Dss is 12, lives with us half time, I have been with DH for 11 years. When he makes a gift at school he makes one for each house as his teachers always know the situation. When he makes gifts they are for DH and I, and His mom and her husband when they were married. It's been that way for a long time.
This Christmas he made a present in class and when we went to open it I was informed that it wasn't for me, just DH. It wasn't anything extremely personal or geared towards a dad, a framed piece of art he did and a poem. The kids don't buy us gifts so these school-made gifts are the only gifts they give to us.
I have to admit, as silly and petty it may be, I was really hurt! I got choked up on the spot. He didn't seem to care one bit about my feelings just matter-of-fact told me it wasn't for me. I just don't know what happened this year that made it different than other times...or did he just forget about me?
I don't know, but it made me sad. Silly, I know. I just get tired of being the disposable parent ya know? I'm not trying to be a martyr, but I really do a LOT for him, put myself out there and sacrifice a lot to be a good stepmom, but sometimes it just doesn't seem to matter.
It almost seems that since his mom left her husband he has distanced himself from me so maybe that's it.
Okay, I'm done with my pity party, I just wonder if any other steps feel this way.
Artist, teacher, wife and mommy to DSS, DD1, DD2 and surprise baby girl on the way, 7/12!
I always try to think of things from DSS's point of view. Now, mom left her husband, a man that dss had accepted as an equal to mom and dad. Mom has probably had to address the "when do I get to visit stepdad?" questions, leaving her saying things like, "well, ex was not your dad so you don't get to visit him. Ex is not your stepdad anymore, you're not related. He's not a part of your life" Basically, she has had to tell him that "step" means "disposable" leaving him feeling that since you are a "step" you are disposable. Your feelings don't play much into his reasoning as he has now learned that stepparents can be ripped out of his life without any say so on his part. So to him, he has now realized that, in fact, you are disposable.
Now for the good news. DSS thought this way for years. For years he realized that I could be ripped out of his life. In time, though, he has realized, as he put it, "I'm stuck with you". He had to realize that just because his mom's husband's were disposable, that I am NOT. DH will not leave me and he's stuck with me. But this takes time. His trust has been broken by an adult he thought he could trust, it takes time for him to not lump all the adults in his life into that same category. Just keep loving him, he'll come around.
I don't have anything else to add, Petie pretty much summed it up. I just wanted to tell you that it's not silly to feel that way at all.
Sarah, partner to J and mom to DD1 April 30th, 2002 and DD2 May 5th, 2012.
Yup, big hugs to you. Depending on how close your relationship is, you could talk to him about it so that he knows how it makes you feel. You can also reassure him that you love him, and are here to stay. Maybe you and your dh (since you both know him better than we internet supporters do) can come up with a strategy of letting him know that you are there to stay? To reassure him that just b/c his mom's house changed doesn't mean his house with his dad is going to change. I don't know, I'm sorry he hurt your feelings. Hugs.
i couldnt have said it better than any of the other posters. be the smom you have always been, stay your rock steady in his life self, re-assure him at every opportunity that presents itself that you are in his life for the long haul. this can be done easily when you talk about future events or plans, so the opportunities dont need to be contrived or scripted kwim. in time he will settle into knowing that you arent going anywhere, and that you arent disposable. it is sad that when his mom and her now ex split that she didnt allow access to occur between them. that is common here. i know when my ex split with his wife of 12 years that she remained in contact with my dd's her step daughters. i encuraged their relationship with her and continued to be friends with her even though she was no longer with my ex, the relationship that she had formed in 12 years with my daughters was strong and filled with love. she had gone through the teen years with them, watched them grow up from being quite young and that was not something that could be tossed away lightly. i think it would have hurt my dd's tremendously. maybe your dh could speak with his ex about allowing dss to see his former sfather. it is traumatising to have people just disapear from your life, especially for a child. there isnt really much you can do if she isnt open to that, but you do have the power to instill confidence in him that you are not going anywhere anytime soon or in the future.
be gentle, give him some time, try really hard not to take it personally when he leaves you out. maybe have dh talk to him alone later on when this happens, about your feelings, or anyones for that matter, even dsd's as well, how people feel hurt when things such as "XYZ" occurs. not in a judgemental way just in the way you teach any child about peoples feelings and how we have the power to hurt them or to make them feel our love for them.
at 12 dsd is going through a lot of his own changes and emotions, adding the pressure and strain of a marriage ending on top of the natural angst of puberty is going to make him act out. i sure feel for him.
and i feel for you too, obviously you have been his smom for 11 years and love him dearly. if you are anything like me, then you probably love him like your own child. so your feelings being hurt by his seeming rejection are not silly at all. i wish i had some great words of comfort for you, all i can do is add my sympathy to everyone elses and send you good vibes and positive energy, :hug:
hang in there, and good luck to you , vs
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