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#31 of 49 Old 09-15-2005, 09:13 PM
 
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My dear partner is an amazing parenting partner and will soon make a wonderful "step-parent". He trusts me as a parent and follows my cues with dd when he does not know what to do. He often has amazing insights into behavioral problems and great ideas to deal with them. Just thought I'd share some good news.

~Sara, WAHSingMomi to girls R and AV, S.O.A.R. Scout Leader and Homeschooling In Detroit Blogger

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#32 of 49 Old 09-20-2005, 10:02 PM
 
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good for you sunrayemomi- its good to know that blended fsmilies do work out. im sorry if i came off harshly, i have very limited experience with things other than my own limited experiences and am still trying to figure out my views and beliefs. best of luck to you.

Happiness despite misery is a great victory, I think...

caffix.gifSingle coffee loving and making mom to fencing.gifds, age 12, hamster.jpg dd, age 10, dog2.gif dd, age 7, flowerkitty.giftigress, cat.gifquinn, hyena.gifblack cat, and wool.gif beatrice the spider. Yeeehawww!!!

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#33 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 11:33 AM
 
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I have felt the same thing coming here and that is the reason I stopped coming. The deliberate favoritism of birth children by step mothers was more than I could bear. I am in a blended family but I am the birth parent to all of my children. I have been horrified to hear how people really feel about their stepkids and worse, how they treat them. I have prayed and cried for some stepkids.

I have never suggested people split up, but why give advice that involves emotionally and mentally neglecting your stepkids? Why not try to be a better parent to those kids too. If you chose the marriage, you chose the kids. It is up to you to find a way to love these kids to the best of your ability and to try to treat them with the same kindness and love you want your own kids to recieve.

Remember there are birth mothers on here imagining their child being treated or thought about the way you treat or think about your stepchildren. So if we react strongly, it is our mama bear instinct coming out.
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#34 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 11:44 AM
 
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I do love my stepson very much. But, I was, apparently, naive when I got married. I really had no clue, and instead of allowing me and my stepson to develop a relationship at our own comfort level (because he does *not* want me to be his mother), everyone got upset that I wasn't brushing his teeth for him, or whatever. I couldn't go from "friend" to "mother" overnight, and I needed support, which I didn't get. This created bitterness, unfortunately, between the both of us. Our relationship is now healing, but it's taken some time. I regret that I didn't seek out other stepmoms to support me and tell me it was okay that he and I work on our personal relationship at our own pace.

I love it when my stepson gets to come here. His father is always so happy to have his son around (we live 10 hours apart), and he is so wonderful with my own boys, he makes a great big-brother. But the relationship between us is not as close as it is between he and his mother, and at it's best it never will be. I would never presume for it to be, and I would never want another woman (besides their SO) to be as close to my boys as I am. Does any of this make sense? I am not saying I hate my stepson, but that the relationship is complicated, and can be difficult, and sometimes I need someone to give me a hug and acknowledge my feelings about it.
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#35 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 03:07 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsishomemade
I do love my stepson very much. But, I was, apparently, naive when I got married. I really had no clue, and instead of allowing me and my stepson to develop a relationship at our own comfort level (because he does *not* want me to be his mother), everyone got upset that I wasn't brushing his teeth for him, or whatever. I couldn't go from "friend" to "mother" overnight, and I needed support, which I didn't get. This created bitterness, unfortunately, between the both of us. Our relationship is now healing, but it's taken some time. I regret that I didn't seek out other stepmoms to support me and tell me it was okay that he and I work on our personal relationship at our own pace.

I love it when my stepson gets to come here. His father is always so happy to have his son around (we live 10 hours apart), and he is so wonderful with my own boys, he makes a great big-brother. But the relationship between us is not as close as it is between he and his mother, and at it's best it never will be. I would never presume for it to be, and I would never want another woman (besides their SO) to be as close to my boys as I am. Does any of this make sense? I am not saying I hate my stepson, but that the relationship is complicated, and can be difficult, and sometimes I need someone to give me a hug and acknowledge my feelings about it.
lilsishomemade, your post does made sense. I have no problem with needing to vent. I just would prefer to see the focus be on improving the relationship (even by giving it space) rather than on rationalizing ignoring or neglecting a stepchild. It is against MDC rules for me to point to specific posts, but there are plenty in this forum which advocate mistreating the sc (ignoring/neglecting) because he/she/they aren't your bio kids and therefore not your responsibility.

