being a step parent!

Davine - posted on 05/28/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I have a 10yr old stepdaughter whom I love deeply! I have been with my fiance for over 5yrs now and have known them for even longer. Now let me begin by saying this is not a slam on moms who have split homes...but these are my personal feelings about my situation and am just wondering if anyone else has these sort of issues. I have bent over backwards to pick up Brittney if her mom didnt have the gas money, to watch her if she wanted to go out or needed to work...all things that I absolutely dont mind doing for her, because i love spending time with her. We have her every weekend, holidays, school vacations and the summer. All time that I take care of her as a SAHM. Here we are 5 yrs later and I still am treated like a babysitter. There was a dentist appt last week for her and my daughter, we pay her insurance, and her mother and father work. so naturally i was taking my daughter so i had planned on taking brit as well. When her father called to let her know i was picking her up from school (mind u this was previously discussed a week prior) she said i dont feel comfortable with that, i want u to take off work to take her. She thought that it would look bad if one of her "parents" wasnt there. When I had previously discussed with the secretary. I just dont understand why this woman gets a hair across her butt and thinks that she can treat me like a second class citizen. One minute she wants us all to be a parenting team and the next, my fiance needs to be here, because she doesnt want Brittney to be here with just me. I feel so used and so unappreciated, and my fiance just doesnt realize it. He just tries to keep the peace, which i understand but it is so frustrated after 5yrs of love and energy and favors that I am still a nobody! Anyone else have this kind of a situation?

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Zvikomborero - posted on 08/19/2012

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She might act differently if you were the wife not just a fiance. I'm sure its not easy for her either thinking another woman is looking after her daughter. Coming from a step parent family and i have been a step mum, that is just something that comes with being a stepparent unfortunately. Or just sit down the 3 of you adults and talk it through?

N - posted on 08/18/2012

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P.S. For the moms who reply to you. You really can't understand unless you are a stepmom. It'S really unlike anything else. Moms, always have support from everyone...poor exhausted mom. Mom can lose her cool, mom can make mistakes hey mom is the hardest job in the world right? I'm not so sure. My daughter'S a piece of cake. Having a step child, being a good step mom: Now that required double the patience, double the generosity, and double the selflessness. Congrats to all the good stepmoms who are able to remain respectful of their stepchildren and thier birthmothers despite all of the difficulties.

N - posted on 08/18/2012

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This seems to be exactly what it feels like. It's been 9 years for me and it has not gotten any better. When my SD was 6 I had to really break the bond that we had because I always felt undervalued. I had no control over anything yet I did all the dirty work. We have a had a great relationship but I felt used and underappreciated by everyone. I still feel that way. I take care of her day after day and week-ends and she jumps up to hug and kiss her parents and forgets me. Mother'S day...nothing. To stay sane I had to get a life without her. I had to distance myself. I had to stop loving her as my own because she never will be. I had to change our relationship into one of friendship. I had to care less. Now it hurts less when she doesn't show me the love she shows her parents. She never will. That's it. It was leading to resentment and intolerable frustrations. I still take care of her all the time and love her differently but I don't worry about her when she isn't there. I feel like a free daycare and I'm a teacher I know I take care of her well. I feel like I'm used as a free daycare but I focus on the fact that my daughter and her love eachother and its quality time that they are spending together when she is here. I think its really important to have your own life (my work and daughter help me stay focussed and I try not to dramatize what happens with my step daughter). I still do way more for her than anyone realizes and I acknowledge that this may never come back to me but I know I'm doing the right thing. I wouldn'T dedicate my whole life to staying home and taking care of a step-child. Its too hard on a person's spirit self-esteem.



