being a VERY young step mom

JoCaryn - posted on 09/07/2013 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I'm 25... I have a 4 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. Two years ago when I remarried I gained a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old daughter. Oh yeah... my son and step daughter are only a month apart and they were both TWO when I remarried! DUN DUN DUN. I don't really have a question other than, how in the world do some of you do it? We have my step daughters every other weekend and we've set it up so that we have all 4 kids at the same time, otherwise they would NEVER see eachother. This is where it gets hard. I LOVE MY HUSBAND! Everyone says that if you cant love the kids as your own than don't marry the person... but what about when you loved them as much as you could and things were great... and then things change. Some people say adapt, but its hard to adapt to the change when I only see my step daughters every other weekend. When my husband and I first started dating and up until the last 6 months I had a great relationship with my step daughters. That is 3 years of good times through trips to the park, homework, taking the oldest to school, 1000 of meals and even the hard part of discipline. Now if I get on to my 7 year old step daughter she spends the entire weekend pouting and sometimes refusing to eat. My four year old step daughter was ALWAYS a handful. but not in a bad way. you can just tell she's her fathers! lol really stubborn, really energetic and REALLY NEEDY. It's different now though. Now she throws a fit when her mom drops her off and crys off and on all weekend, wont eat anything that's not in the form of a chicken nugget or tater tot (I know that's not odd, but she throws up if you put anything else in front of her and her mom says she doesn't do that at home) and she will ask every couple of hours when she gets to go to her mommy from the time I pick her up to the time I drop her off (I totally don't mind that she wants to be with her mom, but her dad hardly sees her and it seems like it hurts his feelings and maybe even makes him wonder if I make them feel that way ) =(!!!!!

that was the hard part to explain. like I said I have ALWAYS loved my step daughters, but I have never felt the same attachment to them that I feel towards my daughter and son. when its me and my bio children I do a lot more. I have more of a desire to make grocery, mall, movie, library and/or park trips. My husband is starting to catch on to this and he sees it as serious favoritism, but its not that!!! FOUR KIDS IS A LOT MORE THAN TWO KIDS!!!!!!! My husband doesn't realize that because while he has always worked ive always stayed home and he has absolutely no idea what its like to cater to 2 more kids every other weekend. I feel REALLY alone these days, because I had to stop talking to my mom about it anymore because she is super critical and really quick to say im doing everything wrong and like I said.... my husband is much less than understanding. when I tell him the kids stressed me out he doesn't look at all 4 kids he looks his 2 daughters and my son and our daughter as separate and sees favoritism.

I think it is very important to add to this jumbled up rant that I am very good friends with the girls mom and we talk about everything pertaining my step daughters. I know that there is no brainwashing going on and it baffles me that my step daughters tell her how much they like me!!!!???? I'm just at a point where my stepmothering life has stopped making sense and I needed to write it all out. ha! I'm a much better writer than this and definitely more organized, but right now I am making cookies, getting 4 kids bathed and dressed and taking all of them to a carnival.... by myself. My mind is pretty fried and my time is very limited! thanks to anyone who can bare to read more than the first sentence of this craziness!

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Danicia - posted on 09/08/2013

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sounds like they are acting out in a way to try to control/adapt their environment. even with the good communication between both sides of their parentals, it's tough for kids that age to understand why they can't just live in one house with everyone they love. they may be saying they want to go back to moms b/c moms house is their most constant environment and that is where they feel safest/most content currently- they have a strong routine from being at moms all the time and going to dads/your house is sorta like a required vacation.
if it helps with your hubs, ask him to take off one weekend a month that they are there for a complete family outing. the girls need time with their father (which is why they are there in the first place) and that may help him see it's not favoritism. you still do fun things with his kids. good luck and hope things mellow out for y'all!

Amy - posted on 09/07/2013

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My step compares her past to my kids now. I know more now on kids then I did back when she was little. My problem is that I was the youngest in my family and my mother died when I was 8 years old. Also, my mother-in-law has some sort of sibling issue. This is why Im making a separate post. Lol The (MIL) father was married to her mother and during her childhood her father would spend most of his time over at the neighbors house. He would then come home and go straight to bed every night and be gone every weekend. Later, MIL's (teens years) mom mentioned that her father was having a relationship with the lady next door. Why she didn't devorce the bast$&@, i don't know. When she was growing up she was foced to spend time with the little girl next door. That little girl was thought to be her 1/2 sister. The little girl was always given nicer gifts. MIL's dad would give the little girl anything she wanted. That's most of whats wrong with my ill mother-in-law. If i would have know this when she said, "You love your child more.."! I would have done things a little differently. MIL and I have been going back and forth for years. It's only calmed down a bit in the last year; after she told me this story of her father. (I kind-of-sort of got in her face last year.) My husbands mom has a lot of issues and thinks of her grandchild like she was her daughter. Very protective jezz The funny thing is she has NEVER told anyone else, but me. She only told her kids half of the story. MIL would leave out the part about the girl being her sister. I think what bugged her the most is that he gave her more attention more everything. Its effecting generations in this family. Its effected her granddaughter for her rest of her life! Siblings

