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#1 of 13 Old 10-13-2010, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Kind of going through a mini heartbreak over here. We've sewn ducks, did school projects, planned her birthday parties, went on fun girls days out, talked about first kiss, talked about protection, talked about her friends doing stupid things and her saying no, talked about her doing stupid things, talked about her difficult relationship with her mom, then her dad, then her boyfriends. We baked chocolate chip cookies, for crying out loud!

Hurumph. It's all gone. As if it never were. We don't argue, but we don't talk, and I can tell that her opinion of me is not very high, she did nothing for my Birthday. She's not rude, her dad wouldn't stand for it, but she's as distant and cold as can be. The little girl who was oh so jealous of me being here with her dad is back all over again. If we have to discuss something, she has to take the opposite side, and well... it's all too sad and lonely.

She has a boyfriend, and I know that she confides in him these days. And then of course her mom, who sees her once a month, because "she has a life", but somehow is still her best friend.

Me wants some love. The way this is going - I'm not going to get any. I kind of worry that we'll grow into the kind of family where she politely acknowledges me if others are around, and completely ignores me if they are not. Can I live this way? Guess, could be worse.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#2 of 13 Old 10-13-2010, 09:10 PM
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Aww... I'm sorry. That sounds really rough.

I'm not a stepmom but I do have a 17 year old daughter, and I guess my first thought would be - why not tell her how you feel? Not in an accusing way, but just something like, "I'm feeling like our relationship has gotten really distant lately, and that makes me sad. I miss doing things with you." Maybe even sending a card, if that would be easier.

She might not respond right away, but maybe it would make an impression.

 
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#3 of 13 Old 10-13-2010, 09:38 PM
 
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What Dar said sounds good. But also, she's a teenager and growing up and there's a lot of conflict there. I don't mean this as a replacement for her or anything, but it's also okay to acknowledge that you want a different kind of relationship with a child of your own. I think you said your partner was ambivalent and I'm not sure what you think, but maybe now is time to think of a child of your own. For a long time, I think my partner tried to convince himself that his relationship with my daughter (who he's been part of a family with since she was 4 - now 11) was enough. But once he acknowledged that he really wanted a child of his own and I realized how great it would be to actually raise a child with him from scratch, and how great it would be for my daughter to be an older sister, everything got better. Having a child of our own has completely changed our family dynamic. My partner has his need for that unique and almost exclusive father-child relationship met; our family feels more integrated in a certain way; my daughter, on the edge of adolescence, is a wonderful older sister who finds herself with an important and unique relationship; I feel like my partner understands more what it means to be a parent. That's not to say there aren't challenges: it's easy for my partner to retreat into his relationship with my son when things get tough and adding a new child into the mix takes huge resources. But it's been worth it so much more than I imagined.

Anyways, I know that sounds like it has NOTHING to do with what you're asking about. But you seem like a great, great mom and like you put so much expectation and effort into your relationship with your stepdaughter (which is great) but it might be worth admitting that you deserve another kind of relationship as well - one where your daughter's loyalties aren't split and where the love is at first sight, unconditional on both sides. It also might ease the emotional rollercoaster that is the relationship with your stepdaughter.

But also, regardless, what you've provided for your stepdaughter is precious and she will some day appreciate it in all its fullness. I have a feeling you will be a very beloved grandmother and a very trusted person in her adult life - the latter of which is the end goal for all of us.
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#4 of 13 Old 10-13-2010, 10:47 PM
 
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So sorry, Oriole! That must really feel awful.

Of course, 17-year-old girls go through phases like that with their actual, biological mothers, too. Or worse phases, where they tell their moms they hate them all the time. I know pointing that out doesn't actually make what you're going through feel any better. But remind yourself of it every once in a while anyway. It's true.

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#5 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 07:25 PM
 
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I'm sorry, Oriole. I have next to no experience with girls that age, but the PPs seem pretty wise.

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#6 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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I just read what Bronxmom wrote. I concur 100% - both with the idea that you seem to have a lot of motherly love to give and would enjoy having "your own" baby and the advice to keep the long-term goal in mind: a good relationship with her, when she's a fully-formed, mature adult and a mother, in her own right. I cannot imagine that she could fail to appreciate how you have cared for and been patient with her, when she is in your shoes someday.

One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
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#7 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thank you everyone. And you are right, of course. A baby would help.
We just bought a house (), so I can't imagine us waiting much longer. I think as soon as we settle in, we can start making solid baby plans.

But I do worry about what dsd's relationship be with children DP and I will have. Guess "I worry" is my favorite expression these days.

New endeavor coming soon...
Raising Alice in Wonderland (DSD, 17), and in love with a Superman
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#8 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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My mom is a counselor for teens, and I have heard from her that it is really common for 16, 17, 18 year olds to start distancing themselves from one or both parents, and sometimes even doing things that seem like they are pushing your buttons or picking fights. It's the age that kids are coming to terms with separating from their parents because they are graduating, going to college, moving out, getting their own place, whatever... It isn't really logical, but I think the "logic" behind it is that it's a lot easier to leave someone you don't care about/don't like/are always fighting with/etc than someone you really love, are really close to, and who you spend a lot of time with. It seems easier (relatively speaking) to slam the door behind you and be thankful you've "escaped" than to go through the tearful goodbye and missing them terribly once you are gone.