Edited to add: I know you can't forsee the way it will feel to have a stepchild, which is why you won't hear me say, "You made your bed now lie in it." I just say, now that you see how difficult it is, your responsibility is to be a positive presence in this child's life, not a negative one. I am not using one's lack of foresight to bash anyone, but I don't think it should be an excuse to treat a kid poorly.
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#36 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 04:22 PM
 
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#37 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 04:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by laralou
I just would prefer to see the focus be on improving the relationship (even by giving it space) rather than on rationalizing ignoring or neglecting a stepchild.
I want to point out how this approach has helped me and dss. Giving each other space, and allowing each other to grow into each other, if that makes sense...

Dss had a very difficult time with his mother, not knowing when he'd see her, when she would call, NOTHING. SO I finally TOLD SO, we NEED to get her on a regular schedule, so he's not having such a hard time with it (during those times, he'd be extra cranky, easily irritated, and overly emotional... OBVIOUSLY! Who wouldn't be?!?!)

Anyway, we got dss and biomom on a regular schedule, and dss and I have done TEN TIMES better since.

We get space from each other. We're no longer forced on each other 24/7... No longer forced to have a mom/child relationship that NEITHER of us were ready for on a 24/7 basis. He gets to see his mom more often, and is less cranky on a whole about that, because now he doesn't have to sit and wonder when the next time he'll see her will be.

It's not the solution for everyone, but it helped us.

We do need our space from each other, and for us, it makes us appreciate each other more when we are together. We do alot more together now, and get along SOOOO much better. It's amazing what a couple hours a week away can do
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#38 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by riotkrrn
I think that one issue is - we stepmoms would like the same trust and respect that's given to mothers posting about struggles with their biological children. When a mama in the PPD forum is distressed over her negative feelings for her baby, we (hopefully) don't tell her that we feel sorry for her kid, or that she should never have gotten pregnant in the first place. We don't tell a mama who's considering hiring a part-time sitter for her spirited child so that she can get a break/attend to an infant/whatever that she's neglecting the spirited child. Why not make the same assumptions of a stepmom; that she genuinely wants a close and harmonious relationship with her stepchild, but something's getting in the way of that, and it doesn't mean that stepmama is uncaring, unfit to parent, or just plain mean. I'm not saying that we shouldn't call out a poster who's suggesting something that's disrespectful or anti-AP, but I'd like to see this become a forum where one can get the same gentle guidance, concrete advice, and overall support that one can find elsewhere at MDC.

This is another feeling I had for a while, and still do on a whole.

If I'm supposed to treat my dss like he's my own biochild, how come I can't 'complain' about him like I would my own biochild? lol

Sounds mean, I suppose, but come on!!! SO would let me complain ALL DAY about dd if I needed/wanted to, but if I said ONE TINY THING about dss, he'd be through the roof angry at me... Um, that doesn't exactly sound fair, now does it?

Seriously, I treat him like my own, and expect everyone else in our lives to do the same with both children... However, I'm the only one (as the step-mother) held to that... Everyone else is allowed to play favorites, but as the step-mother, I can't even remotely treat them the same... I have to put dss on a pedastal...

I just wanna be able to complain about dss just the same as I'm allowed to complain about DD...lol
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#39 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 05:08 PM
 
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Hi, I'm SaneMarguerite and I am a stepkid. I was also, for about six years, a stepmom.

my experience growing up a stepchild was pretty difficult. I don't know whether it was just the fallout from my parents' divorce, my stepmother's natural temperament, my own journey through stages of obnoxiousness, or flaws in the whole stepparent-stepchild model that made the experience so tremendously unpleasant, but unpleasant it was. Around the time I was turning 16, my stepmother and my dad started to raise their two kids, and even though much lip service was given to the idea that "we were all family, there are no second-class citizens, etc.", the reality felt to me to be very different. of course, I was sixteen, my stepmother had two little ones within four years, so I suppose I can shoulder much of the responsibility for my own tough time. I probably brought it on myself. I think I was a bad kid.

