Any SPs out there without their own kids and unlikely to have any?

(15 Posts)
taxiforme Tue 06-Nov-12 11:44:39

Thanks all ladydeedy especially with the most positive message I have heard for a long time and given me much needed perspective. Also lamby for the very interesting points (and true, yes I see that esp the congratulations on becoming a stepmother card!) and wkd for the point (that my DH raises often) that things wont be like this for ever. My SKs are 12 15 and 17, but in the case of the 15 and 12 yo have been infantalised which has made them immature, which dives me mad.

I find it tough, sometimes. Especially as I never expected just how child focussed things would be (ostriching, me) and also how hard it is to maintain the balance of "parenting" (even if that extends unly to keeping them safe) and then having to stand back.

ladydeedy Mon 05-Nov-12 14:50:07

Hi, can I join you? grin. I am a stepmum, aged 49, high-powered quite stressful job. No kids of my own but in a great situation with my DH I think. We married 9 years ago at age 40, he had two boys with exw. I've never wanted kids but when marrying him took on the stepmum role with a positive attitude I think! In some ways I think not having kids of your own gives you a different, and in my view, the perfect type of relationship with your SKs. They know you are not their parent, but you are another (often seen as more interesting!) adult who's involved in their life and interested in them. You dont have other kids muddling the scene, if you see what I mean (I know I havent explained that very eloquently but you know what I mean!). So for me it's been a great experience (despite the EXW thinking I am scum of the earth, interfering, control freak, etc).

Financially I have given a lot as my DH doesnt earn very much but I'm fine with that. DSS2 came to live with us 2.5 years ago after having a horrendous time living with his mother and had started self-harming. Although this has meant a lot of changes for us, everything from going to attend school events, buying him clothes, no longer being able to go on exotic holidays whenever we like during term time, it's been the right decision and I am glad we have done what we have as he's now thriving and happy.

First few years were pretty awful due to EXW's shenanigans but we just ignore her craziness now (and kids are older so less of an issue) and so life is so much easier.

I dont regret it for a minute.

sanityseeker75 Mon 05-Nov-12 11:21:01

"Do you feel that BMs make better SMs?."

I think it depends on the person, I do have a DS who is 13 but me and DH have no children together and are not likely to. Oldest DSS is now 16 and have DSD 12 and DSS 8, me and DH have been together 8 years (yes when ex was pregnant with DSS).

Eldest was with different mom to other DSC and DH said that Ex treated DSS great until she got pregnant with first child and as soon as baby came along Ex was mean to DSS and started complaining about having him and made DH life miserable. When she wanted another baby she said that there would no longer be room for DSS and therefore DH could not really see him any more. DH advised that he didn't want more children and she ignored him so they split up.

Because I have known this I have always been very careful not to make DSC feel like they are not part of my family and due to having 4 kids every weekend we felt that we could not cope with another so decided that that was it for us - now I just feel that I am to old to start again (37 but DS is 13). Sometimes it makes me sad that we will never have our own DC but as I said we had enough on our plate and wasn't sure how to have another baby without pushing out all 4 kids.

Ex who was mean to DSS is in another relationship and will not allow his DD in house as she doesn't like her, some people never change.....

WkdSM Mon 05-Nov-12 10:56:38

I have been with DH about 15 years and have 2 SS's of early twenties and 19 - so have come through a fair few years and experiences as a SM. We don't have kids of our own although we did try.

Financially - frustrating at times as I am fairly sure all the money we pay for the youngest is not spent on him (£800/mth). But they are my DH's responsibility and therefore to a certain extent mine.

I would not have expected to be treated as 'mum' - they have a mother - but I do expect to be treated with respect and what I have done to help them appreciated rather than taken for granted (never ending battle it seems).

I think the adapting to their needs when they are little is easier than when they are older - most parents seem to have issues with children as they hit teenage stage - rudness, being taken for granted, emotionally manipulated etc. But they do change as they get older again.

One of the most important things to remember is that when the kids are grown up - they will have their own lives and you and your DP will have yours. You will have decades with the two of you as a couple able to have lie ins and do what you want at weekends and evenings. Making sure that the children have your attention while they are growing up seems a very short phase compared to all the time you will have 'just the two of you'.

I knew he had young kids when I got together with DH, (and that his wife was a bit psycho) - I made the choice to continue in the relationship and accept that my life would need to adapt from just thinking about what I wanted and needed to what the extended family needed.

DizzySometimes Sun 04-Nov-12 15:53:56

Well, taxiforme, I’m a stepmum who has no children of her own. I’ve found it pretty challenging, honestly. Have been married to my husband now for over a year and living with him for about that long, with a stepson who is 15.

