supermom123's picture

Does anyone look at the chlid's perspective?

I'm a stepmother of 2 girls and also a bio-mom of my two sons. I have many years of experience doing this (21+). Let's try to think from the child's perspective for a sec. The stepkid doesn't even get to lay her head down on the same pillow each night. She's not sure which house she left her stuffed animal at. Even the smells are different between the two homes. If you think about it, when we as adults divorce with children, we are asking the kids to do something that we as adults would NEVER want to do ourselves -- that is, sleep at a different house every other week (or weekend, whatever the visitation is). Oh, and by the way kids, make sure you behave perfectly no matter what is happening around you! Sure, the rules are different between the two houses, but you better try to keep up, kiddo! Don't get confused, because if you forget which rules apply to which house, that new stepmother/stepfather is gonna get mad! And yes, I'm sorry the step-parent doesn't want you around. Sure, you aren't stupid, so you notice they don't like having you around, but if you "act out" about this fact, you'll get in trouble. Don't you dare act like a child -- you have to have perfect manners at all times, especially when you are with your step-parent because by the way, they don't love you unconditionally (not your fault, but you better put up with this fact). Oh, and also, remember that your real Dad or Mom might be remarried, and so you better get along with the spouse that they chose for themselves (not that you were given a choice in this). Hey parents & step-parents out there ... Can we possibly cut the kids just a little bit of slack? I'm not trying to anger anyone out there... But I've given this a LOT of thought, from the child's perspective. I've had 21 years to think about what we are doing to the children.


StickAFork's picture

I've been a SM for more than

I've been a SM for more than 20 years, too. The only time I've had any success in that role was when I DID look at it from the child's perspective. Looking at it from mine (and mine alone) only created drama and heartache in my household.

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Stick a fork in me... I'm done...

stepmonster_2011's picture

http://www.youtube.com/watch?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo

That is what I hear in your post.

Of course we think about things from the child's perspective. But here's a little secret - kids are resilient - they can EASILY adapt to the concept of 2 houses might have 2 different sets of rules. They KNOW that what happens at Grandma's isn't allowed at home! For example.

I take issue with your post. This is a vent site - we come here when we are at our wit's end - because we know these folks here will understand. If you can't provide even a small amount of empathy for most of us - then you certainly don't have to stay.

supermom123's picture

Wow.

Wow.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

stepmonster_2011's picture

What? Do you think by

What? Do you think by looking at life thru my SS's eyes I'll understand more why he STEALS, LIES, FIGHTS, SMOKES, DRINKS, SNOOPS thru my stuff and my DAUGHTERS' stuff?

Sorry lady - no matter how many times I've tried to be compassionate and super duper understanding - we get shit on by him EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Lucky you that your Step daughters didn't cause you so much grief that you have to put in security cameras in your house! Just because YOU won the StepMom Lottery - sure as hell doesn't mean the rest of us did.

Now please kindly step off your soap box.

supermom123's picture

Wow.

Wow.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

the other side of the story's picture

Hey. Kids dont have just 2

Hey. Kids dont have just 2 beds or 2house with 2 different rules. They also have 2 different lives. The two adults being the parents have most likely 2 different life styles and activites that they enjoy. So the kid also has to figure out who the hell they are. They didnt have a choice in this matter and they may not have a clue who they are supposed to be let alone have either 2 moms or 2 dads. Or both. So if you cant think about how the kids feel or about how hard the kid is then you should have thought about marring a guy with kids. Becuse im a kid.16 in fact and ive had a step mom since i was 8 so and i still dont have a damn clue who i am or how im supposed to be a kid and a sthe same time im basically asked to be an adult at the same time. So i know that i have cried so many nights with no clue what to do.so stop complainimg about your kids who are yours now cuz you married their dad and they didnt have say in it.and grandmas is different then having mom and dad live in 2 house and dad sleeping and living with another women. So think bout how your thinking your asking the kid to be an adult. Before you say how easy it is for the kid.

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Dont forget to take in what the otherside feels

StickAFork's picture

While I agree with you that

While I agree with you that looking at BOTH sides is beneficial, you will not find sympathy, or even open ears, on this site.
It is true that soem stepparents are awful, evil creatures. They HATE the fact that their spouse/SO has child(ren) from before.
It is also true that some stepkids are pretty damn awful, too. Sometimes they will do whatever it takes to estrange the stepparent, even if that means lying to authorities about abuse!
No side is "righter" than any other. Both sides can have a point.
Given how you communicate in writing, I would REALLY encourage you to focus on your education and the future you want to build for yourself instead of putting that energy in the "step" dynamic.

