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Full time step-mums / wives of widowers wanted!!!

(33 Posts)
tallpoppies Sun 23-Jan-11 22:33:57

Are there any other full-time step mums on here? I married a widower and have 2 young stepsons as well as my own biological daughter. I really need to chat to other mums in the same situation and maybe offer mutual advice on how to deal with things. I'm struggling a bit at the moment and want to make things work but blending a family just seems so damn difficult all the time.

NanaNina Sun 23-Jan-11 23:55:06

There are lots of step parents who will be along soon for you tallpoppies. I am a step mother but my SD and SS are grown with children of their own, but it was not easy at all and they didn't even live with us - just came for holidays. We had 3 kids of our own and money was tight and well it was a nightmare at times to be honest.

I never ever could get along with my SD and my DP would let her get away with anything as he was afraid she wouldn't want to come to us if she was told off. She was justa confused kid really but I wasn't very old and was struggling to try to like her and just couldn't - it made my life very miserable for several years. I was not that fond of my SS but he was not difficult like she was.

I think it is only step parents who can understand how difficult it is to try to love someone else's kids like your own - in my view it simply isn't possible.

I got it all wrong I think so I am no one to give advice but there will be others on here who will do so. Maybe if you could give a few more details, you will get more advice, help support.

To be perfectly honest if anyone talks about blended families now I think "don't go there - run to the hills" - sorry but I am still upset about my experience, because it made me feel such a horrid person not to be able to love a small pretty little girl, and I hated feeling like that. I am still not close to her at all and she bhas broken away from her dad as well.

Just remember you are not alone - it is a struggle...........

mjovertherainbow Mon 24-Jan-11 06:54:29

Message withdrawn

tahlulla1986 Mon 24-Jan-11 07:12:14

Hi. I'm marrying a widower this July and am a full time step mum to his two young boys. unlike you I don't have my own child so there has only been me to integrate into the family which to be honest has been relatively easy compared to most I've read on here. I do feel for you. the last few weeks I have found increasingly difficult, struggling raising to boys as a 'proper' mum but only getting the support that step mums get which is silch. I have struggled with mixed feelings about their mother who died in august 2009. Then I just feel awful and guilty. life as a step mum and partner to a widowed family is extremely difficult and I don't think I can offer you any advice but I can offer understanding ear and support. I think you end up helping me more. Just seeing your post has cheered me up knowing there is someone in a very similar situation and I'm not alone so think you.

ladydeedy Mon 24-Jan-11 09:35:43

same as mj - my youngest stepson is 14 and lives with us fulltime - never sees his mother. the older stepson lives with this mum and stays with us every other weekend and we have him for most of the school holidays (8 weeks or so per year). I dont hvae kids of my own so this does make it "easier" although exW does make life v difficult on occasion (less so now than before). I feel for you - you will find a lot of support on here though...

WildistheWind Mon 24-Jan-11 10:17:34

hi- I'm full-time BoM to DBD1 who is 10 , I have DD7 - DBD2 who is 8, lives with her mother and is with us EOW and half of hols.

Welcome to the wacky world of Bonus Mums.

Post away tallpoppie- we'll be happy to share and help in any way we can even if it is just to hand you a glass of wine when needed grin

