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Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Posted by silversword (My Page) on
Wed, May 12, 10 at 11:28

... and if so, what?
... and if not, why?

What exactly is this role? Who defines it? The child, the SM, the birth parents? Who is responsible for cultivating this relationship, if anyone. Should this relationship be cultivated or should it progress without any intervention from other adults?

Are there certain responsibilities that a SM should never take on unless the other parent is AWOL; such as buying a first bra, talking about sex, talking to teachers or other "outsiders" about the child?

How does it feel, as a parent or a Sparent, to know that the person who is responsible for the child (eating and not choking, bathing and not slipping, swimming and not drowning, driving and not crashing, etc...) is not able to make medical decisions and is expected to do those things as a responsibility of being married to someone with children rather than as a co-parent?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Good question -- And I think it's defined by ALL of the players.

In my BioSon's case, his father delegated virtually all child-rearing responsibilities to his female partner - whatever GF he was with at the time and eventually, his wife, my son's SM. Fortunately, she was willing to assume this role and was a good mother. And I supported her heavy-duty role (rather than undermined it) because she had better parental judgement than Dad did and was willing to compromise with me when we disagreed. (Dad never met a disagreement or compromise he couldn't steam-roll over.) So in our case, SM became 'Other Mother' and that's a good thing. She and my DS are very close (he tells me he likes her much more than he likes his Dad) and that's OK with me. I'm still the one he comes to when he needs a Mom hug and the one he calls first when the news is good.

Could I have 'blocked' her from having such a major role? Probably -- but not without lots of damage to my son and lots of conflict with my Ex. When the players are sane, 'more love' is always a good thing.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

I totally agree, Sweeby!

I never understood why BM wanted to block me from having a relationship with SD. I don't do drugs or have bad friends or do anything that would influence her badly. Not to mention I was always trying to be supportive of SD's activities. The only thing I can think of is her narcissism.

As much as X's GF annoys the crap out of me, I really am thankful she treats DS well. They have a good relationship and laugh and have fun. He always has what he needs when he's with them.

My philosophy...More Love is More Better. LOL!


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

I think it is important to have good relationships with stepparent, as any family member, yes I believe stepparent should do certain things to facilitate that relationship, can't expect to have good relationship with SKs not doing anything about it.

It is certainly wrong of a parent to encourage poor treatment of a stepparent, it is plain mean.

Funny about first bra, first or 21st, it is always a challenge bra shopping with DD. And I remember her first bra shopping, she was giving me hard time. LOl Well it is certainly OUR experience as crazy as it was.

Talking to teachers? Teachers normally would only talk to parents but if someone else wants to talk, they could, she did well in school, especially high school and there was nothing exciting to share about her. It would be pretty boring meeting.

Sex? Not up to the stepparent to decide, but if a parent is uneducated and does not know much then it is OK to delegate to someone else, better equipped for discussions.

just exercise common sense in life I guess and everything will fall in place.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

well, I think it is a question of circumstance... in my own, I deferred the question of sex ed to the parents until both (DH and bio mom) decided not to address it... DH said you will go to jail if you have sex the end... bio mom said oh my babies oh my babies....

I gave them the chance and then talked to the boys about the practicalities///I even bought them a book so that they could refer to something without uneasy questions...

the bra is questionable based upon what bm does (se takes her out and gets one when it is time, she buys her one way before she is ready just to ruffle feathers, she just ignores the whole issue and you have to because you are not going to let sd go into middle school not having a bra and showing more than she should)...I am more scared about prom dresses and the like(wedding dress time)... I have no doubt at this point that I will have to do all of the difficult things and then defer to mom for the fun things like girls day out to find a prom dress.. part and parcel of being a SM


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"DH said you will go to jail if you have sex the end... bio mom said oh my babies oh my babies.... "

Well, I have to admit that I have changed my stance on teaching our kids about sex. They are gonna learn the basics from peers, magazines, internet, maybe even movies & TV. They are gonna know more about it than we could put in a book.

In light of MY current situation... I suggest all parents should begin as soon as the child can talk or comprehend what a girlfriend is... the TOP priority needs to be in teaching them about the SELECTION process. BE VERY VERY CAREFUL ON WHO YOU MARRY OR HAVE CHILDREN WITH. and of course, make sure they know about birth control & how to use it properly.


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my apologies to OP

didn't mean to take the thread off topic. I had a rough day with DIL & needed to vent a little. Sorry.

As for the topic, I do think that it takes a village to raise a child... we are all mother's and I dislike the word step. I guess maybe it means that when I mother my husband's child, I STEP on her mother's toes. Walt Disney did a lot to create an image in negativity. I don't care for those fairytales that teach children that dad's wife is the villain.... funny how the mom's are always dead in those flicks. Scorned women that are hell bent on getting even with their ex and allow their children to be collateral damage.. they make sure kids know who was the bad guy (dad) and who was wronged (them) and if it wasn't for her (SM) they might still be together, even if they broke up well before he met SM. After all, he would have come back eventually but SHE got in the way! They may share details of the relationship, court case, etc. They burden their children with adult issues that pit the child to choose one side.. their side. If they can't get sympathy from telling the child everything their ex did to them, they may resort to guilt... how can you talk to/see/love/care for/etc. him after he did that to me? You'd rather be with him than me? etc.