KeRashawn - posted on 09/07/2013

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Honestly, I am in the same situation as you. Except, I have a 4 yr. old stepdaughter and a 1 yr. old daughter and Pregnant again. My fiancé also doesn't understand that its hard. && with your situation, I know it must be way harder than mines. but I think its just a man's thing, they seem to point out more things when its with their other kids from another mother. && yes, I must say the same as you, I love my stepdaughter, but I still am a mother and I actually have this natural "bond" with my own kids meaning that I actually carried them for 9 months. I gave birth to them. So the bond is more natural then actually having to develop one. Good Luck

Gena - posted on 09/07/2013

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Wow i think you are doing a great job! but i also think your husband should spend more time with his daughters or when you are all together that he helps out more. Why dont you ask him to take all 4 to the park on his own for one time? ;-) maybe it would open his eyes on how stressy it can be.

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Why are you caring for the two step daughters on the weekends they are with you alone? Why is their father not going to the carnival with you? The girls are not there to spend time with you, they are there to spend time with their dad, and it doesn't seem like they are getting that time with him.
I'm not saying they shouldn't enjoy time with you as well, but when you have all 4 children, you should BOTH be spending time with them as a family. You shouldn't have to care for them all by yourself.
The girls are probably acting out because they are picking up on your stress--I know you are trying your best not to let them see that you are stressed, but slight changes in our tone of voice, they way we move, give us away--kids can ALWAYS tell.

Try to plan family outings for all 6 of you when the girls are with you so that they get the same fun trips as your two children without over burdening you, and they get some quality time with their dad.

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JoCaryn - posted on 09/09/2013

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I know! I don't judge anyone. I know that there are step moms who say they love their step kids as their own and really seem to and I know step moms who say they try their very best and fall short and I totally understand. I know that for me patience has always been an issue. I was impatient all my life and when I was 17 I had a revelation and thought that my life would be different (regarding patience)... and then I had children... Children require you to learn an entire new level of patience and if you are an impatient person that is constantly battling then step children unlock a secret level! lol.... but like I said my relationship has been REALLY great up until the last 6 months. I'm glad I posted on here though because its made me realize that it can be a number of things. I mean we just moved back to our home town after 2 years of being down the street from them. we also went from having them EVERY weekend for the last 3 years to every other weekend and sometimes events overlap and we don't even have them that often. its probably REALLY hard for them to be with their mother and step dad all the time and then come to our house with an entire new set of rules plus not only do they share their room here but they share with a baby sister too.

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I'm going to be new at being a step mom to 2 girls, and there is alot I am already having to get used to as well as my daughter having a step father. lots of big changes coming but I'm looking forward to all the challenges. sometimes I don't know how stepmoms deal with it all

JoCaryn - posted on 09/09/2013

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This is one thing that I can totally understand!!! My husband grew up in a house with an abusive father. His father abused his mother and brother terribly, but not him... Because of his fathers horrifying abuse towards his brother his mother favored his brother. My husband was never fully aware of the abuse towards his brother so all he saw was that his mother would do anything for his brother, but not for him, so he thought she must have loved him more. I think his mom was just favoring and "protecting" his brother emotionally, so that he would feel loved.

My husbands brother didn't turn out so well. He has a job now, but he's only had it for about a year. He's into his thirties and up until this year when he moved to be closer to us he was being supported by girlfriend, after girlfriend... After girlfriend. He has also been legally married since he was 19 and has 3 boys with this woman. 8 years old, 11 years old and 12 years old who he has no relationship with other than birthday and Christmas phone calls and child support. Although him and this girl are married they have not been together for 10 years. He says that they both like the situation they are in... I CANNOT believe that!

All that being said. I always thought that my husbands fear of favoritism stemmed from his dad abusing his brother and his brother turning out like he did. I understood that to be a rational fear. But in the last year I've realized how unaware he is of that abuse towards his brother and the severity of it. In the last year I've realized that his fear of favoritism stems from his mother favoring his brother. The way he puts it "my mom would take a spoonful of food out of my mouth and put it in my brothers".

