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Venting

So - I've decided that its just as hard to be a step mother as it is to be a step child.

My step-son hasn't been over since Christmas. He was supposed to come to his step-sisters birthday celebration, but came up with poison ivy, was supposed to borrow his mother's car and come over later that week, but didn't. My step-daughter had to work and came late. We attempted to contact them to get together for their step-sisters family birthday celebration (pizza at Chuck E Cheese). My step-son was game to go - My step-daughter never answered. My step-daughter covered someone's shift and had to close and she was my step-sons ride. My step-son said he would come over Sunday. Sunday has come and passed. No calls from any of them. I texted them that their step-sisters appreciated it.

It seems like if they don't want to do something - they just avoid - they don't communicate that they don't want to. We had a big photo shoot and my step-daughter has the potential to earn HALF of the money we make off the shoot, but she just didn't respond...she could have had the decency to say - no thanks - not this time - ANYTHING. Vacation: When my step-daughter was here she said straight to my husbands face that SURE, she would come, so we booked the larger cabin and I sent her the link to get her comments on it. Nothing. I know she's not going. I asked for her summer school schedule to see if there was a conflict in the dates because I KNOW she's going to schedule it (maybe not on purpose) but she can only attend the second 6 week session if she wants to go with us. No response. My step-son thinks he's going to beach week (even though my step-daughter wasn't allowed)...Easter - I've asked them for A WHOLE MONTH - who is coming - are we doing brunch, lunch, dinner - ya know, I have to cook. Nothing from anyone - and its all starting to piss me off. I've sent her a bunch of links for used cars that she might like (because I was actually thinking of helping her out) - no comments.

So I sent all three of them the text this morning; did we do something to piss you all for you all to be giving us the cold shoulder...

still waiting.

I understand my step daughter was attending the National Smoke Out on Facebook yesterday - that's nice to advertise.

This has all been building since they were small. The tension between their mother and their father hasn't helped. I had been trying to keep the visits going - but I can only do so much. I was open to any Friday or Saturday night during the whole YEAR - but they couldn't spare even one a month for their Dad. Their sisters have church school, girl scouts and ballet during the week and my work day begins at 4:40 in the morning, week nights really aren't an option for me, because I also - have to cook and clean up when they visit. And its all very stressful for me. I tried though - because I know how important it is for my husband.

I don't think they understand just how much they are hurting him. I know it seems like he left them and this is the way it is in most divorced families - but they are 18 and 20 - old enough to be adult about it. In their eyes, their mother has done NO WRONG. And in her eyes, that's what she lets them believe. Comments made over the years how, "Dad has put it all on mom to buy them a car..." So I made a deal with the daughter that if she gave me money, MONTHLY, that I would match it and keep it in her USAA account that is in her name. This backfired, she never gave me any money and then she graduated from high school and got her tax check back and expected me to match all THAT. Even though some of the money was already from us for her graduation! I told her from the get-go that we lived pay-check to pay-check and I wasn't able, as much as I would have liked to just hand her over a whole wad of cash. I was trying to teach her about saving. So she took the $300 we gave her for graduation and the next day had a $500 tatoo of the Grateful Dead bear on her shoulder. At least five inches tall.
In their eyes, right now, their mother is providing for them. My husband still pays child support for his son (whom he never sees) but has stopped paying for his daughter when she turned 19. In their eyes their mother is paying for all of college even though - there was a VPEP that was started when the children were born that my husband contributed to for years - until it was cashed in - and spent (not by him)...

Sigh. I don't know what else to do. It stresses me out to include the step-son in everything because he is so mean to me and has never respected anything I have ever said. I think if my husband had backed me up more, things might be different - but here and there, when things would get really bad, he would defend me TOO much and now we get nothing. The last big blow was when my step-son told my husbands family that I was the mistake and we haven't really spoken since.

I hate what this is doing to my husband and my girls.

Answer Question
 
augsmom

Asked by augsmom at 9:25 AM on Apr. 20, 2011 in Adult Children (18+)

Level 9 (359 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • There is really nothing you can do. I have two adult kids and they sometimes show, sometimes dont. What I do is tell them something like "We are going to the beach in one month on these days, you have until Saturday to inform me with firm plans if you are coming or not". If I dont hear from them we go without them.
    As for the SM issue and dad well, it happens. My ex never saw his kids growing up and now is remarried and tries to be involved. It was too little too late for my kids, and I do and have paid for everything for them since they were small. He pays child support, and my youngest son with him is the only one whose been up front with him. He told him he had no want or need to have him in his life, but if he needed money he would call. Plain and simple. The other two just dont talk to him and avoid him at all costs. Everyone handles things differently.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 9:37 AM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Are you a member of any step parenting groups here on cafemom? I think you would like them. There is a tactic called disengaging that works very well for those of us with rude, disrespectful and uncaring step children. It means that you let go and back away from the situation. My husband and I have both disengaged from his son, age 17. It has been a life saver for my marriage. I realized I had been neglecting my own children, my job and my home and health for this kid. Many times kids think their moms have done everything when in reality dad has always been there supporting them with money and time. It is frustrating and sad but it may be time to let go and let them come to you both when they are more mature. It the relationship is to be a good one, your DH must cultivate respect with these kids. And sometimes this means, letting them go.
    lilangilyn

    Answer by lilangilyn at 2:30 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • :'(
    augsmom

    Comment by augsmom (original poster) at 2:33 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Sounds like a tough situation. I'm a 45 year old child of divorce. The pain of your parent's divorce never goes away. But as young as they are, they're not ready to look at it from the lofty position you hold. Yes they're adults. But really, they just know that their parents split up and they got lost in the shuffle of the adults. Be nice. Invite them, try to understand them and take care of your own kids. Yes, when the steps don't show up for special occasions, your children will be hurt. But hurt comes with life. And this is one of those hurts you can't control or change. Your steps have their feelings, and they have to deal with them their own way. Perhaps in their real adulthood, much older than 20, they will come to see things your way. And hopefully come to value their half siblings while realizing they're not being disloyal to their mother.
    peachqpti

    Answer by peachqpti at 8:16 PM on Apr. 20, 2011

  • Maybe they are not interested. And WHY would and 18 and 20 year old WANT to go to chuck-e-cheese? And many children do look at their mothers like she can do no wrong and it often does extend into adulthood. It sounds like your step son wishes his dad didn't marry you. Sorry to sound blunt but I wouldn't count on them doing anything with ya'll, invite them but don't expect anything
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:16 PM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • An 18 and 20 year old that showed nothing but crazy love for their sisters are the type that would want to go to Chuck-E-Cheese and understand that their sisters are both only 7 and 3. My husband and I have been together for the past 10 1/2 years. This is nothing new. At our wedding, they BOTH stood up there with us. My step-daughter was my maid of honor/bridesmade. Only their behavior has changed. My step-son drew far away from me after the last spat he had and he did actually say those word, "you were a mistake."

    But even if I was the mistake - that's no reason to shun the other three.
    augsmom

    Comment by augsmom (original poster) at 1:42 PM on Apr. 21, 2011

  • Im really sorry your going threw this, but I say just forget it! if they dont want to be a part of the family then stop trying so hard to get them involed.
    ZeenaS.Muh

    Answer by ZeenaS.Muh at 1:16 PM on Apr. 24, 2011

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