I read what you wrote later about fighting with your husband about making her come because of how she will feel that you don'T care about her. I hear myself bfore my sanity hit rock bottom as well as my marriage. This was really hard for me to accept but this is what I had to learn, take it or leave it: Let your husband fight for your stepdaughter's well being. Don'T do it for him. It's exhausting and no one will appreciate it if you do. If he isn't willing to fight for her to come, why should you. I wanted my husband to be the super dad so I used to tell him what to say and suggest what we should do. We almost went to court until I realized that I was leading the battle. When push came to shove he was willing to let mom have her most of the time. I was telling him to do what I was hoping he would do himself. I put down my flag and arms and thought, if he thinks she's fine over there and he isn't worried. Why should I be? It isn't awful if she isn't with you as much. It isn't the end of the world if he gives in to the BM after all she'S the mother, and father's don'T have the same relationship with their children. BM will educate her and Bm will have the biggest influence. BM will always win when it comes to her daughter and the more invested you become, the stronger a back you need. It broke mine so I let it all my expectations go, I let go of wanting her as my own, I stopped telling my husband what to do, I stopped worrying so much about her, and surprise, she's fine and happy. We even have a better relationship.

Davine - posted on 06/01/2010

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Thanks ladies for your positive thoughts! I appreciate having people understand where I am coming from. Sometimes even people who are step parents say oh well just go with it! I'm not a door mat and I am her parent too! Crystal I really feel for your situation, that must be hard to have the bio mother who is so disengaged in her childs life and then when she feels like it throws a fit and wants to be! I can't imagine it. Sounds like you are doing an excellent job though! Erin thank you so much for your input! Your rational sounds exactly like mine, i just can never seem to get that out when I am explaining my case. All i've ever wanted is to be considered as a part of a parenting team, because I am in it for the long haul and have been. I just wish that she would realize that he has just as much right to make decisions in Brittneys life as she does. and it is a very hard but necessary decision, not to mention the best one for your child, that you would be able to deal with a new SO in your childs life. You put your thoughts very well, and i will definatley keep them handy for the next time I am questioned about my parenting when it comes to my step daughter. Dana will be sooo glad to join your circle. I feel awful saying this but i am so glad that i have met someone with my same problems. It is so hard to explain to people who just have'nt dealt with it. And in my opinion it is so much different to have had a step parent and think you know how that relationship goes. For one not every step parent to child relationship is the same...so again lets drop the Cinderella story, not every step mother is an evil monster. And second of all, you dont know as a child and maybe not as an adult either, what that parent actually feels for you. A lot of people assume that step parents are harder on the kids because it is a lack of love, or they dont have the same connection. Yes i did not give birth to Brittney, therefor I do not have that same bond, but the important fact is, I feel like I did. I feel like she has been in my life always and I love her just the same. And I would like to say that I am not harder on her, but the truth is, if i really sit back and think about it, there are sometimes that I might be. But the simple fact is, if I am its because I feel like I cannot always be there to watch over her or to guide her, so while she is with me, I want to be sure that I am instilling in her extra (so it sticks with her during the week) that she needs to study hard (not watch so much tv), and make sure she remembers her manners ( because they are impecable here) I want her to remember me like a still small voice in her mind, helping her to do the right things. Because I love her and I am so proud of her and have the confidence that if I keep reminding her, she just may be able to handle the two very different lifestyles and rules of her two different families! Thanks again for all the encouraging comments!

Crystal - posted on 06/01/2010

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well i am in a little bit worse situation...My step-daughter who is a little over 2 is just like my own. I treat and love her just the same as i do my son. I have been with her since she was 9 months old. Her mother has not seen her at all since christmas and prior to that only seen her once every couple months. She also calls me momma. But her mother had a fit when she started callin me momma and she foind out. My hubby told her "Hey you should have been with her and around her more no one told her to call her that she just started calling her momma and no one stopped her we didnt feel the need to stop her. " Her mother only wants to see her when she has a family get together which is christmas and thanksgiving. Her family has no idea she doesnt even have her. She pays no child support doesnt call to see how she is doing. When Aubrey my step-daughter started walking last year went to see her one day for a couple hours and she called firing mad and said why didnt anyone call and tell me that she was walking! Hubby told her oh well you should call her more often and see her. Its the same ole same ole. But the only thing for you to do is to stand up and say hey! if im going to be in this childs life and watch her pick her up and shes going to live with me and i pay her way then im going to be considered her family a step-parent and im not going to be treated as anything less! i never had to deal with that much just the momma thing but just stand up and say how you feel your not a baby sitter you are a parent to her!

