can be made better; but you can't change how you feel about her at the moment and she doesn't need you to hate her or resent her existence, so maybe you would be better off out of it.

Also, and I'm not making excuses for you, have you been checked for PND? Saying you've withdrawn from everyone suggests you might have it...

Do you think you could have PND? You do sound down.

Maybe talk to your GP???

I am such a believer that us parents can really screw our kids over, she is only 9, don't make her pay for others mistakes the poor little thing.

If you've completely withdrawn then you might have pnd

please get checked out and get some support

ThisWayForCrazy Fri 20-Sep-13 14:40:50

Now I am aware if the full situation I stand by my first comment.

IMO anyone that gets involved with a person who already has children should not do so unless they are going to be committed to all of the children.

My ex got with a person who hated my son. It caused him no end of problems and pulled him to pieces. Wrecked his self esteem, his relationship with his Dad and eventually he became suicidal.

So, I stand by what I said.

Ezio Fri 20-Sep-13 14:41:27

I think your resenting the wrong person, shes a child, shes done nothing to deserve the resentment, its your PIL that you have the ire with, you need to talk to your DH about this, but its not DSD fault is it.

Is she a nice child to be around, do you otherwise get on?

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:41:36

The first year with a new baby is hard. A shock and very hard, even under the best of circumstances.

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 14:42:20

I am completely withdrawn from everyone.

Well PND can be picked up or even trigger as much as two years after a birth. Also other things like thyroid issues triggered by pg can leave your tied and feel less able to cope. You should check with HV or GP and talk to your DH about how you are feeling.

At 1 your DS is probably not on the move. 6 months down the line you may find having an older DC for your DS to engage with is a god send - depends on the 9 year old of course. Plus at 1 they are still a great deal of work still. So things may well improve in near future.

You should still talk to your DH about current arrangements and carefully tell him about you feeling resentment and perhaps suggest ways he could help you with that.

edam Fri 20-Sep-13 14:44:35

I think you should see your GP because it does sound possible that you have depression. Feel for you - things are obviously miserable. Please go and get some help. Then, when you are thinking clearly, you'll be able to make decisions about your future.

cosydressinggown Fri 20-Sep-13 14:45:52

Yes, you should go.

The little girl has not done anything wrong and does not deserve to spend half her life with someone who feels hostile towards her.

IneedAsockamnesty Fri 20-Sep-13 14:46:50

It sounds very much like you don't actually dislike your step daughter as such just that you (on here not in RL obviously I don't know anything about your RL) are transferring the emotions your feeling about being pressured into being her mother half the time whilst your getting to grips with being a new mum to your own baby yourself.

Its quite wrong for anybody to put that pressure on you and its also quite wrong for your dh to be expecting you to pick up her care when he should be doing it.

So yanbu if you can't stop it happening whilst you are there then I would consider leaving.

Your not this child's mother she has her own mum and dad who should be taking responsibility for her.

KoalaFace Fri 20-Sep-13 14:47:26

If your feeling have dramatically changed since having your DS and you feel withdrawn please talk to your GP about the possibility of PND.

For such a big change in how you feel in such a powerfully negative way I suspect PND.

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:51:40

There are different problems here that need separating.

To start, I think you should put yourself first

You need to be healthy to look after and nurture you baby. Visit your GP. Get yourself checked over and any health problems addressed.

Start minimising contact with the in laws. They sound slightly toxic and you can better deal with them at a later date.

Talk with your husband: let him know that your health is suffering and you to take time out to get better/get your equilibrium back. With that in mind, he and his ex will have to reorganise childcare between themselves (they will have yo do this anyway if you leave)

There is a young child here who needs you. You need to be well for them.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:53:28

I've been considering going to my GP to be honest. I need help. When my son was born something just changed in my head.

I'll always recall when my family brought some presents for the baby, and my stepdaughter wanted to open them, and it annoyed me. Why?

And ever since then I feel like my in laws hae just completely disregarded their new grandchild. It's made me protective of him, and resentful of my stepdaughter. They never ring to ask how he is, or come to see him. It's like they don't care. And now I obsess over how I can score cheap points to get at my stepdaughter. Like, "I might take (son) to the park today and let him play on the swings while you're at school." But I never end up doing it as I don't want to go out most of the time.

All that aside, being forced to do things, or call myself things that I wasn't up to, added to this resentment, and I just want to hide away or run away.

caramelwaffle Fri 20-Sep-13 14:55:58

You really need to minimise contact with these in laws. They sound awful. You should let your husband know why (not easy)

whois Fri 20-Sep-13 14:56:29

Oh OP you shouldn't have posted in AIBU. Posters here seem to absolutely hate stepmums and have a very black and white view on what is a difficult and complicated situation.

Sounds like its the situation that needs to change, I don't think you actually hate your SD but resent having to spend so much time looking after her. Try and address this first.

Quite tricky looking after your first baby with all the hormones raging and taking on more responsibility and having to be a 'ready made' mum to a nine year old.

Please talk to your Gp about being withdrawn and down too.

Good luck, I hope things improve.

Fenton Fri 20-Sep-13 14:56:45

Why is there a 50/50 arrangement in place when her father isn't there for most of 'his' 50%?

That's wrong for a start, the child's mother and father 'share' her, not the mother and stepmother.

Ezio Fri 20-Sep-13 14:57:31

And now I obsess over how I can score cheap points to get at my stepdaughter. Like, "I might take (son) to the park today and let him play on the swings while you're at school."

See the GP urgently, because trying to score points against a 9 yr old is not normal.

Speak to your DH about this because he may pick up on it himself, and it might cause bigger problems.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 14:58:32

She is a lovely girl despite everything. She loves her little brother and is an absolute gem with him.

