How Do I Do This?

I became a wife and a stepmother within two weeks of each other.  My new husband and I took custody of his two youngest children from their mother.  I have problems of feeling like it's a competition between her and I, and I get irritated that I don't win.  My husband tells me to get over that feeling.  I'm trying, I know she will always be their mother no matter if we have custody or not. 

I'm also feeling guilty of having resentful feelings toward the kids.  I can't pick out why.  I guess maybe because I loved having the fun and adventure full life my husband and I had before the kids moved in full time.  Does that make me a bad person? 

I love the kids, don't get me wrong, but I just feel so trapped.  It doesn't help that we have a very small apartment for four of us to cram into. 

PhunkyDc PhunkyDc
2 Responses Feb 23, 2009

Hey there,<br />
<br />
About the feeling of competition, in what way? Be careful because you don't want to get caught in some kind of Whatever She Can Do I Can Do Better kind of competition (buying things, cooking, playing) It's just a recipe for disaster. If you're viewing it it's a competition where you will never have an advantage. If it's for attention or affection, you will seldom win because mommy will always be mommy, no matter how bad she treats them, which is why my advice to you is to seek out why you feel there is a competition to begin with. <br />
<br />
Being a stepmom is an ambiguous role... you're not their mother because they have one, but you're married to their father, so YOU feel and hopefully your husband feels that you're role should be important but in the end it's going to be whatever relationship you can develop with the kids... Some people say being a stepmother is a thankless job but I really think it's part of the ambiguity. I would say just concentrate on trying to get to know the kids, not trying to put on a mother-role. <br />
<br />
The relationship-building part is important not just for you but also for them. Put yourself in their shoes: now they're living with their dad and there's this woman that they don't know much about, THEY probably aren't sure how to act! What I did with my stepdaughter was sit down and have a talk with her (even though she was 6 at the time) and say that I know her mommy is her mommy and will always be her mommy, that I will never try to be her only mommy, but now that I'm married to her daddy that it's important to me and hopefully to her that we get to know each other because I take the stepmommy role very seriously, and that I want her and I to have an open, communicative relationship (needless to say I put this all in 6 y/o terms but that's the gist of it).<br />
<br />
Don't feel bad about the resentment. I've been a stepmom for two years and sometimes I still have feelings of resentment. Things are different for us though, we don't have custody, so when we do have her, there are times where I get pricklings of feelings of intrusion into our lives. It usually doesn't last very long but what I'm trying to say is that it's perfectly normal. I would advise finding a really good babysitter and making sure that you and your husband still have ALONE time. One couple that I knew, didn't go out for almost THREE YEARS after the baby was born! It's all still about relationships and yes having children changes everything but that doesn't mean that you and your husband can't have a date every now and then. Do things as a family, do things with just your husband, and also don't forget to do things just by yourself! You also need to concentrate on you!<br />
<br />
If you're feeling trapped then go out for some fresh air, take a walk, read a book, go window-shopping... Meet up with friends; don't forget about your friends, sounds like right now you need them!

Its not easy, and its hard to give advise with out all info. I was there with one 8 year old girl. But she was there from the begining. Yes four in a small space when your use to two, less money and complete way of life is changed. I gave up a lot when I moved the two of them in. No matter what nothing was ever good enough for my step daughter. Good luck, I dont think your a bad person.