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I'm tired of being a "stepmom"

Posted by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM
  • 207 Replies
My husband has a daughter from a previous relationship. She is four years old and we have her 50% of the time. Oh and I just had my own baby boy in September.
Well lately I've felt resentment towards my step daughter. I know it's wrong because this isn't her fault but I've been having this anger inside because having to deal with her and her mother is drama. Her mom is unreasonable and hates me to death.
I'm tired from having a new baby, that was in the nicu for a month and I have to watch very closely because of his condition and the last thing I want to do is take care of another kid. Especially a little girl that has developed an attitude for days.
At first, before my son was born, taking care of her was some what easy. She listened, she didn't have an attitude and she followed the rules at dad's house. Now it's a battle that my patients is losing.
Her mom tells her I'm not her parent and she doesn't have to listen to me so I think that's where things started to go wrong.
It's hard for me to admit this but I am starting to resent this innocent child. Because of her and her drama filled mom I now have so much drama in my life and I'm tired of it! I dont know how to think about it or where to start fixing my thinking of her. I dread Sundays when we have to pick her up and I cringe when she tells me I'm not her mom. She's only four so I'm not sure if she truly understands what she's doing but I need help or advise because I'm about at my wits end with this child.
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:27 PM
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by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:31 PM
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You aren't her mom. Why does the truth make you cringe?

Where is dad in all this? What do you mean by drama! Why isn't your husband managing bm drama?

4 year old require a lot of management. Does your husband know how you feel?
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:36 PM
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You have a new baby and she isn't getting the attention she once was, not long ago. Any child, at any age would act out a little.
by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:38 PM
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YOU shouldn't have her if your DH isn't home to handle her.  Your problem isn't her mom so leave that one alone.  Your problem really isn't even the 4yo.  She's not old enough to 'know' what she's doing (and to understand how YOU may feel about it). She may be rebelling in some way, jealousy of the attention the baby is getting, jealous and resentment of her own for her BF spending time at the NICU with your new baby rather than with her (did the 50/50 change after your DS was born or was BF able to keep up with it all?), she could be sensing your stress and anxiety over your new baby and the tension you feel, or she could be repeating the things her BM says, or it could be NONE of these.  She's 4, they're not always angelic, and she's had something major happen in her life.  Not all children simply adapt and 'go with the flow' when a new baby arrives, even one that doesn't spend time in the NICU. 

She could be asserting some independence too.  What do you say when she tells you you're not her mom?  Your response could have something to do with her attitude.  You, being the adult, can change YOUR response, which will, eventually, change her outlook on things.  You, being the adult, can only change what you think, feel, and express, not what others think, feel or express towards you.  So what if BM "hates you to death" (sorry, I've not heard that phrase in about 40 years)?   So what?  You aren't BMs problem, BM isn't your problem, not unless you make each other your problem.  Let DH deal with her solely and ask him NOT to share anything she says about you to him.

Where is your DH in all this.  This 4yo is his child, not yours, and he should be involved when she's in your home. 

Have you spoken to your doctor about your stress and possible depression?  You've just had a baby, and a high needs one at that.  There is a LOT of stress having a baby in the NICU.  Perhaps your hormones aren't back in balance yet and that's why this 4yos behavior has you feeling the way you do? 

If I were in your shoes, I think I'd talk to DH and tell him, when his DD is there, she needs to be at a sitters if he's not home to care for her, while you focus on you and your new baby, and keeping him well.  After some time, and things settle down, maybe you'll miss her and want her back when he's not around too? 

by ChiefBottleWasher on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:41 PM
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Sorry hon but you aren't the mom no matter how much time she spends in your home. If you have brown hair and someone told you "hey you don't have blonde hair" would it make you cringe? Probably not's just a fact.

if SD is being disrespectful DH needs to step up and handle it, if SD is breaking house rules then DH needs to enforce those rules and teach SD that she needs to respect you as a family member. 

My advice is to concentrate on your new baby, don't worry about BM and her drama, that's DHs problem to deal with, just be nice to SD, just smile when she says things like that or say cheerfully you're right I'm not your mom, and let dad deal with the rest.

by Bronze Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:48 PM
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Well you aren't  her mom but she does have to listen to you.  Maybe try to include her with the baby a little more and gently tell her "that's right Im not your mom-you have a nice mom" something to that effect lol.  Have dh let her know it is unacceptable for her to say that to you.  

by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 4:53 PM
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Ok when I said I cringe when she says I'm not her mom is bc of the way she says it. Like "Ido t have to listen to you, you're not my mom" trust me people I know I'm not her mom and I will never be or take the place of her nor do I want that.
My husband is at work. He's the only one working so it's not like he can take off the week he has her. She's starting preschool after the new year.
And I thought posting this I would get support from you moms not be critiqued.
Her mom has whatever it is against me. I get it but I don't appreciate it. I would think she would be a little more respectful to the person that is taking care of her daughter the week she doesn't have her
by on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:17 PM
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 Can you make a different arragement for visitation given that your husband is working most of the time while his DD is at your home? 

If not, give yourself a break and time to adjust.  Of course you are overwhelmed--you have a new baby.  That is overwhelming.  Of course your SD is acting out--big change and adjustment for her too.  Give everyone some time and you may have to make other schedule arrangements.

by Platinum Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:23 PM
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Tell your husband 50/50 is not working out for you. Give custody back to the mom. easy peasy.

by Ruby Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:26 PM
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No, BM does not need to do anything when it comes to you.  Really.  She doesn't.  Would it be nice?  Yes.  Would it make life easier for you?  Maybe.  Would it make life easier for SD?  Maybe.  None of that matters because you have zero control when it comes to her.  The sooner you let go of BM needing to do anything in regards to your home, the happier you will be.  If you are taking this as being critical instead of being supportive, there is not much any of us can do. 

Also, you need to see what so many SMs discover - things are different with a stepchild than with a bio.  Of course it was easier before your child was born.  Easier for you to think you really loved this child and easier for the child because she didn't have a little sibling to deal with.

And why is it a critique when people suggest your DH should deal with this or asking what he even thinks of it?  SD is his child, not yours.

And finally, is she actually saying to you "I don't have to listen to you you are not my mom"?  Or are you just interpreting her words to mean that?  And when she says it, what are you asking her to do?

by Silver Member on Dec. 19, 2013 at 5:33 PM

How things play out on your DH's time is between you and DH.. first. BM is just following the CO.  So if you don't want to be alone with both kids that is a discussion you need to have with the BF.  And don't feel like you can't have that convo... how much is he alone with both?  

Next you need to understand having a four yr old and a new born whether they are blended family or not is hard work. 4 yr olds seem like they can be a bit easier but they aren't.  And she is probably jealous of her new sibling which isn't helping... and by the way is totally normal.  And whe she says your not my mom.. well that is true you aren't but you are in charge and she is too listen to you.  Her teacher isn't her mom either and I bet she listens to her... etc And you have to just remember she is 4... 

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