tallpoppies Mon 24-Jan-11 10:50:03

Hi all, thank you so much for replying.
I just feel like I am doing everything so badly. My ss's were 3 and 4 when we all moved in together and my dd was 4 also (6 weeks between her and ess).
My dh works away for a lot of the time and when he isn't away he works really long hours so for much of the time I am the sole parent. I imagined that because of the ages of the children when I came on the scene that it would be very easy to form a bond with them and love them as my own - that was certainly my intention when I made the decisions I did otherwise I wouldn't have gone into the situation. I didn't think that 3 and a half years of living together later that I would still be struggling to have that sort of bond with them.
A big part of the problem is my dh. He expected too much too soon and for some reason thought that from day 1 of living together I would feel like they were "my kids". I only came across the term on here but he definately fits the disney dad syndrome. He doesn't shower them with gifts but does devote every minute he is here to playing with them, entertaining them, making them happy etc to the extent that I am constantly the bad guy, I can never compete with that. He feels guilty about being away so much and is a classic over-compensator. He doesn't really expect the kids to do anything other than have fun and thinks that it is the parents job to run around after them pandering to their every whim. I don't do that with my dd and don't see why I should do it for the others either.
Also, everything is always my dd's fault. I know that she can cause trouble and honestly can be mean to yss. They are 7 and 6 though and I am of the opinion that even in families where all the kids are bio siblings they may not always get on. To me this is normal and while I don't encourage bullying, I do think you have to let them sort it out amongst themselves a bit. Yss though always runs crying to his dad about something or other she has done - even though he probably starts about 50% of it. To me, they are equally to blame at times but to dh it is always my daughter's fault. Honestly, yss is no angel (ess is probably the best-behaved kid of the 3!) Both his kids have had massive issues since I have known them - not unsurprising considering they lost their mum at 1 and 2 - but it has made things very hard for me.
I just sometimes wonder if I did the right thing. I love dh but why does it always have to be so hard?

tallpoppies Mon 24-Jan-11 10:51:52

What I should have asked in my post was whether any of you have been through similar things and come out the other side.
I want the boys to love me and for me to love them but it just seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy right now. The more they expect me to nag and be "bad cop" the more I live up to that reputation and feel increasing resentment. AAArrrgh

tahlulla1986 Mon 24-Jan-11 11:17:12

I've often felt like that. Take some time out for you and the children and do something fun together. Even if its just going to the park or watching a film together. It's not face that dad gets all the fun stuff. I often feel the same. I do all the school runs, make tea, bath them and do homework etc but when I feel its taking its toll and I feel like I'm starting to resent everything and doubt myself, I stop being a 'mum' and be a play mate. It works every time.

tahlulla1986 Mon 24-Jan-11 11:18:11

Meant to say fair not face that dad gets all the fun.

slimbo Mon 24-Jan-11 20:54:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GILLIEPOPS Tue 25-Jan-11 13:48:01

Hello Tallpoppies - I have a feeling we will be in contact often after reading your post. And I have to say, after reading the responses, I felt an overwhelming comfort that we are not all alone in this difficult situation which is challening and problematic - but also rewarding.

I have 2 step-children, and they have been living with us full time since December 2009 - it was only determined after no contact with their "birth mother" since last July that a children's panel in December decided that there would be no more superivsed contact arranged as she never turned up for the children. They also have a half brother aged a year and a half - who lives with their maternal grandmother - so talk about blended family! My partner and I fought for 3 long years to gain custody of his chidlren as they were in an awful place with their mother with her numerous problems and addictions.

As I have been in my step-son's life since he was 2 years old, I really do feel that he is my child and we have a special bond. However, at times with my step-daughter aged 8 and a half I just want to throw in the towel and run away it wears me down so much! She has the nature of her mother (so her dad and maternal grandmother tell me!) and she is full of attitude, resentment, backchat and downright disregarding rules and boundaries - and then other times (now better more than bad to be honest after a hard year) when I just want to scoop her up with an overwhelming love!

Last year was especially hard for me, not just the children, as my father died a month after we got the kids full-time - and i do not believe i have had the time i needed to grieve for him as i have been raising them to the best of my ability - but sometimes no matter how much love i get i still feel like a failure when she goes off the rails and goes back the way from all the progress we make!

tallpoppies Fri 28-Jan-11 09:50:29

Sorry all
DD and myself have had flu for a few days...will post again when all better but in the meantime thanks for your replies
Speak soon
xxx

Mummynumber2 Fri 28-Jan-11 10:31:59

Hi, I'm a full time BoM to DSD1 who is 14 and part time to DSD2 and DSS, who we have just under half the time.

DBD1 hardly ever sees her mum, the last time she did it was followed up by a phone call from her mum telling DP that DBD was no longer welcome at her house sad. My DP works long hours too so I'm very much the main carer of her.

