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What is my role?

Posted by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM
  • 5 Replies
I am struggling big time. I have been married 3 yrs. My DH has 2 daughters(6 and 8) and I have 2 kids (5 and 7) and we have a baby together. My dh's ex joined the army last July and so we got custody. It has been an extremely rough year. Dh's oldest never accepted me and is completely disrepectful. With Bm gone for months at a time and DH working 40+ hrs a week I am the main parental figure. I find it extremely hard to bond with his daughters. When it was every other weekend it was fine because we always had fun things planned to do with them. Now its everyday life and it feels so strange. Like I am a nanny. That sounds so cold to say but it does. I cant find my role. I am not their mother, but I feel like I have to keep everything equal and fair with all the kids. Help me find my place and role as a full time step mom instead of an every other weekend step mom. I have to disicpline them, i have to nurture them and do everything a mom does. They are kids and there mother isnt here but i understand Im NOT their mother. At the same time i feel like im jipping my own bio kids sometimes of quality time or special moments. I hope this all makes sense. Its hard to word exactly what Im going through. Its just been am extremely stressful yr. his 8 yr old is tough to deal with and I find myself losing my patience with her daily.
by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 3:51 PM
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by Gold Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 4:08 PM
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It makes sense to feel the way you do and it's completely understandable. It's a major transition for everyone, and kids sometimes take time to adjust.

The kids probably feel the same way you do, not knowing their place in their "new family", missing their mom. It's hard for everyone.

I would try to let DH discipline whenever possible right now and work into an authoritative role once things settle down. Maybe if the skids are misbehaving issue a small time out or punishment just to stop the immediate behavior and let them know DH will speak with them about it when he gets home. Let him punish as necessary.

Also, maybe institute weekly family meetings where the kids concerns can be heard. You're going to get alot of unrealistic bs from them. But it may also give you some insight into how they are feeling. And it may help them to feel more valued and more in control of their situation if their feelings are heard. It may also be a good opportunity for you and DH to keep the train on track, to guide the kids with what is expected of them on a weekly basis.

And keep doing fun things with them. Schedule them in advance so the kids have something to look forward to. If you can create new traditions with them, share common interests, it will be easier to build a better relationship with them.
by Platinum Member on Aug. 7, 2014 at 4:22 PM

You need to place the main parenting of his kids back on your DH. 

by Battler on Aug. 7, 2014 at 4:23 PM
Military families are rough. I've been there.

So there are 5 kids total?

Right now everyone is adjusting. Kids don't understand how parents can "leave " for work for months at a time.

How long did you have to prepare until the BM got into boot camp? What does DH say?

You don't have to bond. You don't have to be super woman. You must however work with DH to make a schedule that works.

The 8 yr old your DH has to come up with a plan. If moms in boot camp she can't call or vice versa.

There are military support systems in place. I'd contact - or have DH contact- the VSO or family services at whatever branch she is in. They have day care , counseling what have you. Worth a shot.
by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 4:25 PM

Can they stay with grandparents until their mom comes back? If you don't want to provide childcare, maybe there is an alternative, such as daycare?

by on Aug. 7, 2014 at 4:34 PM

 Since you are struggling, let DH handle the discipline.  It will be accepted by his kids better coming from him and you won't have that added stress.  Blending families isn't easy and it takes time and flexibility.  I bet some of your SK's anxiety comes from not seeing their bm on a regular basis. I can't imagine not seeing my Ma and they probably feel the same way.  Whether you think you are or not, they might see you as trying to replace their bm because most of the responsibility has fallen on you.

Bring up your concerns to DH and work through a solution that will work better for everyone.  He is their Dad and he needs to take the lead with them.  It doesn't mean as much when it comes from you and it's putting stress on the entire family.  I am sure DH wants this blended family to succeed so he MUST do his part as a parent to ensure that happens.  He has to take a more active role parenting his children. 

I hope bm gets to a place that she can have regular visitation with her children.  Her absence is impacting her kids in a negative manner, and why wouldn't it? Unless there is abuse, most kids don't want to be separated from their parents and will have a miserable time transitioning from it.  So be aware that their discontent for you stems from their own bm's absence.  Allow them time to work through their feelings and maybe get them some counseling. Let them talk to an objective professional who can suggest coping techniques to them. 


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