Snapshot of a Stepmother

I don't know any little girls who dream of becoming stepmothers.  I have regrets of my past but I still look forward to the future as hopefully as I can muster.  Being a stepmom for over 5 years has been both a thankless and awesome experience.  At first, I never thought that the title had really much to do with my identity, but being an outsider to the dynamics of a broken home - these happenings directly impact me, my lifestyle and the future of my own biological children.  I was and still am a foreigner to my family's household and history.  It's a conflict: being too involved, not caring enough, stepping in where I shouldn't, and yet needed to always be accessible; you are wicked no matter what.

wickedstepmother wickedstepmother
26-30, F
31 Responses Apr 5, 2007

Oh my gosh! You UNDERSTAND!!! I am so happy I found this!

I feel for you. It is very hard to be in this position. Your husband will always choose his kids over you. Blood is thicker than water. Either you put up wiht this or leave. Take it or leave it.
one compromise is to distance yourself from the situation and not be too emotionally exhausted of the situation. The painful reality is that you are not their mom. You can only do what is best for your son. And take time out for yourself. Just enjoy your time with your son. If your step kids are already old enough, they are already set in their ways and will be awfully hard to change them; and good luck if you will try to discipline them, hopefully you will not end up in a mental facility.

I feel for you

If you don't have kids leave and make a rule of never dating a man with kids and a biomom..I'm there and I'm stuck since I now have kids one should live their life like this if they don't have to.

Knowing what I know now, I would never ever sign up again. In ways I regret that I stayed. Even today, now that the step-child is on his own, I still come second as far as having my needs met over this now adult child. It's a hard and thankless job... Absent, drug addicted, alcoholic, lying, thieving mother isn't forgotten on her birthday or mother's day. It's one big WOW, what was I thinking?! Putting your life on hold for your own biological child is one thing, being used as a surrogate mother and allowing yourself to be treated like a doormat is another....

You explained it perfectly! Being a step parent is the most thankless job in the world. The child is not yours, you are reminded of it constantly, but when a babysitter is needed you better be there or else!

YES....all that is true! I need to put myself in the middle of them most times to get in on what is happening! So draining. I recently read Jenna Korf? I found this link through one of her articles as a step mom. So helpful to just take a step back and take care of myself instead of my wife(we are lesbos) and the boy 24/7. Sadness prevails... due to the fact I couldn't have a bio child of my own. Blessings to all the step parents of the world!!

You could not have said it better.

I love this site. It really makes me understand that I am not alone in this big foreign territory to me, as I never had any children of my own. I am 44 years old, and have been with my now fiancee' for 5 years. He has 2 daughters, now 22 and 25 and 2 step-sons (his ex-wife married twice) older 29 and 34. They are all on their own now except for the younger daughter, which went through and is still going through a very difficult time. <br />
She is in a relationship of her own and questions marriage and relationships because of the environment she came from. We try to tell her that it's not all like that, but it's hard. She's fighting depression and other things and for that I really feel for her.<br />
It still hard for me however because I have to be the understanding one.<br />
We were all having a converstation the other night, and my fiancee and her were talking about his ex, and how difficult she was. I commented, "we then I wouldn't be here". She replied " well no you can't say that in front of me, it's a very touchy subject", " do you think I want to be in this family? I had no choice and this sucks!"<br />
That really cut like a knife. I mean I know it may not have been the right thing to say, but to know that she still feels so strongly about it, is difficult. <br />
I told him afterwards that the kids really needed to go through counseling when the separation was happening, because they did not go through the steps to help them through it.<br />
Her and I have been through alot.. of screaming matches that is... :) but we've come a long way. She even texted me this past Mother's Day to say thanks for all that I do for her.<br />
I needed to vent and mention this because last night was extremely hard and needed to get other peoples input on how I can cope and not feel that it's all about me and to focus on helping her.<br />
Signed.. slowly coping

I feel the same! My husband has 2 sons: 15 and 9 years old. They stay with us every Wed and Friday. They are good kids, however both have very annoying habits. The 9 year old is like your stepson "deedles1234", he is glued to his father. Because we are in Australia I call him his " kangaroo pouch". He sits in my husband's lap all the time and hold his hand!!!, he follows him everywhere, even the toilet!!! One day I had enough and I said to both "you two look so gay sitting like that" Can you believe my husband still has to take him to bed and hold his hand? He really behaves like a 5 year old, but for my husband he is a great kid and nothing is wrong with him. <br />
Another thing that upsets me is their eating habits grrr! they are obsessed with snacks and ice cream, especially the young one, so when they come I know that the whole ice cream, snacks,drinks etc in the house is going to disappear, is like they haven't eaten in ages! The young one can have more than 10 icy poles in 1 hour, he doesn't leave anything for the rest of us and the worse part, he leave the packages of the ice cream everywhere!<br />
I agree with you "shaypo879", if my husband wouldn't have kids our relationship would be perfect, we only fight about his kids!

