Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Still adjusting to being a childless stepmom - It's not easy. Who has advice?

Posted by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 12:16 AM
  • 40 Replies
  • 12035 Total Views
3 moms liked this

I've been a stepmom for seven months....and 2 weeks....and 3 days.  I'm joking on the exact days, but sometimes being a stepmom is so difficult that I feel like I could know exactly how many days it's been.  Perhaps it's completely selfish, but I have a hard time not taking things personal when it comes to matters with my husband and his daughter, my stepdaughter.  I never thought I would be sharing my newlywed husband with a child that was born years ago, and is not my biological child.  She is a wonderful little girl and our relationship is actually quite good.  But I have never been a mother before and when she is at our home, I don't get as much couple time and don't get as much me time, and this is difficult to adjust to.  

These are the times when I feel the most misunderstood:  When I am more strict than my husband.  Since I am the "outsider" looking in, I can see things that are not good behavior that my husband doesn't see at all.  I've made a few changes in our home, which my husband has actually thanked me for, so that's encouraging, but I am still praying for patience for the coming days and years...

I also feel guilty and misunderstood when I am looking forward to her absense.  I feel terrible about this - tons of guilt and shame.  My stepdaughter deserves to be here every day, but yet I am looking forward to the lower stress level days, which are when she is not here.

I am really looking forward to having my own children, so that I can understand this feeling of unconditional love that a parent has for a child.  I feel like I'm supposed to understand this already, but I just don't.

The book "The Smart Stepfamily" has been a wonderful help, as well as the Bible.  My husband is very supportive too and is a good listening ear, but I still feel like there's so much he doesn't understand, nor can I expect him to, since he's never been a stepparent.

Anyway, I'm just looking for others to connect with because I am so overwhelmed by all my feelings as as a stepmom.

by on Jun. 7, 2011 at 12:16 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
Zamaria
by Member on Jun. 7, 2011 at 7:03 AM
I've been a stepmom for about 8 years. I haven't been able to have children of my own, but we are adopting a little boy. I think it sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship, and I think you will be a great stepmom! Just give it some time. Your husband sounds really supportive, and that helps a lot! I think your stepdaughter will grow on you! I am also the strict parent, and that's ok. My stepkids live with us now, and someone has to keep things under control! Lol! And I think even if you had your own kids, you would look forward to alone time! It's absolutely normal and you shouldn't feel bad about that! I plan to take the kids to a sitter for the day and have a day to myself very soon! I love my stepkids. But I definitely need a break sometimes. And I think that as you get to know her better, you'll start to look forward to seeing her. Before my stepkids lived with us full time, I tried to view them simply as the children of someone I loved very much, instead of stepkids. Now that they're there all the time, they are pretty much like my own kids. Just hang in there, give it time. And don't feel bad about the way you're feeling. Recognize your feelings so that you can deal with them. Pushing them aside will only cause resentment!
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Zamaria
by Member on Jun. 7, 2011 at 7:06 AM
I've been a stepmom for about 8 years. I haven't been able to have children of my own, but we are adopting a little boy. I think it sounds like you and your husband have a great relationship, and I think you will be a great stepmom! Just give it some time. Your husband sounds really supportive, and that helps a lot! I think your stepdaughter will grow on you! I am also the strict parent, and that's ok. My stepkids live with us now, and someone has to keep things under control! Lol! And I think even if you had your own kids, you would look forward to alone time! It's absolutely normal and you shouldn't feel bad about that! I plan to take the kids to a sitter for the day and have a day to myself very soon! I love my stepkids. But I definitely need a break sometimes. And I think that as you get to know her better, you'll start to look forward to seeing her. Before my stepkids lived with us full time, I tried to view them simply as the children of someone I loved very much, instead of stepkids. Now that they're there all the time, they are pretty much like my own kids. Just hang in there
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
chatter83
by New Member on Jun. 13, 2011 at 7:54 PM
1 mom liked this

I agree with everything Zamaria wrote.  I can almost guarantee that your SD's (step daughter's) BM (birth mother)  Has the  same feelings of looking forward to the days she has a lower stress level while she is with you and your hubby :)  My husband and I have three children and my SS that are with us full time.  It feels great to give them over to the gandparents for a day and get away.  You whould not feel guilty to looking forward to more uninterrupted time with your husband.  And as your family grows and changes so will the love and relationship you have for your SD.  Just leave your heart open to her and she will grow into it.  You are a part of bringing her up now, and teaching her the ways of the Lord, so show her the best example of Christ you know and everything will work for the good.  It sounds like you are doing a great job!  Keep going! 

