Stepmom doesn't like my children(120 Posts)
I've changed my username for this as it could be outing and I don't want it linked to my other comments.
exH has remarried recently. His new wife is not a mother and I have two children with my ex (19 and 16). My DD didn't like her at the start but seems to have warmed to her now my DS has done the opposite.
They come home after visits to there dad and say that she's avoiding them. They go out with their dad for the evening and she stays at home or is out with friends.
She's not being unkind in a direct manner but they don't like going round as theirs an atmosphere. They haven't seen her since Christmas Day and they see there dad twice a week.
Do I tell her she needs to include them in her life now she's a stepmom? When she married there dad she signed up for this didn't she? I don't like to see my DD and DS unhappy like this and she seems to be causing it.
The thing is, if you read a lot of threads on here, there is a lot of resentments towards stepmothers, mostly because they're seen to be being too involved, not allowing the father any one on one time with the children etc.
Without knowing more, it may just be that she is trying to give your ex and the kids some space together. Why don't you suggest to your kids that they ask to do something all together, like go for a meal (or whatever it is they tend to do)? She may be really pleased to be asked to be involved (or she may just make excuses, in which case I guess she would perhaps rather be elsewhere!).
But I think it's very hard being a stepparent and knowing where each family's lines are, as it seems to vary from family to family.
It's not your place to "tell her" what to do. At 16 and 19 your children are more than capable of articulating what they want to their dad or his wife. Strongly agree with @flashing that the majority of complaints appear to be directed at omni present step parents!
*It's not your place to "tell her" what to do. At 16 and 19 your children are more than capable of articulating what they want to their dad or his wife.*
^This. Nothing to do with you.
Yep. According to most stepmum threads, she's doing the right thing! Kids go to see their non-residential parent, and often find it annoying to have to 'share' them with the new woman/man.
Maybe explain to your kids that the SM is trying to be tactful and give them time with their dad alone.
Maybe she’s giving the time for them to spend with their dad?
How long has she been with their father? Has she always been like this?
I disagree that this is nothing to do with you - your children's happiness and wellbeing is always your business!
That said, you shouldn't talk to her directly because she isn't the one you are co parenting with. If the relationship with your ex is cordial, you could gently raise that the kids are feeling a bit uncertain. If not, then encourage the kids to talk to their dad directly. I like the idea of them asking her to join them for dinner. I think she might just be trying to be respectful of their relationship and give them time alone with their dad. The awkwardness might be because she does not really know them well enough to feel relaxed.
Don't blame her she is doing what lots of step parents do and not getting over involved (we get moaned at for that too you see!) my OH will be home with his kids in an hour. I've booked myself a massage and will then be food shopping, they will be in bed when I get back.
They are coming to see their father not me. I have precious little free time as it is so I want to spend it in a way that I enjoy
Let them figure it out
The kids aren’t kids anymore
Their battle to pick with their dad and stepmother
You cant blame her for living her own life and leaving the parenting to her DH. She isnt their parent. I often go out when DSS visits but things are always at short notice and I'm simply not prepared to keep every weekend free. I also think he needs to spend time alone with his father and doesn't need me there. My role as a sm is to be warm and welcoming, help create a loving suitable home environment and support my DH in having contact with his son. I absolutely wouldn't raise it with her directly as that's quite interfering. You could suggest to your ex that the DC would like to spend time with her if shes up for it but it doesn't really sound like that's true.
My step son wants me to do everything with him and his Dad. He says if Chesney isn't coming, I don't want to.
However I still make sure sometimes I'm busy when he's here. He needs to have time with just his Dad. Plus the days we have him are my only time off work too and I have things I want to do.
I don’t think you are really in a position to tell her anything. Does she tell you what to do in your life? Who are you to her?! Why shouldn’t she have her own life. At the end of the day you and your ex decided to have your children. Ok she’s their step mum but it’s unreasonable to get her to arrange her life around them
I'm in the "Your DC want to spend time with their father and stepmother is allowing this".
Your DC don't have to like the woman their father married. Similarly she doesn't have to want to spend time with your DC.
I am not a stepmother. I don't expect ex husband's new wife to fawn over my adult DC. They visit their father because they want to spend time with him. Stepmother is irrelevant really 🤷♀️
I think the best way you can support them is to help them find the right words to explain how they feel to their father and come to terms with his response. You could also help them to understand how the situation may feel from the stepmother's point of view.
My DD didn't like her at the start but seems to have warmed to her now my DS has done the opposite.
Maybe she realised they didn’t like her so stepped back from them to give them space.
What exactly did she sign up for? Hanging out with an adult and half grown kid? Do you really expect this woman to be an actual parent to them? I think you are being unreasonable
Like others, I also think she's giving her DH space with his children.
It's also worth considering that the children are late teens which is quite late to have a traditional stepmum relationship. It's more likely that she views them as her husband's children and they view her has Dad's wife rather than a stepchild/stepparent relationship.
Encourage the children to speak to their dad if they're upset, or you talk to him about how he sees the relationship with his children and wife.
Do I tell her she needs to include them in her life now she's a stepmom?
I’d tell you exactly where to stick your telling if you tried ordering me around like this. You will only breed more resentment if you interfere. Let things blossom organically.
Maybe she just doesn't really like their behaviour. To be honest, teenagers are not very likeable and even less so when you don't have children yourself.
Maybe she was getting frustrated with their behaviour, but instead of being horrible to them, then resenting her, she's decided to just take a step back and not get involved.
In the end, you can't force her to like them, so out of being ignored or being treated horribly, I would thing the former is less emotional damaging.
At 16 and 19 they are no longer kids and can talk to their dad themselves! Many would say she is doing the right thing by giving them space to enjoy with their dad and not encroaching on their time. Sometimes step parents can't do right for wrong. Would you prefer if she tagged along every time they went out?
If they want to spend more time with her they should ask her to tag along. They can't really create a relationship with her unless both sides engage.
If my DP had a 16 and 19 year old, I would assume they were coming round to see him, not me. I too would make myself absent.
As a step daughter who met her dads wife at 17, I get it was too intrusive of her to be overly involved in everything I do with my dad and wanting to dominate the atmosphere. So no I think the step mum is being great.
Unless she is being passive aggressive. Such as staying in her room being grumpy and making them unwelcome. That’s different.
What does her not being a mother have to do with anything? You DD seems to like her. Not sure why your son doesnt, but he is old enough to sort it out for himself. You have no say over what she does.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Get started »
Please login first.