That's when I start to feel bad. At the beginning I used to love having her here, and now after having a baby (which is neither of the children's fault) I feel so differently towards her (or rather the situation)

QueenofallIsee Fri 20-Sep-13 14:58:48

Flower, you are not yourself. Don't make any big decisions now, get yourself to the GPs. Its OK to be annoyed (9yr old girls are annoying) but this is a bit different

Ezio Fri 20-Sep-13 14:58:53

Have you considered asking your DH to lessen the time your SD is at your house? Like just weekends when hes there.

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 14:59:39

This isn't about being a step mum - though that a hard job at the best of times - there are people who feel like this about their older DC after they have had a baby they 'go off them ' and resentment them- it's one manifestation of pnd.

I'd suggest following caramelwaffle advice and instead of thinking about seeing the GP make an appointment as soon as possible.

Loa Fri 20-Sep-13 15:01:02

by their I meant biological not implying anything about step relationship and belonging.

Ezio Fri 20-Sep-13 15:02:07

Ok, its not your SD thats the issue, its the withdrawing probably an attempt at withdrawing from PIL, i think that the PIL have made this issue, because they ignore DS, so need the GP first, then DH.

This is not a rational you talking, its a fed up, depressed, woman trying to do her best.

KoalaFace Fri 20-Sep-13 15:02:51

You think she's a lovely girl, you know she's good with your DS. You loved having her around before hand. The sudden change is a red flag for me. Get to the GP as soon as possible.

Tell your DH you are in desperate need of support.

Make yourself heard. I think if you get the support you need this situation will feel better.

NynaevesSister Fri 20-Sep-13 15:03:42

What everyone else has said. You have PND. You're not thinking rationally. Please go get some help before you make yourself really stressed out. I think you do love your SD and you will always regret it if you don't get some help right now.

Yonihadtoask Fri 20-Sep-13 15:04:35

There is so much going on here, I am not surprised you are feeling in a state OP.

Firstly you state that things changed since having your baby. Well, that could be PND, or just general tiredness and the reality that being a parent of a tiny human entails.

PIL need to butt out.

Why 50/50 shared care? If DSD father is out at work, then that means that you are having the custody.

Does DH know you are struggling with the current arrangement? Or do you keep it all in?

I am a stepmother too, and admit to finding it very difficult at times. Not so much now that they are getting older.

I would ask for this post to be moved to Step Parenting. AIBU is a bit like sticking your head in to the lions' den.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:04:50

I am going to go and see my GP. I just thought, I can't possibly speak about this to anyone face to face. Maybe they won't understand. But now I've been on here I feel more courage to talk to someone I trust like my GP.

HebeJeeby Fri 20-Sep-13 15:05:28

Flower please do go and see your GP if only to get your head in a better place. I am a step mum and the first few years were hard. The Ex-wife messed us around a lot (I hasten to add DH was already separated and divorced when I came along) and I used to really resent DH having other demands on his time and attention. I just wanted to have a normal courtship, go out to restaurants, pubs, with friends on a Saturday night, not stay in and watch Disney with the SC. However,......... 11 years down the line life is great, and I have a fabulous relationship with both my SC and consider them to be my own. My SD who is now grown up and lives near us, comes and babysits for us and loves spending time with her little sister.

It is difficult but it can get better. I do understand where you are coming from with ILs though. Don't give up before you've tried all avenues and spoken to your DP. That said, if you really can't do it then you must do what is right for you.

MogTheForgetfulCat Fri 20-Sep-13 15:06:50

I had pnd and an underactive thyroid after having DS2 (now 5). I was irrational, incredibly irritable, poisonously nasty, had no energy and had awful headaches. I thought obsessively about leaving DH for various mad reasons that made no sense - but somehow did to me at the time.

Please do see your GP and get checked / assessed for the above and anything else your GP can think of. I am a stepmum and know how hard it can be. I also intensely dislike people who interfere and show blatant favouritism. Notwithstanding those things, your comments about scoring points over a 9yo and not wanting to go out suggest that you should get yourself checked out.

I think sometimes it's a good idea to call time on a relationship when it doesn't work with SC, but, in your case it sounds as though it could be sorted. You need to tell your dp exactly how your feeling and he needs to lay down strong ground laws down with his parents. Your DS should be as important as your dsd.

Maybe a pop to the drs would be a good idea as well. But, your dp needs to take on more parenting to his dd and not leave it to you.

BrianTheMole Fri 20-Sep-13 15:08:29

Oh op, do see the GP, don't make any rash decisions before then.

allmycats Fri 20-Sep-13 15:08:46

try and get yourself tot he GP asap - all these changes in your feelings started after you had your son. you also say that your stepdaughter is a lovely girl and that she adores her half brother - this shows that you don't really hare her, you are just in a bad place at this moment in time and need help from a variety of sources, your GP, your DH and what about your own family.
DO NOT let your in-laws infringe on your life together as a family unit and get your DH to spends some more time will all of you together.

I do hope that things start picking up and that you can get the help you need.

FatPenguin Fri 20-Sep-13 15:10:32

Good luck speaking to your GP Flower, I think that is a wise thing to do.

MogTheForgetfulCat Fri 20-Sep-13 15:11:16

V glad you are going to your GP - they will be able to help smile

Queenofknickers Fri 20-Sep-13 15:12:29

Flower, 8 years ago I could have written your posts word for word. I had PND and with medication and psychotherapy I got better. Please see your GP as soon as possible for some help. It can and will get better thanksthanksthanks

PrimalLass Fri 20-Sep-13 15:22:16

My step daughter is 9. My son is nearly 1. I definitely think my feelings changed after my son was born. I am completely withdrawn from everyone.

I haven't read any posts after this one, but just wanted to say that I felt like this after my second child. I think you should see your GP or HV about it because it sounds like PND. I withdrew from my DS emotionally, even though he was only 3 sad

It got back to normal however. As an aside, are you BF-ing?

