I'm new to this forum, but needed a place I could go as a relatively new stepmom. My question for all of you is: when was your first breakdown?
I think it takes a lot of courage, love, and strength to be a stepparent- you are loving someone else's kids like your own, despite the fact that you may never be loved back or recognized for what you do. And, despite the strength it takes, I think everyone just has their moments as a stepparent where they have a breakdown/meltdown/cry-fest and wonder what they got themselves into, no matter how much they love the kids/spouse.
I had mine this morning! Despite the fact that I have a loving husband and my 2 stepdaughters and stepson are fantastic compared to many other stories I have read/heard, there are just times that I get frustrated with the constant back and forth, the on-going battle between my husband and his ex, the constant bitterness that surrounds their necessary relationship. I feel exhausted when I tell my youngest SD "no" and her immediate reaction is to scream/cry for her mom (who gives her whatever she wants), despite the fact that we have all 3 children 95% of the time. I get frustrated that the ex has told the kids what she wants for xmas and expects my husband to get it for her- when we're strapped financially as it is. I've told my oldest SD that the responsibility of buying a gift for her mom really needs to be on her husband, their stepdad, but when I'm doing it, I feel like a jerk. I would just never presume that I could tell the kids that their mom needs to responsible for buying my husband and me gifts for xmas, as she has done with them. And she's not asking for $5.00 gifts or homemade cards, she's asking for large items that are expensive.
I love my family, I made an active decision to be a stepmom and it's one I don't regret, but I have these moments that I can't explain to my husband, when the frustrations just blend together so thickly that I feel like I'm suffocating. We have our own little girl on the way and I worry about how she'll be impacted, I'm fierce in my belief that the ex should have nothing to do with her, and I'm worried about how her life will be impacted by the ex and the back and forth with the other kids.
I finally snapped at my husband last night. I told him that I get tired of hearing "I want mommy" everytime I tell my SD no to something. I told him I don't want to hear him say "it's not your responsibility" to me when it comes to the kids, because it is. I made a choice to be a stepmom and I knew that came with responsibility and sacrifice. I was willing to make it. But saying it's not my responsibility is like telling me I'm not a part of this family, I'm not a parent to these children, that I don't count.
I cried and my husband is miffed. It's hard for me to make him understand because on one level, I don't want him to believe anything but this is where I want to be and I love him and the kids. But on another level- I do need him to understand that there are just times as a stepparent where you feel like someone outside looking in. And moments like this morning are necessary, as unhappy as they are.