Hi, I'm Caroline. I'm new here and I could really use some help!
I am for all intensive purposes, a new stepmama to a very sweet, very smart, and very unruly 3.5 year old little boy named Beckett.
He lives full time in Atlanta with his mother, who I like a lot. His father Trey, and I live 5 hours south in North Florida and we get Beck as often as we can. Both Trey and I work full time and we try to arrange our schedules so that we can work together to be home to care for his little guy.
Let me start out by saying that Beck is so sweet and smart! I loved him immediately even though I have never had the inclination to have any children myself. I have battled depression and anxiety my whole life and just in the last year or so have I gotten to a place where I feel pretty peaceful and comfortable with myself and basically...just safe. My parents divorced when I was very young and shared custody of me and I went back and forth weekly. Neither home environment was a "safe place" for me and I endured a lot of abuse from my "stepmonster" as well as my new step family on my mom's side. It has been very traumatic for me and I am working through it in therapy as an adult. My home with Trey has been my very first "safe place" of my own.
When Beck comes, it's usually for a week at a time and he is a whirling dervish. He isn't in preschool or day care and is cared for by a baby sitter so he truly is the center of his own universe. I have such a hard time...I get so panicked by his loud, unruly behavior and I end up locked in a bathroom in tears on the phone to my mom or bestfriend every.single.visit. I don't want to do this, I don't want to be reduced to tears by a sweet little boy but I feel so helpless. I love him but I don't know how to connect with him on his level!
He is so sweet and loves me very much. I want so badly to be a good influence in his life and not like my own stepmother! It scares me to death to think I have the ability to scar him that way!
To make matters worse, Trey ambushed me last night and said if I'm not with him, that I'm against him and that I am the primary reason we don't get Beckett more often. I am reluctant to watch him by myself for more than a few hours because I am overwhelmed so easily. I don't want this to come between us...but I don't know what to do.
Please, any advice or help is most needed and appreciated!