Things you did and didn't appreciate about your stepparent... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 73 Old 12-26-2008, 11:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
... when you were a stepchild. Has it changed over years?

:

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#2 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 12:28 AM
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Not a stepparent here. I've only been a stepchild. I'm not sure if you wanted only people who have been stepchildren and stepparents or just being a stepchild is ok? Sorry if you're looking for the perspective of now-stepparents. But here is my list...

I did appreciate:

He took care of my brother's and I.
He cared.
He tried.

I did not appreciate:

He acted like my dad. He wasn't. He could never be. He needed to back off and realize he was not my dad and never would be.
He was too controlling. He laid down the law and my mom allowed him. It should have been my mom making the rules for me, not him.
He never gave my mom and I time alone. Everything always had to include him. Sometimes I just needed to spend some time with just my mom, but I never got that.
He didn't understand that his family was not my family. I get that he cared about me and considered me to be one of his own, and that's nice of him. But I didn't want to be forced to go to family gatherings for his side of the family where I wasn't comfortable. I didn't want to be forced to go his parent's house to do lawn work. I didn't want to be forced to go sit around the hospital for hours on end when one of his relatives was there.

I guess my main complaint was that he didn't respect my boundaries. I needed space. He didn't give it. I did not appreciate that, and it was why I hated him as a teen.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#3 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 01:08 AM
 
mild_adventurer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Near Lake Champlain, Vermont
Posts: 235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a step-parent and a step-child to the woman who ultimately adopted my sister and me after my own biological mother abandoned us.

It's funny, because looking back, I find myself NOW resenting things about my upbringing that I didn't resent or even unserstand when I was a child. I am having a very hard time thinking of things that I didn't appreciate about my step-mother that I appreciate now.

What I did and still do appreciate about my step-mother:

She loved myself and my sister as if she'd given birth to us (she has two 3 bological children of her own).

She provided us with a healthy balance of freedom and boundaries.

She continued to love myself and my sister even after her marriage to my father dissolved.

Her family (parents, sisters, brothers, etc) accepted myself and my sister as if we were her biological children.

She was always, always fair.

Things I didn't see as issues when I was a child but now, as I deal with them in bi-weekly therapy sessions , clearly were an issue:

She forced us to call her "mom" waaaay too early on in our relationship.

She kept it a secret from us when our biological mother tried to contact us as children.

She acted as though she felt threatened when my sister or I wanted to spend time alone with our father.

She acted jealous anytime my sister or I spoke lovingly of our biological mother.

She held long, nasty grudges when we were less-than-obedient, and we would feel as though we were truly bad people for not making her happy.

I think we all learn valuable lessons from our childhood, especially as we become parents ourselves. This is true for step-parents as well. For better or for worse, what I learned from my upbringing was:

Love is limitless. It never runs out unless you allow it to.

Don't hold grudges against your children. Speak honestly about how their behavior makes you feel and then forgive quickly and completely.

Children need time to be children. Have firm expectations and set realistic boundaries, but never forget that they only get one turn to be kids.

Blood does not family make. Any relationship can blossom over time. Be patient and caring and kind and you'll never go wrong.

Life is not fair, but as a parent, it's okay to try to make your childrens' lives as fair as possible. They'll have plenty of time to learn how unfair life truly is. "Fair" is not synonymous with "equal."

Children fall in love at their own pace and in their own time. You cannot force their love, but you can nurture it.

Don't underestimate what your children are capable of understanding. There's almost nothing you can't talk to children about, as long as you tailor the message to their level of understanding.

Pay attention.

As a stepmother, the biggest lesson from my childhood is this: love comes in many shapes and forms. Different people show love in different ways. People show love to different people in different ways! Just because your stepchild loves her mother, it doesn't mean she doesn't love you too. Just because your step-child wants to spend time alone with her father, it doesn't mean she doesn't love you. Your stepson's way of showing love might be to kick your ass in the latest X-Box game. Learn to recognize love in all of its glorious forms. You'll be surprised at how much love surrounds you.

