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Raising kids together or seprately? - Page 2

post #21 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom

I love my husband and stepchildren dearly. If I had to do it all over, I would. Sometimes though, I feel used. I feel like dad wants me to do all the dirty work of lunches, homework, clean clothes, discipline, shopping, etc, and he gets the job of enjoying the kids after work.
This is *exactly* how I feel a majority of the timel. Used. I feel used by my SO, used by his ex-wife, used by SO's mother etc. Yet, when it's time for hugs, love, attention, and the 'you're the best parent', who gets all that? Not me, that's for sure!

Now, I know this is NOTHING I CAN CONTROL, so please just take my venting as simply that. I know my step-son appreciates me in hiw own way, and the longer we're step-mother/step-son, the easier it's becoming to make our own ways of showing affection and thoughtfulness.

It's just how I feel from time to time. Generally on days that are tough to begin with (when 4yo DD is having a rough day, or something else in life happens), I feel the most used.

But I get over it, and move on, or at the very least try my best to..
post #22 of 33
It's good to vent here. It's good to get it out here. If I try to vent to my husband I either get one of three responses: 1. A blank stare like a Deer in Headlights. 2. He sais, "Stop doing things then." 3. He tells the kids, "Don't ask your stepmom for anything anymore, if you want something just ask me."

Sometimes I just want to vent and to be recognized by him. Number 1 makes me think he doesn't care. Number 2 makes me say, "If I stop then what's going to happen?" and Number 3 makes the kids think I hate them and makes me feel like an all time low.

Venting in this forum sometimes really helps. I get people like you who are in the same boat with me. Sometimes I get people against stepparent involvement, which is okay too because having conversations with them helps me prepare for any conversation I may have with mom in the evaluation.

Right now I'm dealing with a stepson that is trying to start a war between mom and me. He's got the fire burning pretty hot on her side, but he can't even get a spark out of me. Instead of being mad at his mom for the things he tells me she said. I tell him that he has to deal with her not me. He can continue to tell her what he wants, I don't ever have to talk to her. That frustrates him. He wants to take my focus off him and onto her.

I know exactly how it feels to be frustrated.
post #23 of 33
Does your SO philosophically disagree with the idea that you should be a co-parent or is he just lapsing into his old ways of doing it himself? My dh does that sometimes. He was on his own with dss for years so now, even 5 years into our marriage, when things get hectic and such, I swear he forgets I'm a parent, too. He arranged Halloween plans with the ex without asking me or including me in the scheduling decision! I was so irritated!!! He needs reminders.
post #24 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Flor
Does your SO philosophically disagree with the idea that you should be a co-parent or is he just lapsing into his old ways of doing it himself?
Definately just relapsing... Which is why it's frustrating, but nothing absolutely huge... And also why it HAS been getting better, more and more really.

He's also seemingly more appreciative of me helping to parent DSS, and thanking me for things I do..

I think we're finally starting to get more settled that we're in this for the long haul, and not just 'faking', ya know?

He even has ASKED about Thanksgiving plans!!! (last year, it was HIS way or NO way at all... Which caused a HUGE blowout)
post #25 of 33
I'm not going to be helpful because I could have written your first post.....
that's why I stopped in on this board today..looking for a lift because things are still downhill here.
post #26 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kindermama
I'm not going to be helpful because I could have written your first post.....
that's why I stopped in on this board today..looking for a lift because things are still downhill here.
I hope things get better for you! The only advice I have is to TRY not to take things personally, and sometimes, bite your tongue! I know that might not be the 'best' advice to some people, but to be honest it DOES help... Obviously, if it's a HUGE deal or something that's really hurting your feelings, don't just sit back and take it, but I've found I've been quite harsh in the way I went about talking about my hurt feelings. Sometimes it was better for me to sit back for a while, and wait until I felt better to stop and say 'hey, the other night when _____ happened, that kinda hurt my feelings a bit, can we talk about it?'... And then just try not to sound too 'it's all YOUR fault' about it, cause that just makes him defensive...
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
This reply is not directed at any post. I know some posts were for stepparent involvement and some were against. I'm not refering to those against in this reply. This is just my opinion in general.

Parents usually expect their children to obey their babysitters, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, aunts, uncles, church members, etc. Parents usually back these people up 100%. If their child disobeys these people the parents jump on it and usually tell the children to obey them when they are in their care and show them respect.

For some reason, lots of parents don't want to put stepparents in that catagory.

I don't have a problem with it. I expect my son to obey his stepmother just as much has he obeys every other authority figure in his life, if not more so, since she is a parental figure of their home. She deserves the same respect from my son as she does her own children and her nieces and nephews who visit her home.

If your child disrespected your babysitter or your mother, or their friend's mother, etc., would you be on him any more or less than if it was his stepparent?

My home is my child's home, but again it is my home. I will not be disrespected in my home by anyone. This is my safehaven from the real world. I treat other members in my home with the same respect I expect. My son knows that as do my stepchildren.

I can't expect the woman in my ex's home to be treated any differently than I would want to be treated in my home. She deserves the same in her home, just as a teacher deserves it in her classroom, or a sunday school teacher deserves it in church, etc.

A day care provider does not have one set of rules for some children and another set of rules for your child. If your child cannot follow the rules in the day care, he/she will be disciplined as the provider sees fit. If you have a problem with it, you get another provider or deal with it. You cannot get another stepparent for your child, so you have to deal with it or go to court.

I know some sounds harsh in this reply. It's not meant to be. Sorry it it sounds that way.
I totally agree with this!
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by stressedstepmom
This reply is not directed at any post. I know some posts were for stepparent involvement and some were against. I'm not refering to those against in this reply. This is just my opinion in general.

