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Feel like odd (wo)man out when stepkids here

(10 Posts)
Stepmaman Wed 01-Jun-05 18:31:09

My stepkids visit us fairly regularly, which I don't mind. However, teenage stepchild (17) has just got a work experience for the summer and my husband wants him to live with us. Mum doesn't live much further from the job. I never signed up for 24/7 living with his kids other than for school hols and weekends. I made this clear before we got married. There's a bond between them that I am not part of. Plus, I don't have much in common with my stepkids. They're nice enough, but I just don't want to live with them for extended periods. I feel nasty for expressing this feeling, but at the same time I don't want to be unhappy. Anyone else feel this way?

Distel Wed 01-Jun-05 18:36:09

I am 24 (on friday) and I have a ss who is 16 and a sd who is 14. I have always made it clear that the only way that they could ever stay with us is in an emergency. I sympathise with you, even though they are in my hose, I feel like I get in the way and I have no authority. Also, we on;y have a 2 bedroom flat and I have 3 children, so they have no-where to go that is out of the way.

squirrel3 Thu 02-Jun-05 09:55:58

I know exactly how you feel, my 20yr old SS is spending alot of time with us ATM because he has a lot of problems. He was suposed to move in with us but he has chosen to split his time between is mothers and my home. Even so, it feels like DP's Children are taking over my home, when 20yr old SS is not here we have his other two children 9 and 14 and its really getting to me, I thought I could cope but I need some space, some time on my own! Or even some quality time with DP would be nice.

My own children are grown up and I thought that I would just be able to enjoy the grandchildren and not have 24/7 responsibility of children by now. I do feel really bad for feeling like this, I sometimes think that Snow-white's step mother has nothing on me!! I do try sooooo hard to be a good step mum but you are right, sometimes it gets to much and you feel that really you have no bond with these kids because they are not yours, you didn't know them as babies, they have kind of just been thrust upon you and you have had no real choice in the matter because you love their father you have to take on the kids (and all of their problems) too.

Having said all of that I think I have grown to love my step children and most of the time its ok, its just that sometimes it all just gets to much and you just want to crawl away and hide from it all.

Sorry about the rant,

I haven't got any advice for you except it does you good to have a rant on here and get a few things off your chest and you are not alone.

tarantula Thu 02-Jun-05 10:11:40

Have to say that I got home last night and breathed a sigh of relief as dss had gone home. He was with us from Friday. Dont get me wrong I love him and hes a great kid but it was nice to have a peaceful(ish) house again last night and one that stayed tidyish for more than 5 mins . Think you will need to sit down and have a serious talk with your dh about this before it goes ahead and as you are unhappy about it then you need to make your feelings known. Id also mention things like cooking washing and tidying up etc that will need to be organised as Im sure his 17 year old will do his best to skive off these (what 17 year old wouldnt)

Monkeysmom Thu 02-Jun-05 16:59:48

Stepmaman, I know exactly how you feel. My dsd is living with us for 1 year now and it is really hard. We don’t have anything in common, I need to be very careful with what I do or say, as I am not the “real” mother and might me misinterpreted.
I have accepted the situation for DH’s sake but I didn’t get any Thank you or “ It must be hard for you too” or anything like that. One year on, I feel frustrated and resentful and my relationship with DH has deteriorated immensely.
Sorry to send you such negative thoughts. I hope you’ll find the strength to cope better with the situation. I am rubbish at it.

Stepmaman Thu 02-Jun-05 18:10:32

Distel, Tarantula, Monkeysmom and Squirrel3 --- thank you for sharing! It's this kind of validation that makes me realise I am not alone. Like you, I try very hard and objectively do do a lot for my stepkids. I truly want the best for them, feel a strong duty, etc etc...but I don't want to live with them. I am an outsider to that bio/historical circle that is their Dad and them. Is it my problem? Probably. But I signed up for a parent with visiting rights, not a parent with full custody. My DH becomes a slightly different person around the kids...trying to bond, be cool, doing things that he and I wouldn't otherwise do or be interested in . Is he a great Dad? Yup. But I still don't want to be in my own home with his kids on a permanent basis. I also want my own kids and to have the dream of the nuclear family ... without other adults in the house (which is what his kids will be soon...if not already!) Is this selfish? Probably yes. But it's just the way I feel. I give a lot in terms of time, money, effort and of myself to his kids, but I just don't want to live with them. I am sure there are many favorite aunts and uncles who love to do things with their nieces/nephews and to support them...but who do not want to live with them permanently either. Well, that's the way I feel. I am so glad you gals shared. I posted on Mumsnet over a year ago and was lambasted for expressing my feelings. I felt subhuman and experienced anger and was in tears for the way some members made me feel. Thanks for making me feel included ... and validated.

squirrel3 Thu 02-Jun-05 19:02:00

Of course your feelings are normal, blimey I must be selfish as well because I have the same feelings too sometimes!

