or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › I'm tired of being a stepparent (VENT)
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

I'm tired of being a stepparent (VENT) - Page 3

post #41 of 148
I don't post a lot in this forum but I do read to gain perspective on how my dp might feel or how ex and his p feel.

This thread makes my heart hurt because I really don't want to think that my dp would resent my ds. We are a package deal and he knew that coming into it.
I feel bad for ds's ss to think that she will always be second best in ex's heart. It makes me feel awful that anyone at ex's house would resent him while he is visiting them or the fact that ex pays me money every month and will continue to do so for 16 years.

This thread was just hard to read from a birthmom's perspective I guess. I am not saying that you step-parents shouldm't feel the way you do, I am in no position to say that.

To be perfectly honest I would never get involved with a single dad for reasons listed in this thead....I guess that makes me a hypocrite, as I was a single mother.
I would never want to feel the way that some of you step-parents feel.
post #42 of 148
While it may not be pleasant to imagine or experience, all people (children included) have ill feelings sometimes - it's a part of life.

I agree with who said it isn't helpful to say, "Well, you knew the situation going into it." It would be like saying to a single mom who was venting about ill feelings toward an ex concerning visitation or child support or whatever, "Well, if he's suck a jerk, why'd you have kids with him." It's a dismissal of someone's feelings and a subtle transfer of blame - a shaming - that is hurtful instead of helpful.

It can be hard for a step parent to stay positive when their step children are disrespectful or destructive, or their partner's exes are abusive in speech and deed, etc. etc. etc. To expect them to be positive all the time...to expect them to bottle up their feelings and never ever vent or express them in a healthy way because it makes one uncomfortable to imagine that someone would ever have resentment toward a situation where a child is involved is totally unrealistic.
post #43 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
While it may not be pleasant to imagine or experience, all people (children included) have ill feelings sometimes - it's a part of life.

I agree with who said it isn't helpful to say, "Well, you knew the situation going into it." It would be like saying to a single mom who was venting about ill feelings toward an ex concerning visitation or child support or whatever, "Well, if he's suck a jerk, why'd you have kids with him." It's a dismissal of someone's feelings and a subtle transfer of blame - a shaming - that is hurtful instead of helpful.
I think the difference is that when we (single moms) realized this, we very often left, or otherwise changed the situation so that we weren't taking the brunt of the jerkiness (or, given my XH, mental illness).

Maybe you can offer a suggestion, though. The situation written about here -- the sense of frustration and "I didn't know it'd be like this, and I don't like it" -- is something single mothers fear. We know that girlfriends are interested in the man, and not so much in the children. However, I don't know of any way to approach a girlfriend and say, "Look, I understand you're interested in my ex-husband, and congratulations, but here's what you're buying if you marry him -- emotionally, timewise, financially. Know up front that this is what it is."

How would you suggest conveying to girlfriends what's in store, so that the children and, frankly, we ourselves don't end up as the objects of frustration for these women, who didn't understand what they were getting themselves into? (I hear about it most often from next wives after they have children, and suddenly understand that a chunk of money is not available for their own children's needs. There was nothing about the accounting that was mysterious, but now they have a reason to want the money.)
post #44 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
I think the difference is that when we (single moms) realized this, we very often left, or otherwise changed the situation so that we weren't taking the brunt of the jerkiness (or, given my XH, mental illness).

I have no doubt that stepmoms (myself included) realize the difficulty of the situation. This isn't a conversation about having blinders on. I can speak for myself and say that I don't. However, that doesn't make me any less entitled to vent my frustrations in an honest and healthy way - or anyone else, I believe.

We're not blind. We're bound by dichotomy, unspoken boundaries, and respect for the original family unit to make it work without making a mess.

With stepmom's, it's a no fault situation. I don't foresee leaving my husband because my step-daughter is behaving badly - and trust me, she has her moments. It isn't his fault. And in some ways, his hands are tied in terms of how he is able to handle the situation. My husband in particular has a very hostile ex to answer to and additionally, a solid relationship with his daughter to uphold. It is my responsibility to him as his partner to respect that and give him the opportunity to handle the situation in a way that works for the three of them - not to accommodate me. We must respect that parent/child bond and there are many of us that can do it with poise and compassion. But it's taxing. And it weighs on us. We deserve to explore our feelings and vent that negativity in writing as some stepmoms have done here.

