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#1 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 12:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Last night I did something I am not proud of.. I have to get it out and please don't flame me.. I feel horrible...

My 20 month old was tired. We were over MIL's house and I kept her up past bed time. She hit me while I was trying to change her and I slapped her leg. Not very hard, but she cried. Then she tried to hit SIL and I yelled at her and pointed in her face and said NO. She REALLY cried. I felt Horrible. My sil was trying to make her happy and tends to be a little rougher than I like... She threw a blanket over Abrielle's head and kinda like rubbed it all over her. At this point Abrielle flipped and I took the blanket away and held her and comforted her. I realized then it was almost an hour past bed and she was so exhausted. I feel horrible...

I have a problem with my girls... When I found out I was having a girl I was upset. I have never really liked other females. I find them to be snippy and little girls get bad attitudes. I see them as a challenge to my womanhood. Like, I'M the top dog here.. I'm the queen.

Fast forward to now, I have a 5 yr old step daughter. She has been through a lot emotionally and has been getting very snappy and has a horrible attitude. I'm concerned about it and more concerned about the fact I am resenting her. My step son is great and I can love on him and it's just easier with a boy for me to be loving and understanding. DSD really boils my blood. She is a whiner and uber clingy and a little too touchy for me at times. I get so aggravated and I'm not sure how to handle her emotions, attitude and my own problems. My DD I can deal with much better (with the exception of last night which I rarely yell and VERY VERY rarely have hit her maybe a handful of times which is too many)

Anyway... Any ideas for me to cope and better ways for me and my Df to parent these kids. They are moving in with us as of now, full time. I am going to be SAH with them. Please help me!!! I want to learn.. I so new at all of this...
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#2 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 03:00 PM
 
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I have no advice but I just wanted to send this --

DS (03/10) &  DD (06/07) both were/are : waterbirth.jpg homebirth.jpg winner.jpg

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#3 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 04:12 PM
 
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I have two girls of my own and I really don't know any different as far as raising them (I don't have any boys) I do notice my oldest who is 2.5 can have an attitude, but I don't think it is because she is female, I think it is her personality to be honest. My youngest daughter, 17 months, is quiet as a mouse, does not have a temper, easy going and quite the opposite as my oldest. Honestly, my oldest is quite a handful and has been since birth. I have adjusted to how I parent her versus how I parent my youngest. If my oldest is acting up then I have to lead her out of the room, remove her from the problem and talk to her. If my youngest is having trouble, just picking her up and comforting her is enough. I really think it has to do with them, not their gender. As far you having issues with being alpha-female maybe try talking to a professional family counselor? They might have some insight on how to better cope. We all have meltdowns and do things we are not proud of so don't sweat what happened last night. Just apologize and explain sometimes even mommies make mistakes. Take a deep breath, it will be ok.
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#4 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 04:23 PM
 
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I'm proud of you for recognizing these issues- so many people have a hard time admitting their own weaknesses, especially when it comes in the form of "I resent one of my children and really enjoy that one a lot more." Since you're aware of it, you can take steps to try and make it better- I can guarantee your kids are already picking up on it to some degree.

It sounds to me like the first step is for you to get help for yourself, to learn to deal with those "dominant female" attitudes, and remember that these little girls aren't here to steal your place in the pack- they're just children who need you to parent them. There's something going on inside your own head that you need to learn to cope with so you don't take it out on those little girls. In addition to dealing with your deeper issues with women in general, it would be helpful for you to have specific advice on handling specific behaviors in your stepdaughter.

Your stepdaughter may need professional help as well, as she has a LOT to cope with.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19 (in Israel for another school year), Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 12(homeschooled)
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#5 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 04:35 PM
 
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As pps have said, I have 2 girls as well so I do not know if you parent boys different than girls. But that said, they are both very different. My oldest is easy going, free spirited, nothing really bothers this kid- really!
My youngest- also sweet as pie but stubborn as a bull. She has more fits in a month than dd1 has in a year. She needs a schedule, has to go to bed early or all hell breaks loose. Also, since she is at that time in her life where she is phasing out the nap. Sometimes she has it, a lot of times not and its hard even though she is outgrowing it.