But, then there are those that know marriages end. They also know how painful it will be for their children and they do everything in their power to ease & lessen the pain for their children... they may force themselves to be cordial and friendly to their ex... and his new GF or wife. AS much as it may pain them, they know they don't want to create an uncomfortable position for their children. After all, even if they cannot stand the new wife, they know that she is going to be a part of her children's life.. whether a little or a lot. They do it for their children... it's called SACRIFICE. They want their child to experience peace & stability... and avoid conflict. After all, why should the children suffer because of choices the adults made? It does not matter who is at fault.. in fact, if the father is at fault.. maybe that is more reason for the mother to work doubly hard to ensure her children grow up as unaffected by it as possible.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"the bra is questionable based upon what bm does (se takes her out and gets one when it is time, she buys her one way before she is ready just to ruffle feathers, she just ignores the whole issue and you have to because you are not going to let sd go into middle school not having a bra and showing more than she should)..."

I don't understand the post, BM buys the bra because of all this what you described? Buying bra for your child to ruffle the feathers? Huh? Whose feathers???I went bra shopping because DD is my daughter and was getting big enough, never thought of reasons you mentioned? what a strange post...


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imaommy

'In light of MY current situation... I suggest all parents should begin as soon as the child can talk or comprehend what a girlfriend is... the TOP priority needs to be in teaching them about the SELECTION process. BE VERY VERY CAREFUL ON WHO YOU MARRY OR HAVE CHILDREN WITH. and of course, make sure they know about birth control & how to use it properly. '

I wholeheartedly agree with this, it's been always something I advocated. Insert a boyfriend next to girlfriend, same issue.

I would also add that it is important to teach children then you do not have to have a partner to be a happy person, it is better to be alone for awhile then get into a big mess, having children you cannot raise, or abusive relationship or getting STD.

I also always nagged (still do even though DD is 22) to go to Ob/Gyn for checkups on a regular basis-for a girl. No mater if she has sex or not and what type of sex.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"How does it feel, as a parent or a Sparent, to know that the person who is responsible for the child (eating and not choking, bathing and not slipping, swimming and not drowning, driving and not crashing, etc...) is not able to make medical decisions and is expected to do those things as a responsibility of being married to someone with children rather than as a co-parent?"

First, Parent in the household should be making certain child is safe. Second, in the event of an emergency, anyone can take child to ER. Third, plenty of non-parents take on these roles at times.

Ima -- I am sorry you dont like the word Stepmother. It is just a description of a relationship.

As to the it takes a village to raise a child, absolutely - parents, doctors, teachers etc. Everyone has a role. Its easy to blame friction on other person, but as I asked before, its not easy to determine where the problems started -- overstepping SM or bitter mom.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?"

Lol, well in my case not unless they want something. But I am heartened to know that for many others this is not the case.

~Cat


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

KKNY:
"...the word Stepmother... is just a description of a relationship."

What relationship exactly does it describe?


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

My dictionardy defines Stepmother as "a woman who has married somebody's father after the death of or divorce from the person's mother" It could also a be a woman married to someone's father where father not married to any woman for any reason.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

I agree with kkny, anyone could make a decision of taking a child to ER, any adult, grnaparents, uncles, teachers, don't have to be a mother to call 911.


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dictionary definition

stepmother   
noun
the wife of one's father by a later marriage.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

wow! really? y'all spent your time looking up the definition in a dictionary? seriously? hmmm. gee, thanks! I didn't know that a stepmother was the wife of one's father. LMAO

What makes living here (USA) so great is the freedom we have... we all have the right to live OUR lives in the manner we choose to. right? The pursuit of happiness....

People can choose to run to a dictionary to define a relationship or make an argument for why one relationship is less significant than another... some choose to look to their heart. Who is the renowned expert that 'defined' what those things are... the words they define in a dictionary? Words like Marriage. Love. Family. Those are generic definitions... LOL, we all know the basic meaning of "marriage", but I guarantee that it has many meanings to various people. Sometimes even the husband & wife don't agree on what marriage means... that's why the divorce rate is so high.

But, I really appreciate that someone took the time out of their busy life to look that up for me. I still don't like the word though... not because I didn't know the meaning, but because I just don't like the word.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Thank you KKNY, FD. You just told me all I needed to know about your definition. You get it from outside sources.

Ima, exactly. As a SD (several times over, LOL) and a SM (almost 2x) I never would have known without good old Webster to tell me what it meant.

