I just wanted to say goodbye and good luck...

(76 Posts)
Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 11:16:59

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" ??

Enough said.

Good luck to you all, it's been emotional.

<whispers> hear, hear.

<outs self as step-parent>

<goes back to lurking>

NatashaBee Mon 10-Jun-13 11:26:16


brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 11:37:50

You are so right, fenton, and I absolutely understand how you feel.
You are right that it has intensified, although I think it is a cyclical sort of thing...every so often, there is a renewed campaign, IYKWIM.

I have had the same thoughts and I know other women who have left the boards over the exact same issues. I am sad that you are going, because we all need support. It's a shame that we can't expect the same level of support (from MN/other posters) as the other mums on mumsnet. It really is.

I'm pm-ing you with my email and if you ever want to just vent or have a sympathetic ear, do email me. Good luck with your family. x

Petal02 Mon 10-Jun-13 11:50:44

I'll be sorry to see you go, Fenton. You seem like the sort of girl who I'd drink wine with.

Take care.

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 12:19:11

I'm glad you mentioned 'venting' brdgrl (you are always bird girl in my head, btw)

Because we all need to vent don't we? but where parents are allowed to say 'ARRRGGGHH that's it, I cannot put up with my child's behaviour!!!' and get a sympathetic ear, a stepmother cannot under ANY circumstances say anything negative about a stepchild without " sad you sound like you don't even like him, and he knows it sad "


Petal wine chin, chin my love wine

MrsDeVere Mon 10-Jun-13 12:25:16

I am not a step parent but I am a mother to a child I didn't give birth to. Its not the same but it does make me empathetic towards SMs.
I won't pretend to understand. I have seen some pretty nasty stuff on MN though.

A lot of projection.

I agree, you need to be able to vent. We all do. Seems if you are a SP, an adoptive parent, a parent of a large family or a parent of a child with special needs you are not quite allowed.

Anyway, will stop hijacking.

Hope you are ok

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 12:33:42

I am ok, lovely MrsD, - just feeling rather defeated in this particular area now, but since it was my original MN 'home' I wanted to bid it farewell.


Stepmooster Mon 10-Jun-13 12:37:50

Thanks Fenton, you really summed it up quite well for us step mums. I would just like to echo what you put, "I got a lot of support from some lovely, wise and experienced step mothers, and I'm so grateful."

I too am so grateful to all the very experienced step mothers out there on MN offering words of wisdom and suggestions that have made such a difference to how I parent and step-parent over the last last years or so.

I would like to buy you all a a glass of wine and flowers.

travellingwilbury Mon 10-Jun-13 12:38:43

My step mum is and was fab , in the same way that any other mum is .

I have no doubt that we drove her to distraction sometimes and it must have been really hard for her at times but she never showed it and in fact it wasn't for her being so lovely I am sure that I wouldn't have had half as much to do with my dad over the years (he is also lovely but rubbish at keeping in touch)

I am always really surprised at the responses on here to step mums , in rl I just don't see it , people seem to understand better thankfully.

Cavort Mon 10-Jun-13 12:40:49

I completely agree Fenton. I steer clear of the SP boards for the sake of my sanity. It would be much better if only SP's commented on other SP's posts. Those who have actually walked a mile in our shoes are the only people qualified to have an opinion.

Fragglewump Mon 10-Jun-13 12:46:37

Sad! I'm a step mum and struggle often, not because I'm a crap parent but juggling dsc's my own dcs, their new half sibling and all the associated exes and new partners is a difficult tightrope to walk. It's exhausting, often thankless and full of emotions which sometimes get too much. I would love to get support here but can't say how unbearably crap it sometimes is - for fear of being flamed by others who obviously have perfect lives may or may not be step parents themselves.

parttimer79 Mon 10-Jun-13 12:46:46

recently it seems intensified < this
I have only been posting for a few months but I've noticed a distinct change in tone.
I would happily take on board balanced advice from anyone, regardless of their step/or not status but it has started to feel like a witch hunt rather than an open and constructive exchange of views. sad

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 14:04:01

This is crap, as we speak another stepmother is being made to feel like a second rate, worthless piece of crap.

and all I can do is this {FentonHug™} - exactly why I need to step away.


NatashaBee Mon 10-Jun-13 14:29:53

I should clarify... my 'applauds' comment was because I agreed with everything you said! Not the fact that you said you were planning to leave. I just re-read it and it didn't sound very nice.

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 14:32:58

LoL Natasha!!

How very offended I was too !!!