I have been a stepmother for a decade, it is tough! When I came along my stepson was eight and stepdaughter was four, to make matters worse they have an older sister who is not my husbands but whom he raised since she was a baby, she was ten at the time we got together. To make matters even more difficult their younger sister from a different guy again was two. So the bio mother has four to three different men, the middle two being my step kids. A falling out occurred in the early days, where hubby no longer has anything to do with the girl he raised but is not the father to. His two bio children are genuinely good kids now aged 19 and 15 and we have a two year old son together. Ever since I came along I treated his kids as though they were my own, it is the mothers influence on them that is the hardest for a stepmom to overcome. We have nothing to do with her at all these days as her life has spiraled out of control, 15 year old sd now lives with us 19 year old ss lives alone, she is an alcoholic and never worked a day in her life, and has told her children many conflicting stories about myself and dh over the years even though she doesn't know me. Tried pushing us right out of the picture at one stage, then when we start to back off and make it seem like we will go away then she pushes the kids onto us. She has done and said so many unforgivable things to us and her children that the thought of her churns my stomach. All this being said though, it doesn't matter what she does her kids always forgive her, and very rarely give her greif. It is o.k for her to have four kids to three different fathers one after the other, but when dh and I have a baby we are the worst in the world, the kids act so jealous of our son and repeat stuff their mother or mother's family has said, smart aleck things not important enough to repeat. They say things in a round about suggestive kind of way so you can't have a go at them. I have given up on step kids and no concentrate on my own lifes too short to worry about the fruit from other peoples loins. I do get along with them but I teat them like a work collegue or acquaintance. I am like mother earth in comparison to bio mother and I think deep down they are jealous of my son cause they know he will have a better life than they ever did. Doesn't matter how good of a step mum you are they always put bio mum in a higher regard, it doesn't matter if she is dead, alive, invalid, drug addict, ****, alcoholic, and you are like Mrs.Mom 2011, they will always look towards bio mom and stepdad first cause whatever mum loves they love, including stepdad. If you are thinking about being a stepmom forget it!!! Cause it is hard enough being a parent rather than being a step parent and the complexities that go with it.