There are boundaries within a blended family relationship that do not exist in a relationship when both parents are biological parents to the child. We can't fault our spouses/partners for their unconditional love for their children, we can't fault our spouses/partners exes feelings of abandonment, we can't fault our step children's resentment toward our presence in their parent's lives. We must accept because those feelings are natural and human and they all have every right to their feelings. But oddly enough, should we express any hint of frustration, it's somehow criminal. It's a juggling act to handle so many other people emotions and so many of us push our own aside to be empathetic and resolve to improve rather than abandon the situation because that's just the right thing to do.

That's the difference.
post #45 of 148
I completely understand. It is very hard. I have been there, made peace, and now am back there again.: You can pm any time.
post #46 of 148
Nika, it's certainly not criminal to have or vent the frustration, but I can't see how going around feeling that way can be good for either stepmoms or the stepchildren. They do pick up on it. It's one reason why I won't remarry before my daughter's grown; I don't want to live with a man who finds himself resenting my daughter, or wishing she weren't there. And I'm sure any man I'd marry would go in with the best of intentions, but life is very long, and childhoods are long. I'm not currently interested in having a relationship, but if I were, the man would have to be fine with not being involved in my home life -- a long-term, monogamous man friend, with his own home and work.

I don't want to subject dd to more rejections or losses, however hidden or covered over, and it's one reason why I fought for primary custody. I know that her father would like to remarry someday and have more children. I'd like for her to have a home where she's always wanted, even at her most aggravating, and is not a sort of baggage that came with marriage to her father, someone who has to be tolerated. Hopefully limiting the amount of time she'd have to spend in that environment would help all around. I would hope the woman would understand that it wasn't necessary for her to try to mother dd unless she really wanted that commitment, lifetime position in third place, and risk of attacks from a kid who may not want her mothering. I would hope she understood that she and the child might not ever get along, and that sanity, the child's mental health, and household peace might require "sharing" her husband with his daughter -- maybe even on weekends, when she, the new wife, was looking forward to spending time with her husband. If there was some way of explaining the financial realities to her before she signed on -- XH is obligated for certain sums, he isn't good with money, and there's a real chance that she'd find herself either paying his support or watching as his licenses and retirement money got yanked -- I'd do that too.

I hope she'd understand that she was marrying a man who was already heavily committed, and that the commitments will last at least a decade or so. That she'd likely have less of his time, less of his earning power, and considerably more child-related aggravation than the courtship might lead her to think. And that, if she's not inclined to do a lot of walking away from stressful situations, she'll likely find herself enmeshed in prior-family dynamics in a way that she almost certainly doesn't want. No matter how terrific he is on his own, she's got herself a fixer-upper that she'll have to live in without fixing up for a long, long time. And that's not because the ex is horrible or greedy or crazy; it's just a function of dreams of marriage and the man knocking against the realities of having to host other people's children for years on end, while in a relatively powerless position.

But I doubt I'd be able to talk to her in any way she'd be able to hear -- you know, I'd be the crazy ex trying to scare her away from her wonderful man, whom I didn't appreciate but now regret losing, or some such.
post #47 of 148
Hmmm, interesting thread...
I think everyone needs a place to vent and when I feel frustrated with my own child I have no problem venting about it.

It sounds like you just need to have a serious talk with your dh and also need to set some boudries and rules in your house.

I am trying handle my situation the right way, and have no idea what the right way is. I do know that I chose a man that I think could love my son as his own, and we talk about the parenting of both of our boys all the time. He helps me, I help him.

His son is already like my son. My son is not like his son yet, but I believe that someday that could be true, and I see his effort with my ds and I keep communicating with him about it.

So, I guess communication is the key.

But this thread has brought up some worry for me. DP loves his son soooooo much, could he ever love my son as much? My son has a dad, so he does not need another dad to love him the same, I guess. I suppose it would be okay if he loved his son more, that makes sense. I think it is more about him loving him, no matter how much, but esp how he treats my ds.

Thanks for letting me work that out in my own head
post #48 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
Nika, it's certainly not criminal to have or vent the frustration, but I can't see how going around feeling that way can be good for either stepmoms or the stepchildren. They do pick up on it.
That's what the venting is for - so they aren't going around feeling that way and letting it affect their relationships.

You're reading far too much into it.

My point:

Just leave these mamas alone and let them vent.
post #49 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by nikag View Post
That's what the venting is for - so they aren't going around feeling that way and letting it affect their relationships.

You're reading far too much into it.

My point:

Just leave these mamas alone and let them vent.
I'm sorry -- that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you don't feel it, why would you need to vent it? And if you do feel it, how do the stepkids not pick up on it?

