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To think step parents get a really hard time on here

(92 Posts)
Crosbybeach Sun 26-Jul-15 10:14:47

And can't do right whatever they do.

I've wanted to post a couple of times with queries but haven't as know will be asked, 'we're you the OW?' ( no) and 'what would you do with your own' ( I don't know, I don't have any of my own and find the step kids baffling sometimes, so am asking for advice) .

slkk Sun 26-Jul-15 10:17:34

Sometimes, but get good advice too. Post in step parenting - there are some really helpful posters.

Mehitabel6 Sun 26-Jul-15 10:22:49

People generally ignore the question and read their own circumstance into it.

MsVestibule Sun 26-Jul-15 10:23:51

I don't think they do. Well, no more than anybody else posting about any other problem. Depending on the problem, they generally get a fair hearing.

Sometimes whether they were the OW is relevant though - it could show why they have been unable to build a good relationship if the SC sees their SM as a husband/dad stealer.

I suspect that you're a bit more sensitive about it, because you are a SM. I'm a SAHM and when I started using MN, the vitriol and derogatory comments posters directed at SAHMs really upset me. I'm now almost immune to it.

SoupDragon Sun 26-Jul-15 10:26:48

No more than any other group. I think they (and other groups) are often over sensitive.

Wailywailywaily Sun 26-Jul-15 10:27:32

They do get a hard time on here. I am a step mum and I also have a step mum so I see both sides. I would never ask for advice on it on mn

Bellemere Sun 26-Jul-15 10:31:13

Yes I think they do but I think that just matches real life really.

Tequilashotfor1 Sun 26-Jul-15 10:31:34

It can swing both ways depending in the subject matter.

Sometimes posters have no insight to what a small SC can be feeling and can only see it from their point of view. There was a poster a while back who was very very cold to her DSS (6) who's mother had died and she was basically his sole career. He was an iinconvienence to her and he knew it. She got a little support of other SP but a lot of other SP and posters flamed her. I had to hide the thread because it was awful to read and my heart broke for that little lad.

On the other hand ive seen fab advice of nearly everybody supporting the op.

TwistedReality Sun 26-Jul-15 10:32:28

Yes I agree sometimes, but the majority of negative responses are from non step parents. I think that to understand a step parent you have to be a step parent.
But also agree you wont always be torn to shreds (although it does happen) but probably keep it away from AIBU/Chat and post in Step parenting where people will have a little bit more empathy for your situation.

MrsLeighHalfpenny Sun 26-Jul-15 10:33:13

I think the actual, absent parents also get a pretty hard time on MN. They are always portrayed as having unreasonable demands on children's time, do unsuitable activities, or, conversely, don't do anything at all.

Bonsoir Sun 26-Jul-15 10:34:21

Stepmothers do sometimes get treated appallingly on here. I'm a SM and the vitriol can be incredible.

TinyManticore Sun 26-Jul-15 10:35:50

Yanbu. Stepmothers seem to be regarded by a lot of posters as evil bitch usurpers trying to play happy families with someone else's children. If they keep their distance from the children it's wrong, if they try to include the children in their family it's wrong. And always with the 'were you the other woman?'.

Brunhildafair Sun 26-Jul-15 10:41:45

I've been a 'wicked stepmother' for nearly 40 years. I think the main thing is to go with the flow.Pick your battles,and above all treat them with respect . I married in my mid twenties and suddenly every other weekend had an 18 mth old and a 3 year old to look after. (for what it's worth I wasn't the OW!) I think it was very much a learning curve,I wasn't their Mum( they had a perfectly good mother already) and I tried ,I think, to be as natural as possible. We have all been so lucky that the relationship with the ex has been brilliant. We went on to have 2 children,their Mum remarried and had another son.In the past we have met up on holidays together,and all out in full force at the weddings.When my step daughter got married both her father and step father walked her down the aisle.All the children are very close, we now have 4 gorgeous grandchildren and another on the way.We try and have a couple of family weekends where we all meet up every year. Sometimes hard to plan as they are scattered all over the country.I can honestly say that I love them,maybe in a different way to my biological children,but I will always fight their corner,always show an interest in their lives,because they are very much a part of mine.I know , reading some of the posts on here that we have been lucky. Don't think for a minute that we haven't had ups and downs,of course we have..but don't give up. I wouldn't change a thing. Good luck.

AuntyMag10 Sun 26-Jul-15 10:44:18

Yanbu, some people just see the words step and just go off on it.
Funny thing is a thread where it's the op writing about her own child will receive support but as soon as it's a Step parent then it's different.

StillStayingClassySanDiego Sun 26-Jul-15 10:45:12

Lovely post Brun

caravanista13 Sun 26-Jul-15 10:47:03

Nobody gets a hard time they don't deserve! It makes me so sad when SPs don't understand that if you're in a long term relationship with someone their DC are part of the package.

BlueBlueSea Sun 26-Jul-15 10:47:32

Even in Stepparenting there is a lot of stepmum bashing.

I posted for a rant and some advice a few months ago in Stepparenting. A few stepmums were supportive but I was also accused of trying to keep my DSS out of his home, being cruel and uncaring. My DH was accused of putting me before his kid, of me being a the new girlfriend etc. Even after I had explained that we had all been living together for 6 years. A lot of the time responses do not read the OP and go on the usual attack. The most pointless responses seem to be 'you should have thought of this before you got involved with a man with kids'.