imserene44- I hate to say it, but from what you say, it kind of sounds like your step daughter is doing these things to be spiteful towards you. She throws her and her mom's relationship in your face. She gets what she can out of whoever will give it to her. She sounds very manipulative and spoiled. I don't mean to offend, I'm only saying this because you should know this is NOT your fault. You did what you could, you've been trying for a relationship with her. I hope it works out for you.......My stepkids are 10 and 11, and I have a 12y/o son. We've been married for 3 years. My husbands ex is a manipulative, alcoholic, very nasty woman who is now married to a woman abuser and has 2 more kids with that guy(who's also an alcoholic). My stepkids have led a hard life, having been raised by their mother, and living thru her disgusting life. She's a huge party girl, and has done many things to these kids that a mother should know better than to do. She has been excellent at hiding her lifestyle from the courts for years, until now. We recently fought for and won sole physical placement of the 2 kids(Yay!) because of the evidence we compiled against her. The kids have lived with us for about a yr now, and times are tough! We are all having a hard time adjusting. My stepdaughter is constantly being mindf.ucked by her mom, to where she now wants to go live back with her(which we cannot allow even if we wanted to, her moms home just is not a safe environment). I'm happy to know that we helped get the kids out of that house and into a safer, more pleasant home. But now, things do not seem pleasant at all! My stepkids push against me alot, i know they want to blame me for all that's going on, that's what their mom puts in their geads when she gets her visitation(every other week, for 2 days). Their mom is brainwashing them into thinking that if I wasn't in the pic, everything would be fine between her and their dad(my husband). She has them believing that she does nothing wrong(even tho we have ALOT of evidence, my stepdaughter even refuses to look at it!), and that their dad and me made up all this stuff so we could get custody and stop paying out child support. She is just the worst. She has accused me many times of "trying to be the kids' Mom". She's their mom, she says, and I need to stop trying to take over. From the beginning, we made it clear to the kids that I do not want to pretend to be their mom, I know they alreeady have one, and I just want to be a friend to them when they need me. She's just so insecure in her own abilities to be a good mother to them, and she sees how good a Mom I am to my own son. Now that the kids are here F/T, my husband and I are always fighting. Sometimes he feels i let my son get away with something that I scolded his kids for before, or vice versa I'm telling him the same thing. The kids will be arguing, and one of us will interject, and next thing you know its him and his kids VS me and my son. He gets so Papa Bear with them, and I get really Mama Bear. When they first got here, he treaded very lightly w/ them, barely diciplined them, didn't speak to them sternly. He said he felt like they've been thru soo much already, he felt bad them coming here and then he's gonna jump on their backs right away? I told him it wasn't fair that he was allowing his kids to come in our home and not tell them what is expected of them, my son lives here, and he knows what is expected of HIM. Eventually, he saw it for what it was, and began to dicipline them, when he started to see they were taking advantage of him. It's like that all the time, he feels they're so delicate. If I had to call them anything, it wouldn't be delicate, it would be hardened(By all the things they had to live thru w/ their mom). Also, they have been around their mom enough to pick up some of her amazing manipulating tricks. My stepdaughter is very good at playing her dad. I love both kids, they are good kids and I fought my hardest to get them out of that home. I spent countless nights researching state codes, abuse definitions, etc. I love them enough to want to see them happy and content. I just wish my husband would see, and believe me when I tell him, they're no angels. He wants to believe they do no wrong, and most times blames everything on my son. When I point these things out to him, he says, "You just don't want them here, fine I'll send em back with their mom". I try to tell him, its not about them, its about how he handles them. I DO want them here, I didn't fight so hard for nothing. It's just constant arguing, and it feels like we got them out of their moms home just to bring them here so they can watch us go at it(over them)?? They deserve better from us. I just wish I knew how to give it to them.

The truth about the every other weekend or week stuff is that the step kids are really "always" there. They are always issues regarding money, your husband's guilt because the stepkids are not there, and the phone calls that pop during dinner or when you have company over. It doesn't matter if they are not there physically, they are still there. I never thought I would become a bitter stepmom, but even after seven years, it is still the most emotionally exhausting experience. My husband and I have one child together who is almost 5 and my two stepchildren are 10 and 13 years old. Being a stepmother has affected everything even the reason for not having more children because I don't think my husband has the time to even spend with the one child we have together. My step children go to a fancy private school and I can not send my child to one because we can not afford it. It is hard not to feel bitter sometimes and just be happy for what we have. Step parenting is truly the most thankless job - no mother's day cards or unconditional love. You should never ask yourself, what is in this for me, because it can cause even more depression.

Wow, It's great reading what everyone writes. I feel so much more understood. Do you know I have considered I am a mean person now, maybe crazy?, insecure, etc. I have felt frustrated even when we were on our honeymoon he took their calls and allowed his kids to say mean things about mine. To this day if we "go out" he gets calls and texts like they know I will be annoyed in the middle of a conversation he whips the phone out and I just stare at him. I mention it and he says I am jealous and mean and hate his kids. I simply want to be valued too. If not by them...that ship is least by him. lol, your post is soooo true. thank you!

Reading all of these stories really helps me understand I am not alone. How are you expected to be a mom only when they want you to (dad and daughter). I thought being a mom was a fulltime job. The bio mom is very out of the picture- we have had custody since she was 8 she is now 15. We got custody because her mom was addicted to presc<x>ription drugs, suicidle, alcoholic and extremely crazy. We are the only ones here for this little girl, but she still hates me. Even though I am the one that had to console her when her mom stood her up on her visitation (which was only once a month for 2 hours). I don't like the person she is turning into. Her dad tells me I don't care enough and could never understand because I am not a REAL mom. Really, I take her to the doctor, I stay home when she is sick, I talk with her about girl things. But I'm not a mom. And she just plays us against each other. I feel like I am crazy. I have been to couseling and to a psychiatrist and they have no idea what it is like. The advice I get - is Leave. I love my stepdaughter I love her dad. But sometimes you just need some advice and encouragemnet.

