PDA

View Full Version : Bad StepMom 2


WckdStpMom
May 30th, 2011, 10:36 PM
I think i'm a bad stepmom on the inside :(. I don't want to be but I think I am.

I act differently from how I feel mind you but I still feel bad about how I personally feel.

Just a bit of background:
I have a 9yr old DSS. His mother dropped him off after a failed attempt at getting my DH back. She dropped him off a few weeks before I was to give birth to my DS. He's only been with us a few months. My DH is very happy to have him live with us. This has been the missing piece he's been feeling sad about for a long time and now it's as if he has everthing he wants.

Now going back to why I say i'm a bad stepmom:
My DSS has been sick since yesterday. I cooked soup and gave him his medicines even if it meant waking up in the early hours but when he starts crying because his head hurts, I stop him from crying telling him it will make things worst because his nasal passages will get congested and his headache will become more painful but deep inside I know it's mainly coz I find it annoying.

Last night my DH was cleaning up vomit from the carpet floor and the bed and this morning we had to wash our sheets because he pooped in it. Instead of feeling sympathetic, I just felt annoyed.

DSS wanted to stay at the couch and not in the room coz he says he feels lonely there but if he's out here then that means no tv for me. For some reason the tv seems to make headaches worst so we don't let him watch too much of it at the moment.

He's a good kid really. I mean of course there are still things that he can improve on but I would say he's better than most his age.

What the heck is wrong with me? I'm a good person but for some reason I feel this way inside. I'm scared and worried on whether I can stay good to him in the long run. I want to be but I can't seem to help how I feel.

Priscille
May 31st, 2011, 06:05 AM
Of course you will be a good step mom! Just listen to you talking about him. You've got it inside you to be good to him and in the long run you will be the most wonderful step mom he could dream of!

In the meantime, why are you feeling this way? I wonder??? Might it have to do with the fact that your life has been completely turn upside down by the arrival of a step son and a son at the same time?? And, of course, he's been stealing a bit of the attention of his dad who is so glad to have him back? And it scares you a little bit as you wonder what the future holds??

Give yourself some time, these were pretty big changes... Before you know it, you'll know how to share your love between these three souls, and they are going to give it to you back triple fold!

WckdStpMom
May 31st, 2011, 01:58 PM
Thanks Priscille, I sure hope you're right for his sake and mine.

Mylady
May 31st, 2011, 03:18 PM
Hi, just reading your post made me remember my step mum. i really had a bad relationship with her. she moved in with us (my sisters and my Dad) when i was only 5 years old and it was down hill from there. i know it must be really difficult to have to take the child of someone your DH has been with before as your own. but children really have no clue what the difficulties are and really dont understand the dynamics.

i just remember wanting my stepmother to love me just as if i were hers. but that was too hard for her and she made it clear. and children can feel negative energy towards them. you seem to be trying and it sounds to me that you would really want to be a good mum to him. i know i was difficult sometimes but it was really in reaction to her treatment of me.

you have it in you to overcome whatever unhealthy feelings you are experiencing now and its partly because it is a new situation and a challenging one too. but you can do it. you can share your love all around. and believe me it would make a difference to him and you will see it in the way he relates to you. my stepmum has gone down in my bad books and if by God's grace i had not dealt with the bitterness and anger that she caused me all my life, i had every intention of eliminating her name from my wedding guest list. she could have been a mother to me regardless of the circunstance but she chose to make my life and my sisters miserable. but you can have a very precious relationship with yur stepson. its really up to you. i know even though i had my mum all along i really wish i had had a better relationship with my stepmum. she lived with us for 20years! and its full of bad memories. i have forgiven her now, ofcourse and will definately be inviting her to my wedding, but its really just out of respect for my Dad.

you never know how much blessing you will receive for making your home a home for him also. take it from someone who has gone through a lot of pain. It will be hard but it will also a victory for you. all the best to you. i know you can do it!