Yes, I can take my SD to the ER. And my DH takes my DD to the doctor and gets her prescriptions, etc. and no one bats an eye. I think pretty much anyone could, as I've sent her with friends as well and no one asked any questions other than if she were allergic. But if any medical decisions are to be made and I can't get a hold of her parents/or I can't be reached for DD... It is a little scary.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Why is this any different than when aupair takes my kid to doctor, etc while I am at work? I cant be with my kid 24/7 (neither can her dad). What about when kids go to summer camp?


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

SS... that is why my son's SM carries a little card with her at all times ... giving her permission to authorize any treatment immediately signed and notorized. Is it legal will they accept it who knows but she has it.

My SC on the other hand ... mom flipped out when I took one of them to the drs didn't like what the dr said ... raised a stink ... so I no longer take ANY of them to the drs. she and hubby have to work that out if they can't take them they don't go.

I prefer it this way ... I am technically a SM but I prefer Dad's wife. :)


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(Sarcasm) (/S)

Yes, you're right KK. A Stepmother is just like an Aupair or a counselor at camp.

except for that little issue: one is a paid servant and the other is just thought of as a servant


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Thanks Pseudo,
I was just trying to have a conversation about different feelings/ideas. The card is a great idea. When my DD travels she has a similar notarized form.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

When DH, SD, DS and I were in the car right after our wedding ceremony, SD and DS were giggling in the back seat. SD spoke up and said "are we supposed to feel any different?" And DS says "Yeah, cuz we don't". DH and I looked at eachother and I said "Well, no. Us getting married doesn't make us automatically anything. It just means that now we have legal bonds to eachother to add to the emotional ones we already had."


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

SS, How would someone being paid or not increase or decrease the fear factor of the person not being authorized to make medical decisions? If anything, I would think the distance from parents would be the crieria raising the fear factor.


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RE:hired help

KKNY, I don't know. I have been a camp counselor, babysat, watched children at parks while other parents were running to their car or whatever, coached a soccer team, Girl Scout leader, you name it. I'm equally conscientious if the child/parents are known to me or not known to me.

My point was that again you equated Sparents to paid hired help.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

I think people in general look down on stepmothers and there is a negative connotation with the word.

Let me share something that happened earlier this week to me. DH & I are going through a rough time and taking time apart but we are still very much committed to keeping things as normal as possible for the kids. I have been helping with SS, as I always do, so that DH doesn't suffer at work, and he has been spending time with DD, and my family, as we just celebrated Mother's Day and DD's birthday.

Anyway, last week, BM told DH she was taking SS to the pediatrician---he's having issues with his allergies. She told DH the appt. was on Thursday (normally, DH's regular day)and that she (BM) would pick SS up from school at 2 pm, take him to the doctor and then take him home with her, and that DH should get him from HER after work, as opposed to me picking him up from school.

DH got the days mixed up in his head and told ME that this was happening on Wednesday, again, his regular day. He called me Wed. morning and reminded me that I did not need to pick SS up from school in the afternoon, as he was going to the ped. with his mom.

Well, about 3:50 pm on Wed. my phone rang and it was the school secretary saying she had SS in the office, and that no one had picked him up. They had called BM--no answer. Called DH--he wasn't answering, either. I was third on the contact list.

The problem was, I had made plans to be with a friend of mine and HER DD that afternoon and I was a good 20-30 mins from SS's school. But I told the secretary I would head that way immediately and to tell him to sit tight, that I was on my way.

In the meantime, I finally got hold of DH, but at that point, I was closer to school than he was so I went ahead with picking SS up.

I arrived at the school at 4:15 pm and the secretary CHEWED ME OUT in front of SS. She said "who are you' and I said "I am his stepmom." And she lit into me about not respecting HER schedule and how she has appointments to keep, and how I needed to get my days in order so that this didn't happen again. I actually almost cried, she was so terrible!

I pick him up 2-3 days a week and this has NEVER happened before!!!!

I was just appalled by how she treated me, like I was the hired help. I was like "HELLO, you have called BOTH his parents and neither one was even available to take the CALL, and look who IS HERE--ME! I dropped EVERYTHING to rush to get him so he wasn't sitting in the office lost and forgotten. UGHHH. But I think the word "stepmom" was all she needed to hear.

UGH. Sorry for that tangent.

I think a stepmother or stepfather relationship with a child is a unique one and cannot be defined by any one definiton in the dictionary. My DH is technically my DD's stepfather, but her dad is MIA, so DH IS her dad. My SS has a great relationship with his mom's husband, his STEPFATHER. He takes him fishing and camping and they are almost like uncle/nephew. It is a good and special relationship, and certainly adds positivity to SS's life.

It all depends on the family dynamics, the situation, etc. It can't be defined in black and white terms.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

LH, I'm sorry. That's horrible that she treated you like that.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Yeah, SS, I agree....I kind of think, though, that she was (understandably) frustrated at having to stay late when she had things to do. I think (hope) she would have reacted similarly to DH or BM had they picked him up. But I don't know. DH spoke with her on the phone, as I was driving to get SS, and apparently, she was polite to him. I feel like maybe I---as the lowly SM---was an easy target.