I'm not sure if it's possible to love a BOC as much as you love your own DC (I'm pregnant with my 1st and am quite anxious about how this will change me relationship with my BoCs) but I suppose the important thing is to try to not make them aware of that. It sounds like your DP is struggling with the same thing though.

Usedtobefun Tue 08-Mar-11 04:47:58

Hi TallPoppies,

Finally I have found someone in the same situation!

I married a widower 8 years ago and he had 2 children who were 2 1/2 and 4. I became a fulltime stepmom to both children and we then went on to have 2 more together so now I have a DSS (11), DSD (10) DD1 (5) and DD2 (3).
I am a SAHM to all 4 and have found the past 8 years rather challenging to say the least.

My DH has never been very involved and has left most of the parenting to me, when we met my MIL and his in laws were helping to raise the children and everything was a real mess.

I have always struggled with my DSD who is a very willful child and tbh I have struggled to bond with her. My lack of bond with her became even more apparent when I had my own children and I felt a much more natural bond with them compared to her.

I am finding that my DH never backs me up when it comes to disciplining DSD and as a result she doesn't really pay that much attention to what I say, which makes things difficult to say the least! Quite frankly I am at the end of my teather with the lack of support and am dreading the teenage years with DSD if things carry on like this.

Lins75 Sun 13-Mar-11 14:01:04

It is the exact same situation for me!

I married a widower 6 years ago, when his daughter was 11 and son was 13. Their mother died when they were 6 and 8 and I've been in their life for 9-8 years now.

I have a 15 year old daughter, and me and DH have a 4 year old.

DH - classic over compensator, gives the kids whatever they want, is very lenient and his daughter owns his lock, stock and barrel.

Parenting my DSD has been the most challenging, frustrating, difficult thing I did. We never bonded, she openly dislikes me and refuses to have anything to do with me...she is very willful and you can imagine what it was like disciplining her especially as my DH hardly backs me up.

Often I felt invisible and useless. My DD1 felt completely shut out, the two of us like invaders.

It was quite bad at one point, we did a couple of sessions of family counseling but it didn't do much help. Not until I decided to focus all my energy on MY child. I love DSD and still put my efforts in to trying to bond with her, but she clearly doesn't want me around and has made it quite clear, I can't spend anymore time pondering and being frustrated about this because I have two children who need me.

I also really had to show my DH just how serious I am about him backing me up. I'm not a guest in his house, I am his wife, this is my home just as much as his and I am the maternal figure in it.

I feel like widowers want to compensate so much for the deaths of the mothers, they don't even see anything wrong in their kids. How many times did I tell DH that DSD has some issues but he just shuts his eyes I can't count.

But he apparently sees it as perfectly normal that the girls mother died in a car accident and she is going around being the most reckless driver I know.

fairystepmother Sat 19-Mar-11 09:14:10

Hello there - I'm new to this forum but am in the same situation as you.
I have been with my husband for 4 years and am full time step-mum to his beautiful nine year old son.

My SS9's mum died last year of cancer. Before that SS9 mainly lived with his mum we had him at weekends, but since she died he has lived with us full time.

The last year has been very hard as we've had to help my SS9 come to terms with the death of his mum but he is coping so much better recently and he has started to come out of his shell so much more - it's a pleasure to see.

Full time certainly had it's challenges (there never seems to be a break from it some days), but in some ways it's also simpler than shared custody of a child as you're not having to try and strike a balance between the two households.

flipfloppop Sat 19-Mar-11 09:24:50

I THINK WE HAVE PARALLELL LIVES. my 2 sd's moved in aged 3 and 7. my dd was 8m and i was pregnant with dd 2. this was 5 years ago and every day is a struggle. sd1 is 12 and hates me, resents me and has such an awful attitude it is unbelievable. She sneers at what I say and talks to me like shit. their bio mum has nothing to do with them and lives abroad. I wish I could get a break from them sometimes.

I like the other ladies have mentioned, find it harder to bond since having my own children. The gap becomes more apparant. could go on, but i have a hungry 8m old chewing on my arm....

