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Calling all step parents - do you feel this board is a safe and supportive place to post?

(331 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

TrustTheGeneGenie Wed 18-Nov-20 22:51:44

I would like to know, and would like @mnhq to know, how actual step parents feel about this board.

Do you feel you can be honest here? Seek support? Generally chat about the realities of step parenting?

Do you feel that this board is just used as a place to kick others when they're down?

I have complained to mn several times about this issue and they refuse to take me seriously, so I would like to hear from others who use or would like to use this board for support.

OP’s posts: |
sassbott Wed 18-Nov-20 23:29:33

I think that there is a very real divide. The good news (if this is good news) is that I think the board has improved (somewhat). When I joined about 4 years ago, I found this particular section vile, unsupportive and essentially full of (what felt like) bitter ex wife’s ready to come swinging at ‘evil’ stepmothers.

I’ve been back a while now and on the whole I think it’s improved from that. I think there are more regular (and vociferous) posters speaking up. And shutting down some of the vile posts.

Do I think this is a supportive area though? No.
If people posted in any other section re struggles with children, they would be met with empathy and support. Here? It’s judgement. And a lot of nasty projection. When I was new to all of this, it hurt.

4 years in? They can all bugger off.
I am a parent. And I can tell you now, nothing prepares you for how truely challenging step parenting is. So much so? I’ve given it a go. And have no intention of ever trying again.

Do I think mnet should do better on this board? Yes. Some posters are just vile.

Frankola Wed 18-Nov-20 23:51:11

I think you get a lot of varied advice which can be great.

However, its very clear that bitter exes check this feed numerous times a day to pounce on any step parent they see fit, telling them what a horrible person they are blah blah blah. Which I reckon explains the fewer amount of posts than other threads.

I wouldnt come on here and ask for support as a step mum. I ask questions and respond to help other step parents though.

Youseethethingis Thu 19-Nov-20 06:59:52

I don’t think it’s supportive, no. I check in and will defend posters I feel are being unduly attacked, but I have never and probably never will start a thread about my own problems as a step parent. I just don’t need the stress of a pile on in my life.

TrustTheGeneGenie Thu 19-Nov-20 09:12:51

I completely agree. Varied advice is great and I do think it's usually really helpful to get a perspective from the "other side" as well. I definitely don't think this should be a step parents only board. I just wish there wasn't the vile behaviour. The digs. The "you sound horrible" every single time.

I wouldn't ask for advice on my own situation (luckily I don't really need it now!) But have done before when I was genuinely struggling and it was horrific. I've name changed a million times since then, de registered and re registered.

I always try to defend posters who I feel are getting a kicking unfairly but I am honest if I think they genuinely are doing something wrong etc. But there's a way to say it. Constructive criticism is fine, just coming here to be nasty to someone isn't.

Mumsnet say in the name of discussion, this is fine. I personally don't think it is fine.

OP’s posts: |
KylieKoKo Thu 19-Nov-20 09:30:13

I think there are some lovely supportive posters on here.

There are also people who come on to say things like "you knew what you were getting into" and "your are not their step mum you are their dads girlfriend" and never offer anything supportive. I have wondered what motivates them and can only conclude they are projecting jealousy/ insecurity they feel around the (ex?) Partners and children.

TrustTheGeneGenie Thu 19-Nov-20 09:42:31

There are definitely some excellent regular posters - and they without fail bring support, brilliant advice, a myriad of experience and lots of honesty. I love that - i wish that was what the board was all about.

Step parenting can be so hard. There isn't many places to talk about it, and for many people in real life, they don't have anyone to speak to about it who can relate, or who understands because not everyone has experienced it! I found that hard. I didn't know anyone in the same situation as me.

I really don't know what motivates other posters - i can only assume it makes them feel better about their own lives - and i know it happens on other boards but it is so much worse on here than any other board.

You could post a thread title on here about your step children, and get ripped to shreds. You could post a thread elsewhere, exactly the same but call them just your children, and the vast majority of people would be supportive.

OP’s posts: |
Flowerpot345 Thu 19-Nov-20 09:47:01

' You could post a thread title on here about your step children, and get ripped to shreds. You could post a thread elsewhere, exactly the same but call them just your children, and the vast majority of people would be '

I feel the same.
There's not enough support out there for step mums.

TrustTheGeneGenie Thu 19-Nov-20 10:10:28

Precisely. It's the double standards I don't like. According to Mumsnet it's just debate. Discussion.

OP’s posts: |
KylieKoKo Thu 19-Nov-20 10:11:52

I have never heard anyone say " you knew what you were getting into when you got pregnant" to a struggling mother!

Stantons Thu 19-Nov-20 10:15:06

I've been considering posting a thread like this for a few days but couldn't decide on the wording, thank you for starting it.

Honestly no I don't, I think it's awful, I'm struggling at the moment and this is the absolute last place I would come to ask for help. If I'm sitting in tears unable to cope the last thing I would want is to be told I knew he had kids, that the kids come first, that my wants aren't important and all three other bull shit that people haven't been in the situation spout.