Stupid school anyway! I HATE that they don't have any kind of after-care program that parents can use on an as-needed basis. There is a program for kids whose parents work past 3:30 pm, but it's not on a drop-in basis.

At my DD's school (and perhaps it is different because it is an independant school) there is after-care everyday from 3 pm to 6pm. It's $8/hr, and if I ever have something scheduled or even something that comes up last minute, I just call and say, "Hey, I need DD to be sent to after-care today" and they just send her on over and I get a bill at the end of the month.

It is super nice! I used it last week when DH & I had a 3 pm counseling appt. and I used it the previous week when DD's school had an early dismissal and I needed an extra couples hours to get some work done.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

i don't think a stepparent is the same as paid help, of course not, as grandparents are not paid help or uncles or whoever else is helping the parents. stepparents are what they are. like an uncle is a brother of a mom or dad then stepparent is a spouse of a mom or dad. If a stepparent or any other person feels resentful they are not obligated to watch the kids. Plenty of grandparents don't want to babysit.


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love

how awful Lovehadley! I had similar trouble once, I was yelled at by DD's school secretary. She was so awful to me that i went home and cried. i happened to know the principal of her school, know personally I mean, I called him and she got in trouble. Maybe you should tell someone, you probably not the first person she yelled at.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"If a stepparent or any other person feels resentful they are not obligated to watch the kids."

That is and isn't true. Grandparents may get away with not watching grandkids but they don't live in the same house. I am not obligated to watch my SD... BUT If my husband has to hire a babysitter because I decide not to watch his daughter, then it has far greater impact than if the grandparents say no. It would cost money... that takes away from our household income, so it would still affect me. There is potential for the argument that if you are not going to do _____ for my kid, I am not going to do ______ for yours. It can divide the family... because most people want give & take. So, it really isn't the same as other relatives saying no... and it also depends on if it's the custodial home or non custodial home. Lots of variables.

Any resentment I have over dealing with my SD are not from my husband.... or not even necessarily from her (though she has done some things that make it harder) BUT her mother has caused the damage and unfortunately, her daughter is the one that ends up suffering the consequences of her mother's actions. It shouldn't be that way, but that is the way her mother wants it. Very sad.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

imaommy,

I agree with your points. But even if one lives in the same house, it is still a choice, a choice of not being there

Many, I would say majority stepmothers, do not live with their stepkids. Heck I read on this forum that some only see stepkids occasionally or few times a year yet they either complain about helping with the kids or elevate thsmleves to 'parent" status or keep talking how much they do when a kid visits twice a year. Too funny. I do more for my niece and nephew and see them certainly more than twice a year yet I do not claim to be a "parent" and don't think of listing things i do. What's the big deal?

of course full time stepparent is entirely different position. I think if a stepparent is resentful (and you are not an example, you don't resent SD or her dad) then there is always a choice not to be with people who have young children. Nobody forces anyone.

I don't want to take care of young children anymore (unless I become grandma, then of course I would help) so I would not put myself in a position of watching young children. It is a choice.


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it is the same

"BUT If my husband has to hire a babysitter because I decide not to watch his daughter, then it has far greater impact than if the grandparents say no."

It is the same, how is it different? it takes away from the income just the same if grandparents or a stepparent refused to or CANNOT watch kids. Babysitter won't cost any different. Both sets of DD's grandparents helped to watch her, otherwise I would have to hire babysitters or quit my job, costs just the same.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

It is not the same if I am home, available to watch the child, but refuse to so he has to put her in daycare...

Yes, there is an expense either way. But, it is more likely to cause friction if he is working and I am not, for me (sitting at home) to tell him that he needs to send his child to a daycare because I don't want to spend my free time taking care of her... I'm sure he would do it, but the fact that I am not working & sitting at home while he is incurring an expense for something I could easily do might irritate him. Yes, it's his child & he is responsible for her, not me... but it would also affect our family finances and when money gets tight, that might be something that gets brought up... the double whammy of "you're not working, therefore not contributing." and "you won't even watch my child while I work, so that increases my expenses." I can see where HIS resentment in having to support someone that won't contribute, even just to reduce his expense by watching his child while he works. There is usually more than one factor involved in problems & resentment.

and yes, I do have some resentment with his DD. My resentment grows every time she goes to her mom & tells her mom lies about me... followed by her mom starting crap with us because she takes SD's word, even though we have tried to tell her that SD is desperate for attention... and when I have tried to do things for SD, she brags to her mom knowing that her mom will go ballistic (and therefore give SD some attention, albeit not positive attention... but it's better than none, right?) and it has created a lot of stress in my life to deal with BM... so I have stopped doing things with SD because I do not like how she uses me to get even with her mom. When I see a fun activity that I'd like to go do with SD but can't, I feel some resentment for it. It is more directed at BM because I think if she were to pay attention to her daughter, SD would not have to try so hard to get it by lying and manipulating. and there is a little resentment toward SD, in that it always feels like she is taking notes so she can report everything I do back to her mom. I might be a little paranoid with thinking that she will report EVERYTHING to her mom, but then again, some of the things BM has brought up lead me to believe SD has a secret notebook... and of course creates her own perception or version of the truth because it has to be juicy enough to get BM to react to it, right?