It doesn't mean it's not hurtful... the closer you are and the better you know each other, the easier it is for her to know exactly what will set you off.

I'll have to talk to my mom to see if there's anything parents can do about it! But maybe that perspective will help in the meantime? And maybe there are some "parenting teens" books that have some ideas about it.

(You'll notice from my sig that our oldest is 8, so I'm just talking theory here!)

Parenting four little monkeys (11, 8, 6, and 4) with the love of my life. Making it up as I go.
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#9 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 09:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar View Post
Aww... I'm sorry. That sounds really rough.

I'm not a stepmom but I do have a 17 year old daughter, and I guess my first thought would be - why not tell her how you feel? Not in an accusing way, but just something like, "I'm feeling like our relationship has gotten really distant lately, and that makes me sad. I miss doing things with you." Maybe even sending a card, if that would be easier.

She might not respond right away, but maybe it would make an impression.

I think this is fantastic advice.

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#10 of 13 Old 10-14-2010, 10:22 PM
 
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I'm not a step mother, but I was a step daughter. When I was 17, I treated my step dad, Joe, the same way your stepdaughter treats you. I yelled at him, treated him like crap, called him when my ride got drunk at a party and expected (knew) him to come get me, even if I had screamed at him four hours earlier. I treated him the way I should have treated my bio dad. The difference is I trusted Joe, I knew he loved me and it was safe for me to rebel against him. He'd never leave me stranded. My bio dad just didn't care enough to bother.

I didn't realize it at the time, but my mom did and she helped Joe and I stay connected, if not close during that time. Joe either didn't take it personally or forgave me, by the time I was 20, we very close. He died over 20 years ago, and I still can't talk or write about him without crying. I married a man a lot like Joe, DS is named after him, and when I talk about my dad, I mean Joe.
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#11 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 06:31 AM
 
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Originally Posted by NightOwlwithowlet View Post
I'm not a step mother, but I was a step daughter. When I was 17, I treated my step dad, Joe, the same way your stepdaughter treats you. I yelled at him, treated him like crap, called him when my ride got drunk at a party and expected (knew) him to come get me, even if I had screamed at him four hours earlier. I treated him the way I should have treated my bio dad. The difference is I trusted Joe, I knew he loved me and it was safe for me to rebel against him. He'd never leave me stranded. My bio dad just didn't care enough to bother.

I didn't realize it at the time, but my mom did and she helped Joe and I stay connected, if not close during that time. Joe either didn't take it personally or forgave me, by the time I was 20, we very close. He died over 20 years ago, and I still can't talk or write about him without crying. I married a man a lot like Joe, DS is named after him, and when I talk about my dad, I mean Joe.
That is touching.

I wanted to say, I agree with Dar. Maybe you could talk to her. Even if she doesn't respond well, it will mean something to her and perhaps transform the way things are becoming. I'm sorry this is happening, it must be so hurtful. It reminds me of the way I treated my parents when I was 14/15 Now we are close. Remain the forgiving person that you are, and let her know that you are there for her (as my parents did)


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#12 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
But I do worry about what dsd's relationship be with children DP and I will have.
I have younger siblings, born when I was 3, 10 and 13. I am closer to the younger two, because there was zero competition and because I felt more maternal toward them. Inasmuch as your SD might be in college before you and DP give birth, she might not feel quite as close to your baby as if she were living there the first few years, to see him/her grow up and start school. But I'm sure she will feel much more positive about your baby, than if you'd had one when you first got together, when she was still coming to terms with her separated parents and her difficult mother; and might have felt jealous, watching your child enjoy what she didn't have. Now, I imagine she's starting to focus more on the life she will be making for herself and will feel just as warm-and-fuzzy as the next person, about a cute, little baby (that she can hand back to its parents, when it has a dirty diaper or is fussy!)

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#13 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 05:00 PM
 
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I'm so sorry Oriole. I'm not a stepmother, but I am a stepdaughter and read this forum from time to time. I have read many of your posts and I can tell how much you love your SD. There is no doubt in my mind that she knows it too. I agree with NightOwlwithowlet. She knows that you love her and will always be there for her. It is very common for a daughter to strive to please her mom. So no matter what her mom does she will dismiss it as long as she gets love sometimes.

My stepmom and I had a really hard time when I was that age. In fact we got in a huge fight and I moved out. I think a part of me resented her for being there when my own mother was not. It was really difficult coming into my womanhood with out my mom. We now have a great relationship it is not the same as the one I have with my mom, but I do love her and am grateful for everything she has done (and believe me she was no where close to the stepmom that you are).

All this to say your relationship with your stepdaughter will be lifelong and while you are in a rough patch at the moment, I believe that there are many wonderful years to come.

As far as having a child of your own goes. I think that as long as you include your SD she will be fine.
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