+ = (4/97) & (1/99) & (8/99) & (2/01), with , the prettiest pup this side of the Mississippi.
mild_adventurer is offline  
#4 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 01:22 AM
 
Sharlla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 12,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My stepfather was the worst, not one redeemable quality. He was a drunk and drug abuser, wife beater and child molester.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

Sharlla is offline  
#5 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 01:24 AM
 
CherylDec&Jul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 227
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I got along with my stepfather & not with my stepmother.

(I even went as far as telling my stepmother - on her wedding day - that I would not eat any apples she gave me. Yes, I thought I was clever when in fact I was rude & awful.)

The big difference at the time was my stepdad never once got involved in the discipline aspect. Even if he was annoyed (he was a neat freak) that my room was clean he went to my mom who came to me. And I think it helped that my mom was a great negotiator (like my room had to be clean but my bathroom & closet didnt as long as I kept the door shut, kwim? I ended up with my own phone line.) So there wasn't anything to conflict over with him.

Whereas, my stepmother was probably disciplined me as much if not more than my dad. And she was always "interested" in what I was doing. Even if it was just helping with suggestions on how to better cook mac n cheese that I was making for myself. We conflicted & fought.

However, now that I am an adult - I was equally close with both stepparents & love them both. My children call them both grandma & grandpa. So the long rough ugly road I traveled with my stepmom has no ill bearings on our relationship once I was out of my own. Even today I regularly email with my stepmom. And the un-involvedness (I know its not a word) also didnt have any ill affects on my relationship with my stedad.
CherylDec&Jul is offline  
#6 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 12:39 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mild_adventurer View Post





She acted as though she felt threatened when my sister or I wanted to spend time alone with our father.



She held long, nasty grudges when we were less-than-obedient, and we would feel as though we were truly bad people for not making her happy.

I.

Was this her way of parenting in general? Meaning did she do this to her bio kids as well, or do you think it had soemthing to do with being step-kids? Just trying to see if it was a parenting thing or a step-parenting thing
mommyto3girls is offline  
#7 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 12:41 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
Not a stepparent here. I've only been a stepchild. I'm not sure if you wanted only people who have been stepchildren and stepparents or just being a stepchild is ok? Sorry if you're looking for the perspective of now-stepparents. But here is my list...

I did appreciate:

He took care of my brother's and I.
He cared.
He tried.

I did not appreciate:

He acted like my dad. He wasn't. He could never be. He needed to back off and realize he was not my dad and never would be.
He was too controlling. He laid down the law and my mom allowed him. It should have been my mom making the rules for me, not him.
He never gave my mom and I time alone. Everything always had to include him. Sometimes I just needed to spend some time with just my mom, but I never got that.
He didn't understand that his family was not my family. I get that he cared about me and considered me to be one of his own, and that's nice of him. But I didn't want to be forced to go to family gatherings for his side of the family where I wasn't comfortable. I didn't want to be forced to go his parent's house to do lawn work. I didn't want to be forced to go sit around the hospital for hours on end when one of his relatives was there.

I guess my main complaint was that he didn't respect my boundaries. I needed space. He didn't give it. I did not appreciate that, and it was why I hated him as a teen.

How old were you when he came into your life? I am curious if this makes a difference to peoples' experiences.
mommyto3girls is offline  
#8 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 12:48 PM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
For anyone else answering (OP:sorry to hi-jack)

Can you tell us how old you were when the step-parent entered your life and did they bring children of theirs into the relationship? (ages?)

Our kids were Mine: 5 & 2 1/2, and his: 2 1/2 (and 19, but she has not lived with him since she was a baby- her mom is career army)

So I feel like our situation may be different because of the young ages of the kids and how close in age they are. The little ones are only 9 weeks apart. We discipline fairly equally and they all have the same rules. They are very different personalities and some things are done differently because of that, but for the most part we treat it like a family with three closely spaced kids and two parents. "big Talks" or "big comorts" are usually handled by the bio parent though
mommyto3girls is offline  
#9 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 12:53 PM
 
Getz's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 963
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My step-mom was emotionally abusive (which I just labeled a few months ago) and my dad did nothing about it despite us begging for him to help us. So, lots of ill blood there. She was much worse to my sister (which I found out later). When I left for college, step-mom stopped allowing my sister to eat any food in the house. For family meals, she was forced to stay in her room. That was just one of the things she did. I could write a book, but it is a big downer.

