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Has steptalk made you a better or worse step parent?

Lady.Tremaine's picture

My DH knows I'm on some form of step parent vent site. He does not pry because he has decent privacy boundaries

I bring up hypothetical questions based on you guys A LOT

Like:

What if one of the kids just wants us not BM at her graduation?

If BM taught daycare and the kids were a little older would we have them over with the current virus ?

What are your views on kids in the household after high school?

 

What would you do if we have a child and your kids cause a fuss?

 

He always tells me I am overthinking. But in a weird way I don't think I am . Since being here I've definitely been more critical to his parenting. Without you guys I would not have started boundaries. And those boundaries have saved my relationship . Nothing is hotter than a dad being a parent. 

 Anyone else do the overthink reading on here ?  You guys have been inspiration to me to hold my own as I am a giant push over. You can read old blog posts and laugh at me. I'm laughing at my old self so hey! Less pathetic?

Comments

ChzyBob20's picture

I disengaged years before I found this godforsaken message board. StepTalk hasn't changed much in my StepHell situation except given me even more of a backbone and not take sh!t.

StepPoop is out of my house at 18 come hell or high water. IDGAF if DH likes it or not. I care even less what BowelMovement thinks or says. StepPoop can go pound sand. Not my problem.

I won't be attending any StepPoop events. I despise him. (Hate is too strong a word.) My contempt is 100% justified although none of you other users seem to believe that.

Monkeysee's picture

You never give examples (which is understandable, I rarely do either), which makes it difficult to get where you’re coming from

Excellence's picture

Definitely better. I'm not a martyr. I don't have to accept bad behaviors. I get to have boundaries and expectations for how I'd like to be treated. I don't have to put up with skids. I prioritize the relationship and my biological child. I'm way better.

ChzyBob20's picture

"Not a martyr." Hit me right in the gut! For years I was the martyr. Sacrificed time, sanity, to some extent my kids for the sake of the enemy agent for BowelMovement. The lying, stealing, manipulative, lazy, disrespectful, sullen, ungrateful motherf&Coker.

Only to have my sacrifice spat upon and unappreciated by StepPoop and BowelMovement. StepPoop has had the temerity to complain about my disengagement on social media (after he lied about me and a lot of other bad stuff) but never says one damned thing his mother has done wrong. Apparently he doesn't get along with her. Still won't tell the truth.

I'm through being the f&cking scapegoat.pp

Lady.Tremaine's picture

I think because I don't have a kid everything I do is "overthinking"  I'm happy to hear this place has helped more.

Petronella's picture

Yeah I have to agree. "Overthinking" is one of those words, like "crazy," "irrational," "insecure," "bitch," etc, that men throw around to get women to doubt themselves. 

Monkeysee's picture

In a roundabout way, being a SM has made me a better mother. It’s forced me to truly consider what’s in my kids best interest, not just what I want or how I feel about things. I’ve seen the way BM and DH have handled things, and I don’t want that for my child at all. This site has helped me change my perspective on my situation, helped me enforce boundaries without feeling evil or guilty, and completely changed my perception of stepfamilies and the unfair expectations placed on people in our situations. 

I was trying to explain it to my sister yesterday. I told her, if someone complains about an inlaw, & says they don’t mind them but they keep boundaries in place or don’t really feel like family, no one thinks twice about it. They understand that marriage doesn’t always make people feel like family, and people don’t always get along. A stepparent says the same thing about their skids, and people call them evil. It’s a complete double standard. If someone said they don’t like their inlaws children, again no one would think twice. If someone says they don’t like their partners kids, omg what a horrible human being. 

ChzyBob20's picture

I hear you. I'm very proactive with my children and I'm a stickler for manners, respect, gratitude, morals. It's in the back of my mind that I don't want my children turning out to be like StepPoop. Ever.

