Step-mom Dilema...what should i do from here

Krista - posted on 02/02/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,
I'm in a real funk in my life right now.
I've been a step mom for over 4 years now. I came into her life when she was 2.5 years old, I became pregnant when she was 3 years 2 months old.
We had an amazing relationship from the start. In fact, I jumped into being a step mom very suddenly due to the circumstances. It was very tough for her, as the relationship between her mother and father was a verbally abusive one, so the separation between them didnt go to well. Entering a relationship like that was very tough, as i dealt with a lot of the turmoil between them. It was very hard, and we didnt have that "romance stage" in our relationship.
3 months after becoming pregnant, my spouse began to work full time, and i took on the schedule to take care of my step daughter and our home. It was 4 days on, 4 days off etc... This is when problems started to occur. She really started acting out, having tantrums....at times she acted out in ways that i thought she was possessed. She would have kicking fits, and even kicked my very pregnant belly when i was trying to put her in her bed. It was a very stressful pregnancy, as I was trying to take care of a toddler who was obviously taking this transition hard.
The internet was my guide...I searched as many different alternatives to discipline...and communicate. It seemed like nothing worked, and everything i tried made it worse.
This lasted for quite some time, along with a lot of strain on my relationship.
When my son was born, she wanted nothing to do with him. She was shaking when she first saw Emmyt, as if she was terrified. She also wanted nothing to do with him when we were home. That alone broke my heart. However I still continued to be loving to her, and tried to get her involved with taking care of Emmyt. Like asking her to help me with the things I needed. The behaviour still continued through these times. However when her dad was around, they would occur less, and not to the degree she would with me, or the would occur not at all.

When my son turned one, and was now walking and moving around, thats when new issues occurred. My SD would start to be bossy. Take toys away from him..She would be pushy. She would also say that he would be hitting her when he was no where near her. We could say she was doing it for attention, but she was still getting a lot of attention from myself, and more so from her dad. It some times made me sad that he wouldnt give as much attention to our newly developing son. But they do say men respond better to older children..so i tried not to take it too personally.

When my son was almost a year and a half....my spouse had to go away for over a year. I continued to take my SD every other weekend. Problems occurred..but seldom. They started to occur more if i took her 2 weekends in a row, or extra days. However, some problems were arising with how she was treating my son.
By this time my son was 2...my SD was 5 going on 6.
It was common for her to come running and tell on him for all the things he was doing. (climbing...spitting...hitting) Automatically I would discipline my son, taking her word for it, as i thought she was just looking out for him and for me. being the "older sister".
Than the hitting started to occur more, she would run and tell me he was hitting her. I would discipline him and give him time outs. One day i walked into the dining room quietly, and i witnessed her hit my son twice, when he wasnt doing anything. I started to think something more was going on to this hitting issue...
Than i started noticing that he copied everything she would do. She climbed on the tv stand, he would, She would do this spitting bubbles thing from her mouth, he would copy.
One day she came to tell me my son was climbing on the couch...I disciplined him..Than i walked into the room 10 minutes later, she was doing the same thing with him there. When i would discipline her about it, she would have outburst, yelling, stomping her feet, flinging her legs and body around. They were the same tantrums she would have when she was 3 years old. Than, of course, not long after, when I would discipline my son, he would scream and stomp around like she would...minus the body shaking...as he doesnt see her when she does it. ( i also forgot to mention she would hit herself...and he copied that before too)
A recent event has happened where she was shoving my son with her side while he was playing with his toys, minding his own business. She had no clue i was watching, and when i caught her, she shuts down, covers her eyes and does whining sounds. When she refuses to communicate, she does her yelling fit and stomps her feet in her room.

My spouse, has even back for the recent events, and has been aware of them, but is still not here 100% of the time. taking care of my SD (on the weekends) and our son has been made my responsibility and I'm really shutting down because of the negative impacts its having on our son. He has now acquired all of her negative traits. And it has made being a mother very difficult. I've become unhappy, and its effecting my relationship.
It also doesnt help that when my spouse gets extra time, we never get time to ourselves, and he spends all this quality time with his daughter (my SD)...and doesnt take the same time with our son or myself. He seems to favour her more, and neglect the fact that she has these reoccurring problems and that she is causing these problems with our son. In fact, my son gets penalized for these negative habits that he has obtained from her. But he never sees her do it, so he acts as if its not her.
It also doesnt help that every time her mom has a chance to get her away to our house, shes on it like flies on s***. Every PA day....And now march break ( To which im expected to take care of her, and my spouse wont be around )

Now heres the biggy and possible life changing event for me. Last night I decided to speak to my spouse that I'm having trouble being a step parent. that its defeating. That she acts differently towards me than him...and that she acts out more with me. Thats shes creating issues with our son...and its becoming difficult doing it on my own. I also stated that i dont want to take care of her all of march break, that he wont even be here, and that its too much for me.

I get a response that he thinks i couldnt handle having more children (when thats what i want), he turns it around saying that he thinks i dont enjoy spending time with his daughter (to which despite the problems i have with her, i always take one on one time with her to play with her)...and im really trying to make the time enjoyable, and get her involved with what i do. I'm really trying :(
He turns it around on me, starts to think about all the past issues ive had with her, and points figures at me, and that its because i have issues with her.
He just got on the Defence.
Because my son hit her the other day, and i asked her questions to what happened (as she provokes it and bullies him) , he states to me that im justifying him hitting her, and that even if she was doing stuff to him, he had no right to hit her...(which he is right. violence isnt an answer to anything)..but he has no right in turning a conversation about my feelings and challenges,and turning it into all his problem with me.

I feel like Ive put myself out there so much for this family...and do a lot of work being a mom and a step mom.
I dont know what to do. My my spouse is siding with his daughter, and is in denial.
Just today i found a video in my ipad, and its of her holding the ipad and putting it down, my son walking up, her saying "no" and doing something to him. And him saying "oooow" in a painful voice. Than she says to him "Well thats your problem".
It doesnt sit well when someone is hurting my child, and disrespects me in my home. Now on top of everything, my spouse doesnt stand behind me.

I think this blended family is about to end.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Dove - posted on 02/02/2015

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There is no way you should ever punish a child on the word of another... ever. If you don't SEE it happen... you are the one creating that problem when it didn't need to be there. Your stepdaughter learned very quickly that you will take her word about your son and has manipulated that to her advantage. She's not going to give up that power easily at all. She technically should have been reprimanded for tattling.

It sounds like you all should seek some family counseling as soon as possible.

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Dove - posted on 02/02/2015

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That's why I suggest family counseling. They can help you and your spouse w/ communication and help both of you w/ parenting tips... AND help your stepdaughter w/ whatever emotional struggles are adding to her behaviors... Good luck!

Krista - posted on 02/02/2015

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thank you for responding. That was my mistake. And im definitely feeling down on myself for it, as i was wrong all along.
I am going to bring this up to my spouse. As i feel communication between us isnt helping the situation.

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