Everyone always says that being mum/parent is the hardest thing you will ever do, but also the most rewarding. I disagree, I feel that parenting my children comes naturally, yes they drive me going the twist and yes I could lock myself in the bathroom at times but I wouldn't change it for the world. But once they've been in bed for an hour or two and I finally put my feet up I look forward to doing it all again in the morning. Step-parenting however is another story completely. I feel that being a step-mum is much much much harder. Even though it's not full time and not fully my responsibility. I don't even know where to begin with what I am feeling just now. I guess I just needed to start somewhere in the hope that I could carry on and deal with/acknowledge some of these feelings. I'm feel ready to break down completely at times.
It is a hard line to walk, being a mum is much easier as you've got the unconditional love but you also get to make decisions about behaviour and food etc. then suddenly you have extra little people in you home who most of the tins don't want you around, who can get away with stuff or speak to you in a way you'd never allow your own child. You also usually have an ex and/or nightmare family to deal with and try and keep happy (that is me projecting tho) and to top it off you're immediately supposed to love and cherish them and you're somehow a failure if you don't. However all that being said if you can have a good relationship with the dsc it's lovely and makes life so much easier, although I think of them as more nieces or friends rather than an additional child of mine as totally different relationship
I feel like I'm stuck no matter what I do. If I'm honest I think the main problem is the ex. Everything we do is wrong and comes back to bite us, to the point that I can't even paint her nails as that's 'mums' job, and she's 'not allowed' into bed with us in the morning etc etc. If I tell her off for something I'm in the wrong, if I don't tell her off for something I'm in the wrong. She's a lovely little girl, very affectionate towards me but I feel like there is this barrier that stops me from making the most of our relationship. It's a horrible feeling. DD1 (3) is also struggling a lot at the moment with adjustment to DD2 coming along and she takes a lot of it out on DSD. Though DSD is just as bad and the two of them wind each other up silly. However since I don't feel overly comfortable dealing with DSD's behaviour and I get frustrated I feel I take it all out on DD1.
I would ignore the ex, keep doing what you are doing. This is so wrong of mum to do this, my dsd went home once, got to the door and mum pulled out the hair bands and made her go back and give them to DH, all because she thought I had bought them . It's just damaging to the kids. I will add things are much better now (probably because I have totally detached and am only here to cook and tidy). That's not a positive story after all, sorry
I understand wholeheartedly. I like my dsc's a lot but it's not the same feeling as I have for my dd and I am made to feel guilty for that.
we also have issues with the ex including some of the things you have said here and it is hard to ignore when doing that creates more rows and aggravation.
there isn't an answer unfortunately but you are right that being a step parent is far harder than being a biological parent
Gosh this sort of thing really irritates me. My exDPs new (2.5 year relationship so not reallt new) met them a few times and hasn't bothered with them for 18 months now. I don't know why. ExDP still lives with his parents though so it hasn't really been an issue. The only time I got mildly annoyed/jealous when she was around them is when she did eldest DDs hair in a beautifully neat fish tail plait and I can barely do a neat ponytail but I mostly I liked that she was taking an interest in them. Shes very young (19/20) so I wasn't really surprised when the novelty wore off. I just hope it doesn't cause issues in the future should they move in together.
I've also got a DSS who is 12 and I've known him since he was 9 as DH and I were friends before getting together. We have no problems with DHs exDP as they split 10 years ago and she's happily remarried and is actually very pleasant most of the time. DSS and I are relatively close and him and my DDs get on very well.
scew I feel your pain. I have a DSS aged 12 who lives with us (sees his Mum for EOW and half the holidays) and 2 DDs who are 3 1/2 and 2. I'm his primary carer as I'm a SAHM, yet when we went to school to meet with the Head of Year his Mum says to DH - I thought it would be just the two of us. Luckily DH didn't hear her so she didn't get a reply, but I see more of her son than either of his parents, and take the phone calls from school when there's an issue with his behaviour. Being a step-mum is much much harder than being a Mum, no rewards, very few hugs, "I love you" just - make pack lunch, wash and iron uniform, off the iPad it's time for homework and a ton of backchat. And I've known him since he was 7 and cute!
And, relax... and
How old is your dsd? I have been in my dsd's life since she was very young and it's only got better in the last few years and she's 16! Step parenting is indeed a long and hard road and not for the faint hearted. Parenting by comparison is much easier.
For years I felt I had to tread on eggshells. I recall washing and ironing clothes before dsd went home and getting an irrate call from the ex as, in her mind ,it wasn't done right. So I stopped doing washing and then we would get calls to say why weren't we doing washing.
dsd has had a disrupted life with her mum (lots of partners have come and gone) and this has made our lives more difficult as she has struggled to cope emotionally however she feels great loyalty towards her mum so there are complex emotions.
I think every step parent has to go through different stages - usually there is blissful naive optimism (at the start), then slow adjustment to the situation as the reality kicks in, followed by a frustration/anger, then negotiation and boundary setting. Detachment is often in there at some stage as well as it's often the only effective coping strategy when it all becomes overwhelming.
Eventually you can get to a balanced life - I think we might just be there but it's taken many, many years.
I know that I have had to work harder and be more patient that I would with my own dc. I also know that dsd has benefitted from me being in her life.
Newstart.... I'm intrigued how you got the washing "wrong" . I was told the kids had sensitive skin (never seemed a problem when I did the washing on holiday for them or when their machine broke) so just stopped and now send it back dirty in a carrier bag. No a problem for me .
My dos ex decided she didn't like the way I washed the clothes so used to send them in their pjs (one time dss was in a onsie, no pants either) so we had to buy them clothes for here, less arguments that way at least, some arguments are not worth the hassle
I hate being a step parent, get all the grief and none of the rewards.
DP ex gets DSS to tell lies about me, though DP knows and ignores them.
This morning, DP had to leave for work early, so DSS would not get up, kept going back to bed. I was 2 mins away from missing my train and the other kids being late for school. Could not leave as he is so stupid he would not shut the front door. Ended up screaming and shouting. Expect that DP will soon get grief from ex that I shouted at DSS. It never ends.
He now spends a lot more time with his DM, much more peaceful here when he does.
DSS is adopted which I think makes it worse, lots of guilt for DP, and DSS has a sense of entitlement.
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