Lins75 Sat 19-Mar-11 20:50:41

Flipfloppop - my dsd also OPENLY hates me. The way she talks to me and refers to me - I might as well be dirt on her shoe.

The other day we were talking at the dinner table about our friend's divorce and me and DH joking what each of us would take if we get a divorce and she goes "All I would need is a bottle of champagne to crack open."

She always retorts and shoots me down.

vaginiasmonalogue Thu 31-Mar-11 12:01:56

God that's awful. I find it so hard that their bio mum won't even so much as call them on the phone. I send e-mails saying that they need to hear from her regularly or she may as well just disappear altogether as it's me who they ask why she never calls. What am I supposed to say.

Obviously there is a long history to all of this. My husband is a wonderful father but obviously stuck in the middle There was an incident last week where I discovered 8 pages of poisonous spiteful writing about me that I am too shocked to even write down here. It broke my husbands heart. I feel myself distancing further from her each day. I feel like I've been wasting the last 6 years of my life as they/she is going to resent me anyway

sarahanne1973 Wed 20-Apr-11 23:23:01

you have the same life i had i married my widowr 5 years ago he had two kids 3 (now 8) and 6 (now 11)i had daughter 6 (now 11)we now have son 3. it was a nightmare everything as above and more. disney dad did everything with his kids and nothing for our son because i was there. my daughter picked up their demanding over indulged ways. old inlaws from his first marriege always stirring things up and he woukd side with them as he wanted them for childcare for two boys as we both worked full time. terrible feelings of being poo on a shoe not appreciated my daughter getting the blame. it was like living in a dual household with two sets of rules and two families we moved to the family home as his boys couldnt move (as they had had enough trauma-but dont worry about my daughter and all she had to leave) we were treatd like invaders with the world evolving round those two, i am of the same feeling as the lady above i concentrated on my own two children as everyone else was obsessed with looking after two ungarteful although very unfortunate boys who were allowed to disrespect me and everyone else it wasnt helping them or me or any of the kids. all i can say is RELIEF no living on egg shells real happiness real feling of having a family real appreciation i am mommy not sarah in my own home i now have a home not a struggle. i couldnt spend my life being used i am now hoping to find some time real love and i will appreciate someone who does half as much for my kids as i did for my husbands two boys. and the sad thing is my boy-his dad cant stop running after his origional kids mkes times to see him fitting around them their football their family he only sees him 2 hours on a tuesday and four on a saturday because football school etc...i was second best in a second family and now he still thinks its ok to treat my boy like that also. i wish i could go back but all i can do is be glad i am out of it and feel that real family togetherness as i once did. he took my happiness as all i wanted was to make them happy,it nearly took my life. you must make your own descions but you will always be the bad guy as no one will ever speak nastily about a widower or motherless children even tho you have had terrible time.

theredhen Thu 21-Apr-11 11:15:49

I often see that men who look after their own children are put on some sort of a pedestal, even more so if they are full time Dad's. People fall over themselves to help them and the children.

Step children are pitied if they lose their Mother or their Mother doesn't want to see them.

Of course single mum's are almost "demonised" as scroungers and any children who are brought up by them must be "dysfunctional".

Step mothers should sacrifice themselves and any children they have for these "poor" men and their children.

I don't know how we change societies opinion - equality hasn't hit step parenting yet, if you ask me.

Gooshka Mon 16-May-11 14:26:42

Hi there,

I'm a full-time stepmum to two children whose mum has died but I was married to their dad before this happened so it's quite a different situation. When I met my husband he'd recently divorced from his wife and my step-children were just 8 and 2 (my own son was 18 months old). We married in 2004, had our son in 2005 then in 2006 my husband's ex-wife was disagnosed with a brain tumour. She died suddenly in 2008 after a fall at home. It's been such a traumatic time - my SD was just 14 and my SS 8. They had to be uprooted from their home town and re-schooled, all while coping with the grief of losing their mum. My husband and I sold our house, moved to a new family home and invested all our energies in making sure everyone was ok. We think we've done an ok job but it's tested our marriage to the limits and we're pretty exhausted to be honest. You feel guilty having a moan or letting off steam because you feel like people are thinking "well it's worse for the children". We know that of course but we're also human and can't help feeling overwhelmed by situations. I became a mother to 4 practically overnight, I had to quit work to cope with the new dynamics of the family and I've had to re-establish my relationship with the children, being careful to balance caring for and loving them as my own without trying to replace their mum.