I have been a step mother to a girl and a boy they were 4 and 9 when my husband and i married 16 years ago. I also have a daughter who was 12 at the time we married. I have always loved my husbands children but have never felt a part of if you know what I mean...I am the step mother, that's it...i have no say in what they do or don't do and I really don't feel like it's my business. <br />
<br />
Their mother my husbands ex wife is okay but I am not a fan of her parenting..she basically kicked my step daugher out 5 years ago because she wanted her to pay 50.00 a week rent while she was going to college and working part time so my step daughter has lived with us ever since.<br />
<br />
We get along well but my step daughter is selfish and inconsiderate of my feelings. She never remembers my birthday or buys me christmas gifts (she does for her mom and my husband) but is the first to announce what she wants for her birthday or christmas etc. She expects the whole family her mother included to go out to dinner to some expensive restaurant to celebrate her birthday! I don't even get taken to dinner on my birthday! She totalled two cars while drinking and this last time she insisted she needed a new car. She only got 8,000 for her car so her grandmother paid the extra 8,000 so she could get something new and her father agreed!!! I don't get it when did we start thinking it's a good idea to reward drunkin driving !!! (That's an argument I still have with my step daughter, my husband and my mother in law)<br />
<br />
I think my step daugher loves me but I am not her mother and I am left out of alot even though I do so much for her (more than her mother has ever done). I just paid for a day of beauty at a spa for her and what does she do? She tells her mother and her mother makes an appointment to go with her! Then she was going to take her mother out to dinner. Fair enough it is her mothers birthday but I have to say I am crushed. I just paid 250.00 out of my pocket to do somethhing nice for her because she works and goes to school and has been having boyfriend trouble and she never thanks me for it and just tells me ohhh I'm so excited my mom is going with me...uggghhh I was so angry and hurt. I think about how much I do for her.....I spent the whole night at the hospital with her a few weeks ago not her mother, not her father me her step mother and I get treated like crap! <br />
<br />
It does not however change the fact that I love her, but it does change how I feel about our relationship. I have tried for years to get close to her but she is totally daddy's girl. She loves her mom as most kids do I guess there just isn't enough room for me. I have a very close relationship with my bio daughter who is mentally ill so maybe she feels like I don't love her as much. It's sad really but I do love her even if she can be selfish and inconsiderate of my feelings.<br />
<br />
Sad in Braintree

WOW! We are actually working on casting a new TV show where families can get FREE therapy from an amazing and understanding family therapist. Families will also be well-compensated for their time. This is a tasteful documentary that hopefully can help other families going through the same sort of stepfamily issues.<br />
<br />
Send me a message for more info!

Yah, one reality show I couldn't be on. I would look like the crazy one... and after reading all this, I'm not so sure anymore.

Hi Dukegirl01 - Just wondering if you have any kids your self? I agree with you there is no support out their for us.<br />
<br />
I am a stepmum to my husbands 2 girls 8 and & 6. We have been together for 4 years now and the mother is a nightmare!!! we only have the girls every other weekend. I have always been a bit scared that she would like us to have them full time. She can sometimes not bother with the kids and also treat them badly. However I can now say she improved over the last year and they seem happier.<br />
<br />
We have a beautiful house which I like keep tidy. As you can imagine they make mess in every room, i try to get them to clean up but it's like talking to a brick wall sometimes. My husband sometimes back me up and other times he isn't bothered, as he knows I always do it anyway! <br />
<br />
When ever the kids are there I feel stressed, anxious and a bit upset! the kids love me and i do love them but sometimes I feel like i want to run away! i don't have any kids my self we started to try for a baby but we stopped as my partner didn't think it was the right time as we do argue quite a lot about stuff. He is very highly strung for a guy and has issues him self with depression, i am also very highly strung so you can imagine we can clash! <br />
<br />
I love him deeply but find it really hard that I look after his girls do everything for them all the time but he doesn't want a baby with me yet. He is a great dad and husband! he does everything for us as a family and also stands up to his ex all the time! he never takes any **** off her and tells her how it is! which is good.<br />
<br />
What i want is to feel relaxed when they come and not have to keep watching them to see if they r making a mess and being naughty! I like to have rules like no eatting breakfast in the lounge but he says they can! when ever i say anything about that he has a go at me and says the cat makes more mess than they do!? also when they r there I don't really go out with my friends as he doesn't like it as he is "stuck in with the kids" but i think sometimes they are your kids so you need to understand that! does anyone else have the same issues and feel a bit like you just don't fit in sometimes even though you bend over backwards for all of them!!!!!!!!!!!<br />
<br />
advice would be fab guys, i also want to know does it get easier if you have a child of your own?xx

