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New mom and step mom

Posted by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM
  • 17 Replies

Good afternoon.

I never thought in my life that I would have step kids, boy was I wrong. I was aware my husband had a daughter for a previous girl friend but wasn't sure she would be part of our lives due to the attitude and behavior of the ex. The step daughter now 12 has lived with us for about 2 months and has been challenging for me and my husband. My step daughter has been through a roller coaster with her mom for years, so been trying to be supportive and mend alot of anger. Back in late October we realized that my sd was taken by DPS and placed in foster care. There was eidence of both physical and emotional child abuse, so my husband realized he needed to gain custody of his daughter. We got physical custody of my sd in late February and late March the case was dismissed. In March the ex was involved in an apartment fire and found unconcious, so we waited days so my sd could visit her mom. Sad to say that she didn't get better and passed on. Even though I rarely knew her death is something you don't wish on anyone. As we made room in our lives for her there was challenges that I had to face. I tried giving her time to heal and if needed come to me for support but never happened. When an issue arised that needed attention we would try to talk to my sd about, she runs off and in tantrum to her room. My husband would go back there to check on her. They would talk in the room while I sat in another waiting on what to do. I tink should I go back there and see if assistance is needed or do I just stay and have tem work it out. With my back ground I just stay and hope the issues work out. It was a blessing from God that we got to spend some time at church together and she is trying to communicate with me. I know it is alot of patient and trust on both of our ends and only time can tell.

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:03 PM
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by Ruby Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:13 PM
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 well she has been through a lot and lost her mom. even when your mom wasnt great, she is still your mom and its hard to lose her. add to that, that her dad was not involved until now. she basically lives w strangers. just give her time. let her dad build a relationship w her and just be there but dont push. that doesnt mean let her walk on you and etc but let dad carry the heavy load for now.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:15 PM

Is this young girl in counseling as well? If not, she needs to be, pronto!   You said her BM was emotionally and physically abused.  She's going to have trouble opening up and trusting new people in her life.  For whatever reason her BF wasn't in her life either.  Let him/her figure things out but that girl needs to be seen by a counselor.  Perhaps it would benefit all of you to be in counseling as I'm sure there are things that the counselor could suggest that you do/not do, to help this child adjust. 

But, you are right.  Patience needs to be your friend right now.  At 12 she'll need a lot of it as puberty is either here or will be soon AND she'll be combatting all that comes with that plus her abusive past.  It may take her YEARS to get to a good point in her life.  She'll have some good days and a lot of bad days... eventually they'll even out, and in more time you may finally realize that her good days outnumber her bad ones. 

Also, you don't say if there are children in your home already.  If so, you'll need to remember that she wasn't raised as those children have been, there will be things that are 'obvious' to you/your children that won't be to her.  She likely never had those same lessons or expectations of her previously. 

LOTS of patience will be needed, along with some clear yet simple guidelines for her to work into feeling comfortable in her new home and getting to know all of the new people in her life. 

Good luck! 

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:19 PM

I am sorry for your SD's loss of her mother. That is very sad.

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Even in the best of situations- it takes time for everyone involved to find their nitch. To flow and understand eachother and create that bond. Especially after all your SD has been through- this is a HUGE change for her. She is now in a stable and healthy environment- but, to her, this is not the norm. She is used to abuse and like already suggested- I too would recommend counseling. My SD was in counseling for years from a very young age after things her BM put her through- even though she was very young (2yrs) when her Dad got full parental custody. Her BM still had/has visitation rights and thus had an affect on her (even in a short time). I can only imagine how it would be for your SD in an unhealthy environment for all those years.

It just takes time. It did for me- but there was always love there. I always made sure my SD knew I wasn't her Mom- but I was her parent. I loved her. I supported her. And she is truly my kid now! But we've been a family unit for 8yrs- and it didn't happen over night. I just allowed her to push me away when she needed to- but made sure she knew I was there when she was ready.

Maybe let hubby take on more of the "parenting" - for a bit. And talk to him a lot to make sure your both on the same page as far as boundaries, rules go and then go with what your comfy with. In time, it will just be second nature. You won't even question things- you'll just treat her as your own.

All will work out-- just be on the same team as your hubby and talk a lot and do what is best for all involved. Hugs.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 5:06 PM
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I don't even know where to begin because all that is going through my mind is how sorry I feel for this girl if her brand new SM can't even see past her own discomfort to recognize that she is expecting way too much in 2 months.

It sounds like SM has not even met her SD12 before February.  It doesn't even sound like her DH has seen much of his daughter either.  They lost a custody case back in February but then BM died in March so now the 12 year old girl is living with total strangers.

Get this girl help.  For yourself get a few books on how to help kids who lose a parent and a few books on raising kids and a few books on stepparenting.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 5:11 PM

just give her space to grieve, to be confused, to be sad, to be scared. lether Dad step it up for her and remember she's a kiddo and she's been through hell. A counselor might help too. 

by Bronze Member on Apr. 14, 2014 at 5:42 PM

So sorry to hear of the death of your sd's mom. Like others have said, even if she wasn't the best Mom, she was still her mom and the loss is going to hurt. I think you did the right thing by letting Dad talk things through with his daughter while you sat in the other room. Let them find their groove before you try to be part of the picture. Of course he is your husband and now you both have this daughter to love and raise together. I am not suggesting you stay out of the picture but just do it slowly. Find a therapist for the daughter and maybe one for the entire family.

Good luck with your new family. Always be a soft spot for your sd and she will grow to love you in time. It sounds like you are very thoughtful about her needs and that is an excellent place to start!

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 5:49 PM

I agree with give her space, let her come to you, dont try and force your support on her,,,,and be ready, you are in for a long haul when she becomes a teen dealing with her past and her anger about all of it......get a GOOD family counselor, and make regular visits for at least the next 3 years.....

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 6:35 PM

I think the most important thing is that Dad commit himself 100% to being a father and that SM play a supporting role in that. The most important thing here is the strengthening of the father/daughter relationship. It is unclear why that had deteriorated previously.

by on Apr. 14, 2014 at 6:36 PM

And, she was the only parent the girl had.

Quoting Frustrated10:

So sorry to hear of the death of your sd's mom. Like others have said, even if she wasn't the best Mom, she was still her mom and the loss is going to hurt.

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