One of the things I found challenging was the fact that I haven't really been around children since I was one! Additionally, when you look on mumsnet, there are a lot of posts that say 'well, people who aren’t mums don’t know what they’re talking about' – nice way to discount someone's opinion when you don't agree with it without having to have a valid response. However, if a stepmum were to say that a mum doesn’t know what a stepmum's situation is like, that would be dealt with with short shrift – why is that? I don't know if mums make better stepmums – maybe seeing both sides of the coin gives you a better perspective on the whole situation than being either one or the other.

As for how I’ve survived – I'm not sure, really. I don't know how I feel about having children at this point. I'm 36, so feel that time isn't on my side, and I guess I worry that my children would be seen as second class citizens somehow – I've read that plenty on this board and, whilst I don't agree with it, I wonder how my husband's family would view any children we have. My stepson was the first grandchild in my husband's family, and is very cherished by everyone, and I just don't think they'd view any children we have in the same way, and I wouldn’t want to bring children into that. Maybe I'll change my mind? That's not something I've been able to articulate with my husband as yet – probably as I don't want to upset him as I know he doesn't have that view.

As for regrets – that's a tough one. I love my husband very much, and consider myself blessed to be with him. However, I do sometimes find having to consider another woman and a child in so many of our decisions difficult. There are times when I'd just like us to be able to do whatever we want, and we can't do that. And, yes, I realise I might sound selfish and I should have known what I was getting myself into, but I didn't! I had always wanted children and, as I said above, am coming to the conclusion that I may not have them now, and that's difficult for me, and not something that my husband can empathise with as much seeing as he has his son.

So, it's a bit of a mixed bag for me. The last year has been a bit of a rollercoaster, without a lot of the issues that some step-parents face, so I take my hat off to the amazing women on this board who deal with them so well. I'd also like to say a 'thank you' too - I don't post on this board a lot, but it has been a lifeline when things have got too much.

littlelamby Sun 04-Nov-12 15:49:30

I like the term parachuting! Exactly right.

I'm a SM with no kids of my own. DP and I have plans to have a child together, so I'm not exactly the right person to answer - but I definitely recognise everything you say in the first post. It has been a huge learning curve for me, particularly as I was relatively young (27) when I moved in with DP and the children came to stay with us every other weekend! I was well aware of the 'sacrifices'/changes that would happen in my life, and I don't resent them. But it's certainly been a huge adjustment. I read an article in the newspaper yesterday which really made me think. It was talking about why post natal depression happens (article is here) and it said:

"A new mother has to come to terms with loss as well as gain – loss of her sense of self and identity, with no choice now but to put the needs of her child before her own; loss of freedom and a great deal of her former life; loss of her more youthful, childless body; loss of control, income or the ability to earn for herself; and perhaps even the loss of friends who are childless and consequently find it hard to understand where her priorities now lie".

Apart from the changes to the body bit, that's everything a step mother goes through - except over a much longer space of time, with far less defined 'rules' and social conventions (no one ever sends you a card to say congrats on becoming a step mum!) and most likely less 'reward' as the children aren't your own.

I just found it interesting to consider what can cause stress in new mothers, and seeing that in relation to step mothers. Being a good parent requires a lot of selflessness, and being a step mother even more so, for less obvious reward. However, after 3 years, eldest step son now gives me a hug when he goes back to his mum's at the end of the weekend - only a tiny thing, but I was walking on air when it happened! Anyway, just my thoughts...

taxiforme Sun 04-Nov-12 13:05:04

Thanks BRDGIRL thats exactly what I meant.

I haven't taken offence, dont worry. I don't like any of these acronyms but they are required for an online discreet discussion.

Do you think that we would be actually be saying "BM, AIBU and DSD3, DH, ExH ExW IMHO..OP " to each other if we were chatting in a bar with a glass of wine?

ROFL YOLO

Athendof Sun 04-Nov-12 01:18:29

I don't know if it is an advantage or a disadvantage... I have had 2 partners after I split from my exh, and only agreed to meet/date people who had children of their own as I thought this would help them to understand DS better and the position I was in.

With the first partner it was great, DS was younger than his children so I have to say that he was quite experienced (more than me) and he and his children had a very positive impact on DS life. I absolutely adored his children, even when I was a bit angry sometimes when his exwife decided to enroll the children in weekend activities which meant we didn't have the freedom to decide what to do in our family weekends as she had taken the decision without consulting us.

