Lord grant me the gift of serenity(8 Posts)
Background: I have been with my DP for over two years. I moved in with him last Christmas. He has three children and I have none myself.
Just recently I find myself becoming increasingly impatient with the children 15.12 and 9. I am trying to bite my tongue but I really shouldn't feel like that should I?
This is my only opportunity to be a parent figure and instead of embracing it I sometimes do feel resentful that everything I do is just taken for granted.
I should feel grateful that it has been smooth sailing when I moved in. The kids are great (most of the time).
What am I doing wrong? Why can't I just be this self less person and want to do things for the children all the time?
Is this how all parents feel at times? Does this mean I shouldn't be in their lives if I can't be accommodating all of the time?
Am I making their lives difficult Byrne being there?
Will I ever be enough for them?
Argh!!!! So many thoughts going around in my head.
If you are feeling taken for granted and that nobody appreciates you then it is your DP who needs a stern talking to.
He needs to be reminded that they aren't your children or your responsibility and everything you do for them is a bonus.
I feel impatient with my own children at times and they can drive me insane but underneath the irritation is the unconditional love I have for them.
Give yourself a break. None of us are selfless and being a stepmum to children when you don't have your own is an amazing thing to do and bloody hard thankless work but your DP should be appreciating this.
Have a glass of
Thanks gingina. I think the taken for granted bit is just the way I feel when really they're just children being children. I can't say I ever noticed my mum cleaning or making sure I had clean clothes and ever feeling grateful for it.
I need to learn ways to stop feeling frustrated. I do things because I want to but then feel annoyed when it's not being appreciated.
Is it the unconditional aspect that just allows you to not get annoyed or years of practice or both?
Their mum died about 8 years ago. I'm so worried that they will remember a grumpy step-mum when I should be a positive influence in their life.
It's supposed to be easier when you are not constantly being compared - unfavourably - to the mother who they live with much of the time.
On the other hand a mother who's not alive will obviously be idealised and missed. She's not the person who is saying 'No' and telling them to eat their greens.
In a sense it's as if their Dad has to be their mother and their father.
I am sure you are being a positive influence. But yes, you need to talk to your partner about the difficulties of the role you are in - and work out what you think you can deliver as a stepmother.
I think it's really important that you find a way to get recharged in other areas of your life. Your job. Your mates. Nights out. Interests - that sort of thing.
I think it is partly the unconditional love thing. I suppose I see it as 'my job' to do things for my kids because I'm their Mum.
With my step children I see it as me helping DP when I do the same things for them so its him who should appreciate it.
They never seem to appreciate what I do but then I didn't appreciate what my Mum did for me at their age. It's only looking back now that I am grateful to her.
I agree with Anna as well. Don't be a martyr - put yourself first sometimes and make sure you take time to take care of you.
I don't think you should beat yourself up about not having the unconditional love thing - it's not going to appear overnight (if at all) and that doesn't mean you can't be a positive influence in their lives. It's fine to admit you find them frustrating and annoying sometimes. I find my own DC annoying sometimes, and the DSC annoying too.
It is harder when they're not your own to see past the annoying behaviour to the child you love - as you don't have that same history. Though I do think you build a bit of it with time, especially if like you you're being their full time parent.
And I think your attitude about kids taking parents for granted is a good one - it is in kids' nature to do that, and actually a sign that you're doing something right that they feel comfortable with you doing things for them. Your DP should be showing a bit of appreciation though sometimes, and it's best if he leads if they need picking up on basic manners.
The other thing I find hard with DSC (compared to your own DC) is that the relationship feels more fragile - so you worry more about what they think of you. It's hard to get through that one other than just accepting that it is what it is, and quite normal for teens to resent any kind of parent sometimes.
I've not much to add, but a thought did occur to me,
Teens are pretty selfish and do take for granted, for some reason to me it might mean that they accept you as a parent figure? If your treated as part of the furniture, does that in a way mean that they know you will always be there, which equals reliable and trust worthy.
I wouldn't fret about appreciation too much as that's a hiding to nothing sometimes, being a mum isn't about biology, it can be about caring and supporting. Keep the boundaries and be on the same hymn page with their Dad. I doubt you will realise how much they did appreciate you, till they are much older and know what it's like to be on the receiving end.
I think you're right evergreen. The relationship seems fragile. They've had a nanny since they were very small and I'm worried that they see me as an extension of her. Also put two sets of over indulgent grandparents and I feel as if I'm sinking. In fairness my DP is very supportive and has always backed me up and we have always presented a united front.
I guess I did see us as a family until recently. The youngest brought home a Christmas card she had made which was just to Daddy. I don't know why it bothered me just made me wonder whether she actually knows what my role is? Jesus do I know what my role is?
What's the best way to show affection. At first I didn't want to be full on and was led by their behaviour, but as time goes on I feel that they are in need of a nuturing mother figure. I know I'm not their mum but who else fills the gap?
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