ETA: I was in jr high when she moved in with my dad. She had a younger son (who was a god) and two older kids not in the house. The first thing she did was demand we move and in the new house the new "rules" started.

Both my sister and I do credit her for motivating us to do something with our lives. The more we acheived the more she hated it. She told me and my dad I wasn't worth sending to college, so I graduated with honors, etc. I suppose that is the silver lining.

These days I can tolerate her for the few hours a year I see her.

I remember once my son (who was about a year at the time) screamed bloody murder when she tried to get near him. My dad said he was under-socialized. I just think he is a good judge of character!
Getz is offline  
#10 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 01:12 PM
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,004
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
He didn't understand that his family was not my family. I get that he cared about me and considered me to be one of his own, and that's nice of him. But I didn't want to be forced to go to family gatherings for his side of the family where I wasn't comfortable. I didn't want to be forced to go his parent's house to do lawn work. I didn't want to be forced to go sit around the hospital for hours on end when one of his relatives was there.
I find this interesting; I've heard from other adult stepchildren that they felt hurt because they were *excluded* from their stepparents' families.

Was it the forced nature of the relationship? A specific discomfort? The boundaries thing?

My stepkid is 6, and she sees my family as "yay! more aunts and grandparents and holiday gifts and people to pay attention to me!" I suppose if she'd come into my life as a teen, she might have the "oh, great, more people I'm supposed to deal with instead of being able to hang out with my friends" attitude (who knows--she still might).

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#11 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 01:54 PM
 
tndixiemom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am a step-child, not a step-parent. Both step-parents came into my life within a year of each other so it was 12 and 13. My step-dad has always been more of a dad. He gave us everything we needed or wanted and I do appreciate that. He treated us like we were his own and has always called us his daughters.

My dad's wife hated us. It was a reminder that my dad had a life before her and she couldn't handle that. She would badmouth my mom in front of us even when there was nothing at all to bad mouth her about. After the divorce, my parents were very civil and only communicated through us. She would listen in on phone calls to our mom in case we said anything about her. When I was 16, they had a baby. I hated kids and didn't make a fuss over the baby so she told me that I was not welcome there anymore. I didn't see my dad for over 6 months because of that. I look back and there were a ton of things she did to make us feel like unwelcome visitors. It was never a second home. I blame my dad just as much as her because he let it happen.
tndixiemom is offline  
#12 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 02:52 PM
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
I find this interesting; I've heard from other adult stepchildren that they felt hurt because they were *excluded* from their stepparents' families.

Was it the forced nature of the relationship? A specific discomfort? The boundaries thing?

My stepkid is 6, and she sees my family as "yay! more aunts and grandparents and holiday gifts and people to pay attention to me!" I suppose if she'd come into my life as a teen, she might have the "oh, great, more people I'm supposed to deal with instead of being able to hang out with my friends" attitude (who knows--she still might).
It was how forced it was. I was expected to be comfortable around his family and consider them my family from day one. I didn't even get to see my mom's family as often as we visited his family, and that was really hard. And yeah, my perspective is as someone who moved in with my mom as a teen. So in a younger child I can imagine it being totally different.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#13 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 03:33 PM
 
serenekitten's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 477
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Where to begin.

First of all, the man never earned the title "father," so I called him "Step-thing" ... or other less savory words. Mom was married to him for two excruciating years, while I was a teenager. He became verbally and emotionally abusive.

I was always competing with him for my mother's attention. He seemed to resent any time that she and I went out and didn't bring him with us, not that he would have wanted to go, anyway.

He once chewed out my dad for not being around. It wasn't his place to say anything, no matter how true it was at the time. I think he once badmouthed Dad in front of me, so he bought me a pair of shoes to make up for it. *rolls eyes*

Our cats were indoor only. Two mysteriously disappeared while we lived with him. I think he left the door open while Mom and I were gone... if he didn't do something else on purpose. :

He was always accusing Mom of going behind his back.