Stepmum1985: I'd love to tell you it gets better after having your own biological child. Yet, I'm still not sure if it does. My step son is 8 and my biological son is 7 weeks old. Since he has been born I have been more stand offish towards my stepson and people have been calling me the evil step mother. My husband and I agreed on raising our children with respect, morals and values. Yet I'm more disciplined as to my educational career. Therefore the evil eye is always sighted on me. Now that my son is here I worry more about the stepsons attitude, his anger and overall personality when he is with us. I don't want my son growing.up thinking its okay to be disrespectful, disobedient, ungratefuland so on. Seems like there are a while new set of.challenges when u have your own child. Not to mention the bond and instant love u feel for ur own child.

Go out with your friends when the sd is there. Do it more and more and if he complains, tell him that if he had backed you up more often with discipline, if he had kept house rules so that you could feel at home in your own house, then you wouldn't need to get away. This is his problem, not yours. He is not considering you at all, especially with your desire to have a baby of your own.

Its so hard to see an echo of my same feelings! And support is almost impossible to find for stepmoms! I have become anxious and depressed! Am trying counsleing but, feel like they always side with my husband and his son! Am I nuts?

NO you are not and counseling helps but you need to start just getting away a bit do something for yourself, go to the gym join a book club take a walk whatever to give you some time to yourself, and this is coming from a step mom who lost her marriage and heart due to the stress and drama that step children bring. I am still heart broken but I do better when I get some fresh air and distract my mind from the craziness of my life.

Nope. I quit talking about that in counseling because they tell me I am "sabotaging their relationship". I mention, "well I live in this house too, don't I get to have feelings?" Nope. you need to be an adult. You need to be nicer, keep trying, if they reject you, ignore you, exclude you, forget you, etc. you need to say "it's ok" and try again later. If you say or do anything else YOU are not a good parent or person. Screw them. You can have feelings and you aren't crazy!

As a stepmother for the past twenty eight years, I can sympathize totally with all the frustration expressed above. Although my stepchidlren are all over 35, things have changed very little over the years. I actually have eight stepchildren , most of whom are kind, caring, mature adults who appreciate whatever I have done or am doing for them. Unfortunately, there a few who can still destroy a lovely holiday no matter how hard I work to make everyone welcome and entertain them royally. Sadly, the problem is never the chldren. Had their father ever been willing to back me up or even stand up for what he says he believes in, we would have had no problems. For example, one son consistently fails to keep his promises, stands his father up, never calls to let him know he is not coming and expects us to smile and pretend nothing has happened when he does finally show up. When I suggested, after numerous repeat performances, that his 78 year old father doesn't need to be upset like that, he stomped out and sulked for a month. Unfortunately, he is the one who lives closest to us and we could use his help, but I would much prefer never to ask anything of him. Sadly, his father's attitude is that I should be more understanding and not upset his son. That kind of indulgence has never done anything but help his son destroy his life and undermine my love and respect for my husband. If only fathers or mothers with similar attitudes could realize that their behaviour does nothing to help their children and destroys their marriages. It is so sad that relationships that begin in hope and happiness should end in disappointment and despair. I would advise any prospective stepmother to carefully observe her partner's behaviours toward her when his children are involved. If he does not have the strength to support you, he will not change; so beware any further commitment.

Well said - I can totally relate :)