Spring Sun just posted something her DP's son already being like her son. I can't see, though, how this isn't a setup for the same sorts of problems and resentments being brought up earlier in the thread, specifically to do with powerlessness. She's hoping that her DP will feel the same way about her child -- and yet, if her son's father instigates a custody change, again, it's made painfully clear that no, one's partner's child is not like one's own. The relationship can't legally be the same, at a minimum. It seems to me that expecting them to be the same, or hoping they'll be the same, may be asking for trouble.
post #50 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
I'm sorry -- that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you don't feel it, why would you need to vent it? And if you do feel it, how do the stepkids not pick up on it?

Spring Sun just posted something her DP's son already being like her son. I can't see, though, how this isn't a setup for the same sorts of problems and resentments being brought up earlier in the thread, specifically to do with powerlessness. She's hoping that her DP will feel the same way about her child -- and yet, if her son's father instigates a custody change, again, it's made painfully clear that no, one's partner's child is not like one's own. The relationship can't legally be the same, at a minimum. It seems to me that expecting them to be the same, or hoping they'll be the same, may be asking for trouble.
Could you say more about that? I really am new to all this, and have hopes for how it will work out. I want to do it right from the beginning.
post #51 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
I'm sorry -- that just doesn't make a lot of sense to me. If you don't feel it, why would you need to vent it? And if you do feel it, how do the stepkids not pick up on it?
Venting somewhere safe (like on a *supportive* message board or with a therapist or a caring friend) allows people to let go of some of that negative energy so that it's not bottled up and they don't instead vent on their families.

I don't find that hard to understand.
post #52 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spring Sun View Post
Could you say more about that? I really am new to all this, and have hopes for how it will work out. I want to do it right from the beginning.
well, we know how well that goes with our own children, so I wouldn't worry about doing anything more than trying your best. I'm saying that the relationships -- birth children, stepchildren -- are different because you can't behave like a birth mother to the stepchildren. You have no rights. You will have to respect the parenting of a woman you may not even know, and modify yours to meet it partway, even if it's not how you want to raise your own child. If she moves and is custodial, you have no say; the child will be gone. If, as he gets older, he becomes protective of his mother and rereads the divorce story as his dad's fault -- or, worse, yours -- he may be perfectly horrible to you for a while. So if you start thinking of the stepson as "one of your kids", you're setting yourself up, I think, for some real heartache and trouble.

My dad's wife was wise, I think, in how she handled things. I was grown, but my brother was still at home with my dad. At first she tried to mother my bro, and was rejected. Then she withdrew from the parent job altogether, and that was probably the smartest thing she could've done. We're not her kids. I like and respect her greatly, I'm grateful she's there for my dad, and I enjoy her company, but I'm not her stepdaughter. My brother is not her stepson. She hosted me graciously, she moved aside for my brother, but the parenting job stayed with my dad. He, not she, dealt with my mom. His wife's money is her own and as far as I know, she's never spent a dime on us, except for holiday presents. My dad paid the child support and alimony from his own money, and to this day, any gifts of money come from him, not them.

Not everyone wants that degree of separation and independence, but that "hey, these are not my kids," thing has a lot going for it, I think.
post #53 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
well, we know how well that goes with our own children, so I wouldn't worry about doing anything more than trying your best. I'm saying that the relationships -- birth children, stepchildren -- are different because you can't behave like a birth mother to the stepchildren. You have no rights. You will have to respect the parenting of a woman you may not even know, and modify yours to meet it partway, even if it's not how you want to raise your own child. If she moves and is custodial, you have no say; the child will be gone. If, as he gets older, he becomes protective of his mother and rereads the divorce story as his dad's fault -- or, worse, yours -- he may be perfectly horrible to you for a while. So if you start thinking of the stepson as "one of your kids", you're setting yourself up, I think, for some real heartache and trouble.

My dad's wife was wise, I think, in how she handled things. I was grown, but my brother was still at home with my dad. At first she tried to mother my bro, and was rejected. Then she withdrew from the parent job altogether, and that was probably the smartest thing she could've done. We're not her kids. I like and respect her greatly, I'm grateful she's there for my dad, and I enjoy her company, but I'm not her stepdaughter. My brother is not her stepson. She hosted me graciously, she moved aside for my brother, but the parenting job stayed with my dad. He, not she, dealt with my mom. His wife's money is her own and as far as I know, she's never spent a dime on us, except for holiday presents. My dad paid the child support and alimony from his own money, and to this day, any gifts of money come from him, not them.

