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Seeing yourself in less experienced SMs

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I know there are some new SMs that come here and are frustrated that more experienced SMs seem to side with BM or "not understand".  For the moment, I find myself reflecting on the SM I once was.

I'd been a SM for a little over a year when SD got her first award at school.  BM, who had only recently begun to take visitation after barely seeing the kids over the previous year, decided to come to the ceremony.  She waltzed in with her mom and mom's then husband and plopped herself down practically in DH's lap.  His parents were there as well, so it was like a little mini family reunion... plus me.  When the teacher approached, BM was right there doing the whole, "I'm her mother... We're so proud!... Let's get a family photo!..." and talking about SD's hard work as if she'd been there every step of the way.  My MIL made the comment later that it was like she sucked all the air out of the room and it turned into the BM show.  DH obliged with the photo, never even noticing the "we/us/our".  I stood back and smiled through the whole thing, was friendly to BM and her parents, said my goodbyes, and left for work, barely making it to my truck before the tears came.  I cried all the way to work.  I sobbed into the phone to DH about being the odd man out and about how I'd done all the homework, the reading, got up with them in the morning, did the sick stuff, only for absent BM to walk in and take every ounce of credit, playing mommy of the year and treating me like someone she and DH had hired.

Now I really have to laugh.  Was that really me?????  If that same circumstance described above occurred today, I'd find humor in it rather than hurt.  But if you had told me then to step back, accept her as mom, let DH handle her, and so on and so forth (same advice I give now to SMs), I'd have probably cried some more and convinced myself that none of ya'll had been in my shoes, lol.   

Just to give some newer SMs hope, let's hear some stories from some of the more experienced SMs about their new SM moments.  I've been at this game just under 5 years, so I'm still more/less a newbie... but very much not the fragile newbie I once was. ;-)

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 3:19 PM
Replies (21-25):
by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 5:42 PM

Quoting Derdriu:

Quoting jessiesluv:

New SMs need to learn to not go into the relationship with a lot of expectations. Let dh handle bm and you be the fun SM.

Did you enter the relationship with no or low expecations?  If not, what were some of the pitfalls you experienced before learning to let go of your expectations?

I agree with you, by the way, but I think that's part of the learning curve SMs have to work through.  Some may not recognize that they're holding onto unrealistic expectations until they're ready to let those expectations go.

I went in with the expectation that since dh had primary custody and bm was in and out of their lives, that she had to listen to me and deal with me. *I* was mom now- doing everything for the kids- and she should be grateful for me.

I realize now that how crazy that was of me. It brought so much stress into my life, I can't even begin to tell you how much I dealt with. After I realized that i didn't need that, I stepped back and let dh deal with bm and the skids. I am much happier now and less stressed!!

by on Dec. 5, 2012 at 7:46 PM
1 mom liked this
Well I have been a SM for 10+ years. It has taken a long time for me to realize 2 things. First, don't take anything that the skids or BM say or do personal. The blame & anger is about THEM not the SM. If you were not the one married to your DH or the SM to your skids - someone else would be & the same issues would happen regardless.. It is not YOU... I made many mistakes reacting to things I took as an attack on me or my DH. Learn to deflect the BM BS & use your kindness "sword" to kill them all with kindness. It works, trust me. You will have much more peace. Second choose your battles carefully. Ask yourself, " is this going to matter in 6 months? 1 year? 2,34? Most likely, not really...
I have come to understand many things over these years & am still learning how to deal with new challenges. Be open to change- and flexible because as the skids grow so do the problems and that will keep you sane. Well, that & wine helps too. Lol
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by Bronze Member on Dec. 6, 2012 at 2:38 AM
As a new SM I totally would have not been receptive to most of the advice given here. But now that the s-kids are gone and I've had a couple years to reflect on that time of my life, they would have been spot on and I still look like an ass.
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by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 2:46 AM

 my SS is 10, ive been rasing him since he was 2 and bm is barely in the picture. (she sees him 2-3 times a year) i think the thing that i struggled with most as a new SM  is situations similar to the one u described. its hard if your the one thats doing all the work, putting in all the effort and whatnot and basically getting NO CREDIT. even if your not dealing with BM trying to steal the limelight u still have most other people that assume your "just the SM". well i know some people that become SMs when the kids are older, or who have BMs actively involved in the kids life maybe dont have to get involved as much, but in my situation im the one rasing the boy damnit! lol. but seriously, now ae hes gotten older hes seen for himself who is there, who is the one thats supporting him through it all and even dh's family has realized that im the one thats played a huge role in making him into the little man he is today so now days, i do get more credit. it still sucks to be "the outsider" but if i could tell new SMs anything it would be that that feeling does fade with time.

by on Dec. 6, 2012 at 8:25 AM

When I started as a SM I felt like I walked on eggshells around the BM.  My DH then (ex now) would always remind me that no matter what he would be there for his son even if that ment fixing a can opener for his ex.  When there were school functions etc my ex and the BM kissed hello and goodbye.  It turned my stomach.. lots of tears.  I thought I hated her from the things he said and I listened too.   10 years and I got to know her throught the years, she remarried so the kissing had stopped.  Then my DH kinda went off the deep end and now for the last 6 years she has been my best friend.  My SS (20) still calls me mom also and my BS(10) calls her mom.   We remind each other that even though our ex is now a loser.. he always had good choices in

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