Not sure if I love my SD since baby baby daughter was born

Richelle - posted on 01/05/2009 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My husband and I have a great relationship with my 9 year old SD but since my baby daughter was born 7 months ago I'm not sure if I love her anymore. I thought this feeling would pass with time and I know that the maternal love I have for my own daughter is a lot stronger.. that's natural. But we have my SD every 2nd week and I feel like I’m not as "free" on the weeks that she is here. I actually dread the Sunday nights that she is coming. But I have no reason too; I get along with her mother, she loves her baby sister, she's a respectful kid and always does her chores. I've known from the start that she is an attention seeker and that is really getting to me now and she is starting to get the pre-teen attitude. I’ve noticed that I’m not as loving towards her lately and I’m starting to feel guilty about that. Are my emtions normal? How can I be a better step-mom?

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Jennifer - posted on 01/28/2009

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I am really glad I read this post, I have always had such a strong and special relationship with my SS, I have been in his life since he was 4 years old, and he is now 9 years old. I get along well with his mother and everything between us all is handled very well. But after my son was born a couple of months ago, I felt like I never wanted him around. I felt like such a horrible person.  There is no love like the love of your own child, and as much as I love my step-son it just can't compare. I am so much better now, and try not to let the little things get to me, it is so much easier when he is not here  We have him a few times during the week which can be hard since we live in a 2 bedroom apt, so it get cramped But I am really glad I found other women in the same situaiton, and that Im am not so horrible... He is such a good boy and adores my son, I guess I am pretty lucky that he is such a good kid.... I think that you're feelings will pass, but just know that it's so normal to love your own child more...

Shelley - posted on 01/28/2009

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I have been a step mom to our two daughters for the past nine years, and a part of their lives for 5 years before that. I also have a biological son from a previous relationship. I have noticed that I go thru stages in my feelings towards my daughters. One will drive me absolutely nuts for a year or two, and then we settle in and the other drives me nuts for a while. These children are changing and maturing, and some of the stuff they go thru isn't always fun or easy. I have the same feelings towards my son. Love takes many forms, and often isn't perfect, but I do love ALL my children, even when they are driving me mad. Give yourself a break, love them unconditionally and tell yourself it's okay that you don't think they are perfect. Is anyone?

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Catrina - posted on 01/28/2009

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I love both my SD and SS like my own. That is obvious when they are all together, all 5 kids. I continually explain that we have a blended family. Mine, His and Ours...I have 3 boys. I was blessed with 2 more children by marrying my husband. I can not ever say that I have 5 children so to speak.....but I can talk about the difference in love and the separation because this is something my husband struggles with. My oldest son is his SS, however he's been there daily for my son since he was 2 1/2. He's closer to my son than he's ever been with his own biological kids from his 1st marriage. He says there is a difference in the love....it's always a full time love no doubt. But there is a difference. Sometimes it's hard for my husband to hear that his 2 kids are excited and get into conversations when biomom calls, and lets step dad talk too. In no way does he or I ever stop that -- we could be like biomom and deny calls all together since there isn't a order for it...but we think of the kids. Period.

It's the time you get to spend one on one with these children. Yet nothing magically fills the gap of pregnancy and bond already right there. Loving each child is different. My boys are so random and different when it comes to love and attention. Now my SS when he is here - doesn't leave my side. Cuddles with me, always tells me how much he loves me. Loves to lay in bed and watch tv with me, tell me I'm beautiful. My SD loves to sit down and do crafts with me, constantly telling me how "cool" this is etc. How she wishes biomom knew how to do these things or had the time too....it's sad to know that these two amazing kids would be smothered with things to do and activities involving our entire family, instead of the few hours a day they pass with biomom and step dad. They live a tightly scheduled life.

I deal with my MIL treating my oldest son differently. She will speak to him differently, make him do things, yet if it was any of the other 4 in no way would she act/speak or be rude to them like she does my oldest. Don't let it be a relationship like that. My oldest son is 9 and boy does he have my attitude - your rude and mouthy to him, he'll give it right back. I am constantly telling this woman "What do you expect? For him to just take you calling him names? Or being disrespectful just cause you're Nana?"

