I'm about to enter the world of blended families and I feel like I have a million questions every day. I wish I had a friend or mentor that I could just email to get her opinion on. My BF and I are both new trying to blend two families. Things seem to be going well so far, but we are definitely still in the "honeymoon" phase plus I am not fully moved into his place yet. Anyone out there with some experience willing to be a sort of "mentor" for me? Here's a little about me:
I'm 35, live in southern WI with my 3.5 year old daughter. I have her 100% of the time and her father is not involved at all,so I am able to make all the decisions regarding her. My BF is 33, has an 8yo girl and a 6yo boy. He has them 50-65% of the time. His ex-wife is non-cooperative for the most part. I "met" her for the first time last night, but she pretty much pretended I did not exist, so I'm not sure I could call it a meeting. We're having issues with her right now because before I came around, my BF just did whatever she asked and now he has been telling her no a lot (basically because we make plans with the kids and she wants to keep them longer, so he tells her no instead of just handing them over. He's not saying no because I'm asking/telling him to). Mostly what my questions are about are dealing with my emotions surrounding his ex and dealing with her and dealing with our different parenting styles and ideas about how we want to deal with things.
Thanks in advance :)
I'm new to this as well, so thought I'd say hi! The one thing that has helped me is the recent realization that 1. my partner is not a freak- many divorced dads with the EOW act like he does and that 2. I am not a freak, my emotions and reactions are experienced by many step parents. I only figured this out about a week ago, when I happened across "Stepparenting for Dummies"...seriously!
I have been with my bf for almost three years, we have been living together for one year. I am new to the blended family/stepparenting...I have an 18yo ds and 9yo ds, the bf has a 13yo ds. I was not expecting to feel some of these things, particularly jealous of bf's feeling and parenting of his son...to me it felt crazy to feel that way...to get hurt over it, but I'm not alone, as it turns out.
So just knowing that everything I've experienced is normal...down to wanting a baby so that we can share that together....helps.
"Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen." Ralph Marston
I'm also relatively new to being a stepmother (married 3years, living together for 1yr before that, dating a couple yrs before that). I am realizing that I may never feel like I am anything other than "new" to being a stepparent. Similar to PP, I have been reading lately. I had sunk to quite a low a few months ago. It removes such a huge burden to realize that I am neither evil nor crazy ... that my emotions are quite normal. It also makes me feel so much more confident in my marriage to realize that DH is behaving pretty normally, too ... his strange responses to many situations are not necessarily indicative of dissatisfaction with me.
My situation with bio-mom was similar to OP's. She would pretend I did not exist, down to walking into and through my house (uninvited by me or DH) past me to her kids' rooms without making eye-contact or speaking to me. It made me crazy that DH would not stand up for me. So I called her on it a few times, which made everyone present uncomfortable. But in the long run, I think it helped. DH still does much of what she asks, but she has mostly stopped asking for anything. It took a few years.
I'm not sure that I have much good advice. Just make sure that you don't give up so much of yourself that you are no longer you! Know that you have a long, hard road ahead, and that anything worth having is worth working HARD for. Realize that the emotions you may feel are not an indicator of you being evil. In my experience, my biggest problem has been getting down on myself. Do not tell yourself you are a bad stepparent if you never seem to foster a tight maternal relationship with your stepkids.