Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you struggling with being a stepmom?

A woman on Stepchicks was asking if it's possible to come out on the other side. I felt very compelled (with my really good stepmom mood this week) to respond to her and wanted to share with others.

I have been in your shoes and want you to know you are NOT alone!

It CAN come out on the other side. I am proof of this. At least today/this week/this month. I am not going to sugar coat it. It's is hard shit! It has taken every bit of strength and patience I've ever had to get to this point so far.

A little bit of background if you haven't read my blog before...

I was 29 when I met my man...I'm almost 32 now. I had been living alone for 7 years. Dating, traveling, moving, changing jobs, and loving my life. But I still felt alone. I was missing something. I was missing a real love...a love from someone other than friends and family. I kept hoping and wishing I would meet this amazing man some day. After kissing MANY frogs (no, I'm not a whore...I just kept thinking no one was good enough)...I met my FH. He had every single thing I ever wanted in a man. He's sweet, sensitive, sexy, hard worker, does laundry and cooking, likes to travel, isn't jealous, is a good dresser, thinks I'm the most amazing person he's ever met, is super supportive of every crazy ass idea I ever have, and has a heart bigger than anyone I've ever known. He also came with an ex-bitch and 2 kids. At first, I will admit...I thought, "I love kids, kids like me, and this is no big deal." I got warned by a friend who was married to a man with a kid, "do you know what you are getting yourself into...this is hard stuff, and you are in for a rocky road." I thought, "yeah...ok..."

Let's skip forward to me meeting the kids.

OMG, it was hell! This is not an exaggeration. I never had anxiety over anything before. I would suddenly get the shakes on the way to see him and the kids. Not to mention if I had to see the BM. I almost pulled my car over to puke on many occasions on my way to joint events where I would have to see her. I am a strong, independent woman. I'm in sales. I can make anyone like me and sell anything to anyone (almost...if that was totally true I'd be rich). I couldn't understand this situation. I have stood up in front of hundreds of people to train them or give a presentation, and this horrible bitch of a woman could make me want to turn around and run away. Why??? Well, it's because I knew I was being judged about something so major. Because can a woman like me with no kids and no experience with kids treat her kids good enough? I HATE being judged. I hate not feeling good enough. THAT is where she has made me question my abilities. She is everything I'm not (rude, selfish, thoughtless, old, mean, gold digger, etc.) and she thinks I'm just this little goodie goodie sorority girl. Which is NOT true either. I have worked for everything I've ever had, never went to college so sorority girl idea out the window. I am badass and stand up to anyone and everyone if I am passionate about something. I am a runner, and work with non-profits when I have a chance. To me, I'd been living a very well rounded life waiting for the man of my dreams (sick I know, but kind of how I saw it).

The BM told the kids the worst stuff about me. That I was the reason for the divorce (I wasn't), and that I didn't really like them and only acted like I did so their dad would like me. She would act as if they would die if left alone with me (still does), and has been meaner than ever to FH since I've come into the picture. She actually was getting a little better until he proposed to me. This is called JEALOUSY.

The second she realized that our relationship was for real...she freaked. She has been a major thorn in my side ever since.

Here's how the whole thing shakes out though. I treat the kids with respect. I ask them for the same in return. I told my FH (even when he was just my BF) that I expect him to stand up for me, and never let the kids disrespect me. I set down my own expectations as fast as I could. I told him that I will always love him, support him, and support his kids, but I will not be treated like a second class citizen in my own home. For me, if a relationship doesn't enhance my life...why be in it. I have been through hell. I have felt sad, depressed, like I've lost my own identity. I've lost closeness with friends, and I've been judged and put down by more people than I can count because I've chosen to be with a man with kids. I spent a long time feeling this need to prove everyone wrong...that I can be a stepmom...I can handle what they all think I can't handle. There is nothing I love more than a challenge...this is just how I am. So...I have fought it. I have read a million books, blogs, joined this site, and kept pushing on.

I am a stepkid. My parents split when I was about 12ish. I feel like I can relate to the kids. This has helped me A LOT! When I am getting so mad about the BM or the kids acting the way they are, I have to summon up old memories of how I felt at that age. I tried to bury a lot of it, and so it takes some work to really remember, and then I can really remember how much it sucked. I use those memories and feelings to help my FH and myself deal with all of this.

