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Slow Death by Expectations

GrudgingSM's picture

One of the most completely awful things for me as an SM is everybody's freaking expectations. What DH expects from me when it comes to his kids, which honestly feels contradictory in nature, plus his kids expectations of what I should give them, plus BM's expectations of how I should be with her kids and what I should do for them and what I shouldn't do for them, plus the in-laws and what they feel is fair for their grandkids/nieces/nephews.

And as if that wasn't enough, there's all the expectations from society. Of course stepparents are doomed no matter what because of all of the narratives of evil stepparents, but people are constantly making assumptions about how I should feel about my step kids and how we should engage with them and how much time I should be spending with them. I know families in society also have expectation around first families, but I just feel so trapped sometimes by my sense of judgment from others.  Yes I know I should just not care, and I do try, but people seem to comment quite a bit on my situation.

what comments about step life or expectations from others drive you the most nuts?


CLove's picture

Society and bio parents...and I see step parents saying this too.

Drives me up the wall.

1. The children always come first.

2. You just hate my kid(s) when you say anything that is remotely criticising

3. Then just leave! When you say anything remotely criticising.

4. You knew what you were getting into/signed up for, knew he/she had kids

Stepdrama2020's picture

5. Smile and say thanks to the skids for the shit sandwich.  

caninelover's picture

That my grown arse adult SD can do as she wants and I'm supposed to just be happy that she spends time with us as a family.  Um I can do without toxic people period, family or not.

Hi Stepdrama, I hope your feeling better Smile

Stepdrama2020's picture

I am thanks!!

caninelover's picture

So glad to know that!

Steppedonnomore's picture

Keep in mind that someone else's expectation is theirs, not yours.  So it is not your problem unless you allow it to be.  You are under no obligation to live up to anyone else's expectations - only your own.

Merry's picture

I don't know how old you are, Grudging. But let me tell you that as I get older, the less I care what other people think about me. I had a real turning point at 40 and it is so freeing.

Don't like how I act, or what I wear, or how I speak, or how I spend my money? OK, I can't control how anybody else feels about what I do. Not that there isn't always room for reflection, but the only important thing is that you are acting in a way that is true to yourself, and with honesty and integrity. The end.

Ispofacto's picture

I find it amusing when one person can't keep their expectations consistent.  According to Satan, I wasn't allowed to mother Killjoy, but then I wasn't allowed to disengage either.  Which is it??



GrudgingSM's picture

OMG YES! In the beginning I was told to know my place and then I had no right, legally speaking, to a relationship with them. And now BM asked me to babysit for free for her anytime she needs and asks me to team up with her to override DH's parenting. And honestly I think they both need parenting classes.

strugglingSM's picture

Ah yes, I was told both that I wasn't allowed at school events because I "wasn't family" and that I was being terrible for not "loving" Skids like they were my own children.

advice.only2's picture

I fell into the belief that I had to "love skid like my own" and that "I knew what I was getting into." Yet I had a kid and my DH didn't seem to struggle or have any of the issues I was having. Instead he got along well with my BS and my BS treated him with respect and if issues arose I backed my DH. When I tried to point that out to people I then got the "well it's not skids fault, I mean look at her mom." hmmm so DH is excused from all of this, BM is excused from all of this...yet somehow I am not?

Disillusioned's picture

The biggest for me was the expectation that I would fall over backwards, sacrifice everything for his kids. Kiss their asses. But they did not so much as have to even answer me when I said hello to them. Not nearly enough was done to address their disrespect towards me. The expectation was that it would all be one-sided, after all I "knew what I was getting into" and "they didn't choose to have me in their lives" blah blah blah...all excuses for their awful behavior

But boy, if the step parent were ever to get out of line in any way - that's a whole different matter! They are expected to be perfecf of course!!

Rumplestiltskin's picture

Love them like your own, sacrifice for them like they are your own, but if you want any say in how things are done, you are "overSTEPping!"

I have bio kids and the bond i have with them comes from that initial baby and small child age when i was responsible for them. My decisions and actions determined their safety, what they learned, etc. If i'm just preforming labor per someone else's instructions, that isn't even remotely the same. 

strugglingSM's picture

I agree with many of these above and add the expectation that SM has no family of her own or no traditions that existed prior to marrying DH and should just take on all of the family traditions that already existed as her own. This might be a special expectation only for child free SMS, because of course a person without children can't possibly have any of her own traditions or any desire to spend holidays with her own family. Of course, now DH and I have a child and we're still expected to spend every Christmas with MIL so skids "will know they are loved" according to MIL.

There's also an expectation that whenever Dad and SM do anything, that Skids should also be invited along. DH's family even grumbled that we took a honeymoon without Skids. I was also accused of "not making Skids part of her family" when I had the nerve to ask if MIL would watch Skids while DH and I went to sign paperwork for our home.

Finally, the expectation that a SM should not have any expectations of her own. She should just bow and scrape and take whatever scraps are thrown her way. 

Rumplestiltskin's picture

I was watching this show the other day, and the story was that a planet was in danger of being blown up. One character said "We have to save them, there are families with KIDS on that planet!" Another character said "There are probably a lot of single people, too."

I thought that was funny and indicative of our society's value of "kids come first!" 

Cover1W's picture

Yes, I was expected to just go along with their holiday plans but any if mine?

Why do you do that? That's stupid. We don't do that. I really don't want to. Why do we have to? You aren't family. I didn't break it! 

Etc , etc. I just stopped trying. I do one thing for myself and DH has to do the rest. 

ImFreeAtLast's picture

I don't tell people about AdultSkid to avoid the inevitable ignorant comments. Online the "you knew what you were getting into" crap makes me shake my head.

jdlusk's picture

I hate to hear that.  Yes, us step parents knew that our signifigant other had children but I think more often than not, when the ink is dry on the marriage certificate things tend to deviate from what we knew before the commitment.  


shellpell's picture

One of my faves is that sM should be groveling and trying to be friends with BM, and hell, why not celebrate holidays and vacation with her too? After all, by marrying DH, your main purpose isn't to be his wife but to revolve your life around someone else's kid and what's best for that kid. Blech.