With the second partner... it was a catastrophe, his child was younger than mine so he expected DS to always give up to his own child tantrums and unreasonable demands as he was younger than him. XP was very critical of DS, he couldn't do anything right because he was not doing things as his DS. Eventually, his child got to the age DS had when I met XP and it was me who run out of patience as I could see that XP had a very soft spot for his own child behaviour and didn't mind him doing things which he used to get very angry about when DS did them at the smae age. I also started to find the child incredibly immature and absolutely spoiled rotten. I left my XP because I couldn't bear any more weekend with such a spoiled, selfish, and tantrumy child (or better said, with the way XP reacted to that behaviour: blaming us for everything even if we were not around)

I dont care anymore if next DP (here's the optimist talking) has children or not, it doesn't matter if you have children or not, what matters is how you and DP blend the family together so everyone gets to be at the front of the queue from time to time.

Lostinsuffolk Sun 04-Nov-12 00:59:34

Well said brdgrl. I'm SM with no kids of my own n it does take getting used to. That said I'm not sure being a BM is that much of a help as we all have to start somewhere, it's how u deal with it that makes the difference IUSWIM! smile

brdgrl Sun 04-Nov-12 00:34:39

We're not talking about "in real life" though, but people trying to be clear in an online post.
I think it is clear that the OP meant no slight by it, moreover when she says Do you feel that BMs make better SMs? she is not referring to the mum of her stepkids, she is asking if we think that women who have children of their own have an advantage when it comes to being a stepmum...I understand that (and also why) some people dislike the acronym BM, but I think its pretty mean-spirited to have a go at the OP about it in this case, when it is so utterly meaningless to her post and request for advice...Go find a thread to properly sink your teeth into, maybe?

elliebellys Sat 03-Nov-12 23:20:10

There is no need for any of this birth parent malarky.its the childs mum or dad.thats why most do say dsc.would anyone in real life intrlduce their childs parent as bio mum or dad.i think not,cos that would totally be dissrespectful.

NotaDisneyMum Sat 03-Nov-12 22:52:51

What abbreviation do you suggest is used distinguish between the mum in a stepfamily (whose have DCs of her own and is therefore 'mum' and a DCs biological mum?

(And no, I don't have an issue with bio/birth Dad - why would I?)

elliebellys Sat 03-Nov-12 21:59:23

What is with this bm,it ,s appearing alot in comments and is quite insulting,just wonderin whether it would be acceptable for dps to be called birth dads.?

BadIdeaBear Sat 03-Nov-12 20:39:52

I'm in a similar situation, yes, thanks for the post! I'm 36, hadn't been planning kids with my exH and he had an affair and we split about 18 months ago. Now with my lovely DH (a good friend for 2 years before we got together). He has two (DSD7 and DSS3). They are great, they love me, I like/ love them (tricky one, of course - not unconditional, of course, but I really care very much for them). But yes, the EOW contact is mainly fine, fun and very distracting from work and other things in life (children are good for that, I'm discovering!!) but it is silly things like lie ins, choice of own TV, peace and quiet that I moan about a bit with DP. I've only had 11 months to adapt so I'm not sure I truly have yet, although we have a nice routine and my DP is supportive of me continuing with hobby things that take over times in my weekend (I sing a lot- the kids have been at a number of my concerts, and DSD loves it!) and also of just disappearing if I need to. I rarely do to be honest, esp as my DP has a neurological condition that causes a lot of pain so I feel I need to be around as much as possible.

I'm still not sure about kids. My DP would be delighted to go for more but doesn't feel pressured of course cos he has 2. I don't know - I'm still mainly the selfish person I was, with a bit more patience and kindness than I had last year, I think (DSC and DP have brought that out in me) but I'm glad the youngest is 3 (great age btw) rather than really young and Im not sure about baby stuff at all. And teen stuff. Especially since we'll have to do it anyway...

taxiforme Sat 03-Nov-12 20:11:52

Just wanted to share some experiences.

I don't want to be divisive, SPs are SPs and you are all bloody wonderful blush but it IS different when you are coping with blending and er..."parachuting" (thats my term for landing in a child dominated world at 39).

How have you adapted? Survived? Finances? Feelings towards BM (I'll always be the mother of his kids..")? Any regrets on a Sunday morning when you used to be having a lie in/coffee reading the paper in peace/mad unhibited sex? Do you think that the kids treat you differently as you are not a "mum"? Do you feel that BMs make better SMs?....God I am going on, just anything you want to share.

I have been a SM for four years, in my forties with a well paid but stressful job. My DH had the snip after the third with his ex wife. He says she insisted-as it turns out she was having an affair at the time and their marriage ended about six months later as a result.

I am now surrendering myself to not having my own children, but live in a child dominated world.

What about you?

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