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Author Topic: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying  (Read 4889 times)


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I'm so sad right now.  I've been reading posts here about the relationships between stepmothers and their stepchildren, just waiting for the shoe to drop.

I have the sweetest, most lovely little 6 year old stepdaughter.  I would do anything for her.  We have a great relationship.  We're very compatible, real buddies.  I have no desire to replace her mother or compete with her mother.  I just want to be someone she loves, someone who's special in her life, someone she can turn to when she needs anything.

My birthday, my DH's birthday and the PBFH's birthday are all in consequetive visitation weekends in September/October, with mine being the 3rd of the 3.  I helped her work all day making a card for her PBFH.  The next visitation, we work all day on my husband's card.  The next visitation weekend was my birthday.....nothing from her.  When my family was giving me gifts, she ran upstairs, grabbed an old art project that she made from two months earlier and gave it to me.

Today, she went to the office with my husband.  She came home and proudly showed me the beautiful card she made for DH and another for her PBFH BM.  Again nothing for me.

Obviously, my expectations are way too high.  I can't help than be disappointed.  I remember growing up and always making special things for the people I loved, whether it was my parents, aunts/uncles, teachers, whomever.

I try too hard to make a special place for her in our home because I love her.  I don't regret that.  But it would mean so much if she could just think of me just once in a special way.

I must be PMSing.  I can't believe how emotional I am over this.  Thanks for letting me vent.


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #1 on: Nov 24, 2003, 07:57:24 PM »
You're husband, you know, her father, the one who helps to teach her the appropriate way to treat people, should have sat her down and done it with her.  Next year, don't do anything for dad...  He should have felt like crap when she gave you a two month old art project.


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #2 on: Nov 24, 2003, 08:02:34 PM »
Oh Joni ... I'm so sorry!  I've been down that road so very many times.  In a way it gets easier, but for me anyway resentment creeps in, too.

She's just a little girl.  I'm not making excuses for her, but she is still so very young.  She needs her Dad's guidance on this.  You and DH need to have a talk.  He needs to understand how emotionally devastating this is for you.  He should also be the one to take her shopping for a gift for you for Christmas and your birthday!  He needs to be more sensitive to you.  When she's making cards like that, he should gently ask, "Do you want to make just one more for Joni?  It would mean so much to her."  If she says no she shouldn't be made to feel guilty about it, but she needs to learn that others do a great deal for her.  It's obvious that no one has taught her about people's feelings and how easily they get hurt sometimes.  I would bet you that it has never even occurred to her that you get your feelings hurt.

This step-parenting thing is a tough road.  I've heard it said that "parenting is a thankless job."  Step-parenting is worse than that.  This past summer YSD (16 yo) described to me how she viewed me in terms of "family" -- good thing I wasn't drinking or eating anything when she did!  She said she thinks of the family as she, OSD, SS, and DH as being in a house together with all the windows open and me walking in circles around the house peeking inside at them.  Harsh, huh?  Tells you where [em]I[/em] stand in her life!  This is the same kid I stayed up all night with when she was sick, the same one I made a Civil War Days costume for a special thing at elementary school in the 4th grade (PBFH told her she didn't need one) ... you know what we all do for our DH's kids.

Daddy needs to handle this situation and make sure you're included in special things.

(((((((((((Joni))))))))))  Hang in there.  It will be okay.


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #3 on: Nov 24, 2003, 08:46:15 PM »
<<>>  I could have said that too!  LOL

I'm still reeling from the lawsuit and I guess there is some residual bitterness towards the ex for her antics and towards my hubby for letting her get away with it for so long.

He kept me at bay for years and this is the result of his letting go of my collar, so to speak!

There's an old Indian saying, two rather, that stick in my head...

Turn lose your wolf, which means, give it everything you have, and No quarter, which means, give no leniancy...

I live by those!  LOL

Seriously, tho, I can't tell you how many times I've been on the crap end of birthdays and holidays...  I quit taking the kids shopping for their mom a long time ago, since no one did it for me.

