Third Marriage, No Kids of My Own
I married for the third time in my life in 2005 to a widower with two boys. I had never wanted kids of my own, but knew if I ever had any, I'd want boys. I had been married twice before and had no idea I would walk down the aisle again until I met Randy. His boys are very good kids, great manners in public and smart. They immediately wanted to call me "mom" which made me uncomfortable, but I understood that it was a way of them showing acceptance for me, so I have gotten used to it. The younger boy did not get to spend any time with his mother, as she died a week after he was born, unexpectedly. The older son was only six when she died, so his memories are limited. The relationship between my husband and his deceased wife was rocky before she died, and they were heading for divorce. The death was a mixed blessing, of course it was devistating to those involved, but also curtailed many of the nasty divorce things that probably would have ensued down the road from what I heard. Randy and I dated for two years before we got married, and I did not move into the house until his parents moved out (they were disabled and co-parenting) and we were only a month away from our wedding. Coming from a divorced house, I knew it was important to make sure that things were going to happen, I did not want the kids confused or disappointed. I came into being a step-mom with the intention of being a terrific parent, and giving the boys everything they were missing...discipline, a sense of worth, structure, responsibility, etc...a lot of that has been instilled and many changes that have been very positive for them have happened since their dad and I have become a team. However, the grandparents (the mother's parents) are and have been very involved to the point where they are a problem. There is a constant struggle for control, and they are both very manipulative and downright nasty from time to time. They bad mouth us to the kids and ignore any requests we make regarding safety, discipline, gifts, etc...they feel that "they know better" and the kids milk it when they go over to see them. They have even gone as far as to write us an anonymous letter (which we found out was from them) during a time when we were looking at moving because we both were unemployed...basically outlining why they would be better off with their grandparents and how cruel and wrong we were to move them, etc...just a taste of what we have endured. I am just at the end of my rope with them and the passive aggressive behavior I get from the kids from time to time. I do SO MUCH for them ALL THE TIME and they don't seem to care. I am ready to go on strike and see if they even notice! Ahhhh! The biggest thorn in my side has been holidays like Mother's day and my birthday for example. I have been practically ignored on those days, and they have gone as far as to ask me to help them do something for their Nana but completely neglect me. I have held my husband partially responsible for this behavior, as I know I have had to guide the kids to do their part for his special days...but they know better, but continue to ignore/not recognize me. It makes me feel depressed and like I made a mistake. I don't want to get rid of the kids, I am not resentful of them being there, it's resentment for the way I am constantly treated. I have done so many positive things for them, I can't even begin to list them here...this isn't about me stroking my ego and feeling like I should wear a diamond tiara, it's just asking for a little recognition and respect- I have given up many of my own personal passions due to the time it takes away from parenting, the money it might take away from their needs..and I feel like I am often a guest in my own home. HELP!