nonetheless, when the time came to commit to a man with a 9 year old daughter, I felt like I was being given a chance to redefine the whole step-relationship and re-imagine it in a healthy way. so, I made a big choice. I decided that if at any time I felt like my presence in her father's life was harming the girl, I would leave, even if I personally was happier than a pig in sh*t. then, I determined to make friends with her mom. I told her "hey, I've been a stepkid, and it sucked, and I'd really like to spare your daughter any unnecessary misery. the best way I think to do that is for us to work together - after all, we both want what's best for your daughter and we're on the same team." Even though this woman was as different from me as day is from night, we somehow managed to make it work. I was very lucky. fortunately, dearstepdaughter was old enough to understand that different people do things in different ways. we got on famously and I never had a moment of trouble.

but I never got a mother's day card. or flowers. or lots of presents. or any of the other things that my own stepmother seemed to expect as part of her divine right. and I never asked. her own mom was alive and well and it seemed presumptuous of me to demand tribute or whatever. I was just happy to have her around.

I had to leave her dad when she was about 15. it broke my heart. but I couldn't let her grow up around a woman who took the kind of abuse he dished out, and think that putting up with that made you "strong". so I left. I stayed longer than I should, because I couldn't bear to leave her.

when I left the abusive ex and came home to my dad and stepmother, my own mother was just a few weeks away from dying. my dad and stepmother were supportive. but when the very next mother's day rolled around, I got mad grief from my dad and stepmom for not trotting out the flowers/card/present deal. they seemed to think that I could just hop from mom to mom-equivalent without missing a beat. this was a few years ago now and I still can't swallow that.

the point is (and here it is my first post and I think I've used up all my words for the year) the adult-loved-one-not-biologically-or-by-adoption-related-to-you is a totally new relationship; it's not "like a mom", or "like a friend", or "like" anything. it's something unto itself and completely different from anything else.

I miss that girl though.
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#40 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 06:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MomBirthmomStepmom
I just wanna be able to complain about dss just the same as I'm allowed to complain about DD...lol
ITA! I read threads by bio moms in the Toddler or Childhood Years forums and people say stuff like, "I can't stand this kid one more minute! She's driving me crazy!" And they are met with hugs and support and btdt stories galore. But here, that's not okay to say about stepkids, because bio moms apparently project their own concerns for their own children on the stepmom's situation and then the stepmoms are the villians for having any issue in the first place.

The fact is, sometimes my DSS drives me up the wall... just like my DD does! And I might come here to vent about it, becuase well, sometimes I need to vent. And sometimes I want input on how to handle a situation, becuase NO, I can not always handle it the same way I would if the child were my bio child. I think it's naive to say, "treat the kids the same" because treating them the same implies the r-ship is a traditional mother/child r-ship and it simply is not.

riotkrrn - I think you hit it on the head when you mentioned the benefit of the doubt. Like, can't we just assume that there are no evil stepmonsters here? Can't we just assume a venting post is nothing more than that, and that no, we stepmoms do not, in fact, want to lock the stepkids in the closet? I would think at MDC there would be more understanding that the mothers here are thoughtful and just trying to do their best for all the kids in their lives.
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#41 of 49 Old 09-23-2005, 07:00 PM
 
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EXACTLY!!!

I'm MUCH harder on DD than on DSS, simply because of society's view of step-mothers... This thread, honestly, just played into how society sees step'monsters'... :
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#42 of 49 Old 09-25-2005, 01:09 AM
 
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I understand, all parts of this thread.
Apart of me, I nod in understanding. Another
part, I feel "anger". Then few lines down, wanna
turn the tap of tears on. I know that my oldest daughter (step-daughter..I am going to clarify so you know, eventhough I "hate" that term." I can't call her my "special daughter" either as what some other step parents do because it pulls the equality right out of the picture with all the girls.

I guess, as a step-mom. I am a major advocate for healthy relationships not just with my step-child but her bio mom. By that I don't mean "buddy buddy." But a decent, working relationship. I understand that she has a mother, and I am willing to offer support if I able to. There are times, I don't agree with stuff that her bio mom does. But it goes unspoken. I work extremely hard, probably overtime with my step-child because I know everything she has learned here with me. Will unravel at home. That is the most devastating feeling. She is taught to hit at home, she is taught to restrain her "phsyical anger" and retrained to sit and talk calmly...about her feelings. Communcation. It makes me angry, that I feel that she is lacking in areas, I know that our family life could provide for her. Also we have to becareful, because if disturbed or threatened we could be hauled into court and not see her at all. So, its a very "shaky" environment at times (as far as all the parents involved, me, my bf, her mom, her step dad). We work, extremely hard to provide support, in any way to her bio mom. Taking her for long periods of time, clothing, money, whatever that benefits her. And gives her mom a break or, whatever. I know that when child support was due, she is very "rude about it". I understand I was a single parent for alot of years, and I never got support. Instead of her being in his face, I just handed him the money that was owed. Told her to give it to her today, so she wasn't up in arms about it.