Sorry if I got off topic there -- I tend to do that.

But hold onto hope and love for your SD...like it was mentioned - she could possibly feel the difference and that's why she's pulling back.....

Jessica - posted on 01/28/2009

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Since the baby your SD probably feels like the third wheel, take her out to do something she enjoys just the two of you or even you, her and your husband.  Sit her down and reinforce that the baby requires much more attention at her age but that you haven't forgot about her. Try to get her to help you with the baby as well so she will really feel like she's playing this huge role of sister.. hope this helps...

Rachael - posted on 01/28/2009

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hi Richelle - I am in the exact same position at the moment. I have a 6 month old baby and a 9 yr old SS. I felt the same way for 5 months but hang in there it does get better!!!!

Christa - posted on 01/27/2009

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Quoting Penny:

I've only been married about a year and a half and have a five year old SD and 7 month daughter. I really haven't had the chance to get to know my SD because of her mom. We just went through the courts for parenting time and have just began visits. I know that I love my SD but I agree that I don't have that bond with her as I do with my own child. This may seem selfish, but I often worry about what my own child will be missing out on because of all the money we spend on my SD with monthly visits: hotels, gas, buying her things for and during visits. Even though my daughter is only 7 months we pinch pennies for everything for her. She has a used crib, swing, wears hand-me-downs, etc. I often feel that because my husband missed out on a lot of my SD's firsts due to his finances at the time and bio-mom playing stupid games, he tries to compensate now and in the process his other daughter is getting the short end of the stick. Is it just me that feels like this?



I completely feel the same.  My Husband is constantly trying to buy their affection everytime they come, expensive dinners, amusement parks, gifts etc.  We are on a strict budget as it it just trying to pay our normal bills, plus all the child support we have to pay.  And then we get additional bills that she sends trying to get more money.  I also worry my daughter is going to miss out because of it.  Also I want more children and I worry we won't be able to afford more.  I wish I knew how to feel differently. :-(

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I've only been married about a year and a half and have a five year old SD and 7 month daughter. I really haven't had the chance to get to know my SD because of her mom. We just went through the courts for parenting time and have just began visits. I know that I love my SD but I agree that I don't have that bond with her as I do with my own child. This may seem selfish, but I often worry about what my own child will be missing out on because of all the money we spend on my SD with monthly visits: hotels, gas, buying her things for and during visits. Even though my daughter is only 7 months we pinch pennies for everything for her. She has a used crib, swing, wears hand-me-downs, etc. I often feel that because my husband missed out on a lot of my SD's firsts due to his finances at the time and bio-mom playing stupid games, he tries to compensate now and in the process his other daughter is getting the short end of the stick. Is it just me that feels like this?

Paula - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hmmm, guess I'm the odd one out in this discussion.  I married my husband 10 years ago and we have full custody of all three of his children from his previous marriage.  Their mother moved to Florida.  Our youngest child was born about a year after we got married.  I've loved all my children since the moment I laid eyes on them.  Never any question.  I think that bond only got stronger when our youngest was born because now we have an undeniable connection as a family.  Yes, we went through a lot, especially with the oldest girl because she was and still is closest to her mother. 



 



Richelle, pre-teens need parents more than they'll ever admit.  Maybe some of her attitude is coming from your rejection.  These kids don't choose the situations they're forced to deal with when it comes to divorce and step-parents.  It's not up to them to deal with it, it's up to all of the adults involved to make the best life we can for these kids.  How to be a better step-mom?  Love them with your whole heart....not because you gave birth to them, but because of the people they are and because they are a part of your husband and who he is.



Love them....because they need you to!

