My mum has a new stepdaughter and I'm a teeny bit jealous.... AIBU seeing as I'm 30?(44 Posts)
So a bit of background, my mum now has a wonderful partner after many very lonely years. I'm ecstatic for her, truly. And said partner has a teenage daughter.
My own teenage years with my mum were turbulent, I was a typical teen whilst she practically washed her hands of me and instead prioritising her own social life and a string of short term non serious partners. I never felt very wanted or supported during these years and have been in counselling for this since and other various reasons.
Now my mums partner has a daughter that I'm ashamed to say I'm feeling pangs of jealousy towards because the daughter gets to enjoy all the perks with my mum that I never really did. examples are, the daughter gets to spend family weekends together at my mums with her dad, she often buys the daughter special very thoughtful treats, the daughter is spending all of Christmas with my mum. The daughter attends functions and parties with the two of them as a family. The daughter is now allowed unattended eg when they're both at work, in what was for many years my family home and bedroom in particular.
I don't want to be jealous, I love my mum and she's not doing it to be intentionally hurtful. I've not said anything to her as don't want to upset her now she's finally found happiness.
I am also currently in a pretty bad place in my marriage so am feeling a bit tender at the moment anyway.
I just feel, I dunno I suppose redundant. Do I need to snap out of it?
It’s a change in dynamic, introducting new family member,naturally you’ll feel it
On top of that you’ve got your own marital stuff going on,you’ll be sensitised
I’d say slap a smile on,fake it to make it, step daughter won’t know you & mum history. And tbh it should not relevant to her
Thanks, that's what I'm trying to do. I really want her to think all is ok x
I can sympathise. I went to uni and my parents moved in a child who had issues, which was really kind of them, but I was as jealous as heck, even though I'd had a lot of attention growing up and nothing to complain about. In this situation it's even harder as you did feel a bit unimportant in those growing up years.
Have you ever talked with your mum about your teen years and why they were like they were? I wouldn't address the issue with the s-d as nothing good will come of it. Also, don't be afraid to let your mum know you still need her and love her company- I bet she's worried about you in your marriage and will support you if you ask.
Jealousy is horrible but we are all human!
I think this is often an issue for ‘first’ families. Mum/dad been there, done that. Learnt what not to do. Learnt what works. Know in no uncertain terms what doesn’t work. Consequently, they are ‘better’ parents the second time around or to step children. It must be so hard to swallow, particularly when you have more grown up insight and distance. It’s not personal, not that it makes it any easier for you. Try not to dwell on it.
At least your acknowleding to yourself the feelings/memories this has evoked
Do you have any good mates that you can hang with,a distraction from the other stuff
I hope that you have a restful Xmas,eat well,relax,sleep and take care of yourself
I feel for you. I can't relate but I'm a step mum myself and it's hard. Could you spend more time with them and get to know her better. Maybe do something all together like going for a coffee
While your mother is now happy. I bet when she spends time with her new stepdaughter she becomes very aware of how much she has missed out in your childhood and she will regret that.
Try pens time the 4 of you's and also try so a shopping trip etc with just you and your mum time.
Rainbow wish that's an interesting point
Also came to say the same as rainbow - I bet your mum is thinking of teenage you a lot with this girl about.
You sound very insightful though and aware of any unreasonable feelings.
I know it's very difficult OP. It's normal to feel jealous. So would I.
However, I suppose a positive thing is that at least this girl is getting treated well? Maybe she needs it? She could have been through pain too with her parents splitting up. I doubt your Mum is oblivious to the fact that she could have been there more for you at that age, so maybe she is making sure to do it right this time?
Maybe you should try and do something together with your Mum and this girl and hint that you're feeling a bit left out?
Do you think you could overcome this by actually bonding with the step daughter? Get to know her, perhaps become like an adopted younger sister? Then you might find you’re no longer jealous of her and can deal with her sharing your mum and home as she becomes part of your life as well as your mum’s.
As pp’s have said, I am sure your mum is thinking of you as she goes through this situation- how could she not.
Hope you can make room for her & your new step sis xx hard when its all going on
Not unreasonable at all! You don't know the girl, she's nothing to you and yet you have to watch your Mum "parent" her.
My friend's DH has just left my friend and their kids are in their mid-twenties....they're livid that their Dad is now "parenting" his new girlfriend's children.
However....life goes on. Why not think of this girl as your Mum's "new friend" rather than her child? She's not her child after all.