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Stick a fork in me... I'm done...

supermom123's picture

Hi "The Other Side" -- Sorry

Hi "The Other Side" -- Sorry about the reply you got. I liked what you said. I've learned though that this site is only for the step-parents to vent. I made the same mistake that you made in thinking that another perspective might be welcome here. I am a stepmom and I think my 2 stepdaughters often felt the way you do -- they felt like they weren't sure how to act at whichever house they were at. I'm sad now that sometimes I wasn't as patient with them as I should have been -- I'm also sad that they attacked me so many times when I was the one sane voice in their crazy lives. Now that they are in college, they are beginning to tell me that they're sorry for how they treated me and that they know I wasn't the problem. They are finally beginning to see that they were really mad at their bio-parents for creating this life for them, and that they were just take it out on me. It's SO much easier to hate the step-parent instead of disliking your very own mother or father. You're 16 but you sound like you will be okay. Hang in there, please. Soon you will be out of the house and off at college, I hope! Make big goals for yourself and if money is a problem, then go out and make some money of your own. It will be a lot more fun & rewarding than crying in your room. I'm sure my step-daughters cried a lot on their pillows as well, and this makes me sad. I cried too. It's hard on both sides. But I agree with you -- we're the ADULTS, and you kiddos are probably just trying to figure it all out. I was so lucky, my parents are still together, and I'm sorry that yours aren't.

For that other step-parent who replied to tell you to focus on your education instead of these issues that you are experiencing -- well, I would tell her to do the same thing! Focus on yourself, too, and then let me know how easy it was for you to ignore what was going on around you!

I already know about ALL the replies I will get, so don't waste your time. I was just trying to relate to "The Other Side" since he or she is only 16! So please, go to someone else's comments and skip mine. This wasn't intended for anyone except the teenager who wrote in trying to find some understanding. Try to remember how you felt when you were 16.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

c-mom's picture

You sound like a pretty

You sound like a pretty mature kid. Have you thought about asking your parents (all of them) to sit down together and let you talk to them about all of this? It is scary, but it is worth it. We (parents) are supposed to know it all and even though we do know A LOT more about life than you, we don't know it all honey. And our emotions cloud our good judgement at times just like every other human on this planet. If you have parents and step parents who care about you, they will do this for you. Think about an adult who would be willing to sit in on this meeting with your parents. One who will be completely unbiased (your school counselor is the best option) and go to them. Tell them that you want to have a family meeting with all of your parents to discuss what is making life hard on you. Ask to talk to them first, and then after they listen and understand, that you eventually want to include your parents. Be ready to listen as much as you talk and be ready to accept everything that is said without getting angry. COMMUNICATE! It seems difficult, but it really is not. Once you begin, you will find that it will roll out like a freight train. You will wish someday that you had just gained the courage to do so. Because if your parents care about you, which I bet they do, they will want to hear your feelings and emotions that you hide. If you need an adult to talk to, message me. You could probably provide me the insight from a stepchild's perspective and I could provide you insight from a step-parent's perspective. It is much easier to hear from a friend that is not emotionally tied up. And that is every parent's dream. A child who is willing to communicate with them instead of holding it all in and acting out because of the torment that we don't even realize they are going through.

Two rules about this communicating thing:

Do not say anything hurtful to get back at them... no matter how bad you are hurting. You will not feel better and your parents won't take what you say into account because they will see this as acting out.

Example: When I was 16 my mom was talking to yet another internet boyfriend SHE didn't even know let alone did I. She started bragging about what size bra I wore (which I was already so embarrassed and ashamed about because of abuse that I had endured which she did not know about) to him. It infuriated me and I called her a bitch. I was justified in being mad knowing what I knew and she was wrong in talking to him about this, however, all my snotty comment got me was even more emotional neglect from my mother because at that point she saw me as an ungrateful brat. I should have calmly told her that she had no right to be discussing something so personal with someone she didn't know and that it hurt my feelings. I know, now that I am an adult, that I would have probably received a much better response that way.

Tell yourself you are doing this to solve problems, not cause them, and make sure you keep that mindset or you will make a mountain out of an ant hill.

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c-mom stands for convenience mom... you know, like a convenience store is a c-store. Because I have to be open for business 24/7, 365 while their "real mom" gets to pick and choose when she is a mom and I get treated like scum for my service to others.

the other side of the story's picture

Hey hun. How are the kids

Hey hun. How are the kids supposed to be given a chance if they are given slack?

