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It so hard being a Stepmum

(87 Posts)
SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 16:14:49

Hi there, Im new to this site and just thought I would introduce myself and my thoughts.

I have been with my boyfriend for 3 years now and he has 3 children from a previous relationship (they werent married). They are 16,8 and 6. I love them to bits but I am so sad as I long for them to love me back. I get no affection, love, kindness or respect from them and it cuts me to the quick. I know I will never be loved like they love their parents but just maybe a thank you when I cook for them or buy them a gift, a "goodnight Sam" when they are going to bed, or a cuddle or smile of appreciation would mean so much to me.

I know it is hard for step children to come to terms with new families, but I had nothing at all to do with the breakup of their parents (they were seperated for 3 years before I met him) and I do try my hardest. A lot of the problem is his ex, she is a bit of an nightmare sometimes and phones up drunk shouting abuse at us. She has also threatened to stop him seeing the kids, which I think is awful as he only sees them once a month as it is (they live over 200 miles away).

It hurts me terribly to see what he has with his kids and what he had with his ex. I would dearly love a baby of my own with him (I dont have any kids) but he doesnt want that due to how she (his ex) would react. She will turn the kids against us (she is great at doing that) and tell them that he only loves his new child and not them. She already tells them that he has too much love for me and not enough for them which is absolutely crazy, hes not changed since meeting me.

I feel like my whole life is on hold because of her, I cannot have a child because of her, even getting married (which trust me we will do) will be a nightmare as they were never married. If we go on holiday on our own, she tells the kids he doesnt love them enough to take them (even though we take them away every year).

I dont know what to do, do I keep feeling miserable and not have a baby of my own, or do I have a baby and risk him losing the 3 he already has? I would never forgive myself if that happened. Im not wanting a baby just to be even, I want one because im 34 and I feel time is running out, I also feel that for the first time in my life I have found the man that I want to have as my childs father. Perhaps if I received a little bit of affection or love from his kids then I wouldn't feel like I have something lacking in my life so much.

Please can anyone help me. I dont want to carry on being miserable, but I cant help the way I feel, I feel as if my life is passing me by and im just living my boyfriends life. Please tell me that even after 3 years it gets better. Thanks for reading this. Sam x

tarantula Thu 10-Mar-05 16:31:19

Hi SadSam Sorry to hear you are having such a bad time with your stepkids and the ex. Im a stepmum myself but have never been in a situation like yours as dps x was quite reasonable. One thing Id say tho is that you cant put your own life on hold because your dp has got a past. My dp felt like yours about having kids for quite a whikle but I made my feeling clear and told him that if he didnt want kids then Id have to go find someone else. the thing is tho I had time on my side as I was young when I met dp and didnt want kids just then. I think you need to sit down and talk to your dp and explain how important this is to you and if he still says no do you wnat to continue to be with him childless or find someone else. I thinkyou also need to speak to your stepkids about this before you ahve children and let them know that they are still loved too.

stitch Thu 10-Mar-05 16:38:34

you cant put your life on hold for this woman.
whatever you do or dont do, she will try to make things bad for you. you need todo what is right for you. not even your dp. you. and, as long as you keep being good to the kids, then eventually they might realise it.
good luck

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 16:39:12

Hi Tarantula, thanks so much for your reply. I have discussed it so many times with my partner, and he doesnt say NO we cant have a child, he says he would like one with me but not until his kids are old enough to think for themselves rather than just being poisoned by their mother. The main issue is the middle child (8), he is very very close to his dad and I think would get quite jelouse if we had a child anyway even without the BM getting involved, but I know she will just stir things up and make it even worse. I think the other main factor is the fact that we live so far away and only see them once a month. I can just hear her now word for word "daddy doesnt love you anymore, he only loves his new baby" "he sees his new baby every day but only sees you once a month". I just know so well what she is like. Aarrgh this is sooooooo hard and upsetting!

stitch Thu 10-Mar-05 16:41:54

so basically he is telling you that you have to wait until the 8 year old is old enough. whenis that? when he is 16 and you are 42?
if that is what he is saying, then you should translate that into 'i dont want any more kids'
just my opinion

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 16:43:02

Hi Stitch thanks for your message. Yeah I know what you are saying. Unfortunately Im one of these nightmare people who always puts other people before myself and who always wants whats best for everyone else. I dont want to put my life on hold for her, I would love a baby tomorrow (if there were such things as one day conception/pregnancy/birth ) but I am so scared. What if things do go as I think and she turns the kids against us? He will be devestated if he loses his children and he may resent me and our new child. I would be so worried that he would not be able to show our child as much love as he shows his other 3 (especially in front of them, so as not to upset them). Theres so many things going round in my head at the moment it scares me.

