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What is the hardest thing about being a step-parent for you?

(66 Posts)
CaptainBinker Wed 16-Oct-13 23:11:53

I have been a step-mum for 6 years now and like most others, it's been an up-and-down journey, mostly up though, thank goodness. Although I feel that all the adults involved are really amicable and that the whole situation is good, there are still things that bug me sometimes...

1. Knowing that someone I wouldn't normally choose to be part of my life (i.e. not someone I'd naturally choose as a friend) has actually now got quite a lot of control over my life

2. Having totally different views on parenting to DSS' mum but having to go along with what she wants even though I am not in agreement with it.

I don't want this to sound like a moan but I know that there's probably very few step-parents out there who can say that having stepchildren is always (and has always been) 100% a positive experience in every aspect.

I just wondered if I'm weird to feel this way and is there any way to get through it?

SweetSeraphim Sun 20-Oct-13 15:09:34

This ^^

The thing I find the hardest is keeping my mouth shut 90% of the time. I'm not in control in my own house and I hate it.

TwoStepsBeyond Mon 21-Oct-13 11:24:34

Captain that's really sad to think that he may have wanted more DCs if you'd had a boy.

I can't help thinking that if I could guarantee having a boy my DP might be more open to it, as his family is very girl-heavy, but he has said he wouldn't take a chance on any more DCs due partly to my age (I am nearly 40, not exactly past it, but I suppose more risky) and the impact it would have on his DDs to have another child who lived with him full time when they are 50/50.

I know in my head that I don't need any more DCs and neither does DP (I have 3, he has 2) but there is a little part of me that feels sad that I'll never have that bond of a shared life between us. I remember saying early on that I felt a little bit sad that we wouldn't have something that was a perfect combination of him and me, but then I realised we already did - us

It made me feel a bit better about him having created small people with somebody unworthy else!

I also question the clothes choices sometimes, their mum has no qualms about showing off quite a lot of skin when she goes out and I can see her DDs following suit, whereas I am a lot more modest and will expect my DD to be too, but with the influence of her older step-sister it will a difficult line to tread. I will encourage my DD to wear appropriate clothes for playing outside, whereas his DDs will turn up in little vests and sandals in winter.

bottomoftheheap Fri 06-Dec-13 23:22:12

The hardest things have been my dsd's mother use her in games of bitter warfare against her father. It's her mother disappearing for months then suddenly reappearing with altera motives. Its the secrecy and the lies. It's having to pick up the pieces AGAIN when her mother disappears again (usually to 'punish' dsd) and deal with the next time dsd wants to believe her mother has changed.

It's seeing dsd loved by so many but her self worth and self esteem is so shattered all because her mother cannot love her unconditionally.

Its feeling helpless to make it better for dsd (and us around her).

impatienceisavirtue Sat 11-Jan-14 00:49:07

Quite possibly, not launching DSD out of the window when she puts on a baby voice when she wants something from her father. It doesn't work, but she continues to do it no matter when she's pulled up on it. I don't react, but in all honesty, it makes my skin crawl. I know that's horrible, but I can't help it. She is 10, and exceptionally manipulative and just plain rude unless she gets her own way.

Dodo76 Sat 11-Jan-14 11:11:18

For me, it's the feeling of being a stranger in my own home when I see DSCs clinging to DH/following him around and really just wanting him for themselves. Makes me wonder why we are even thinking about blending families and that we are better staying as we are. He has them 50% of the time, spends the other 50% with me. We tend to spend 1 night a week together but even during that night and morning it is difficult. Does anyone else find this hard?

Dodo76 Sat 11-Jan-14 11:11:48

Sorry, he is my DP not DH! DSCs are 8 and 10.

shey02 Mon 13-Jan-14 10:05:55

Having schedules dictated by a woman that dislikes us. Having schedules altered depending on dsc's mood... having a dp that is afraid to take control of the situation and 'parent' his dc, frustration takes hold and the personality change when he is around them is pretty hurtful (for me).

shey02 Mon 13-Jan-14 11:17:13

Dodo, I am starting to appreciate this way of life a bit more, the separate houses. I had so wanted to be living together, married, as we have always talked about. But I just cannot see how that can ever happen. My dp is probably 75% of the time with us living as a happy family, his other time is spent at his place with his dc who are not that fussed on me. I'm excluded from stuff, told not to come to events, the oldest dislikes me and dp's approach is to keep us more separate. I feel he has the best of both worlds and feel it is Team X when they are together, despite him being full integrated and loved within my family. It's the double standard that I constantly struggle with.

theredhen Mon 13-Jan-14 13:38:17

Like others have said it's the balancing act between dsc and dc.

Always managing to feel some guilt. If I spend lots of time with dsc, I feel guilty in not spending it with ds. If I spend time with ds, I feel worried the dsc will be jealous and cause me more problems in the long run.

The Disney parenting, the constantly angry and bitter ex, the insecure step kids are all issues too.

34DD Mon 13-Jan-14 20:15:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

34DD Mon 13-Jan-14 20:23:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

theredhen Mon 13-Jan-14 22:07:13

34d, I really admire your approach grin

34DD Tue 14-Jan-14 10:00:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

croquet Tue 14-Jan-14 11:07:27

It seems really obvious that the presence of a poisonous Ex is one of the main reasons why a) step-parenting fails and b) 2nd marriages fail.

Why do exes do it? Were they always horrid or just turned the volume up on it since divorce?

shey02 Tue 14-Jan-14 14:26:33

Croquet, you hit the nail on the head unfortunately. My dpexw is toxic I am very sorry to say. That is the single hardest part, as it controls and turns the children and makes everyone miserable, ESPECIALLY the children. I guess the ex does not want to share the children and is jealous the exh is happy maybe? That's the impression I get.

allnewtaketwo Tue 14-Jan-14 20:40:53

Having to accommodate a young adult who does not share the family and household values and behaviours, whilst being unable to say or do anything about it

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