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As a step parent I feel like I have post natal depression/Im being a bitch..

(113 Posts)
avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sat 20-Jun-15 20:13:25

All of the symptoms match how I feel in relation my DSD (8 years old)

I am feeling a lot like I want to escape and get away.

She tends to just want to either play on her dads iPod (Minecraft) or watch TV literally all the time.

I feel like I can't connect with her and very small things annoy me. e.g Today I bought some sushi and offered her some, she took some salmon off the top of a piece, played with it smelled it then said she didn't want it. I said that now you've played with it you have to eat it- she looked really upset and said it smells weird. In the end I told her to give it to her Dad.

I don't tend to respond with anger or irritation externally, I tend to just hide in the bedroom when she is here.

This weekend's been particularly bad.

I went into town to meet a friend earlier and when I got back suggested going around a local lake on bikes.

DSD was very excited about this but when we got there she wanted to stop every 2 minutes. DH is very patient and kind and he kept stopping but I wanted to have a bit of a work out so would go fast then when they caught up with me I sat on a bench to let them have a rest.

We headed for a cafe as DSD wanted ice cream but they were lagging behind, DSD shouted wait wait but I was so thrilled to finally be getting some exercise that I said "NO." I felt uncharacteristically irritated and inflexible and kind of like these 2 (usually) couch potatoes were cramping my style.

She shouted back; "you don't know what it's like for an 8 year old" and I said "I do" (when I was 8 I used to cycle miles with my dad.)

In the end I said to DH "why don't you two go back home and I'll bike back?" He agreed and off I went.

Since I got back they've just been watching TV for hours on end and Ive been staying away as I feel so bad that I can't integrate with them and I'm just this background figure in our house.

I just went down stairs to watch TV with them and after 3 of DSD's cartoons I took the remote and said I would choose something. (to make a point more than anything)

DSD and DH wined and wined that I had skimmed past a programme about the Clangers so I just put it on and left the room feeling pissed off.

Im just being an irritable grumpy bitch (my step mother was bordering on abusive) I feel an absence of love which really disturbs me.

To avoid messing this kids head up, I'm thinking about leaving. Literally leaving for good.

Bellebella Sat 20-Jun-15 20:18:09

To be honest nothing about your dsd sounds bad at all. She sounds like a normal child, a child that dad allows her to watch TV.

I think it sounds as if you have different interests and riding off leaving them behind is a bit off. It was meant to be a family bike ride.

Maybe do some of the things your dsd likes to bond with her better?

fedupbutfine Sat 20-Jun-15 20:20:36

you are pissed off an 8 year old doesn't want sushi? or that she can't keep up with you on your bike whilst you have a 'workout'? are you for real?

Greaterthanthesumoftheparts Sat 20-Jun-15 20:22:40

my first biscuit

So many step mums get a hard time on here, you actually deserve it!

eurochick Sat 20-Jun-15 20:24:14

Tbh, you sound like a bit of a cow about the bike ride.

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 20-Jun-15 20:27:15

Your DSD doesn't sound like she is being a very annoying 8 year old tbh.

She plays Minecraft and watches TV, yes well most kids that age do. She gets excited when you offer to go on a bike ride with her, but then you are upset that she can't keep up with you. Why did you invite her along if you just wanted a workout?

Have you tried at least pretending to be interested in Minecraft? Or try and find something in common you have? Does she like walking maybe? Sport? Craft?

You do sound like you do have realistic expectations of her.

ThisFenceIsComfy Sat 20-Jun-15 20:28:07


avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sat 20-Jun-15 20:28:15

I know I know I'm being unreasonable.
I read a book called guide to being a happy step parent and t had this section in it about how the dynamic can be where both the child and the step parent want the real parents/partners validation/ attention and this can make the step parent into a child like role in the family, this is what I feel is happening to me this weekend I feel childish. I can't get out of this childish feeling but rather than taking it out on her I have taken myself to another room in what I see as damage limitation.
I haven't come on here for people to tell me that I am bad or good I know that I have good intentions.
I just wondered if anyone could empathise with feeling depressed and having to step parent and share any experiences you may have had.
Thanks for the judgement anyway I'll add it to the pile.

Wdigin2this Sat 20-Jun-15 20:28:54

There's two ways of looking at your post a) you and your husband need to talk seriously about your life with his DC, and work out a way of cohabiting which suits everyone, or b) you really don't want to share your life with DH's DC, and so need to rethink your future!

RandomMess Sat 20-Jun-15 20:29:38

There's nothing wrong in admitting that the relationship as a whole isn't for you. It sounds like you're a very different person to your dsd and partner - they are happy to laze around and you're not. That makes the dynamics very difficult.

Being a step parent is very difficult indeed and if you don't "click" with your step children then it's going to hold very few rewards.

Do you like baking, is that something that may appeal to your dsd?

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sat 20-Jun-15 20:31:44

I do like baking, she doesn't thanks I'll try and feign interest in Minecraft and TV, I feel so guilty about my behaviour I just don't know what to do :-(

RandomMess Sat 20-Jun-15 20:34:02

X-post I'm not going to judge, I failed bid time as a step-parent. Our personalities completely clashed - it is so so so very different to having your own dc that you grow with.