Lara - posted on 01/27/2009

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what a great post! I have been married to my husband 7 mos. I have 2 bio boys 12 and 3 and a SS 10, and I have a hard time feeling for him like I do my two, we have no history together, I didn't have 9 mos to bond with him before he was born, I didn't nurse him and care for him at night when he was sick, my husband doesn't understand that my bond w/ his son will grow with time but he is so very frustrated he wants me to have that bond NOW! He sees what his son missed out on, ( my SS bio mom skipped out when he was 8 mos old and never looked back) and he wants his son to have that with me, but he wants him to have it like I said, NOW. It is making me feel resentful because I feel like he is trying to force my feelings

Christa - posted on 01/27/2009

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I'm glad you posted this. I've been feeling the same way. My little girl just turned one. I have a 10 year old SS and a 7 year old SD, and I completely share your feelings. We don't get to see them that often because their evil mother decided to move them 12 hrs away chasing after husband #3. (My husband was #1) I sometimes find myself wishing they didn't exist. I find it hard not to recent them for the evil their mother is constantly bringing us. She's the type who is constantly asking for more money and threatening to go to court. I feel like she threatens the life I want for my daughter and I have the hardest time telling myself I shouldn't feel like that. I know I shouldn't and they are good kids, but ever since my daughter came along I've been fighting these feelings. I'm glad to know I'm not alone. Thanks!!

Richelle - posted on 01/27/2009

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Hello,

Everything you said to my conversation on the Step-mom group hits home for me. My SD has two ½ brothers; all 3 bio-mom’s kids all have different fathers. Then the bio-mom married a man (the father of her 3rd kid) and he has 2 kids from a previous marriage. So my SD has a very large and confusing family.

The bio-mom has approached us and asked if we would be willing to move to another city about 1000 km away (approx. 2000 miles) so we can all be with my SD still. We declined because my husband as a great job here and both our families are close; it would unfair to take my daughter away from her extended family just to please the bio-mom. And her reasoning for moving is that she doesn’t like the city we live in anymore. We share custody and my SD is between houses 50/50 but the catch is that my husband is the primary parent and my SD can’t go with her mom unless he says okay. And he isn’t willing to give up his daughter. My SD doesn’t know about this yet because they still need to sell their house and get moving arrangements completed. We don’t want to stress her out about this until it’s actually happening.

I’m so worried about her emotional well-being because she is very close with her younger brother and has a good relationship with her step-dad and mom. This will affect her for the rest of her life; will she feel like she has been abandoned? What will this do to her self-esteem? I just can’t believe that her mother is willing to leave her!

My SD expressed emotions when my daughter was born about being left out too. She said that we weren’t going to have time for her anymore just like her mom didn’t when her half-brother was born. I told her that we aren’t the same as her mom and step-dad and my daughter isn’t her half-brother. We were very careful to spend time with her in the beginning and now we just all spend time together like a family should. The older my daughter gets the easier it is for my SD.

Yes, you are right there is hope.... My daughter has started to crawl and because more vocal and really enjoys playing with her sister. She gets very excited when they are playing together. Which will allow me to get dinner in the oven and it’s a big help. I’ve started to look at thing in a more positive way and it’s helping. I love my SD I just needed time to adjust to my new situation.

I’d be interested in reading your experiences with the bio-mom being so far away.

Thanks for your reply and hope to hear from you again.

Jessica - posted on 01/12/2009

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I'm in a very similar situation, actually worse.  My SD is now 13 and my son is 14 months.  But my SD grew up with a half brother (not my husbands - in fact the affair was one of the reasons they split).  She was living with biomom for most of her life and they are 5 years apart but she always felt her mom loved her brother more than her.  And rightly so, because many other people have seen evidence of this as well.  Now she's with us and her brother (who she was VERY close to) is very far away with biomom.  When I had my son she was excited at first because she thought it would fill the void, but then she started to feel all the old emotions about us loving him more than her, etc.  It's tough to convince her that we only spend more time with him because he needs it, and it leaves our relationship kind of bitter.  But, THERE'S HOPE!!! 



Now that he's older and she can really play with him and he says her name and doesn't require as much attention, she's starting to see that we really did just need to spend more time with him.  Plus, I'm starting to feel more towards her again, too.  I think all of us just needed the time to adjust.  Try to remember that although it will never be quite the same connection, it's really more about age difference.  Of course it's easier to be thrilled and enraptured by a 7 month old.  My guess is that your feelings would be similar if she were your child, but you feel really guilty for feelimg them because you figure it's because she's not yours. 