NatashaBee Mon 10-Jun-13 14:59:29

Sorry about that. I'm a stepmother too so well aware that my place is always in the wrong! grin

StillSlightlyCrumpled Mon 10-Jun-13 15:09:59

I dip in & out of MN as a whole nowadays anyway but particularly on the step-parenting boards as well as SN, mainly because I wholly object to being classed as all the same because we happen to have a step child etc. I actually think I step parent differently to quite a few on here, & had a few heated comments sent my way recently for putting forward a different point of view.

I 100% agree with the needing to vent, it is grossly unfair that unless you are the birth parent of a child you can't roll your eyes & moan about them - on an anonymous forum! My own children get on my bloody nerves a lot sometimes, as did my step children when they were younger.

Kaluki Mon 10-Jun-13 15:10:18

Ah Fenton what a shame - although I completely understand why.
The latest batch of SM haters are a particularly nasty bunch.
I have developed the hide of a rhino so most of the nasty stuff bounces off me but I hate to think of first time posters having to take all that shit from women who have no bloody idea what life as a SM is like.
I'll keep n eye out for you when I am lurking on the other boards!
wine here's to step mums everywhere!!!

littlediamond33 Mon 10-Jun-13 16:49:52

I agree with op.i am a step mum who more often than not finds it tough going.i posted on mn to ask for advice.The replies i got were sooo un-friendly and almost nasty.no help at all.i read the step parenting mn forum but do not post anymore sad

Don't know anything about it but sorry to see you go.

Argh, sorry, that came up in Active and I assumed it was in flouncer's corner. Sorry.

Fenton Mon 10-Jun-13 16:55:49

It's the thought that counts LRD, thank you smile

I should stop posting on here soon actually because although I have now hidden SPing, this is still on threads I'm on.

Must not click. Must not click..

Timeforabiscuit Mon 10-Jun-13 17:03:12

Not a step parent - but have nothing but admiration for anyone in a step parent role - No real rights, no real say, head bitten off at the slightest provocation and to top it off you usually get handed the shitty end of the childcare stick.

and if you can't moan on an anonymous web forum where the blardy heck can you?

and I only got an appreciation for this on here by people discussing it.

Timeforabiscuit Mon 10-Jun-13 17:04:01

and now for that thread on the use of commas...

Dumpylump Mon 10-Jun-13 17:23:53

Ah Fenton I totally get where you're coming from, but have to say how sad I am that someone who could give advice and help from a position of understanding, is no longer going to be hanging around here.
I have been a step mum for four years now, have been a mnetter for longer, and quickly learnt that sometimes it wasn't the best idea to post here looking for a bit of support or a friendly ear when a vent was needed!
It seems to be a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" thing...and if I hear "you knew what you were getting into" one more time....! No I didn't actually, nobody does - not really. My life definitely hasn't panned out the way I thought it would, some bits are better, and some bits, well, they're not.
Anyway, sorry you're leaving us, but don't blame you thanks

I don't blame you tbh. I was once told I was an evil step mum for asking for advice on how to stop my teenage step son from physically hurting my toddler son and stealing from us... Apparently he stole from me because I stole his dad from him. Wtf! And no I wasn't the ow by a long way.

Somethingtothinkabout Mon 10-Jun-13 17:59:26

I am not a SP, have no kids and don't have any step parents myself, and even I have been shocked at how frequently, recently, every single thread by a SP descends into a real hard time for the OP and eventually 'you knew what you were getting into"...

It's almost like some Step Parent addendum to Goodwin's Law angry

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Jun-13 18:00:11


I am not a sp but happen to know the most wonderful sp and she is all the things you mention in your post.

Do people assume you are a sp because they presume you were responsible for the breakdown of your ohs relationship? Is this why people are so nasty?

All I can say is it is such a shame that somebody like you has been treated in such a way. Do people not realise that they too could be a sp in the future. Nobodies relationship is that secure they can say "It will never be me". What a sad post. sad

StillSlightlyCrumpled Mon 10-Jun-13 18:31:29

Oh as soon as you mention you are a step mum anywhere, it is assumed you were the other woman. I found myself forever explaining DH' marital breakdown with complete strangers. Utter madness! As others have said, was younger, naive etc.

IneedAyoniNickname Mon 10-Jun-13 19:04:12

How awful that you have been made to feel that way sad

I am not a step mum but my dc have one, so I lurk on this board to try and see situations from her side. I also try not to blame her for my exs shortcomings as a parent, although the fact he has changed since he met her makes ne think she is, in part, responsible.