So with that in mind, we stayed away from the holiday gatherings last night on xmas eve for this very reason- she was well spent and was asleep by 8pm last night. That may not be possible for your family to skip some events but keep in mind this time of year where you might have 1 more event or 6, the kids are going to be out of sorts, over stimulated etc.
And so might you be!

And yes, I agree being able to say- hey I am not perfect and trying to better myself is big of you. I would cut myself some slack this week and revisit it when the holiday madness is over.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#6 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks ladies. Jose(DF) and I have decided to get some parenting help in some way. Aaliyah (DSD) said something today and had a major attitude and Jose lost it on her and said something that made her cry. (He threatened to hit her and swore) HE NEVER DOES THIS. I was shocked and immediately said hun please calm down. I know it's hard but she is really sensitive right now. He felt awful and I told him we need to get some parenting help. He agreed and I saw him tear up. I told Aaliyah we would talk later about what was bothering her and making her so snappy. I will talk to her tomorrow when he is at work.

See they have been in the sole custody of Jose for the last 3 years. Their mom battled drugs and is in a bad relationship. CPS and DSS have been involved and when they took them about a month ago because Jose went to florida for a few months and left them in the care of his mother. His ex called DSS and they took the kids for a week to "investigate".

In the divorce agreement (Just finished) we have sole physical and they both have joint legal. His ex gets saturday visits 12-6.

She says she is going to take them and then doesn't.

On top of it all they were being cared for by DF's mom who is super crazy and although she loves them she oversteps her boundaries a lot. Because they lived with Jose and his mom, his family tends to tell them one thing and we are telling them another and their mom says something completely different. I feel like we are playing tug of war and they are only 5 and 6 and SO CONFUSED.

I'm the new comer to the situation and altho his mom likes me, I think she resents me because the kids love me and call me mommy. Aaliyah was rubbing my pg belly last night and her grandma kept telling her to stop.

DF says stuff but it falls on deaf ears. His mom has called DSS on Jose before when he removed them from all contact with her. Nothing was done by DSS but still. I am concerned and not sure where exactly to start with them.

I want to say that I LOVE these children. I want them to be ok. I want them to be well adjusted and lovey and be able to trust us and talk to us about anything... I just feel a little lost.

Anyway.. Thank you so much for listening.
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#7 of 29 Old 12-25-2008, 07:57 PM
 
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"I think she resents me because the kids love me and call me mommy. "

I don't know why Jose's mother would resent you for that, but as a stepdaughter I really don't like it when stepkids call their stepparents by a parent's title. My stepmom has been in my life since I was a kid, and she's always been Nancy to me, not ever mom. Especially since, and I'm sorry, you're not married to their dad yet.

So it could be that.


Regarding the 20 month old...for me it's taken a LONG time to really get when I've had DS out too late. He was so flexible for so long, and when he finally started to set boundaries for being out of the house too much, I don't know why, but it just wasn't clear to me. He's 4.5 y.o. and I still make mistakes like that sometimes, but I'm very quick at realizing what the difficult behaviour is all about nowadays.

And my guy would flip out if someone was being rougher than he's used to, when he's already tired and ready to be in our place.


I also have issues with girls and women...in the last 10 years I've been devastated a few times by the actions of women that I thought were friends. So if I have a girl I will have to be dealing with a lot of those biases. That said, my half sister is 25 years younger than I am, and I've never had problems dealing with her, so maybe the problems wouldn't arise.

It's good you are talking all this through and being really open with the issues! Not everyone can do that, be honest not only with others but with themselves first and foremost. Says good things about you that you can be so honest! Good luck!
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#8 of 29 Old 12-26-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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"I think she resents me because the kids love me and call me mommy. "

I don't know why Jose's mother would resent you for that, but as a stepdaughter I really don't like it when stepkids call their stepparents by a parent's title. My stepmom has been in my life since I was a kid, and she's always been Nancy to me, not ever mom. Especially since, and I'm sorry, you're not married to their dad yet.

So it could be that.


Regarding the 20 month old...for me it's taken a LONG time to really get when I've had DS out too late. He was so flexible for so long, and when he finally started to set boundaries for being out of the house too much, I don't know why, but it just wasn't clear to me. He's 4.5 y.o. and I still make mistakes like that sometimes, but I'm very quick at realizing what the difficult behaviour is all about nowadays.