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"of course full time stepparent is entirely different position. I think if a stepparent is resentful (and you are not an example, you don't resent SD or her dad) then there is always a choice not to be with people who have young children. Nobody forces anyone"

But situations also change. I used to enjoy spending time with my SS. When things got really nasty with his mom and then she falsely accused me of child abuse, I was really angry and resentful. I was irritated with SS, too. I understand WHY he said certain things, but at the same time, it frustrated me to hear what he would say to his mom, and then he'd lie/deny/change his story with us. I do believe it was some sort of issue with her drinking. She's been (mostly) sober for the last year and SS's behavior has DRASTICALLY improved. He is MUCH warmer/friendlier to me, and the lies/manipulation have stopped completely which is FABULOUS.

But I am still so on edge with him. I keep him at an arm's length because I just don't trust completely that another blow-up from BM isn't around the corner.

I do feel resentment over the way the situation is, and sometimes I feel it directed (in my mind) at SS. I hope I do not let that show, but it's how I feel, and it affects me and it affects my marriage.

I don't enjoy watching him or spending time with him because of those feelings. It does seem to ebb and flow, some days are better than others....but still...it's always underneath.

I can't very well say to DH, though, "he's your kid, you pick him up from school." At the end of the day, even though I work part-time from home, I still pick DD up at 3 pm daily. And if I were to tell DH "you need to either leave work early or hire a sitter for SS from 3:30-5:30..." Let's just say that wouldn't fly!

If one doesn't want to be with someone who has kids, then that is one thing...but sometimes relationships and marriages can change, and we cannot always predict things going in.

And everyone seems to think it is so easy to up and leave...I'm hijacking..but I will say...my DH is my daughter's FATHER. She adores him and knows him as DADDY. If I were to divorce...I can 100% say she would be devastated. My SS is her BROTHER. I cannot imagine her losing him. It breaks my heart to even think of it. My own MOTHER, who knows about the physical stuff that's happened, and thinks DH has a lot of issues to work on, even told me she is mostly worried about the affect a divorce would have on my DD. She told me that I have to give it everything in me to at least TRY to salvage my marriage. She wasn't saying "Stay at all costs" but she certainly didn't think I should just up and leave. It is not that simple.

And that is the problem with resentment/stepfamilies/etc. If I had to do it over...short answer, I wouldn't. But hindsight is 20-20, and I have to at least make the best of what I have now and see if we can make it work.

It is NOT as simple as just saying no, or just refusing to watch a child, or walking away from a marriage. Few things in life are that simple. I wish they were.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

no, it is not easy to leave, i never said it is, and leaving is not always the best option. it depends on the circumstances.

but if there is a resentment, children feel it, it is probably wiser to leave for children's sake, spare them years of therapy. nothing to do with your situation lovehadley.

but I have to say in my personal opinion staying for the kids never ever works in the long run, your kids or stepkids. I am not saying you have to leave, just general comment.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"but if there is a resentment, children feel it, it is probably wiser to leave for children's sake, spare them years of therapy."

That is easy for you to say. Yes, children feel resentment. They know when a woman wants daddy but not them.. and in those situations, yes.. the woman should go away. But, THOSE women want the man, sometimes even if it's at the expense of the kids. If a woman starts dating a man with kids, they either want to accept the kids or they don't care about the kids, and they just want the man... maybe they hope to cut kids out of dad's life. Telling someone that never wanted the kids and now resents their presence to leave for the kids sake makes no sense because those are the women that never cared about the kids sake.. or they would not date a man with kids. The rest of us welcomed the kids...

Resenting kids because you wish they didn't exist to begin with is not the same as the type of resentment that develops when trust is broken between a stepparent that wanted to have a relationship with the child. It is really not realistic to tell a woman that loses trust in the relationship between her & her husband's child BECAUSE of interference with the mother of the child. Yes, the child will feel the resentment... they will feel the damage done to the relationship and maybe it will cause them years of therapy. But, the years of therapy are the result of having a mother that in incapable of putting the child's best interest above her own. When a mother won't allow her child to love and be loved by the willing stepparent because she is insecure. When a mother is hell bent on making sure daddy doesn't move on & find happiness with anyone else... or at least tries to throw a monkey wrench into it when they can, just to irritate and annoy them because she is jealous. I feel sorry for my SD. I do think she has a rough life and long road ahead for her... because of what her mother has done, and continues to do. It has destroyed (or at least strained) what could have been a loving & close relationship that probably would have enhanced her daughter's life. But, she is not going to destroy my marriage. My marriage is not solely based on SD being happy... if she grows up to need therapy, it is not from anything I am doing. She will still have the same mother. Her mother will do the same things with any future girlfriends/wife if she gets a chance.