Knowing what I know now 7 years after the fact, I can honestly say that I think I would have stayed living on my own and just continued to date my boyfriend. I have 2 boys of my own who were 14 & 16 when we got together 7 years ago and I have always made sure that even after their dad & I split up, I would still parent and discipline them. My husband's son had absolutely no manners and had to be bribed with $, candy, or electronic games to get him to agree to go or do something he didn't want to. At the beginning I sat back (boy is love blind!) and turned a deaf ear and a blind eye while my husband let him do whatever. Then I couldn't bite my lip any longer when this little boy told me that he didn't have to listen to me and that his dad's house, which I had moved into, was not mine and I didn't belong there. I was in shock and livid when my husband didn't say a word until I said to him that I was not happy and that he better say something to him. Anyways, over time I have eventually started becoming this boy's only disciplinarian, and not any more than how I have ever treated my own boys. My mother-in-law has actually complimented me on how I have got her grandson to have some respect for her and how he uses his manners. My husband tells me he appreciates my help; however I don't think it is really 'help' when I am the only one doing this. My husband does absolutely no parenting, he doesn't tell him what time he should go to bed on school nights (we have him 50% - week on/week off), doesn't tell him to shower, brush his teeth, put on clean clothes, make him clean his room, do his homework, etc....absolutely nothing unless I prompt him to say something. When I moved in with my boyfriend (now husband) my boys went back and forth from our house to their dads;however stayed almost always at their dad's. My boyfriend always said that he didn't want all my boys' friends over all the time with a 'house full of kids'. My boys were never 100% welcome, and when they did come stay, my husband figured that they should be made to do a whole bunch of chores, which is okay; however they didn't want to come and visit once every 3 weeks and be put to work. Now 7 years later and his son is 14 1/2 he does absolutely nothing. He sits in his bedroom and plays his computer and watches tv all day....NO LIE...all DAY from 9:30 am to 12:30 am. He only comes down to grab food. His son is so obsessed with playing games that I have discovered that he sits in his bedroom and urinates in his underwear because he doesn 't want to leave his game. His dad says to me that he knows that is not right; however hasn't said a word. It is like he is scared of him not liking him. I usually can't sit back and will speak up and say something when his son is being disrespectful to me or his dad, and his dad just looks at me and doesn't back me up. I love my husband very much and we never have arguments about anything, except his son. Right now my adult son (22 yrs) lives with us while he is attending university and my husband keeps thinking that he should move out and pay his own way, even though he knows that his parents paid for his rent when he moved out and went to college in another town. I would rather son my $ and have my son live with us and attend the local university. I know that he would never make his son move out and because of his son, I have declined job opportunities so we wouldn't have to move out of his school district. I do have some good days, but as you can tell today is definitely not one of those days and I am feeling very resentful towards my husband and my stepson.<br />
<br />
Calgon take me away!!!!

I am now twice over as a step-mom. My first marriage, I had a daughter who came into my life at 3. She was sweet and loved me tons. The issues were, her mother's life which brought things into my stepdaughter's life. Even though I am divorced, after 18 years, she is still in my life. Not what I say the best child, but not that bad. She is a user for money, but deep down inside I believe we have a love for each other.<br />
Now this second marriage, ugh. I feel bad all the time. We have my stepson, who is 9, every other week for a week. It is horrible. He is glued to his father, at 9, all the time. I call him his third leg. He has been a lot of work, and as said above, even though I give advice or mention different things, it is only when his mom says something does it happen. My husband said he never listens to his ex (by the way, we live in the house they built together. Another bad thing.) Oh, and going through his house when we moved in, pictures and pictures of their wedding and marriage, which was 15 years. He says he does not love her, which I do believe, because she ended up with a woman, so he is hurt and disgusted, but now we live in the (sorry for this, with all due respect) gay world. <br />
His 9 year old is like a 5 year old. I have two kids of my own, 10 and 14. My 10 year old is like 50 and can only handle the 9 year old at times, so it is fight, fight, fight, and my husband has to defend his son because he may be slightly autistic, or just very spoiled. At 8, daddy was still dressing him. My kids and I get so upset.<br />
I feel horrible, horrible, horrible all the time. Every other week we are fighting or distant. When he is not here, 98 percent of the time the house is good. Help. I am on the verge of leaving because of his son, who doesn't always do something wrong, but just is like a toddler in a 9 year old body. Ugh, ugh, ugh.<br />
I wish everyone best wishes and would love to be here if you need an ear to talk to. <br />
This too shall pass, but I do not have the best advice on this yet. :)<br />
thank you,<br />

OMG....I thought i posted this myself! My situation is almost identical. I have an 11 yr old step son who lives w his mother most of the time, we get him on thursdays and every other wknd. He too behaves like a toddler. He is the same now as he was 5 years ago when we met. His father was still taking showers with him at ages 6 and 7 until I had to put a stop to it because it disgusted me. But today he still falls regularly, down stairs, or over his own feet..can't stand on one leg, eats like an infant is very loud and does this smokers cough thing every time he laughs that scares me to death, especially while driving. Like when you get that deep deep cough that sounds like a growl or something. Something is deff off in his brain but you can't tell his father, oh boy! And he seems to be getting worse every year. All we fight about is the kids, sad to say, but would have a great relationship with my husband if there were no kids involved.

