Struggling Step Mom

Marry - posted on 10/08/2013 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I thought I'd use this an outlet for some good advice from young parents, so please be nice and know I am not a hateful person.
When I was 18 years old I started a relationship with my now husband. He had a very young child and was going through a separation/divorce with his wife (he was 24 at the time). When we first got together he only had his son every other weekend and he worked out of town or late nights during the week. I worked second shift at my job at the time so it worked out great and I just left him and his son to spend quality time together on their weekends. About a year and a half into me and him getting serious I started to be around his son more and we moved in together. Things were great. We enjoyed spending time together and going out as a young couple and even his weekends with his son we did family activities. About 6 months into me living with him, his ex-wife completely just lost her mind and dumped both her kids (one his and one from a previous relationship who is older) on their fathers. So we had to immediately adjust to both being full time parents just out of no where. I felt myself getting jealous because we wouldnt go out to eat because his son didnt like that type of food, or we would stay home because he wanted to play with him the weekends when he was off work. This went on with legal battles over custody, her drug use, not seeing either child for over a year, etc. About 2 years of him living with us full time and we decide to have a baby. My stepson was 3 at the time. I never really treated him differently, but I didn't hug him or kiss him or smother him like i now see me doing with my own child and i guess that just came from being young and inexperienced as how i should react to him. I mean i wasnt his mom and he didnt treat me like his mom. Now that our child is born, a little girl, i see myself being extremely hateful towards him. I get on him about everything. I dont even like him breathing near her because I dont want him to get her sick (he's 4 and picks his nose and puts his hands all in his mouth, etc. like any kid his age) or at least thats what i tell myself. I guess I resent the fact that I was never given the chance to raise a child and enjoy my child alone because now my husband still works late and out of town and I am left to take care of both, meaning i take them to day care, i pick them up, i bathe them, i put them both to bed, etc. I know I chose this lifestyle but I guess I didnt realize how much things would change when i had our daughter. I didnt realize how negatively I would feel about my stepson. In a way I wish his mother would just take him back. (she is off drugs now, working, but is still in a relationship with the man who got her involved with drugs) I know that is hateful to say but it is how i feel. He doesnt want my attention. I try to be nice to him and get him things and yet he just stays in his room all day when im home yet runs and hugs and kisses his dad when he comes home. and runs to his mom when she now comes and sees him every other weekend. its like i am there all the time. i am the main provider out of all 3 parents, yet i get nothing out of it. And I guess i just dont want his actions to influence my daughter and have her learn and see what he does towards me and act the same way. So in return, i guess i am mean to him but i dont mean to be. I can feel myself cringe when i say things to him but i still do. like if he's playing to loud i yell at him to hush or comes in the room is playing and i make him go to his room because he's being "too loud" or i just drop him off at daycare and leave but when i drop off our daughter i stay and talk with her teacher and kiss and hug her by. I buy her all these cute clothes and toys, etc. and really dont even consider him anymore. I don't want to feel this way, but I dont know how i should feel or how to fix the situation now. And talking to my husband is no effort. When we were talking about having a baby to begin with he made me promise to treat them the same and he says now that he thinks im being too overprotective of our baby when its really that i just want to be with her and her alone and for our step son to just not be there period. Please help!

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Liz - posted on 10/10/2013

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Sweetheart the first part to this situation is that you do recognize that you are mean. which is a huge step. Let me tell you this just because she is the biological mother dosent necessarily mean that she is a mother. You have taken out the responsibility of being the mother. It is not his fault and im glad that you recognize this. You have to start looking at him like he is your son. U are not the biological mother but you are his mother. If he stays away from you its probably because he feels that he bothers you. Try playing games with both your children. They are both your kids. Involve him in activities and I guarantee you that the situation will change. Ask your husband to hire a babysitter once in a while because mommies also need alone time so they wont feel overwhelmed. Good luck to you

Jessica - posted on 10/09/2013

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I definitely understand what you're saying but what you really need to keep in mind in all of your anger and frustration is that it is NOT his fault and it IS your responsibility. No matter how much you want to think that he has his own mom and it is her responsibility (which it is) that doesn't change the fact that you married his father knowing that he had a child and it is your responsibility to make sure he is a full part of the family. And it is not about taking away her childhood for his, if you had another child of your own who needed to go to baseball practice would you say no because that means you have to split your time between the kids? No you wouldn't, so that's how you need to Start to think about it, as if he was your child too, because he is. And although I understand wanting some alone time to spend with the baby you can't take your anger out on a kid, he didn't put himself in the situation his mom and your husband did and he didn't choose you as a step mom, you chose to be his step mom so really he's the only one who hd NO CHOICE in the situation.