Sadly, you really need to harden your heart some to be a step mom.  It really is one of the most thankless jobs a person can ever have.


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #4 on: Nov 24, 2003, 10:02:59 PM »
Well I know how you feel.  It has happened to me so many times.  Me and my stepdaughter get along great.  Actually she comes to me for everything, and we get along so well.  Anyway, once she sent a card  for the family and put on it, NOT TO RENAE!!  At first I was really upset, but we have to remember that the BM or PBFH always makes life so hard on them for even acknowledging us, so basically they kind of have to, to not get any grief.  She told me later her mom told her to do it.  
Her mom will tell her to tell her dad Hi but not to tell me.  Its just a stupid game.  I think that maybe she didn't give you anything for you b-day because her BM has impressed in her the guilt she should have for doing so.  
My SD is 17 and the other day, when she sent her dad a birthday card, which is 1 week after mine, (i didn't get a card either)she sent me a THANK YOU card for being there for her, and always listening...
It made my day, but that is the first one EVER, and I have known her since she was 4.  Like was said in reply before this, Step parenting is a job never acknowledged...
GOODLUCK, and hope you feel better


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #5 on: Nov 25, 2003, 05:57:19 AM »
You really went the extra mile in making sure pbfh and dh had something really special from their daughter.  You are a real blessing in your SD's life.

Keep in mind that if you continue to do this, your SD will always have fun memories of doing this.  It's obvious that no one else does it with her.  It's a cool activity that only you two do.

Please try not to take it personally that your stepdaughter did not get anything for you.  She is only six, and I remember my mom always telling me to write thank-you's and send letters.  I never did this on my own either, even when I was older.  I didn't see the importance as a child.  Besides, I'm sure if SD had asked her mother to take her out for a gift for you, or asked her mother for help with a gift for you, her mother would have said NO WAY.  Six-year-olds don't plan ahead, either, so she was stuck when it was your birthday.

I agree with the other posters, that you should talk to your dh and see if in the future he is willing to take SD shopping for you or something.  But I really feel that you and SD sitting down and spending a day on a project is great time spent, and highlights the importance of letting people know they're special on their special day.  Sooner or later this will rub off. and one day you'll be surprised with a special gift from SD without her having been prompted from anyone!
Hugs to you.  Hang in there!

stepmom who cares

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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #6 on: Nov 25, 2003, 07:50:54 AM »
Words to live by as a Step Mother:
1.  No matter what the mother says or does - most times she is number one in the eyes of the child.
2.  You need to know when to step up and step back.  
3.  You need to do the parenting dance with your husband - which sometimes means taking the lead - and showing him the right "steps"
4.  What goes around - comes around - we just don't know when!  But we all know that it does!
5. You recd more of a gift than a card - you recd the gift of spending time with the child - that is considered PRICELESS!  Enjoy it now - as they get older - they want to hide in their rooms!
6.  This is the most important rule:  TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF - step back, breath deeply - love yourself, count your blessings - and take time for you!  
Step Parenting can be joyful!


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RE: Stepmother's reality slap in the face....can't stop crying
« Reply #7 on: Nov 25, 2003, 08:53:13 AM »
That is ridiculous, to not do anything for Dad because he didn't have his daughter do something for you.  If you do that, it just becomes a petty little game--and SD will learn nothing.

I agree that it would be a good idea to express your hurt feelings to your husband.  I am sure it is just not something he even considered.

I have also been disappointed when SDs do nothing for birthdays and/or holidays.  But they don't have support of BM.  Since I have known my husband, BM took SDs shopping once for Dad's birthday present.  No phone calls on Father's Day or his birthday, no cards or gifts on Christmas.  Definitely nothing for me.  My husband even encourages his daughters to call their stepfather--whom he cannot stand--on Father's Day.  Very frustrating and hurtful, but just another part of being a blended family.  Unfortunately they spend far more time with BM, and we have far too little time to teach them ways to show respect and love.


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