Lets bring back the support to this topic.(16 Posts)
I would like to say, that initially when I found this I was finding life as a step parent really, really tough. I have found support here in spades - even if silently lurking on other threads - it is great to know that I am not the only person experiencing the ups and downs of step parenting.
It is a really, really hard job, whatever the set up, and it is a topic that is hard to find common ground with others in RL.
I have recently noticed a trend whereby we seem to feel that it is ok to mud sling and critisise others on here, some of late have got really nasty... I think we should remember that we are all different, our situations are all different and the threads posted on here show only a tiny window of a persons life and situation.
I'm all for an exchange of opinion - I find that useful, but do we need to get so personal? It takes a lot for people to post their fears/ innermost feelings on here and I think it's time we brought it back to what it is - a support thread for others in similar situations.
I agree with you. Step parenting is a very difficult job. Whilst I think myself lucky for having it "easier" than many others' situations I have read about on here (eg not having a
psycho difficult ex to deal with), there are still aspects of step parenting that I find difficult to deal with.
I'm all for an exchange of opinion - I find that useful, but do we need to get so personal?
I agree - being challenged is crucial to understanding my values and beliefs, but posts that tell me I'm wrong, part of the problem, or direct me what to do without explaining why aren't helpful at all!
I always think its amusing though when I'm accused of fabricating certain elements of my posts; either take what I'm saying at face value or don't bother getting involved - how can you possibly know whether ANY of my post is true? On what basis do people select what to believe and what not to believe?
This place changes like the wind though.
If you've been here long enough you may remember the pasting I got when I got DSDs hair cut - she wanted and asked for a fringe, her dad said yes, so I took her. But then her mum went bonkers about it and I posted on here. What a pasting I got. However, within a few months there was a mum who posted that her DD had her haircut whilst she was at a sleepover and how angry she was - she then got a pasting for not allowing her DD to have whatever haircut she wanted!
Then there was the time that I complained how DSD never, ever turned up with enough clothes/pants/shoes/toiletries when she visited. Again, flamed for suggesting her mother should provide them not me. This week a SM has been told that she should provide an overnight bag for her DSD when her DSD visits her mum.
No matter what, the SM will never, ever win with some people and there are SMs on here that almost always seem to pose opposing views, experiences from the norm. I think at times that it is done on purpose to start a row, so do my best to avoid. I'm quite sure you could work out who I mean
I've been on here for quite a while, although not posting much these days as DSD has grown up now.
The motto of step-parenting is Damned if you Do, Damned if you don't. Support is in short supply when you have a load of mothers (or, rarely, fathers) applying what they feel about their own children's step to your situation.
Sometimes ex's can be awful - but the parents reply, as THEY'RE not awful and so refuse to believe that anyone else could be. Sometimes mums don't have the best interests of the kids at heart and DO use the children as a weapon against their ex, but of course no parent on MN will admit that, so the step is in the wrong again.
You may find THIS THREAD explains a lot - as do some of the responses...
As one if the people who suggested an overnight bag I would like to point out that she shouldn't have to be providing wash stuff, the dad not the sm should be providing it but since he isn't providing it if is therefor the responsibility if the other parent to a) call him on it or b) provide for the kids.
Op I totally agree, parenting is a difficult job whether you are mother, father, kinship carer, foster carer, step parent or whatever and you are never going to get it right, someone will always be able to tell you how you should have done it especially mils an mnetters
I wasn't digging at you Herrena, not my style . Was just using that thread as an example of a question where the complete opposite applied from what had been posted previously.
As with all threads on MN, you can generally tell the way they are going to go from the first few replies. If a few people had posted "Too right, DSD should bring what she needs to you" then most of the rest of them would have said the same. But in my case I was told that "It wasn't up to the mum to provide things for DSD when her own father cant be bothered to" which wasn't the case at all, but was then picked up and run with by the rest of the posters - I'm lucky like that!
Emotive topic isn't it. I've seen it from both sides. My exH has three girls (all teenagers when I married him) and we then had another girl together. Since we've separated and divorced he has a new partner who is keen to bond with dd. Sometimes I feel she oversteps boundaries but I think probably at heart she is not aiming to annoy/upset me. I just have to take a derp breath and think back to when it was me and I was the one trying to work out my role with the girls.
Amen to that.
I have had invaluable support from here over the years.
I have grown a thick skin and ignore the haters but it used to really upset me that I was criticised for not loving my DSC as my own.
I loved the link babyheave - that thread is a fine example of the horrible attitudes we stepmums have face and also a great example of the support we can get as well.
Thanks for linking that thread babyheave, it is very clever. I agree with the need for an increase in support, as a long time lurker I haven't seen the kinds of support that is available in other threads such as 'relationships'.
As a new, my dsc call me stepmother, I am amazed so many issues become step issues, when really they are issues of manners, behaviour, respect, living together, problem solving etc.
I keep saying, I'm a person first, everything else after.
I am lucky, dsc are lovely.
I live the link. My DSC call me SM. I thought it stood for Step Mum until the little one told me "no it's spare Mum" LOL .
Damned either way, definitely. Posting as a stepmum - no matter how mundane the issue in non-step terms - automatically seems to make your position suspect - the amount of suspicion about motives; the knee-jerk assumptions that you are operating from a position of bitterness/jealousy/insecurity; the wild double standards....it is something that I would never have believed.
[My current favourite DST (double standard thread) is the one on chat about the mum throwing her son's xbox out the window. I'd love to see the reactions if I posted that I'd done the same to my DSS's xbox.]
I have to say that one of the things I find most interesting is that I have experienced so many of the same situations and feelings as the other stepmums on here, even though (like every one of us) my situation is particular and unique.
I'm not a stepmum through divorce, but thru death - and yet I've encountered the attitude so many times here that stepmums 'deserve' the struggles they encounter because they were the Other Woman...or that the stepkids are automatically disadvantaged by the presence of a stepparent...or that stepmums are just working out their feelings towards the ex through the children...or that taking on any aspects of parenting is 'overstepping'...and so on and so on. The idea that there is one way of 'being a family' is so pervasive.
Another interesting thing is the tendency by so many posters to see stepmums as only stepmums - even though so many have been or are ALSO single mums, ex-wives, or stepchildren themselves.
Try the British second wives club if you are really struggling with an ex. I find mumsnet rather one sided on the stepmum issue.
Wholeheartedly agree, OP - and love the linked thread. I understand that experience shapes all our attitudes and that we all bring our own "issues", but it does seem that on this area of the forum, people feel it is acceptable to simply post foulness and the stock phrases mentioned (you knew what you were letting yourself in for etc) without even reading the thread!
I think you just have to laugh, though, because much of the time it must stem from ignorance and total lack of empathy. I asked about a dietary issue once and was told I shouldn't be cooking for my DSS, DH should be doing it. Now how could anyone with any experience or empathy suggest doing something so hurtful to a child? Me cooking the whole family a meal, but leaving out DSS and making DH do it?
And has no-one else mentioned the famous "playing happy families" phrase? That's the one that amuses me. Poor kids - Mum doesn't want you to feel that your Dad is your family, and doesn't want you to be happy either!
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