Even though I do love my step children it is really hard sometimes.

Monkeysmom Fri 03-Jun-05 09:58:19

Stepmaman, I am sure that all step parents must feel the same .I certainly think that full custody step parenting is the hardest task I have ever faced. It is so emotionally draining . What is most annoying is that people do not understand how hard it is. I think that every person out there in a hurry to judge and blame, should have one year of living full time with the step children. I would like to hear their opinion after the experience.

Clare1406 Fri 03-Jun-05 10:42:18

Stepmamam, i too hav same feelings. Have 3 SD's 12, 16 18. They came to live mith Dh & myself when we'd only been together 2mths. The EX found out i'd moved in & came back from Wales (she moved there 9mths earlier to spite DH, so he couldn't see kids!!) She made herself homeless, had to go in a hostel, & dumped the kids on us. They were 7,11 &13 at the time, so were pretty confused. We've been togethr 5 yrs now, & we've had some really crappy times with all 3. But the 18yr old realises how bad she was, & has apologised, part of growing up i suppose. But the 16 yr old is a complete B*tch at mo. She calls her Dad a fat W**ker, T*sser, all sorts of nasty names, & this is because we wouldn't have stay with us permantly when they came back from Wales.
She did actually live with us for a year when she was 13, she was great for the first 9mths, she couldn't wait to get away from her mother, who has no parenting/discipline skills at all. So after 9mths she got fed up with proper discipline &started to verbally abuse me & taunt me when Dh wasn't around. he didn't believe me & it took another 6mths for him to realise what she was doing. By that time i hated her & him. That was 2yrs ago, & she really hasn't changed. We get called over to the EX's house to sort out fights, its outrageous, she's cr*p. Luckily, the 12yr old now knows how not to behave!! Also they're not there forever. x

jojo38 Sat 04-Jun-05 09:28:04

Hello all, stepmam etc.

What is normal? No one ever asked us to have "special" feelings for our stepkids... no one asked them to have "special" feelings for us either. It takes time to come to terms with this so called resentment. It really is a kind of resentment in a way but not a nasty way, if you are honest with yourself.

My dss visits eow and other holiday times. He is here now and I am not enjoying the time at all. When he is at "home" with his mother, she is rarely there. He is allowed to eat what he likes, go to bed when he likes, do what he likes when he likes, gets what he wants when he wants it etc... his manners are disgusting and he has only just learnt to read himself, because others do it for him - he is a lazy child and finds any excuse not to do something. He knows right from wrong when he is here but pushes the envelope right to the edge. He complains about my son, he makes trouble where ever he is with my son, and it is my own son who has taken the blame for 99% of his troublemaking.

It has taken me years to believe myself when I say that nothing or no-one is going to make me feel any different about my stepkids... only me, and that is when I realised just how lonely being a stepmum can be. I was beginning to feel dread and some kind of hatred and I didn't want that. I was ending up finding excuses not to like my ss.

I still feel so lonely but I have started to come to terms with it. I don't mean lonely like, without anyone but with different feelings and views... the odd one out. All I can say is that you have to start doing things for you - without the skids, without dh.. let him have his time with them, you have time for you... then there may, in time, be less resentful feelings from skids and from yourself. You will have more things to think about, talk about with eachother.

You won't be in the line of fire! Well, not all the time. Your feelings will still be there but you will have something to look forward to without them for a while. Give yourself something else in your life that doesn't involve them.
I think the bible quoted something like, "if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.." in other words, if you don't like it, don't do it.

I do know how you are feeling, all of you - and there are many times I feel so resentful and angry. I think of other things, and let them get on with it.
For those who have skids with them on a long term basis, I am not sure if this will work all the time, but it helps me in the long holidays. You have to learn to be you, be selfish if it helps but find something for you.

Good luck to all... go find yourself!!!

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