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:22:30

Thank you to everyone that has been so supportive. I briefly spoke to my grandma back in April about my feelings. I told her that I was feeling really down but didn't go in to very much detail. I could tell she wanted me to open up to her, but I just told her that I was fine. Apparently she could see it in my eyes that I was completely drawn out and sad.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 15:25:12

Primal no I'm not breast feeding. I tried but I failed miserably at it. I was really sore and both me and my son were getting really stressed. So I have been giving him bottles ever since.

WilsonFrickett Fri 20-Sep-13 15:27:16

Sweetheart, I suspect you have PND. And I suspect that the feelings you have are so scary that you are turning them outwards towards your SD, because in your head your scared that your thoughts are about your own DC or DH. You are - in the kindest possible way - just not thinking straight.

But you CAN feel better about this and you can get through it without throwing your family up in the air. Please, please, go and see your GP.

Viviennemary Fri 20-Sep-13 15:31:40

am amazed at the OP being attacked. People don't know the background. But it is a great effort and stressful to be nice to people you can't stand and who are often not that nice to you. I think the hotel idea is a mad one. Things could improve when your SD matures or they might not. If things are really unbearable you should consider leaving.

geekgal Fri 20-Sep-13 15:39:22

Definitely agree with everyone else, you need to go to your GP, you have depression. I never had PND but I've had severe situational depression before, it's not your fault and you can get help. If after that you still feel that you need to leave then of course go, but it sounds like you're not yourself just now so it's probably best not to make any big decisions.

Am genuinely welling up for you, depression is so hard anyway and to feel on your own as well is just awful! It's not your sd or dp fault but it's not yours either - maybe speak to your gran and get her to go with you to the doctor?

PrimalLass Fri 20-Sep-13 15:41:28

Primal no I'm not breast feeding. I tried but I failed miserably at it. I was really sore and both me and my son were getting really stressed. So I have been giving him bottles ever since.

Ah, I always wondered if I felt better once I had stopped because of the hormones. I think you will feel better once the baby hormones have eased. That has been 18 months for me, both times. See your GP.

WiddleAndPuke Fri 20-Sep-13 15:43:35

Do you think maybe you felt like you loved her as much as if she was "yours" and then when DS arrived you realised that its different, and that rather than "going off" her you've just realised that there are different types of love to feel for children?

Beastofburden Fri 20-Sep-13 15:57:44

OP, you are very young (I make you 24 or 25?) and I am not surprised that parenting your own DC and another older child is overwhelming. How many other 24 year olds have charge of a 9 year old?

You should be kind to yourself. You have not "failed miserably" at breastfeeding. I couldnt do it with DS1 either; I was fine with the next two, and he is fine as well (and almost 22 so not much younger than you are).

I think you have the makings of a lovely little family there and you are just not very well right now. Don't be ashamed of illness, you dont choose to be ill. Go and see your GP and get some help.

Good luck.

34DD Fri 20-Sep-13 15:58:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:00:34

Do you think maybe you felt like you loved her as much as if she was "yours" and then when DS arrived you realised that its different, and that rather than "going off" her you've just realised that there are different types of love to feel for children?

I think that is a really good point. I can definitely distinguish between the two. But I do think my feelings have clouded that love for my stepdaughter if you get me. I just need help, it's got worse over the course of a year and this is what brought me to ask today should I leave as I can't bear it anymore. But first I will seek help from my GP.

VodkaJelly Fri 20-Sep-13 16:03:58

Flower I wish you luck I really do. It is hard to face up to something like this and you are taking those first fragile steps.

kali110 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:05:13

Flower def go see your gp. I remember being seriously depressed years back. I was not thinking straight, my mind was a mess and then i felt worse over my deelings and thoughts. It did take months but it did get better. Wish you all the best x

Good for you Flower. Get down to the GP and get this sorted. You will be fine.

Your posts at the beginning almost seemed like you wanted people to have a go at you, like you wanted everyone to tell you that you are horrible. You need to be kind to yourself. Look after yourself.


KoalaFace Fri 20-Sep-13 16:08:33

Good luck Flower thanks

I hope things start looking up for you very soon. I think with some support things will get better.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:09:28

My partner has spoken about his feelings on PND in the past when he's heard stories about it, and he doesn't seem to understand or show any sympathy, so I'm a little bit reluctant to talk to him about that.

I was working before I had my son and so I didn't really do a lot of looking after step daughter and she was in an after school club before and after school, then my partner picked her up on his nights. She still goes on her mum's nights, but my partner, who was pushed by his mum, took her out of after school club as I could look after her. Then every other weekend if he's at work I look after her. I have not retuned to work, and that is a decision that I sometimes look back on and wonder if I made the right decision. sad

MatryoshkaDoll Fri 20-Sep-13 16:21:41

OP I'm a step mum and am expecting my first baby soon. I really sympathise. If I were railroaded into the situation you're describing I think I'd be hugely resentful too. It's no wonder you're feeling depressed - the whole thing sounds very stressful.

My DP is making noises about creating a similar set up when I'm off on maternity leave and tbh I'm not keen because I think I will end up feeling how you're feeling. And that's without the nightmare in-laws.

I really hope you get some help from the GP and that your partner is a bit more understanding. Make sure you ask for (and get) lots of support.

sisterofmercy Fri 20-Sep-13 16:24:02

Your partner needs to step up and do some fathering instead of leaving it to you. I'm glad you are going to the GP. You might find it easier to talk to your partner if you have the backup of the GP.

Cuddlydragon Fri 20-Sep-13 16:24:51

Oh OP, everything you say makes me think that you really should speak to your GP. It does sound a lot like PND. Good luck.

diddl Fri 20-Sep-13 16:30:12

It sounds as if everyone is trying desperately to not let the little girl feel pushed out by the baby, but in so doing are not considering OP & the baby!