And my guy would flip out if someone was being rougher than he's used to, when he's already tired and ready to be in our place.


I also have issues with girls and women...in the last 10 years I've been devastated a few times by the actions of women that I thought were friends. So if I have a girl I will have to be dealing with a lot of those biases. That said, my half sister is 25 years younger than I am, and I've never had problems dealing with her, so maybe the problems wouldn't arise.

It's good you are talking all this through and being really open with the issues! Not everyone can do that, be honest not only with others but with themselves first and foremost. Says good things about you that you can be so honest! Good luck!
Ok, let me explain the "mommy" issue with the kids. They started doing it on their own. We never suggested it and since they very rarely see their mom, I think it makes them feel better. As for my MIL, my DF said this isn't the first time she has displayed this behavior. She literally cannot accept that those children are not HERS. Now I said to DF, that he needs to understand that she has been with them, day in and day out for the last 3 years. But the situation is toxic. Rather than sitting us down like adults and explaining why she and his sister have a problem with them calling me mommy. They say things behind my back to the kids. This is confusing for the kids. DF and I are not sure whether to keep them away or what? The kids HATE going over there now. They cry (my 5 year old more than my 6 yo) My DSD is extremely sensitive and my IL's are loud and fight often and say mean things about their mommy and her BF. NOW those things may be true, but saying them to a 5 and 6 yo is totally out of the question. I hope I am painting a clear picture. If I am at my IL's house and i correct the children, I get dirty looks or my SIL just rolls her eyes and walks out of the room. DF will be starting to correct them and FIL, SIL, AND MIL will all yell over him and the poor kids are looking at me like WTF????

We talked last night and I expressed my concerns. I know that the IL's LOVE them and just want what is best, but I am not sure they can step back enough. DF and I decided that the kids would have the following schedule:

Mon-Fri with us, Fri night over IL's and their mom would pick them up on Sat at 12 and we would get them from her at 6 on Saturday. That way they would have one day with MIL and 1 day with their Bio mom.

I figure They will be with me a majority of the time since I am SAH now. I can work with them.
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#9 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 03:48 PM
 
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It sounds like these children are in an extremely choatic situation. The kindest thing to do would be to not encourage them to call you "mommy." You are not their mother, you are their father's girlfriend.
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#10 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 05:44 PM
 
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It sounds like these children are in an extremely choatic situation. The kindest thing to do would be to not encourage them to call you "mommy." You are not their mother, you are their father's girlfriend.
I really think it's up to the kids what they want to call people -- I mean, if the OP had a problem with them calling her Mommy, then it would be up to her to set that boundary. But as long as it's okay with her, and they're the ones choosing to do it, then I don't think anyone should give them any flack for it.

Then again, it sounds like these children are going to be with people who give them flack for it. OP, do you think you and the children can come up with a special name for them to call you -- one that you like, that also gives them the same secure feeling that they apparently get from calling you Mommy?

Since they have to be around people who are determened to burden these children with their own adult hangups about the "Mommy"-word ... I don't know, maybe you can help them sidestep all that by choosing or creating your own special name ... maybe even the word "Mommy" in another language.

And to you and for identifying and being willing to work on your personal issues!

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#11 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 06:16 PM
 
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I was a stepdaughter, with a never there father. It made me feel so much better to be able to call my step dad "dad" when his other kids were around. I already felt so left out.

s: I really dont have any advice. I think it's a good thing you've identified and are working on these issues.
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#12 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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I can't even imagine how hard it is, what you're going through. I have no experience with step-children, or divorces, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

I do, however, have a fairly good natured DS and a very strong willed, stubborn, 'cuts off her nose to spite her face' kind of DD who is 4. I also often feel closer to my DS and more able to be loving toward him, because my DD demands soooo much from us and seems impossible to placate on most days.

In your situation, there may be more at play, and perhaps as some of the PPs mentioned, therapy may help, but I found a couple of books that helped me deal with my DD's frequent meltdowns in a more effective manner:

1 - How to Talk so your Kids will Listen which is an easy read and talks about listening to your child, acknowledging their feelings and showing empathy. I've found it really works with my DD.