Think to yourself, and maybe out loud when the time is right, "when this baby is 9 will I treat her the same way I treat the child who is 9 now?"  This helped me a lot because I realized the answer was yes.  Maybe, many of the same situations wil never happen, but as long as you're not handling it different because she's not technically yours - how can you really compare the love you feel?



I'm 27, and my parents (still together) have kids aged 27, 26, 23, 11, 6, 6 (twins).  I'm sure they love us al the same but if you hear the way they talk about the accomplishments of the younger ones, you wouldn't think so.  It's so much easier to be excited by "look - first step" or "she can read now, listen" than "oh yeah, 96 straight skips" or "yay, your first crush".  Do you see?



 



If this is making sense I'd love to share more, but I'll leave it at this for now, because it might sound totally wrong to you.  (I know some of the advice pple give me on here hits home and other pple sound crazy - I'm sure they're all right - it's just what you want to hear, I believe)



Good luck, Jess

Heidi - posted on 01/09/2009

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I think your emotions are normal.  I have a stepson that is a great kid too, he is 4, but there is nothing compared to the love that you feel for your own child.  I have found most of my problems were due to time.  Before, I had more time to spend with my SS.  Now I am soooo busy with the baby that his dad needs to step in and do his daddy duty.  Make sure dad is doing his part, it shouldn't be that you have double the responsibility when the SD stays.  Things are definitely more peaceful when it's just the baby here, but I knew what I was getting into when I got pregnant. 

Sarah - posted on 01/09/2009

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Oh darling I hope this gets better for you all. I think for me when I gave birth to my daughter it made me realise just what feelings it was possible to have for a child.  And I realised just what the boys were missing out on at times from me. It doesn't mean I don't love them because I do, but for me there is a difference there. Maybe because I am all my daughter has and the boys have another woman they call mum and ultimately love regardless. I wish you all the best Try and keep some special time for when she comes not only for the relationship between the two of you but her relationship with her little sister which will be so special. As they get older that relationship will make you so happy (and at times frustrated) I use to call my stepson my daughters favourite toy, every child should have one.

Val - posted on 01/08/2009

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I think it is very normal to feel that way. When your first child is born you realize how much you've been missing out on "connection" wise with your SD. For me it was hard to realize that my husband had that all along with my SD and that I never would. I've seen homes where the biological children are very favored over the step children and that only brings resentment in later years from what I've seen. So I made a concious choice to love my SD. Definately not easy. It isn't the same. It never will be. But since I made the decision that no matter what I was gonna love her, it's been easier. Definately takes awhile though.

Isa - posted on 01/07/2009

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I think you're doing a FANTASTIC job.  It's hard to juggle a 7 month old and a 9 year old girl.  I have a 9 year old SD and sometimes she goes into drama fits which makes me roll my eyes.  I think your feelings for her will balance out once your own child is a bit older.

Kathy - posted on 01/07/2009

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I agree. I love my stepkids with all my heart. BUT I didnt give birth to them, carry them for nine months, and they have a mom. You don't have the same history with your SD as you do with your baby, even at just 7 months old. I think it will get easier for you. Go easy on yourself. You are a new mom and it takes time to adjust!

B. P. - posted on 01/07/2009

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I felt similar after my kids were born. Before I had kids of my own things were alot easier with my step kids, but once I had my own babies I felt different. I still love my step kids, but it just is not the same as my own babies. I also get frustrated with my husband because I feel like the enthusiasm he should have for our babies is lacking because he has sort of been there and done that with his older kids. I don't know if I feel resentful or jealous, I just know my feelings have changed. I feel bad about it too. It is definately harder for me with my 9 year old SD then my 8 year old SS. He is a very easy kid, but she is a bit dramatic and hard to deal with. I don't know, I just think so much changes in your life when you have a new baby it is normal to have all sorts of feelings. Your daughter is only 7 months old though. It takes a long time to get back to "normal" physically and emotionally after having a baby I think. You are so tired and busy it might just take more time for you all to adjust to your new bigger family. You are not a bad step-mom!

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