I hope you manage to have a talk with your GP & partner & get something sorted out.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 16:31:35

Again thank you everyone for your kind support. After I've seen the GP, what usually happens after that? If anyone knows or if anyone has been to the GP about possible PND before?

Dobbiesmum Fri 20-Sep-13 16:37:54

Had to go out, so glad it didn't turn into a witchhunt. Good luck with everything Flower

JessePinkmansBitch Fri 20-Sep-13 16:38:29

OP I've been where you are before. After my dd1 was born I suddenly felt differently towards my DSD who was only 10 at the time. It was made worse by my mother being terribly jealous of my DSD hmm and constantly nagging me about her, that made me very resentful towards her. I felt so guilty, and started hating myself because of the way I felt and I'll admit I did start to treat her differently. sad I almost left DH too.

I was the same towards dd1 when dd2 was born, that time I finally did get help for my PND and we finally worked through it all.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, although it takes time to get there. It get's a lot easier as they get older. If you can manage to talk to your DP and get him to support you it will be a lot easier on you. And I agree with whoever said minimise contact with your inlaws as much as possible.

My DSD is 21 now (tomorrow actually grin) and we have a great relationship now.

StuntGirl Fri 20-Sep-13 16:47:09

Oh sweetheart, you sound so sad and worn down sad Another one who thinks it sounds very much like PND, which weirdly is good news because it means you can do something about it and wrestle back control!

I would also mention to the doctor that your husband is somewhat unsupportive, your in laws are bullies, give them the full picture.

Once you've been to the doctor I would tell your husband that you are not well, you need his help and support, and he might not always see or understand why, but you need him to trust you and support you right now. It might mean stepping up more, it might mean taking on a bit more for a short while, but it's that or you don't get better!

I would also limit contact with the in laws, they sound utterly toxic.

Could you talk to your husband about how you feel overwhelmed by the changes, and as part of supporting you while you get better could it go back to how it was for a little while, with the step daughter doing after school clubs and him doing pick ups? To balance it I would make sure I put a day/afternoon aside (not sure how much time you get with her altogether, so choose accordingly) for special you and her time so she doesn't feel pushed out.

Things can get better for you, they really can. flowers

drivingmisslazy Fri 20-Sep-13 16:48:59

Flower, I have really bad PND so bad I thought there was no way coming back. I went to the doctors who put me on citalopram and then a few weeks later the fog lifted and I slowly got back to being me. I struggled on for 8 months thinking/hoping it would get better. It didn't until I had seen the gp.

pigletmania Fri 20-Sep-13 16:57:27

Really op you need to get help, go to te GP, see the HV. Do you love and want to, be with your dp? If you don't, I would leave, if you want to be with your partner, I would get that help, and distance yourself from in laws, and looking at building a relationship with your ds sister. Go to the park together, ad DVD nights etc. go out just you and her, whilst your dp has ds. If you want to be with your partner, you are going to have to make it work! This is not her fault or her problem. You have to get it together.

pigletmania Fri 20-Sep-13 16:58:57

And here flowers cake and brew and a big hug

KateSMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 20-Sep-13 17:45:40

Hi Flower111 - do let us know if you'd like this moved somewhere else.

Fenton Fri 20-Sep-13 17:49:02

Flower they may well prescribe you will anti-D's and help you find one which suits you. You might also be offered an appointment for counselling but if you don't feel up to that then consider a support meeting perhaps. There should be a meeting in your area run once a week and can put you in touch with someone at the end of the phone in case you are having a wobble and need to talk.

Good luck, I know it isn't easy but you sound like a brave one so I'm sure you'll be fine.

edam Fri 20-Sep-13 17:51:45

I'm not surprised you have come to resent her if you are being forced to look after her. Your dh has no right to pull her out of after-school and dump her on you! He can look after his child himself if he disapproves of after-school, he has no right to force it on to you. Would be entirely different if it was your choice.

QOD Fri 20-Sep-13 18:00:18

I think I remember an old post of yours. When you went on mat leave you had to take over all the pickups and that. So it's been an issue pre the birth of your son? Was that you op?

Pillowplumper Fri 20-Sep-13 18:01:09

Sorry you are having a tough time. I think the GP is a good start, however I think it is really important that you stop looking after her and she goes back to after school club.

I know it is not the same, but I have had periods of time when I have had my younger sister live with me, it really negatively affected our relationship and I was very resentful that I had to be responsible for her. luckily my mum recognised this and changed things. Now we get on great.

I think you need to slowly try and rebuild your relationship with your stepdaughter and not having to look after her may help that. Then you can concentrate on having good times with her and not feeling resentful.

ElenorRigby Fri 20-Sep-13 18:11:38

I'm a Stepmum, I would advise you post in Step Parenting also

ModeratelyObvious Fri 20-Sep-13 18:13:02


What percentage of the time DSD is with you is your DP there as well, roughly?

kinkyfuckery Fri 20-Sep-13 18:20:20

Oh Flower sad

I think seeing the GP, or your health visitor, is definitely the right way to go. PND is very common and sounds like a good description for how you are feeling. It's nothing to be ashamed of, and nothing that can't be 'fixed'.

I really hope your relationship with your SD improves. Please keep us updated x

aintnothinbutagstring Fri 20-Sep-13 18:20:48

You've been railroaded into taking a lot of responsibility without being asked, on top of having a young baby, that is not fair. You do need to see your GP, that is a good first step, but you also need to relay your feelings to your DH especially re your IL's and taking on extra childcare of your SD. Its too much right now for you, you need a bit of breathing space and downtime.

And once you're feeling a bit better, theres nothing to stop you looking for work again if you feel you need that work/home balance, it might be better for your mental health. And it'll stop your dh/ils seeing you as free childcare. I'm sure you care very much for your SD, but primarily she is the responsibility of her own parents.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:26:04

I think I remember an old post of yours. When you went on mat leave you had to take over all the pickups and that. So it's been an issue pre the birth of your son? Was that you op?