I think what I hate most of all was that I didn't stand up for my mom while she was with him. Now I'm hyper-vigilant with her and her new "family" (she hasn't married the guy, yet, but they live together). I already told the guy that I put up with a lot of BS from the last one, I will not put up with it from him. I guess that's the one positive I gained -- I've grown a back-bone.

- Born 7/21/09
serenekitten is offline  
#14 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 03:42 PM
 
NaturalMindedMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,959
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
It was how forced it was. I was expected to be comfortable around his family and consider them my family from day one. I didn't even get to see my mom's family as often as we visited his family, and that was really hard. And yeah, my perspective is as someone who moved in with my mom as a teen. So in a younger child I can imagine it being totally different.

was your mom close to her family? Sometimes I wonder about things like this coming from the young persons POV??? Different perspectives see different ways. KWIM?
NaturalMindedMomma is offline  
#15 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 04:23 PM
 
grniys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: SoCal
Posts: 1,798
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaturalMindedMomma View Post
was your mom close to her family? Sometimes I wonder about things like this coming from the young persons POV??? Different perspectives see different ways. KWIM?
No, she wasn't, but I was. And he didn't like that, so I wasn't allowed to be around them much.

SAHM to Ninja Boy (6) surf.gif and Monkey Man (4) carrot.gif.

grniys is offline  
#16 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 04:39 PM
 
ProtoLawyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 2,004
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks for the insight, grniys. Makes perfect sense.

My SD does see my parents more than she sees any of her biological grandparents (or step-grandparents married to biological grandparents...whew...). But, my parents live an hour's drive away. Her other grandparents live plane rides away. I do wonder how that will play out as she gets older.

ProtoLawyer (the now-actual lawyer, this isn't legal advice,  please don't take legal advice from some anonymous yahoo on the Internet)
Spouse (the political geek) * Stepdaughter (the artist) * and introducing...the Baby (um, he's a baby? He likes shiny things).
ProtoLawyer is offline  
#17 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 07:40 PM
 
mama2toomany's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 3,295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My stepmother taught me what not to be as a person and as a mother.

She was a horrible person and the world is a better place now that she isn't in it. She took abuse to a new level. Mommy Dearest Had nothing on her.

On a good note I learned not to hit or scream at my children, and I would never ever take pleasure in hurting anyone.

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
mama2toomany is offline  
#18 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 08:42 PM
 
Mamafreya's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Mama2toomany

I've had two stepdads. Sdad1 married my mom when I was 3 and raised me till he passed away when I was 17. I consider him my father not my stepdad. He was a wonderful man and I really think that I was very lucky to have had him in my life. I can't really think of anything that I didn't appreciate about him. He was just Dad, you know. I know he had flaws and we used to argue sometimes but our relationship was so solid that those things didn't matter.

Sdad2 came along about a year after sdad1 passed. At the time I HATED him but in reality he was a very good person who just had the misfortune of falling in love with a widow who had 5 kids who hated the idea of him. I am 31and our relationship is so much better. My kids call him Gramps and I think of him as a family member sort of like an uncle or something.

The things I really appreciated about him...

He never tried to take our dad's place.

He didn't discipline but supported my mom when she did.

He really cared and jumped right in and took care of a lot of practical physical labor type things that I just couldn't handle at 18. I was the oldest and my mom literally worked from 9-9 every day except Sunday, plus she had a small home-based business on the side. I took care of my siblings plus worked 30 hour weeks as well. There were A LOT of things that were really falling by the waist side and the relief I felt when those responsibilities were lessened was SO priceless.

He has always wanted the best for all of us and has done his best to provide whatever we needed/need

He loves my mom and treats her well.

Things I didn't appreciate...

He was REALLY uncomfortable with the fact that we talked about my Dad. He knew we all didn't really like him so he never ate with us or did family things with us until many years later. He didn't "get" that our Dad had only been dead for a year. Even now things can get a little uncomfortable if we talk about my Dad.

If he was upset about something he wouldn't say anything to us directly. We only heard about it from my mom. In the beginning that was good but now years later it can be hard for my younger brothers.