Not everyone wants that degree of separation and independence, but that "hey, these are not my kids," thing has a lot going for it, I think.
Wow, with all respect, I have to say, that I would risk certain heartache (my own) to give this child love. He wants me to be his stepmom. I will continue on knowing that there may be a chance that he would reject me someday so that I can give him all the things that I can give him now-which is a lot. He has a fabulous mother, and I am friends with her and am clearing boundry issues with her along the way, but I would not not be a second mother to this boy just because I am going to have difficulties someday.

I know it will be hard. It already has been a few times. But I won't protect myself from that. I know I will love him like my own (I am already holding back). I know I won't be able to mother him the same way as ds, but whatever comes up I will deal with it and always do what I think is best for him, which is to simply love him and look out for him.

His mother is more open than my own ex, so I think dp might come up with some difficulties. But all four of us parents involved ap, homebirth, discipline the same, and value the children before ourselves, so, I have a pretty good thing going so far. And dp has his son more than half the time, and I have my ds more than half the time.

I realize that is not always the case-every situation is different. But I still have hope.
post #54 of 148
Quote:
eah, comments like "well, you knew he had a child" in this forum are about has helpful as comments like "well, you chose to have a child with him" in the single parent forum. Sometimes people need a safe place to vent. With people who understand that even if you knew he had a child - you had not the faintest idea what it actually entailed.
you know, i get those kinds of comments when i talk about my ex and it was a while before i figured out how unhelpful they were when my husband started to feel the burn where step parenting was concerned. yeah he knew i had a kid. he knew he was developmentally delayed and most likely autistic. he also knew alot of other things, like that he loved me and that he was not likely to find a person who was a better fit for him than i. we had some dark days as a family and are just coming out of them now. finger crossed, we will begin to truly flourish soon.

when you think about it the shock of reality that comes after establishing any (hopefully) lifelong intimate relationship involving obligation (legal, financial, and emotional) is alot like having a kid the old fashioned way. how many of you have helled fast to every parenting principal you went in with? how many of us have truly escaped the first two or three years without a major reordering of priorities and change of opinions about some pretty big things. not too long ago someone asked me about my experience of becoming a mother the first time. i said i had alot of ideas... then i had a kid. my guiding principal has always been to respect my son and treat him kindly. that's a value. values rarely change but beliefs sure do. gaining a child or a spouse almost always requires changes in beliefs about what is right and proper. we can't do that without first having our previous beliefs batted around a bit and proven wrong, stupid, or otherwise useless. of course you know it will be work but just what kind of work is invariably a surprise.

that's why i try to have sympathy for step parents even though i do carry a bit of chip on my shoulder. mine were excallent step parents and the fact that they needed to be there at all still hurt a bit.
post #55 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebarkingbird View Post
you know, i get those kinds of comments when i talk about my ex and it was a while before i figured out how unhelpful they were when my husband started to feel the burn where step parenting was concerned. yeah he knew i had a kid. he knew he was developmentally delayed and most likely autistic. he also knew alot of other things, like that he loved me and that he was not likely to find a person who was a better fit for him than i. we had some dark days as a family and are just coming out of them now. finger crossed, we will begin to truly flourish soon.

when you think about it the shock of reality that comes after establishing any (hopefully) lifelong intimate relationship involving obligation (legal, financial, and emotional) is alot like having a kid the old fashioned way. how many of you have helled fast to every parenting principal you went in with? how many of us have truly escaped the first two or three years without a major reordering of priorities and change of opinions about some pretty big things. not too long ago someone asked me about my experience of becoming a mother the first time. i said i had alot of ideas... then i had a kid. my guiding principal has always been to respect my son and treat him kindly. that's a value. values rarely change but beliefs sure do. gaining a child or a spouse almost always requires changes in beliefs about what is right and proper. we can't do that without first having our previous beliefs batted around a bit and proven wrong, stupid, or otherwise useless. of course you know it will be work but just what kind of work is invariably a surprise.

that's why i try to have sympathy for step parents even though i do carry a bit of chip on my shoulder. mine were excallent step parents and the fact that they needed to be there at all still hurt a bit.
post #56 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by mama41 View Post
well, we know how well that goes with our own children, so I wouldn't worry about doing anything more than trying your best. I'm saying that the relationships -- birth children, stepchildren -- are different because you can't behave like a birth mother to the stepchildren. You have no rights. You will have to respect the parenting of a woman you may not even know, and modify yours to meet it partway, even if it's not how you want to raise your own child. If she moves and is custodial, you have no say; the child will be gone. If, as he gets older, he becomes protective of his mother and rereads the divorce story as his dad's fault -- or, worse, yours -- he may be perfectly horrible to you for a while. So if you start thinking of the stepson as "one of your kids", you're setting yourself up, I think, for some real heartache and trouble.