KayKay
May 31st, 2011, 03:46 PM
Welcome WickdStpMom. :)

I had a step mom growing up (real mother died) and she was the most wonderful thing that ever happened to me. I don't know how she felt on the inside, but I do know that I felt special to her and even though she has been dead for 20-some-odd years, I feel her imprint on my life every day. So sometimes good comes from the "step" relationship. Just wanted to give you that hope. :)

I hope I'm not out of line, but reading your post made me think "Why does she feel bad about THAT?" I don't know a single mother - blood or step or foster - who has never been annoyed at washing sheets that a kid has pooped in. I wondered why that would make you feel like you're "bad"? Then I realized... you have a newborn. :)

The relationship you have with your newborn is amazing. You can spend hours just staring at that perfection and can't imagine loving anything more than you love him. I remember that feeling with my DS - that was pretty cool. You might not believe this now, but when your DS is 9 and pooping in your bed? You'll be annoyed. My point is - cut yourself some slack. Your relationship with your DSS is a new relationship and your love hasn't had time to grow yet.

I'm proud of you for behaving in a way that is loving to your husband and DSS, even if on the inside you aren't feeling it yet. ;)

Mrs X
May 31st, 2011, 05:03 PM
Hi WckdStpMom, i feel annoyed at all those things too. In fact, i throw up when others vomit, even if it is my daughter vomiting. Yuck. :o

You'll probably be annoyed when your baby does it too in years to come! - I don't think it matters that you feel annoyed, it matters how you deal with it regardless. (hope that makes sense, if not, just go with "wot KayKay said")

HisHeathenHoney
May 31st, 2011, 05:04 PM
Welcome WickdStpMom. :)
The relationship you have with your newborn is amazing. You can spend hours just staring at that perfection and can't imagine loving anything more than you love him. I remember that feeling with my DS - that was pretty cool. You might not believe this now, but when your DS is 9 and pooping in your bed? You'll be annoyed.

Ditto this. (I have a 5 and a 7 year old.) You have no expectations of a new baby. You just sort of bask in their incredible awesomeness, and even when they cry, poop, spit up, etc., you tend not to be mad because, well, it's a BABY. Babies get to just "be."

However, unless you are raising a spoiled brat, you have expectations of an older child, and they regularly fail to meet those expectations, *even if they are good children.* Getting super annoyed by a child doesn't mean you are a bad mom. If you have an older kid or kids and are not regularly being driven insane by them, then you are probably on enough Valium to drop a pony.

When I was expecting my second child, I worried that I loved my first child so much, I wouldn't be able to love the second as much. (Unofficial poll of mom friends: this is a common fear when you are about to leave mom-of-only status.) A very wise friend said, "Love isn't finite. There is enough love for two children, or three children, or four. What there isn't enough of is patience."

Act in a loving way even if you don't always feel it, understand that being aggravated by children is totally normal, that your patience has its limits and that does not make you a bad person, and take a deep breath when you think you are going to lose it.

Don't make your goal to love your bio-children and step-children so much that you will never feel impatient and angry with them. Beyond the babe-in-arms stage, this is completely and totally impossible. Make your goal learning to manage your own impatience so that you can still act as a good mom and enjoy the good times, while you laugh off the exasperating times with your mom friends. That's what they're there for.:)

HisHeathenHoney
May 31st, 2011, 05:32 PM
Now going back to why I say i'm a bad stepmom:
My DSS has been sick since yesterday. I cooked soup and gave him his medicines even if it meant waking up in the early hours but when he starts crying because his head hurts, I stop him from crying telling him it will make things worst because his nasal passages will get congested and his headache will become more painful but deep inside I know it's mainly coz I find it annoying.

Last night my DH was cleaning up vomit from the carpet floor and the bed and this morning we had to wash our sheets because he pooped in it. Instead of feeling sympathetic, I just felt annoyed.