That's really all I can think of. I guess he can be sort of negative about things sometimes but overall he's pretty great.
Mamafreya is offline  
#19 of 73 Old 12-27-2008, 09:08 PM
 
Fianna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 2,078
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I SO appreciate this thread and everyone's honesty and openness in sharing. As a relatively new stepmom, with literally no familial role models for stepparenting, and also a biomom who was VERY into AP, I am constantly looking for sources of information, strength, support, and insight into what my bio-dds are feeling, my dsc are feeling, my husband (who did not know what AP was until he met me) is feeling...it's a constant juggling act and I never really know if I'm making the right decisions for anyone, regardless of my intentions. Those of you sharing your perspective as step-children provides wonderful insight for people like me. Thank you.

:
Fianna is offline  
#20 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 01:50 AM
 
ziggy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bar Harbor, ME and Boston, MA
Posts: 387
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I've had two stepfathers. My current stepfather is an abusive alcoholic and has, in my opinion, no redeeming qualities. He came into my life when I was 12, and my mother kicked me out to go live with my father so that she and her new husband could have time together. He was constantly yelling at me, telling me I was worthless, telling me I was the reason for my mom's myriad of issues, telling me I would never get anywhere in life, etc. A great catch, that one.

My first stepfather was a jerk, but more in the "totally oblivious to the world" kind of way. He'd bring his kids home toys, but never me and just not understand why I, at 7 years old, was at all upset by this - I had a dad who could have done the same for me. Crap like that. Now he's an evangelical christian and has no interest in me unless I want to convert to christianity and denounce my evil homosexual ways. Thanks for the offer, but no.

I like my stepmother a lot. Granted, I never had to live with her and they got married when I was 19 and across the country. They send me presents at the requisite holidays, and she sends me my favorite cookies from Trader Joes whenever she goes there.
ziggy is offline  
#21 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 10:46 AM
 
mommyto3girls's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,041
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProtoLawyer View Post
Thanks for the insight, grniys. Makes perfect sense.

My SD does see my parents more than she sees any of her biological grandparents (or step-grandparents married to biological grandparents...whew...). But, my parents live an hour's drive away. Her other grandparents live plane rides away. I do wonder how that will play out as she gets older.
Same Here, we are in Ohio, an hour from my parents. Dh's mom lives in New Mexico and her mom's dad lives over 4 hours away. My parents immediately started treating her just as they do the other grandkids, no differences at all and she calls them bompie and mimi (since she really did not have close grandparents in her life there was no issue for her with choosing to accept them as grandparents right of the bat)
mommyto3girls is offline  
#22 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:07 PM
 
tndixiemom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 136
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
He was REALLY uncomfortable with the fact that we talked about my Dad.
This was a problem we had with our dad's wife, too. She took it as stab towards her. It all does come back to the fact that she had no children and was not mature enough to deal with a man who had children. They never should have gotten married. My stepdad encouraged us to have a relationship with our dad. His two kids didn't see him very much so he knew how it went. Years later when my sister and I finally told him and my mom about the things that went on, he apologized to us. He said he never would have made us go if he knew how she treated us. I do wish I had a relationship with my father, but it won't happen as long as she is in the picture.
tndixiemom is offline  
#23 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:30 PM
 
Mama Poot's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Youngstown OH-Gotta Live Somewhere!
Posts: 6,151
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Things I appreciate(d) about my stepmom:

She cared enough about me to put up with all of my crap-and there was a lot of that when I was younger.

She showed me how being an involved mother and being involved in children's activities was a positive thing. This I feel was very important because my mother refused to be involved with anything; thought PTA was a waste of time, didn't encourage me to get involved in clubs or other things that encourage social stability, never made an effort to be friends with the parents of my friends and always found some reason why she didn't like them. This really hurt me socially. BUT, my stepmom was the total opposite, so in many ways I think this saved me from even more isolation and embarassment.

She stood alongside my father as the example of what a couple should be, what a family should be, and embraced her role as homemaker. It was not until I became a mom and a SAHM at that that I realized just how much I had learned from my stepmom and how much I was turning out to be like her!

Things I DIDN'T appreciate about my stepmom:

No matter what, things were going to go her way come hell or high water. I was irritated by this because even though what she was doing would end up hurting my dad, he just went along with it "for the sake of the marriage".