luv2teach981
by on Jun. 19, 2011 at 5:26 PM
5 moms liked this

I don't think you should feel bad about looking forward to days you don't have the kids. I've been a stepmom for 3 years and I used to look forward to the weekends we didn't have the kids (I have 3 stepkids).  As a stepmom, especially a childless stepmom, you are going to have a wide range of emotions stemming from that.  Some are good, some are not, some are really unexpected.  It's a total rollercoaster ride and no matter how much you think you have prepared yourself for it, you are never fully prepared.  This is especially true if you have problems with BM (like we do).  I've have been angry with some of the things the BM has done and angry at DH for having kids with her (unreasonable to feel that way but felt it just the same). Jealous that BM had something with DH that I don't have yet and jealous that I don't have kids myself.  Pressured to be a good stepmom and a good parent without being the "evil" stepmom.  Love and sacrifice for the kids.  You are expected to sacrifice for the kids and you do but you almost never receive anything in return or a thank you.  It's a very difficult place to be and I don't think anyone could ever fully understand until they have been a stepparent themselves.  You just have to pray that God helps you do your best everyday.  Keep praying for the kids and praying for your family and praying for BM (which is difficult for me sometimes given the extenuating circumstances surrounding our BM) even when you don't want to.  You pray the kids will understand someday and hope that you are the best role model you can be.  By the way, I love my stepchildren and I would literally give my life before I let anything happen to one of them but I'm not sure I could say I love them like they are mine because I don't have any yet and I am not sure the love I feel is equivalent to their mother's love.  I know it's not.  So please don't feel badly for not understanding it.  I think as your relationship grows and evolves, so does your love for that child.  You just have to know God's in control of it all and things are going to work out.

kristielw
by Member on Jul. 8, 2011 at 1:55 PM
1 mom liked this

I am a new stepmom too - it's been just over a year and two months. We are expecting our first baby in August. I have been full time step mom to my husbands twin 6 year old boys and his adopted 10 year old daughter. You are having normal feelings. I'm more strict and get annoyed a lot easier,  I look forward to them not being home and visiting their bio mom. As much as you love step children, you still miss being a newly wed!!!

I read the same book too and the smart stepmom.

There are lots of overwhelming feelings of envy, jealousy, bitterness...that we usually just make up in our heads. I have to daily turn thoe feelings and my worry over and realize that they are stealing my joy and peace. God gave me my husband as a gift to  cherish and enjoy....so, I need to be able to see past the overwhelming stepmom feelings and know God has a plan! Though there are still days that I cry and breakdown because of the outside circumstances that are not making this the dream marriage I had visioned and want.

XtheotherwomanX
by New Member on Jul. 8, 2011 at 5:57 PM
1 mom liked this

OHMYGOSH!!!

I am so glad I am not the only one who feels exactly like you do. I am too a fairly new and VERY young step mom. I've been a step mom for little over a year now and I never knew how difficult it could be because I have always wanted a chlid of my own and always wanted to adopt as well so I figured having a step son should be no different but I feel as though it is.

We don't have costudy over him and only get to see him a couple of days to a week every month. I know this is wrong but I am kind of glad it's like that. It's so stressful whenever he comes down, everything is about him and I feel as though my husband has to get whatever he wants to please him cause he has a broken family and it makes me SO MAD!! I've tried talking to him about this but he says I am being selfish and I need to step myself in his shoes and understand how he is feeling. I have many times, my stepson and I actually have a pretty great connection and we talked and I've talked to him about this and he seems to understand.

Whenever my husband talks about him, I see so much love he has for him and I get jealous cause I don't love my stepson like he does. I love my husband more but I feel like he loves his son more than me and I just cannot understand that unconditional love for a child cause he is not mine. And now my husband wants to have him for the whole summer and I really do not want that but I do not know if I should tell my husband cause I feel as though it is wrong of me to think the way I am and his son needs his dad.

