I just wanted to say goodbye and good luck...(76 Posts)
I am not flouncing from MN but I will very soon be hiding the Step-parenting topic.
Help with step-parenting problems is what first brought me to MN, and
through the crap I got a lot of support from some lovely, wise and experienced step mothers, and I'm so grateful.
Most of my SP woes are in the past now and I do try to post help and support where I can - but I'm sick of the views against step mothers on here, the taring with the same brush, the massive assumptions, the sweeping generalisations which seem reserved just for this area of the site, - it's been the same since I've been here but recently it seems intensified - it's relentless and exhausting and I don't have the fight to keep arguing 'our' corner.
I did everything I could for my step children to help them feel important, included, equal, part of my family. - When my own children arrived I made massive sacrifices and compromises to continue this and it sickens me to constantly read the view 'you knew what you were taking on when you got with someone with children..'
No-one knows what it will be like to be a stepparent, do we know what the rest of our lives as parents will be when we have our first child? of course not.
A parent posts "I am at the end of my tether, my child is so badly behaved/ won't sleep at night - I'm so tired/ he says he hates me/ she's jealous of the new baby/ she won't do her homework and lies to the teachers.." do they get told "suck it up, you knew what you were getting into when you had children" ??
Good luck to you all, it's been emotional.
I think it is down to plain old sexism.
If a woman meets a man with dc she is expected to roll up her sleeves and be the 'Mum' and not complain, whatever shit is thrown at her because she is a woman and nurturing children is her role in life.
If a man meets a woman with dc he is made into a saint for 'taking on' her children. Everything he does for these dc has to be applauded because they aren't his.
That's the difference!
PrettyPaperweight. Thats fair enough, i accept that you didnt mean all exWs. I apologise if i got the wrong impression.
Nickname I selected my words with care - many, but not all exW feel that way. There are many others, like you, who accept their exH has moved on and do so themselves.
Unfortunately, the belief that separated parents should stay single for the sake of the DCs is all too common and leads to conflict between very many separated couples.
PrettyPaperweight - i agree with the fairytales and news coverage HOWEVER i dont agree with the last part of your post.
I am divorced from my dcs dad. I am not annoyed that he isnt dancing to my tune. I am glad that i have nothing more to do with him.
Prettypaperweight - excellent post.
I am not a step mother (when exactly in a relationship do you become one? My bf has an 18 year old DS but we've only been going out for just over a year. I also dont see him as a step father to my DC).
XHs relationship has been going longer although due to various things they don't live together yet. Suppose she is or will be the DCs stepmother. She was the OW but I don't think she should be vilified for that. I haven't met her but from what the DC say about her she is a nice normal person and I'm glad they have another person in their lives who cares about them. Maybe I'm a little unusual though.
Why do step dads not get the same treatment?
Because they haven't been socially vilified over generations!
There are no 'wicked stepdads' portrayed in fiction - and this is reflected in 'real life'. There have been a number of horrific child abuse cases recently, in which stepfathers have been responsible for the death of a child - but they are not referred to as the child's stepdad - the news reports refer to them as the mothers boyfriend or partner.
Tia Sharp was murdered by her stepdad/grandad - a relationship that wasn't emphasised by the media. Do you really think that if a step mother had murdered her stepdaughter, it would have been disregarded in the same way?
Stepmothers are fair game - fairy tales & news reports all create a situation in which it is socially acceptable to vilify Stepmums - and that is reflected in the posts on MN.
You only need to read other boards - AIBU, lone parents and relationships. It is acceptable and common practice for exW to refer to their DCs stepmum as the OW while at the same time explaining that she didn't come on the scene until months/years after the marriage ended.
Many women believe that they are always married to the man who fathered her DCs, and that his primary loyalty is to her - any other woman in his life should take second place. Misdirected venom is targeted at the stepmum because the exH is no longer dancing to his first wife's tune!
I am not a SM but one day i could be. I like reading the Step parenting threads as i think the majority of step mums do a fantastic job.
One thing i have noticed is that it is mainly step mums who get a hard time. The 'bet you were the OW' & the 'you knew what you were getting into when you met your dp'. Why do step dads not get the same treatment?
Oh Fenton, how sad. I'm a realtively new SM (less than a year) and it IS a struggle, it IS hard and it's NOT perfect. We DO need support from people who've walked all the miles in similar shoes. Wise words, support and advice is always a welcome thing in my book and anything less shouldn't be written. It's a waste of time. Good luck in things to come, keep smiling and support the rest of us from afar. We'll feel your cyber hand when we need it!
Thank you Fenton! The few times I have posted anything on here (usually in my hour of darkest need) I have had some great sympathy/advice from some but also some pretty horrible vitriolic stuff - it didn't even occur to me that the posters were possibly not SMs! It shouldn't be allowed! No one who hasn't done it themselves should be allowed to have an opinion, never mind attack some poor sod who is trying their best (which might not always be perfect) in a very difficult situation. So there. Humph.