She can be kind of pompous and obnoxious and over-confident in her abilities. And not in a mild way, either. This kind of behavior nearly pushed them into financial ruin, and now both of them are working crappy jobs with crappy benefits and never have any time to see family anymore because they have to spend all their time working to pay off the enormous debt that was incurred from my stepmom's business endeavor that everyone knew was going to fail.

At times she was judgmental towards a lot of people, and while she isn't like this as much now, it was not a very becoming quality and caused a lot of tension.

Altogether, the good far outweighs the bad in my case. My stepmom is like a second mother to me, and often I think of her as my "real" mom, because she is more of a mom to me than my "real" mom is.
Mama Poot is offline  
#24 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
Oriole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: by the ocean, lakes and mountains
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fianna View Post
I SO appreciate this thread and everyone's honesty and openness in sharing. ... Those of you sharing your perspective as step-children provides wonderful insight for people like me. Thank you.
: : : :

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
Oriole is offline  
#25 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:46 PM
Banned
 
SuzanneDeAz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grniys View Post
Not a stepparent here. I've only been a stepchild. I'm not sure if you wanted only people who have been stepchildren and stepparents or just being a stepchild is ok? Sorry if you're looking for the perspective of now-stepparents. But here is my list...

I did appreciate:

He took care of my brother's and I.
He cared.
He tried.

I did not appreciate:

He acted like my dad. He wasn't. He could never be. He needed to back off and realize he was not my dad and never would be.
He was too controlling. He laid down the law and my mom allowed him. It should have been my mom making the rules for me, not him.
He never gave my mom and I time alone. Everything always had to include him. Sometimes I just needed to spend some time with just my mom, but I never got that.
He didn't understand that his family was not my family. I get that he cared about me and considered me to be one of his own, and that's nice of him. But I didn't want to be forced to go to family gatherings for his side of the family where I wasn't comfortable. I didn't want to be forced to go his parent's house to do lawn work. I didn't want to be forced to go sit around the hospital for hours on end when one of his relatives was there.

I guess my main complaint was that he didn't respect my boundaries. I needed space. He didn't give it. I did not appreciate that, and it was why I hated him as a teen.
Do you still hate him?
SuzanneDeAz is offline  
#26 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:57 PM
Banned
 
SuzanneDeAz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 102
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Getz View Post
My step-mom was emotionally abusive (which I just labeled a few months ago) and my dad did nothing about it despite us begging for him to help us. So, lots of ill blood there. She was much worse to my sister (which I found out later). When I left for college, step-mom stopped allowing my sister to eat any food in the house. For family meals, she was forced to stay in her room. That was just one of the things she did. I could write a book, but it is a big downer.

ETA: I was in jr high when she moved in with my dad. She had a younger son (who was a god) and two older kids not in the house. The first thing she did was demand we move and in the new house the new "rules" started.

Both my sister and I do credit her for motivating us to do something with our lives. The more we acheived the more she hated it. She told me and my dad I wasn't worth sending to college, so I graduated with honors, etc. I suppose that is the silver lining.

These days I can tolerate her for the few hours a year I see her.

I remember once my son (who was about a year at the time) screamed bloody murder when she tried to get near him. My dad said he was under-socialized. I just think he is a good judge of character!
So your step mother basically starved your sister? Did not your sister tell any other adult she was going without food?
SuzanneDeAz is offline  
#27 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 02:59 PM
 
Sharlla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Springfield Mo
Posts: 12,042
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommyto3girls View Post

Can you tell us how old you were when the step-parent entered your life and did they bring children of theirs into the relationship? (ages?)
My mom got with him when I was 3 (they are still together 26 years later) He had two kids around my age at the time but he lost contact when I was about 7.

Unassisted birthing, atheist, poly, bi WOHM to 4 wonderful, smart homeschooling kids Wes (14) Seth (7) Pandora Moonlilly (2) and Nevermore Stargazer (11/2012)  Married to awesome SAH DH.

Sharlla is offline  
#28 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 03:13 PM
 
Sparks*'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a step-child, not a step-parent. I have both a step-dad and a step-mom. My parents divorced when I was 3yo and they both remarried within a month of each other when I was 6yo.