Im sorry you have to deal with that. I often question myself if it is worth being in the relationship. My step son is 5 and he at times behaves like a 2 year old with baby talk and trying to get what he wants (which he often gets from my boyfriend). Its very frustrating and I have to agree with you. Life would be great with him if there was no kid involved.

cschiafone, how are you doin now? I've been a stepmum for nearly 2 years to a 4year old boy. he can be gorgeous one minute and a brat the next. i feel there's not much weight in what i say in our family relationships and im quite relieved to know that im not the only one who is going through this. i cant discipline the boy without getting yelled at by the dad. talking about his health is somewhat out of bounds for me (cuz Im not as onto it as I think - his words) bec I do not share their homeopathic beliefs and bec I didnt know the foot and mouth disease that goes around creche. For goodness sake Ive never worked with kids and never had my own how the heck am I supposed to know? my partner has also asked her to come around the boy's birthday party which I organized which has left me with bitterness<br />
<br />
Not so long ago I put my foot down and told my partner that if he expects me to be a mother for his son then he'll have to start treating me like a mum. and that extends to my partner by reinforcing what i say and supporting me. <br />
<br />
still early days to see if this works. i stay hopeful.

I see I have come to the right place for advice. No matter what I do for my step son I am not wanted as mom, friend, but wanted for all I do as the mom. He knows I am married to his dad he lives with us and our son and he does the things stepkids will do yet wants everything more than or equal.

how much it hurts to consider these children yours then you are shot down by their father or even worse them. I am not yet married and wonder if I am getting into a situation I can't handle

I know exactly how you feel, and the sad thing is I've only been with my fiance for a year and a half. I keep hoping that things will get better and I'll feel like part of the family...but you, even after five years feel this way? What i do is never gtood enough, and occasionally I feel like I step over my bounds...what are caring women like us supposed to do???

I empathize with you so much. You inspire me because I have no desire to do any family thing with my husband's children mother. As far as I am concerned, once he divorced her, he and she gave up the right to any "togetherness" with their children, and if they wanted to do holidays etc together, they should have thought about that before they got divorced. Unfortunately, I don't "love" his children enough to try to have any "family" at our holidays, except the new family I am in and I did not marry her, and she is not part of my family because she is a divorced woman from my husband. So, I really feel for you because you seem to go beyond what is required, and I hope that one day, your husband's eyes will be opened to see the wonderful woman you are and the great sacrifices you have made for the sake of others to whom you owe no duty.

So true.

Wow, you said it so well. Thank you for the enlightenment of stepmotherhood.<BR><BR>Just yesterday, my almost ten year relationship came to a head when the youngest of my four wonderful stepchildren was in a car accident. (She is fine)<BR><BR>My husband listened to what he termed as a frantic message from our daughter on his cell phone. His ringer was off, so he missed the call which came in three hours earlier. <BR><BR>I wanted to listen to the call also since he stated he couldn't understand the message bacause she was crying and blubbering. He then accidentally erased the message in his own panic which upset me. <BR><BR>I questioned as to why he would erase it. He yelled at me that I was scolding him. <BR><BR>Yes, in a way I did scold him, but, to yell at me when I just wanted to listen to the message from her, because I Love Her. That was uncalled for.<BR><BR>The yelling hurt me deeply because he stated this was about HIS Daughter. WOW, I always thought she mine too. All the memories of situations reinforcing the fact that his children were not mine flooded in. <BR><BR>He then went on to say I only care about myself. <BR><BR>Yes, I am expected to feed them, clothe them, comfort them, dote on them in all ways. I am not forced to do these things. I have done them because I Love Them as My Own.<BR><BR>My husband has never wanted any advice if I noticed Red Flags involving the teens. However, I am to be ready to listen to all his feelings about them.<BR><BR>I am to figure out when to be a Mother or just a Friendly Adult. Why are Stepmothers expected to be only one or the other depending on the wishes of the Father.<BR><BR>I wanted to be a full-time Mother.<BR><BR>I fully realize now that I truly have not been anything more than the Friendly Adult. After all, the frantic call did not go to my cell phone which by the way had the ringer on.<BR><BR>My husband diminished anything I have ever done as a Mother in the arguement that followed.<BR><BR>I am to suck it up once again, but, I can't. I asked for a Divorce.<BR><BR>My feelings don't matter. He promised me my own baby, then after we married, refused a reverse vasectomy. I accepted this.<BR><BR>Foolishly thinking I already had four beautiful children from him. I gave up the idea of having my own. Then I sat back and watched him make every significant decision regarding HIS children with his ex-wife, the true natural Mother to HIS children. <BR><BR>I have been capitalizing the word HIS because he has let me know, they are HIS and I am only a Stepmother.<BR><BR>As for the first wife, she is very nice. A few years back, I made the decision to invite her for Christmas so the family would not have to be split. I've been told by others that doing so showed my unending Love for HIS children. We spend most Holidays together now. It is fun.<BR><BR>Suffice to say, no matter what I do, or have done, will never change the fact that I am not their Mother. They won't pick up the phone to call me first. They won't remember my Birthday unless someone reminds them of it. (That is another story, my Birthday has never been celebrated with the family even though we have a tradition of doing so with everyone else). I have to wonder if they will visit me in my impending old age.<BR><BR>So, I hear this is the way it is for most Stepmothers. Very sad state of affairs.<BR><BR>No matter how much love, how much doting, the Stepchildren and even more importantly, my husband, will never view me as equal to the children's Mother.<BR><BR>That just Sucks!!!