No QOD this is my first post on the site. Was there somebody else in the same position as me?

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:34:09

What percentage of the time DSD is with you is your DP there as well, roughly?

Well I pick her up from school on the 2 nights that she is here after school and then my partner arrives home around 6ish. He normally works Mon-Fri but sometimes does work at the weekend as well. If this happens on his weekend then I will be picking her up on Friday from school and could be looking after her from that afternoon, then however many hours he does over the weekend.

As it has just been the school holidays recently, she spent a whole week with ILs and then spent alternate woke weeks here and at her mum's. And yep, you guessed it, I was looking after her most of the time. My partner did book a couple of days holiday, but the majority of time I was looking after her. It was hard and I felt worse than ever.

So %wise, I'd say in between 60-70% of the time she is here.

PrincessGrotbags Fri 20-Sep-13 18:35:29

Op. I have been where you are. I was 18 when me and my oh got together, he was divorced with 2 dc 5 and 3. I fell pregnant at 20 and my son was born when I was 21. The dsc were with me full time from 3 months pregnant as their mother had issues. My oh (can't call him dp) worked away all week and I was on my own in a very rural area and unable to drive, with all 3 children. It wasn't their fault but I felt so so alone. I didn't see another adult from oh leaving on a Sunday until he got back on a Friday night. Pil were taking food parcels to exw but did nothing for me. They took dsc on holiday etc but we're never interested in my children and still aren't. They told me they had done this already and weren't prepared to do it for oh's second family! They babysat for his ex even though she only had kids one night a fortnight! I stayed because I felt they had no one else and because I too was depressed and unable to see the damage it was doing to me. Or I felt I wasn't important enough. My own son had to share my bedroom as dsc had the other bedrooms. I was the one that took care of all their emotional and physical needs and it wasn't the slightest bit appreciated by the ils. My sc are now in their 20's and I rarely see them. Their father doesn't bother with them much which makes me feel betrayed as I gave up so much for them and for him. I wish I had left I really do. Please don't let your story be like mine. Go and see your GP. Get yourself well and decide how you would like life to be for you all. If it's possible to build a happily family unit for you all then it can be really great but if it's going to make you all miserable in the long run it really isn't worth staying.

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:41:56

Princess That sounds really awful. I'm sorry you had to go through all that sad

ModeratelyObvious Fri 20-Sep-13 18:44:01

OP, you are looking after a child that is not yours for a large proportion of your time and your ILs (and probably DP) are not "letting" you be uneasy with that.

When I had DS2, DS1 still went to day care, DH still took his day off and did things with DS1. I had PND and even that set up was awful, exhausting etc. it sounds like you have PND but way less support than me and lots of people wanting you to fake it for your DSD - no wonder your feelings are coming out "at" her.

Does your DP have to work those weekends to make ends meet/as part of his shifts? Can he move things around, even for a month or two?

Flower111 Fri 20-Sep-13 18:44:18

So %wise, I'd say in between 60-70% of the time she is here.

I've just re-read the question above, sorry. The 60-70% is the amount of time I'd say I'm looking after my stepdaughter on my own. 30-40% of the time I would say my partner is there as well.

kitsilano Fri 20-Sep-13 18:52:12

Flower, please do get some help as your feelings and behaviour will be affecting your SD and she is the innocent in this situation.

My step mother was similarly resentful and dismissive of me throughout my entire childhood even though I never even actually lived with her and my dad.

She was quite explicit that she was not interested in me and didn't want to see me as I reminded her that she was a second wife.

Trying to get her to love me became a major issue in my life that I still haven't got over. It has shaped my personality in many ways.

I think she may have suffered from pnd as it all started when she had children. I can have some sympathy for that but I really wouldn't want a child to go through my experience.

MikeOxard Fri 20-Sep-13 18:55:58

Please see your GP, I think you have PND. I had a similar thing of feeling differently towards my older dd when ds was born. I was prescribed Sertraline and it made me feel like me again. I didn't realise how much I hadn't been myself until the medication kicked in. xx

PrimalLass Fri 20-Sep-13 19:06:40

Reading this has brought it all back. It is one of the reasons I didn't have a baby#3. There was a really brutally honest story from a woman in one of the papers around the same time, which let me see exactly what had happened to me. Before DD I had been obsessive about DS, and I am so happy to say that it went back to normal once the baby hormones were gone. I could win an Olympic gold for loving him now.

monicalewinski Fri 20-Sep-13 19:06:53

Agree about PND. Please see GP as soon as poss - you're not alone; as MikeOxard said, it's only once the meds kick in that you remember what "normal" is. Good luck with everything xx

JumpingJackSprat Fri 20-Sep-13 19:12:56

im glad this didnt turn into a witch hunt despite some posters best efforts. op the step patenting board really is fantastic with some very wise and lovely posters... next time id post there if i were you. i think you need to talk to your partner and tell him you just cant cope with looking after dsd so much - either he does it or her mum does it.

JenaiMorris Fri 20-Sep-13 19:18:22

QOD I was thinking exactly the same - and I think I might have given that OP a pasting for not wanting to take over the after school care when she went on mat leave blush

flower I can't really offer any advice but I did get the impression that your OP wasn't worded in the way it might have been had you been thinking straight, right from the start. You poor love - see your GP, talk to your partner, get away from those in laws (((hug)))

JenaiMorris Fri 20-Sep-13 19:20:35

Christ, kits - the trying to get a parent's 'new' partner to even like you hit a raw nerve with me sad

kitsilano Fri 20-Sep-13 19:25:47


I've spent 25 years doing it now and am still doing's madness but the insecurity her behaviour created isn't something I was ever able to get over.

I have spent all these years feeling that if I can just be absolutely perfect and beyond reproach in any way she will let me be part of the family...