My dad's wife was wise, I think, in how she handled things. I was grown, but my brother was still at home with my dad. At first she tried to mother my bro, and was rejected. Then she withdrew from the parent job altogether, and that was probably the smartest thing she could've done. We're not her kids. I like and respect her greatly, I'm grateful she's there for my dad, and I enjoy her company, but I'm not her stepdaughter. My brother is not her stepson. She hosted me graciously, she moved aside for my brother, but the parenting job stayed with my dad. He, not she, dealt with my mom. His wife's money is her own and as far as I know, she's never spent a dime on us, except for holiday presents. My dad paid the child support and alimony from his own money, and to this day, any gifts of money come from him, not them.

Not everyone wants that degree of separation and independence, but that "hey, these are not my kids," thing has a lot going for it, I think.


Wow... I hope I'm reading this wrong or mis-interpretting... You think it is better for a Step-MOM not to parent and be involved in their step-children's lives?

I just can't see how that is healthy for the children... To feel like an outsider in their home, even if it is their part time home... it's still their home.

I refuse to beleive it best to step away from parenting DSD. I will have children with her Dad and I think it would be HORRIBLE to treat her differently in our home just because she isn't my bio-kid... WHO CARES? Seriously... Wether I gave birth to her or not, she is one of my kids. Plain and simple.

I cannot even fathom the hurt that a child must feel receiveing a gift ONLY from their Dad and not their Step-Mom... like what kind of message does that give?


Can you please try to explain this more, because I'd really like to understand where you are coming from with that thinking.
post #57 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
Wow... I hope I'm reading this wrong or mis-interpretting... You think it is better for a Step-MOM not to parent and be involved in their step-children's lives?

I just can't see how that is healthy for the children... To feel like an outsider in their home, even if it is their part time home... it's still their home.
No, it was my brother's home, and the home I'd grown up in. She was there too, and that took some getting used to, but there was no sense of being an outsider. When they moved later, and I was out of college, my dad made it clear to me that this was no longer my home, and that I was expected to go out, get a job, and make my own home (sounds cold and was in fact hard -- I graduated into a major recession -- but it was possibly more important than my college education in turning me into someone who could make it in good times and bad, and that's benefited my daughter). Then I became a guest in their home, but a welcome guest. My brother lived there part-time, and for a while lived there all the time.

To me it was akin to the relationship I have with a close friend's young children. We spend a lot of time together; I love them and they're wonderful kids. They'll come to me for help and conversation, and if their mom is busy I'll take over. It's a big family with lots of boys, so I'm also there to help the oldest kid, a girl -- I'll take her out with us for Girls' Days Out, bring her over to our quiet house so she can read and just be in peace. When I've got a tight deadline, their mom will often bring my daughter along with them and let me get some work done. So my friend and I support each other, but I'm not her kids' mother, and she's not my daughter's mother. We are very careful to defer to each other on parental decisions and even matters so small as whether or not the kids can have cookies. "You have to ask your mother" and "That's something for your mother to decide" are things they hear a lot from us. Everyone is clear on this, and if anyone is hurt by it, I'm certainly not aware of it. All the kids know who their own parent is. There are occasional boundary issues when the kids want to confide things in us, and we deal with that by explaining that if there's trouble or something's hurting them, we can't keep that from their parents, and that it's best if the parents know, because then they can help -- and we offer to help them confide in the parents.

The main difference in my dad's relationship with his wife was, of course, the marital one, and for us it was confusing -- just because she wasn't our mother, and we were too young/inexperienced to understand what early marriage is. I think we both had an overwhelming sense of "Ewwwwww!" Time solved that.

The other difference was that my dad's wife had no kids, because she didn't want to have kids. We knew that. In many ways she was as different from my mom as could be. But she certainly was never cold to us, and I can't speak for my brother, but she certainly never made me feel unwelcome. It was just clear that my father, and not she, was our parent there. She's a very quiet, private woman, and not as talkative as the people we'd grown up with, so that also took some time to understand. But she's enormously kind, and with each passing year I feel I owe her a deeper debt of gratitude for loving and looking after my dad, who can be a difficult man. There are times when I wish she wouldn't put up with so much from him, but of course that's her affair.

