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Don't want DD to grow up like DSD

(38 Posts)
Badstepmum Tue 21-Feb-17 22:08:43

I've nc for this because I feel like a horrible person. DD is 5 months old and she has a half sister, my dsd who is 8. I've always had a great relationship with her, and we see her every other weekend and half the school holidays and occasionally in between as my DH and her mum are amicable.

She has always been a handful and has become even more so since DD came along. I understand why and I get it, I really do. She's not the baby anymore, she has share her dad's affections etc.. we absolutely do not treat her any differently...her dad has always spoilt her, and been a Disney dad. But she has turned into someone I really don't like anymore. I could write lists of things she does and says that annoy me.

I think that the baby has had an affect but I also think that some of it is just the person she's becoming. And it's not nice. In fact the only person she is absolutely lovely to is me!

I'm starting to dread her coming to stay and I find myself hoping and praying that my DD doesn't act the same way when she's older. I guess I'm hoping that she hasn't inherited these traits from her dad! I know that my influence on DD will play a big part in her behaviour.

I think a part of me is worried that because I'm so completely besotted with DD that I'm loving dsd less. I promised dh and myself that I would treat them and love them the same, but that was before I understood the feeling of love I have for my own child. I feel like a horrible person. I guess I just need a few words of wisdom!

MrsDustyBusty Tue 21-Feb-17 22:11:46

You made a promise that you didn't know you couldn't keep. That's not your fault. Your husband, who already has a child should never have been looking for such a promise.

What does she do that you find particularly unacceptable?

BToperator Tue 21-Feb-17 22:20:06

I think you are being a bit unfair to your DSD there. She is 8, she is a long way from how she will be as an adult. She sounds like she is playing up because of the new baby, as lots of DC do. It doesn't mean she will grow up to be a horrible person. She is probably picking up on the fact that you don't like her at the moment too. It is not surprising that you feel more strongly for your baby than you do for her, but please don't write her off as a horrible person at 8.

Guitargirl Tue 21-Feb-17 22:20:52

Treating them the same and loving them the same are two different things. You will never feel for another child as you do for your own and IMO it's unrealistic to expect that.

But your DSD needs to be treated the same as your own DD. There's quite an age gap so obviously there will be differences. Your DD is still a baby but one day she will be your DSD's age and then a pre-teen with all the associated hormones and moods. And hopefully you and your DH will be together and your DD won't be living in 2 homes with a SM relationship to manage as well.

OnHold Tue 21-Feb-17 22:22:18

It spunnds like you cba with your dsd Now you have ypur own baby

Poor kid.

OnHold Tue 21-Feb-17 22:22:58


PovertyJetset Tue 21-Feb-17 22:23:08

I think you're brave to come on here and say that.

I think you have to really examine how you are and find a way to love her. That's the man you took on, with his Dd. She is only lotta. You can be such a positive win her life. You have to change how you react and feel.

Bravas Tue 21-Feb-17 22:27:14

Personally I think 8 is a tricky age and experienced difficult times at that age with both dsd's. When the eldest hit 8, her behaviour nose dived and I struggled, by the time dsd2 hit 8, I realised it was an age thing rather than a personality thing, well thankfully it was in our case.

Fingers crossed this is the same situation for you too, ride it out.

We're now in the throes of teens..i preferred 8 wink.

Aderyn2016 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:30:34

You need to be really, really careful now. It is especially important that you treat your dsd the same way that you always have. If she perceives that your feelings have lessened for her, you could do so much damage to her self esteem and her relationship with you and your new baby. You want them to be close, not for her to feel resentful or pushed out.

I'm not judging you for loving your own child more - that is natural and not something you could have done anything about or properly understood before you had your baby. But this poor little girl is now second best to you. It is hard enough for full siblings when a new baby comes along but in step families it is so much harder. Remember that she hasn't really changed, it is your feelings which have.

I'm not saying that anyone should tolerate naughty behaviour but if your dh is a disney dad, then the fault lies with him.
It is his job to teach good behaviour. Try and put yourself in her shoes snd imagine how you would feel.

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 21-Feb-17 22:30:40

Some people feel like this (fear of disliking one/loving the other more) about their own children OP. Having a newborn is a turbulent time for everyone. Try and be consistent with her and fake feeling warm towards her and take deep breaths when you're struggling.

ColdFeetinWinter Tue 21-Feb-17 22:32:11

By fake...I mean "fake it until you make it"

ChuckSnowballs Tue 21-Feb-17 22:34:28

Gotta love a Disney dad. Makes you promise to treat both the same but sure as hell he won't be.

Badstepmum Tue 21-Feb-17 22:35:06

I know she isn't picking up on how I feel. Dh doesn't even know nor has he realised any change in me. I internalise everything and always have and trust me when I say it doesn't show.

I don't have any experience of raising an 8 year old so yes, I appreciate I may be being harsh. When she's with us she refuses to do anything for herself. She won't tidy anything up, she demands drinks and food. She refuses to eat what we make her, so we end up making her different food. She cries if we go out anywhere and she complains if we don't go out. She won't sleep in her own room. She won't even go into the next room to get something unless dh goes with her. She won't undress herself to put pyjamas on. And she won't call her mum because she says she doesn't like her.

She has also just started telling me how she is the prettiest and most important girl in her whole school, how all the boys like her.

Some of this I'm sure is part of being 8. Some of it I think is worrying. I am not her parent, so I feel at a bit of a loss as to whether I should do or say anything.