QOD Fri 20-Sep-13 19:26:37

Yeah sounded very similar. I do feel for you, but it does sound like you're doing more than your fair share with a touch of PND thrown in too.

StarvingBookworm Fri 20-Sep-13 19:27:50

Do go and see your GP. What about your HV, is s/he any good? When I was struggling with mild PND after my first baby I called my HV and she came round just for a chat to give support a couple of times until I felt I was ok, but she would've kept coming if I asked.

What about getting out and meeting other mums - do you have any friends you could talk to?

BoozyBear Fri 20-Sep-13 20:17:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

And Flower there is life after PND if that is what you are diagnosed with. Depression can make you such a different person as PP have said. I am just coming off (mild) anit-depressants as I am over my depression. I am "me" again IYSWIM. I was actually "lost" for want of another word - for quite some years. Get thinking I just had to get on with stuff. An unplanned chat with my GP (went about something else) just turned into everything spilling out. 5 months later and my only regret is not admitting and talking about it sooner.

You have made the first massive step in admitting to yourself it is not all "OK". Something is not right. Well done. Please do see your GP. Try not to be fobbed off with an appointment in 4 weeks time.

UnMNetty Hugs to you.

mumofweeboys Fri 20-Sep-13 20:54:37

You could call your health visitor. If found mine so supportive and they can get you referrals to other services that might help.

cosydressinggown Fri 20-Sep-13 21:54:47

I think my earlier post was insensitive and I apologise. I didn't realise that this could be a manifestation of PND and I shouldn't have commented. I don't think you should automatically leave if these feelings might just be a symptom of something else.

I do think that it needs to be dealt with quickly as of course the little girl is not at fault here and shouldn't be subjected to hostility or the 'point scoring' thing you describe - quite damaging for her potentially.

As a first step, could you ask your DP to put her back into after school club? It should not be put on you just because you are at home. She's their child and they need to sort out the childcare, not use you as unpaid childcare.

MrsTedMosby Fri 20-Sep-13 22:53:41

OP, I'm a stepmum too and I remember the completely different and unconditional love I felt for my firstborn. I loved my stepkids, but this was something different, and yes, I did resent them interfering in my life with my wonderful new son for a while.

I do think seeing your GP is a good idea as it's gone on for so long. I also think you need to talk to your DP about how often you are looking after your stepdaughter.

I had the same thing. As soon as I gave up work I was the childcare during the holidays or after school if needed. No one asked me, it was just assumed! (And that included looking after them after only being home one week after 10 days in hospital after giving birth, and baby just out of SCBU)

I am glad to say that now they are grown up we are very close and their little brothers adore them!

bottleofbeer Sat 21-Sep-13 00:18:35

I had PND after my second son was born. I look back at myself then, I was 19, struggling with two small children and could cry because I was practically a child myself with huge responsibility and an actual, diagnosable illness.

My eldest was so easy but one day he was playing in the garden and had a toileting accident. I lost my rag and really shouted at him. To this day I remember the look on his little face and my heart breaks. I still hate myself for it; he doesn't remember it but I do.

That's where you are. Please see the doc and get help. It really doesn't have to be this way.

Thumbwitch Sat 21-Sep-13 01:05:09

I think you have been grossly imposed upon as well, actually. It's hard enough having to learn to be a mum to a new baby when it's the only child in the house - but having to take on extra hours with an older child as well would have only added to the difficulties.

I have DSs aged nearly 6 and nearly 1. DS1 started school when DS2 was 4mo and the sheer fag of having to haul myself out of the house twice a day to get DS1 to and from school was quite hard going at times, especially after a bad night! I have found myself being quite short with DS1, even though it isn't remotely his fault, but just because - so I have a lot of sympathy with your situation without having to include the fact that she is your DSD.

I'm pretty sure your GP will diagnose you with depression, if not PND then just depression and once you get some ADs you will probably start to feel a good bit better.

If your grandma is at all sympathetic then I would talk to her as well.
Your partner sounds like a bit of an arse, quite frankly - who the fuck does he think he is to pontificate on PND when it's something he's never going to experience himself?

Come back when you've been to the GP - I think it will make a great deal of difference to you.

In the meantime, have a (((hug))).

ukatlast Sat 21-Sep-13 01:44:18

Your son is only 1 - you may well have post-natal depression and that is colouring everything negatively. Go and see your GP OP.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 02:42:49

Flower really sorry you are going through this. I had PND and it was the Health Visitor who helped me through it. She visited me once a week and booked me onto a parenting course so I could meet other people. So, I second what mumofwee said: call your health visitor (but visit the GP also).

McNewPants2013 Sat 21-Sep-13 03:19:30

I think it is you who has a problem, which I think only you can control with help.

I do think you love and care your your SD but you are overwhelmed.

Please seek help.

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 03:52:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Xollob Sat 21-Sep-13 04:15:28

Skim read. Another one thinking PND sad

Good luck and I hope you feel better soon.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 09:23:16

Just reread your first posts, op and I don't agree with Mango about the in-laws being in the right. It sounds to me like they have been far too interfering. From what you say, you loved your stepdaughter at first, so there was no need for your in-laws to tell you you had to be a 'second mother' to her and to get her to call you 'mummy'. As a stepdaughter myself, I think they got that completely wrong. You are not a second mother to her and she should never have to call you 'mummy'. It puts both you and her in a difficult position. You already had a good, caring relationship initially and it was what it was - it didn't need to defined according to your in-law's narrow views.

I can't imagine that her real mother is very happy about her calling you 'mummy' anyway.

And why did your MIL push your partner to take your stepdaughter out of after-school club? She sounds very interfering. You had an arrangement that suited you all and she messed it up. It was none of her business.

Sounds to me like none of this is about your stepdaughter at all. I'm sure your warm feelings towards her will return in time. In the meantime, you need to get help and do all you can not to take out your feelings on her. As you said, She is a lovely girl despite everything. She loves her little brother and is an absolute gem with him.

