Step kids

This topic contains 5 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of MrsW MrsW 4 months, 1 week ago.

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    Profile photo of Paula Paula 

    I am having a hard time with my step kids, they are 7 and 8. My partner leaves early and gets home late so it’s basically me looking after them most of the time. We have a daughter together who is one and I absolutely love her to bits, I just feel like I wish they would go away sometimes, I’m so angry at them just for being around. I can’t seem to love them as much as I think I should, everyone tells me what wonderful kids they are and they just drive me bonkers fighting all the time. Their mother can’t have them, shes not a good mum. I try so hard to do all the right things for them. I just don’t know how to deal with what I feel for them and my daughter is so different. Is anyone else in the same situation?

    Profile photo of Flo Flo 

    Hey Paula,
    What a difficult situation you’re in! I’m in a totally different situation and can’t imagine what it’s like to have step kids, but I have no doubt it must be hard. The fact that you’re taking care of them and doing you’re best to do all the right things, tells me you do love them. I think it’s not about how much you love your kids, but HOW you love m. They’re not original yours. You didn’t give birth to them. You didn’t watch them grow. It’s just not the same. So how can you or anyone expect that you love them the same? Maybe you should give up on that idea, or any idea you have about how it should be. I think you’re doing enough. If you’re wishing them away (don’t we all sometimes…) just let the feeling pass. You’re doing a damn tough job and you’re free to hate it sometimes.
    I think you’re doing great, and I hope it will all work out for you!
    Love, Flo

    Profile photo of Crystal Garcia Crystal Garcia 

    I understand a lot of what you are feeling. I have two step kids, and before my oldest child was born, I was worried about resenting them. Then I felt guilty for even thinking about it. After my daughter was born, sometimes I did resent them and felt horrible about it then angry that I couldn’t do all I wanted for my child because of them then guilty over that. I do love them like they are my own, but there is a lot of crap we get as step-parents (and men are seriously blind and forget that and don’t realize that we have our own internal struggles with it). There are no rules or measurements when it comes to love. It just is. You love them and that counts for more than you realize. What you are feeling is actually quite normal especially with your daughter being so young and even more normal when your partner isn’t around for most of it (it’s the same with my husband). Take a breath and give yourself a break. If you can, take time for yourself and get a massage, take a bath, meditate, do yoga, have some tea, wine or whatever will work to help relax and center yourself. Being a mom is hard and adding step-mom to the mix makes it harder. You are doing great!

    Profile photo of Boobsy LaRue Boobsy LaRue 

    Hi Paula,
    I hear you. Oh lord do I hear you.
    I am a stepmum too, to a 9 year old. And I have a 7 month old baby. I always knew being a stepmum was hard, but I didn’t realise just how hard until I had my baby.
    When you have a baby, everyone wants to help you out. You get loads of support, books to read, visits with the MHCN nurse, free programs, the lot. And that is as it should be. But when you become a stepmum, what do you get? Jack diddly squat, unless you count a whole bunch of expectations, oh and responsibilities of course. Lots of responsibility, but very little authority.

    Being a stepmum is a really tough gig.

    When I first became a stepmum, I was full of enthusiasm. Sure, it’ll be tough for a couple of years, I reasoned, but I’ll put in the effort to make a good relationship with the kid, and it will get easier. But it never got easier, in fact it got harder. And when I got tired of putting in a lot of effort to this relationship, it went downhill. And eventually I had to admit to myself that I didn’t really like my stepkid. And that was hard. And then I had to admit that some days, I actively hated this innocent little person who never had a choice in who was looking after them. And that was even harder, and I felt like a horrible, nasty, broken person.

    But we are still a family and I am still committed to making it work.

    So I got some counseling and did some thinking, and I came to the following conclusions.

    You don’t have to love your stepchildren. You can’t force love, and in fact it’s not even necessary. It’s ok to just feel a mixture of affection and duty. What really matters is your actions. To treat them with respect, and to care for them. To be a parent to them, as far as your role permits. I found it useful to look at my step-parenting role as a job. Like, we all have colleagues who get on our nerves, but we go and do our jobs anyway, right? (Or I used to before maternity leave – never thought I’d miss the office and think of it as such a restful place LOL). Being a stepmum is like that for me. I turn up every day and try to do a good job. I make lunches and I help with homework and I try not to get irritated. And when I do get irritated, I try to deal with it in a mature manner. I try not to let my feelings dictate my actions. And there is an unexpected bonus here – the principle of “fake it until you make it” seems to come into play, and I find myself feeling warmer and more relaxed about the whole thing.

    I think the expectation that we should love our stepkids in the same way we love our own kids is insane, and causes nothing but grief. It’s ok not to feel that love. You are still doing a great job of parenting. Well done queen.

    Profile photo of Tonz Tonz 

    Heya all

    I am feeling the same on some level I don’t have any kids of my own but Comparatively I love my niece and nephew more than my step daughter and it fills me with guilt. Hubby is the softy so I’m the one that always tells her off which makes it even harder as I want my own relationship with her but feel like I’m always the bad guy and dad gets all the fun. For me it early days we just got full custody of her in July but shared custody for the past 4 years prior to that she is now 6.
    I feel a sense of relief that I am not the only one that feels this way but I am still determined to change it, I know u can’t force love but I don’t want her to ever feel that she is not important in our family – and I can’t help but feel that any short comings will be my fault!!

    Profile photo of MrsW MrsW 

    I love that saying Crystal Garcia “Being a mom is hard and adding step-mom to the mix makes it harder.”

    It definitely is so much harder but it makes it easier when the child is so loving and easy to get along with.
    I love my 10 yr old stepdaughter like my own, it wasn’t as easy in the beginning but she and I have grown on each other since having 2 babies with my hubby and its fantastic seeing what an awesome big sister she is.
    It is definitely hard when her mum “brainwashes” her with stupid things like “Shes not your mum or your stepmum, shes just your Dad’s friend” or “They’re not your sister and brother, they’re your step/half sister and brother”.

    Step parents don’t get enough credit!!

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