One that really got to me was a post last week with a SM who was clearly having a difficult time and a single mother piled in giving her her opinion. It was just so unhelpful, missing the point and clearly someone who had no empathy for the OPs view.

I am lucky I have other places to post for help but often google brings you here first and here is not a safe place. I don't see the nastiness on any of the other parenting boards

LatentPhase Thu 19-Nov-20 10:16:52

‘You could post a thread on here about your step children, and get ripped to shreds. You could post exactly the same but call them just your children, and the vast majority of people would be supportive’

^^ absolutely this.

Stealing and physical abuse and lies and tantrums in your own teen? unacceptable. Kids need boundaries. If they are over 18 they need tough love.

Stealing and physical abuse and lies in your step teen? ‘normal’/‘you knew he had children when you met him/‘you are making him choose between you and his child and his child should come first’

That’s why I contribute on here but when I have difficulties, I don’t post.

Youseethethingis Thu 19-Nov-20 10:31:23

What’s really pissed me off recently are the posters who are absolutely adamant that everything and NRP does is wrong (therefore their partner is damned by association and clearly some child hating witch) but are never able to state what the right thing is.
So we have a situation where poster is told that EOW is a shit dad, mum is left to do everything, then 50/50 is a shit dad, taking away kids stability, just trying to get out of maintenance, to go for residency is a shit dad, unsettling the kids, how could the bastard put the poor single mum though it.
Then it’s that the dads home is the kids home too and their needs should come before all resident children, but then in the next breath that dad should be giving every penny to mum because he doesn’t have the same costs as her (apparently the second home he must provide to the same standard as their first home runs on pixie dust while mums costs a crippling fortune)
And on and on and on it goes. Too involved, not your kids blah blah blah, what do you mean you’re not resting them equally in your will, you’re a family now, they will probably commit suicide over this...
Blah blah blah blah blah

Stantons Thu 19-Nov-20 10:35:34

@Youseethethingis obviously the SM should be passing to make the home as good as the SC first home and then dad can give all his money to their mother, you're so silly

Stantons Thu 19-Nov-20 10:36:03

*paying wish mn had edit function

tisonlymeagain Thu 19-Nov-20 10:36:54

I've always thought there's a lack of support and I wouldn't post on here. I've thought about setting up a private messageboard/forum in the past but not sure if there's enough interest.

BovrilonToast Thu 19-Nov-20 10:37:56

I agree, I would never post here for advice on my step children. Whilst some posters are kind and helpful the chances of being ripped to shreds by someone with an axe to grind is too high.

MN should deal with this properly. I have been horrified by some of the threads I have read on this board and I rarely read it anymore.

TeapotCollection Thu 19-Nov-20 10:38:54

I feel sorry for stepmums on here, I think most (not all) people are absolutely vile to them. Totally agree with what’s already been said about some of the regular comments, especially this:

“You could post a thread title on here about your step children, and get ripped to shreds. You could post a thread elsewhere, exactly the same but call them just your children, and the vast majority of people would be supportive”

And I’m completely neutral - happily child free and if I was single wouldn’t go near a man with kids

BovrilonToast Thu 19-Nov-20 10:39:25

Tis I think a private board would be useful, not sure how to go about it though. smile

Beamur Thu 19-Nov-20 10:39:55

I post quite often, but I am a long way down the road of step parenting so I'm not usually seeking help. If you wañt unilateral support, you're not going to get it on here. But there will be people who do understand and will post in good faith.
What do you expect mnhq to actually do?

TrustTheGeneGenie Thu 19-Nov-20 10:45:20

@Beamur I am not asking for unilateral support. I am not saying that i think this board should only be for people agreeing with op. I think we all know that its good to get perspective from lots of different people in different situations, and we dont always want people to just agree, because no, that's not helpful. Constructive criticism is great, advice is great even if it is advice on how to do things differently etc.

I would like MNHQ to remind posters that this board should be a safe space for people to post. Not a place you come to abuse people to make yourself feel better. It should not be acceptable to come here just to say "urgh your husband sounds like a shit dad" or "you obviously hate your step kids" - who is that helping?

Anyone else feel free to say what they personally would want from this board! I'm interested to know how everyone feels, not just me!

OP’s posts: |
Stantons Thu 19-Nov-20 10:47:25

@BovrilonToast and @tisonlymeagain the are ones but they don't come up at the top of google searches

tisonlymeagain Thu 19-Nov-20 10:49:30

@Stantons a lot of the ones I've found are normally American. Not that there's anything wrong with that I guess!

Stantons Thu 19-Nov-20 10:53:43

Google step parent forum uk it's a bit more specific

Beamur Thu 19-Nov-20 10:53:47

I am not trying to be snippy, and I agree with you, a lot of people post complete guff and totally unreasonable comments. But it is a public forum, and there are rules about posting which everyone must follow.
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by safe?

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