Your husband doesn't and has never, deserve you. He will find this out

yes, that sucks. your husband doesn't know the hurt he's delivered.
your steps can be forgiven, as I'm sure they likely
followed his lead.

Yep I agree with them. You deserve so much better. I can't imagine never having a child of my own. my step son doesn't call me mom and I don't ever expect him to, but one day I wanna be able to be called mom with having my own child. I do so much for my boyfriends kid and i get nothing in return. Though on mothers day my boyfriend does take me out for supper but thats the most Im given. I buy his son birthday gifts, christmas gifts, everything.. Sometimes I wonder if its really worth it.

I feel your pain. I too am the "Friendly Adult" when it comes to helping his kids become adults. My husband tells me that he does not need me to help foster them or be their helpful adult. That my ideas to help them grow into adults and become independent are not valuable and that I 'don't understand'. However, he expects us, The Family, to eat dinner promptly at 7:00 each night and for dishes to be done before bed. I am expected to clean up after them when they make a mess and should not ask them to clean up after themselves. I must take my stepdaughter to doctor appointments, orthodontist appointments and anywhere else she may need to go. I am expected to attend all birthday meals, holidays and the like with The Family and extended Family, yet I have no valuable contributions when it comes to being here with the kids while he is at work. I am to keep quiet but be there for them if they need food. BTW, their ages are 17 and 22!!!!!

And btw, I have raised a successful 18 year old son who is attending college and working part-time. He is out on his own and is making it just fine in these difficult economic times. I must have done something right. Why can't he see that?

2 More Responses

I, too, am a stepmom and know what you're talking about. I have a 12 year old stepdaughter and a 9 year old step son; then my husband and I have an 18-month old boy. They are good kids and their mom is not at all a problem-maker, so I know I'm lucky. To further complicate things we live next door to my husband's parents, and they watch the stepkids after school and all during the summer. In effect, they (well, Mom-mom, really) raise those kids. <br />
It's wierd because the more I get to know the kids' mom, the more I realize how much she and I are, with many similar values and traits. The I see Mommom trying to exert her power in a very passive-aggressive, martyrish way, that ****** me off, so I can only imagine how infuriating it to the kids' mom. It's hard to not try to intervene about some things, like horrible eating habits and bad homework and study habits, and even the "if you don't like it don't do it" mentality that is propagted at the in-laws'. Mommom alone is creating spoiled lazy children, and I sit and witness it and feel powerless to do anything about it. Yeah, I can lead by example and all that but it's so evident to me that the best interest being served is mommom's, not the kids'. Grrr...<br />
On a lighter note, they get tons of love and affection next door and there are many wonderful things about the arrangement. It's not all bad. Just some.

Scorpia, all I could think while reading your post is, finally someone like me. My step son is 8 and I have a 7 week old son. I've been with my husband for nearly two years. He and I agreed on a form of disciple that we feel fits our family best. Just recently my husband was informed that several outsiders view me as the evil step mom who has a hatred towards his son. The devastation of this news rocked me to my core. If I could give all the details of the situation I'm sure others would be able to give their advise. However, I wanted to know ur comment alone about the way the mommom is raising the kids and having the in laws next door is just like my situations thank you for posting

All you can do is your best and what you feel is right. One day they may come to you and thank you for all you have done, and if not you can at least know that you tried. *Hugs* It can't be easy.