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 16:45:46

Stitch - He has mentioned "in the next couple of years" i.e. I guess when he is about 10! I know thats not totally unrealistic but I still feel frustrated!

stitch Thu 10-Mar-05 16:49:34

sam, if he left his ex, he also left the kids.. im probably not saying this properly, but when he left, he would have known that he would have this to contend with as he obviously knew what this woman was like. he chose to leave her and leave the kids with her. its not fair of him to do this to you. and if you let him, then he will continue to come up with excuses.
it sounds as if you are very stressed at the moment, and need a break from all this so that you can think clearly.
this woman sounds like a posionous bitter bitch. please dont allow her to ruin your life as well as her kids

PuffTheMagicDragon Thu 10-Mar-05 16:59:16

That's a hell of a situation to be in.

Does your dp have a view on when your stepchildren being able to think for themselves might be? If the youngest is 6, then it could be a long way off.

He has 3 children already and doesn't have a biological clock ticking as you do.

I'm sorry to sound harsh, as I'm sure you love each other very much, but as others have said, you need to think about you.

I have a friend who was in a similar situation to yours. She made the v painful decision to end the relationship when she was 35. She ended up making so many compromises in her life (including having children being "indefinitely on hold"), she became deeply unhappy.

18 months later, she met someone else, got married and now has 2 children.

I wish you luck in what is a really difficult situation.

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 17:01:24

Stitch - You are absolutely right and I understand what you are saying. It was a tricky situation as she kicked him out (she was going through terrible post natal depression) he never wanted to go. About 4/5 months later he got with someone else (not me) and she (his ex) I think realised she'd made a terrible mistake and decided that if she couldn't get him back then she'd make his life hell (he'd never go back to her, he hates her guts). He was with that girlfriend for about 2 years and she wanted absolutely nothing at all to do with his kids as she hated kids. She only met them once and certainly didn't want any of her own, in fact she did get pregnant early on in their relationship and pegged it to the abortion clinic the day after she found out (her choice, he said he would have stood by her if she wanted to keep it). He was in the armed forces and got transferred to where we are now, so it wasn't really his choice to leave the children so far away, and I know he feels terribly guilty about it, so much so that he has even considered changing jobs (I dont know what the hell he would do as the military is all hes done since he left school) just to be nearer to them. I know Ive probably portrayed him very badly, I dont think any of this is his fault, he is a lovely man and a fantastic father. I just think the main root of it is guilt. He feels guilty that he lives so far away and that he doesnt see them more often. I know if I got pregnant tomorrow he would be pleased, albeit a little bit worried about how SHE would react and worried about losing his kids.

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 17:06:43

Hi Puff - Its really only the middle child (8 year old) that he is worried about as he is a real daddys boy. The 6 year old is a mummys girl and to be honest doesnt like coming to our house anyway (although I think she would love to see a baby in the house). The eldest is 16 anyway and also in the armed forces so I dont think he would have a problem. I know what you are saying though, my clock is ticking and his is not. At the end of the day I dont think I would have to choose as like I said previously, if I got pregnant he would be pleased but shocked and worried. I have never encountered an ex before that can be so nasty and make you feel so guilty about having a life, its awful.

SadSam Thu 10-Mar-05 17:43:51

Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my post and reply. Sorry if my messages sounded contradictory, I dont think I was too clear in my original post, my head is spinning at the moment with doubts, ideas, thoughts and im terribly upset and miserable. I think all in all, I am just finding it very hard being a stepmum to kids who just dont really want to know me (even after 3 years) and also with wanting a child of my own so badly, it makes me more upset. If his kids showed me a bit of affection then maybe it would make me feel happier inside. But it hurts so much when the girl starts crying and saying she wants her mummy, or if the boy asks daddy if he will play with him but hes busy so I say I will play a game with him but he doesn't want to know. I guess I just care too much about how others feel. Thank you all for replying its been such a relief to get some things off my chest and actually talk to people who know where im coming from and understand. Thanks x

crikey Thu 10-Mar-05 20:36:25

Hi Sadsam,

sounds like you are having a tough time. Dont beat youself up about not being close to his children. It must be difficult for you to form a bond with them if you only see them once a month, although you've been seeing them for 3 years , thats only 36 times!
You say the middle child is really close to his dad, and that your dp thinks that having another child would really upset him. Is that because he'd be having a baby with you , or just because there is another child on the scene? I mean - he's got a younger sister anyway so why will it affect him so much? - it does sound like a bit of an excuse to me sorry.
if it isnt an excuse then your dp needs to think about your lives a little bit more. I know he feels gulity for leaving , my dh does too , I think all fathers do (and who can blame them) but your life togethere is just as importaant as ther elife. And if you and your dp arent happy then this will rub off onto the children when they stay and thats not good for anyone.