2 - Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child This was recommended to me by our ped and looks at different parenting styles. It shows how being an effective 'emotional coach' to your child can really work wonders.

Mama to my two sweet monkeys - DD '04 and DS '06
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#13 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 07:33 PM
 
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How lucky you are to have daughters! I have 3 sons and a grandson. I hope you grow to enjoy your daughters and the special relationship only mothers and daughters have.

I am concerned about you saying you want to be queen. Is this about power? About attention from males? Attention from everyone? Or what? I can't see anything positive about wanting to be queen.

It is important for a mother and the children she cares for to understand that she is the adult and the one in control. Kids are not for hitting or yelling at and if hitting or yelling happens it is because the mother has misbehaved. There is no excuse (rationalization) for mother misbehavior. If she hits or yells, she is out of control.

The queen desire may be the grown up version of girls being raised princesses. Why do we do that to girls? Why would a girl want to be a princess? The princess image involves how a girl expects to be treated and what she expects to do for herself.

Developmental psychologists agree that children who grow up with the best qualities we call male and the best qualities we call female do the best as adults (mental health, happiness, ect.). Non-sexist childrearing is wise parenting practice. A girl raised in a non-sexist environment wouldn't want to be queen. She may want to be president - but that's not the same thing.

When you find yourself in a situation that you can't keep yourself under control - change the situation and get yourself under control. As you learn new skills you will learn self control. Don't stay somewhere after a child's bedtime. If you do and things start to fall apart - leave! Change the situation.

: Grandmother , 3 Adult Sons

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#14 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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As someone who was raised by a woman who doesn't like other women/girls, I have to say you need to do something about that before you take on the role of being their stepmother.

The damage you're going to do will follow them forever. It's great that you recognize it, but it's up to you to get it taken care of without blaming them for your problem.

Count me in as another one who doesn't get the whole queen concept.

My dsd was taught at an early age that all women are your enemy, and I don't know what it's going to take to un-convince her of that. Please don't teach your dsds the same thing. It just perpetuates the cycle of women tearing each other down.

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#15 of 29 Old 12-29-2008, 09:15 PM
 
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it sounds like you have a lot on your plate personally and with the "family".

I like what another poster wrote about finding a special name for you that will make the kids and you happy and that won't ruffle feathers with the ILs. The fact that they are comfortable enough to call you mommy is reall awsome and sweet. I was a step-daughter and HATED calling my step-dad "Dad". He was a jerk and I was made to call him dad plus other things but, that's not important here.

As with the ILs, well, they are ILs and no matter the situation ILs can be tricky although, a little more so in your case. Just try to step back and let DF handle it and as hard as it may be it will be best if you don't get "involved" with them. Don't correct the step-children in front of them as hard as it may be. You can always pull them aside when no one is looking or talk to them later. The ILs are probably really hurt that their daughter or daughter IL took the path she did and there are hurt feelings there. It's bound to be hard for them to 'let you in' and to take her place. It's probably a big transition for them and it is going to take a while for them to get used to you and how you do/handle things. The MIL was in the postition of mother, if I have this correct, so it's going to be hard for her to step aside and let you take over. It might seem to her that she didn't do a well enough job, kwim? It's hard for me to fully express what I'm trying to get at here, does it all make sense?

You are going to have to sit DF down and work something out so you, him, & the ILs can get on some common ground. Whether it's all of you or just him and them, it *NEEDS* to be done for the sake of the children and have DF pose it to them that way- for the sake of the children. If you are involved in "the talk" stay calm, cool , and collective, DON'T get defensive in *ANY* way, that always makes for a bad situation. Believe you me, I know and have been there.

These books may not sound very helpful or like they fit your situation but, I honestly think every parent should read them. They helped me understand DS better AND myself.

The first one is Raising Your Spirited Child . Even if the children are not "spirited" this book is super helpful. It is interactive, you write traits down about the children and yourself and it really opens up your eyes as to peronalites, etc.