When I saw the AIBU for being annoyed with DSS I knew that she was in for a roasting.

Being a parent is really hard, having teenagers is really hard, being a step parent is even fucking harder and sometimes you just need to rant and if you can have somone saying 'yes it is hard for you, you are not on your own and it does get easier (or maybe not)' can help.

Bellemere Sun 26-Jul-15 10:51:09

Yes they really do Caravanista. "DC are part of the package" is such a ridiculously short sighted view of what it entails. "You knew what you were getting into", umm, no, most don't. Yes, it would involve being around a new partners children but that's it. Managing your way through a stepfamily situation is a total minefield. No-one can know what it is like until you've done it.

I've been torn to shreds for suggesting my husbands ex is damaging her children. It was twisted and made out to be my fault. We are now facing change of residence as his ex IS damaging the children.

I think it's a bit like before you've had children and you say you'll never use a dummy, never shout at your child or always do x, y and z. The reality after having children, and after having step children, is so different.

Stitchintime1 Sun 26-Jul-15 10:53:55

Sometimes the things step parents write on here are shocking. Just shocking. And they often don't seem to realise how terrible they sound.

StUmbrageinSkelt Sun 26-Jul-15 10:55:12

caravanista, that's daft to say that nobody gets a hard time they don't deserve. I've seen stepmothers on here utterly shredded when they have asked for ideas or support.

TensionWheelsCoolHeels Sun 26-Jul-15 11:00:50

I think SPs do get a rough time but mainly that's due to a lack of willingness to see where a problem actually stems from i.e. 9/10 it'll be down to the DH/DP they are with/married to. Starting off from the POV that it's either the SC or the ex who is the problem when the person who should do something is their partner/the SCs other parent is why I think SMs get a hard time.

The thread posted yesterday about 'brattish' behaviour of a SS, demonstrated that. A 12 yr old being held up as the problem when the OP and her DH's decision to move 3/4 hrs away without accounting for how contact would work, was the root cause of the SS behaviour. Still the ex was having the finger pointed at her too, in addition to the SS. Badly worded OPs or replies set the tone & then it goes downhill.

I think the SMs get a much harder time than SDs too. But I think the reason for that is, that very often SMs are either put in the position of being the default carer for SCs by virtue of either circumstances (SM has own DC, is at home during contact & does the caring/cooking etc.) or because their spouse/partner sits back and just assumes they'll do it/let them take over that side of things but of course not actually be able to deal with the SC behaviour as 'they aren't their mother'.

There are many genuine issues SPs face and it's a role I'd not want to have for all the reasons SPs post about. I think at times the 'letting off steam' rants should be seen a bit more sympathetically but it's the 'blame game' and pointing fingers at DC/ex's that kicks things off when most can see reading the OP that the spouse/partner who is the issue or who can do something about the situation. But, the inability to actually take issue with a spouse/partner as the 1st step is why I think a lot of SPs get a hard time. Not 100% as there will always be people who take issue no matter what the subject but it's usually the way they've described either the SC or the ex or both, while excusing their own partner/spouse that starts off the unsupportive responses.

Just my opinion.

AyeAmarok Sun 26-Jul-15 11:02:09

YABU if you are referring to the current thread were the SM posted saying she was pissed off at her DSS's attitude when they'd had shared residency and a great relationship with the DSS for 9 years then she started a course 2 hours away and got tired of the commute so moved her, her DP and their 3 shared children 3 hours away from the DSS and only see him once a year because travelling back to see him would be too tiring and expensive, so they don't bother. She's now surprised at his "brattish attitude" because he texted his dad asking when he'd get to see him now it's the school holidays.

Don't know why anyone would expect anything other than a rough ride with that TBH.

Stitchintime1 Sun 26-Jul-15 11:03:31

I agree with every word Tension wrote.

JuneIsBustingOutAllOver Sun 26-Jul-15 11:04:43

I think anyone that talks negatively about a child on here gets a hard time. It's the same when someone critises a child that's hurt their child, or calls a child nasty.

I'm not a step parent but have every sympathy for some of them as they seem to try their best for their step children. I've no sympathy for the one's that only want the relationship with the man and see his children as an inconvenience. In those circumstances I don't think posters are wrong to say that the step parent knew what they were getting into when they got together with their oh.

As for asking if they were the ow sometimes this is relevant as it can make a difference to how the step children relate to them. If their parents are together (happily or not) and then a parent leaves to be with someone else the children are going to put the blame on that person because they still love their parents and it hard to love someone and hate them at the same time.

I don't think some step parents on here do themselves any favours when they're quick to blame the ex wife without any evidence. Any thread where children don't want to visit or behave badly at some stage someone will suggest that the children's mother is behind it. Ditto children with bad manners, being cheeky etc. It seems to me that a lot of the problems are caused by the father not stepping up and actually fathering the children but I suppose it's easier to blame the mother rather than the person you're in a relationship with.

Obviously there are nasty, spiteful ex wives the same as there are nasty, spiteful step parents but I imagine most people are just trying their best for their children/stepchildren.

Alwayswiththechords Sun 26-Jul-15 11:10:18

I think anyone gets a hard time here on MN. Sometimes for a reason. It's heartbreaking when you read a post and can see a child being blamed for reacting to a situation created by parents and it cna get tempers flaring as people get either defensive or attacking.

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