Flip this on my side of the coin. I was a child, all I ever heard was YOU ACT JUST LIKE YOUR MOTHER/FATHER! YOUR FATHER DIDNT PAY ME SO YOU CAN'T GET THIS! I GIVE YOUR MOTHER MONEY AND SHE DOESN'T USE IT FOR YOU, WHAT THE HELL DOES SHE USE IT FOR?! YOU TELL YOUR MOTHER, THAT I AM NOT GIVING HER A PENNY MORE! DO YOU HEAR ME? ARE YOU TELLING HIM/HER?! PUT YOUR MOTHER ON THE PHONE! ..believe me, it was a very unhappy childhood. Years and years of bad blood. From screaming at the doorway, to blood raging phone calls. My bf has no clue what a step family is like, his parents just celebrated their 28th Annv. on Aug. 12th. I understand, more than you can imagine. That is why I want to make sure that he understands what he does, and doesnt do affects our daughter. Whether or not, when she goes home and he didn't do something. She will "hear" about it. I see it in her behaviour, I can see it, because I acted the way she does.


Communication, and understanding that you all are helping and responsible for raising this child is the only advice I have. I remember how it felt, and it was awful. I wouldn't want any of my girls going through that. My bf doesn't treat ANY of the girls differently. They are all treated equally. All the time.
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#43 of 49 Old 09-25-2005, 01:45 AM
 
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I was also a stepchild. I know now how lucky I was in my relationship with my stepfather.

Also, I want to add that I do care a whole lot about my stepson. It's heartbreaking to live so far from him, then when we hear he's failing his grade, to be the one who goes to bat, and call and email his teacher for updates, do research, try and help mom (who more often than not hangs up the minute I say "Hi!"), and then to have him come here and everyone tell me when I get a little frustrated that I have no right to those feelings, and maybe if I just tried to love him more, I'd be a better stepmom.

In my situation, I can never do enough to "prove" my love for my stepchild. Thank you to those who mentioned that it's hard to forsee how difficult this could be. I'm always looking for ways to make our relationship a little more positive.
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#44 of 49 Old 09-26-2005, 03:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsishomemade
In my situation, I can never do enough to "prove" my love for my stepchild.
I couldn't have said it better myself!!

With my DD, no matter what I do, everyone says it's apparant I love my DD. However, with DSS, I treat him EXACTLY the same (and at times even favor him just so noone thinks I'm treating them unequally), and STILL it's like the only way I could PROVE my love for dss is if I birthed him myself... I can't change that fact, and it seems noone will ever trust my love for him because of that TINY fact.

And btw, how sad is it that I have to FAVOR my step-son just so people THINK I'm treating them equally?!?! What about my DD, does she not deserve the same? Or would that just be me 'not loving' dss?

It's HARD raising someone else's child. Especially if both parents are involved, no matter how little the involvement... Dss's mom doesn't 'mother' him, but she's in his life... I do all the work of parenting, and she gets all the credit... Sad world, huh?
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#45 of 49 Old 09-28-2005, 08:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by OtherMother'n'Madre
but there seems to be a lot of "I dislike my stepchil(dren)" threads here. I'm not trying to be confrontational and what not but I don't get it. If you have such an issue with the child(ren) why are you with your spouse? You obviously knew about the child(ren) prior to marriage/engagement/living together so why did you continue the relationship if it was going to be an issue. Don't get me wrong.....I know step-parenting can be tough and hard and unappreciated but they are just children! They didn't chose this situation and the anger and animosity I am getting from some threads shocks me. Does it help to feel like that honestly? Does it better your situation? I don't get it. I hate reading about obvious favortisim. The stepkids are horrible to be around yet your children are the absolute best!? I'm not trying to cause a fight or anything but I seriously don't get the hostility. I guess this is just my own mini rant.
Are people really saying that they don't like their step children? Or could it be that these moms are just venting and instead of taking it out on the child/children, the mom is asking for advice or help on here?
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#46 of 49 Old 03-29-2006, 06:33 AM
 