Finedreams, if every parent ended a subsequent marriage because the ex or the kids had a problem with the new marriage... and caused enough chaos & problems that led to resentment and it might cause the kids to need therapy for years, then it would only encourage the interfering behavior of an ex & encourage the kids to be disruptive to the new marriage so they can break up the marriage. Allowing a good marriage to end because the ex has soured the relationship for the kid.. that's like rewarding bad behavior.

I agree, staying for the kids does not work out in the long run. But, staying for the husband/wife & the marriage can work out in the long run. Kids grow up & eventually have their own life (hopefully). When deciding whether to stay or leave, my first consideration would be my relationship with my husband, not whether my stepdaughter is happy or not. I have done all I can to try and have a relationship with her and see her happy. Her mother causes her unhappiness, not me. The only way my stepdaughter would be considered in any decision, would be in the way my husband deals with her and her mother. He is entitled to deal with them the way HE chooses. IF I don't agree, I can choose to leave.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

Wow, just wow. "Finedreams, if every parent ended a subsequent marriage because the ex or the kids had a problem with the new marriage... and caused enough chaos & problems that led to resentment and it might cause the kids to need therapy for years, then it would only encourage the interfering behavior of an ex & encourage the kids to be disruptive to the new marriage so they can break up the marriage. Allowing a good marriage to end because the ex has soured the relationship for the kid.. that's like rewarding bad behavior. "

What if the kid has a legitimate reason with new marriage?

Maybe some parents would let new partner run roughshod over their kid, it sounds like FD isnt one of them.

And whenver I read this spouse is here for long run but not kid, I laugh. Most of the people on this board have been through more than one marriage. So its the other way around. Kid will always be my kid. Spouse may not always be my spouse.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

What is a legitimate reason kk? I want my mommy or daddy all to myself? Yes, that's a legitimate reason. and it may have nothing to do with whether they like the new spouse or not, they just don't want them to get married to ANYONE. Sorry, but parents that let their kids make all their decisions may end up old and alone... which may be fine, because then they will be more likely to want to babysit grandkids. (and if you WANT to remain alone, that is fine. That is YOUR choice... but not everybody chooses to be alone.)

No, if the PARENT has a legitimate reason that involves the kids... such as their spouse mistreats their children... THAT is a legitimate reason to end the relationship. Parents have an obligation to protect their children and should never let a spouse cause harm to their child.

I've raised my voice to SD when she has done something she isn't supposed to. She may feel that is mistreating her. Her mother finds fault with pretty much EVERYTHING I do. She and her mother felt that me putting peanut butter on her sandwiches or giving her oatmeal and not giving her dessert was 'mistreating'. and I guess if it were up to them, my DH would not be married to anyone... just the way THEY like it. Well, it doesn't work that way.

Yes, my kids will always be my kids.... spouses may not always be the spouse. True. But my kids are grown. One is married, they are all working on planning what they are going to do with their lives as adults. My second son does not think I should be married... good thing it's not HIS choice. I love my kids & they will always be my kids... but they are not going to dictate to me how to live my life or run my marriage. If my husband were doing something to cause trauma (requiring years of therapy) to any of my kids, then it's MY obligation to prevent that... THEN I would end the marriage. Not simply because my kids don't like that I am married or because they don't like my husband. They don't have to like him. He doesn't have to like them either. But, he can't interfere in MY relationship with them... and if he were to try, that would be the problem. Not just the fact that they don't like each other.


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misunderstanding

imamommy, you misunderstood or rather I didn't express myself correctly, I meant if a stepparent is resentful towards stepchildren it is not good to stay and torture the kids, kids feel that stepparents are resentful, I think it is wiser to leave if one dislikes stepkids.

I was not talking about stepkids/kids being resentful. not good enough reason to leave. I don't think adults should run their lives by what kids resent or not. BUT! of course unless there is a legitimate reason to dislike a stepparent, like mean attitude, abusive behavior and such.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"And whenver I read this spouse is here for long run but not kid, I laugh. Most of the people on this board have been through more than one marriage. So its the other way around. Kid will always be my kid. Spouse may not always be my spouse."

agree on this, it is the other way around, all of us on this forum have been married, had several relationship, dated, some lived with different people, these people are partially or fully gone from our lives, but our kids still here, same kids, grown or not.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"I meant if a stepparent is resentful towards stepchildren it is not good to stay and torture the kids, kids feel that stepparents are resentful, I think it is wiser to leave if one dislikes stepkids."

This may be somewhat true if the resentment rises to the level of feeling like it's torture... for either the kid or the stepparent. Some stepparents feel it's torture and who wants to live their life like that?

