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I'm just tired....

midodo14's picture

I'm tired... I'm tired of being the person made out to be the evil stepmom. I'm tired of constantly having to explain myself, my views, my methods, or a situation that a brat of teenager made up.

For almost 4 years I have been trying to help my DH be the parent he wants/needs to be for his kids. For years, he was the "yes dad" and I the mean stepmom that has (healthy) boundaries. After years of me trying to explain to him why that method wasn't helpful for teaching children healthy boundaries, he finally saw it my way. Sounds great, right? Well that's what started a whole downhill spiral.

His ex starts accusing us of emotionally abusing the children basically and took away visitation all because my DH made boundaries with his children, they aren't used to it, so they ran back to their mother and made up a whole situation by taking quotes out of context to make us look bad. No matter how much my DH tried explaining to his ex that she didn't understand the situation fully, she insisted that we were making the children feel unsafe in our household and that my DH was choosing to defend me instead of standing up for his children and didn't deserve as much time as they had agreed to. 

At this point, I'm ready to give up on my stepchildren all together to preserve my own sanity. I've spent so many hours researching fun activities for everyone to do, signing them up for summer camps, taking them to extra curriculars, doing hair/makeup/nails, days at the nail salon, shopping trips, etc all for my stepchildren to make up lies about me, their mom to back them up, and me wondering what I did wrong and why I even try. 

My DH ended up having a conversation with his ex in a counseling session and they were able to clear the air enough for his ex to want to restore visitation. Also good news, right? Yes! except, my sensitive self still has hurt feelings... I'll get over it and be fine, but I am not a person who easily forgives and forgets when people do me wrong. I try to keep reminding myself that it's not the kids' fault. They are not my children and they have an alliance to their mother, who doesn't like me, so of course she's going to try to ruin my efforts and my reputation. 

My issue now is that I'm more comfortable keeping my distance and letting their parents parent them how they feel is necessary, so I don't cause any more issues with my thought and opinions. I don't care for their soft techniques and I hold my son to a higher standard than they choose to set for their children, which makes the kids think I'm mean. My son has ADHD, so it is imperitive that there be order and boundaries in the home to keep my son in line. My DH thinks he's the bee's knees now that he's gained the confidence to *actually* parent, so I'm starting to feel like my opinion is irrelevant now that he's got it "all figured out." All I'm saying is that I would NEVER parent my children the way my DH and his ex choose to parent and it takes every fiber of my being to not say something to burst everyone's bubble about what disrespectful children with no goals and ambitions they're raising. 

It gets hard to want to be around my DH or my stepkids when I don't feel valued, so here I am, venting to yall in my room while everyone else is doing their thing. I am always hopeful that things will change for the better and that things will all work out in the end, but I'm starting to lose hope. I knew being a stepmom was going to be a tough situation, but I had no idea this would be the toughest situation I've encountered (and I've been through A LOT).

Thanks for reading. Any encouragemet or support is greatly appreciated. 


thinkthrice's picture

Get the book "Stepmonster" by Wednesday Martin and read thoroughly.

Harry's picture

Disengage from step kids.  No taking them anywhere, including school, shopping, to friends, No buying them anything. No cleaning up after them, No cooking special, you cook what you want and either they eat it or peanut butter. No going away with them. Everything is onnBF and BM 

MoominMama's picture

I'm sorry you are going through this. Your story and situation has some similarities to mine so i can empathise with you. I agree with others that disengagement is probably the way to go. In as far as you can disengage .. Some situations make it impossible and we get drawn in again. But, getting some space between you and those kids mentally is a good thing. 

The emotional abuse accusations (my DH has been there too)  are worrying and are going to make it very hard for you to trust them. When are they going to run to mommy next ? And be believed too, any sensible parent would realise they are being played. 

Disillusioned's picture

I think you've learned a valuable although yes hurtful lesson, in stepmotherhood. 

Sorry you've had to experience this

Sadly it's a common story that many of us can relate to

I one time too went out of my way, over the top, to do everything I could for my SD's...and got burned big time, certainly by my eldest SD

Although there were many times I also wanted to speak up and tell DH what about some of the things he and BM did (out of guilty divorce Dad in DH's case and "I'm a victim" in BM's case) I would never reommend getting involved, even when it is absolutely with the best of just tends to backfire 

A good way to deal with the hurt is simply to back off, as you've mentioned. 

Treat your step-children like you would your neighbor's kids. Be polite, be positive and respectful, but don't actually think of them as family. 

If your neighbor's kids are rude little brats, you won't really take it to heart becuase they're not your kids and not your problem and you can simply carry on with your life (while standing up to them if they are directly rude or disrespectful to you of course)

Wishing you all the best with this!


AlwaysSmiling's picture

What is your DH doing to make you feel more comfortable in your role as stepmother?