My relationship started off on the wrong foot with my step-mom because my dad came home from a trip (he's an airline pilot) with step-mom and said "come and meet your new mom!" They had gotten married before my brother and I even knew she existed. She was very young and immature at the time and had a lot of jealousy issues. She was not comfortable with my dad showing me any type of physical affection, for example. Once they had kids together it got much worse and my brother and I were treated more like dogs than children. We couldn't sit on the furniture, we had to play outside all day long rain or shine...which we actually didn't mind that much, and we weren't allowed to touch our half-siblings when they were babies unless they were wrapped in a clean towel and we had been washed thoroughly from head to toe.

My step-mom has grown substantially since then and has actually apologized numerous times in numerous ways to my brother and I for how she treated us. My relationship with her now is civil. We aren't close in any way, but we can get along fine when we have family gatherings. I still have a lot of anger and resentment towards my dad for letting the things that happened, happen. I'm working on getting past it all.

I don't have a relationship with my step-dad at all. He's really the only person in the world who I can say I "hate". I honestly can't say a single good thing about him. He was extremely emotionally and verbally abusive, and once again it only got worse once him and my mom had a baby together.

I think everything would have gone much better if my parents would have stood up for my brother and I and had their priorities more in order. I grew up feeling unwanted, unloved, and unable to fit in in any environment. I'm still battling with these issues everyday.
Sparks* is offline  
#29 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 03:23 PM
 
mama2toomany's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: MN
Posts: 3,295
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My stepmom would take me and my brother into the basement, make us hold pillows on our heads and beat us with boards, she often withheld food from us.

She was evil. We did tell, we went to school with bruises and black eyes on a daily basis, when asked what happened, we were very honest, I would say "My mommy hit me with a box fan". Only once did someone actually listen to us, My 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Mathews. She called the Police, the police and cps came and we told them.. they called my mother in, made her promise to go to therapy and sent us home with her.

She put us into therapy but never went herself and the beatings just got worse.

The system failed us horribly.



I honestly think I am a good stepmother today because I know what happens to a child when they are belittled or made to feel like they are less then family. I know how it feels to have the bio children mean more then the step children. It sucks, so I make sure everyday that everyone knows there value. So i suppose the waste of a person she was did teach me quite a lot.

Loving Dh, Mama x 4, Surrogate mother to 5. A born 2003, M and R girl/girl twins 2006, S and C boy/girl twins born 2010. Processing/healing.
mama2toomany is offline  
#30 of 73 Old 12-28-2008, 03:53 PM
 
starling&diesel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: West Coast, Canada
Posts: 3,845
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13 Post(s)
My parents divorced when I was very little. My dad met my stepmom when I was five and they married when I was eight. My mom met my stepmom when I was nine and married him when I was eleven.

My stepmom ...
The good things:
she was fun
she was kid-focused
she was delighted to have a 'daughter' (she brought a son to the relationship and I had a full brother)
she wasn't afraid to enforce reasonable boundaries and consequences
she was affectionate and thoughtful

The very, very bad no-good rotten things:
her son got preferential treatment
she defied my mother's wishes on a regular basis
she never saved me from abuse at the hands of my father
she didn't keep me safe when I was at her home
she's turned her back on me and sided with my father on this issue

My stepdad...
The good things:
he respected my mother as primary caregiver and disciplinarian
he tried very hard to incorporate us kids into his life, even though he'd been a bachelor for his whole life
he cooked amazing vegetarian meals for the family every night
he meditated twice a day to help keep himself on an even keel
over the years, he's become my 'father' ... and I refer to him as such
he's interesting and funny and quite the curmudgeon, which took years to get used to, but which i appreciate now

The no-good, very rotten things:
he's a severe alcoholic
as kids, his patience was very limited
he and my brother have never gotten along

dust.gifFour-eyed tattooed fairy godmother queer, mama to my lucky star (5) and little bird (2.5). Resident storyteller at www.thestoryforest.com. Enchanting audiostories for curious kids. Come play in the forest!
starling&diesel is online now  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off