Over my dead body.

shamds's picture

to their bio parent and stepparent because they get attention but don’t realize its the wrong kind.

we’d have hubbies family over and ss would sit on the sofa bed and it would fall behind and he’d land on his back and laugh. Hubby lost his shit at ss who was 17 like what was his problem and hubbies family are looking at one another and at ss like he is being so rude and embarrassing 

countless cases here of skids shitting and peeig themselves and sitting there in it while watching tv, playing computer games or just sit there- excuse is not medical, its for attention and it’s embarrassing and mortifying that some steps are expected to suck this up. Heck skid like that would be living in the backyard in a corner in my house and pretty sure i would leave hubby.

Jcksjj's picture

Yes. This is probably in my top 3 worst thing about being a stepparent. I think having kids makes it worse because then people just lump the skids in like they're just another one of your kids.

Valkyrie's picture

This site has made me realize I'm not alone and I'm not crazy. I didn't really think about parenting styles previously let alone having a Disney Dad on my hands. I've realized I am a good mother to my teen... but I cannot change/ teach my SOs children nor is it my fault or my problem. I have also realized that I am worth more than accepting scraps and that I am strong. As to whether the site has made me a better or worse stepmother, it has simply clarified to me what I will and won't accept, probably much faster than I would have on my own. I can also say one truth about step-parenting - I tried my best but am unwilling to swallow sh*t and pretend like it's chocolate. 

Kes's picture

Neither.  About a year into the relationship with DH, when I saw clearly how the land lay - I ceased having any investment in my relationship with the SDs at all, nor any interest in being a "stepmother".  NPD BM was practicing extreme PAS, and my only goal was to preserve my integrity, my peace of mind, my safety, and my mental health.  I disengaged and remained disengaged until the present - around 17 yrs.  I say safety because one of the things NPD BM did in the first 6 mths was claim she had reported DH to social services.  At that point I made sure I was never alone with them even for 5 minutes.  

My view on kids in the household after 18?  for short periods, maybe - if they were at college full time or between jobs or something.  But this applies to young people I could actually stomach in my house, ie my own daughters for instance.  The SDs have both made attempts to come and live with us over the years, which I have strenuously resisted. 

tog redux's picture

I think you do have to be careful with this site - these are the worst of the worst situations on here, and people are quick to get judgy if people WANT to be engaged with their stepkids or god forbid, actually like them.

After my SS was alienated, I deleted my account here because I hated reading how so many people would be thrilled to have their skids be alienated, when it was causing my DH so much pain. I never wanted it to happen, it was awful, and sometimes the hatred people have for someone their spouse loves is alarming to me.

So beware that you don't carry the negativity from this site into your own situation.

Livingoutloud's picture

This site helped me years ago to leave my exSO who wouldn't put me first, i had adult SD move in with us and it was absolute he$$ on Earth and he wouldn't do anything about it. Step talk was huge help for me during horror of her living with us. People on here still remember some of the stories, my exSD was so bizarre. I ended a relationship and steptalk was huge help for me in the process. I then left steptalk.

I came back under different name, am now happily married and am a stepparent again, one of my adult skids is great and one is quite insane (she is a felon etc) and is currently estranged from us, although she periodically resurfaces and causes problems. My DH always puts me first so it's not something I need to worry about or even blog much about. 

I think this site could make a person worse stepparent if people aren't particularly observant or aware or don't think things through.
 

People come on here with perfectly normal situations but then they read these horror stories and they want to join in. So they start looking for trouble when there is none and become evil stepparents just because they want to join in the club or they refuse to see that their marriage is just plain bad and instead blame skids just because everyone else blames their skids. 

in 99.9% cases on this site the issue isn't how skids are. The issue is DH or SO or DW. So it doesn't matter what kind of skids one has. Their SOs suck, that's the issue. 

Iamwoman's picture

I disengaged in 2013 - so approximately 3 years before joining this site.

Like many here, I poured my heart and soul into my skids, and like some here, that sometimes included my own child helping pander to skids, because I believed that they would be thrilled to be in a normal household and away from crazy, Munchaussen by Proxy, Maggot Queen (HCBM). But, like many here, I learned the hard way that skids actually PREFER the effed up, crazy life at BM's...

