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why does my step mother ignore my ds?

(13 Posts)
witchandchips Tue 14-Oct-08 10:47:47

My father and step mother are in general a bit hands off with my ds; rarely (if ever) sit down with him to play or talk to him when we are all eating together. My father makes more of an effort when my step mother is not around but when they are together they often simply ignore him. Its often a bit embarrasing because they will demand cuddles when it suits them but my ds refuses to go to them because he hardly knows them as they have ignored him so much in the past. (btw we only see each other every few months)

Its all come to a head now as my both myself and my half sister is pregnant. I know my sisters child is going to get lots more love and attention then my new baby or her big brother. I am really upset about this not because i think that they should ignore her child too but because it indicates that my dad loves me less than my sis. What should i do (btw our family does not do talking or confrontation!)

hecAteTheirBrains Tue 14-Oct-08 10:57:30

If you can't tell them how you feel, and you can't change the situation and it is making you unhappy, then stop being with them.

You can't make someone be interested, they either are or they aren't and although it may be thoughtlessness on their part, and if they knew how you feel they may be horrified, if you feel unable to have a dialogue with them, there is nothing much you can do but a)accept it or b) don't be with them

What other choice do you have? What else is there to do?

Personally, I would bite the bullet and tell them. Because they may change, which would be great. But if you do nothing, things will stay this way, which hurts you. And, worst case scenario, they don't want to talk to you because you told them you feel unloved - don't you think that tells you you were right, if so, what's the point in having people who don't care about you in your life anyway? Whatever way it plays out, it leaves you knowing where you stand!

Dropdeadfred Tue 14-Oct-08 11:01:09

Do you never say anything at the time? such as 'oh ds is showing you xx' 'ds wants a cuddle' 'ds wants you to read his book' etc

why do you not say anything when people are ignoring him?

susie100 Tue 14-Oct-08 11:03:56

I really sympathise with this situation, we have the same set up but with DH's father and step mother. In our case they are simply quite selfish people who have always put themselves and their relationship above their children and step children.

They announced shortly after we had dd that they 'don't do babies' and can't imagine having children to stay the night etc.'

It is very sad as dd has such a close bond with my parents and barely recognises them. I think you have nothing to lose by being honest and telling them how much their attitude upsets you and you fear THEY may be missing out on the incredibly special relationship between gp and gc. I really want to do this by the way but it is dh's call and he can't stand any confrontation either.

Could you write them a letter instead? Another way of approaching it is inviting them to loads of family events, lunches, playground with your ds and giving them lots of positive reinforcement about how much ds enjoys his time with them etc.

witchandchips Tue 14-Oct-08 11:04:23

I have to don't i? Any suggestions as to how to broach the subject?

Dropdeadfred Tue 14-Oct-08 11:07:16

are you close to your dad?

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 11:08:39

I think you have to be prepared for your stepmother to have many more feelings for her own grandchild (your half-sister's child) than for yours. That is just the biological way of the world.

However, you obviously would hope for your father to have identical feelings for his grandchildren - they are his and have nothing to do with the fact that they were born of children with different mothers. Unless your father doesn't have such affectionate feelings towards you than for your half-sister. Might that be the case?

Sorry if this sounds harsh sad.

What about your mother? Is she around?

witchandchips Tue 14-Oct-08 11:14:23

Anna i am glad that a step mother has come onto this thread and i agree completely. Think the problem is that because my family does not do confrontation we all pretended to accept the myth that my step mum loves and cares for us equally; -my father refused to have any independent relationship with us, so we could only see him as part of his new family. Am really scared of broaching them subject as it will open up this whole can of worms

Dropdeadfred Tue 14-Oct-08 11:16:19

Then don't split them up on this issue - just tell them both when they are round that your DS wants to play with them/read with them/talk to them etc

If they decline then I would not be inviting them round again

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 11:18:10

It is very sad that your father refused to have any independent relationship with you.

FWIW my DP has lots of independent time with his sons (as well as lots of time when we are all together) and I think that this is important and I encourage it.

I wonder, though, when we have grandchildren, what will happen. As a stepmother (and moreover a stepmother to boys) I suspect I will not have overwhelming grandmaternal feelings for my stepgrandchildren. And I also suspect that my DP will want to have his grandchildren around a lot (just as his parents have done) but expect me to do the bulk of the work smile hmm

witchandchips Tue 14-Oct-08 11:43:48

Anna you sound a lovely step mother from all your posts that i have seen smile

Ds' real grannies absolutely worship him as does his other granddad so he is really lucky there. It is clear that these are my issues

Dropdeadfred i do try and get them to interact (sitting ds near them at meal times or suggesting walks in the woods) but it never works somehow. Think you are right i will have to be more proactive

thanks everybody

findtheriver Tue 14-Oct-08 11:49:35

witch this must be really hard for you. I agree with hecAte - this situation is upsetting for you and could rub off on your ds so you either need to broach the subject or back off and spend less time with them.

It's true that the biological instinct is a huge factor, and is one of the reasons why 'blended' families, step families, whatever you want to call them, do often encounter stressful situations. Family life is complex enough as it is, and when you add step family members into the equation, it's an added pressure.

At the end of the day, this isn't your choice, you didn't choose to have a step mother, and I think you need to protect your relationship with your husband and son, and do what is right for you.

Anna8888 Tue 14-Oct-08 12:11:33

Witchandchips - thank you smile - that is very touching coming from someone who is a stepchild herself.

At least your DS and future DC are cherished by their biological grannies - which is the most important thing smile.

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