With regargs to the affection - it may be that they are just not affectionate kids - do they cuddle there daddy? Try not to take it all too personally . Try and keep going withthis thought -
when they are older the memories they have of yo will be of you ofereing to play games, trying to cuddle them, being nice to them etc.
The memorioes of their mum will be of her saying nasty things such as 'daddy doesnt love you as much anymore'. When they are older they will realise just how hurtful those comments are to a child and will never forgive her for trying to hurt them like that.

It is hard , but keep posting, youll get lots of support from everyone here.

crikey Thu 10-Mar-05 20:36:35

Hi Sadsam,

sounds like you are having a tough time. Dont beat youself up about not being close to his children. It must be difficult for you to form a bond with them if you only see them once a month, although you've been seeing them for 3 years , thats only 36 times!
You say the middle child is really close to his dad, and that your dp thinks that having another child would really upset him. Is that because he'd be having a baby with you , or just because there is another child on the scene? I mean - he's got a younger sister anyway so why will it affect him so much? - it does sound like a bit of an excuse to me sorry.
if it isnt an excuse then your dp needs to think about your lives a little bit more. I know he feels gulity for leaving , my dh does too , I think all fathers do (and who can blame them) but your life togethere is just as importaant as ther elife. And if you and your dp arent happy then this will rub off onto the children when they stay and thats not good for anyone.

With regargs to the affection - it may be that they are just not affectionate kids - do they cuddle there daddy? Try not to take it all too personally . Try and keep going withthis thought -
when they are older the memories they have of yo will be of you ofereing to play games, trying to cuddle them, being nice to them etc.
The memorioes of their mum will be of her saying nasty things such as 'daddy doesnt love you as much anymore'. When they are older they will realise just how hurtful those comments are to a child and will never forgive her for trying to hurt them like that.

It is hard , but keep posting, youll get lots of support from everyone here.

SadSam Fri 11-Mar-05 08:32:07

Hi Crikey, thank you for your kind words. With regards to the middle child and us having a baby, Its not the fact that the baby would be with me, I think it would be because he lives so far away and only sees us once a month but daddy would see our baby every day. I think that the boy would get jelouse of that, probably more so because his mother would poison him.

As for the affection, yes the middle boy does cuddle his daddy, all the time, but all he will do to me is jump on me, kick me, hit me etc.(in a playing way not maliciously). The youngest girl will let me hold her hand sometimes but only if were near a busy road and I insist or daddy tells her to. Shes not really that affectionate with anyone but her mummy and nanny.

There are just so many issues I have at the moment, this is only the tip of the iceberg! For instance, when we have the eldest boy (16) stay with us, he is so lazy and wont do anything, stays up all night, sleeps all day, wants to watch what he wants to watch on TV so I have to either go upstairs to watch what I want or miss it. He hardly speaks to me, just the odd grunt. I think hes just a normal teenager I guess.

I also wish my boyfriend would give a bit of discipline from time to time. They are not really naughty kids, but they do always get their own way, whereas if they were my kids, I wouldnt always give in to them. When I have mentioned this to him, he says he doesnt want them getting upset and he doesnt want to get angry with them in case they dont want to come back, so its the guilt issue again! I have tried to explain that it is my house aswell and when they are under my roof..... etc etc etc but it just falls on deaf ears! He says he understands but that he only sees them for 4 days a month and wants to make the most of it. I can see his point, but it is still frustrating for me as I dont feel like it is my place to discipline them and I feel that they rule the roost a little bit.

Anyway sorry to go off on a tangent, but I feel like I need to get these things off my chest and its so good to find a website where there are people that listen/understand. Thanks ever so and please keep the comments rolling in. Sam x

stitch Fri 11-Mar-05 08:53:58

hugs sadsam.
what you describe is parenting in a nutshell. and not being there mom is what makes things so much harder.
if it is just four days a month, and he wont do anthing, then surely you could just try and live with it. what i mean is for example, record what you want to watch on telly. imposse your rules etc
actually, just ignore what i said, i am in no position to give advice to anyone. just feel for you.

