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New and needing advice from other stepmoms

17 years ago

Hello to all of you, I have read just about all your posts on stepmoms in this forum and have been really impressed with advice and answers given from other stepmoms going through problems and the differences in opinions on how to handle our feelings and problems going on in raising our SC. It is a great feeling to find others going through some of the same situations and some that are very different, it gives a feeling of not being so isolated and feeling we are all alone in our daily struggles with being a stepparent. I hope this post doesnt get too long but I really would like advice of others here as I have felt very alone in my feelings and trying to raise a SD who is 12. A short bio on my life... I have two BS's who are grown now(25 and 30)and I raised them from very young to the grown men they are now with no help from their BF. In 2000 I met my now 2nd husband who is the love of my life, he was seperated going through a divorce, has a son now 13 and daughter now 12, we were married in oct 2002. We have had our struggles as I have read many of the families on this forum have, some differences are that I have lost 5 immediate family members in the past 6 years, my dad died suddenly in 2001, his brother died 6mths later, I lost my grandmother in 2003 and both my aunt in july of 2005 and 3 weeks later my mom passed away from Inflammatory Breast Cancer to which I was the caregiver of her for 18 months prior to her passing away. Our problems seemed to of started in June of 2005 when my DH daughter wanted to come live with us as her BM had remarried and SD did not get along with BM's new husband who is very controlling and has been unemployed since they married, BM's new husband is always at home and from what SS and SD say does very little to contribute to anything around the house or family finances so there is not always alot to eat or money for necessities like clothes etc, he has a very volitile temper and takes alot of his frustrations out on these kids. When SD wanted to come live with us I was taking care of my mother in my home full time as she was bedridden and we were told she would probably not live past the summer of 2005, which she did pass away on august 18, 2005. I personally talked to BM about this as I suggested that SD come live with us in september as I did not feel I had the time or the energy to devote to her that summer, I also didnt know if SD could handle the possibility of a death of someone she did not know and could we arrange a better time for her to come. BM's answer was no the kids needed to see their dad and she ending up sending both kids to be with us that whole summer, much to my amazement and resentment of how could someone be so cruel when I was going through so much at that time. So i became a stepmom and caregiver for two months of hell to put it mildly, I had two SC who had no respect for other peoples feelings or belongings and would help themselves to items I had packed away in the basement of my mothers, and even after their dad and I explained that it wasnt respectful to go through other peoples property they had the nerve to phone BM behind my back and tell her they could not do anything in this house, which in turn I had BM phone me and call me everything under the sun saying I had to grow up, the phone call was not pleasant to say the least. I would not back down but felt I was being used from all sides, my first and foremost concern was for my mother who needed constant care 24/7 for which I had to employ extra help at night so I could get some rest to care for mom during the day. My husband tried his very best to help out when he was not working and would take his kids out on the weekends to give me some sort of break so i could spend quality time with my mom who needed me the most, even mom could feel my tension and would say many times how she could not understand how people could expect so much of one person at a time like this and she even felt guilty for being sick which broke my heart to hear her talk like that. I chose to have my mom here because it was what she wanted and bless her sole she passed away peacefully that august here at home with all of us by her side. I was sitting outside in the garden shortly after her death, feeling a bit sorry for myself with all the losses I had endured over the 4 short years and the SC came out of the house not seeing me and started discussing who would get moms room now she was gone, i was so appalled by their comments I walked passed them into the house and explained to their dad what I overheard and please go and talk to them about their rude behavour as I could not speak to them right then. They came into the house a short time later with not an apology just angry glares at me for telling their dad, but I had too much else on my mind to let it bother me. So the end of that summer SS went home to BM and now SD is living with us till now. We too have had very rough times as she is a very needy child, she also phones BM behind our backs when we have to disipline her or ground her for behaviour etc., I had always thought BM was behind us in our decisions but a month ago found out different. BM has always been in the background undermining everything we do with SD, she has now convinced SD to go back and live with her because BM has told the children she has made a mistake in her new marriage and is moving back closer to her parents to get rid of new husband. She has even gone as far as to tell the children that I was the cause of the divorce between them as I was having an affair with their dad, so this has been the reason both kids have never accepted me in their lives. When SD finally talked to us 2 weeks ago, all this came pooring out of her and she was truely angry at me, both her dad and I explained that the affair never happened and I had met her dad after the marriage was over but SD does not believe this. Alot of things came out that I was so hurt and shocked over, but then alot of things made so much sense as to why she did not want to have me around her at anytime over the last two years she has lived with us. I did want her to have her own space and I redecorated moms old room which she wanted me to do, new bedroom furniture, bedding, painting, carpets etc. Had her come with me shopping to pick out what she liked, it was such a cute room and I was happy doing it for her, I was enjoying having a daughter as I had raised two sons. Within a month she had cut up the comforter on her bed, spilt nailpolish, glue etc on it claiming it was an accident, but slyly grinning at me after telling her dad that, we discussed it after she was asleep that night and her dad agreed with me it was done malicously. We sat her down the next day and said that we would not replace what was damaged she would have to make due with other bedding we had here and that she was to be grounded for two weeks for her actions, she was so angry at me I couldnt get two words out of her for two weeks and again BM called to complain we were too stricked with her. So she wanted to go spend the summer with BM to show her all the new clothes she had gotten (which i thought she truely was proud of) so we flew her home and after summer was over back she came with all the clothes I bought her with money i had inherited from my moms estate, to my horror they had all been washed in bleach and had to be thrown away, we asked SD what happened and she said her BM washed her clothes and then looked at me and smiled, I went for a long walk crying the whole way, wondering where and what I had done so wrong that there was so much hatred for me. These are only a few of the incidents in our family life that has turned everything upside down, but we are determined to be together and work hard at putting our marriage first, to set some kind of stability in the SC lives. We have had many family discussions including SD with them but nothing has ever changed her feelings towards me, so after long heartwrenching talks we have decided to let her go live with her BM, so we can take some time to heal our lives, we have had so many losses and no time to grieve, we have had to time for a couple holiday which we have now planned for when SD goes home to BM, I am very much looking forward to time alone with my husband and work on healing the past. We are and have been extemely good parents to both sets of our kids, but I know in my heart there will be a phone call for the SC wanting to come back her to live and we will have to make that decision at that time, I know things would have to change dramatically for me to have them come back here to live, they have to learn that they cant go between parents to get what they want, they have to learn respect for others and i have a hard time believing that will happen and their BM undermines our every move, and it is truely hard to deal with, especially when we open up our hearts and home trying to make things better for them, maybe one day down the road when they have children of their own they will understand what we have gone through.

Thanks for letting me share it has been a great relief to get this off my chest and advice or insight to our situation would help. As for the BM she really needs to focus on her kids and wanting the best for them, not trying to use them as pawns against their dad for her own gain, for as little time my exhusband has spent with his boys over these last 24 years i can honestly say I have never bad mouthed him to his sons, because he will always be their father and I cant change that, maybe he will wake up one day and realize what he has missed with them, they have grown into wonderful young men and I am very proud of them.

thanks again

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