The second is How to Negotiate With Kids Even If You Think You Shouldn't. this one is great because it helps you to recognize when YOU need to calm down and how to deal with situations, come up with a compromise that will make everyone happy, or close to it eBay has a bunch and one is selling for $1

Last but not least the whole female issue, you are going to have to do some serious soul searching. Sit down and right stuff down, dig deep, get counseling, what ever it takes. Keep in mind you didn't CHOOSE to feel the way you do and it's not your fault. BUT it will be your fault if you don't do something about it. And yes, I also find most women to be very catty, backstabbing, and two faced (it's what the young girls see in school, how their other female family members act, etc. It's a vicious cycle), BUT *YOU* can help your DDs to not be that way. *YOU* can raise them, guide them, and show them how to be really cool awsome people. It is ultimately up to you.

I wish you the best of luck with your situation and only offer you strong support. Not one of us is perfect, we all have our issues to work through no matter how 'perfect' we may sound. It took me some time to control my temper, handle situations in a better way and to toss my baggage aside and parent my child how they deserved. Every now and then I have to go back and re-read the books I mentioned but, it's all a learning process, nobody gets a "how to parent" handbook that is specific to our child/ren although, it sure would be nice

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#16 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 01:48 AM
 
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I have a problem with my girls... When I found out I was having a girl I was upset. I have never really liked other females. I find them to be snippy and little girls get bad attitudes. I see them as a challenge to my womanhood. Like, I'M the top dog here.. I'm the queen.
Well, this is very honest, and telling. You might want to examine your feelings about girls and women. Pay close attention to the fact that you see them as a "challenge" to your womanhood.

Your "womanhood" has nothing to do with anyone else, female or male. Some form of counselling might be beneficial to you.
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#17 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 02:44 AM
 
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Well, this is very honest, and telling. You might want to examine your feelings about girls and women. Pay close attention to the fact that you see them as a "challenge" to your womanhood.

Your "womanhood" has nothing to do with anyone else, female or male. Some form of counseling might be beneficial to you.
I agree with this. I have two girls and a son. There is not a big parenting difference. I have never felt challenged in any way by any of my kids. I think that is a physiological thing that you may have to work through. Maybe you want to make sure no other girl/woman takes your place with your DF. It sounds like you feel a bit threatened by other woman. Boys are not any easier. Actually because he's the oldest he has been the one doing most of the challenging when it comes to questioning things I say. Remember all children are different. I hope you figure this all out. It sounds frustrating to feel and think that way.
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#18 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 07:41 AM
 
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I'm another that really doesn't get the whole hating other women thing. I find it terrribly sad. I have a boy and a girl and I don't parent them differently based on their genders.

But I think it's great that you recognize the issues you have. I think therapy for everyone sound like a great idea. With your soon to be IL's and the children's not so great mom, along with your own feelings about women, I think having a professional to help guide you all as you blend your families is critical.
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#19 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 09:26 AM
 
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I have a problem with my girls... When I found out I was having a girl I was upset. I have never really liked other females. I find them to be snippy and little girls get bad attitudes. I see them as a challenge to my womanhood. Like, I'M the top dog here.. I'm the queen.
I am wondering about this as well? Why would you think you need to be a queen? I don't quite get that mentality. Once you have children, whether they are boys or girls, they take a lot from us and we take a step down in order to cater to them. That's called being a parent.
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Originally Posted by NaturalMindedMomma
Fast forward to now, I have a 5 yr old step daughter. She has been through a lot emotionally and has been getting very snappy and has a horrible attitude. I'm concerned about it and more concerned about the fact I am resenting her. My step son is great and I can love on him and it's just easier with a boy for me to be loving and understanding. DSD really boils my blood. She is a whiner and uber clingy and a little too touchy for me at times. I get so aggravated and I'm not sure how to handle her emotions, attitude and my own problems. My DD I can deal with much better (with the exception of last night which I rarely yell and VERY VERY rarely have hit her maybe a handful of times which is too many)
You said yourself in this paragraph that your 5 y o SD has been through a lot emotionally. I think that at 5 years old that a child is entitled to feel a bit confused and upset as to why her parents are no longer together and another person is trying to fill her mother's shoes. I may be totally off base with that comment and if I am then I'm sorry. But as the adult it seems as though you could try a little harder to see things from a 5 yr old little girl's point of view and stop expecting her to be mature beyond her years. She is 5~! she didn't ask to be born, have her parents split up and be put in a situation with a new mother figure and add your own baby to the mix and that's another person your SD has to get used to.