I've noticed it with the dc friends as well - some I really warm to easily, I "get" them and others just don't do it for me and wouldn't want to have them around for play dates because I just find them really hard work, not because they've been naughty or anything.

GrumpyOldBiddy2 Sat 20-Jun-15 20:34:14

I'm sorry if you do have depression but it doesn't really sound like that from your post (nothing you describe is a symptom of depression) it sounds like you can't get your head around not being the centre of the household / in control of what happens. Your poor dsd and dh must feel at a loss. It's not unusual for an 8 year old to not like sushi - I'm pretty adventurous with my diet but the smell of sushi makes me want to throw up, it's also not unusual for someone (of any age) who isn't used to exercise to need to take regular breaks.
When you married a man with kids surely you thought that you might not be the priority all the time?
I agree with Greaterthan, you have justified all the bad stuff ever said about step mums - gutted for dsd, dh and good step mums.

noisytoys Sat 20-Jun-15 20:35:16

Wow I feel sorry for your step daughter. I have a seven year old who can't ride a bike. I don't see what you get from being better than her and making her feel small because she can't keep up with an adult.

The rest shows how you see her too hmm maybe your next relationship should be with someone without children.

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sat 20-Jun-15 20:37:41


Bellebella Sat 20-Jun-15 20:40:35

Well depression is no excuse is it? your dsd did nothing wrong. She was a normal 8 year old and riding off on a bike ride while she is asking you to wait makes you sound a right tit. Am not surprised people are judging you for it.

You either need to lower your expectations or realise your relationship will not work out. Children do have some boring interests, you just pretend and know they will soon get more shared interests with you. How many parents on here have listened to their child go on and on about minecraft.

How does your oh feel about it all? Am surprised if he has not pulled you up on everything.

Penfold007 Sat 20-Jun-15 20:42:27

Is this a reverse post? OP you sound like a right bitch. If a woman posted on here that her 'DH' had done this to her DC there would be uproar.

AlpacaMyBags Sat 20-Jun-15 20:45:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

missmargot Sat 20-Jun-15 20:46:43

I struggled when DSS (now 15) was younger. I read a great book that talked about having an 'evil twin' that behaved badly when the step child visited and that was how I felt. I know that I wasn't behaving brilliantly and I could feel myself doing it but I struggled to stop it.

DSS always watched TV, far more than I would allowed (12 hours a day sometimes) and it made me frustrated that DH was happy to let him. Looking back I can see that DH was struggling with his role as father after years of intermittent contact due to DSS's mother and court proceedings to get a contact order into place.

It is hard when you are sharing your home with a child who you are expected to treat as your own and yet you may feel you have very little influence over how that time is spent or how that child behaves.

I'm not going to berate you for behaving badly, you know it already and that's not what you need to hear. What worked for me was distancing myself and repeating in my mind- "I am a grown woman, not a child. This is not about me." DSS and I get on really well and things have definitely got easier as he has got older and I have found my feet as a step mother.

2boys2girls Sat 20-Jun-15 20:46:59

I doubt this post is real as surely people don't really think like this

noisytoys Sat 20-Jun-15 20:49:34

Did you really keep up with your dads pace of cycling when you were eight - or did he slow down and go at your pace and encourage you as you both went at your speed together? I assume it was the latter, but being the good parent he was he didn't make you feel that you weren't keeping up.

Whiskwarrior Sat 20-Jun-15 20:51:46

As someone who has had PND, ante-natal depression and general depression, to the point of suicidal thoughts, I'm quite disgusted at you so blithely using any form of depression as an excuse for being shitty towards an 8 year-old.

You don't read like someone with depression. You come across as someone having a hissy fit at a little girl.

Insulting to depression sufferers AND step-parents.

Well done you.

GrumpyOldBiddy2 Sat 20-Jun-15 20:53:14

Actually 2boys you may be right, it's like the one about the stepmum who treated her biological kids differently financially. That was another one where it was hard to believe someone was so awful about a child.

avocadosarentmiddleclassed Sat 20-Jun-15 20:53:36

Thanks missmargot, I am just plucking up the courage to go and apologise now

SilverBirchWithout Sat 20-Jun-15 20:54:24

I think you sound self-aware enough to realise how you are feeling/behaving is not very adult or reasonable.

Have you had much of a relationship with any children in your life as an adult so far? It is a pretty unequal & complex process bonding with them. You cannot expect a child to conform or want to do the things you want to do or are interested in. That's why parenting is so tough and unrewarding sometimes.

You need to connect with her on her level of skills and interests first, form a relationship. This adapting and seeing the world through a child's eyes and interests can be amazing and personally enlightening. As the bond develops you may get the opportunity to expand the Dsd's interests and tastes too.

Talk to your DP, ask him for some help, explain how difficult it is for you at moment. Discuss together ideas and opportunities for you to develop this relationship together.

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