Ultimately though, I don't judge all step parents based on my experience of her. Incidentally, I happen to have step parents of my own, who have also influenced my opinion of step parents in general.

morethanpotatoprints Mon 10-Jun-13 19:15:16

My dh has a sf who was better than his own father in every sense he could be.
I would like to say that lurking occasionally on these threads I find that sp are taking their role seriously, they come across as genuine caring people who have welcomed their sdc.
There will always be people who will judge and be nasty, perhaps it is their insecurities that make them like this.
From what I have read on here, you have been a constant support to others and i know that many will miss your wisdom, please reconsider as you obviously have lots to contribute thanks

brdgrl Mon 10-Jun-13 21:16:19

Do people assume you are a sp because they presume you were responsible for the breakdown of your ohs relationship? Is this why people are so nasty?
I do think this is a huge part of it. I married a widower. But still come up over and over again against the assumptions that
1) I was the OW,
2) There is a poor abandoned mother out there who I am plotting against or otherwise reacting to the presence of,
3) This is not my DSCs home or that we only have them 'part-time', and
4) That my presence in the kids' lives is automatically to be framed as a negative, something to be 'overcome', managed, or apologized for - that this is the default position

And I find it truly fascinating that even though I don't have the same circumstances as some other stepmums, we so often have the same issues. Which, to me, shows up how many of the other assumptions about why things happen the way they do in stepfamilies, are wrong.

It also seems that some people fail to realize how many stepmums have also been lone parents or "the ex" themselves - so that they actually do see both sides of the equation, in a way that someone who has never been a stemum cannot.

All I can say is it is such a shame that somebody like you has been treated in such a way. Do people not realise that they too could be a sp in the future.
Or that their kids could have a step-parent?
I was thinking recently that we are like the "after" picture, trying to talk to the "before" picture.
But yes, people don't want to think that their marriage could fail, or they could die, or that their partner could. It's an incredible arrogance, really.

allnewtaketwo Mon 10-Jun-13 21:20:27

Oh Fenton, you're one of my very favourites grin. But I know exactly what you mean. As a SM, so many posters will assume automatically that your every thought and intention is malicious. I find mumsnet massively anti SMs. Actually. I find mn massively anti fathers in general actually.

LtEveDallas Mon 10-Jun-13 21:26:59

Fenton, it is a great shame to see you go. You were another voice of reason on the SP board that frankly has been hounded off of some nasty pieces of work. I am pretty disgusted at events over the last few days (I'm sure you know why I mean) and horrified that MNHQ felt that bile like that should stand.

I fully understand your reasons and I am sorry that I will no longer be able to see your NN pop up in Active Convos and think "Oh thank Fuck for that, another intelligent poster to stem the tide of shite"

See you across the boards.

34DD Mon 10-Jun-13 22:38:57

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Rightsaiddeb Tue 11-Jun-13 07:06:39

34dd, have visited this site on occasion too. Some of the situations are truly mind blowing so that I always come back to mn, because despite all the maligning, it does offer balanced views.
Regarding the bile, I haven't been on here long, but the usual suspects pop up regularly to back each other up. I take no notice of these, like someone already said, theyre bitter,,insecure, and begrudge sm any support.
I like the thought that our bad press stems from the fact we are the after picture, and it could happen to anybody. How ironic if those spewing hate today would be seeking advice on their dsc in the foreseeable future....
All the best Fenton.

catsmother Tue 11-Jun-13 08:01:41

Bye Fenton - am very sorry you feel the need to leave, because, as others have said, with Stepmums so often under attack (especially lately) it's good to have sensible, articulate posters who can bite back!

I do understand though ....

I admit that I don't post 100% honestly about my own situation. I don't mean I lie outright but I do omit stuff IYKWIM - but that's not because I'm scared of being pitchforked (too much) but because MN is an open board I'm always wary of the possibility of family coming across my posts and recognising the situation. However .... I don't hold back because of the witch-hunters ..... for those of you who have less qualms about privacy, remember that the vast majority of nastiness comes from people who've never been in your position and IME, I think it's very rare for a SM to get slated for no good reason (at least on the step boards - go into AIBU at your peril!) without fellow SMs stepping in and supporting her against the attack. On rare occasions when I've had some snidey remarks I really do try not to let it get at me and try very hard to think of it all as "just" being "words on a page" - which could well have been written by a hairy trucker or similar.