SadSam Fri 11-Mar-05 09:11:52

Thanks Stitch, but please DO give me advice, that is what I want and is why I came to this website in the first place. You are right, everything you have said is right and it sounds so logical when I read it, and I would probably give someone else exactly the same advice, its just harder putting it into practice. I think it must just be me, im finding it so hard to deal with the responsibility and the rejection. Perhaps Im just not cut out to be a stepmum.

oxocube Fri 11-Mar-05 09:44:11

SadSam, I'm not a stepmum, just a mum to our own 3 kids and thats hard enough sometimes! I don't have any experience of your situation but wanted to say that having read your posts, you sound really lovely. Hope you find the advice you are looking for.

littlerach Fri 11-Mar-05 09:44:47

iT IS HARD!!! I have 2 sc, and we have 2 DDs too.
I could not have stayed with DH if he did not want kids, he always knew that, but he wanted them too.
Step son has CP, we wree v worried about how DD1 would affect him- he was over the moon!! Ex used to say they wet the bed and had behavioural probs when DD1 was born, it was a load of crap.
WRT affection, maybe that's just how they are, and the 16 yr old sounds normal!!
Things do get easier, but only if you and DP are united in it all.
Keep posting here, as it helps a lot!
XX

SadSam Fri 11-Mar-05 10:09:08

Hi Oxocube, thank you so much for your kind words, you have no idea how much that means. thank you. x

SadSam Fri 11-Mar-05 10:14:26

Thanks LittleRach, it is so good to get advice from people in similar situations. I always thought I was on my own, but its great to hear peoples thoughts. I do love my DP so much and would never give him up as I have had more love and happiness from him than any other guy in my life. I know he loves me, and I know its hard for him too, he misses his kids like crazy and theres an awful lot of guilt that he carries even though the split was not his doing. I will try harder and hope that things get a bit easier for me. I know its no-ones fault accept my own, for not dealing with things well enough. Thanks again xx

tarantula Fri 11-Mar-05 10:21:45

Hi SS Jsut wanted to say that all kids get jealous when a new babe comes Dss(13) was really jealous of dd before she was born but now dotes on her and that was after 11 years of having me as a stepmum. I talked to him quite alot about the whole thing and explained that his dad would still love him jsut as much etc. His dad also had a long talk with him too. guess Ive been really lucky as x is a reasonable person too. Good luck you are a great stepmum who really cares.
And with regards to taking over the tele I know the feeling Dss and I have battle royal over the remote (but in a nice way). I give in in the end and usually let him watch what he wants but its a gentle reminder that we all share the house and hes got to give and take . Its taken a while but Ive now got him into all the silly whodunits (midsomer Murder etc)and we ahve a great tiem guessing the endings. Is this something you could do with the two younger ones? find a program/dvd that you all can watch together as a family?

SadSam Fri 11-Mar-05 10:29:14

Hi Tarantula, thank you for your comments. I think a lot of our problems stem from having an unreasonable BM! I have tried to do things together with the skids but they dont want to know most of the time. DVD/TV is a bit difficult as SS wants to watch really gruesome horror films (even though hes only 8 and personally I dont agree with it, but him mother lets him watch them), whereas the SD is only 6 and only likes Barbie or Disney films. I try and get them to watch Eastenders etc. but they just get bored and talk all the way through it. They are at those ages when they get so bored and when they get bored they get irritable and so DP gives in to them and lets them do what they want to keep the peace. It is really hard, but I guess Ive just got to try and be a bit more understanding and patient. xx

Spanish26 Fri 11-Mar-05 10:30:04

Hi SadSam,

I haven't had time to read through all the messages properly so if I repeat anything I'm sorry!

Just want to say that I think you are a wonderful person to have dealt with all this emotional trauma for 3 years!

I don't want to bad mouth your partner but he is being selfish to expect you to never have children of your own.

I am in your postion - no children of my own but 2 step children. But my partner has said that he expects the girls to get the hump for a while & will probably aviod coming to stay for a while but he has faith in himself as a father & as me as a step mother and knows they will come round eventually & will probably even love having a baby sister or brother.

He would never deprive me of being a mother & would never let his children your ex dictate our happiness. Your partner is lucky to be a father - ask him how he would feel if he had no children and YOU asked him not to have any of his own?? It's easy for him to say he doesn't want more children when he already has 3.

He can't expect you to be a wonderful mother to his children & not offer you the chance to do the same with one of your own.

My partner would agree with everything I am saying so this is not just a female perspective!

I don't want to attack your partner - he obviously loves his children very much to be so concerned about losing them - but he could risk losing you. He needs to be tough, I'm sure the kids will see their mother for what she is eventually & will see through her spiteful tongue.

Spanish26

Spanish26 Fri 11-Mar-05 10:42:50

Hi SadSam! Its me again (Spanish26).

Just read though some more of your messages - and again just want to say I can sympathise about the discipline "thing".

My partner is the same - he doesn't discipline the girls because he feels he only see's them once a fortnight and wants them to have a nice time with Daddy & wants them to come back.

So it gets left to me all the time...but funny thing is they have more respect for me now than him & it seems to have bought us closer together!

Anyway - I can't give you much advice. I've just agreed with my partner to let him parent his way as long as he lets me parent my way.

Spanish26

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