Originally Posted by JSMa
Do you feel Stepmoms are not to give any care of the child what so ever? I have a young DSD who needs things done for her... if I were to simply stop doing them, then I'd be jumped all over as being a cold heartless UAV.
I really can't win ever, can I?
As for finding positive things to say about her... I have tried, I truly have. I have racked my brain on countless occaisons, but I have not come up with too much. I do not think I am better than her, really... we are just vastly different and she makes a lot of decisions that quite honestly make my skin crawl, and some of these choices are things that many women here on MDC would be quite upset about, as well. Her and I are just world's apart on the parenting front, as well as many other aspects of her personality.
Okay, there's a difference between "she made stupid attempts at mothering my child" and "stepmoms should never care." Her attempts were *stupid*. She was extremely young, had no children of her own and never once consulted me on how I parent my child who she barely knew. She'd met me all of a half dozen times before she married my son's father and decided she was suddenly qualified not to simply love and nurture my kid but to start being part of the decision making process. (For the record, my son's *father* is barely part of the decision making process. It's what works for everyone, him included. Not what lots of folks are used to, but we've got an awesome kid and an amicable relationship so naysayers can go suck an egg.)
I was, for example, fully aware that my son was struggling with oral hygiene at age 6. We were working on good solutions for helping him remember to brush his teeth. Sending him back to me (remember, HIS MOTHER) with "homework" on the matter was not okay. In what universe did this girl really think I was going to sign a tooth brushing chart everyday so he could report back to her when he came to visit? OMGWTFPOLARBEAR! There's trying to be part of his life and then there's WAY overstepping your boundaries.
The point is that you *can* win but there will be a significant amount of "big girl panties" on your part. There's a lot of outraged howling right now that I'm being soooo mean to the "stepmother" and expecting more of the "stepmother"... actually, who I'm advocating more effort from is the "person with the clarity to recognize the problem". You see that the issue is an issue and you came here for opinions. That shows a level of grownupocity that the biomom may not be up to showing right now. Good news is, you're a grownup. Bad news is, you may be "the" grown up right now. You know it's broken. You know it doesn't have to be. You know it would be better NOT broken. Now what?
You have choices. You can cling to "I can't find anything good about her, she's such a witch, it's not my fault." That's a choice. It's an easy one and a tempting one. It's one that I will absolutely admit to having caved to at moments in my life with assorted people. I'm not telling you I've never made these mistakes- I'm telling you I DID and boy was it a mess! Your other choice that I see is way harder, less fun and not at all appealing. You can rise above it. You can be the grownup. You can do what she hasn't and try hard to see the other person's POV and good qualities.
You are in love with a man I assume you respect and admire. You value his opinions. At some point in time, he found this woman lovable and worthy. She was good enough for him to love. She was good enough to produce a child you love- and while you say you hate her parenting, bad parents don't produce good children by random accident. She has to have good qualities, even if you have to look hard through the drama to find them. If you can't compliment the way she dresses her daughter, find something else. That was an example, not a solid. She's doing something right somewhere and it's no fun to go find it but that's what could fix the drama.
Yes, it's her drama too. Yes, she's certainly partially to blame. Yes, in a perfect world you'd all be grown ups all the time and everyone would get along. That's not what you got. What you got was a mess that is not all of your making but you're the only one who is putting forth effort to fix it. I can't give advice on how to make HER make it better. You can't make her pull her share of the load on this one. What you can do is pull your share and accept that right now you might need to take on more than half the work. You can be fair or you can be productive. The chances of her stepping up later on are dramatically increased if you do it now.
She may be the biggest jerk in the universe, but she's still this little girl's mother. In 20 years, DSD will remember how you treated her. If what she remembers is you being graceful under trying circumstances... well, that's worth everything, isn't it? Above and beyond the call of duty is where the heroes are made and good step-parenting is nothing if not heroic.