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Boundaries? Childless stepmom

Meghan Hutchison
5 years ago

Hi folks, I’m mainly looking for opinions on whether some of what I’m going through is normal, and if it gets better? Quick back story, I’ve been married 6 months, together with DH 3 years, SD is 6 and we have 50/50 custody. We didn’t move in together until right after the wedding, and it was DH and SD’s house that I moved into, so lots of new challenges over the last 6 months. Also of note, I am an introvert and DH and SD both strong extroverts.

I’ve been struggling with boundaries and my need for space. DH wants us to spend all of our time together as a family when we have SD, and feels personally offended when I need time to myself. SD has a very late bedtime (1030-1130pm most nights) and can only wind down to sleep in our bed, so I’m stuck staying up late with them even though my alarm for work goes off at 5am. She also comes straight into our bed in the morning and occasionally at night without any reservation or announcement, so between these things I’m definitely not feeling that our bedroom (or anywhere else in the house, honestly) is actually “ours.” She’s a sweet kid and we like each other a lot, but when her temper flares or she speaks disrespectfully, I don’t have that innate parental love that DH has and I get frustrated and need to excuse myself for a bit. I’m also a private person and get upset when SD busts in on me in the shower/ bathroom/ bed/ or climbs on me like furniture/ tickles me/ gets 2 inches from my face and stares as me while making crazy animal noises. I don’t love being constantly corrected and ordered around by SD while trying to play with her, but she just yells for me until I come back if I try to do something else like laundry or dishes. She won’t even let me cook meals, something I love, because it takes attention away from her. DH thinks I should be grateful that SD likes me and doesn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t love her 24/7/365 so he can‘t empathize and is getting increasingly frustrated with me when I schedule solo activities or volunteer to work during our weekends with her (weeknights are a little better because they are shorter, TBH). I’m getting increasingly drained and even the time I (try to) take for myself isn’t helping much because I know DH is irritated with me for not being there. Someone tell me this is totally normal and she will grow out of it or I’ll grow to love it! I’ve never been a parent so I’m guessing these behaviors and lack of respect for privacy/space are normal for a 6 year old? I’m sure they’re usually just received better by a bio parent.

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