Stepdaughter has broken my heart

(22 Posts)
quietlysuggests Sat 14-Dec-13 20:33:14

How old is your stepdaughter?
And how to you refer to her? As your husband's daughter? Your stepdaughter? Or your Daughter?

needaholidaynow Fri 06-Dec-13 17:56:27

I used to call my ''stepdad'' by his name. I never got him any Father's Day cards or presents because to be honest it didn't even cross my mind to get another man anything for Fathers Day other than my dad. I suppose it all depends on each individual child really. But I would never ever have seen my stepdad as a dad.

Greensleeves Fri 06-Dec-13 17:47:38

That must be very hard sad

The title doesn't necessarily mean what it sounds like though. I called my stepfather "dad" from the age of about 7 because my mother told me to (not asked, told). I hated him. I resented it and felt awful towards my own dad (she made us call them "Home-Dad" and "Abroad-Dad" because my DF worked overseas angry). I used to fucking dread fathers' day.

Maybe your DSD will be thankful that you didn't pile into the tug-of-war and heap yet more emotional blackmail on her. What we call someone doesn't always reflect how we feel about them.

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 17:39:12

I'm just trying to help bottom/OP, not be harsh.
Depending on her age maybe she could be encouraged to move on to calling you another name - such as Elenor's DSD calling her "Ellie"

WaitingForPeterWimsey Fri 06-Dec-13 17:28:09

Op just means original poster, I think

bottomoftheheap Fri 06-Dec-13 17:18:49

What is OP?

JugglingUnwiselyWithBaubles Fri 06-Dec-13 17:14:05

Perhaps it would be worth exploring some of this in counselling OP, using these feelings as a starting point? I can't help notice your NN and wondering if self esteem is an issue - as it is for many

bottomoftheheap Fri 06-Dec-13 17:06:38

I know I am not her mother. I'm expected to step in and do everything a mother would do and more but don't worry I am well aware I'm not her mother.

I'm hurt that she would insist on calling her stepfather "dad". Hurt for her father. And admitedly hurt for me too (can't help it) - that he gets some special entitlement but I don't despite everything I do. Before anyone jumps down my throat I know I am being irrational and I know I shouldnt expect to be called "mum". I guess i feel if her mum, dad and stepdad are all given "mum" and "dad" titles and I'm not, that I am not important to her. Stupid I know - my brain knows this but apparently my heart has other ideas. Actually I'm quite shocked how much its affecting me.

ElenorRigby Fri 06-Dec-13 15:30:54

I wouldnt be too hard on yourself OP.

Your DSD is probably calling step dad "dad" and you "step-mum" to appease her mother.

My DSD calls me Ellie, I wouldn't have any other way smile

We always take the people we are closest to for granted.

I'm just furniture to all my DCs. the selfish ingrates

I don't get why she has "broken your heart" by calling you "step-mum" when you are her "step-mum" - I think the dad/step-dad thing has confused things. Maybe it's just easier to call one couple mum/dad and the other step-mum/ step-dad.
Sorry if this sounds harsh but I think you need to be more generous towards her - at least about this.
Possibly could tell her that her dad would like to be called dad or something other than step-dad (when he's not)

WaitingForPeterWimsey Fri 06-Dec-13 13:56:00

And about putting her needs first - op that is the essence of a dm. Even if your title is sm it sounds to me like you are doing a great maternal job.

WaitingForPeterWimsey Fri 06-Dec-13 13:54:26

Op you sound lovely. If my dc even had a sm, I would want it to be someone who cares as much as you clearly do.

The names she calls people are not the full story. If you have helped her with school work, always listened to any worries, been there for her when she is ill and if you truly care for her, it is very likely that she will care for you back.

She is in a complicated set up by the sound of it and children struggle with pleasing all the adults. I'm sure if you try to look for evidence you'll see she cares for you.

purpleroses Fri 06-Dec-13 13:42:18

Do you think it might be just her using the language that comes easiest? I assume that before she came to live with you she was living with her mum and stepdad and was taught to call them "mum" and "dad". She then came to live with you and DP and so uses whatever names she's always used for you. Whilst the use of the terms "mum" and "dad" does mean a lot to some people, her use of them might not actually reflect how she feels about you both.

I think you're doing the right thing by not burdening her with the fact that it hurts you not to be called her mum, though you could probably tell her how much you love her and see her like a daughter without upsetting her.

HedgehogsRevenge Fri 06-Dec-13 13:40:16

You want recognition, from a child? Parenting/step-parenting, is generally a pretty thankless task. It's really only when children become adults that they start to have any comprehension of what their parents have done for them. Most people, children or adults don't have any idea how much effort goes into parenting until they themselves become parents.

needaholidaynow Fri 06-Dec-13 13:26:02

I do agree with the others that you're not your stepdaughter's mum. But then again if you said you didnt want to be a mother to her people (not on this forum as such) would be saying you are being cold and rejectful towards her. I do agree with you that stepfathers do get a lot more recognition for stepfather role they play as opposed to stepmothers. Stepfathers I feel are seen as "heroes" who have taken their partner and her children under his wing and is just oh so mr perfect, and the stepmother is the evil witch who is damned if she does and damned if she doesn't.

AnnabelleLee Fri 06-Dec-13 13:16:07

You are heartbroken because she doesn't call you mother? But you aren't, actually her mother. That doesn't have to diminish your role, but its a step too far for most children. She has a mother, maybe not a great one but she is it. You, I'm sorry, are not. Thats just a fact.
The emotional side is entirely different.

davidjrmum Fri 06-Dec-13 13:15:42

You may find that things change as she gets older. My eldest daugher fought like mad with her stepdad (she lived with us) all through her teens and absolutely idolised her dad who she saw for fun packed weekends and holidays. As she got older though she started to realise how much day to day stuff her stepdad did for her and she really appreciates that now. You don't say how your step-daugher actually acts towards you but if she is in her teens it can be difficult to know whether her behaviour is fairly normal teen stuff that she would be doing anyway or whether it's about you being her step-mum.

Pancakeflipper Fri 06-Dec-13 13:11:40

I think one day she will realise.... She will thank you in some way either in words or actions. Just because it is not happening now does not mean it won't in the future.

TheAwfulDaughter Fri 06-Dec-13 13:08:40

But what has she actually done? How old is she?

Kyrptonite Fri 06-Dec-13 13:08:25

Perhaps she's appeasing her mum by calling step dad 'dad'

I've raised DSD since she was a very young baby. I've never once expected to be seen as her mum despite doing what her mum does. I do things for her because I love her, not because I want a 'title'.

bottomoftheheap Fri 06-Dec-13 13:04:28

Joined just to post this as there is no one I can say this stuff to. My stepdaughter lives with me and my husband (her father) full time and has for many years. I feel I have done so much for her.

Yet her stepfather is "dad" despite the hurt this causes my husband. And I am "step mum" even though I am raising her. Might as well take my heart and smash it against the floor. Just goes to show stepfathers get so much more recognition even if they do so much less.

I can't say how I feel because stepmother's feelings don't matter. I am just raising her day to day - apparently that matters very little. Also I can't tell her because despite how I feel I don't want to burden her with it - she has a hard enough time appeasing everyone else. So as her stepmum with the "mother" role in her life I am making the decision to put her needs first because isn't that what "mothers" do?

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