having trouble feeling motherly/loving towards DSD - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 39 Old 06-19-2009, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mamakah View Post
I have been thinking of going to a counselor for this reason too. DSDs family (moms side) is HOOOOORRRRRRIIIIIIBBBBBBLLLLLLEEEEEE. What kind of counselor are you going to? I really need help working through all of this or it WILL ruin/affect my relationship with dh, which in turn will hurt our ds.
I see a family counselor.
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#32 of 39 Old 06-19-2009, 06:15 PM
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We do too. I think it helps me the most. I feel validated. I also feel like I realize that I am angry with my husband. He expects too much from me, although he says I expect too much from DSD. I can't be her mother no matter how much he wishes that I could. She doesn't love me, care about me, or feel connected to me. She came into my life at ten, after years of neglect by her mother. Her mother loves her but I am not sure that love is the issue, as she has not been able to raise her at all. Hence, that is why she lives with us. She has serious attachment issues and is just not "right" somehow. I have been thinking it is me, that I have the problem. The therapist opened my eyes. She told me that I can only do so much for her, because she had ten years of damage done. I am not going to fix her no matter how hard I try. I really think my husband and I need to get together and have realistic expectations. He needs to let me step off some pedestal. He thinks I am in control, and we would be one big, happy family if I could lighten up, relax, back off, etc. This stuff is not for the weak at heart. I admire all you parents who have been in this situation and who do right by the children. I wish things could be different but I think there is freedom in acceptance.
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#33 of 39 Old 06-27-2009, 03:40 PM
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It is crazy that everything you said could have came out of my own mouth! It's good to know I'm not the only one with these exact feelings. What we are trying to do in our home is create and stick to our own set of rules that must be followed regardless of the non-rules that exist at the mothers home. It's the hardest job I have had in all of my life so far. Good luck!
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#34 of 39 Old 06-28-2009, 10:09 AM
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Is it possible that DSD represents the parts of DP you dislike most (ie junkfood, tv loving etc) and that is the reason you feel so angered around her? I think that your goal should not be to love her like your own daughter (quite yet), but to view her as a young child, not the worst part of DP.

She is still growing and learning, and there is a good chance she will be a book loving, healthy woman. I would try to help her become that so that she is independent and competent. This is a goal that benefits you as well, because a healthy and intelligent dsd who can manage things on her own, is much less stress than a dsd who is having problems.
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#35 of 39 Old 07-04-2009, 03:26 PM
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I think some of it is hard-wired and developmental WRT to your DSD. I raised my DD, from birth, using Waldorf and Montessori principles. She was waterborn at home, BF for four years, fed organically. We hung around with only homeschoolers. She has a healthy weight now at age eight. AND she is obsessed with sugary treats, popular preteen stuff like High School Musical, the dreaded Hannah, hairstyles, clothes, and computer gaming. She acts "bratty" and unappreciative at times. She rolls her eyes and stomps around and thinks she's deprived (heh. not the case). She's also smart and independent (read anti-affection! bummer!) and hilarious and way into theatre. She's my bio kiddo so I do love her unconditionally, but sometimes she bugs the crap out of me. :-D My partner struggles to remain positive in her interactions with her. It's a rough age for some kids and their parents/steps.

Here's what, I guess, I'm saying. It's not all your fault. You don't deserve to be flamed. DSD probably is acting in an annoying way. She's also totally normal. So are your feelings! Lower the bar for yourself. Stay as positive as you can for her sake because she IS, after all, an innocent kid. Ride out this phase and remember that this too shall pass.

I remember when DD was a baby. I was so sure I'd never have one of "those" kids. Well, you know what? EVERYONE does, at some point. There will be phases your son goes through which disappoint and embarrass you, but they will pass. May your marriage last forever - but if, in theory, your son ever had a step-parent, that person would feel a lot like you feel during those phases. And it would be YOU saying the words you're hearing now from your DH.

Bottom line: you're totally okay in feeling how you feel. The fact that you feel so guilty says that you care and that you have high expectations for yourself. You're a GOOD stepmom. Cut yourself some slack and do the old "accept what you can't change, change what you can and do your best to know the difference." I find I connect best with kids when doing something I really like. For example, the park bores me to tears but I love riding bikes together and we find lots of chances to talk and laugh that way. Maybe you and DSD have some undiscovered hobby/activity in common? best of luck!


I am so with you on the buttcrack problem. Clothes these days are made too low in the rise for "style" purposes, without the consideration for how active children are compared to teens and adults. you might want to do a little shopping for higher-rise pants. My kiddo eats healthy food but also lots of junk/sugar compared to the average MDC kid and isn't chubby at all. I was the same way. your DSD may just be about to shoot up in height, y'know?