Quite obviously belief in Grimms' fairytales is alive and well in some parts ...... added to which, I do personally feel that SMs in paricular often get such a hard time because we're female aren't we and we are supposed to be the nurturing sex aren't we, and love every last little child no matter what a brat they are regardless. Any of us who have the temerity to voice some sort of dissent just aren't natural ! hmm

Anyway, best wishes Fenton.

likesnowflakesinanocean Tue 11-Jun-13 08:08:55

I'm sorry your off Fenton you have always given clear advice and I respect that. its hard enough without feeling like your being judged. I am a step parent and I love it, I honestly do they bring different things to my life but I'm sure if I posted how things are in our time that I would be told I'm too involved and I have been told on many occasions its not my place to punish but in my house there are rules I expect following, it works for us anyway. I am likely to say ss or sd has been a total bratbag if they have I am also likely to say it of my own ds if the need arisesgrin

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 11-Jun-13 10:15:28

I know how you feel, I joined mn purely because I needed some advice and support about dp's ex, I got some wonderful advice and our situation is much better but recently things have taken a turn for the worse again and I would love to post about it and get support from other step-parents who understand but having lurked I'm just not willing to put myself in the situation of having to defend myself.

It's sad that a board that's meant to offer support is more often than not taken over by mean opinionated people with no idea what they are talking about.

Kaluki Tue 11-Jun-13 11:56:46

Are you reading this MNHQ????

Fenton Tue 11-Jun-13 12:38:58

The thing is, I'm a nice person, I almost always post nicely but the views expressed against step-parents HERE ON THE SP BOARD PARTICULARLY give me the absolute RAGE, still, after years, same old, same old.

And I want to be articulate and explain it nicely to the ignorant fuckers but I just can't find the words anymore and I want to get all SHOUTY and SWEARY and post not so nicely, and that's just not me.

Perhaps I should just not worry about my nice poster record and let my inner SHOUTY post here? hmm

theredhen Tue 11-Jun-13 12:48:35

I read on chat earlier a message from a mum who says she just wants a break from her kids. She sounded fed up and exhausted. Every reply was warm and empathic about how everyone deserves a break and how she should be kind to herself etc.

Why do step mums never get that sort of response?

ALL kids are tiring and hard work. But you would think that step kids are complete little darlings that you should never want a break from if you read some of these posts on this board. Of course those same step kids are also bio kids and it seems that it's ok for the bio mum to get a break from them but not the step mum?!

HumphreyCobbler Tue 11-Jun-13 12:54:16

I have noticed what you are posting about Fenton. I am not a step parents so I tend not to comment, but I cannot believe the crap that gets dished out. I am sorry you feel you have to leave.

catsmother Tue 11-Jun-13 13:16:20

Ha ha - what's inside my head and what comes out onto the virtual page are two different things entirely. My thoughts about my own - and often other people's step situations too - are often a maelstrom of extreme swearing which would make a docker blush! The only reason I don't let it all out is because then the witch-hunters would be able to claim the moral high ground against the foul mouthed SM .... and no doubt, one or more would be bound to say "well, if that's how you carry on in real life no wonder you have problems" .....

(^whispers^) I've long harboured a personal little theory - based on all the step stories I've read and heard about over the years (not just on MN but elsewhere where I've sought support) - that the non steps are maybe just maybe a tad insecure in their own relationship(s) and maybe if you're not sure what the future holds and where you'll end up, then a stepmother and/or a second wife or whatever is a scary representation of where your DP/DH might end up if you can't work things out. I could be totally off the mark of course and I don't want to generalise - nor set myself up for a flaming - but this thought has repeatedly popped into my head over the years ...... because really, I just can't imagine why non-steps would otherwise sometimes make such a huge effort to get involved in step threads (and then behave like a dog with a bone, refusing to acknowledge that whilst they're fully entitled to an opinion, they don't actually have any direct experience of what's being discussed and at best, can only imagine) ......

.... I dunno, I like to read about stuff I have no personal experience of just to expand my horizons, educate myself, satisfy my curiousity, or because I'm bored sometimes, but I'd rarely proffer an opinion except perhaps in the most general terms - offering someone sympathy, wishing them well or whatever - I just wouldn't steam in and blast someone who's clearly upset/worried/frightened/at the end of their tether when their story relates to something I only have superficial knowledge of. Because I wouldn't want to get hold of the wrong end of the stick, unwittingly make someone feel worse, offend by what I say etc.

Yet there does seem to be quite a number of non-steps who have no such hesitation and yes, it grates. And I do wonder what their motive is - hence my half baked amateur psychologist's theory ..... or maybe, who knows, they were once cheated on - and automatically assume that all SMs must therefore be husband stealing harlots - so they're justified in giving us all a good old verbal bashing ?!?

catsmother Tue 11-Jun-13 13:23:35

Yes Redhen - you could probably find at least one new example like that where double standards apply every day somewhere on the board!