My DS1 just had his tonsils out. He was terrible. His pain meds wore off, and he couldn't have more, and he would cry, and want to sit in my lap and cling, and I was so tired, I sometimes felt like screaming at him to just stop. I never did, but I felt like it.

Also sometimes, it was hard to get him to take the pain medicine. I had to coax and nag and badger. He would cry, because it tasted awful, and I would be so frustrated, because I knew he would be beyond kmiserable until he managed to take it, and I would feel angry with him for not taking it.

Kids are like a marathon. Sometimes you hit the wall. And then you just somehow find it in yourself to keep going. When you raise one from infancy, you have the advantage of starting in the kiddie pool of expectations, so to speak. You have time to slowly adapt to applying expectations to children. You, however, got thrown in the deep end. Sometimes that's the way it is. (Other things can throw you in the deep end...a child's serious illness, a family crisis, a learning disability). You don't always feel that motherly glow, but that's not what being a mother is about. Being a mother is about how you somehow find it in yourself to keep going even when you are NOT feeling that motherly glow. Which will be often.

To get cheesy and quote Kipling:

"If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on""

Well, then (to paraphrase Kipling), you're a mom. :)

WckdStpMom
May 31st, 2011, 10:23 PM
Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement, somehow it has made me feel less stressed about it and less alone. I guess we are our own worst critic. :)

Priscille, I suppose what i'm scared of is the thought that I might not really be able to handle this as well as I thought I could and that my annoyance was just the beginning, a possible sign that I might be changing into a horrible person that I don't want to become. I think after reading all your responses I realized that i'm just giving myself the snowball effect.

KayKay, you are right, I guess I can't help but compare how i'm currently feeling with my newborn and my DSS. Very conscious of the fact that there is a difference in how I feel, I easily feel guilty thinking that the reason behind my annoyance is because he's not mine.

I'm sure you guys are right, when my DS grows up and starts talking back, not wanting to eat his food, refusing to drink medicine and talking about not wanting to go to school coz it's boring, i'd probably get really annoyed too.

HisHeaThenHoney That poem by Kipling is one of my favorites along with the Desiderata so it got me a bit teary reading it as i've never really thought of applying it in my current situation.

My DSS is now feeling better, no throwing up, no more diarrhea, no tummy ache and seems to almost forget he was actually in pain yesterday. Now he's hoping he doesn't have to go to school tomorrow coz he says it can sometimes be boring, at least that means he's back ;). Had to google how I may convince a 9yr old that school is good :p

snafu
June 2nd, 2011, 11:53 AM
Have you done any research (in all that spare time you have)?

Its okay to feel overwhelmed right now. I also agree with PPs in that you've got a lot going on right now.


Before (and in the early years) my DH & I became a "combined" family I did a lot of research on how to ease the transition into combined families & make them work. I don't remember most of the places I found stuff, but I could give you info if you're interested.

HisHeathenHoney
June 2nd, 2011, 03:48 PM
Oh, just wanted to chime in with one parenting multiple kids tip that I found to be a lifesaver.

Babies tend to demand a lot of attention, a lot of the time, and their needs are urgent. Everybody jumps. Pick up the baby, feed the baby, rock the baby, change the baby. Older kids are expected to wait. Now, older kids should be expected to wait, but you also can't expect little kids to feel thrilled that THEY have to wait for something they want while THAT BABY just has to peep and then everyone is jumping through hoops.

One way to alleviate this a little is to occasionally make the baby wait a little bit, and ANNOUNCE to the baby that he has to wait. This is obviously not so much for the baby's benefit as for the older child, so the older child can hear you factoring in his needs too.

Example: Baby squawks. You say, "just a minute baby, I will pick you up just as soon as I pour DSS his juice." Yes, it is a maternal impulse to grab your crying baby instantly, but look for opportunities to make him wait when it would just be for a teeny bit, and announce it. It doesn't have to be "wait while I help DSS finish his homework" but while I get him juice, while I tie his shoes, while I peel an orange for him.

