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Can we discuss how does being a stepmom change your idea of your "dream family"...

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have been a stepmom for 9 years, and have a 5 year old dd together. We want more...but we are not exactly getting what we want. I am going to school and working on my career so I am quite busy, but still want to work a new baby into that mix. When talking to a friend she was telling me that she thinks our family, from the outside, looks perfect and complete.

I disagree. Completely.

I have always wanted at least 2 kids, and up to 4 or so. I have decided that 2 for us along with my stepson will suffice, but that's not working out easily. I feel like we have to come to terms with this NOT being our future, just in case.

I guess I am wondering how you deal with this. Does your stepchild fall into one of the "slots" you had reserved for your own kids when you always imagined how many kids you would have in your family? I think if I had married someone that didn't have a child that I would want 2 kids and be okay, but since one isn't biologically mine....and I am CONSTANTLY being treated like crap by his mom, and he is not allowed to care about me in any way she knows about....I just don't feel the same, it's more like I have one and a half kids... my ss isn't completely accessible to me, and he doesnt' feel he can love me freely. Although, I will say despite that we are still very close.

Does marrying someone with kids change the amount of babies you want in the future, if you are still planning on having more children? I just don't think there is any way I can live my life without another baby, even if we adopt, and dss is truly a "bonus." I want TWO full-time, and free-to-love and be-loved-by kids. Is that crazy?
post #2 of 21
If it's crazy... then I'm crazy right along with you.


My situation is slightly different... but when things were still "okay" between H and I... I dreamed of having at least two children of my own... and he'd always tell me he hoped DSD would help fill that space or idea.

Realistically... we cannot afford to have another child. So even if my marriage was stable, etc... no matter how much I want another child, with the amount of CS we pay... there is no way we can afford to have another...

I do love DSD... but it is obviously different... I have no cute suggly baby memories with her... it's a different love.

I know exactly what you mean with this statment:

Quote:
I want TWO full-time, and free-to-love and be-loved-by kids.
DSD definitely does not love me like my DD... and I don't expect her to.

As much as we love our stepkids and they are part of the family... it is a different kind of love than with our bio kids...

So yeah, that was really rambly... but I understand where you are coming from and I feel the same.
post #3 of 21
I had 2 and my husband had 1. Now we have 1 together. All in all we have 4 kids. We both always say we have 4 kids. Mine are with us 90% of the time and DSD is with us 50% of the time. Still we want more. I love and take care of her like she was my own, even though I am not "mama" to her, I know she loves me and when she needs something she comes to me, not Daddy. (well, she's a girl) My husband also loves my kids as if they were his own, but I had the boy and he really wants a son of his own. I can understand this, but I don't want to keep having babies so he can have "his" boy. I think he feels the same, but deep down he wants his own boy to look up to him. We see at least 2 more kids in our future.

But I totally understand wanting kids that are just yours and his, not having to "share" with another parent. I hate sharing my kids with my ex...but it's gotta happen. I love that I don't have to send OUR baby girl away.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtsyHeartsy View Post
I have been a stepmom for 9 years, and have a 5 year old dd together. We want more...but we are not exactly getting what we want. I am going to school and working on my career so I am quite busy, but still want to work a new baby into that mix. When talking to a friend she was telling me that she thinks our family, from the outside, looks perfect and complete.

I disagree. Completely.

I have always wanted at least 2 kids, and up to 4 or so. I have decided that 2 for us along with my stepson will suffice, but that's not working out easily. I feel like we have to come to terms with this NOT being our future, just in case.

I guess I am wondering how you deal with this. Does your stepchild fall into one of the "slots" you had reserved for your own kids when you always imagined how many kids you would have in your family? I think if I had married someone that didn't have a child that I would want 2 kids and be okay, but since one isn't biologically mine....and I am CONSTANTLY being treated like crap by his mom, and he is not allowed to care about me in any way she knows about....I just don't feel the same, it's more like I have one and a half kids... my ss isn't completely accessible to me, and he doesnt' feel he can love me freely. Although, I will say despite that we are still very close.

Does marrying someone with kids change the amount of babies you want in the future, if you are still planning on having more children? I just don't think there is any way I can live my life without another baby, even if we adopt, and dss is truly a "bonus." I want TWO full-time, and free-to-love and be-loved-by kids. Is that crazy?
No advice, just hugs.