: mom to one 12-year-old waterborn ball of fire :
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#36 of 39 Old 07-04-2009, 11:55 PM
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Not a stepmom, but the mother of two with a stepmom. I can imagine that it would be very difficult to form a close relationship with kids who you see a few days a month, at best. Even more so when you have (your own) children living with you. And with that, I hope you're okay with some input from the other side of things (the kids' side).

The kids know that you don't feel the same way about them as you do your own. And they're more or less okay with that. What they'd like is some acknowledgment that they're actually people that have something positive about them. From what they tell me (and based on the emails I get from the ex and his wife), they have yet to get anything positive from either. Are they perfect? Of course not. Are there things I could have done differently/better? No doubt. But they're pretty darned good kids.

The message they get is that neither their Dad nor their stepMom like them (let alone love them). They're no longer of an age where I can shine them on about it, either. #1 has said that he's done when he turns 18.

Find something positive about your DSD when she's with you. No matter how small it might seem - find it and acknowledge it.
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#37 of 39 Old 07-09-2009, 10:13 PM
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Not a step-mom, but I had my fair share of step-parents and parent "partners" growing up.

I'm guessing that she pretty much knows exactly how you feel about her. No matter how you act, true feeelings are hard to disguise. Kids can be pretty intuitive about things like that. They don't bring it up a lot of times though because they know that it won't change the situation. Then it ends up feeling like the parent chose the new "partner" over them. It's a really bad feeling.

Your dsd didn't become an "overweight, butt crack showing, gum smacking" kid overnight. If all of those things annoyed you before you had a baby with your dp, then it was your responsibility to acknowledge your feelings to dp and let him know that you may never feel a real love or bond to his dd. Have you ever told him? If so, how does he feel about it?

Instead of focusing on your dsd's faults, why not try to find a common ground with her? If her clothes have an unflattering fit and show her butt, take her shopping. Help her choose styles that flatter her and give her more coverage. At 7, she's at the mercy of whatever clothes other people supply for her. It's not her fault that they don't fit correctly (and if you are noticing that her pants are riding too low, I'm sure other kids are too and she may be or become the subject of harassment and teasing). If she is focused on eating junk food, then don't keep it in the house. Or try to make "healthier" at home versions of her favorite snacks. Have you tried to let her prepare meals with you? A lot of times kids are more willing to try foods that they have helped with. If she smells bad, then take her and help her pick out bath/deodorant products. Again, if it is bad enough that other people are noticing, it could set her up for harrassment and teasing.

What are some things that she likes? HM may not be your thing, but there isn't anything you can do if her mom thinks it is okay for her to watch. There is a HM series of books out there. Maybe you could take her and let her check out a couple from the library or buy her a couple. Are you sure that she doesn't LIKE to read? Could it be that she can't read very well and so she gets easily frustrated with it? My niece was that way until my sister discovered that she needed glasses. After that, reading became easier and more enjoyable for her. That may be another thing for you to check in to if dsd hasn't had a complete eye exam lately.

Lastly, you cannot go into this relationship expecting to change the basic person she is. That's like a woman marrying a man expecting that he will "change". You knew what dsd was like and you still chose to have a relationship with her father. That's not her fault. Just because she isn't your idea of "perfect" doesn't mean that she doesn't have good qualities about her. Try to find those!
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#38 of 39 Old 07-10-2009, 01:12 AM
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Not a stepmom here either, but to be completely honest all moms have feelings like this about some of their children, some of the time. The important thing is that we TREAT our children kindly, regardless of how we are feeling.

I'm not in the camp that thinks it is important to know why you feel this way or to beat yourself up for having these feelings. So you feel this way - ok - now just be nice :-)

Good luck,

Mama to Scott (USAF), Katie (18), Karlie (16), Kimmy (9), Klara (4.5), and Baby Khloe (2.5)
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#39 of 39 Old 07-11-2009, 12:15 AM
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My DP has a son from another relationship who is a year older than our 1st son. Lots of times I feel helpless because I have no control over the situation, and the fact that DP won't even try to get formal visitation rights because he doesn't want to rock the boat. It's really tough sometimes and confusing, because I want to make us all feel like a family, but I know that his mom may leave and take him away at any time, so it's hard to get attached. He has some behavioral problems too, he takes meds for. I've noticed I get frustrated with him quicker than I do my own DS. I think you just can't expect those loving feelings to appear overnight just because she is your daughter's sister, it takes time. Hope it gets better for you!

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