I know it's awful but I dont like my step daughter.(11 Posts)
I'm looking for some genuine advice, I know it's an awful way to feel and I feel terrible about it every day but I just can not help it, I do not like her.
She was only 1 when I met her dad and we got on great. Her dad and I moved in together very quickly and I loved the weekends that we had her staying. I longed for a child of my own to complete our family but it wasn't happening at the time. Shortly after her 2nd birthday her Mum stopped us from seeing her for reasons down to pure jealousy. We fought and fought but had no outcome.
Nearly 2 years ago I finally gave birth to our first child together and a moth or so later suddenly my partners ex was in contact. She thought it was time we got to see her again. I knew she was only doing this because she didn't want us to forget about my step daughter but we were over the moon. I really wanted my child growning up knowing her sister. The first few months were brilliant. We got on great and she'd come to stay whenever we could have her. She asked if it was okay to call me mummy too and things were great until a few months in when her personality seemed to change. She started to become really childish again. She wouldn't do as she was asked and she screamed and cried at everything. She would snatch toys from my daughter who would only have been 6-7 months at the time. She just became really irritating. From that moment on things just went totally down hill until it got to the point I realised I dislike her.
Now she doesn't really do anything in particular to annoy me. She has calmed down a lot and she knows not to act up in our house like she does for her mum but I can't shake the dislike I have for her. We only have her every 2nd weekend but I dread it. I hate it when she's here. I'm not myself. Everything she does annoys me and I can't show any interest in things she likes. I've tried my hardest to get over it. I'm a grown woman, recently now a mother of 2 and she is only 7. I know it's cruel and I'm a horrible step mum and all the rest of it but I don't know what to do. I really really do want to like her but I just can't. Please any advice would be appreciated.
No one can like everyone and not all children are nice for first things first stop beating yourself up for feeling like this.
Secondly take a huge step back and be truly honest with yourself about why you feel like this. Is it her or is it the fact her behaviour isn't being dealt with by her dad and are you cross with the wrong person?
I felt the same way about my dss in the beginning until some very helpful people on here made me look at exactly what I didn't like and actually it was my dp and his Disney parenting I was pisses off at.
Hope that helps and good luck
I think you have to fake it til you make it!: I get where you're coming from but you need to treat them all the same when they're together and she is your children's sister. All children ate annoying at times, it's just easier if they are yours!
I would imagine the regression in jer behaviour was as a result of jealousy of your child, and the fact that they have dad all the time and she doesn't.
Does her dad spend plenty of time one on one with her? Do you do anything with her, occasional shopping trip, dinner together??
If she feels secure in her relationships with her dad and with you, her behaviour will settle.
I think that was part of the reason at the start. I was always the one disciplining her. I think after years of not seeing her he didn't want to make her dislike him so it was easy to let me do it but we discussed that long ago and it's not an issue any more. None of us ever really get one on one time with each other. My partner only gets Saturday Sunday off if he's lucky and he works late so my 2 are usually ready for bed when he gets home so the 2 days he does have off is full family time all together. It makes me feel worse because my parter has a very odd sense of humour. He's very sarcastic, not in a mean way though, but he's like that with everyone. But I'm afraid that she might see that as both of us being mean to her as I'm sure she will have picked up on the fact that I'm not the same as I used to be with her. I've mentioned this to my partner but he just can't help it. It's just his personality. But I feel she must dread coming to us as much as I dread her coming. She went through a few months of seeming like she didn't like her dad. She cried every time she had to come to us and she was really off with him but we spoke to her mum about it and she said she knows that she gets away with anything at her mums and we just won't allow it in our house so she didn't want to come because of our rules.
Oh that is so sad and difficult! I suspect Whatthe is correct, the poor behaviour is probably down to jealousy and insecurity and I can imagine how hard that is for her to handle! But I also understand how very stressful it all is for you too...and even though she has improved you are still finding it difficult to like her!
I think the idea of giving her one on one special time with her DF is a good one, but I think, in your place I'd be worried about disengaging with her. She obviously was close to you before your babies were born, so if you back off now, she may see that as proof that her S-Siblings come first...and yes of course for you they do. But for their father, all the DC should be equal, and given the same amount of attention when they're all together!
Perhaps the 'fake it till you make it' suggestion would help, maybe if you smile, grit your teeth, and think, it's only every other week....her behaviour may continue to improve, and your feelings for her may soften! One thing for sure....there's no way around it!
I should also mention that I recently discussed with my partner that I was finding it difficult to bond with her, but I don't quite think he understood how I felt as he said he feels similarly. He said that losing out on so many years of her life has made it difficult to reconnect. He feels that although he loves her as much as our other children and would do anything for her, he doesn't have the same connection, which makes me feel more awful as I feel I may be to blame. I can't help think that the way I am around her has somehow influenced the way he feels towards her.
I don't think you should worry so much about influencing his thinking. He says he loves her and would do anything for her, but the long time apart is bound to be hard for them both, it's not surprising that reconnecting is difficult!
Can you step back just a little, not disengage, but let him find his way with his DD again? Maybe when she has settled properly into her relationship with her dad and siblings you and she can find a way to move forward again?
I'm in a very similar position although we have never lost contact with sdd. We've been together since she was 1, she's 7 in a couple of months. I already had 2 children and have now had 2 more with dh.
Sdd and I used to get on great but, although contact has never been stopped, it has been threatened to be stopped so dh and his mum will bend over backwards to stop sdd (or her mother) from being upset. I used to say I'd be treated better being dh's ex then being his wife! The ex has also made no secret of her hatred for me and that has had a massive impact on my relationship with sdd.
As she's getting older I realise I just really don't like her. Everything she does irritates and annoys me but I also know it's dh's Disney parenting that is irritating and annoying. But don't feel bad or guilty about it. Not everyone likes everyone in this world. Sometimes we have to work with people we don't get along with and even be related to people we don't get along with. Being a step-parent is no different and I really second (or third) the advice of fake it till you make it! It's only 4 days a month. We can drink our way through it
You really have only two choices, trying to understand why you don't like her, be it to go to see a counsellor if that can help, or, let her enjoy her visit with her dad and just stay away. After all, you say she is not a bad kid, so she deserves to look forward to coming to see her dad and half siblings eow-e.
That sounds very difficult. However, the fact that you can own your feelings rather than blame the child is very positive. You do however, need to try to hide your feelings from her.
My suggestions would be some sort of therapy for you so you feel supported, and some sort of strategy to help you bond with her. I'm not in UK but I went to a specialist parenting therapist for advice on helping my children bond with each other and it was remarkably helpful, the children loved doing the games and quizzes, and were very keen to try the strategies.
If your own children are very young then I imagine it must be dofficult to find time for one-to-one, but honestly, even sitting down to do a puzzle together (he and her dad, you and her) can be very powerful for bonding. Also maybe help her feel wanted by assigning her special tasks as the older sister whether it's feeding a baby (assuming they are in highchair) or asking her to get baby's clothes ready...I don't know, but something that allows her to feel included, respected and needed.
The thing is, you are going to be related forever and the effort you and her dad put in now will be worth it. The stronger your relationships, the less heartache in the future - for all of you.
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