Dana - posted on 06/01/2010

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Definetly! you need to join my circle so we can vent more! my fiances x is a monster! I do everything for my 2 girls while she sleeps around and parties! She begs for help, and money and advice but when you offer it to her she flips cause she thinks we're telling her shes a bad mom....She loves to start drama on purpose just to do it! For example this week she wrote all over fb that shes gonna miss the girls this summer and she doesnt want them to be with us the whole summer and bla bla bla...but lo and behold while i had both girls this weekend....she calls me up and wants me to start their summer 3 days earlier than planned so she can go out of town with her new fling!!! You just have to ignore her.....do wat you have to to get the job done as long as ur fiance and you agree there is nothing she can do! While they're with you they are his responsibilty and she can bit** all she wants but legally can rele do nothing. Take ur girls to the dentist! lol and message me!

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I agree with you Davine, I have thought about this a time or two and would also put my best parenting foot forward and suck up whatever was going on in my head in regards to my ex sleeping/making family with someone else! Unfortunately for the vast majority of seperated parents this seems to be too difficult to muster? IDK why???

My thought on step parents...1st maybe she would act differently if you were a wife and not just a fiance? Aside from that...a step parent is STILL a PARENT! As a parent of a step child I think that you should defer major decisions to biological parent, but past that-say you got the go ahead, you do what your spouse would want you to do...I assume 5 yrs later y'all have discussed discipline, etc. I agree that you need to be consistant in YOUR house! YOUR HOUSE YOUR RULES! NO child likes parents that are strict, especially in the midst of it...as she gets older she will appreciate the consistency of your household and on some level may actually prefer to be there!!! Just because you all have weekend visitation does not mean that the sun rises and sets on the daughter! If you all treat her speical during her visitation then your other children are going to have issues with the favoritism. So keep it up! Don't defer on household rules!!! Are your kid's friends going to get special rules? NO! Why the hell would other children? Cousins wont either...hmmm...doesn't sound right to give her speical rules...? I also think it is messed up when ppl say they leave all discipline to the step child's father when he gets home? Seriously? How the hell do you expect me to run a household when I can not discipline one of my kids? How do you tink that child is going to treat you? W/out respect is my thought! Have you ever worked in a restaurant? So the manager gets respected (when they're there) and the assisstant doesn't get respect because they can't discipline the staff. Are you his assisstant or his partner? If he wants his child to respect you then you need to be able to run your house the way y'all agree is fit. If your children will follow the same rules then they should maintain! I do not understand how people say they don't want their kids of another relationship to feel less wanted or some crap but then they proceed to give them different rules or don't let the step parent take part in parenting the child? How is that step child NOT going to feel seperate from the family then???

Davine - posted on 05/30/2010

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I do see your point and i do understand that i should put myself in her shoes and i do! I would absolutely want my children to understand that there are two seperate families now. I dont agree with people sending their children all these mixed signals. And a father has just as much right and say in their childs life as the mother. The reason I fell in love with my fiance and decided to start a family with him was because i saw how he was with his daughter....very involved and very loving. He spends all his free time with his kids and the thing about it...is we are a family! and when she left him...she abandoned the right to make any decisions about his life including who he decided to spend the rest of his life or who he had kids with! Because this is our family and Brittney is a part of it...not her mother. And we dont try to be a part of their family, thats their business. Most mother's are too hypocritical and think that because they have their child the majority of the time as the "custodial parent" they should be entilted to all the say! This is the same fight some have about being a stay at home mom and what say do the fathers have if they dont stay at home all day! Well my opinion on it is...you have equal say and equal rights...especially if you take care of your child and provide for your child. and this is the same even if u no longer are together! And yes the majority of her decisions are because she loves her, however, those are the decisions that inculde her having her here and with me. It isn't until she has a hair across her ass that she decides that i am no longer fit to take care of her. Or she has a problem because she doesnt have any rules in her house and we do. Again...this is my house...and when i say that its my family's house, his family not including his ex! when you leave someone u cant expect to have the best of both worlds. she is a control freak and plays head games and i would love to say that you were right, but its not like that at all!!! It is frusturating to have a child that is available to you when her mom is in the right mood! Thats all im trying to say! And you may not believe me but i do think about what i would do. And i know deep down that i would need to be a mature adult for my kids and teach them that they need to love and respect this other person who is now another parent to them, who i have to trust has their best intrests at heart!