Sorry my response took so long. I'd like to add also that after 2 years of telling my husband that he might benefit from speaking to a therapist, just for an outside unbiased perspective and a way to grieve the loss of his dad, he started seeing one last month.

JoCaryn - posted on 09/08/2013

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Thank you! This was VERY helpful! I agree about their moms house is the most constant bc I know that my house is the most constant for my son and when he goes to his real dads he tells me how different it is (not in a bad way, just different). I know that at my house we have more rules, set bed times and probably the hardest thing for the girls is that their mother is very out doorsy and loves playing out door sports and constantly keeps them busy. Then when they are with me we do more crafts, coloring books (I try to sneak in things that they would float school), and movies. For my kids this is the norm, so it's fun for them. When my step daughters come they like it to an extent, but can't sit still for too long bc they are used to being on the move. I totally get it! My problem has really just been with how close we all were and that the change has come with a level of disrespect. From what I am understanding though from everyone this is totally normal. I feel a little less like an evil step mom.

Amy - posted on 09/07/2013

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I met my husband when I was 19 and my step daughter was 5. At the time, I didn't realize that both of the bio parents where not spending enough attention to her. Instead, they would buy her things. I was young and in love. :( Years latter, my step started to get out of control. Tantrums and lies even when it was obvious at what really happened. She was 6 years old. My sister said she was spoiled rotten. I wish now that i never took her advice. I didn't understand what was going on. Everybody, from grandmas to parents where giving everything to her. I should have done the same! It made me look bad in her eyes. I didn't believe in that because my father spent time not money on me. But, because of my sister BAD advice; I didn't spend enough time either. Well, I did do a lot more than her real parents, but it wasn't enough. What does bring up good kids? Its you spending that time when they areYOUNG. As years went on, I had a daughter. My step was 9 years old. My mother in law stood in the drive way and said this to me, "You love your child more than______" I was in shock and said it wasn't true. My daughter was 3 months old. Who compares a baby to a 9 year old? The worst thing was my mother In-law would say those things in front of my step. :( My step still loved me then... A year later her bio mom moved out of state. She didn't want that extra drama with my husband and in-laws. During the summer, we surprised my step. I was the first she hugged. My husband was holding our tot and was the next to be hugged. 2 years a go my step started to believe that nobody cares except her bio mom. She started to turn truth up-side-down. I think she stared to listen to grandma and her mom. She would go to her mom tell her that I wouldn't let her eat honey bunches of oats. (Her mom is also bipolar.) It was that a diet cereal with the strawberries. I told her that we don't really know what they put in that diet stuff. she was 11... She would also go tell her mom that i bought more pricer stuff for me and on sell items for her. She should of came to me not her mom and I bought everything on sell; not just hers. She has twisted things to get her parents attention. It doesn't work with my husband and me. Only with her grandma and mom concerning me. Just yesterday, my step was trying to talk to her dad. He wasn't listening to her. I tried to answer her and she snapped and said, "I was not talking to you!" I was trying to help. I will never get things back to the way it was before. I have a 5 year old and 2 year old twins. Lets say parenting is like a bundgee cord and once it snaps; you won't get it back. Every time you jump you take a chance! Also, kids notice these things too. My twins are 2 and they know who gets more cheerios. Lol

Gena - posted on 09/07/2013

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Well its actualy great that he has done it before,and that he knows how hard it is.:-)

JoCaryn - posted on 09/07/2013

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Thanks! I know there are a lot of things I can still work on. LIKE PATIENCE!!! with ALL 4 kids AND my husband! He has taken the three older kids out before for some mall time and haircuts and a few other outings. Every time he takes them he comes home saying "I don't know how you do it!" and "you are like superwoman!", but as soon as he comes home from work and he's stressed from his day while I'm stressed from mine... well... how quickly he forgets that "i'm superwoman!" hahaha

JoCaryn - posted on 09/07/2013

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Thanks for posting! ♥ I totally agree that 4 kids on an outing is too much for me. My husband has to work today because another employee was let go. We had it planned where he would be off every other Saturday in the beginning. I would usually wait until he gets off to take them, but it just so happens that he is working until after the carnival closes.

That being said... He never works on Sunday and rather than saying he's tired he really does need to spend more time with them!!! Him and my son are nothing alike (my son is EXTREMELY introverted), but he has a better relationship with him than his own daughters and as much as I love their relationship I feel bad.

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