SunshineMMum Sat 21-Sep-13 09:37:08

I haven't read the whole thread, but agree with others flower, really does sound like PND. Thoughts with you really hope your situation improves. flowers

caramelwaffle Sat 21-Sep-13 10:11:08

Hi again flower

I hope you are ok.

I agree with Toffee. Your in laws are not in the right. They are emotional blackmailers. They are the most awful type of (grand)parents who set up Golden child V Scapegoat child scenarios in their families.

This type of sociopathic thinking can also be found in people who think children with with a NRP (that is usually the father) should be Goldenchild, or Disney parented, and all other children in the family should have their needs and wants neglected or subsumed for the other.

Do look after yourself (and any other woman who finds herself with a newborn in this position - step/bio or foster/adopted)

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 10:21:14

I don't agree with the child calling her mummy unless they both agree. However I stand by my statement that if you agree to marry someone with young kids and they are going to spend 1/2 the week with you in your home (as she is doing) then she is and should be a 2nd mother to her.

So it's OK to marry someone and not want their young kids then?

Loa Sat 21-Sep-13 10:38:52

I think the IL have over stepped with interfering with childcare arrangements they had no part in.

Could be the 9 year old may have preferred to stop in the childcare and no one seems to have consulted the OP about expecting her to do more work at a time of great change and vulnerability to her.

I also don't think you need to have a label like mum to be an important person in the Step-DC life.

I also think there is a difference in wanting a good relationship with step DC and being expected an in this case apparently without much consultation to do childcare for free as it suits the DC parents.

Flower111 good luck with GP - PND is fairly common so they should be very used to it If you can't get an appointment soon HV could be another route - a drop into a baby clinic and ask to see a HV.

StepAwayFromTheEcclesCakes Sat 21-Sep-13 10:44:31

I don't think its the SD that's the issue, get the the GP and get your obvious PND sorted out then take a good look at things when you get 'yourself' back in gear. if the feelings are still the same then is the time to re evaluate. good luck op and don't be too hard on yourself, lots of us have been there in one form or another.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 10:47:54

Flower did want her young stepdaughter, Mango. She said: Met my partner when I was 21 and it was fine at the beginning. I would have done anything for my stepdaughter and we got on so well. Relationship was brilliant. The contrast between then and now suggests that it is the birth of her son and the stress she has suffered since then (not helped by interfering PILs) that has led to her present state of mind. I think she is projecting all her feelings onto her stepdaughter, which is obviously not on, but she knows this and, hopefully, is going to get help.

I agree that she should care for her stepdaughter when she visits, but I'm not so sure she needs to be a second mother. I never regarded my stepmother as a second mother, although I spent much of the school holidays with her. I didn't need or want a second mother either because I already had a much-loved mother myself and nobody else could claim that role or name.

I think your own background with an uncaring stepmother is colouring your response. I sympathise because my own relationship with my stepmother has not been easy and she has sometimes made me very unhappy.

I don't think stepmothers and stepchildren should be expected to love each other and treat each other like mothers and children. It's a different relationship and should be based on mutual respect. If love grows out of that, that's great, but that can't be forced. Flower's first task is to recognise that her needs are not being met and she is projecting all her resentment onto her stepdaughter.

MrsTedMosby Sat 21-Sep-13 10:48:38

I was 17 when I started going out with my DH, I was 14 and 16 when his children were born. I'm not a second mum to them, they have a perfectly good mum already.

It sounds like Flower does love her SD, but she is overwhelmed by how much responsibility has been put on her since she had her own DS. No matter how good a 9 yo is they still need looking after and to have that dumped on you when you've just given birth is not on. You need time to adjust to being a new mum, you need to find your way. I'm not saying that her SD should be pushed out but the OP should have been consulted before being used as free childcare.

Flower, I hope your GP helps you, and I hope your partner realises that you need support.

Turniptwirl Sat 21-Sep-13 10:51:13

You are not a bad person.

I agree that you sound depressed and bullied by pil

DSD should go back to after school club. She goes when at her mums so this doesn't mean you and her dad don't live her.

Pil should butt the fuck out! What DSD calls you is nine if their damn business! Nor is your relationship with her.

You don't hate DSD, you hate the situation you've been forced into and depression is twisting perfectly normal feelings up and making them worse.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 10:56:23

Loa makes a good point about the baby clinic, Flower. (It's all a bit too far back in the misty past for me to remember). There is usually a baby clinic every week and you could have a word with the HV then. My HV did a PND questionnaire with me and, when I scored high, she started to come and see me every week. It was a lifeline. She was so supportive and kind.

Actually, the first advice she gave me I will now pass on to you: do something nice for yourself every day. It doesn't need to be a big thing. My first nice thing was to buy myself an ice cream and eat it on a park bench with my DS1 in the buggy beside me. I hadn't done anything for myself for so long that it was a real treat.

Charlottehere Sat 21-Sep-13 10:59:23

Really feel for you op.

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 11:23:34

This is not the first time that I have read about Step Mums not getting along with their DH's children once their own came along. In fact perhaps it is even a natural reaction on some level!

As for my own experience Toffee, I can't say for sure, because my SM came along when I was an adult so she didn't really have any influence on my self esteem, success or other relationships. I do dislike her a lot though. I can see that the OP seems like she has PND and I hope she gets it sorted, but I do think that the DSD is in danger of coming off the worse out of all of this and I feel really bad for her.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 11:25:03

It's completely unreasonable for you to be expected to take care of somebody elses child for half of the week. Of course you feel frustrated. You have a baby of your own and want to spend all of you time and energy looking after them (or taking a well earned break) - not thanklessly babysitting for someone else. It's absurd. Don't let anyone guilt trip you about it. Your feeling are completely normal. Your DSD has the right to be treated well when you look after her, and YOU have the right to refuse to look after her.