I was 11 when my parents finally divorced and it hit me hard emotionally and in other ways. I can only imagine being a very young 5 yrs old and having to deal with all the mess that comes along with parents divorcing, dad getting remarried (and mine got remarried very quickly) and other children/people coming in to the mix from the stepmom's side of the family. Put yourself in this child's shoes. Don't hold anything against her. She's the innocent one in all of this. She isn't responsible for her own feelings or actions either so don't blame her. Be the adult. That's really all I can say.

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#20 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 05:15 PM
 
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I am wondering about this as well? Why would you think you need to be a queen? I don't quite get that mentality. Once you have children, whether they are boys or girls, they take a lot from us and we take a step down in order to cater to them. That's called being a parent.
You said yourself in this paragraph that your 5 y o SD has been through a lot emotionally. I think that at 5 years old that a child is entitled to feel a bit confused and upset as to why her parents are no longer together and another person is trying to fill her mother's shoes. I may be totally off base with that comment and if I am then I'm sorry. But as the adult it seems as though you could try a little harder to see things from a 5 yr old little girl's point of view and stop expecting her to be mature beyond her years. She is 5~! she didn't ask to be born, have her parents split up and be put in a situation with a new mother figure and add your own baby to the mix and that's another person your SD has to get used to.

I was 11 when my parents finally divorced and it hit me hard emotionally and in other ways. I can only imagine being a very young 5 yrs old and having to deal with all the mess that comes along with parents divorcing, dad getting remarried (and mine got remarried very quickly) and other children/people coming in to the mix from the stepmom's side of the family. Put yourself in this child's shoes. Don't hold anything against her. She's the innocent one in all of this. She isn't responsible for her own feelings or actions either so don't blame her. Be the adult. That's really all I can say.
I was going to say the same thing. I think this was said excellent.
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#21 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 06:19 PM
 
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OP -- another big hug, and another thumbs-up to you for identifying the issues you need to work on, and for coming here and being so open to everyone's help and suggestions!

Just thought I'd throw that back in there, because some of the posters are coming across (at least to me) as if they don't realize the reason you're sharing all this is that you already realize these are problems you need to work on.

I don't know about anyone else, but after I've just bared my soul and shared some things that I perceive as major flaws within myself, it just doesn't help to have people responding with comments like, "Well, I just don't 'get' why you would have that flaw, because I don't have that flaw at all."

It's okay not to "get" someone else's flawed way of thinking -- but if there's something we don't get, why not just let the people who do get it comment on that particular thing, and save our comments for the areas where we're able to have some empathy???

I just don't "get" commenting on problems that we're personally not able to feel any empathy for.

Susan -- married unschoolin' WAHMomma to two lovely girls (born 2000 and 2005).
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#22 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 07:07 PM
 
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I don't have many suggestions to help you at the moment, but I do have some empathy. I don't know what it's like to have daughters (beyond observations and my imagination), but I do know what it's like to feel more comfortable caring for boys. I have a more traditionally "male" thought pattern and personality type and I've always felt more at home with men than with women, and so on. As a teacher I did care very much for my girly girl students but I effortlessly understood my boy and "tomboy" students. I would like to have a girl child someday, but I will admit I breathed sighs of relief as soon as I saw boy parts on my sons' ultrasounds.

I think it was brave of you to admit how you feel about this. You sound like you are smart and determined and I feel confident that you will come up with solutions for all these troubles... but I understand that you've found yourself outside of your area of expertise. I think you are wise to acknowledge that this will take a lot of dedication and adaptation on your part. It's really good that you love these kids, because that will give you the strength you need to problem-solve all along the way.

BTW, like you, I find I am "touched out" very easily. One suggestion I would give you is to make the effort to initiate closeness with your girls at times when you are not over-stimulated. That way they will be secure in the knowledge that you do enjoy their presence and it will be easier for them to cope when you must have a bit of time without being touched. Also, don't be afraid to let them know, gently, that you are going to need to be alone for a while before you get overwhelmed. I know that sometimes with my DS I have ended up waiting too long when I know I am being touched too much (hoping I can handle more than I truly can), and I've ended up snapping at him... where if I'd only said something 60 seconds sooner, I could have done it calmly.