Sarah - posted on 05/30/2010

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good point she is the mom so as her being the mom let her find a more suitable "babysitter". just MO

Sheryl - posted on 05/30/2010

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ok this is my view on what you are saying. i come from a family with step parents! you got to try to understand it not easy being a step parent and its not easy being the parent dealing with a step parent. i know you say you love her and only want the best for her. but you got to understand in the end it between them to make the choice on that lil girl. yes it sounds like you do great trying to do alot for that lil girl. but you also got to understand in the end she is mom. whatever or how crazy or rude she may come off. moms have there reason for what they do with there kids. sounds like she only wants the best for her lil girl too. know from my view on the hole thred wheel thing! she is the mom and he is the dad and it well always be that way. i mean try to put your self in her shoes. i mean really! try to see things from her view. i mean think about it i mean take the idea if some other women even though they have been togather for a long time. i am sure you would have your rules to and things you want done by the dad. and yes it is your house but that is there lil girl. know that being said should she maybe have a lil respect for you, yes! and should she be thankful yes! i am married and both of my kids are from my husbend and he don't have any other kids. but since we come from families witch have high div. rates. we talked! we told each other we want the parent choice just in between us cause we are the parents. us should are child should be have at both house but it the real parent that should handle the issue that a raise. know that just us. did you ever maybe think that its cause she just want him to spend more time with her alone you know one on one time. cause it sounds like you see her on weekends. cause if it where me yes i rather it just be my husbend cause i know my child would be with me full time. i in the end thats really important and yes it also important if they have a brother or sister to play with them also but just like any and every kids its important to spend one on one time with mom or dad. know this is just how i see it i really do hope you,boyfriend and the mom can come to a place where it all peace for the child. cause kids can since the stress when it comes to adult issue maybe not the ex. issue but they can till on how the adult act with each other. i hope your not mad at me but this is just what i have learned from growing up with my own parent div.!

Hannah - posted on 05/30/2010

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No problem. My family is full of step parents, so I knew what I had coming. It really does happen to pretty much everyone. But I hear it does get easier eventually.

Davine - posted on 05/29/2010

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It is absolutley infuriating! Actually today we were suppose to get Brittney and we were planning on getting ready and going to get her. Well her mother calls about 10 mins before we are ready to leave and says never mind she is staying at my moms house. And this always causes a fight between my fiance and I. I say we need to have her come, because if we dont ask her to come, then Brittney feels we dont care about her, she has said this a lot lately. And his response is i am not going to make her come here because she doesnt like being here, its because of you. I can be strict, but i am strict with my 3 yr old daughter as well. I just expect everyone to be respectful and to follow the rules, whether u r here full time or part time. And i feel like her mom is just the third wheel in this relationship, if she doesnt like it, then it isnt happening. This is our home not hers! And I'm so tired of her just being nice when she needs something....like u said. We are not nannies, we are the step parents. I am glad i am not the only one that feels this way. I always get told that i am overreacting and that this is normal for a step parent and it should be like this! UGH so frustrurated. Thank you for sharing Hannah!

Hannah - posted on 05/29/2010

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My situation is a little different, but I get what you're saying. I have a 2 year old step daughter and every time her mother is around she just talks about how she doesn't want me there... That is unless she needs me. I'm not on call, and I have more than proven that she can trust me, but she still treats me like some kind of nanny. It's infuriating.

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