DH and I have 4 children between us and for many reasons, will not be having any together. It's a mutual choice and right for us.

Hoever, there is a large part of my heart that aches over this non-ability to have children with the man I love.

I love my step-children, but like you, their bio-mom is a significant factor in our not being able to be very close. I don't think they will ever feel like "my" kids. So no, despite my caring for them, they don't "count" as part of my "dream."
post #5 of 21
Well, I always thought I"d have more than one child too. DH already had two when I met him, and agreed to have one with me, but said he definitely did not want to have more than three children altogether!
I find it easier to accept becasue I am in my early 40s and find that having one pretty much takes up all my time and energy anyway.
If I were younger, I would be fighting to have another. As it is, well, c'est la vie. I do feel sorry for my daughter that she will feel lonely when both of her sibs are off to college. I supppose we'll have to give into the dog desire then!
I love my steps but I don't consider them my children. I am very invested in them, but I never feel that the feeling is reciprocated. I get lonely thinking along those lines, and it's not productive. There's no way they consider me as a mom, which is natural.
MOst of the time, I'm just glad I have a family at all. Half of my friends are single or childless!
post #6 of 21
I was totally there with you. I have one dsd, we have one dd together, and are expecting our second. Dp would have been happy to stop with two kids total, but I really wanted to have a second pregnancy/child. It is important to me that my dd have a full-time sibling, in addition to her older sister, who lives with us approx 30% of the time. I also really wanted to experience having a second child for myself. We are both happy with our decision now, thank goodness, but it took a while to get here. I wish you luck, I completely understand how you are feeling though.
post #7 of 21
I understand where you are coming from completely.

I always thought that I would have 2-3 children. I have always *really* wanted a daughter. Because we have DSD (50% of the time), it really isn't possible for us to "try for a girl." I understand that I could wind up with another boy, but I would have liked the chance to try.

In all honesty, after DS1, we said that we were done. Two kids. But DS1 was so lonely when DSD was gone that we decided to have another. I am in school right now, so if we had one more, it would have to be after I am done with school. If I had one, I'd want two so they could play with each other. I'll be in my mid-late thirties, so I'm not so sure that this would be possible. Plus, I might be at a point in my life where I'd like to focus on my career instead of diaper-changing.

So, yeah, having DSD has limited the options.
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by greenemami View Post
It is important to me that my dd have a full-time sibling, in addition to her older sister, who lives with us approx 30% of the time.
I think this was part of the difference for me-- I have been in my step-daughter's life since she was a baby (she's 7 now) and I absolutely see her as one of our kids. I consider myself to be a parent of 4. That said, we spend most of the school year without her because of the distance between our house and her mom's. I always figured I'd have at least 3 kids, because that's what I grew up with and I love the dynamic of 3+... so with my step-daughter gone 2/3 of the time, I wanted 3 full-time. The times when I get to have four, it's an extra-fabulous bonus!

I can say for sure that, regardless of the numbers, my "dream family" definitely wouldn't have involved one member being away from us so much of the time!!
post #9 of 21
The biggest thing for me, is I always wanted another child, and I really wanted a child with my Hubby, but between our two children (my son, who at times is quite difficult- Asperger's, and his daughter, who's Mother jerks my Hubby around with all the time, my Hubby is ver clear- he does not want another child. Even though my dream since I was two years old was to have lots of children.

Also in my dream family, it would be MY family, not my Hubby's family, where we can't really do anything without checking with my stepdaughter's Mother first.

Also, I hope nobody jumps on my back for this- I'm not trying to steal someone's kid- but my stepdaughter would be my daughter. I love her as much as I would have if she was mine and we get along so well, like we were made for eachother to be friends with. Know what I mean? And no, she doesn't fall into the slot as one of my kids. She's "my kid", but she's not 100% mine, not free to love me as she wants, and I'm not free to be as involved in her life as I want. She doesn't fill the ache for another child.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I'm feeling a lot better. I started feeling like I was being crazy wanting another child. Really, I do love my dss very much, and I am very protective of him, but it's just been complete torture dealing with his mother for the past 9 years (I mean, of the police report, kidnapping, name-calling, cps, parental alienation type). I don't know why she acts this way, but every once in a while it seeps into OUR family. I have always let myself love dss freely but sometimes I think it's too painful. (everything, and I mean EVERYTHING I do is wrong with his mom, if he gets too attached to me she goes on the attack)

So, I guess it's through no fault of our own, we just want our children that we can love freely, and they can love us freely back. Not worrying about other people. I think that this would be a lot different if his mom was different.

