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#1 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 02:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok- story-
me and Dh each had bio sons that we were raising when we met- mine was 2 1/2 his was 1 (15 months apart, both boys)
DH's ex was not very interested in parenting and DH was the fulltime parent from day one, even when they were together- they had seperated at 6 months old.
very soon after getting together we discovered the ex was being a call to earn money...and had taken DSS along with her on a job during one of her few visits. this began a 20,000$ court process that grated DH full custody (the month after we married), but not the termination we were hoping for.
prior to the court descision i had been fulltime parenting DSS with all my heart. i would have loved to adopt him.it broke my heart to know i would only be a stepmom..
even though it tore DS up with jelousy i treated DSS just like mine- he needed a mommy, his was nowhere to be found. his first words to me were mama- and although at first i corrected him, he never called me anything differnet and we eventually accepted it.
so after court descision for the next 2 1/2 years she had "supervised visitation, which she never did because it was "too expensive" she rarely payed child support. then we slowly got to be understanding of each other- allthough i still kept DSS safety as a top priority- i started letting her visit him at our house (where i knew he was safe). truth be told she has always been nothing but sweet and kind to him.
one year ago she married a man , quit "the buisness" and moved cross country. after her showing legitimate paycheck stubs for 6 weeks we let him fly to her for two an over the year he has gone up two more times.
during these last 5+ years i have continued to struggle with my emotions with DSS.
sometimes i feel he is mine and i love him..other times i honestly can't stand him. what is sad and confusing for me is that if we had been able to get "real mom" out of his life i would have loved him truly. but why cant i now? still..after all these years. i am discusted with myself.
so now, last month she moved with her hubby back to town. she is pregnant with twins. prior to the move we agreed to some sort of shared arrangment. (as i said she and i get along fine) so think i am fine about all this, and then

DSS has this "spring break journal' he is supposed to fill out. he had two weeks for break and he went to her house for the first week and he is with us this week- he filled half of it out about stuff he did with "mommy" (her)..mind you he has called me mommy for 5 1/2 years..but i was ok..
then today he is filling out a sheet and i look over his shoulder and he has written- when i got to my stepmoms house...

and thats when i lost it--
all those yucky feelings came up- i dont want to be the stepmom- to me stepmom is the person who only puts up with the crap for the weekend.
i have been his fulltime SAH parent for 5 1/2 years!!!!
i it that i KNOW i am being a brat, a child. but i made him erase it...
i dont know what to do.
i have prayed about this a bunch and i still am not at peace..a large chunk of me wants to suggest she should take him and we can have him for the weekends- but DH would absolutly not accept this and i honestly dont want to pay her child support (shes never kept current on hers, and i know we would still be the ones providing for his needs) plus we have 4 other kids to care for..
i KNOW this sounds terrible, please dont tell me i am a twit, just help me find something to resolve my feelings!
liz

mdcblog5.gif   Liz mama to DS 10, DSS 9, DD 6, DS 3, DD 2 , Aquila- dec 19th 2009 died at my homebirth, and....welcome Willow born 9-16-10 (9 weeks early)  nut.gif
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#2 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 02:39 PM
 
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You need to get into counseling. These feelings that you are having are normal, but you cannot rely on DSS's actions or his mom's actions to resolve them. And your actions are bordering on inappropriate (which you know.)

Really, get into counseling. I'm 4 years into a relationship with a man who has a child, and I've just started counseling. It has been a huge help.

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#3 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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Wow, that sounds really hard. Your feelings are utterly normal and achingly painful even to read about. There is something so powerful in our culture where children absorb this near-deification of their biological parents, and no matter what stepparents do, we just don't count on some level. And biological parents can't seem to forfeit that love even if they try. It's amazing to watch and at times depressing to witness first hand. My heart goes out to you. And, ditto the above -- maybe counseling can help.

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#4 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 03:49 PM
 
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Though my situation is different, I know that have have those feeling very often, particulary after I had my dd. It is hard being the "other", especially since you've been raising him. I agree, talk to somebody! It is hard for me to talk to my dp about that becasue he feels like I am rejecting his dd (my sd), so sometimes it helps to talk to somebody neutral. But, at least for me, those feelings are normal. I feel bad about it too, but sometiems I just wish there could be a simple solution, even if it means not seeing dsd as often. But really, nothing is simple!
Good luck

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#5 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by liz-hippymom View Post
i it that i KNOW i am being a brat, a child. but i made him erase it...
I would go back to this issue with him and address it as an adult. You were absolutely wrong to make him erase it and probably did major damage to your relationship. Whenever I've done things with DC that I've realized later were too harsh, I have no problem going back and explaining that I made a mistake and apologizing.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#6 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 04:27 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
I would go back to this issue with him and address it as an adult. You were absolutely wrong to make him erase it and probably did major damage to your relationship. Whenever I've done things with DC that I've realized later were too harsh, I have no problem going back and explaining that I made a mistake and apologizing.
And when you do, you could say "I'm having some confusing feelings that made me act badly, but I'm going to be talking to someone about them." He might benefit from counseling also, having his mom back in his life with her new partner and kids.
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#7 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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I'm not sure it was awful to make him erase it, if that's not what he calls you. It depends on how it was done. If you didn't scold him, but just explained that's not what you're called then I think it was fine. If you were angry I can see him being hurt by it.

