Learning To Like/Love Stepchild
I am writing this in hopes that someone else is either going through this or has successfully gone through this. I'm really wanting to learn how to like my SS but it is so hard.
I want to preface this by saying that I have never had issues with liking children in the past. I absolutely adore children. I was even a nanny for a few years and a Sunday school teacher before I got married. Maybe I was blessed with well-behaved children that it spoiled me and now I'm having to learn to deal with a child who is not well mannered. My husband and I also have a newborn daughter. She is just over a month old and we are so in love with her.
DH was not married to BM and has said they never even dated, nevertheless, they had a baby together. Their son is now 5 years old. When I first started dating my husband, his son was 3 and DH relationship with BM was not amicable. My husband is in the military and has lived in a different state than his son and was only ever able to visit him during his block leaves (twice a year.)
Anyway, I had his son over to my apartment shortly after we started dating and he was mean to my cat and stole jewelry from me. After we got married we had him over for Christmas. SS was 4. He was so ungrateful for all the presents we got him and he was aggressive towards our dog. Before his last visit, I was on the phone with DH's mother when she started yelling at SS because he was hitting one of their dogs in the head with a rock. During his last visit out to us this past summer our dog wouldn't go near him. I was also 35 weeks pregnant and he drove me up a wall. DH wanted him to learn his ABCs and to be able to count to 10 before he started Kindergarten, so I'd work on that with him every day and he hated it and tested me beyond belief. But we'd also go to the zoo, go swimming, and go to the park. After a fun day of fishing with his dad, he came home and lied about something so my husband disciplined him, and when BM called later that night, SS cried to her and said that it was "awful here." This resulted in BM telling him "it's okay baby. You'll be home soon and you'll be safe here." Insert eye roll.
Well, Fall break is around the corner and SS will be visiting us for 10 days. I know that doesn't seem like a long time but whenever he visits us time seems to slow down. I feel like I've tried to like him but everytime I think about him coming to visit, this rage builds up inside of me. Part of me is looking forward to this visit even less now because with his treatment of animals in the past, I'm terrified to even let him in the same house with my newborn baby girl.
But I know he has a lot of issues and really benefits from being in a structured environment such as our home. BM struggles with alcohol and drug abuse and there is absolutely no discipline or boundaries at her home. I know SS needs his Dad, but it's hard when we only see him a few weeks out of the year. My husband has tried to set up court dates so that he can set up visitation / custody rights. He even had to take emergency leave from work when he found out that there was heavy drug use going on in BM's home. BM also recently had 4 warrants out for her arrest so my husband was sure he was going to get custody, but for some reason the state that BM lives in favors mother's more and most of the charges have been dropped so DH doesn't see SS getting to live with us anytime soon.
I'm not sure if SS not living with us has something to do with the fact that I don't have warm feelings towards him. I would hope that if he was here full time that these feelings will change but I'm not sure. I'm wondering if there is some sort of step by step process/program I can take that will challenge me into learning to like and eventually love my SS. I don't hate him, but I do have feelings of fear and resentment when he's around. My mother in law was the one who set up his fall break visit with us and I firmly asked her to make it 1 week instead of 2 because I'm still pretty busy with a newborn, but when she told me he'd be here for 10 days instead of 7, those extra 3 days made me want to cry. Since my husband works full time, I'm the one who has to entertain him. Usually that isn't a problem for me. I love entertaining kids! I used to have such a fun time as a nanny. But SS is not like any child I'm used to and I honestly just want to lock myself in my room with my baby girl for the 10 days and let my husband do everything. I hate feeling like this and I feel like perhaps God can use me to help this little guy out, but I'm not sure how or what to do when I can't stand to be around him. I want this to change. I want to change.