I also think that having him half time always feels strange, like we are not a whole family all the time, just half time.....our family trips and fun are pretty much half-time. I would love for my daughter to be a big sister and have someone ALL the time as a sibling. Although, I must say, I think they have a great relationship because they really appreciate the time they get to be together as siblings, so they don't fight as much!

I guess in a way dss does sort of fill one of the slots, because instead of wanting 2 more kids, I just want one more. Just two full time, all-out, pure 100% love kids. And one half time "I Love you as a mommy, but don't tell my 'real' mom", kid.

I wish that some bio mom's could see that the more people that love their child the better, it's not a threat to their parenting (unless they suck at it. haha!!! even then bio parents are always #1 for kids).....
post #11 of 21
Yup. I bet we'd have a house by now. I bet we'd have a child together by now. It sure adjusted the schedule of our life together.

As good as my relationship with DSD is, it does not take care of the ache and the desire to go through pregnancy, and to hear someone call me "mama", and to know that you are the whole world to this child.

In my "dream family", our family was together for the holidays. In my "dream family", I had a full say in the lives of our children, and did not have to ask permission for the basic decisions. I did not have the frustration of loving a child and not having the right to have a final say in important decisions. I get it that she has a mom, and I understand why things are the way they are. It's just that I happen to have a heart, and it is hard to have all the responsibilities of a parent, but only half the perks.

In my "dream family", all kids were fairly close in age. In reality, DSD will be off to college when we have a child, and I have to admit, I worry a lot about her relationship with her siblings on our side (as irrational as it is... after all, we are not even expecting right now).
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Yup. I bet we'd have a house by now. I bet we'd have a child together by now. It sure adjusted the schedule of our life together.

As good as my relationship with DSD is, it does not take care of the ache and the desire to go through pregnancy, and to hear someone call me "mama", and to know that you are the whole world to this child.

In my "dream family", our family was together for the holidays. In my "dream family", I had a full say in the lives of our children, and did not have to ask permission for the basic decisions. I did not have the frustration of loving a child and not having the right to have a final say in important decisions. I get it that she has a mom, and I understand why things are the way they are. It's just that I happen to have a heart, and it is hard to have all the responsibilities of a parent, but only half the perks.

In my "dream family", all kids were fairly close in age. In reality, DSD will be off to college when we have a child, and I have to admit, I worry a lot about her relationship with her siblings on our side (as irrational as it is... after all, we are not even expecting right now).
Bolding mine.... but that has been the best way to describe a lot of how I feel on an almost daily basis. Except in my case... sometimes I feel I have even less than half the perks.

I think if I knew "then" what I know now... I would not have chosen this path.

Often I feel being a step parent is giving up almost total control of your own life... Even with decisions that I thought would be mine to make with my own child, I had to fight tooth and nail for, if they were different to decisions made for DSD.

My dream family would consist of me being able to parent how I instinctually feel to parent, and not have all the drama associated with it, or to be told I cannot, because that is not how it was done with the older child, etc... Perhaps some of that would be different if I had a different H... but, from reading here... I'm pretty sure there would always be some sort of drama associated with the whole blended family deal... and I am certain that bolded line will always ring true with most step parent relationships.
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jsma View Post
bolding mine.... But that has been the best way to describe a lot of how i feel on an almost daily basis. Except in my case... Sometimes i feel i have even less than half the perks.

I think if i knew "then" what i know now... I would not have chosen this path.

Often i feel being a step parent is giving up almost total control of your own life... Even with decisions that i thought would be mine to make with my own child, i had to fight tooth and nail for, if they were different to decisions made for dsd.

My dream family would consist of me being able to parent how i instinctually feel to parent, and not have all the drama associated with it, or to be told i cannot, because that is not how it was done with the older child, etc... Perhaps some of that would be different if i had a different h... But, from reading here... I'm pretty sure there would always be some sort of drama associated with the whole blended family deal... And i am certain that bolded line will always ring true with most step parent relationships.
me too to all of the above ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Often I feel being a step parent is giving up almost total control of your own life... Even with decisions that I thought would be mine to make with my own child, I had to fight tooth and nail for, if they were different to decisions made for DSD.

