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New Step-mom to a Toddler...Need Advice & Encouragement

Posted by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 7:22 PM
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I just got married in July, and my husband has a 2 and a half year old son.  My husband was previously married and he and his ex-wife got pregnant 3 months after they wed, and then a week after his son was born, he found out his wife had cheated on him with a man a few times, and then throughout her pregnancy she had an affair with a woman she worked with.  My husband had to take a paternity test to verify that his son was even his.  Needless to say they got divorced and my husband met me shortly thereafter.  I met my step-son when he was a year old, and my husband and his ex share 50-50 custody.  There have been many issues and hurdles encountered with his ex and her mother; my step-son's mother is not the best mom -- she is very selfish and does not think of the best for her son, nor has she truly raised him.  There are many anecdotes and awful stories I could tell, but she is just very immature and selfish, and it's really very sad.  BUT, I am 2 months into an amazing marriage, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE my stepson so much.  He is such a joy.  Lately however, as in the past couple of weeks, I have been struggling with a few things.  I am starting to feel a little bit of resentment toward my husband, and even a little toward my stepson when I can see traces of his mom in him.  I am jealous of girlfriends who are getting married and get to choose how long they wait to have kids, who get to have that newlywed time with their husbands, and who don't have to live day-in and day-out in contact with their husband's ex-anything.  I get frustrated more with my stepson when he throws little tantrums when he doesn't get his way, because I know that his mom gives him whatever he wants, when he wants it.  I am 26 years old, and my husband is 32, and I can't help thinking at times that I look forward to having my own kids with him, kids that I get to see every day and don't have to share. And I KNOW these feelings are wrong, and maybe it's just part of settling into this difficult life I've chosen, but I am in desperate need of encouragement and advice from unbiased women who may know how I feel.  I don't want these feelings to show the true nature of my heart; I am ridiculously in love with my husband, and I would do anything for that precious child of his, and I never want to treat him like he isn't mine, because he will be my children's brother, but I am just going through some "stuff" right now.  So if there is anything to share that might encourgae me, please do!  :)  Thank you.

by on Sep. 14, 2011 at 7:22 PM
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by Member on Sep. 14, 2011 at 10:53 PM
The best way to get over any resentment for your SS is to learn to think of his as a part of your DH, not as your SS. Ask God to help you if it's hard to do that at first. Teach him how to behave the best you can. He is young enough that he should learn fairly quickly. Be firm, but kind. Don't be afraid to set rules and boundaries for him in your home. You can't control the way she raises him, but you can control the rules in your home. That's the best advice I can give. I was in your shoes at one time. My SS is 12 now, and it wasn't always easy, but it was worth it. SS is like my own child now. Hang in there through the tough times, and don't be afraid to ask for advice or vent here! This group has some really great supportive ladies! Welcome!
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by on Sep. 15, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Step-parenting is hard, and I think it's particularly hard for custodial stepmoms.  The feelings you describe are perfectly normal.  It's not wrong to observe your stepchild's issues and desire to have your own child that won't develop those same issues (though they'll have others, lol).  It's not wrong to want to parent a child according to your own values rather than bowing to the values of another parent, who lives life on different terms.  Zamaria is right though; try to think of them as part of your husband, not part of the ex or just a step. 

As your SS gets older, the stability you provide will help.  He will observe that there is a difference between the BM's home and yours.  If she continues in her current lifestyle, he may also grow to observe a distinct difference in happiness between your home and hers.  It's frustrating to watch a young child be frustrated over the different rules in different households, but he'll get it figured out.  My SS sometimes complains about what he can get away with at BM's and how our rules aren't fair, but at the end of the day, his sense of "home" is with us. 

by Member on Sep. 20, 2011 at 2:40 AM

The feelings of resentment, for me, anyway never did go away.  Granted, I love the kid like crazy, I just really don't like the way she is being raised by BM and DH.  Her father is a pretty inattentive parent (just his personality) and has a thoughtless tendancy to put her wants above the needs of everyone else in the family because he feels guilty.  Don't get me started on BM.  I've learned that there is not a lot I can do about it, other than try to be a good example.  I tackle little changes with DH bit by bit, and BM, thankfully, has matured a lot.

Also, I can freely admit I love and like my kids more, though I wouldn't openly share this with SD.  So don't feel bad about wanting your own.  SD will drop me like a hot potato to spend a minute with BM.  It's not wrong it's just the way it is.  It doesn't mean I don't care about SD, and I know SD loves me, we have our own special bond.  There's just something about that parental bond.

Also, try not to dwell about "what if's".  I also never guessed how hard it would be to be a stepmother.  I grew up in an intact family.  I never thought that sweet 2 year old would turn into a 4 then 6 then 8 year old pain (she's very resentful, and always trying to get under my skin).  I never thought DH would undermine me with such fury.  I thought all mother's put their children's needs before their own.  However, I believe this is the path that God has put me in, and he will never give you anything you can't handle.

Additionally, I want to say that you should learn to let go of your anger toward BM.  I think that has been my greatest release.  Even though she can still anger me at times, (especially when she makes SD or DH sad or angry).  If I just pray for her, I tend not to keep carrying around that anger with me.

by New Member on Feb. 14, 2012 at 1:39 AM

I am 22 years old...My boyfriend and I just celebrated our one year anniversery..... My boyfriend has a three year old named A.J. and he is just nothing but wild at first everything was okay he told everyone I was his girlfriend and I thought it would be cake from there...the past few months have been pure hell... He resents me out of no where and its making want to resent him right back and now I just feel like I dont belong....Myboyfriend has 50/50 custody...I feel the childs mother is a very unfit mother and everything out be much better for the child if my boyfriend would just have him at all times... A.J. is a very smart cookie he knows what is right from wrong and its just like he wants to get into trouble.. I thought he was bored and I told my boyfriend five months ago that maybe getting a puppy would be a good idea which has come to bite me in the a** all they do is fight and he likes to see the puppy in trouble he will just lay on the ground and pretent that the dog is hurting him just to get a reaction... I feel as if I am going crazy someone please help I do love my boyfriend I would hate to have to end a relationship over a three year old....

by on Mar. 17, 2012 at 6:04 PM
I have had all the same feelings as you. More so when I first got married. I've been married 7 years and my ss's are now 10 and 12. I promise it will get easier. It's a huge adjustment at first. It's good you have cm as a support, especially if your friends cannot understand what you are going through.
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