We don't encourage the kids to refer to me as stepmom, and that's ok. Can he call you a Bonus Mommy to distinguish? Although, from your perspecitve, she's the bonus mom, and you're the day-to-day mom. How frustrating!

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#8 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 05:06 PM
 
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His bio-mom turned tricks with her son in the room, and you're beating yourself up for asking him to "erase" the stepmom part? Oy! Give yourself a break. That you've been able to see the good in her after loving a child she wronged so profoundly speaks volumes about your strength in character. The therapist suggestions seems wise as a gift to yourself. Tough stuff, no question.
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#9 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 05:21 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mooninjune68 View Post
His bio-mom turned tricks with her son in the room, and you're beating yourself up for asking him to "erase" the stepmom part? Oy! Give yourself a break. That you've been able to see the good in her after loving a child she wronged so profoundly speaks volumes about your strength in character. The therapist suggestions seems wise as a gift to yourself. Tough stuff, no question.

But this isn't just about them it's about the child too and he was probably hurt and confused by this action. I can't even imagine the emotional rollercoaster you have been on and you deserve recognition and consideration...sometimes adults don't get what they deserve but it doesn't mean we can't do the best possible job with the kids. I've made lots of mistakes with my own kids and I don't see the value in beating up on oneself but apologizing and acknowledging that there was hurt is the good and right thing to do and it teaches the child that they can mess up and still be good people too.
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#10 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 05:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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i dont really know if i agree about apologizing- i asked him to erase it , and although i was screaming on the inside, i them calmly explained to him that i dont introduce him as my step child and my other kids as my real kids, and asked him how he would feel if i started doing that. he said he wouldnt like it-
this issue was discussed, more than once before where i told him he could call her anything he liked and he could call me mom, mama, mommy or mommy liz..but referring to me as step mom, or just liz wouldnt work- he has always (up until this point picked mommy-
why it was so hard for me i guess is that i dont want all the credit for how great a pupil/kid he is going to HER because of some statement he reads aloud to his class. i dont want to be introduced (very new school) as ONLY his step mom when i have been his only mom for so long-

i am more worried about my feelings than my actions.
the erasing thing was childish, but not harsh - the most childish part is the way i am feeling..my inner brat is throwing a hissy fit..

thanks for the support!

mdcblog5.gif   Liz mama to DS 10, DSS 9, DD 6, DS 3, DD 2 , Aquila- dec 19th 2009 died at my homebirth, and....welcome Willow born 9-16-10 (9 weeks early)  nut.gif
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#11 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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let me try to clarify more-

i am struggling with changing roles..role definition..where do i fit in? if i do the mommy thing, i want to be more like the mommy- if i am only the step then i should't have the job i have KWIM?

i have to say for some foster parenting is more confusing, but for me it is much easier to get into- at least you get training on it, and if the kiddo leaves and you are no longer mom you can grieve that as a loss instead of having to continue to raise the child who will always not be yours ..for 18 years, while having to deal with bio parent daily

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#12 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 06:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by PoppyMama View Post
But this isn't just about them it's about the child too and he was probably hurt and confused by this action. I can't even imagine the emotional rollercoaster you have been on and you deserve recognition and consideration...sometimes adults don't get what they deserve but it doesn't mean we can't do the best possible job with the kids. I've made lots of mistakes with my own kids and I don't see the value in beating up on oneself but apologizing and acknowledging that there was hurt is the good and right thing to do and it teaches the child that they can mess up and still be good people too.
Yes, of course, it's about the child. No one would deny that, but it was heartbreaking to hear a woman who has worked so hard to create a good life for the child be so down on herself for one mistake. That's all.
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#13 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 06:42 PM
 
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i am more worried about my feelings than my actions.
the erasing thing was childish, but not harsh - the most childish part is the way i am feeling..my inner brat is throwing a hissy fit..

thanks for the support!
Be kinder to yourself and respect your feelings, even if they're not ones you are proud of. They are providing you with valuable information and deserve to be explored (not scolded or condemned).
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#14 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 06:44 PM
 
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And when you do, you could say "I'm having some confusing feelings that made me act badly, but I'm going to be talking to someone about them." He might benefit from counseling also, having his mom back in his life with her new partner and kids.
Very wise, indeed.
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#15 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 07:06 PM
 