Jessica - posted on 10/08/2013

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I am also a step mom if a three year old but I don't have kids of my own yet. I definitely understand what you mean about being feeling like no matter how much you do you feel like the child always prefers their mother. I have the same feelings sometimes with my daughter because I feel like we take so much time and make so much effort to make sure she has what she needs and we pay so much attention to her and make sure we spend all of our off time with her but yet she'll still cries for her mom sometimes even though she is always out of the house and is more concerned with herself than she is with our kid. I don't know how I will feel when I have another baby because I definitely understand wanting to have time where it is just you and your husband and new baby. I think you definitely need to nip it in the butt though and figure out a way to have some of your own time with your daughter so hopefully that will help you start to enjoy spending time with your step son again. He is never going to go anywhere and you don't want to keep building up feelings of hatred toward him because it is not his fault, but its not yours either. You can rip how you feel. I would recommend talking to your husband and just telling him that you love you step son and everything but that you never got the baby experience with him the way your husband did and need sometime to enjoy it with your daughter. Try to explain that you don't want to resent him down the line and that you think you need to figure. Out a temporary solution so that you have some alone time.

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Jessica - posted on 10/09/2013

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Ya I completely understand what you mean. I have it easy in the fact that we have time off. We have nights to ourselves and don't hold all of the responsibility. Soon though, your daughter will be older and you will have to do all of those same things whether or not he is there, I think now it just feels like if he weren't there you would have it much easier. Idk how realistic it is but have you discussed your husband being home more at night? I know you said he works a lot but maybe if he could cut back a little so he can help him with homework and bathe him etc so you can focus on your daughter on those nights it would give you a little relief.

Marry - posted on 10/09/2013

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I know you are right and I guess I am just trying to find a reason for why I act the way I do towards him. I really don't have a legitimate reason, it just comes out that way and I know I need to make an effort to treat him better, but I don't think I could ever treat him just like my own. I see friends of mine who are in similar situations and they love their step children like they were theirs, but i also see that the other parent and is super involved and plays the part they are suppose to so that my friends don't have to be it all, just part time parents and that makes it a lot easier. Like I said earlier, when we only had him every other weekend and a day or two during the week it was great. We would play games and play nerf gun wars in the house and we would take him to the park. Now I see her and her family doing that. Like every weekend they have him they will eat whatever he wants, take him to bounce houses and to arcades and to the beach and to the pool and do all these great things and let him eat candy and stay up late. They get to enjoy the fun stuff, like I use to because they only have to be there twice a month. I now have to worry about coming home from working all day and cooking supper, giving baths, doing homework (pre-k), cleaning the house, and then on the weekends I have to arrange really cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping and working saturdays in with all that. Its like now that we have him full-time its not always fun time like it use to be with him and I don't know how to make it feel like that again because I use to enjoy him coming over and playing but now it feels like I HAVE to do everything so it isnt fun anymore.

Marry - posted on 10/09/2013

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He does stay with his grandmother (her mom) twice a month. a night one weekend and a day one weekend. it is some time alone but i just wish we had more time. and i know when she gets older im going to want to put her in dance and sports and i wont sacrifice her time for his because i just dont feel like it should be my responsibility. it should be his moms. if she wants him to be involved like that then she should sacrifice her time for him and get off work and take him to practice, etc. i guess thats why i am so mean to him because i take what i feel for her out on him. she is around. she lives 15 minutes away. she is off drugs and she has a job, yet she doesnt ask to get him more than what her mom gets him and she goes over and sees him and thats it, so why should i sacrifice my time and my child's childhood when he has a mom that should be doing all of that for him but just doesnt care. it would be different if she was passed away or lived hours away or was in prison or something, but she isnt and yet she still chooses not to get involved.

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