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Failing Miserably

I am a stepmom to 4 kids ranging from early teens to late 20's. I have been with my husband for 14 years and married 9 years. I feel my story is a 'one minute up and the next minute down' kind of story. Throughout the years my stepkids have more or less readily accepted me (had a few issues with my ss during his teenage years but they have been resolved). I find my issues are that as they have gotten older they have chosen to come and live with us (more so due to the fact that they didn't want to live with their mother). I have never had a problem with this, however I do expect my house to be kept tidy and have certain ways that I like things done... all of this explained whenever each of them moved in. But over the years they are making me feel like I'm just being a nag and if I call them out on anything the response can be quite hurtful, especially when they bring it up in front of other people. My husband and I do not have a relationship with their mother as she really did not have any interest in them until they were older and when they were growing up it was us who had to pick up the pieces and put our hands in our pockets (eg my youngest ss has missed school on few occasions due to his mother not making sure he was up for school as she and others were drinking the night before). Their mother would be more a friend than a mother to them and I feel this has had a profound effect on my relationship with them as I feel that she can do no wrong. They don't live with her and therefore don't see her as often as they do me or don't get the 'nagging' off her as they do with me. She also has a new partner (who moved in with her 2 weeks after her previous partner of 10 years moved out) and they have bonded so well with her and feel it necessary to tell us how great she is. I feel like my stepkids tell their mother everything about their lives (and also tell their Dad some stuff to) and keep me at arms length. Right now in our relationships I feel like they just put up with me which makes me feel a total failure. I would like to be more laid back and easy going about living and having older step kids and their partners around me and would be very interested in advice or similar stories. My oldest step child is pregnant and the thoughts of being at the christening with their mother and new partner just makes me want to shut myself in a room forever! You would think after all this time I would be a dab hand at this, instead at this moment in time I just feel it's getting harder.
barneyfour barneyfour 36-40, F 2 Responses Mar 20, 2012

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ME TOO!!!!!! I have done all the grandma stuff and yet never get a picture texted or treated like family. I have hit the point I'm ready to leave too. I don't think anything will improve and I am so tired of feeling rejected in my own family and home. He thinks I make it this way, I'm too sensitive or not trying hard enough or not friendly enough. I commented a dog repeatedly kicked will eventually learn to stay away. I just dont know what to do anymore.

Hi I am in EXACTLY the same situation as you although my stepfamily have all now moved out! We now have other issues that keep arising as they have children of their own! I do not feel like a real grandparent I think I'm getting too old for this I don't want the hassle in my old age beginning to wonder whether I need to split to get rid of the trouble!