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I screwed up

hollyissad's picture

Today I feel like the most worthless human being that was ever dropped on this planet. My SO has been away after having surgery and recovering, and recently SO and SD7 returned home. I was just so happy to have them home. Well, yesterday I screwed up royally. I’d like to blame it on pregnancy hormones, but I think I’m just emotionally impaired.

I had been planning to take SD7 swimming on Thursday night. She had been really, really looking forward to it, and so was I. Well, I come home from work/my doctor’s appointment, so I got out early, and I take her to dinner. Then we leave and on the way to swimming she says “I really wish my daddy could come swimming”. And I say “yeah, that would be nice”. And then she says “I just really wish I could go swimming with dad. I wish I could be with dad…” and she makes a few more comments about wanting to see her dad. At this point, I am feeling horrible, because she just spent the last week and a half with her dad, and was actually with him all day because she didn’t have school, so I’m wondering why doesn’t she want to be with me? And I say that we can always just go home so she can see her dad and not go swimming. She still wants to go swimming, and then I’m sullen and moody like a petulant child and she gets sad because I said something about how that hurt my feelings.

I don’t know why I can’t get my emotions in order. I’m a growna** woman, and yet I wear my emotions on my sleeves. Normally, SD7 does want to spend time with me, and I should have just thought “ok, today she wants dad”. I wish I knew what was wrong with me. My SO could tell something was wrong when we got home, and I know he thinks I need to get it together. I feel horrible about myself, and feel like I’m going to ruin my relationship with SO and SD7 all because I’m some emotionally impaired moron. I’ve been doing so well lately with this, and now I just screwed up again. Why do I do this?


hollyissad's picture

I agree that they need to learn that. I'm not mad at myself for saying something, but I know a mature adult would have said something like "I know you love your dad, but right now we're spending time together and it's hurtful to say blah blah blah" and then let it go. But I couldn't let it go. She said sorry, and was trying to be good, and I let my own emotion of feeling rejected get the better of me and was moody and depressed the whole time. I just wish I could get my act together and say something once and then be able to let it go. Sad

LikeMinded's picture

"Hon, next time she goes on and on about wishing daddy was there, turn the car around and take her home, simply walk into the house and tell DH, SD missed you thus I broght he home."

Ooh, nice one, I'm going to use that on SS10. I can't figure out if he's stupid or actually a master button pusher, but this would teach him either way.

furkidsforme's picture

This is such a non-event that I would drive myself crazy if I worried about every tiny mis-step like this.

DaizyDuke's picture

You both are stressed... in my opinion you both get a pass on this one. The seven year old's dad just had a major surgery. That is scary for a 7 year old! You're preggo, so what she said hurt your feelings and you showed it.

Listen, our BS6 favors me wayyyyy over DH. DH doesn't take offense, and it's HIS kid! lol BS6 had a conference day on Monday so no school. I had to work, so BS6 stayed home with DH. DH took him out for breakfast, they did a couple of other things, and came home. DH said like 10 minutes after they got home BS6 is asking if mommy will be home from work soon. DH ended up calling me at like noon to see if my mom was home because BS6 wanted to go to grandmas. lol If DH was preggo or the step dad, he probably would have been butt hurt that he just took this kid out for breakfast, and now the kid wants to be anywhere but with him. But alas DH is not preggo and he is not a step dad, so he just laughed and said whatever! I'll take you to grandmas and I'll come home and take a nap Wink

Gimlet's picture

You are being awfully hard on yourself. You did not screw up, you had a very normal and human response to feeling hurt. I agree with the others that there is nothing wrong with children learning that words matter.

Teas83's picture

Don't be so hard on yourself. I don't think this was a big mistake by any means. We all screw up once in awhile when it comes to step life. Kids can say hurtful things and when it's not your child it's harder to know how to react to it.

My SD7 sometimes tags along when DD2 and I go to church. The last time she came, she said something along the lines of, "I only pray for Mommy and SF because they're my REAL family." I was pretty hurt by that, mostly on DD's behalf since she is SD's only sibling. In that moment, I told her that maybe she didn't need to come to church with us anymore if we're not her real family. I felt bad immediately after I said it. I'm pregnant right now as well and things have been irritating me more than usual, although that's no excuse for what I said to SD.

Teas83's picture

Anotherstep2, thanks for making me feel better about it. You made some great points - I agree with what you said. I think I partly felt bad and thought it wasn't appropriate originally because of my husband's reaction. He defended her, Disney Dad stlye, and said "She's just a little kid, you can't hold her accountable for that. Obviously it came from BM."

SD says other hurtful things periodically that I'm sure come from BM, but I'll keep what you said in mind - 7 is not too young to let her know that she can't repeat hurtful things and expect people to be okay with it.

hollyissad's picture

I think you are doing a good job, Teas. When kids say things that are purposefully hurtful, you need to let them know that's not okay.

Teas83's picture

Thanks Holly. I'm going to take this advice. I hate that I've started to let my "Disney Dad" husband's judgment cloud my own judgment again lately.

Gimlet's picture

"She's just a little kid, you can't hold her accountable for that. Obviously it came from BM."

Oh yes you can, and the sooner the better. You can combat these statements without talking bad about BM, and you should. It gets harder and harder the longer they are allowed to stand as being valid. Completely agree with anotherstep.

