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Steplife is hard…even when you love your stepchild??

hollyissad's picture

I’ve always considered myself extraordinarily blessed when it comes to steplife. I don’t have a child living with me who hates my guts, who treats me like crap, or is disobedient and bratty. Really, if we were just looking at SD7, one might say I hit the steplife lotto. I don’t know if it’s just a random luck of the draw, or the fact that we do not have a BM present in her life. The other day, she and I were in the car together, and she started listing off all the reasons she’s thankful I have come into her life! One would think I should stop complaining, right?

But I still feel that steplife is hard no matter what, even if some might be harder than others. It still baffles me that I have no rights whatsoever over this child. I know we aren’t yet married, but even if we DID get married tomorrow, I would still have zippo rights. I have asked SO if we were to end our relationship, if I would still be able to see SD7. His response was “I don’t know”. Maybe it’s my pregnancy hormones, but this thought bothers me to no end even though I don’t think anything will happen with SO and I.

I also feel that I have no control over the day-to-day decisions of SD7. Don’t get me wrong, my SO has gotten a million times better at including me in the decision making process, asking me my opinion on things, and supporting me in having SD7 around more when MIL wants her. And MIL always, always wants her.

This week SO will be having surgery, and two thoughts have popped into my head. 1) What if he dies? This is SO incredibly unlikely, I know. But right now, MIL is set to get her, and though we have talked time and time again about him writing out a will to change that, I can’t stand the thought. He doesn’t want MIL to get her. I don’t want MIL to get her. But she would, and she would be weird about even letting me see her, I fear. Of course, now that I’m pregnant, I’m guessing she would be a little bit more reasonable…she probably wants to see THIS child too.

2) I don’t get to see my SO or SD7 until the weekend, because I have to work and can’t help take care of him or her, or take her to school. It was all very sudden, or I would have tried to take the week off. I just feel like a non-member of the family sometimes.  I feel kind of segregated when it comes to his surgery and taking care of SD7. I know it’s out of necessity, and I’m simply not available to do what needs to be done, but I wish we could have come up with another plan.

Why does it have to be so hard, even under the “easiest” of circumstances?


BSgoinon's picture

Even the most blended of blended families have moments where it is difficult, but to be honest, so do nuclear families Wink

I too love.. well ADORE my stepchild. I have raised him as my own, I love him as my own... but my role is not an easy one at all! Even my DH, his role as a stepdad is not always easy. He loves my girls, he has helped me raise them, along with their biodad. In fact biodad tells them "you are to respect ALL of your parents, that includes your stepdad" not that they hadn't, he was just making a point. But DH still struggles with certain things. And we have been together for 11 years.

Hang in there, you are on the right track.

DaizyDuke's picture

You know, I always thought one very important thing that you mentioned seemed to be indicative of step life. I found it very odd that DH (and the general population) expected me to "treat skids as my own", to "love skids", to "act like a mother" to skids. Yet DH's ex GFs have NOTHING to do with skids.. they aren't friends on FB, just nothing.. like the millisecond that relationship was over skids ceased to exist to them.

Yet, I have friends who's children I have watched grow up. I have acquaintances whose children I have given riding lessons too, or boarded a horse at my barn. I got to be close with kids, they were nice kids. A couple of the business relationships ended poorly with the adult in the equation, but I still keep in touch with the kid be it peripherally through FB or a text here and there etc.

So I don't understand how when it comes to skids we are "nothing" to them without the dad?

hollyissad's picture

Exactly! And if something DID ever happen between SO and I, I would HATE to think a little girl who I had been mothering for the last few years would think I didn't want to see her. I know I'm not her biological mother, but I'm the only mother figure she has, and that would break her heart to lose a second mother. Sad

Gimlet's picture

I know I would never see the skids again if something happened to FDH. I don't even have their phone numbers.

Gimlet's picture

I would talk to his parents still, and maybe his brother, but the skids would be gone. BM would hot step it to the lawyer's office to get what she could and that would be that.

Conversely, if I passed, he would inherit the little coven of women that I call a family (My DD and my nieces) and they would be there for him until he died. To me, that's family.

I'm sorry anotherstep, I still have wild hope in my heart for you to be really, truly happy again.

hollyissad's picture

Definitely not trying to impress my SO. Truly, I do love my SD. I know she will never be my biological daughter, but I will still continue to love her and be there for her when she needs me. Who am I bashing for working so much? I was, perhaps, bashing myself for working too much, and not being able to help with the surgery.

robin333's picture

I hope DH'S surgery goes well. It is time to get wills updated. Personally, I think the skids would only show up to see what is "their claim".

Cocoa's picture

Heck most skids can't stand their sm after she's spent years and years raising and sacrificing for them. It doesn't necessarily take a death or divorce to cause it. It's always a crap shoot when trying to raise someone else's kids.

kathc's picture

If there's no BM in the picture, are you planning to adopt your SD when you marry? Maybe that's something you should be discussing. As far as "MIL being set to get her" if anything happens to your SO, a parent can name anyone they want to take custody of their child if they die but it doesn't mean it'll happen. It's up to a judge and if there's an absent BM who's rights haven't been terminated, she can show up out of the ether and be handed custody in a heartbeat no matter who he names. A judge could also decide not to allow MIL to take custody if he thinks she won't be able to properly raise SD. The only way to guarantee you'd keep SD is if you adopted her because then she'd be legally your child. Is that something you want to consider though?

hollyissad's picture

Luckily SO made it out of surgery just fine, so at least it's not an immediately pressing issue. (At this point I know I would have absolutely no rights whatsoever...)

My fear is that he will name me, and I will still not get custody. BM is deceased, so she won't be coming around, but MIL would want her. BM's family is pretty crazy, and SD7 hasn't seen a lot of them in a very long time, but I also fear them coming out of the woodwork. I highly, highly doubt any judge would put SD7 with them, especially with MIL wanting her, as MIL sees her regularly, and SD7 is very comfortable with MIL. I'm pregnant with SD7's brother or sister, but I doubt that would change anyone's mind. I very much would like to adopt SD7, and SD7 has even mentioned it to me, but SO thinks it would be expensive (money is tight right now, and will be even tighter when the baby is born and I'm no longer working).