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OT: Unreasonable wish ???

Posted by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM
  • 9 Replies

In another thread, a poster (a Mom) stated that there were times she wished SM could have been more motherly or more like a parent who puts the needs of the kids first.  For example: considering the fact that BF took her on multiple vacations but never took DDs,  or thinking maybe DDs should have been invited or involved in their wedding.  This, after BM acknowledges that this isn't SM's responsibility or the role SM wanted. Do you think it is a reasonable to wish SM did those things even though her keeping her distance didn't interfere with your role at all?

Do you think contradictions like this contribute to continued conflict between SM and BM?

Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:20 PM
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Replies (1-9):
pdxmum
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:32 PM

I was the one that posted it.  I have no conflicts whatsoever with the SM in my life.  Having awareness of the contradictions is the key.  Allowing emotions such as anger and insecurity and jealousy rule reactions to the contradictions is when there is conflict.  If SM had tried to be more motherly in the beginning when the fact of her OW status was fresh and painful, there would have been a shitstorm of conflict.

and me wishing at times she was more motherly was fleeting and unreasonable.  I certainly never felt she should be more motherly in the beginning.  I had no contradictions there.  But it has been 8 years.  Much has changed.

if people don't see clearly that their expectations might be contradictory, and accept that and make rational choices around it, there will of course be trouble.

you have really clear, line drawn in the sand type clear expectations.  And you share you have no conflict as a SM.  I think such crystal clear boundaries are unusual and I think there are for most people inherent contradictions exist and that awareness of them could only help.

leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:43 PM

I agree that crystal clear boundaries are unusual and that for most people inherent contradictions do exist which is a source of a lot of conflict. No many persons recognize those inherent contradictions, many persons react by lashing out at the other party for not acting exactly how they want.

I have no personal conflict as a SM however BM and I don't get along, the relationship is hostile and far from ideal.

Quoting pdxmum:

you have really clear, line drawn in the sand type clear expectations.  And you share you have no conflict as a SM.  I think such crystal clear boundaries are unusual and I think there are for most people inherent contradictions exist and that awareness of them could only help.


Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

FoodIsLife
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM

it's the whole want what you don't have thing... if she was as involved as she says now, she'd be singing a different tune

rebeccasmly
by on Mar. 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

Is BM wanting SM to be involved as another parent? Or to just show an interest in the child? Is BM wanting SM to be involved only when its convenient for BM or on a consistent basis?

leegirl_jm
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Is it BM's place to want anything from SM at all? even if it is wanting her to show an interest in the child?

Quoting rebeccasmly:

Is BM wanting SM to be involved as another parent? Or to just show an interest in the child? Is BM wanting SM to be involved only when its convenient for BM or on a consistent basis?


Wife, Mother and Career Woman living in Jamaica

luckystars2012
by Gold Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 7:18 PM
IMO the only thing a bm has any business "wanting" out of a sm is that sm is not mean or ill towards sks, much as she would not want a teacher, neighbor, or any other adult to be mean to them. Basic common courtesy.

Too often Bms get tied up in knots over what they perceive as sm "overstepping" but then get even more upset when sm shows indifference. You can't have it both ways.

I always think it's better when all parents including steps interact for the best of the kids, and the stepparents are able to have good relationships with their sks. But wanting sps to have no parental role, and then wanting them to be more parental or loving, is hypocritical and backwards.


Quoting leegirl_jm:

Is it BM's place to want anything from SM at all? even if it is wanting her to show an interest in the child?

Quoting rebeccasmly:

Is BM wanting SM to be involved as another parent? Or to just show an interest in the child? Is BM wanting SM to be involved only when its convenient for BM or on a consistent basis?



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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Mar. 16, 2013 at 11:36 PM
I think the only expectation I would have of a stepmom is to do no harm. I don't think that is unreasonable. I think when a mom wants her child to be included in dad's family it is because she doesn't want her child to be hurt and to feel like an outsider. I would take my cues from my child. If my child wanted SM to be more involved then I would accept that. Not expect it. It isn't SMs job to make sure my child is happy or to feel loved. I wouldn't want her to feel that burden if she didn't feel that way. You can't make a person love someone else. And I would think the tension would be increased if an Sm had high expectations that she couldn't fulfill. I don't want anyone to feel burdened by my child.
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Rae706
by Silver Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 10:58 AM
I think every situation is different, that gets ignored on these boards. There are a few vocal people that stand out and overshadow the minority. It's sad, but the minority are the situations where people actually have functional relationships.

If DH and I were separated, which we almost were, I would absolutely prefer he was with a woman that loved my child than one that didn't. Any complications that came along with that, would be trivial when compared to a SM that hated my child.

I don't think it's wrong of a BM to expect certain things out of SM, just like I don't think it's wrong for SM to expect certain things out of BM. The problems arise when people refuse to bend.
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Derdriu
by Gold Member on Mar. 18, 2013 at 11:18 AM

I think unreasonable expectations, period, contribute to conflict between SM and BM.  The role of SM comes with a steep learning curve.  Every situation is different, and regardless of what you expect, there will be at least one curve ball thrown.  Likewise, I doubt any BMs know exactly what to anticipate, and what they may think they want in the beginning may be something wholly different from how they feel somewhere down the road.  There's a great unknown on either side that only time and familiarity can eventually decipher.  And since we're also talking about individual people, there's no telling whether either or both will ever accept the situation or stubbornly cling to conflict-driven behaviors/attitudes.  It's nice to speak in general terms of BM wanting SM to simply treat her kids well, but I think even the most laid-back individual will find themselves in the weeds at times figuring out how they feel about more specific incidents and which path forward to take.  There are simply too many variables at play, particularly as the step-dynamic is developing.

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