Resenting or disliking kids is subjective. I care about my stepdaughter. I feel sorry for her because of her situation, but I do have some resentment for what she does to me.. the choices SHE makes that cause me to not be able to trust her. The fact that I resent how she runs to her mom & lies about me and takes notes on everything that goes on in my life so she can report things back to her mother & then it causes her mother to start crap with me... would it be wiser for me to leave? Maybe she feels it is torture to face me, knowing all I do for her, after she comes back from telling her mom lies about me. I am sure that causes at least some discomfort... at least I would hope she has some guilty oonscience over lying about me. If she lives a tortured life, is that a reason for ME to end my marriage? Any resentment I may have toward her is caused by hers & her mom's actions.. not mine. I am sure she feels some of the resentment I have, but if she wants that to change, she has to change what she is doing to cause it.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"If she lives a tortured life, is that a reason for ME to end my marriage?"

no, you should not leave your marriage if you truly not doing anything wrong but I think under the circumstances she should live with mom. I don't know if mom pursued it though.

I agree disliking is subjective, but honestly life is too short, I personally don't think I am obligated to live with anyone I dislike. I don't think I have to. I certainly can put up with people I resent if it is once a week or maybe even every other day or if it is at work or other venues, but 24/7 in my own home, no, I wouldn't be able to. No matter how much I love a man, I would not spend my every day with people I resent. Maybe I am not as good of a person as you are.

For your situation though I think your DH should put stop to all this, I would not tolerate DD running around spreading lies, if she went to dads and told lies about my home life she would have a big talk with me.


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OP~ sorry for the hijack

"I think under the circumstances she should live with mom. I don't know if mom pursued it though."

Nope. Her mom has not pursued it. The court has basically tied her hands by requiring her to have an evaluation done (because she lied to the mediator & coached SD to lie to the mediator, so the mediator declined to make a recommendation) first... at her expense ($6,000) She has already told DH she does not have any money... of course she has since had another baby too. The only way she can go live with her mom at this point is if DH hands over custody. He is not willing to do that.. for a few reasons. (and money is not one of them)

1. When BM left SD, she also left her older DD with grandma. Coincidentally, BM claims older DD came to live with her at the beginning of this school year... the exact same time grandma moved to the town where BM lives. DH & I believe older DD is still living with grandma, but maybe using BM's address for school there so BM can 'prove' her older DD lives with her. If she wanted her kids with her, wouldn't she try to make that happen? If DH were to send SD to live with her mom, there's a very good chance that SD would end up living with others... grandma or BF's mother & not with BM.

2. DH is watching closely what is happening with older DD. She is wearing heavy make up & provacative/tight/trashy clothes at age 14. She looks 19. BM and/or Grandma allow her to use the computer/internet unsupervised... unless one of them is watching her at 1am-2am when she is posting things on FB. and BM's BF has two sons, right around the same ages as BM's daughters... and the older one left what DH considers inappropriate comments on older DD's FB page... and BM commented too, showing she knows about it but instead of having them remove the comments, she added to it... because she is more of a 'friend' to her than a parent.

3. BM has shown absolutely no concern for the things that DH feels are important for SD. SD is being assessed for ADHD, BM is choosing to not be involved at all. SD is failing in most of her classes, BM has chosen not to come to school conferences or meetings. If BM has no concern for what is happening in SD's life right now, why would that change if SD were living over there?

As for spending my day with people I resent... DH gets SD up and out of the house while I am getting ready for work. I may say good morning if I see her. She now goes to after care until after I get done at work.. I pick her up at 6pm, her dad gets home around 6:30 or 7. I make dinner, she sits in her room. I play with the baby, she sits in her room. I watch TV, she sits in her room. DH comes home & she calls him into her room... he checks her binder, they talk & he goes to get cleaned up for dinner... she sits in her room. Dinner is served, she sits at the table... usually with her hand on the side of her face so I can't see her and she can't see me. She finishes her dinner & says thank you, and goes back to her bedroom until it's time for her to take her shower & get ready for bed. Nobody 'makes' her stay in her room. She is welcome to come into the living room and join the family... we have told her that many times. She usually declines. But, she has also told her mother that we make her stay in her room, eat her dinner alone, we won't let her play outside or we make her play outside in an electrical storm... whatever she needs to get a reaction from BM.

It's a sad existence and life for a little girl... and a far cry from before her mom moved away or when she first lived here full time. She would ask me to take her to her friends house to play, or the park.. or we would go shopping & have lunch. I used to take her to girl scouts, karate, dance & swim lessons... and quite often, BM would get her panties in a twist that I am doing "mom" things and taking karate is only going to confuse her... because BM had taken her to tae kwon do & "it's a completely different form of martial arts that leaves SD confused" and BM insisted SD didn't want to do it, even though SD told us she did.... that is the kind of BS we have had to deal with when we try to do anything with SD. We looked into religious education, hoping she could get something out of it. DH is Catholic, BM is Presbyterian. We want her to learn about the ten commandments & the golden rule... we are not practicing Catholics, but the church has a youth group & we thought it was a good idea. BM found out, called DH yelling at him that SD is not going to be Catholic because she is Presbyterian & religion follows the mother... all the while DH could hear SD in the background listening to her mother yelling at her father. (and I'm not interested in any debate on religion or on who has the right or doesn't have the right to choose the religion...) the point is that BM is not practicing any religion either & SD hasn't been exposed to either religion... in my opinion, it shouldn't matter if they both want to take their child to both churches... let her learn both and make up her own mind what she wants to believe. But, that is the kind of stuff BM says and does to keep us from doing anything with SD.

