I confess i hate being a stepmother(150 Posts)
Its been 4 years and my god they have been tough, my dh has a control freak ex wife who by the way left him for another man and a trouble making step son. I could go on for hours but do not want to bore you but i just had to let off steam and say that being a stepmum is harder than looking after my kids.
We only ever argue about the ex and the boy and to be honest i am exhausted and drained from it all. Does anyone else ever feel like this? Please dont judge me for moaning its just tough sometimes.
It's is tough, and you're allowed to moan. Are there any good bits you can cling to, to get you through the rough?
I hated it too, but now I'm cool with it.
The key is to detach, detach, detach. I put food on the table and make sure there are sheets on the bed but other than that and polite conversation I am not involved in anything to do with my stepson. It's much better that way, no need for DP to get all defensive and insult me and no one else can wind me up. Things have improved no end, I can tell you.
agree with 'detaching'
step parenting is emotionally difficult. I often fantasise about how life would have been if it were just me, dh and our kids.
Its 8 years on now and things have become easier as dss has grown older (he's 10 now and we have a good relationship).
Ive always been civil with ex wife (smile through gritted teeth iykwim) and tried to smooth the waters rather than muddying. Finally,(i think i'll take the credit here actually!) the years of hard work , swallowing down resentment and shrugging off criticism have paid off and its as amicable as its ever going to be.
In hindsight i should have thought how difficult taking a partner with a child on was, i just really didnt realise what it involved.
No judging here. Just advice to try your hardest not to take things too personally. I think its tough for ALL involved. Your dp, the ex, and ALL the kids too. Good luck!
From the other side of the coin, if you 'detatch' what effect will this have on the kids and you in later life? They won't be kids forever, but will one day be adults with minds of their own.
My dh had a step mum who sounded like she 'detached' - provided home cooked food and clean sheets but kids really do need more than that.
I know it must be hard but they are kids. YOU are the adult.
i didnt mean detach emotionally from the child! Dss and I do lots together without dh and the other dc's - shopping, reading, cinema - we've even gone on an adventure weekend just the two of us!
When i say detach i mean from the rest of the shit - the arguements about maintenance, access, schooling, what to put in the bloody lunch boxes etc etc! I try and smooth those out between dh and ex or try and calm dh down when she's really pissed him off.
does that make sense?
Dirygetrie - Agree that it is always much harder than perceived taking on someone else's children. That's why it often rankles me when I hear "you knew what you were letting yourself in for". Well, you don't, the reality is very different. Had I known what I know now I might have ahd second thoughts before getting involved with my DP.
DrN - detaching can have the opposite effect of bringing everyone closer. In our case in particular I had to do it for my sanity as DP was getting defensive and uptight about anything to do with his ds, with me being the main villain and his ds and ex were paluing on that and making everyone's life difficult. Now we're all able to have civil conversations, there is no conflict (which is much worse for children) and we all bumble along nicely.
Things do get better (as the children get older), we had a lot of trouble with DSS1 but now he's almost 16 we have no trouble at all. We now have less contact with the ex wife as the children are old enough to us (not through her).
Dirty Gertie and Brangelina I know exactly what your talking about. I do try to detach from all argument stuff or when DP has been really upset by what the ex has done regarding DSD. I have even tried to get DP to step back emotionally when the ex has not been caring for DSD as DP would, unfortunatley he says he cant do that because he feels like he given up on DSD. Its relatively early days at 3 1/2 years with DP hopefully one day we will get there.
IMO one of the worst things about being a step is the damned whatever you do. If parenting is a thankless task, being a step is more than doubly so.
By ElenorRigby on Wed 21-Jan-09 14:00:10
'If parenting is a thankless task, being a step is more than doubly so'
I think the problem is it that caring for children can at times be frustrating, and infuriating. I had a DSS for 4 years before having my own kids and I would at times feel so guilty for literatlly wanting to scream at him. I would feel so guilty and as if I was some evil witch. I would have to leave the room because sometimes I wanted to smack him.
I also loved playing with him and all the good things he brought (laughter and games)
when I had my own kids I realised at points I felt as cross with them and still have to leave the room to prevent a smack or a shout. But the difference is that I love them and they love unconditionally. So it was forgotten about as quickly as it started.
Where as with DSS negatively was a tangled with a bit of a guilt about wishing he didn't exist / Because as much as I love him he has restricted our lifes andadded stress and problems that wouldnt have been there otherwise. Also I know that I will never match up to his mum. And though I don't want to when she was being an evil so and so it was so hard to not diss her.