I went through exactly the same scenario, brilliant relationship with dss, then dd1 came along, felt really resentful of dss 'existence' - just the fact that I had to look after him while I was struggling to look after my own - then ds2, then ds3... I wasn't ever unkind to him, but I made sure after a while that his dad knew exactly how I felt, and that he would have to look after him himself at least until I got my footing. Why would dh's and his ex's convenience be more important than my autonomy over my own energy and time? Could you tell your dh that if he wants to see his dc he will have to collect her after work and look after her himself? Completely reasonable to me.

It's been 4.5 yrs now and I've just gotten to the point where I feel like taking care of dss isn't detrimental to me taking care of my own dc's and our relationship is really strong. He prefers being with me best wink. Like I said though, no matter how resentful I was, I was still kind to him - just made his dad do all the work.

ToffeeWhirl Sat 21-Sep-13 11:27:44

Yes, I feel bad for the stepdaughter too, Mango, but I think the way to help her is for Flower to get support. Also, Flower's DH should be doing a lot more with his DD by the sound of it.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 11:28:55

Just read that 2nd mum statement, what a load of rubbish.

Loa Sat 21-Sep-13 11:32:30

DSD is in danger of coming off the worse out of all of this and I feel really bad for her.

The OP is aware that her feeling aren't 'normal' towards her DSD and seems prepared to do something about that.

Other than treat the DSD well when she is with her, and despite the OP feeling she hasn't said she isn't and she hasn't written anyone else has complained about her treatment of DSD - so I don't think anyone can ask more of her at the moment.

Loa Sat 21-Sep-13 11:34:00

I do think they could ask more of the Step-DC parents till OP is feeling better.

pigletmania Sat 21-Sep-13 11:34:02

Your dp should be stepping up and taking responsibility for his child too, not expecting you to be free childcare, which is what he has done. Removing step dd from her clubs so,tat you have even more work. No wonder your down and resentful, and that with possible PND. Anyone would crumble

pigletmania Sat 21-Sep-13 11:36:40

Add toxic in laws to the equation, my goodness

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 12:23:02

"I don't think stepmothers and stepchildren should be expected to love each other and treat each other like mothers and children. It's a different relationship and should be based on mutual respect. If love grows out of that, that's great, but that can't be forced."

LJL69 Sat 21-Sep-13 12:39:44

I cannot add anything more than has been said. Yesterday on radio 5live the your call programme was a phone in re step parenting. Have a listen on iplayer as it can be reassuring to hear others having similar issues/feelings? I struggled as a step parent particularly after DD was born. Some resentment etc. I know this is very trivial advice in comparison to others however I know I felt a little better when others told me of their issues as I felt less alone. What you have said about MIL makes me uncomfortable. Getting DSD to call you mummy? That isnt helpful to anyone inc. DSD and her mother.
We are many years forward now and I am a happy step mother so please feel free to PM if I can be of any assistance xxx

LJL69 Sat 21-Sep-13 12:44:45

God my last sentence sounds so bloody cold/arrogant! That was not the intention. I just meant that I have felt some of what you are feeling (although without the toxic inlaws) and if you need somewhere to let off steam etc you can happily message me xx

iwantanafternoonnap Sat 21-Sep-13 13:28:30

You could be me!! Although I never really spent anytime with exSD as she lived far away but after my DS was born I resented her, resented my money being spent on her that I wanted to spend on my DS, my ex's family drove me nuts, I couldn't breastfeed my DS although wanted to, wanting to shut myself away and just generally being annoyed by anything she did.

I went to GP for PTSD after having my DS and I was also diagnosed with PND. When I finally started anti depressants after my ex left I found things much easier and also despite me having no contact with ex SD my feelings also changed.

However, I am glad that ex left now and I don't have to deal with any of it anymore. I would go to see your GP and get some counselling etc and you may feel much better in a few months time.

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 13:39:23

I know that many of you are really trying to be a good SM, but seriously from some of the comments above e.g. referring to your DSC as "someone else's child" and saying things like you resented their presence, and resented having money spent on DSC just makes me shock I am really really grateful that I didn't get to have a SM until I was an adult. I don't think I could have handled the rejection. I didn't get to have a SM until I was 30+ by which time my character and self esteem was already set in stone. If I was a young child and my SM didn't want me around or I had nothing because she had her own and only wanted to buy things for her own I know for a fact that this would have had a very bad effect on me emotionally.

Good luck OP. Hope it all works out. I no longer want to look at this thread as I feel really sorry for the SC involved with some of the posters above! Don't want to spend money on DSC - sorry but some of you are really selfish! It's quite simple, if you don't want to deal with your DH's kids, go find someone without them.

randomAXEofkindness Sat 21-Sep-13 13:57:26

It makes complete sense that a mother would want to channel her resources towards her own children. Iwant didn't say that she would have left her dsc without, just that she resented having to give away money that she wanted to spend on her dc's. You have no idea what her circumstances were Mango - maybe the dsc already wanted for nothing, but Iwant's dc was freezing with no winter coat. Would she be a bad person in thinking that the money should be used for the coat instead of being given arbitrarily to dsc?

And a step child IS 'somebody else's child'!

MangoTiramisu Sat 21-Sep-13 14:21:43

Actually I was much more taken aback by the coldness of your post random, than by the comments of iwantan.

iwantanafternoonnap Sat 21-Sep-13 14:36:21

My child did go without and I certainly went without so that things could be bought when exSD came, I paid for flights and hotels for my ex to go and see her while I went without/rarely went out/struggled to make ends meet due to not having enough money. That can make you pretty resentful!

Plus just because you have these feelings doesn't mean you act them out. I had them but my ex SD wouldn't have known. Admitting to feelings of resentment doesn't make you a selfish person as we can't control our feelings especially when suffering from PND.

Your post mango lacks compassion and empathy for those struggling.

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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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