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Guilt feelings

Posted by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM
  • 38 Replies

Hi everyone! I'm new here & joined because I need a place where I can share my feelings with other step moms who have been down the road I'm on. I'm struggling with my relationship with my step daughter. She lives with us full time, so it's an every day battle for me. I feel so bad because everything she does just gets on my last nerve. She's not like any other 12 year old I've known. I feel like she's acting out to get attention, & I know I should be handling this in a more productive way, but she just frustrates me to no end. I hate feeling like this & need some help with how to make myself a better person & a better step mom. I find myself not even communicating with her much, just because of how I feel, & I know this can't be a good thing for our relationship. Any thoughts? Thanks!!

by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:44 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:46 AM

Can you give some examples of what you're finding challenging?


BioNerd
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:48 AM

 She is in that pre-teen stage, and that age is very difficult! Your feelings are by no means abnormal. What matters most is how you deal with them. Have you discussed with DH in regards to how you feel? Have you thought about sharing these feelings with a counselor? They may be able to provide you with ways to cope!

How often does your SD get to see her mother? How is their relationship? How does she behave that makes you feel the way you do?

WifeyC
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:49 AM

What is she doing?

OvrMyHead
by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 10:53 AM

 Ha ha I was just going to write a similar post about my SD13--who also lives with us full time.  She is so negative.  Then she wants to incite and pick on the younger kids to get a rise out of them.  Some days I just need to stay away and let DH deal.

BethBritton
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:40 AM

One thing she does that drives me nuts is when I tell her to do something, she says "My mom says....". Or when I'm cooking or doing something, she'll say "My Mom does it this way...", those kinds of things. She acts like she's 6 instead of 12. She uses this baby talk that is so annoying. She just doesn't listen when I tell her to do simple things, like put her dishes in the dishwasher, or clean up her mess in the bathroom. I've caught her putting empty dishes back in the fridge after she eats something! Am I being hyper-sensitive? Maybe I am. I don't know. She sees her mom usually every other weekend, but at this time, her mom is essentially homeless. She & her SO live with his mom, & I guess there's some tension there, so BM uses that as an excuse to not see my SD as often as she could. BM is bi-polar, & has a multitude of other mental issues as well. I want my SD to have a good relationship with her mom, but it's just kind of difficult right now, given the circumstances. I don't want to be nit-picky, or be expecting things that are unrealistic. The only thing I have to go on is how my kids behaved at that age, & I'm trying to remember that each child is different... Sometimes, it's just not easy....

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:44 AM



Quoting BethBritton:

One thing she does that drives me nuts is when I tell her to do something, she says "My mom says....". Or when I'm cooking or doing something, she'll say "My Mom does it this way...", those kinds of things. She acts like she's 6 instead of 12. She uses this baby talk that is so annoying. She just doesn't listen when I tell her to do simple things, like put her dishes in the dishwasher, or clean up her mess in the bathroom. I've caught her putting empty dishes back in the fridge after she eats something! Am I being hyper-sensitive? Maybe I am. I don't know. She sees her mom usually every other weekend, but at this time, her mom is essentially homeless. She & her SO live with his mom, & I guess there's some tension there, so BM uses that as an excuse to not see my SD as often as she could. BM is bi-polar, & has a multitude of other mental issues as well. I want my SD to have a good relationship with her mom, but it's just kind of difficult right now, given the circumstances. I don't want to be nit-picky, or be expecting things that are unrealistic. The only thing I have to go on is how my kids behaved at that age, & I'm trying to remember that each child is different... Sometimes, it's just not easy....

What does your DH think about these things?  

When my SDs were that age, they did a lot of the same things--empty stuff in the fridge, stuffing wrappers in the couch when the garbage can was only an arm's length away, not helping pick up after dinner, etc.  The only way you can really affect change is if DH is on board.  If he's on board, then you sit down, have a family meeting about the rules in the house, and you guys enforce them.

As far as when she says "My mom does it this way" and such...she probably misses her mom and this is one way she can share that with you.  I bet it does get annoying at times--the kids used to ask me to watch old home movies from before their folks were divorced.  They didn't mean anything mean by it. They were just trying to share their life with me.




BethBritton
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:54 AM

My husband gets somewhat defensive when it comes to discussing my SD. He doesn't see things the way I do. His response is "Well, it's just her age...". I've told him that I don't think it's always just her age.... I think she's intentionally defying me. But, maybe she isn't. Maybe this is just me being overly sensitive. I don't know... I just know that even when she annoys the snot out of me, I still love her & would do anything to make things better. I just don't know what I need to do. Where do I need to stand my ground, & where do I need to loosen up?

Birdseed
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2013 at 11:57 AM
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Quoting BethBritton:

My husband gets somewhat defensive when it comes to discussing my SD. He doesn't see things the way I do. His response is "Well, it's just her age...". I've told him that I don't think it's always just her age.... I think she's intentionally defying me. But, maybe she isn't. Maybe this is just me being overly sensitive. I don't know... I just know that even when she annoys the snot out of me, I still love her & would do anything to make things better. I just don't know what I need to do. Where do I need to stand my ground, & where do I need to loosen up?

Only you and your husband can really answer that.

When I got the ol' "It's just their age" reply, my response was "I was that age and I didn't do that."  and his reply was "Well, they're not you.  They're just not as responsible or capable as you were at the same age."  To which I replied, "Boy, you're really selling them short.  Is this the kind of thing you think is okay when they visit a friend's home?  Don't you think that from a life skills standpoint, it would be better to teach these things now rather than have them get kicked out of a roommate's apartment or dorm because they have no skills around the house?"

That (and counseling) was the catalyst for change in our home.  But until your DH wants to change things, you're kind of screwed.



BethBritton
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:04 PM

Ha!! We just recently had a very similar conversation! :D

I told him that if kids don't learn certain life skills when they're young, they will have a tougher time when they're on their own. I let him know that everyone in our house is fully capable of cleaning up after themselves. I also have 2 step sons. One lives with us, the other is out on his own. I don't have issues with either one of them. It's just my step daughter that I am struggling with. My step son shows me a lot more respect than his sister does. I know I can tell him to do something, & he'll do it, without pouting or giving me grief about it. He's 18, so maybe that's part of it.

I just know that I love these kids like they're mine, but I just don't "get" my step daughter sometimes...

llacourd
by on Apr. 9, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Holy it sounds like I wrote that to a T. My SD12 and I are the same way. I hate that I feel so annoyed by her. I want to enjoy her company and give her attention, however I can't seem to get myself there. Now I have a new baby at home and my annoyance with her has gotten even worse as she wants every second of every day to be holding my son or petting his head...

A lot of people have given me advise like, give it time.. or grow up and make the effort. People say "you made the choice to be with them so deal with it". I've become numb to these words from people as they don't really know how SD is. She is weird! She is not my kind of person. She is just an odd child.

But the one thing I have learned is that I do need to make the choice of what I want our relationship to be. I can either stay distant and then expect othing from her as I don't give her much.. Or I can choose to bI e in he life with the annoyance and all... I haven't even made up my mind yet as to how I want it, because when I try, and have good days with her, its like the annoyance comes back and even worse then it was before.

I'm sorry I do'nt really have any advise for you, but to share and let you know I know how you feel, and I feel terrible for you because being in this position is a hard one. The one thing I think we can take away is at least we are aware, and we care, because if we didn't we wouldn't be looking for help, and we wouldn't care that we feel bad about our feelings. So try and build from that, and lets see what happens.

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