Nonetheless, I struggled with my disengagement and felt guilty and like I was a "bad woman" for not falling all over myself to love and nurture "my" skids.

This site helped me see that I'm not alone. When I joined in 2016, I was greeted heartily by several members who I now consider "virtual friends."

Because of StepTalk, I was able to see through society's abusive hatred of stepmothers, and moreso, society's overall oppression of women on the micro-aggressive level ("all women must love kids" "housework is women's work" "boys will be boys (but women must be perfect and must be martyrs to be acceptable)").

I did cease visiting this site for a while, due to negativity, and "thought-policing" (inability to accept that someone else is allowed to have a difference in opinion). But several members convinced me to return and ignore the negative and the self-righteous. I'm glad I did, because there are so many good people on here too that I can help avoid them being bulldozed by those who can't see past their own thoughts.

As for skids/me: while my skids seem highly disappointed at the lack of drama in my household since I've joined STalk, I personally, could not be happier. I do wish skids and DH could have a good relationship, because it makes me sad for him, but that is 100% the Maggot Queen's fault, and this site has also helped me realize that we ultimately have no control over how horribly another woman may choose to raise her own kids.

Kes's picture

I know exactly what you mean about being expected to love and nurture your SKIDs.   It was such a phenomenal relief to find an online group where my feelings were validated, and to tell me that I did not need to allow myself to be abused by my DHs ExW and daughters. 

missginger's picture

I feel like the BM working at a daycare is based on my blogs! :-) 

I have no bio children eitehr and maybe I over think things (especially about what is to come: like will see launch or want to still be sitting on our couch at 20)

lieutenant_dad's picture

I came to ST (under a different name) right when DH and I moved in together. I had never had the boys stay in the same house as me before, and I didn't want to screw it up.

I think ST has been both good and bad for me. Good in that I tell DH how it is, don't hide my feelings or thoughts, gives me a place to vent so I can let out the emotion and deal with the situation rationally with DH, etc. Bad because I tend to see everything BM does as evil, and it has become harder not to assume every breath she takes isn't out of spite for me or DH.

I try to look at steplife from all aspects. My DH does stupid sh*t usually out of concern for his kids. Sometimes, it is out of laziness and fear. But I have similar reactions to my family, and it drives him equally bonkers. I went in to steplife with some idea of what I was getting into because it's how I grew up (and crazy abounded there, too). It doesn't faze me the way I think it does others. I'm not a "everyone should love their SKs" type, but I do think some folks need to use the brain they have for something more than a hat rack. That includes realizing that sometimes WE are the problem.

This site has the capacity to provide excellent advice. It also has the tendency to enforce a mob mentality. You have to look at each situation and piece of information differently. The nuances make the difference. Blanket statements and advice don't always work. 

classyNJ's picture

This site and some of the wonderful stepparents on here helped me with the transition of every weekend and few days a week visits to full time with SS17 then 13.  I needed to know where to set my own boundaries and how to talk to DH about them. 

If it didn't help me be a better stepmother, it did help me with being a better wife and partner for DH knowing I had his back.

ndc's picture

It depends. I think it's been good for ME as a stepmother. I see the pitfalls, I call DH out on his Disney Dad behavior and his acquiescence to BM demands, I anticipate problems before they happen and know how to deal with them, I notice red flags when I probably would not have without ST.  I don't think it's been as good for the skids. I used to pour my heart and soul into them; I've toned that down. I still love them, and they love me, but I'm uber aware that I'm not their mother, so I try not to act like it. I do what I need to do to keep them happy, healthy and well behaved in our home. I'm the strictest person in their lives, but honestly, they don't seem to mind that.

A few weeks ago DH said to me, "I wish you could look at SDs the way you look at DD, but I know you can't."  Pre-ST that might have made me feel guilty, now, not at all.

Gimlet's picture

Instructions here were unclear so I punched my stepkids in the face and kicked them out, peed a circle around the house to claim it, murdered BM, and have my husband locked up in the attic.

It's been great.  