Astro55 Tue 21-Feb-17 22:35:40

The Disney dad comment stood out for me - and not in a good way - mums get all the hard slog whilst dad claims the fun prize - I think maybe now you really understand the worry hard work and effort that goes into parenting -

twattymctwatterson Tue 21-Feb-17 22:43:17

Much of what you've said is very typical 8 year old behaviour. Some of it sounds very much like it's stemming from your DSD's insecurity around her position in the family now, particularly her relationship with her DF.

Wdigin2this Wed 22-Feb-17 00:28:55

Well Badstep there you have a nutshell! Of course DSD is playing up because she's not the baby anymore, and she's not the sole focus of her daddy's and your attention!
But the main point here is what you said in your last para; you thought you could love them just the same....and not unnaturally, you find you can't!
Just accept, you will always love her in a way, look out for her, care for her etc, but you now know what actual mother love is!
So, ride out the storm, try to give her a little her time whilst the baby sleeps, and just get on with the resetting of all your lives, gently, carefully and with sensitivity. As long as she knows where in the family her place is, things will work out...not quickly or easily, but they will! Good luck!

OneWithTheForce Wed 22-Feb-17 00:32:43

Your DD will have unpleasant personality traits at various points in her life. No-one is always loveable. You have unpleasant personality traits, your mum probably didn't like you very much at some stage. Your DH has unpleasant personality traits. You probably haven't liked him very much at some stage.

AndNoneForGretchenWieners Wed 22-Feb-17 01:01:22

My DSS2 went through a really awful phase just after DS was born. Both my stepsons lived with us full time, one was 19 and the other 13 when their little brother was born. The younger one became stroppy, selfish, obnoxious and started to push the boundaries, saying that I wasn't his mum so he didn't have to listen to me. He did love his baby brother however, and eventually realised that his dad didn't love him less just because there was a new addition to the family. Things settled down after about a year.

Maybe your DSD is just acting out because she isn't the only child any more, and is no longer the baby? I regret some of the harsh things I said to my DSS when he was being a pain in the neck, but we are really close now and I love him to bits - I disagree that you can't love stepchildren like your own children. When I talk to people I say we have three sons, they say they have two sets of parents. It just takes time.

swingofthings Wed 22-Feb-17 07:21:01

You love your DD more? Of course no point feeling guilty.
You are going to start to compare you DD to DSC: very dangerous!

My experience? Grew up with SM thinking her DD was perfect and seeing everything wrong me. She was extremely critical and this had a massive impact on my self esteem and ruined our relationship. I could read her thoughts behind her behaviour and how she considered her DD so much more worthy than I.

Until my SS hit her teenager years and went quite wild. She'd been spoilt with attention and admiration and started to act like a selfish brat. My SM couldn't believe her behaviour and didn't know how to deal with it.

I ended up a very stable, responsible and contented adult whilst my SS has a lot of emotional issues. We are now in our 40s and I get along great with my SM however she has almost no relationship with my SS. She said she now feels so much closer to me and my family than my SS and is very critical of her. I get along fine with my SS but we don't talk about the family much. I can see both sides of the situation.

So my advice: don't judge her and make assumption on the person she is and adult she will become. Relish the love you hedge for your DD and continue to value your SD despite her battles and don't ever compare because one day you might find yourself wishing your DD was more like your SD.

Badstepmum Wed 22-Feb-17 08:47:42

I think a lot of dsd's behaviour is becoming magnified now because I have dd. I don't parent dsd and therefore I always internally react to her behaviour by thinking I'd never allow dd to get away with such things. I'm glad there is such an age difference as by the time I have to deal with bad behaviour from dd, dsd would have (hopefully) grown out of it, so dd won't feel like she gets pulled up over her behaviour while dsd gets away with murder!

As I said before, dsd is always lovely to me, but the way she speaks to her dad (and her mum) and acts so spoilt is draining.

MrsDustyBusty Wed 22-Feb-17 09:22:59

I understand. It's not quite the same, but I felt similarly about my nieces when I had my little girl. They were about the same age. Time has passed, they've grown up into lovely girls in the last two years and I've calmed down as well.

It's just time to keep it all steady!

Branleuse Wed 22-Feb-17 09:28:01

its just your hormones, and the fact that 8 year olds are annoying, and yours will be too

JaxingJump Wed 22-Feb-17 09:32:11

Just because you are an adult doesn't mean you can be reasonable and perfect and not havecomplex feelings about important things. So don't be too hard on yourself about this.

I don't know what the 8yr old does but her behaviour is partly her responsibility and hugely the responsibility of the adults that are there to guide her. Can you speak to your DH about how to teach her good habits and behaviours going forward it would he start thinking you prefer the baby to dsd (which you must avoid him realising at all costs as it's not fair on anyone, including you who may be just in the middle of new baby confusion rather than an actual dislike of dsd). Ideally you could flag up a couple of the most serious problems with your DH and you work on improving them together.

Other than that, your job is to continue to treat her as fairly as your own baby and try to find ways to connect with her again.

0dfod Wed 22-Feb-17 10:05:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Badstepmum Wed 22-Feb-17 10:36:10

Odfod - thank you. It does make a bit more sense the way you have put it. I will say that when dsd is here, her dad is all about her. She gets all the attention and the new baby doesn't get a look in. That doesn't bother me as I know their time together is precious. But I think he's overdoing the Disney dad routine because he's trying to make her feel special but it's only making her behaviour worse.

Jaxing - I think flagging up a couple of issues is the way forward. Dh respects my opinion so hopefully we can work on those issues with her.

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