I'd also recommend not putting up with the whining. Your DSD has been through a lot of heartache and deserves compassion and a good listening ear when she is talking about her feelings (which it sounds like you recognize) but there's no need to let her engage in behavior that takes such an emotional toll on everybody around her. If I were in your shoes, I would try keeping my own voice very gentle as much as possible, and then telling her "I will listen to you when your voice sounds like mine" when the whining starts. The average five year old girl will indeed become a whiny drama queen if she is allowed to do so, but that isn't the way it has to be.

As for the ILs... they are obviously an unhealthy influence. I would be firm about where they're not allowed to tread (for instance undermining your requests or dictating who can touch your belly!) and if I was still disrespected, I would pack up everybody then and there, and go home. (Best to discuss this with Jose ahead of time.)

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#23 of 29 Old 12-30-2008, 09:35 PM
 
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OP -- another big hug, and another thumbs-up to you for identifying the issues you need to work on, and for coming here and being so open to everyone's help and suggestions!

Just thought I'd throw that back in there, because some of the posters are coming across (at least to me) as if they don't realize the reason you're sharing all this is that you already realize these are problems you need to work on.

I don't know about anyone else, but after I've just bared my soul and shared to have people responding with comments like, "Well, I just don't 'get' why you would have that flaw, because I don't have that flaw at all."
some things that I perceive as major flaws within myself, it just doesn't help
It's okay not to "get" someone else's flawed way of thinking -- but if there's something we don't get, why not just let the people who do get it comment on that particular thing, and save our comments for the areas where we're able to have some empathy???

I just don't "get" commenting on problems that we're personally not able to feel any empathy for.
Thank you for saying this. She needed to hear it.

wife to DH 2/03, mama to DS 3/03 & DD 1/09
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#24 of 29 Old 12-31-2008, 01:40 AM
 
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I don't know about anyone else, but after I've just bared my soul and shared some things that I perceive as major flaws within myself, it just doesn't help to have people responding with comments like, "Well, I just don't 'get' why you would have that flaw, because I don't have that flaw at all."

It's okay not to "get" someone else's flawed way of thinking -- but if there's something we don't get, why not just let the people who do get it comment on that particular thing, and save our comments for the areas where we're able to have some empathy???

I just don't "get" commenting on problems that we're personally not able to feel any empathy for.
Eh. This is a discussion board, not a therapy session. If you don't want a variety of responses, be sure to include a "support only" disclaimer.

Perhaps you mean sympathy, and not empathy?
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#25 of 29 Old 01-06-2009, 04:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As someone who was raised by a woman who doesn't like other women/girls, I have to say you need to do something about that before you take on the role of being their stepmother.

The damage you're going to do will follow them forever. It's great that you recognize it, but it's up to you to get it taken care of without blaming them for your problem.

Count me in as another one who doesn't get the whole queen concept.

My dsd was taught at an early age that all women are your enemy, and I don't know what it's going to take to un-convince her of that. Please don't teach your dsds the same thing. It just perpetuates the cycle of women tearing each other down.
I want to explain the queen thing. I guess it's more or less not wanting attitude in my own home. I guess it is control.

Things have gotten better over the last few weeks. I do have expectations of all of them when it comes to chores (except my 20 month old). They are to clean up their toys and put trash in a trash can. Make their beds and put their dirty clothes in a hamper and dishes in the sink.

I am trying to adjust to taking care of 2 more children and it's hard. I guess I really am not sure what to expect from them or what I CAN realistically expect from them.

We all had a talk about the "mommy" thing and I told them that Torre may be a better choice, but the keep calling me mommy and I am not going to say anything further.

It is getting much easier to deal with Aaliyah, she respects me a lot more already and also is very sweet and lovey. Which I enjoy. I have no problem really being lovey with Abrielle (who is biologically mine) which I think is totally normal seeing as they are not my children and I have not been in their lives forever.

