I am so glad that I found this site... I wasn't even aware there was such a thing as sites like this until recently, or so many people who feel the same way I do, and I have to admit I now read the forums here avidly every day!
So... with the thought in mind of being amongst like-minded folk, I feel able to make a confession that I haven't ever made to a single soul until now: I'm a stepmother. And I HATE it.
To cut a long story short, my DH and I fell in love despite my extreme reservations about becoming involved with a father. He won me over. At the time, I think I was perhaps still slightly on the fence myself as I did have the occasional moment of thinking: "It might not be so bad...", and thought that I would get over my initial scepticism and perhaps begin to step into the role. It is also worth pointing out here that my DH was aware right from the start that I wasn't keen on kids and that I more than likely didn't want any of my own, and was happy for me to be as involved or uninvolved as I liked with his. He's a good, reasonable bloke, which is one of the things I love about him.
Anyway... as time has progressed I am finding it harder and harder. Rather than warming to his kids, I have found them to be the cure to my previous fence-sitting, and that they have utterly confirmed each and every suspicion I had previously held to do with having them. I do not find them sweet, or winsome. I find them deeply irritating to the point that recently I have been making myself scarce when they are about (they stay with us two nights a week), although I am fortunately at work a lot of the time they are here. I try so hard to pretend it doesn't bother me, for my husband's sake, but I utterly hate it and dread their arrival... the noise, the mess they create (which is left to me to clear up), the tantrums, the being woken up early...
I am so depressed by it at times, as I love my DH to bits and want so much to make it work for his sake, and I beat myself up for not coping better - after all, I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, and I have no-one to blame but myself as I could have walked away at the very beginning - but I didn't. I feel heartless and selfish. Sometimes I look at all the years of this I have ahead (the kids are quite young), and it fills me with a sense of dread, and I am afraid that our marriage may be doomed if I can't stop thinking this way.
There. I said it. I suspect if I said it anywhere outside this forum I would be absolutely torn to bits...
Sorry to read about your situation, Andi X. I know I couldn't be a step-father. I can only imagine the hell of being a step-mother. Welcome to TCFL. It's totally cool to come clean here. You are amongst like-minded people. Hopefully letting off some steam here will help.
I don't really have any suggestions but just wanted to say Welcome and you'll definitely find support here! That does sound like a difficult place to be in.. but at least you discovered your true feelings before you went ahead and had a kid of your own! Do you parent these kids with your husband or do you let him take care of the parenting issues?
Joined: Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:39 am Posts: 1551 Location: Austin, TX
Andi, I'm so sorry for your situation.
Obviously your DH can't eschew his responsibilities as a conservator of his kids, and they need a good relationship with their father. But to remedy this, you have to think outside of the box.
First, are there any close family members or friends with which you can routinely "visit" for a period (read: a couple of times a month, overnight) when the stepchildren are in the house? This serves a dual purpose: you get to catch up with your family member/friend; and your DH spends "alone time" with his children. It is a legitimate reason, BTW--to give the children quality time with dad without the stepmom in the way.
I don't know how feasible this is, but it's just one suggestion.
_________________ “Some people never go crazy. What truly horrible lives they must live.”
I'm guessing that they are small children? All I can say is hang in there, they will be grown up some day!
I only ever dated on guy that had a child and she was 14 years old. When I started considering getting serious with him and trying to imagine myself married to him, one of the first thoughts was "his daughter is only 4 years away from graduating high school and hopefully leaving home!" I figured we'd date a long time, have a long engagement and by the time we were married the kid would be out the door! That was my secret plan, not his.
One good thing about younger kids is that they're not as calculated and manipulative as teenagers. One reason that guy and I stopped seeing each other was because of his manipulative daughter who wanted him to get back together with his ex.
Like I said, hang in there, time will fly by and those kids will adults some day!
_________________ I try to do as the matchbook says: "KEEP AWAY FROM CHILDREN"
I have to say, Sucks to be you. I can't imagine what it must be like dreading to be in your own house. The only thing I can think of is is there a way for you to cordon off part of the house, you know an adults only section? I guess it would depend on the layout of your place but I'm thinking that maybe having your own space when they are there and not having to deal with things might help. You know your bedroom, the study and the dining room or something as adults only spaces?
I have no experience with young stepchildren, as I married my husband when his two daughters were 24 and 26 years old (and had already finished college and moved out of the house).
However, as negative as this might sound, I am going to be frank and honest with you. I think that the situation only gets worse as the years go on when it comes to stepchildren. Don't kid yourself into thinking it will be better when they're grown.
Now, don't get me wrong. I actually get along fine with my husband's daughters. There's no drama between us. However, I have absolutely zero affection for them, and I find their presence in my life instrusive and annoying. I am polite, friendly and respectful toward them, but that is forced and fake. I do not like them. And yet, for the rest of my life I'm likely to spend every Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc. with them (and their future spawn).
But I love my husband WAY too much to let this come between us. He's worth the compromise of having to endure his daughters. I wouldn't give him up for all the money or riches in the world.
But...ooooh, it would be so perfect if he had never had children. Sigh.....
Anyway, if you TRULY love your husband, then stick it out and find a way to deal with it. Don't give up a great man because you don't like his kids. But if your relationship is just so/so, then I say RUN LIKE HELL.
Joined: Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:53 pm Posts: 3766 Location: Boise, ID
I think the suggestion of getting away while the kids are there and letting them have "alone time" with their Dad is actually a great idea. I think a lot of stepkids resent the step-parent being there all the time when they really want to be with their real parent.
My husband has a stepdaughter from a previous marriage, she is 23 years old. She is sort of my step-step daughter, but my husband is the only Dad she's ever had because hers died when she was a baby. We get along great, she is a super young woman and I enjoy spending time with her. She goes out with us to our club, and my husband also spends "alone time" with her, doing things like taking her shooting, setting off firecrackers in our front yard... "mature" stuff like that. His last girlfriend wanted nothing to do with his stepdaughter and made her feel very unwelcome. It was as if she was jealous of her. I think that's ridiculous. I encourage them to do things together if I have to work, and the three of us do stuff, too. I know I am very lucky. Especially because I didn't have to endure the childhood!!
_________________ "A woman has to live her life, or live to repent not having lived it." -- D. H. Lawrence
Welcome Andi X. That's a really rough situation and I have lots of sympathy. Step-mom feels a lot like lose-lose. At least it did for me for the relatively brief time I was one. You get to deal with all the crap (sometimes literally) of being a parent, but you don't really "count". I eventually split from the dad in question -- it wasn't over the kid, though that was an added bonus.
Main advice I'd have is to be sure and not think you are in any way bad or lacking or anything negative for the way you feel.
A mistake I made was to try too hard to be liked/accepted by the child. His mother hated me, and passed that on to the child who would scream, yell and refuse to do or go anywhere that involved me. I swear, I treated the little nipper with nothing but kindness and patience...it was all about the parents' bad relationship and her seeing me as threatening her place as Mommy (which, needless to say, was the last thing I wanted). i.e. the advice others have given about doing as much as you can to get time away is important. You're NOT the kids' Mom, but he is their dad so he should be the lion's share of their care and feeding when they're with you, and you should not feel bad about this because even if you knock yourself out to be super-step-mom, your efforts will (well, I should speak for me, so this is just my experience) be neither appreciated nor reciprocated. So whatever you can do to wall your relationship off from the kid thing, and have your own space, your own time. Treat it like babysitting -- so long as you don't send them out to play in traffic and they survive, that's all you need do. You don't need to be substitute parent.
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