Kee-khe's picture

I think it's helped me alot on a personal level. Before ST, I went above and beyond to create a good family ambience for SD, and was NEVER enough. I had to put up with being cast aside and considered an intruder in MY own home in the weekends. I had to deal with DHs Disney dad behavior and not be able to say one word. Since ST I guess you could say I "grew a pair" and learned what boundaries to put up, how to disengage because I was trying to educate a kid who is not even mine, and I learned to accept that MY family is DH, our son, and me. And I am not forced to include SD in anything. DH can kiss his "big happy family" Vision goodbye. ST really has helped me for the better. I get to focus on myself for once. 

Willow2010's picture

  I was already disengaged by the time I got here and did not marry or live with DH for many years so I did not have to deal with as much as most.  No way was I going to marry into that mess.  So stalk has not swayed me one way or the other.  

But I have seen many marriages destroyed here because so many people give terrible advice.  They also give terrible advice that they would never take themselves.  Read a few blogs and you will see the term RUN many many times by people that have worse situations and would still never leave their DH.  

But I have also seen a lot of GREAT advice here.  You have to learn to filter the bad out. 

ChzyBob20's picture

DUMP AND RUN!

Thanks, gatekeeper!

Iamwoman's picture

Chzybob, I don't think she is referring to you. You have a good relationship with your spouse and he respects you.

She is referring to those whose spouse does not force skids to respect them, does not enforce boundaries, does not respect their spouse's feelings or thoughts or individuality, and makes unilateral decisions.

Your spouse does none of those things from what you've told me. Your spouse respects you, your feelings, and your basic individual rights.

I also have seen the "run" advice from people who continue to stay in a less than desirable relationship. However, perhaps these people are simply working up to convincing themselves to leave as well.

None of us really know EVERYTHING about each other's lives.

My only points of contention on this site come when there is name-calling, or an inability to allow differing opinions/thoughts, or when a group of members gang up on one STalker (except in the case of CG as she wasn't even a step parent and was capable of giving consistently well-written, yet terrible advice to women in despair).

Chzybob, you can be crass as can many others here, but also often don't explain your stance in a way that helps people understand where you are coming from.

That is still no reason for you to be bullied or for you to randomly lash out in defense at comments that were not aimed at you.

Mostthanklessjobever's picture

I think this site has made me have a lot of ahh haa moments and realize that I am not alone.  I would be embarrassed to have spoken about the crap I put up with since day one and prior to joining this group.  I look back on the crap I ate and it's rediculous.  Not just from DH but from BM and SD's!

ldvilen's picture

None of us would be here if it (Steptalk) didn't make us better, and that is the point--to make US better.  Whether or not it makes us a better stepparent is irrelevant, as it is highly subjective as to what is a good stepparent.  For example, many think being a good stepparents means you suck it up and take it for the initial family, look-aside when DH and BM are playing footsie under the table, so to speak, etc.  Someone expecting such makes me want to vomit, but I don’t have to tell anyone here how many people have those expectations.

So, I don’t think being a “better” stepparent is necessarily desirable in this day and age.  Feeling at peace with yourself and your husband and whatever decisions you have made re: connecting (or not) with his children, that is what being better is about.  I see this site as being about a better you and not necessarily about being a better SP.

MollyBrown's picture

There is great advice here and truly terrible advice.  This place taught me that I was blaming the wrong person in my bad marriage. I will always be greatful. 

Jcksjj's picture

What do you consider a "better" stepparent?

I would say no, I disengaged after learning about it on here. But it made me a better parent to my own kids and much, much happier. Since my skid already has a mom, I think myself and my kids are more of a priority for me, so that's the best outcome anyway.

I would say 75% of the advice regarding being a SM, wife, etc on here is great. But then theres sometimes actual discipline/parenting advice given and that tends to be awful, although its probably just a few people that are very vocal about it and the majority just dont discuss it since that's not really what this site's purpose is.

Lady.Tremaine's picture

I would say has the advice made you overly concious or just ready for whatever.

About to do another blog post because my husband is literally being the worst I've seen him.