As for my own issues, I am trying. I know I am responsible for them and the way they will see themselves later. I enjoy them more and more everyday as I learn how to interact with other girls.

Please understand I was TORMENTED in school by other girls. Physically and emotionally and sexually abused by my peers on a regular basis, all other females. I learned to stay away from them. So it is natural that I have no idea how to interact with other females.

THanks everyone for your advice.
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#26 of 29 Old 01-06-2009, 04:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was going to say the same thing. I think this was said excellent.
Also, I do not need to be the "queen" in the sense that you are all thinking. I have given up many aspects of my prior life (my job, single life and friends) and put a lot of MY own dreams on hold. I do unselfishly love my children. ALL OF THEM. I think it is pretty unselfish to give up my career to stay at home with children who are not biologically mine that have any array of emotional issues because I truly love their father and in turn, love them as well. I have never said anything mean to any of them other than disciplining them on certain behavior. I may not make the best decisions about disciplining them sometimes but i try and I am learning.

I have just barely adjusted to parenting a 20 month old. There is a big gap in 20 months and 5. Also, I have been the most unselfish female figure in their lives, thus far. Their mom wlaked out on them when they were 2 and 3 and left DF to fend for himself. She paid no child support and still doesn't. The divorce may JUST be getting finalized but they have not been together for over 3 years. The children have not regularly seen their mom for those 3 years either.
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#27 of 29 Old 01-06-2009, 05:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OP -- another big hug, and another thumbs-up to you for identifying the issues you need to work on, and for coming here and being so open to everyone's help and suggestions!

Just thought I'd throw that back in there, because some of the posters are coming across (at least to me) as if they don't realize the reason you're sharing all this is that you already realize these are problems you need to work on.

I don't know about anyone else, but after I've just bared my soul and shared some things that I perceive as major flaws within myself, it just doesn't help to have people responding with comments like, "Well, I just don't 'get' why you would have that flaw, because I don't have that flaw at all."

It's okay not to "get" someone else's flawed way of thinking -- but if there's something we don't get, why not just let the people who do get it comment on that particular thing, and save our comments for the areas where we're able to have some empathy???

I just don't "get" commenting on problems that we're personally not able to feel any empathy for.

It's ok. I guess it could be hard for some people to understand. It's ok, really, I expected it a little bit.
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#28 of 29 Old 01-06-2009, 05:56 PM
 
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Please understand I was TORMENTED in school by other girls. Physically and emotionally and sexually abused by my peers on a regular basis, all other females. I learned to stay away from them. So it is natural that I have no idea how to interact with other females.

I interact with women the same way I do with men. I know the type of women you are talking about, but I'm trying to teach my dsd not to be one of them and not to fall into their manipulative traps when she meets them. Sure, nasty women exist, but there are nasty men, too. The dynamic is different because historically men have usually had more power so they don't bully in groups as often as women do, and that is where the anti-woman thing comes from. I think when women have achieved true equality we won't see this behavior as much, because the women who do this are telegraphing how weak they feel that they have to have a group to back them up, yk? To me that's the only difference I've ever noticed in male and female bullies, males bully alone, females bully in groups. YMMV

I've experienced some of the same things you have, I'm just trying to attack the problem from a different angle. I can't control how other people raise their daughters, but I can try to teach mine not to be one of those fearful, back-stabbing women who think that's the way to gain power, and hopefully not be so concerned with being nice that she tolerates a bunch of abuse from either sex.

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#29 of 29 Old 01-06-2009, 08:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thats just it. I FEEL SO HELPLESS with them!!! (my girls). I guess the problem is, I am truly learning as I go as a parent.

Like I said I am adjusting and doing much better and really trying to lighten up and enjoy them, it's just hard some days.

something I do have to say, today DF and I got into a fight and I started crying. My 5 year old DSD came up to me and said, "mommy, did daddy hurt your feelings?" I said Yes, pumpkin. She hugged me and didn't let go until I stopped crying. My dd who is 20 months even came up to me and asked me to hold her too. It was sweet. I realized how much love and joy I can take from the relationship and how much I can give back to them. They made me smile today and more and more, I can let go of what happened to me and who I used to be...
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