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Hello- Eight years of step parenting - Just hanging on

Posted by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 6:15 PM
  • 11 Replies

Hello,  I've been looking for a good site to chat with other step moms.  I have one step-son who is 14 years old and two bio children who are grown and married.  I never thought step-parenting would be this difficult.  I've always been able to bond quickly with children, but not this one. Plus, his mother is bipolar and we have joint custody.  It makes life even more interesting... 

by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 6:15 PM
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Replies (1-10):
cdrainey3
by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 9:00 PM
It can definitely be challenging. I've been in my ss life since he was 3. He's now 11. I bonded really well with him when he was younger, but lately as he gets more into the pre teen years, I notice our relationship getting scarce. Somedays we really talk and he's fun and open with me, and then the next he's quiet and weird. I guess it's just the "teen" ways. I try to stay the same no matter how he's acting.

Is there anything specific you're having issues with your ss over?
Windfall
by on Jun. 29, 2014 at 10:20 PM
2 moms liked this

Hi there,

First, let me say, good luck with this group. I've lost respect for 75% of these women! I call this "CatFight Mom". If you're looking for support in step parenting, you will need a thick skin and a lot of time to sift through insulting, bitter posts written by angry bio moms...


best of luck. I would say don't put too much of your heart and soul into it. 


selfemployedste
by Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 2:04 AM
1 mom liked this
Hello, and WELCOME!! Been a SM for 10 yrs now. 2 SD's, 15,13, and 1 SS, 10, with a bonus sd, 7, from the BM! It's definitely a roller coaster ride when you get to the teenage years. Just keep being yourself. He may just be trying to work everything out emotionally- and, believe it or not, it does take years!-or, more likely, he is just moody because of hormones! :-) best of luck!

Quoting gigimum:

Hello,  I've been looking for a good site to chat with other step moms.  I have one step-son who is 14 years old and two bio children who are grown and married.  I never thought step-parenting would be this difficult.  I've always been able to bond quickly with children, but not this one. Plus, his mother is bipolar and we have joint custody.  It makes life even more interesting... 

momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 2:16 AM
Oh look. You've met the other two newest members of the group.
Welcome committee!

Welcome to the group!

How long have you been a stepmom?
HopesNDreams
by Silver Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 7:08 AM
What does the joint custody look like? For some joint custody in a time thing, for others it is a legal term, and others it means both. How long have you been in each other's lives and how long have you been married?

Is mom diagnosed bipolar or do you just suspect it? BM in my situation was bipolar schizo affective (I say 'was' because she passed away 2 1/2 years ago). It creates a whole new level of issues, both for joint parenting and for the child.

When SD hit about age 12 was when she became aware that BM was not quite 'normal' and that the things that happened there might not be happening other places. We were long distance, so it was a bit different. Therapy is essential to deal with the challenges of living with a mentally ill parent.
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whatIknownow
by on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Some thoughts off the top of my head:

You don't really need to bond with your husband's 14yo son. All you have to do is be nice to him, and let your husband be the best father he can be to his son.

If his mother has bipolar disorder, that's a difficult life for her. My stepkids' mother has bipolar disorder, and has been hospitalized a few times, and is struggling to have the best life she can with the illness. It is hard not to judge her, but I try to remember that much of her poor choices are due to her illness. 

And finally, it's your husband who has joint custody, not you. Not "we."  So when it gets tough, just remember you can let him handle things.

gigimum
by on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:17 AM

Thank you for responding!  I've been his step mom for eight years now. It's always been a struggle trying to bond with him.  My SS has low comprehension and anxiety.  His teachers recommended a psych eval, but his BM disagrees.  My husband and I spent thousands on therapy for him over the years.  There were times in the past he would talk to me, but it's been at least two years since he really talked to me.  He has always been a "story teller" to put it nicely.  He is so good at it now, I don't know when he's telling the truth and when he's not.  My older kids have always tried very hard to include him and build a relationship with him.   Just when I think he's coming around, he goes to his BM's house and bashes us on facebook or twitter.  My saving grace right now is I've been doing this for eight years and he will be 18 in 4 years.  I'm pretty sure my biggest struggle is BM's hatred toward me influences my SS view of me.  


Quoting cdrainey3: It can definitely be challenging. I've been in my ss life since he was 3. He's now 11. I bonded really well with him when he was younger, but lately as he gets more into the pre teen years, I notice our relationship getting scarce. Somedays we really talk and he's fun and open with me, and then the next he's quiet and weird. I guess it's just the "teen" ways. I try to stay the same no matter how he's acting. Is there anything specific you're having issues with your ss over?


whatIknownow
by on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:20 AM

That's very possible, but it's also possible that your feelings toward his mother influence his view of you.

Quoting gigimum:

 I'm pretty sure my biggest struggle is BM's hatred toward me influences my SS view of me. 

gigimum
by on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:36 AM

Thanks for replying!  We've been together eight years.  My husband has equal time and decision making.  Yes, BM was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, however I'm not sure that was the only diagnosis.  It's very apparent when she is taking meds. My SS has his own mental health problems as well.  His tests show low comprehension and he has bad anxiety. He also has mild to strong mood swings (angry, sad, happy) (not the same as I experienced with my son's teen mood swings).  I'm sure SS has inherited some of the mental health problems his BM has.  My husband and I have spent thousands on therapy for him over the years.  His teachers recommended a psych eval, but BM will not agree.  I do love my SS and I hope we can help him be a happy independent adult someday.  

Quoting HopesNDreams: What does the joint custody look like? For some joint custody in a time thing, for others it is a legal term, and others it means both. How long have you been in each other's lives and how long have you been married? Is mom diagnosed bipolar or do you just suspect it? BM in my situation was bipolar schizo affective (I say 'was' because she passed away 2 1/2 years ago). It creates a whole new level of issues, both for joint parenting and for the child. When SD hit about age 12 was when she became aware that BM was not quite 'normal' and that the things that happened there might not be happening other places. We were long distance, so it was a bit different. Therapy is essential to deal with the challenges of living with a mentally ill parent.


Tigress22304
by Ruby Member on Jun. 30, 2014 at 8:38 AM
1 mom liked this

well aren't you just rolling out the welcome wagon.

 Seriously if you're not happy here-then leave.

Quoting Windfall:

Hi there,

First, let me say, good luck with this group. I've lost respect for 75% of these women! I call this "CatFight Mom". If you're looking for support in step parenting, you will need a thick skin and a lot of time to sift through insulting, bitter posts written by angry bio moms...


best of luck. I would say don't put too much of your heart and soul into it. 




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