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New step-mom here...

17 years ago

Hi...I'm new here and looking for a little support. My DH and I just celebrated our 1st anniversary and in the past year and a half we: received "primary" custody of his two boys via "temporary agreement" of BM, planned a wedding, packed up everything we own and moved to an isolated island 5000 miles away from friends and family (due to military.) The agreement with BM is pretty simple: as long as she doesn't have to pay child support, she doesn't want them (except during the summer) - oh, and she wants lots of pictures so she can hang them on her fridge with a "look what I made, aren't they cute?" attitude all the while, without any of the hard work, physical, financial, emotional, and mental exhaustion that comes with full-time mommying. I am fortunate that she doesn't impose on my "mothering" of the boys (in fact she takes parenting advice from me!) and is actually ok with their calling me "momma" as long as they don't call her by her 1st name (which the youngest went through a phase doing. We've gotten him to stop, though.) Since it's only been a year of marriage we'll see if she also begins to resent me in the years to come. It wouldn't surprise me since the boys are already more mine than hers!

The situation is better than most in the non-confrontational way, but we do have some serious concerns for what the children are exposed to in that house. She's so useless that she lives with her mommy and daddy while they pay for absolutely everything for her (from her new car to her never ending pursuit of a college degree) and all of this at almost 29 years old, mind you. We got her to agree to the temporary agreement so that we didn't have to pursue an emergency custody order due to neglect, borderline abuse issues, and serious inappropriate activity around the boys i.e. BM, GD, and Uncle all sneaking to the basement to smoke pot while the kids are left to GM's care (the one on anti-depressents who's pretty much insane, as mental illness runs on that side of the fam.) The youngest had been burnt next to his eye with a cigarette (stoned-stupor from Uncle) and the oldest's first memory of Kindergarten was being "hungry" since he wasn't being fed before school and she was behind on his lunch account (thankfully the school won't starve kids so his first meal everyday was a PB sandwich at lunchtime.) Not to mention the time she wouldn't pay the $3 for a prescription for her son's ear-ache because she was claiming to not have the $ because she hadn't received her child support check yet (she wanted direct deposit) and she would leave messages with him screaming bloody murder in the background on my DH's VM. Meanwhile her mommy and daddy pay to have a maid clean their house and can make their daughter's car payment, insurance payment, buy her cigarettes and pot - but not their grandson's medicine! GM actually left one of the messages! Due to anger and sexually inappropriate comments from the (until very recently) 4-year-old, his pre-school director referred him to a counselor. Briefly at his appointments, I was able to talk to her about my issues with being a step-mom (I am not a biomom yet) and I recently started seeing her on my own. She suggested that I find some support and that's how I found all of you. I know that although we have a common link, our situations are so different as well. I really connected to Jessegirl's post in Step-Mother's Only with not having children of my own and having the steps live with me full time because of mental issues with mom - except that this is my 1st marriage. The essence of my step-mom issues are: loving these boys as they are mine without the "rights" of the "real mom" (and that term too -like I'm not "real" and I don't "really" do everything a good mom does); the pain of the association that a step-mom is not as "valid" as a biomom, y'know? The pain of having the man of my dreams not waiting for me like I did for him. I'd never been married, never had children; he's been there and done that - twice. I wonder if/when we do have our own if it will be as exciting/scary/wonderful for him as it will me. I am just having a really hard time adjusting to the fact that he shares something so intimate with her and not me when we were definitely made for each other. I know it will be different with me - like planned - and the fact that he is totally in love with me but it's just so hard to think that she stole my opportunity to build a family with the man I looked for my whole life instead of join a family that she created but doesn't take responsibility for, y'know? I don't know if any of you feel this way as well but it's still nice to know that you all are out there. My sister is a stepmom as well with a similar yet different situation than mine, but she is the only SM I know. I know that statistics put me in the "norm" these days but it's hard to see that when you don't know anyone else. So...that's me in a nutshell...I hope that I can be of support to you and hope you don't mind my venting. Thanks for listening... J

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