stepmom! help!

brokenhearted1December 21, 2011

I have raised my stepdaughter since the age of 3 years old. I was married to her father and he decided to get custody of her. He was 40 and the mother was 17 or 18 when she got pregnant. I have three biological children. It has always been a battle of mine against his with him. How do I deal with this? She calls me Mom but yet I can't tell her what to do because he feels that I am picking with her. I try to teach or how to be a young lady and grow up knowing how to be a respectable woman. I told him that he needs to get control of her mouth and they way she talks to adults. I blame him for allowing her to play the role of the woman when we split up. She feels that she can debate with me on everything that I say. The teacher called and told him that she was being smart mouth and debating everything she said in class and now he wants to address it but coming from me meant nothing yet I am the one raising and caring for the child.

Now my son is living with us and he is isolating himself from helping me to raise my son I call him our son but he makes sure that I know that is my son and that is his daughter yet I have taken care of her and provided for her for the past four years yet I can't discipline her or tell her what and what not to do. Now that our son or MY son is here he won't help me with him. How do I end this war with my ex and move forward. I feel as if I am being used and taken for granted. Whenever he need me I am there. I helped him to raise his child why is it so different now. I have tried to discipline her and he tells me that I am picking on her yet she adores me. I left for two months and he begged me back and told me that nobody can do what I do in the home. Now that I am back and my son is here with me its a problem now. I feel unappreciated and used. What am I holding on to hoping that he will accept my kids. We all say things in the heat of the moment but my actions have been love and care toward both of them why can't I get the same in return. Is that a real man?

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Need some more information.

How long have you been married?

How old is your s-daughter?

How old are your children?

What is your main goal in the end? Are you wanting to repair your marriage or are you sticking around for the kids?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 10:45AM
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Yeah, agree, MyFam. More clarified details needed on this post.

I got male now 47, little girl now 7. Yet OP leaves for 2 months and this child takes roll of 'woman'. If she was 3 and OP raised her her 4 yrs, kid must be seven?

Ex? Are you married to this guy anymore or not? You moved back in because he can't parent his daughter properly yet you want to know how you can get him to 'help' you with your kids?

I'm afraid you're going to have to run this all by 'us' again. How old are you? Your children? Is the biomom of the girl around? Is the biodad of your own children around?

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 11:16AM
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With the information provided, I would say he is definitely using you. He is making it clear that your child is YOUR child, his child is HIS. It's fine for you to do things for her but don't say anything about it... after all, you are only the (unpaid) hired help. If he's going to keep it separate, then he should do everything for her. If you get no say, you shouldn't have to lift a finger for her. (and considering that she adores you... that is a tough thing to do)

The biggest clue in your post (to me) is "he begged me back and told me that nobody can do what I do in the home". He doesn't WANT to do the things that he expects you to do. There is nothing that "nobody else can do" in the house. If you aren't there, who will do the chores? Who will take care of the house? and my little opinion is that it's NOT your kid... it's not YOUR problem.

If you left, you probably had good reason and now that you have your son with you, it is imperative that you do what's in HIS best interest... staying with a guy that has drawn lines on yours vs. his and reminds you, the kids & anyone else that you are NOT a family... well, that might be detrimental to your son (and his daughter). That's just my opinion.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 11:36AM
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I am 43 and my son is 14 and his daughter is 9. I am not remarried to him but we decided to give it another shot. I don't know what to do at this point we are in a home together and I cannot afford to leave at this point. We were married for 6 years and been divorced for over a year now. I would like for it to work but because I feel so unimportant. I guess I am the (unpaid help). I don't know how to cope with this because my life has been my family and now it seems that whenever I really need him to be there he is not.

I guess your right if he can't raise his properly how do I expect him to help me raise mine. I guess I was really referring to helping me get him adjusted and introducing him to some positive kids his age through the people that he know. I am not from this State he is and he has all the connections.

I guess I just need some coping skills until I can do better and save up some money. My money goes on bills and trying to stay above water like the rest of the world. Thanks for all your opinions good or bad I need to hear them. The kids act cordial towards one another yet the confusion is due to insecurities within my ex. It helps to have these discussions especially when you don't want to put your business out there.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 12:04PM
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Ok that helps. She is 9. That's a rough age when she has so much going on. Dad and the mom that has raised her divorcing and then getting back together. It's very confusing for a child of this age. She doesn't know up from down and she may be worried that you'll have to leave her again. While you were gone, were you still in contact with her? An active role in her life or were you gone from her life and now all of a sudden you have reappeared and it's taking time for her to adjust to you being back? We're the rules of the house the same or has dad let her do whatever, losing all of the 'raising' you have done over 6 years, allowing her to get 'out of control'?

As far as she is concerned, an adjustment period is necessary. A child of her age can't be expected to adjust like we adults can because we decide to make so many changes in our life that are good for us, even if they are good for the child, they need that time to readjust. It's like changing activities - some kids need a warning of 5 minutes that we are going to change and do something else, some kids don't need a warning. When we are talking about something as huge as reuniting a family that has been broken, the readjustment can take months or longer depending on what the kid has been through. I don't think you said of biomom is on the scene at all. It may not be your 'fault' and you may feel that you do not deserve this but this little girl may not trust women. If her mom is not around and all she remembers ever having is you, then you were gone, she may not be able to cope with the feelings of 'will s/mom leave me again' and she may not be ready to 'trust' you yet. I'm not saying you have done anything wrong, I'm just saying, in this situation, this child may have issues that go deeper than you think because of the changes in her life. I would suggest not stepping in to be 'mom' right away. Give her time as you would a new partner with a child. Build a relationship/friendship with her. Be her friend, be her excitement, be there when she scrapes her knee and needs a band-aide but let dad do the disciplining. If you are the one with her during the day or after school, be the 'babysitter'. She has to obey your rules to keep her safe and to keep a schedule like she would at daycare or school but leave the parenting to dad until she is comfortable with the changes of her life. Of course you want her to grow in to a wonderful person and you can still guide her as any adult friend, aunt, godmother, teacher, sitter would want to do but leave the basics of her 'raising' up to dad until you are in a position to take on the 'mom' role especially if you aren't sure if this is even going to work. The last thing she needs is another jolt in her life if you and dad don't work out. It's not just about the NOW it's also about her future.
She is young enough that she can still be taught respect of other adults unfortunately if her father is not willing to enforce this in the home, there is not much you can do. The next few years will be delicate years with middle school and hormones and all of those issues that comes with being a tween girl.. She just needs to know you love her and that you are there for her but she does deserve to be 'shown' that you aren't just here now for your own reasons but because you love this family and you are here to stay to be a part of her life.

As far as your son goes, I really have no advice on that. I'm sorry I can't be more help. I would say, you need to just take on being the parent of your own child. If your husband isn't interested in helping your son, you have to either accept it or move on. Don't put your son second though. If he can't be accepted as part of this family, then you have to do what is best for him. You will always be his mom, you can always find another husband that accepts you both.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 2:18PM
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That last post help me to put things into perspective. When I left or was put out I tried to keep communication but he would not allow me to correspond with her on the phone so I wroter her a letter that she never received. Thanks so much and now I can let go of trying to be the mom and just love her and allow him to do his job. My priority is my son and if he don't want to participate in helping me then I still have my job to do as his mother. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 3:04PM
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