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Dont forget to take in what the otherside feels

supermom123's picture

Actually I AM a full-time SM,

Actually I AM a full-time SM, my two SD's lived with me for 8 years full-time before they left for college. I've been there. They thought they hated me, too, but now they appreciate the time I spent with them trying to help them. Believe me, I've walked a mile in all of your shoes, and I've been through things that you can't imagine being a step-mom. But like the first person "StickaFork" said, it just creates drama and heartache when the adult doesn't think about what the child is going through. I disagree -- they are not as resilient as we think they are! You can't compare going to SM's house to going to Grandma's house -- Grandma loves the child! SM doesn't ... Look, I'm okay with venting, I do it too. I'm sorry if I sounded non-empathetic, I was just adding some thoughts that seemed necessary. This was my first day on this site, and I think I'll get off this site and never come back. This feels too angry.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

No confusion. I have several

No confusion. I have several degrees.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

I do have common sense. And

I do have common sense. And common sense tells me that if the adults can't figure all this out -- then how the heck can we expect the CHILDREN to figure it all out?

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

YES! I told myself this for

YES! I told myself this for many years "They have 2 parents, and I don't need to be the 3rd parent" -- it's very difficult though. But you are so right. I wonder why the bio-parents don't get it?

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

Yes! Dog Person, we agree!!

Yes! Dog Person, we agree!! You hit the nail on the head. The bio-parents are trying to win the popularity contest. It's just sad that the steps have to suffer. And then in the long run, the kids suffer. They really do. If they're hiding things in a "hidey place" (like one of the writers here said) ... then maybe that child feels violated too? Maybe that child needs a hidey place! That's all I was trying to say. But you are right dog-person, I agree with you.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

Sorry, I stand corrected.

Sorry, I stand corrected. You're right. I'll try to read some of your blogs. I've apologized to everyone if I offended anyone!

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

supermom123's picture

thanks.

thanks.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

giveitago's picture

I respect educated people

I respect educated people greatly, I respect educated people with common sense even more so. What I find really hard to swallow is that I believe a lot of us have recalled our own teenage anxt, looked at things from every angle and still have psychotic SKids. It's a bit much to ask anyone, except maybe another sociopath, to empathize with SD now 18. SD 18 has been in the juvenile justice system since age 13, right up until past 18; she was doing a two year sentence for felony assault on the infirm, assault on a police officer and resisting arrest.
SD is now an erotic dancer, doing drugs and hanging with dealers and pimps.
We, by we I mean the entire local justice system and DH and I, have explored every avenue there is to put SD back on track.
Please, do not suggest empathy with SKids again where I can read it.

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I forgive but I am damned if I'll forget!

supermom123's picture

Sounds awful. Sorry. I

Sounds awful. Sorry. I stand corrected.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

prozac_nation's picture

It's a venting site lol. Of

It's a venting site lol. Of course we are angry! Smiling

Your post just came off pretty judgmental. Of course it's hard on the children. No one likes for their mother and father to be apart, or to have two separate homes. But it HAPPENS. Just as falling in love with someone with kids sometimes just happens. You have to learn to deal with it somehow. Stepmoms/Stepdads come here when they are on their last straw. So yes, the things some post do come off as hateful, but do you think they really say any of those things to the stepkids face? I sure doubt it/hope not. I know I don't and never would. Most of us have tried everything for these children only to be spat by on them and their BM in return. We love our SOs/DHs so we seek helpful advice and a place to vent. Hence, this great site. BMs/Skids get their site too, namely, FACEBOOK. LOL

supermom123's picture

You're right. I just didn't

You're right. I just didn't realize. I'm sorry. I'm really NOT a bad person. This is weird for me. I'm not used to making people angry (unless they're my step-daughters! haha).... Sorry guys. I didn't mean to be judgemental. I was just THINKING THINGS THROUGH in a different way!!! That's all.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

prozac_nation's picture

I understand. It's very easy

I understand. It's very easy for words to be misconstrued on the internet considering that we don't see/hear things such as facial expressions, tone of voice, etc. You just have to watch how you word things on the internet I guess. [I'm also not used to making people angry. Just BM lol] I can see that you were just trying to give us a new perspective on things, it's just that most of us have already put things in that perspective and were nothing short of kicked in the face anyway. If you stick around for awhile you will see that there really are a lot of caring, nice people on this site. Just no one likes to feel like they are being 'bashed'. Not you, not us.