Parents usually expect their children to obey their babysitters, grandparents, teachers, day care providers, aunts, uncles, church members, etc. Parents usually back these people up 100%. If their child disobeys these people the parents jump on it and usually tell the children to obey them when they are in their care and show them respect.

For some reason, lots of parents don't want to put stepparents in that catagory.

I don't have a problem with it. I expect my son to obey his stepmother just as much has he obeys every other authority figure in his life, if not more so, since she is a parental figure of their home. She deserves the same respect from my son as she does her own children and her nieces and nephews who visit her home.

If your child disrespected your babysitter or your mother, or their friend's mother, etc., would you be on him any more or less than if it was his stepparent?

My home is my child's home, but again it is my home. I will not be disrespected in my home by anyone. This is my safehaven from the real world. I treat other members in my home with the same respect I expect. My son knows that as do my stepchildren.

I can't expect the woman in my ex's home to be treated any differently than I would want to be treated in my home. She deserves the same in her home, just as a teacher deserves it in her classroom, or a sunday school teacher deserves it in church, etc.

A day care provider does not have one set of rules for some children and another set of rules for your child. If your child cannot follow the rules in the day care, he/she will be disciplined as the provider sees fit. If you have a problem with it, you get another provider or deal with it. You cannot get another stepparent for your child, so you have to deal with it or go to court.

I know some sounds harsh in this reply. It's not meant to be. Sorry it it sounds that way.
It's so wonderful to see a BM say something like this.... I truely wish ours thought this way but I commend you on teaching your children this lesson. As a step-momma, we rarely get the respect we deserve... it's nice to know that some people out there do.
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
Because of this, I feel the need (yes, it's MY need), to be part of things, since I'm the one who knows what's going on in his and our lives... SO thinks he 'did well before I came along', so no NEED for my help now.

Honestly, no he didn't do all that great before I came along. Not to toot my own horn, but it hurts to hear stories of him forgetting to have DSS do homeowrk so DSS was in constant trouble at school, forgetting to set up someone to pick him up, so DSS sat crying at school cause he was forgotten, forgetting to send him with lunch or lunch money etc.... And then for him to think pretty much that I don't better the life of him and DSS by being around and helping with the raising... It hurts.
These paragraphs, to me, really seem like they get to the heart of the matter.

DH made some mistakes parenting DSS, but they managed, somehow, someway.

You are now a part of the picture, and you're better at managing the kinds of things DH had problems with. And perhaps he feels guilt/"not good enough"/a failure in some ways, about those things mentioned above, when they happen again with him - but not under your watch.

Your being good at managing/remembering that stuff might highlight to DH that he's not so good at it. And perhaps his only defense is to imply that those kinds of things are unimportant.

You, of course, see the importance in missed lunches/pick up times etc. and when there's an issue, make DH aware of it - and maybe all he's hearing is criticism of HIM and HIS Parenting, rather than you having concern/wanting to be a part of DSS's life.

Really, it sounds like he's just defensive - which is pretty common of parents when their parenting is attacked (not implying you're attacking his parenting of DSS, but that may be what he's *hearing*).

Perhaps there's a way to frame the conversation in such a way that his defenses don't go up?

Best,
post #30 of 33
Thread Starter 
I totally agree with the defensiveness, and understand fully that SO is taking what I say/think/feel as an attack. I KNOW it, but have no clue how to get it across that it's not, ya know?

It's like NO MATTER WHAT I SAY, SO has this way of taking it as the worst possible meaning EVER, and it hurts so badly. It's as though he thinks I'm an evil person with no chance of ever being caring or sincere.

We do still have this problem on occasion, but it is getting better and better. One day at a time really.

I'm learning to let alot of things go, and am learning to keep some thoughts and feelings inside. It hurts like hell, cause I just don't feel at all important, but I'm hoping with time, that will work itself out too...
post #31 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
It's like NO MATTER WHAT I SAY, SO has this way of taking it as the worst possible meaning EVER, and it hurts so badly. It's as though he thinks I'm an evil person with no chance of ever being caring or sincere.

We do still have this problem on occasion, but it is getting better and better. One day at a time really.
Ah, there's the rub - how to put it so he doesnt' take it defensively.

At this point, ya'll have probably disucssed it so much that anything you bring up on the topic will be filtered through his "defensive" ear, regardless of how you word it.

And you say things have been improving - I'm really, really glad to hear that.

Perhaps, at this point, you could just "cool it" on the issue. Make no mention of it. Basically, give him time to let his defensive guard down.

In the meantime, if something happens that leaves you feeling slighted as a partner in parenting DSS, maybe you can just hold the thought that it isn't about DH rejecting you as a parent to DSS, it isn't about DH not appreciating all you do for the family as a whole - but is rather about his own feelings of inadequacy (sp) and/or wanting and feeling the need to "prove" he's a good dad.

Maybe after some time of not having this be *THE* issue, the biggie, the one ya'll are always talking about, he'll be able to hear you a without the defensive filters when you say something like, "Oh - I didn't realize we had to do snacks for DSS's soccer this afternoon! How can we keep on the same page with this stuff? I'd hate for DSS to think *we* forgot."

Using "we" puts you guys in a "team" position and might be more well received, and while you darn well know *you* didn't forget, it lets DH save his dignity.

Best,
post #32 of 33
Thread Starter 
Things are definitley better for us, the issue right now is in-laws...lol Mine, to be exact. Sooooo, yeah, that's the new issue! lol
post #33 of 33
Thank you for this thread. I am on the other side of things, I am having trouble letting my DP really parent my DS. A lot of the points made in this post hit home with me. Thanks for helping me to think through the issues I was dealing with.
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