I'm just glad that I have found this site and to know I am not the only one going through this.

natandbella
by Member on Jul. 9, 2011 at 7:25 AM
1 mom liked this
I have two stepsons and we have a baby of our own. The BM and her partner are USELESS and my partner hasn't been able to work for a year and a half due to illness so I've been paying for EVERYTHING even through my pregnancy (worked) and during my maternity leave (used all my savings and now in debt)....we used to have the boys every weekend but now it's a lot less (at BMs request) my partner was raised in broken families (his dad had 3 families and so did his mom) and it hurts him that I don't love his kids unconditionally. He thinks it's a choice but it's because he's still hurting about wanting his stepmother to love him like her own when he was little. The boys tend to get away witha lot and ill be honest after 2 1/2 years I want to run away!!! My partners family treat the ex as family and me with disdain because I don't sit around and drink/smoke/gossip all day...it's so normal to appreciate time without the steps and such a hard balance because they do deserve dad time. Fact is that it's NEVER going to change...the kids were there first. Believe me ladies, when you do have your own bub it gets that much harder as you have to monitor the pain the steps will feel because bub gets dad full time and this can manifest right throughout their lifetimes...there are so many challenges - if you get an open BM it would make things easier I'm sure
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
luv2teach981
by on Jul. 10, 2011 at 2:36 PM


Quoting natandbella:

 (his dad had 3 families and so did his mom) and it hurts him that I don't love his kids unconditionally. He thinks it's a choice but it's because he's still hurting about wanting his stepmother to love him like her own when he was little.

Wow!  Three families!  That's a lot.  What really caught my eye is the choice thing.  I don't think it's necessarily a choice.  I think you can make yourself open to loving someone but I think the circumstances also play a role.  SD13 is not DH's biological child.  The boys are.  However, he has raised her since she was 18 months old without the BD being in the picture.  So, for him, there is no distinction between her and the boys.  As a matter of fact, BM set up a meeting with SD's BD (behind DH's back) and SD told her BD that she already had a daddy.  DH is her dad.  For me and the kids however, it's very different.  BM has done everything she can to interfere with us having a good relationship with the kids.  I love them and I would do whatever is necessary for them but I can't say it is unconditional.  I've not had the opportunity to form a strong bond (not to take the place of their mother's-they live with her but just a parental bond, a supportive one) whether it's because BM won't let it happen, or because they do still have their mother, or whatever.  And even though DH could be considered a stepparent, he doesn't understand my feelings.  #1 because he's a man and they are different creatures #2 he's not had to overcome the obstacles I have with the other biological parent being in the picture. 

Also, something else I was thinking about.  I'm not being judgmental.  I'm a childless stepmom too so I'm observing when I say this.  God never intended for families to be this way.  Because I think that, I also think blended families are unnatural so it comes with it's own special challenges.  I'm not saying it can't work.  But essentially, I think we are dealing with the consequences of sin.  God intended us to be with one partner for the rest of our lives and here we are, the second, possible third partner in our significant other's life.  A marriage is a covenant with God and that covenant has been broken so there are consequences.  I understand why we are taught that premarital sex and divorce and such are not good as I have gotten older and lived the life of a stepmom.  While there are three beautiful kids that came from DH and BM's relationship, there has also been a great deal of hurt and anger and sadness as well, for the kids and the adults.  And I'm not saying that God hasn't blessed our marriages because He has obviously given us the chance to be with them.  But the consequences are still there.  And the kids are the ones who suffer the most. 

LainaSue
by New Member on Jul. 18, 2011 at 2:13 AM

I'm a childless CSM (custodial step-mom) and have been for 4 years.  SS is now 11.  For the first several months I was here, I cried every day.  It was awful.  And he's a great kid.  So what I can tell you is...as long as you leave your heart open to her, things should get better.  4 years later, I still look forward to the times that SS is gone because my house is quiet and peaceful and I get to be alone with the hubs.  But I also look forward to when he comes home. 

You'll get there.  Just be patient with yourself and try not to be too hard on yourself.

in-needof-grace
by New Member on Jul. 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM
2 moms liked this

I can totally relate to looking forward to the days when they are not in your house; and then feeling horrible guilt and shame about it. I am 9 months pregnant and my step son is soo hostile and negative towards me we had to send him home early for the summer. I felt soo incredibly bad about it that I actually postponed it for longer than I should have. Now, when he is here for the weekend, I worry in advance about what exact day he will leave on...its alot to deal with right at the end of my pregnancy. Thank God that my husband is supportive and he sees his sons behavior-some parents dont see it and they choose to be in denial or whatever. If my husband wasnt they way he is, every part of being a step parent would be soo much more difficult!

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)