Smh13 you're welcome and thank you - thought it seems I can't stay away from the SP topic afterall
Ah Fenton...Thank you so much for your comments on my thread this am. It meant a lot. Especially as it was my first post on mn. I will ignore the people who think its a choice we knew we were making - they have no idea - I totally agree with your post above. All the best x
I blame Snow White
Seriously, what is it with the insane logic that we knew what we were getting into? Do we suddenly gain a crystal ball so we can see the future and realise that in 3 years time dss will be resenting you because you fill the boots of the mum he'd like, while his bio mum can't? Should you magically have the answers? Step parenting in a minefield, just as much as parenting your own, and maybe more so, because when your own are foul there's that bio tie, whereas when a step child is equally foul you have to make extra effort to react the same way as you would with your own.
Sorry, quick hi-jack with our recent issues!
All any of us are trying to do is create a functional happy secure family unit, no matter what shape it may be. That way we can help all children of that unit grow into confident young adults.
It is like telling mother who is suffering from Pnd and can't put up with a crying child and BFing.
She knew what she was getting in to when she decided to have children.
Ah yes - rewriting history - DH's ex does this. She left DH for another man, then I met him two years later, but she still likes to tell people that DH left her for a younger woman ....... drives me up the wall, but as DH sensibly points out, the important people know the truth.
There was one time we all had to have a 'sit down and chat' (because the DSS's were playing everyone off against each other, fibbing about DH to exW and vice versa etc) and DH's exW actually said in the presence of DH, my step children and myself "you have to remember me and Dad have been together a really long time ... inferring that they were in fact still together - way to mess with their heads
In reality they were together a total of, and I mean from first meeting to separation, 5 years. At the point this conversation took place we had been together for about 8 years. - bonkers.
Nice to know someone has actually managed to make a time machine though......
Yes dsc mum has rewritten history and tells everyone including dsc that dp and I had an affair spanning 6 years because I very briefly knew dp and ex in a professional capacity 8 years ago (as in knew in passing kind of way).
The fact that they moved to the other end of the country and I moved to Italy with my then boyfriend for 2.5 years so an affair would have been extremely difficult, doesn't seem to matter. DP and ex had been separated for a year before he moved back here and I bumped into him 6 months after that.
Thankfully my dsc are lovely so unlike some step-parents I don't have any problems with them and I stamped out DP's attempts at being a Disney dad but I have major problems with his ex and this is the one place I can get support from those that understand but Im put off posting because of the assumption that it must be my fault because I dared to fall in love with a man with children and of course I knew what I was getting into
I've never understood the routine hammering stepmums seem to get on that board. Can't do right for doing wrong. Really unfair.
DHs Ex TOLD everyone I was the OW, including DSD.
Except they split up at Xmas 1999. I didn't even meet DH (wasn't posted to his unit) until Feb 2001... Luckily, because of our circumstances I was able to PROVE that she was lying - but to have to do that was just gobsmacking. Sadly it was a taste of what was to come.
DSD was too young to understand and spent a long time hating me just for living, but as she grew up I made sure she knew the truth - I was sick of being the bad guy. It upset her, but was worth it for me.
Oh, I've clocked that, the 'were you the OW' barking.
I just think some people dislike second wives in general - regardless of whether either partner has children.
Fenton - you were very restrained
it would be interesting to know how many people assume a step mum was the OW. It isn't something that I generally assume (what with so many kids having step parents). Just occasionally you think 'Hmmm - perhaphs there's cause for angst here?!' but mostly I assume they've got together after the break down of a relationship or after the death of the other parent etc.
It would be interesting to know how many step mums were the OW first - just to know which scenario is, in fact, the most common.
Catsmother - I can understand why you get frustrated by some non steps wading in & going on and on
and on and on about the evil step parent. Plenty of them need telling to just STFU but yeah, we aren't all stupid or evil
Good to know 'you're not'
I'm having a tough time with DP's ex and I've had to report her to the police for harassment and threatening to kill me.
I'm so used to people thinking that I must be the OW that I spent 10 mins explaining to the police officer that I wasn't and dp had left a year before we met, in the end she stopped me and said "ok i didnt assume you were, but even if you had of been it doesn't excuse her behaviour" it was such a refreshing change having someone not judge me I actually cried
I'm sorry Chipping if I've offended you. I did try to word my post above carefully to refer to some non-steps who - and I quote from before - "steam in" or "blast" those looking for support on the step threads. Looking over it again, I see I could have used "some non-steps" more instead of "the non steps" and for that I apologise - think I typed while my hackles were raised! I have no problem whatsoever at all with anyone getting involved on any thread in any section so long as they don't bully and/or preach - but I do have a problem I admit when some people who don't have direct experience of a situation nonetheless think they have THE answer and repeatedly have a go at the OP over and over.
I do agree that on occasion, someone who's the OW will have a bearing on a situation, e.g. the children refusing to meet her. What I meant was that it so often seems to be assumed and I do think it's asked of posters on the step board disproprtionately too often.
Oh - and I'm not !
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.