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Newbie who feels somewhat of a fraud [confused]

(12 Posts)
Kez437 Wed 04-May-16 11:30:15

Hi everyone, my name is Kerrie and this is my first ever post, which is slightly terrifying for the following reasons.

I'm not actually a Mum (should I duck for cover?) nor am I married so not a Step-Mum either. Basically my partner has a 3 (soon to be 4) year old little boy who I love immensely.

I'm 25 and I have only been with my partner for a year, although I have known him since I was 17 and we have been inseparable for the past 2 years. It took everyone by surprise when we started a relationship but to us it feels very normal and happy. For the fist 2 years of my partners' son life he didn't know he existed and so he missed out on those 2 years. He then got a letter from CSA which was his first ever knowledge and since then he has worked hard at building a relationship with his son. In fact he now has his son 4 days of the week with his father (sons grandfather) caring for him when he is at work.

His sons' mother had no problems with me when we first met, I wasn't in a relationship with my partner at the time, we were only friends and she was happy to talk to me etc with no problems. A couple of months later when we started a relationship everything changed and I am now the devil incarnate (the general belief is that I ruined her idea of a happy ever after with my partner, which was never going to happen regardless of me). My partner and her muddle along OK, although he is looking to return to Court to solidify contact arrangements.

We are very different and we have very different ideas of how to raise a child. My partner thankfully agrees with my general approach. Sometimes however I feel a bit lost, I don't have a title (Mum, Step-mum or otherwise) but I'm still doing the washing, putting to bed, buying clothes and organising trips etc. I'm happy to do it, albeit sometimes I don't really know what I'm doing and tbh it can be tough at times. My partner tries to understand how I feel but he can't really.

I'm not in any way trying to replace the childs' Mum but still I find myself on here able to relate to a lot of the posts and feeling like a fraud for doing so? Feeling a bit at sea with where/who I am and wondering if anyone else feels the same?

P.S Apologies for the essay blush

NewRags Wed 04-May-16 11:40:58

Didn't want to read and run but I'm in pretty much the same boat as you. It's hard when you want to be involved but also feel like you shouldn't either because you don't have the 'stepmum' title.

I feel like I constantly walk on eggshells with regards to what input I'm allowed/not allowed to have.

Do you and your partner live together?

Lambly Wed 04-May-16 16:39:46

I feel very similar too. It's hard to know where you fit in and how involved you should get. I swing between periods of backing off and letting my DP and his daughter do their own thing at weekends and then other periods of getting fully involved and organising everything. Three years later it still isn't particularly clear cut for me!

Although I have to admit that I haven't seen DSD for nearly a month now due to various pre-arranged commitments on both sides at the weekends. My levels of stress are at their lowest for ages and DP and I haven't spoken a single cross word for weeks................................

1ofthosedays Wed 04-May-16 19:05:31

I'm in a similar situation and I have said in previous posts that sometimes I feel like being a 'step mum' is harder then being a mum.. It's hard to know boundaries, where you fit etc
I've been in my SDs life for 2 years and still constantly double check with my DP that I'm not over stepping with my role and getting reassurance from him. I think communication with you DP is key, follow their lead with how much involvement they want you to have. It will become easier as you SC gets older and you build a relationship with him. It will become second nature!
I will say though that it is also important to remember that you aren't actually SCs mum and sometimes you need to make sure focus on yourself and have 'me' time. Although I love my SD to pieces and love spending time with her, it made a massive difference when I started doing this and I felt less resentful.
I also didn't prepare for how my SD would be with me in front of her mum... It felt like a slap in the face but I have started protecting myself against that now and know that SD is put in an awful position by her mum and 'please' her

1ofthosedays Wed 04-May-16 19:07:51

Not sure if resentful was the right word?

BlueberrySky Wed 04-May-16 19:12:15

I have been married to DH for 8 years, and in DSS's life since he was 2. I still walk on eggshells. Our biggest and only rows are about his DSS.

As a step mother, married or not, you are in a difficult situation. Expected to do all the motherly stuff, but not getting the good stuff, or a thanks.

I would suggest lowering your expectations and just enjoy being with your DP and his DS.

lateforeverything Wed 04-May-16 22:04:44

Welcome! No need to feel like a fraud smile

Dont worry about resentment from dss' mum, pretty much standard par for the course grin My dh's exw cheated on him and we got together after their divorce and yet I was accused of stealing dh.confused

I second the advice of just enjoying being with dp and dss, try not to over-think things or look for things that aren't there.

KelleBelle Wed 04-May-16 22:24:11

Chill out and enjoy your relationships rather than worrying about a label.

You are Kerrie now, and if you and OH get married you will still be Kerrie. Don't over think it.

I've been with OH for almost 2 years.... I've never asked about a label, it's never been raised. It was only last week when DSS asked me to book him and his friends some tickets at bounce world before spaces ran out, that I heard him on the phone to his mates saying his step mum had sorted tickets.

I over think a lot too but remember, all that time you spend worrying.... you're missing out on making happy memories together.

lateforeverything Wed 04-May-16 22:47:01

remember, all that time you spend worrying.... you're missing out on making happy memories together.

Spot on!!

yourenotmymum Thu 12-May-16 14:34:44

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Kez437 Thu 19-May-16 09:22:32

Goodness thank you so much for all these messages :-)
Definitely makes me feel more at ease knowing I'm not the only one without a 'title'.
New Rags DP and I do live together but with his parents too as we are at the stage of trying to build a house. DSS has his own bedroom and spends up to 4 days per week at our home either with myself, DP or DPS parents.
1ofthosedays I think you have hit my feelings spot on, much better than I could word them. I do have a lot of involvement with the DSS and I know that my DP loves that, I tend to be the organiser of the us all but sometimes I do get that resentful feeling. It is true that DSS is not my child and I don't want to get to the stage where I feel resentful. I do also slightly dread the day I have to be in a social environment with DP, DSS and his mother. blush
Think I need to not necessarily take time out from it all but just more 'me time'. I've joined a gym again recently so hoping that will help me feel a bit more in control and help clear my head. Don't want to sound like a complete b**ch bu sometimes I do get the feeling I'm losing myself to a life which I didn't necessarily chose. Don't get me wrong I wouldn't change being with my DP for the world but because of his DSS travelling is now off the cards (which was a big thing for me) and I don't want to lose my sense of self (soppy I know) or I'll turn into a bitter old cow.
All about balance I suppose, now where are those magic weighing scales?hmm

swingofthings Thu 19-May-16 10:59:49

I think your analysis of the situation is spot on and shows an open-mindness and mature attitude to it.

It is sooooo common at the infancy of such a relationship that the DF of child wants nothing more than to see his new partner bond with his child and desperate to please, the new partner does much more than they should to get approval so to encourage the relationship to become more committed. Then when that commitment is in place, new partner start to question why they are doing all the duties which has now moved from approval to being taken for granted and with neither DP or DSC showing appreciation of all the efforts, hence resentment growing more and more and resulting in all the stereotypical complaints raised by SP.

When I met my partner, of course I wanted to see him getting along with my kids and this to be reciprocated, but I made it very clear that I didn't expect much from him at all from that respect. He would never replace their dad (in every way) and I didn't consider that committing to me involved his committing to my children beyond respecting that they will always come first in my life.

It's worked well because everything he does and has done for them, I see as a favour which I'm grateful for. Similarly, he doesn't feel under pressure to do things he doesn't want to do just to make me happy. He can be himself and so can I.

You are doing the right thing by thinking about yourself and doing things for you as an individual. This is much more likely to make you a strong family in the long run.

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