.
Reading this, I think you're on to something here.

I tend to ride my partner about certain things pertaining to his daughter--parenting decisions, if you will--because I don't want a crappy precedent set because of acquiesence to SD's mom to determine how we raise any children we may have in the future.

Yeah, some of this is irrational--SD will probably be 8 or 9 when a sibling is born, and the age difference will provide a lot of cover for differences anyway ....and my SD's mom, my partner, and I are actually on the same page regarding "biggies" like religion, schooling, medical care...so it's little annoying stuff. Haircuts. Ear piercing. Food. Privacy ("my mama says it's OK if I come into the bathroom because we're both girls"/"well, we have two bathrooms and I prefer my privacy"). Use of the TV and computer. The choice of who gets what room in our house (yep, when SD's mom found out we had a four-bedroom house, she wondered why SD got the room she did, asking why we are keeping a larger room empty...um, because we gave her the choice of the three non-master rooms and she picked the smallish one with the big closet?).

Yeah.
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
I tend to ride my partner about certain things pertaining to his daughter--parenting decisions, if you will--because I don't want a crappy precedent set because of acquiesence to SD's mom to determine how we raise any children we may have in the future.
I do/did a lot of this, too. We are a little further into it, and the changes are starting to be apparent. In a lot of things, we seem to do them the opposite of DSD's mom... the two houses seem to get more and more different with each year that passes. When we met DSD and her mom at DSD's "Meet the Teacher" night before school began, DH remarked that DSD looked like a different kid when she was with her mom as compared to our house.

But I don't want to raise my kids like DSD's mom raises hers, so we will continue to raise the kids our way in our home. When DSD is here, the same policies that apply to the other kids apply to her. Lucky for me, DH is on the same page. I think that my being really vocal about how *I* wanted to do things from the start helped with this. When I met DH, he tended to do things the DSD's mom way, even if he didn't necessarily agree with it. When it became apparent that we were going to be our own family, I started looking at what would set precedents that mattered to me, and coming up with a way to change things - with DH, of course.
post #16 of 21
Life as a stepmother feels very, very lonely sometimes. I often feel invisible, misunderstood and undervalued. And yes, sometimes even evil.

This has been a very good thread for me to read. There is a bit more lightness in my heart knowing that I'm not the only one.

Thank you, Mamas.

post #17 of 21
I feel the same way. Reading this thread has helped me so much. I started to feel that something is wrong with me, that everyone else has a much easier time going through this. And I feel sad and sorry for myself that this is my only life and that I have so little control of it (when I used to be the most independent and free thinking person before I got into this.)

DP is the love of my life, and as far as having a true life companion, I've never been better. But except for when we are completely alone, having a moment as a couple, all other times are filled with pain for me.

I've always been one of those people who removed herself from a situation that didn't make her happy, but at this point, I'd lose no matter what.

I'm still learning to navigate these waters and hope that at some point I find inner peace with the situation. I don't want to wait until the kids are adults to live my life. I know this sounds negative, but this is how I feel most of the time, and it helps me to share.
post #18 of 21
Sigh. . . my 4 yr old girl has been telling everyone that I"m pregnant! She seems to really want a baby brother. I gently told her that I wasn't pregnant and that I wasn't going to be. "But how do you know that?" she asked. "Um. . . well, I can choose whether to have a baby and I only want one baby, and that's you," I said, lying slightly. "Well, you have to do what I want, and have another baby." Sigh. . .
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Yup. I bet we'd have a house by now. I bet we'd have a child together by now. It sure adjusted the schedule of our life together.

I know we'd have a house together by now, too. I really hate not having a yard for my daughters to play in. I always wanted four children (of my own), but after two unpleasant and disappointing child birth experiences, and since 20% of our already limited income going elsewhere, I have no desire at this time for more children in our cramped little trailer. We only have two small bedrooms in our house. Our daughters have no room of their own, not even for their toys or to play in, because the second bedroom is for my husband's son who's here 30% of the year.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Often I feel being a step parent is giving up almost total control of your own life... Even with decisions that I thought would be mine to make with my own child, I had to fight tooth and nail for, if they were different to decisions made for DSD.
This is a huge issue for me. I accept that DH "gets" to make the big decisions for DSD, who is 13, but I feel like he doesn't recognize me as a full partner in raising our other two because he's used to me not getting a say when it comes to DSD.
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