How I am feeling at the moment I would rather let them get on with it instead of trying to find my place in their new relationship. I didn't get an invite for Christmas day anyway, yet it was a given that she would be there. I have my own family so logistically that's not a biggie, its just the emotional connections involved at a time where I'm feeling sensitive anyway I think
Aw, this must be hard, I get that, but I will say the same to you as I have said many times before. It is absolutely ok for you to feel jealous, but it is not ok for you to show that jealousy!
Try to be pleased for your mum, try to get to know this girl. You may even enjoy the 'big sister' role.
Yanbu to feel jealous, it’s natural
My (adult) stepsisters have a better relationship with my dad than I do, mine isn’t bad it’s just not very close. He lives near them and far from me, so he’s part of their daily lives but not mine. He even says he appreciates my stepsisters young kids because he never got to spend time with me when I was little (because he worked all hours of the day and evening, he’s not a deadbeat dad or anything). If I think about it much I get a twinge of jealousy. But I know rationally that much of it is down to physical proximity and my stepmum.
How’s your relationship with your mum now? Can you focus on improving/strengthening that? It sounds like part of the issue is that you missed out on these things her partners dd is now experiencing.
It’s natural to feel like this. Just don’t let these feelings dominate for too long. I think at the core you are still carrying around resentment for your past, it’s not this new girls fault. Also, there may be things your mum wanted to do with you, that she now has a chance too, sorry if that’s harsh but you may both been to blame, you may have been quite difficult, and your Mum didn’t give you what you needed.
But there’s still time. Relationships with our parents can evolve and get better. You are not a teenager anymore. You can have a relationship leaving resentment behind.
You can reach out to your step sister. She’s more vulnerable, being younger, and will need you to reach out to her if you want a relationship to her. She may also add to your life, and you to hers, and form more bonds.
This must be horrible. We had a situation where a cousin of ours became close to our mum because of some troubles in her life and my sister and I were pushed aside. We were teenagers but it still grates when my mum constantly sticks up for her despite her being a self centred, rude, generally crappy person.
Maybe look at it from the other side. Your mum failed you in many ways and made teenage hell. At least her ways are mended and your step-sister isn’t having to suffer that too. I’m guessing she would also love to spend time with a big, grown up sister too. Reach out to her and make a new family connection of your own.
Your mum is perhaps using this new relationship to right some of the wrongs that she get she did when you were a teenager. It won't hurt any less but perhaps knowing that this might be your mums intentions might soften it for you.
It's natural to feel jealous or envious or even slightly possessive regardless of age. I'm part of a step family and feel like everyone else has gained someone like a parent or sibling but feel that I'm left out, but it's just the different dynamic for us all.
What's your relationship with your mum like now?
It was awful of her to prioritise a social life and short term relationships over you (although of course reasonable to have those things, but not to her child's detriment).
Have you ever discussed that with her? Maybe part of your resentment stems from her now acknowledging that she wasn't there for you a lot?
And do you see your dad?
I feel exactly the same about my dad and his new stepdaughter. I try to remember it’s easier for her relationship with him because there wasn’t the many difficult years (dad has suffered with depression and worked all hours to scrape through, I’m also one of 4 and that was hard work) before but it still really hurts when I watch how kind and attentive he is with her. I have taken a step back now after he couldn’t make any Xmas plans with me and my two young kids because he has to prioritise his wife’s children now. The youngest is in her 20s so hardly a child who needs a special Xmas, which I know makes me sound very jealous.
How is your relationship with your mum without stepdaughter around? If happy and healthy then I’d focus on one on one time, and limit the family stuff until it doesn’t hurt. My dad reverts to the negative, unkind man I grew up with when alone so I’m letting him crack on with happy, attentive dad with his new family. It’s so tough and I’m really sorry that you didn’t get the relationship you deserved growing up.
Lots of sympathy for you. You sound very insightful and thoughtful. Your feelings are completely natural. I think stepfamilies can be difficult - especially if you have a parent who didn't do all they could have done for you. You can come to terms with their failings for yourself but when you see them parent someone else it feels doubly hard. My dad was a bit crappy as a father and I always thought if he and my stepmother ever had children (they didnt) I would really struggle.
So totally reasonable feelings as lots of people on this thread have said. We all share similar experiences so this feeling is not uncommon. You are doing the right thing by keeping your counsel atm I think. And being aware that your own situation makes this feel even more wobbly.
I think the intensity of your feelings and ability to get over them depends on what your relationship is like now
It isn't a given that your mum is insighful. Some people aren't
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