The last 3 years have, without a question, been the hardest of my life. I've learned to bite my tongue with certain issues and leave their dad to do the discipline as, believe me, becoming a discliplinarian to a 14-year-old grieving girl is not something you want to attempt!! She's nearly 18 now and doing her A levels at college ... we've been through school truancy, tattoos, smoking, drinking, shop-lifting, all the usual 'teenage' things but we've had to become pscyhology experts overnight! (is this 'normal' teenage behaviour or does she need counselling etc?!!). My step-son is easier as I've been in his life since he was just 2 so I treat him as my own son (I tell him off if he's naughty, praise him if he's good, bake with him, make pancakes, play badminton, just be a mum to him). I would say that I have good and bad weeks, I sometimes feel resentful too if I'm honest - if I start to feel taken for granted I can get quite fed up but my husband is brilliant in that he always shows his appreciation towards me. It's just when he doesn't have a great relationship with my son (which he never really has - they clash terribly!) that I sometimes (childishly) think "why do I both with HIS children if he can't even get along with mine!"

My husband and I have joked that if we didn't have children we'd never argue! He has found it incredibly hard too and I would say that the key to success is being honest and not taking offence. We get everything off our chests regarding the children ... not just ranting negatively but also praising. I bite by lip with my SD because I don't want to ruin our relationship but I do tell me husband if I'm annoyed about something and let him deal with it.

I've always said that this is a once-in-a-life time emotional investment for me. I would never do this again so, if anything happens to my hubby, I'll either stay on my own or 'date', I won't be a step-mum again. I'm too knackered!!!

BasketofFlowers Thu 26-May-11 11:06:35

I am new to this!
I am a full-time step mum to a widower and his now 8, nearly 9yr D. The mum died 5/6 yrs ago...I met and moved in nearly 3yrs ago. SD was 3ish when mother died. I find it incredibly difficult. His mil has a great influence over things...there has been constant pandering to SD cos of it all...she gets what she wants...has no sense of anything's worth...knows Daddy will sort everything out or buy stuff. I cannot say anything cos it means me and DP argue and I am fed up of her being the cuase of our arguing. She plays on it all and is not the angel he portrays her to be.
I sometimes find the whole situation overwhelming and dread being at home. I only really feel ok in our bedroom...which is a new extension to the house....like me!
She does nothing to help...she doesn't even brush her own teeth without being told too...she can now take her dirty plate to the kitchen and leave it in the sink!
I am now at the stage where I am not going to comment or say anything about or to do with her as whatever I say gets shot down in flames or I get made to feel like poo. They can be sarcastic to me but I have to be good at all times! They can be an exclusive couple but heaven forbid me and DP go out on our own or buy something without her say-so! It is wearing me down but I love my DP and didn't give up my home, my job, living near my family and then starting from scratch for nothing...
I am pretty good at listening and imparting some good or not so good advice to others! ...and do feel writing this down to other people in the similar/same situation is kind of a relief tbh...

Petal02 Thu 26-May-11 11:27:21

Hi Basketofflowers! There's a particular comment in your post that really jumped out at me: that your DP and his daughter are like an exclusive couple. I really identify with that, it used to feel like DH and his son occupied the 'husband/wife' slot in our household, and I was further down the pecking order like a child would be. Not a healthy dynamic. It's a lot better now, but in the early days I used to feel that DH and I were two equal stakeholders in our house/relationship, until SS arrived for his visits, and then SS would take my place in the household. SS used to get consulted on all the decisions (ie shall we go for a pizza or shall we watch X-factor tonight) that DH would usually ask me, and SS's answer was always the final ruling.

DH was so terrified he'd stop visiting, that he used to give him far too much power. I think this is quite common in step families, it all gets really skewed.

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