supermom123's picture

Well NOW I'm wondering if

Well NOW I'm wondering if it's smart for me to feel "lulled" into thinking the bad stuff is behind me simply because my two SD's have moved out and are off at college now. They lived here full-time (not visits) and it was hell. I have been so happy for the past 2-3 years since they left home. But now I'm getting nervous again after reading some of this stuff.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

Ruthless's picture

I can see this is an old post

I can see this is an old post but I agree whole-heartedly with this comment. I can't discuss things with my DH anymore as it always ends up in a fight which i hate. So when he asks I just say I have nothing to say on the matter. Now I have a place to vent my feelings without being judged (i think).
The Facebook comment above really hit home. The things the BM says about me on FB are incredibly hurtful. I can't see them but SS16 shows them to my DH. I'm sure he does it purposely to upset me.

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Counting down the days until he turns 18!

the other side of the story's picture

Thank you. the kids

Thank you.
the kids

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Dont forget to take in what the otherside feels

c-mom's picture

Supermom, just because we are

Supermom, just because we are angry about our step-kids and their parents making life hell for us, and writing about it on an online support group, does NOT mean we don't love our step-kids. If you don't love yours, I'm sorry. If I didn't love mine, I wouldn't have stepped into their crackhead mom's shoes when she took them off and ran away. I love my step kids. I don't like them a lot of the time because they are so damn awful to me in return for me doing for them what their mother refuses to do. But that does not mean that I do not love them. Just because I refuse to add "Be theirs and their parents' emotional punching bag" to my never-ending list of responsibilities that they expect from me,does not mean that I don't love them. It just means that I am not willing to take abuse with the hardships that I willingly accept. So why do you keep putting "SM doesn't love the child?" Who are you really talking about while you are bashing ALL SM's?

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c-mom stands for convenience mom... you know, like a convenience store is a c-store. Because I have to be open for business 24/7, 365 while their "real mom" gets to pick and choose when she is a mom and I get treated like scum for my service to others.

c-mom's picture

Oh and by the way, I

Oh and by the way, I completely agree with you that we need to take the children's perspective into account, however sometimes the childrens' perspective is, I don't like you because you aren't my parent and thus, I'm going to do everything possible to make you as miserable as I am. And that is when we turn to this website for advice on how to teach them it is not okay to be that way and also to just get some crap off our chests.

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c-mom stands for convenience mom... you know, like a convenience store is a c-store. Because I have to be open for business 24/7, 365 while their "real mom" gets to pick and choose when she is a mom and I get treated like scum for my service to others.

Great Mom but horrified Stepmom's picture

I happen to agree with you

I happen to agree with you Supermom123. I can't imagine having stepparents and different houses, especially as a kid! I would have been loyal to my MOM and my DAD until the ends of the earth. If a stepparent had been smarter, richer, stronger, better somehow than my bio parent I would NEVER have admitted it. I think the step parenting and stepfamily situation is completely unnatural.

I am a stepmother. I am a biomother.

I have a BS who is a fully functioning 29 year old professional with a degree and a healthy, positive attitude towards life. He's fun, he's funny and he is a joy to me. Like some of the other posters above I know my worth as a parent.

I've proved it.

My SD is a 14 year old underachieving, 'goth', overweight, depressive who is in her third year of therapy and who has now almost completely quit school.

I didn't raise her. Other than tutoring her in science and getting advice from my sis who is a high level curriculum development specialist - I have not participated in her schooling.

Why? Because her bio parents are both hands-off, lazy parents.

This kid is headed straight down the path to BIG trouble. She is halfway there already.

I can't do anything about it. I don't even try to help anymore. My help isn't WANTED. Like most steps, I do my best but mother nature works against us all.

Having said that I appreciate her life is not easy. Just as Supermom123 said - she has to go between houses and parents. There is no one place for her to be where she is ALWAYS taken care of.

I think stepfamilies suck. Not because we want to suck but because parents and children do what nature intended us to do - PROTECT each other and maintain the bloodlines.

It really down come down to that basic fact.

supermom123's picture

thank you. at least you

thank you. at least you didn't tell me to dodge the door that might hit my ass on my way out of this vent site! good grief.

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No one "gets it" unless they've been there ... supermom123

giveitago's picture

We have a fully fledged

We have a fully fledged sociopath here! It's been absolute hell so I sympathize with you.

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I forgive but I am damned if I'll forget!