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let me try to clarify more-

i am struggling with changing roles..role definition..where do i fit in? if i do the mommy thing, i want to be more like the mommy- if i am only the step then i should't have the job i have KWIM?

i have to say for some foster parenting is more confusing, but for me it is much easier to get into- at least you get training on it, and if the kiddo leaves and you are no longer mom you can grieve that as a loss instead of having to continue to raise the child who will always not be yours ..for 18 years, while having to deal with bio parent daily
The thing is, there's only one name for a step parent and that is "step parent" and all the people who have that role run the gamut from evil-stepmother to a woman like you. But, still, they are all called by the same name. And a report being filled out for school sort of requires the use of the word "stepmother" because if he were to write all the things that you are to him it would take up too many pages.

Your struggle with changing roles is totally understandable, but that is a grown up problem and not one you should be turning to your son to help you through by changing what he calls you. He is just as confused, even more so, I'd bet since he might be feeling guilty for what he feels about you, or about his mom and not quite sure of the roles himself.
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#16 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 07:54 PM
 
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Your situation reminds me more of a someone who adopted a child whose birth mother later comes back into the picture than a conventional step-parent role. The feelings must be so complicated.
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#17 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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[QUOTE=fek&fuzz;10807094]

Your struggle with changing roles is totally understandable, but that is a grown up problem and not one you should be turning to your son to help you through by changing what he calls you.

ummm ???
i am not turning to him, i am turning to you ladies. thanks so much!:

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#18 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 08:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post

Your struggle with changing roles is totally understandable, but that is a grown up problem and not one you should be turning to your son to help you through by changing what he calls you.
ummm ???
i am not turning to him, i am turning to you ladies. thanks so much!:
Hey, I'm on your side here. I meant that you were turning to him by making him erase what he'd written, and by telling him what he could and could not call you and his mom.
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#19 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 09:33 PM
 
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Step-Mom really is an ugly word, huh? But as a PP said, Step-Moms range... there are some that sit back more, and some that are as involved as you. So, I'd try to change the mind track of a Step-Mom is just a weekend thing that isn't involved much.


I personally am a huge fan of Bonus-Mom. It sounds so much better and truly depicts more of what involved Step-Moms are.


I think the counseling idea sounds good too. I'm sorry you are going through this Mama.

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#20 of 21 Old 03-19-2008, 10:14 PM
 
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Your (step)son is really struggling with this whole thing, too, I'm sure, and trying to figure out how his family fits together. Now that he has two moms, he might need help figuring out how to refer to the two houses or two moms. Maybe you guys could talk about some ideas: "When you were writing your journal I know that you needed a way for your teacher to understand which house you were talking about... that's something that might happen a lot now since you are spending time in two different homes. I explained that the word "step-mom" hurts my feelings. Let's think of some ways you could say which house or which mom you are talking about."

I grew up with my mom and step-dad and I called my step-dad "Dad" since I was about 2... but sometimes I have to refer to him as my step-dad for the sake of clarifying for someone who I am talking about. Not because he has temporarily lost any importance in my life, but because it's the easiest way for me to clarify. It's just a practical need that your (step)son now has that you can hopefully help him find a solution for.

As far as your other feelings, I definitely support the idea of counseling to help you sort things through with someone outside the family dynamic. It helped me a LOT when I was getting divorced (no kids) and I have been strongly considering it recently to help deal with my feelings related to my husband's ex. It really helps to talk to someone outside it all.

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#21 of 21 Old 03-20-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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I was raised by my stepdad since I was two and I'm 25 now. My real dad was never really in my life.....I always referred to my stepdad as dad because he is the dad that I know. There were and still are times however when i have to refer to him as stepdad to clarify because it can become very confusing to people when I talk about both...and when it comes to his school work and keeping a journal, it is going to really confuse the teacher when he says he spent that week at his mommy's house, and then the next week at his mommy's house without specifying which mommy. It sucks but he does have two mommies and the 2nd mommy is going to always be the 2nd mommy as long as the first one is around...I have a dss from my dh's prior relationship(never married) and his mom has hardly been in the picture at all, so I too am a fulltime stepmom...but I encourage him to call her mom and I am mommy stephanie. I know that once he gets older the mommy stephanie thing probably won't be so cool but then I'm sure he'll think of something else to call me that is fitting. I do understand that it hurt you though, as you have taken care of this child all his life, more so than his own mother, but she is the biomom. She is the first mom, no matter what, and that's kind of what we had to learn to accept and have to continue to learn to accept as long as we are married to their father. Just hang in there and as many people have said, counselling couldn't hurt and you'll be able to get all those negative feelings out and feel much better!!
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