We have had talks with her about the lying... breaking down, crying, heart to heart talks and she knows that it is unacceptable for her to tell lies about us (she has also lied about DH) and yet, she continues to do it. We understand WHY she does it. DH cannot stop her from talking to her mom... and he has tried to tell BM what SD is doing, but she takes a defensive position. (BTW, SD also lies about her mom spending time with her... she lies to make us look bad, and she lies to make her mom look good.) You wouldn't tolerate your DD running around, spreading lies... and your DD would probably not do it because she cares what you think. SD seems to only care what BM thinks, and BM is the one that has taught SD to lie.. she has even lied for SD. I don't necessarily dislike SD, I don't trust her and I dislike the way she treats me with the things she does.

I agree it is a horrible way to live.. not pleasant for her, nor for me. I wish it could be different and maybe someday, she will want it to be different. As for her mother, she has used the excuse that she has no money for gas to come see her school play, watch her perform in band, cheer her at her track meets, or even come pick her up on Fridays... but then she went & had another baby that I am sure SD will begin to notice that when the baby needs things, BM finds the money for it. and of course BM has time for the baby... even though she hasn't really had time for SD for 3 years. I guess the saddest part is that BM does not want to have a close relationship or be involved in SD's day to day life, but she also does not want me to either. So, SD is the one that suffers with a miserable life. This is probably an extreme case, but this is what I mean when mom's are so hell bent on being angry at dad's or jealous/insecure of anyone else loving or being involved in their child's life, or just plain territorial... it hurts the kids in one way or another. The stepparent may or may not have a relationship with the child... I am not saying that without the mom's interference, the child would love or have a relationship with the stepparent... but it certainly closes the door to that possibility when the mom causes problems.

There's nothing wrong with a mom feeling jealous/insecure or not wanting another woman having a relationship with their child... maybe those are natural, instinctual feelings. But, to act on them to prevent such a relationship from forming because it's YOUR child... is just wrong, in my opinion.

and I apologize for the hijack & very long post.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"There's nothing wrong with a mom feeling jealous/insecure or not wanting another woman having a relationship with their child... maybe those are natural, instinctual feelings. But, to act on them to prevent such a relationship from forming because it's YOUR child... is just wrong, in my opinion."

Ima, I am just so sorry for all that you've gone and still go through. I know you opened your heart to SD and it is so sad to hear how the situation has unraveled today. :( What a sad existence for her, and what a stress on your emotions and your marriage and your family. I feel for ALL of you.

It makes me feel forutate that things with my stepson did not take that turn, as they so easily could have. I don't know what exactly happened, but BM did stop trashing me to SS about a year ago. I think it was partly her getting control of her drinking, partly her becoming busier with her toddler and then subsequent pregnancy...I also think SS was harder to manipulate because he is younger and is a BOY. I truly think girls your SD's age are tough cookies to deal with, anyway, and they really NEED their mothers. SD is such a lost little girl with her pseudo-psycho/half absentee mother, and that has to have emotionally devastated her. No matter how loving or caring you are to her, I think in her heart she still has an empty space that is longing for her MOM to show her love and motherly-feelings. Have you read the book Motherless Daughters? It might give you some insight into the pain SD goes through. A child can be motherless even if their mother is alive and well---emotional abandonment can be just as devastating.

I know you know not to take anything personally, but I am going to reiterate again---you have done EVERYTHING you can and could and this is not your fault. I pray your marriage can stay strong and that someday SD will fight her way out of this resentment, anger and sadness.


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RE: Does the 'Mother' in 'StepMother' mean anything?

"Yes, you're right KK. A Stepmother is just like an Aupair or a counselor at camp.
except for that little issue: one is a paid servant and the other is just thought of as a servant"

The mother in StepMother only meant something when they wanted something. Loans, rides, babysitting....

I've only been married once. DH has been married twice. For many years I did the heavy lifting in building relationships with my skids as DH did not facilitate on my behalf. When the first grandkid came along I did the heavy lifting then, babysitting, taking him places, buying him clothes and so on. I did many things and put up with that no paid servant would ever do. I did them, not on DH's behalf, but on my own because I wanted relationships with them.

In return, I got resentment, disrespect and so on. In fact, because my skids realized that I did all of that to build my relationships with them, they twisted that in to my doing it for myself instead of truly for them, so I wanted something out of it and you can fill in the rest. Now I do very little and SS is complaining "no one cares", SGS9 whines and cries about how he wants things "the way they were" and so on.

Not my problem, I'm just a stepmother, same as a camp counselor, au pair, teenage babysitter and so on.

One thing is true, as a stepparent, I am able to walk away when I want to from my husband's children which is how I define them now. Of course all of the other people like grandparents, uncles and aunts can walk away too. Oh, and let's not forget the many biological parents who walk away or step in and out of children's lives.


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