What also gets me so often is how, when someone's poured their heart out about a particular problem that the very first response they get (from someone who's almost certainly not involved in a step situation) is "are you the other woman ?" I'm sure I've seen this asked in relation to a SM who was posting for advice about her stepchildren because their mother was using them as weapons, telling them lies about their dad and his new partner, trying to divide their loyalties, obstructing contact and so on - which, to my mind, misses the point completely .... which would be how to deal with someone like that, how to reassure the children, how to maintain contact.

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 13:33:20

Fenton - maybe you should keep 'Fenton' for your normal, lovely, friendly posts and use a 'NewName' to let the inner shouty out - some people Just Need Telling.

It is diabolical that a board which is FOR SP's can't be supportive sad

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 13:38:52

I'm not a step anything Catsmother and I think your accusation is a bit unfair tbh.

I tend to get involved on the 'step' threads when they come up in active convos - I don't haunt the SP boards hmm

I have also asked, on occasion, whether the poster was the OW or not - though if that was on a 'step' thread or not I couldn't tell you. But sometimes it is relevant.

No need to tar us all with the same brush. Just as not all step parents want to be tarred with the same brush.

Fenton Tue 11-Jun-13 13:49:04

That's an idea Chipping - I could be Fenton'sEvilTwin grin

Yup -'are you the OW' thing ...

For years whenever I mentioned that I had step children, or was explaining my childrens' older half siblings, or that my husband had been married before, I would always feel I needed to trot out the P.s. "my husband and his first wife split up years before we met" and really want to add "and by the way she had an affair and is still with the man who broke up the family" - but never did.

allnewtaketwo Tue 11-Jun-13 13:52:09

Just now there's another thread where a poster has said to a SM (posting about difficulties with DP's ex) "I'm sure she would tell a different story". I asked her directly if she asked the same on other boards of mumsnet and she admitted no. Some people really do reserve their hostility and suspicion for this board.

Fenton Tue 11-Jun-13 14:00:02

I agree Chipping - sometimes it is relevant, certainly would explain some of the difficulties a SM faces with step children and/or the ex if she was once the OW.

But it does get asked on her A LOT, and more often than not, no the SM was not the OW. In fact of the many situations I've read over the years I can only remember 2 or 3 who were.

catsmother Tue 11-Jun-13 14:11:45

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 !

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 11-Jun-13 14:25:18

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 blush

ChippingInWiredOnCoffee Tue 11-Jun-13 14:38:10

Fenton - you were very restrained grin

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 grin but yeah, we aren't all stupid or evil smile

Good to know 'you're not' wink

smiling sad & smile

Petal02 Tue 11-Jun-13 15:09:36

I just think some people dislike second wives in general - regardless of whether either partner has children.

mignonette Tue 11-Jun-13 15:12:34

Hear bloody hear.

motherinferior Tue 11-Jun-13 15:20:15

Oh, I've clocked that, the 'were you the OW' barking.

LtEveDallas Tue 11-Jun-13 15:39:42

Smiling sad

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.

gnushoes Tue 11-Jun-13 15:44:02

I've never understood the routine hammering stepmums seem to get on that board. Can't do right for doing wrong. Really unfair.

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Tue 11-Jun-13 16:06:29

Yes dsc mum has rewritten history and tells everyone including dsc that dp and I had an affair spanning 6 years shock 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 wink

Fenton Tue 11-Jun-13 16:32:12

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 shock - way to mess with their heads confused

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......

Petal02 Tue 11-Jun-13 16:51:37

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.

dotcomlovenest Thu 13-Jun-13 18:14:29

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.
Insane logic.

I blame Snow White grin

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.

Smh13 Fri 21-Jun-13 12:55:26

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

Fenton Fri 21-Jun-13 14:41:48

Smh13 you're welcome and thank you - thought it seems I can't stay away from the SP topic afterall grin

PoisonedApple Fri 21-Jun-13 21:52:37

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.

Noordinarygirl Fri 21-Jun-13 22:03:39

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!

NicknameIncomplete Sat 22-Jun-13 22:53:34

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?

PrettyPaperweight Sun 23-Jun-13 13:31:41

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!

MirandaWest Sun 23-Jun-13 13:44:21

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.

Petal02 Sun 23-Jun-13 13:57:54

Prettypaperweight - excellent post.

NicknameIncomplete Sun 23-Jun-13 19:56:39

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 Sun 23-Jun-13 20:16:18

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.

NicknameIncomplete Sun 23-Jun-13 21:42:33

PrettyPaperweight. Thats fair enough, i accept that you didnt mean all exWs. I apologise if i got the wrong impression.

Kaluki Mon 24-Jun-13 12:24:06

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!

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