And if baby keeps squawking (which he will since the baby doesn't understand what you said), you can smile at DSS and say "Baby doesn't understand that we sometimes have to wait for what we want, huh? That's how babies are. But he will learn someday."

That will help the older one feel that he doesn't ALWAYS get pushed aside for the sake of the baby, and also reassure him that your long-term goal is to raise someone who has to follow the rules, just like he does--it just can't be expected yet.

And as a bonus, I can tell you, my younger kid is WAYYY better at waiting before getting what he wants, because he got small controlled doses of it from birth.

KayKay
June 2nd, 2011, 04:07 PM
I like that HHH. :)

Just after I gave birth to DD and was in my hospital room, DH and DS were visiting. A nurse came in and DH and DS left. The nurse nodded towards DS and said "How old is he?" I said "15 months" and she said "Here's some advice. She (nodding towards DD) won't notice if you don't go to her first. He (nodding toward the door) will."

That was pretty darn good advice, IMO. :)

Lizzie
June 3rd, 2011, 01:03 AM
Yes, it a hard balancing trick...I may have got it wrong!

WckdStpMom
June 4th, 2011, 04:33 AM
HH & Kaykay thanks, that makes sense. I'll try that. :)

Snafu, yup did some research, most of it has more to do about a stepmom's part on discipline, about not talking bad about the biological mom, possible behaviours we should watch out for and understand... but I somehow understood that guides will never really cover everything that's why I kept looking and that's how I got to this forum. I'm learning a lot thatks to you all.

Holly
June 4th, 2011, 05:49 PM
Hi StepMom....

You're not a bad stepmom, you are just experiencing a crash course in the joys of motherhood. I imagine you will feel annoyed at times when your new baby is crying and won't stop. The part that makes us good moms is that even if we are annoyed, we keep on doing what we do anyay.

I was a caretaker for my 9 year old cousin and I still usually am when the time calls, even though I've moved out of their house and have my own child. She annoys me, but I have a really good bond with her anyway. It's those annoying times that create bonds, I think.

You will be fine! Overwhelmed? Yes. Annoyed? Of course? Good mom and stepmom? Absolutely. Good luck to you!

KayKay
June 4th, 2011, 06:35 PM
Welcome, Holly. :)

WckdStpMom
June 8th, 2011, 12:55 AM
Hi Holly,

Thanks. You are right, I am going through a crash course on motherhood and at the same time stepmotherhood.

So much to learn so little time and a lot of fears inside me. I know i'll probably make mistakes but hopefully nothing too damaging for their futures.

I love my DS. I don't know yet how I feel about my DSS. All I know is that I want him to have a little more stability than what he's had for the past years, a home, a place to feel like a 9 yr old instead of someone who has to grow up so fast or still act like a 3 to 5 yr old. I want them both to love each other and have a good future. Healthy, Smart and good inside. Thanks for the good wishes, I'll need all the luck I can get. :)

snafu
June 10th, 2011, 02:27 PM
One book I found that had good advice (at least I thought so) was called "Divorce and New Beginnings" by Virginnia Clapp.

I have found that advice echoed in other books. Another book was called "The Smart Step-family" or maybe it was the smart step-parent.

Councilors even recommened some of the same things - your DH & DSS should spend some one-on-on time together. You and step-son should also spend some one-on-one time together (ie read to him before bed, take him to an arcade & paly airhockey)


and there should be family activities too (a trip to the park, the pool, go see a movie)

snafu
June 17th, 2011, 05:21 PM
One of the things I did that allowed all the parents to be acknowledged was put up various pictures on one wall in my home.

I asked both kids (my DS & DSD) to pick their favorite pict of them and other parent together. I then bought cool/neat frames & hung the picts. I also picked one of my favorite picts of DSD's mom (she passed away) and hung a small copy of it & a small pict of my ex in a similar frame.