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My stepson is trying his best to destroy my marriage. He lived with his mother after his parents divorce. He contributed to the demise of two of her marriages and she eventually sent him to us. He has behavioural and emotional problems. He has been arrested 6 times and he is only 15 years old. Super Bowl Sunday he was angry with me and said someone should put a bullet in my head! I have since retreated to my family home in MS my husband sees this as a teenage rebelllion and I should not take this seriously.
Please send your comments.:
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#47 of 49 Old 03-29-2006, 01:38 PM
 
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Being a (step)parent is the hardest job many of us will ever do. As a PP mentioned, the difficulty and drama of the situation is amplified when the step children return to the bioparent and everything you teach in your home is shot down. My daughters (bonus kids) know that there are different rules in each house, and have stopped playing the "well, we get to do xyz at (biomom's) house." My DH put a stop to this by saying, "that's fine, and if it works for her, then it's okay. But it doesn't work for us, so please stop." The girls are 6 and (almost) 4, and are the most amazing children I've ever met.

I think some of the issue is that the entire dynamic of each relationship changes when you actually get married. Just like if there were no kids involved. When you're dating, it's not permanent, and it's easy to look through rose-colored glasses. When marriage hits, however, the glasses come off, and everyone realizes at once, "Oh man, this is permanent. Here we go!" Again, I've been lucky. To date, I've had no drama with either of our girls, except for the normal age appropriate growing pains, and they were/are actually *more* difficult for biomom.

Kids are kids. I don't care if they're bio/step/adopted/fostered/on loan from the circus. There will be issues, and drama and hard times involved no matter what. As another PP mentioned, we need to respect that we're all trying desperately to be PARENTS. Not step parents, but parents. And it's hard, and tough, and makes you want to rip your hair out, and you couldn't possibly imagine the pain that would be inflicted on your life if the kids were gone. Our third daughter hasn't arrived yet, but when she does, I'm almost positive we'll have a harder time with her, because the other two have been so remarkably easy.

All we can do, as parents, is make sure our kids know they are loved, and safe, and respected. This is a rocky road for all involved, as is any parent/child relationship. I think we need to respect each other, and offer constructive criticism when someone comes here to vent about adolescent issues. Not "how dare she complain about her step child and not her biochild?" It very well may be that the biochild hasn't hit this stage (yet) and therefore is a non-issue. We deal with life as it comes.

Sarah - Mama to Vic (1/19/00), Syd (4/06/02) Sam (4/20/06-born at 30wk2d), JackJack (2/14/07) and Charlie (4/30/10)
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#48 of 49 Old 04-11-2006, 03:50 AM
 
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I just want to say to the original poster that while I appreciate her observations, the post DID keep me from posting here about my step-family dilemma.

Resources and places to vent are very few and far between for step-parents, please help keep this one available and receptive.
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#49 of 49 Old 04-17-2006, 09:02 PM
 
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Hi, all!

This is actually the first time I've read or posted on this particular forum. I came over here after a difficult week with step kids, and was just looking for ideas and encouragement.This is the first thread I've looked at, and while there IS a bit of negativity, it really has made me think about my feelings and beliefs as a step parent. My relationship with my stepkids will be changing, after having a long distance relationship with not much in person contact, the kids will be moving to our community this summer.

I married my DH knowing that his kids mean the world to him, and that our family is going to be dynamic and at times stressful. This past weekend was the hardest for us all so far.

Thanks to all the ladies on this thread for reminding me of what I already know: That our family is the center of our lives and that it is our privelige and honor to be the parents of all of these amazing human beings. We will have struggles and celebrations and losses and joys and we'll do it without always having the appreciation we think we deserve. We're all learning as we go.

As soon as I leave here, I'm sending an email to my step kids telling them how much I appreciate them and look forward to spending more time with them. And then, I'm going to be a mom and step mom to the best of my ability.

And I do plan on coming here from time to time for support. Maybe to offer some, too!

Jenny: 40 Something AP mom to 2 adult kids, 2 teen step kids, and one amazing 7YO. Doula and Brio Birth educator, too!
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