The only thing that has worked for me is to be me. I had to just stop giving a rat's ass about BM. I have tried to be nice to did nothing. I have given her didn't help. I never stood up for myself with the kids about the horrible stuff BM said about made me feel like crap. I was tired ALL the time, my FH said my hair seemed thinner, got huge pimples, lack of sex drive and I stopped doing all the things I running, going out with friends as much, and instead stressing all the time about money, custody, time, driving, schedules, court, what BM was going to pull this week, etc. It was starting to drive me into the ground.

So, here is my advice. You literally can't worry about her. I told my FH that if I tell her she has great shoes...she's a bitch, if I ignore her...she's a bitch, if I tell her she's a bitch...she's a bitch. Really...she's a bitch all the time every time. She is just a miserable unhappy person in general. If you are dealing with a BM like will NEVER make her happy. My FH said he spent 13 years trying to make this woman happy and it didn't work. He bought her a house, cars, let her be a stay at home mom, bought her horses, whatever she wanted...and she was still a miserable old hag. Some people are just like that. So, I have this new found freedom to feel like I just don't care what she says or does. I'm a good person, I'm good to the kids, and good to my FH. That's all that matters. SHE WILL NEVER LIKE YOU OR BE HAPPY. You aren't her, and she HATES that. Yeah, well if you were her, your BF/FH/DH would not be with you.

The BM gets $2K a month from my FH (if this makes me makes my FH 1000% more mad because he's the one working hard for it and divorced her). She has 3 degrees and is working on a 4th because she'd rather go to school than get a real job and work hard to provide for her kids. She's a loser, she has a loser BF, and she cares more about herself than her kids. She is everything I am not, and I'm thankful for that. I wouldn't want to be the kind of mom she is, and I bring something different to the kid's life. I am confident in who I am and what I can do for them. The world will not fall apart if I screw up. I am not a druggie or alcoholic (although I do love my drinks now and then), and I am not a low life who lives off of others. I am good to the kids. I spend time with them, I get to know who they are individually, and I tell them I love them and will always support them.

I am still trying to let a lot of things go. I just recently (like in the past 2-3 weeks) feel like I'm really on the other side. My stepkids really do love me. Even if they don't use the word love...I can see things in their actions. You will never get rid of the BM. Not ever...unless you want to be on Dateline NBC which isn't really an option. Instead, don't listen to this "kill her with kindness crap". If you have a nightmare BM...stand up to her, stand up for yourself with the kids, tell them you love them and want the best for them, do your best, and keep on pushing. Lower your expectations. Expect'll be surprised by any act of kindness. Do what you are comfortable with doing and know you may never get thanked by the kids. Your DH will appreciate it...and if he doesn't...leave him...he doesn't deserve you. The money going to the BM won't last forever. It will eventually end. Live within YOUR means, and try to be happy with your DH. The kids will be in a great place by seeing a happy/healthy relationship instead of the B.S. they have seen with their parents and are likely to see in their BM's house.
The feeling never really goes away. It will lessen if you are confident in yourself and find your own peace with who you are and know you could just tell her to f off if she tries to cut you down. Be cordial with her around the kids, but don't even bother with her otherwise. She's not worth it. DH obviously realized she's not worth it...he's not with her. Don't let her continue to ruin his life and now your life because she's a biotch.

Hang in there girl. It really can get better. If you read my blog you'll see some things where even last summer SD12 wouldn't use my she's wanting to borrow my clothes. Kids will see if you love them/like them and come around. The BM's won't and it's likely that the more the kids like you...the more she'll hate you.

Think of what BM has given you by being such a nightmare. For me, she's made me realize that I will be an amazing mother..I was never sure if I would be or not. I've found my inner patience when I had none. I have a great fiance who loves me like no one else ever has. I have a "home" that when I come home to it there is life and laughter and crying and sometimes yelling, but it's our life together. Think of all your positive things, and if you have to write them down and repeat them all the it. It will really help :)


  1. I just started following your blog AND YOU ARE ME! Well, I guess I haven't made it as far as you have yet. I have some growing to do, but I still try for some stupid reason to get bio mom (2 of them in my case) to like me, or at the very least to respect me for the things I do for the kids. However, this crap is wearing me out! My hair has lost its luster, my nails are always a mess, and I don't have the time or money I once had to shop ... and I'm hating it!