Teas83's picture

Gimlet, I'm going to make my husband read this thread so he can see what people are saying about it. No matter what SD says, she's completely innocent in his eyes because she's "just a little kid". I really appreciate what you guys are saying here. It validates the way I've felt for awhile now about some of the things SD does.

Gimlet's picture

I'm no expert, but one thing I did learn here was the difference between badmouthing BM and correcting something without being disrespectful to the other parent.

An example from FDH. BM has made the skids believe that FDH is "mean" and has obviously made statements that he was mean to her. This is almost funny, because my FDH is a really kind person. I have never once in my life felt afraid of him, or had him be mean to me. He is simply not a mean person. BM, by the way, IS mean. She has said terrible things to FDH and to the skids. I don't think FDH should have demonized her, but he should have contested the statements she was making about him, like asking the kids for examples of why they thought he was mean, or what it really means to be a mean person.

So, since he didn't contest that "Dad is mean" statement, he started to have to live around it. He stopped saying and doing things that they considered "mean" and ended up doing himself and the kids a huge disservice, because he was afraid they would stop coming if they thought he was mean.

Later, he finally started to push back, but I think in many ways it's too late. Dad is mean, mom is the victim. There was one time SS19 told FDH how mean he was in front of me (in relation to FDH forcing SS19 to go to summer school so he would graduate from high school), and I started cracking up. I don't usually speak up, but I told SS that if he wanted to see mean, he could go live with my dad for a week and he'd understand. It's completely ridiculous and the same thing as the "not a REAL family" BS.

Teas83's picture

I'm afraid that if we don't nip it in the bud, we could end up in a situation where it's too late (like you said) to correct SD's opinion on the whole situation.

She's made other comments like, "I only come here because the courts say I have to." Again, it obviously came from BM but that doesn't mean my husband can't say, "Actually you come here because it's important for you to spend time with me and your little sister."

Before I had DD, I didn't really care what SD thought about coming to visit. But now that I've got kids involved, I'm concerned about how they could end up feeling if SD is allowed to keep saying hurtful things.

I'm definitely going to be having a conversation with my husband. And if he won't listen to me, we can go back to a counsellor to get her to tell him.

Gimlet's picture

Great example of re-framing it for the kid. Good luck, let me know how that conversation goes!

hollyissad's picture

Thanks for your kind words, I appreciate it. I feel a little bit better.

I do feel like I crossed a line from letting her know that what she said was hurtful, to being immature and lashing out. Teas, I said something similar along the lines of next time daddy can take her swimming. It was honestly like I was watching myself in horror, but I couldn't stop from acting like a brat. Stating how I felt was fair, but I didn't need to lash out. I was completely irresponsible and out of line. It makes me sick to think about it.

Gimlet's picture

Holly, no, you don't need to beat yourself up like this. You seem like such a sweet person who tries really hard with your SD. You were not mean to her and you were far from irresponsible. And you are pregnant!

Take some of the kindness and patience you show your SD and give it to yourself hon.

Monchichi's picture

Aah holly, it's not the end of the world. We all say things we shouldn't, even to our bio kids. If it helps at all, I once told Chucky what a filthy pig I think his mother is. I was very angry.

LikeMinded's picture

Tell DH this:

"she's just a little kid" who needs to learn when she's pushed someone's buttons or hurt someone's feelings. All kids learn this from the adults and other children in their lives.

Even teachers at school tell kids when they're being hurtful.

It's part of growing up.

You're allowed to say "ouch" when she hurts you. You don't have to bounce back immediately either. You taught her that "hey, when I hurt someone, it has lasting consequences."

Her friends, in the future, are not just going to bounce back when she says something unthoughtful. You know how girls are.

I picked up the SKIDs at their after-school program last week and SS10 announced to the entire classroom that his "person" was here to get him. In the past he's called me "just my step mom" and other things that I have blocked out of my mind. This is the child, btw, that still soils his pants and that I've had to clean up after for many years (not by myself, but still).

So, I said nothing, tried to take the high road and put it behind me. He did not say hello or hug me, his brother on the other hand was very affectionate, so I felt better.

However, at the dinner table, both him and his brother wanted extra potstickers and there were none left (plenty of other food, but no potstickers). I had 3 left on my plate, so I asked the affectionate one if he wanted mine. Then SS10 said "I want one too", and I said, well, "since I'm just your person, I don't have to give you one" and I gave all 3 to his brother.

lintini's picture

But if you are a Grey's Anatomy fan, being "your person" is a great thing! Buuuuuuuuuuuut....I don't think SS meant it like that! What was SS's facial expression after you plunked them all on his brothers plate? lol!

SecondGeneration's picture

What do we teach little kids? We teach little kids that its important to say sorry and make up after an argument/disagreement.

What do we teach older kids and teens? That whilst it is important to say sorry, sometimes sorry isnt enough to make things all better.

I love the plate analogy.
Go take a plate out of the kitchen cupboard, now throw it on the floor. Did it break? Yes? Ok, now say sorry to it. Sorry. Is the plate still broken? Yes.

Its important for kids to understand that sorry isnt always enough, and that some things, be them actions or words can really hurt people. Peoples feelings can be like plates, if they hurt they break, a sorry can be glue but its not always enough to make it back like it was before. This is why thinking before we speak is important.

Your SD is 7, she is old enough for this to be taught to her. And you have already started, its a valuable lesson.