So all the emotions on top of the difficulties of parenting make it such a hard job.
But I view my relationship with him now as an added bonus.
Brangelina is so right when things have gone wrong in the past i have taken a step back and learnt the art of detatchment, but as soon as i soften and forgive all the nastiness he seems to turn on me again and the ex gets involved. So i think remaining distant is sadly the only option otherwise you start to lose your mind. I said to my friend today i would never have got involved with a man with an ex and child if i had known all the heartache it was going to cause. The thing is i have an exhusband and he never gets involved and dh has never had any problems from my dd. Maybe its just the luck of the draw.
Noonki - I also had a long period of wishing dss didn't exist. I even had dreams about a blissful ss free world. I think it's entirely normal in view of the problems stemming from having a stepchild. Problems caused by the adults, not the child. In some ways he was as stuck in the middle as I was.
I think that is a really good point Brangelina.
And another one I make myself remember is that he never asked to be shunted between homes. And he handles it so well. I would have been far worse I'm sure had I been a child.
Marmon -I think your problem is not your stepson but his mum. I hate the way parents do this to their kids, surely they can see that it justy upsets their child more than their exes.
yeah it is the mum she is a total controlling bitch to put it mildly. She left my dh for another man and my dh was single for 6 years! When we got together she laid down the law about her precious son yet my dh had to except her fella without any argument. I just keep telling myself that the boy is nearly 15 and hopefully his mates will take first place above us soon. I know that sounds awful but believe i have tried and now i just feel deflated.
I have a great relationship with DSD, she absolutely adores her dad and her little sister (our DD).
As others have said its horrible when ex's hurt their own kids by controlling behaviour. DP's modus operandi is wanting the control of being the "parent with care"- she sees herself as that despite her benign neglect of DSD and a Shared Residence Order being in place. Its weird she cannot be bothered with a myriad of everyday parental responsibilities but wants to be seen as the main carer for DSD when actuality DP fills in the care gaps she cannot be bothered with.
In short I cant stand the hurt to DSD and the exs hypocrisy.
I share joint custody of my dd with my ex but i would never dream of controlling his life and who he sees, as long as my dd is happy then to me that is all that counts. Sometimes i think stepson goes home and says that he has had a good time with his dad and me and the ex wife cannot handle it, mainly because she cannot control it.
not a lot to add really except to say thank god I am not the only one who struggles being a stepmum! I have a 13.5yr old SS, have been with my Dh for 7 years and it is still as hard as ever. DH moans I do not have a bond with SS, I try my best but I cannot love him as a parent would and I am sorry to say this but I find it a strain when he comes to stay. Completely agree with op's who say its not the childs fault that step parents occur (i.e. real parents splitting up) but that doesnt mean step parents can flick the switch and love the step kids unconditionally, I was quite young (23) when I met DH and thought it would all be happy ever after, what I know now is that however much you love your partner, being a step parent & having their kids in your life is H A R D!
I HATE being a stepmother too.
If I had known how hard it was going to be I would have thought twice about marrying my DH.
Sometimes it's so hard to love (or even like) my DSC...
And they live with me full time.
You poor thing lins75, i could not handle living with my stepson full time, i actually think it would be the end of dh and mine relationship. This weekend is our time to see him and already i am thinking up excuses in my head to avoid him, obviously my dh must catch up with him but i just need to keep my distance for the sake of my own sanity.
me too sometimes so much its untrue
non person non person non person - being a step parent made me coin the phrase, i have one who lives here and one who doesnt
there have been times when, despite adoring dh i seriously wished i had known exactly how hard step parenting was and stayed a million miles away from him
he makes me happier than i have ever been and most of the time i wouldnt be without him for the world, but there are times when life seems so, i dont know what the word is, draining i suppose, that i wish i had never clapped eyes on him
thankfully those times are few and far between but even so ................
i wish these kids could get an insight into how we feel, i truly believe they would be sorry, i am fairly sure in their own way my step kids love me and would be horrified to know how badly they make me feel
*some of the time
(sorry that was the end of my sentence hit post too soon)
A friend made a good point to me the other day about where i fit in, in the stepsons life. Because i am not a "mum" to him and not a friend i think i have become an easy target for his moods. His mum will probably not tolerate it and his dad would just ignore it, so i am the one left to get it. Plus he clearly has no respect for me and knows he can say what he wants and his mum will back him 100 per cent. Its so hard.
are you jealous of the mum and their son that they had together?
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