    I have one bio mom across country who has custody of the kids, so I don't have to deal with her much, but the way she treats my husband burns me up, and she always finds some way to work her way into my pocket. Then my husband and I have custody of my stepson (The Boy) so he lives with us and his mom could use a reality check and a swift kick in the ass. I can't even blink right in her eyes, but you know, if she was that great, her son wouldn't be living with us! Anyway, thanks for letting me rant. Come on over and visit my blog sometime if you can. I just started writing it recently, and have never felt more liberated!

  2. Whew! This was full. But I liked your "Expect NOTHING". Somehow it will spare one from frustrations and disappointments.

  3. I am in tears reading your blog! Most days I feel so alone in all of this! 4 years now, and it still seems to be going no where. I have just given up on the kids and am beside myself, but you have encouraged me to tread on and keep on being myself. I am 33 and have two kids of my own, thank GOD - as they make up for myself and my FH what we lack in receiving from his two girls whom we dish out 50% of his take home too everymonth so that BM only has to work PT! Venting sorry...I am going to follow you and keep up on your posts! Thanks for being here! : )

  4. you gals are heroes and I too trudge on getting the stink eye in my home every day! We are obviously called to something higher and greater than ourselves and show more grace than we ever thought we could. They will grow up (: is what my "older" friend told me.

  5. Im struggling so bad!! I have been up all night crying, some days are ok, but its alwYs there, like a black cloud waiting to pull me down. I now dread the things I loved most like christmas, summer holidays. My situation is a bit different as I had been with my Amazing fiance for 7yrs we had 3 children of our own and all of a sudden a 9 yr old result of a one night stand turns up to burst my happy family bubble. For duty reasons my fiance and I had to take the pkunge and go with it but there is no relationship or bond formed there which makes it even harder. I want to grab my 4(we had a 4th together last yr) and run away but I love him too much and know he's struggling with it all too. I do feel for the, now, 13yr old as I have been a stepdaughter myself and it was hell for me! I hate myself for not being able to just suck it up and deal with it. #worldswallowmeup

  6. Thank you for sharing your expenses as I throughout I was so only and struggling to find someone who can relate. My FB is great but as they are his 3 kids and I'm just the step mum he doesn't quite understand what I'm going through and struggling with. It's been 9 years and I'm probably struggling the most now. I know it probably has a lot to do with 2 teenage girls in the house. I'm crying all the time and loosing it a lot and I told myself I would never do it in front of the girls but can't keep control. I don't want to make life worse for the girls either. I love them all. No one relies how bad I'm struggling as I keep it too my self.

  7. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us. I have read many of these blogs before, I have never felt I can reply to any before, but you really have hit the nail on the head. Its so hard notto get upset by tje kids behaviour, but its rerealising how confused they must be if they love their step mum but feel guilty about it and have their real mother bad mouthing you. I dont feel so alone now, good luck to all the step mums out there!

  8. Wait till u have a child then blog that my stepson and i were best friiends i was in his life from when he was 17 months old he is now 10 i done everything took care of him then i got preg i still done everything he got so mean and rude i go days were he wont talk to me i try talking but he flat out ignors me and dont listen to me i stop caring i cant make him like me it seemed to happen when his mom told him he wasnt my kid and i had a kid now and she told him i stole his dad i told my step son what happend that they were broke up when i started dating his dad and stuff but he went from wanting to call me mom to not speaking to me he wont even stay with us when we have him he wants to go to grandnmas now my daughter is 2 he wont even play video games in the same room as she plays its like i feel so bad for wanting to leave with my daugter i try talking to my husband but cry he calls me bipolar im just hurt and upset at one point right as i gave up he told me to go have a kid with someine ealse then i could make dissesions since then im over it my sex drive is even gone im only here for my daughter so she dont turn out like my stepson