Quote:
I refuse to beleive it best to step away from parenting DSD. I will have children with her Dad and I think it would be HORRIBLE to treat her differently in our home just because she isn't my bio-kid... WHO CARES? Seriously... Wether I gave birth to her or not, she is one of my kids. Plain and simple.
Unfortunately, the law disagrees, and depending on the birth mother, she may disagree. So may the child. When push comes to shove, even the father may disagree. That's why I say that you take on that role at your risk, and that it's likely to lead to many of the hurt feelings that come through on this thread.

Quote:
I cannot even fathom the hurt that a child must feel receiveing a gift ONLY from their Dad and not their Step-Mom... like what kind of message does that give?
My dad's wife always gave us her own presents. I found it very moving. From her, you always knew it was genuine. She put a lot of thought into them. She knew us differently than our father knew us, and so it seemed to me natural that they didn't go in together. My dad likes to give gifts based on our longrunning private jokes, and she wasn't in on those. More often these days he gives gifts of money, and again...I think I'd have felt weird, accepting a gift of money from her, even back then when I was in school. She's not my mom; she's herself, and my father's wife.
post #58 of 148
I still can't wrap my mind around it...

And as for the seperate gifts thing... I don't know... I'd be PISSED if my DP suggested such a thing.

So what, when DP and I have children together we can go in together to get them something, but we should always buy DSD's gifts seperate? I'm sorry that just makes absolutley no sense to me.

Also for just for simplicity sake... you cookie example. DP isn't always around. I'm not going to call him to find out if DSD can have a cookie. I will make the judgement call myself as she is in my charge at the time. Even if we are both home but in different rooms, if she asks me for a snack, I make the call. And then him and I back each other up on that.

I shouldn't just be a side-line Mom to one child in the home because she isn't my bio child.

I just don't see how that is healthy. *shrugs*
post #59 of 148
Quote:
Originally Posted by JSMa View Post
I still can't wrap my mind around it...

And as for the seperate gifts thing... I don't know... I'd be PISSED if my DP suggested such a thing.

So what, when DP and I have children together we can go in together to get them something, but we should always buy DSD's gifts seperate? I'm sorry that just makes absolutley no sense to me.
No, I'm just telling you how my dad and his wife handled it, as an example of how they were married, and very close, without her either rejecting us or taking on a mother role. And how it worked out. I'm sure there are other ways of doing it.

Quote:
Also for just for simplicity sake... you cookie example. DP isn't always around. I'm not going to call him to find out if DSD can have a cookie. I will make the judgement call myself as she is in my charge at the time. Even if we are both home but in different rooms, if she asks me for a snack, I make the call. And then him and I back each other up on that.
OK. Just know that you're likely to end up butting heads with her mom if that's the usual MO. If it were me, and we weren't custodial parents to the sd, I'd probably find out first how the mother likes to handle it, or maybe give a snack and then find out later whether that was OK or in line with how the birth parents want to handle it. That way, if it was a bad call, it'd be a one-time thing.

The default my friend and I have, when all our children are together, is to go with the more conservative/stricter parent's rules. I don't allow dd to drink soda, for instance, so when they're all together, none of the kids drink soda. Her kids aren't allowed to eat before adults at the synagogue buffet after services, so mine waits too. Her kids must also cede chairs to adults, and if there are no more chairs, eat on the floor. So mine does too.

A friend whose DP has two sons by a first marriage bends the other way -- she's much crunchier/greener than the ex-wife, but the boys are used to eating stuff with lots of corn syrup in, for instance. So she keeps the foods around that they like, even though she'd rather her son didn't eat them.

The commonality is that all of us are sensitive to the way the mothers raise the kids, and are willing to bend to avoid stepping on it.

Quote:
I shouldn't just be a side-line Mom to one child in the home because she isn't my bio child.

I just don't see how that is healthy. *shrugs*
Well, I don't think any of what I've mentioned is sideline. I didn't/don't feel like that about my dad's wife, and it's not how things go with my friend's kids or their partners'. It's just a different relationship. But you'll do what you think best. My main point is that presuming that a stepchild is as much your child as your adoptive/bio kids are may lead to trouble, because of the legal issues and how others involved may feel about it. But I think I've hammered that into the ground adequately.
post #60 of 148
.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Mom › Parenting › Blended and Step Family Parenting › I'm tired of being a stepparent (VENT)