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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!
missmollyk missmollyk 36-40, F 5 Responses Feb 18, 2008

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I am a stepmom and a mom of my own children. I really don't call myself a stepmom because once I decided to take in my "stepson" He was my son. I have three of my own and they treat me like crap at times but that is what children do at times. I don't get along with his mother but you know what I want to teach all four of my children just because they don't respect me I still show to them. Some times being the bigger person make the other side feel and look their true colors. I agree that the dad should say something but it don't always work. Just because they are grandparents don't mean they act like adults. Yes it is hard to be a parent and yes we don't always get the respect we deserve but we are moms and if you love your children yours or step you have to take the bad with the good. I just let out my anger in a note book. If you look back there is more happy memories then bad I bet. If you every need to talk I'm here.

From a mans point, my wife died and i was left with a 7 year old son and twin girls of 5years old.Their grandparents were great and helped us out alot until i found a new lady in my life and then it was as if i had made a pact with the devil.They tryed to turn the children against both of us and kept telling Alison (my new lady, who is now my wife ) that she would never be a good mother.We had many arguements and lots of tears all round, but time ticks by and the children grow and make up there own minds about who is right and who is wrong.We never tryed to put the grandparents down in front of the children as that would be sinking to their level but it was difficult at times to keep my mouth firmly shut.I know the feelings of frustration you must be feeling and i know it is hard to stop from exploding at times but that would not help your situation. Your husband must take some of the responsability for the problem and stand by you and stop the children playing you off against each other.In my humble opinion all step mothers deserve a medal for bravery for taking on somedne elses children.Good luck and if all else fails just get on your trike and ride !!!!!!<br />
P S I will post some pics of our trike

I feel ya on the hurt that can be experienced when children don't show their appreciation. I didn't get a call or a card last mother's day (this year I got a call) and I am the one who bakes the birthday cakes, takes the treats, cupcakes to school parties (SD's mom has only been to one school party since she was in Kindergarten and she's going into 6th-I would know because i haven't missed one). I take her school-clothes shopping, sew the Halloween costume, etc. But I get no respect. Hugs to you....As soon as I find that faraway planet for step-moms to escape to, I'll send the limo for ya.

I completely understand! I gave up my career to stay home to care for my two step daughters. Their mother however is still in the picture and I pain in the backside. She literally dumped them on us at a moments notice because she couldn't handle them anymore. This was after 5 years of teaching them to hate us.<br />
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My step kids talk to me like I'm dirt and never say thank you. All I ever hear from them is "I want, I need, I have to have" <br />
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They don't seem to understand that until we go to court and get new papers draw up the ex wife is still getting 50% of my husband salary in child support! Plus with me out of work things are VERY tight right now.<br />
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But I have decided that this Mother's Day I won't give a damn what they do! I'm going to go get a manicure and pedicure. Then I'm going to the movies by myself and treating myself to a very nice dinner. And as for their biomom if they want to send her a card they can draw one for her. I'm not sending another dime on that skanky woman!

You need a WOW support group. Nobody will understand what it's like to be where you are until they have been there themselves.<br />
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What you are doing is noble and generous and kind. You should firmly claim your own crown. If you are not recognized on special days, your husband needs to be told exactly how to teach his children to respect and be be thankful for, you. Then take those days and pamper yourself. Spas with your very best girlfriend, etc.<br />
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Your husband also needs to contact the birth mothers parents and let them know in no uncertain terms that if they cannot support his family, and ALL the members of it, they cannot be around the family.