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Confession - BM passed away.

Oldrosie's picture

I've not been fully honest on here because of my shame. My shame because I feel I should be better , more patient and loving but I can't - I try - but I can't. 

The SS's BM died before I was in the picture. I met my DH and he asked me to help bring up his kids then 7 and 10.

We moved in fast and the SKs saw me as a new BM. I have BD of my own from previous relationship and they kept trying to push her out and kept teasing her about my time I spent with them. And then not letting her do things like sit next to me and always trying to get my attention. Also trying to get her into trouble, lying about things she had said or done.

One of the kids has ADHD and he very hard to deal with. Not good academically, pathological liar, lazy and constant drama. Running out the house because he was asked to do a job, pulled a knife on other SS. He's also very manipulative, he's very fake. He has no boundaries. He lies constantly even when there isn't any need to and he also stole money recently too.

My husband is great - patient, proactive, consistent and takes things off SS when he does bad things. I can't really fault his ability to father. We have tried everything from treats, love, calm talks and shouting, taking things away. 

None of it works. We have done everything. My husband has too.

I hate being around this kid. But I'm all he has too. I'm angry at him because of all he has done. And all the work I've put in for years with what feels like not getting anywhere. I resent him. He never learns a lesson. 

i hate myself for getting into this situation - I hate myself for not being the person he needs.

I just can't do it though. I really tried so hard but I'm so just so upset with him. I don't like being around him. I find him ungrateful, spoilt from the way he was brought up from before, he doesn't learn any lessons, he doesn't know right from wrong, it's drama every single day, he doesn't help, he's selfish, has an attitude. 

I'm at the end of my rope. I really really can't leave. I've suggested I stay some place else a few nights a week to get away but my husband just won't have it and to be honest we can't afford it. I love my husband and he's a great Dad he's said he's going to take the kid out more on evening so I can get more time. But I just don't know if it's enough.

I tense up when this kid enters the room.

I know he's been through so much and I've really helped him through a lot of that and have got him lots of professional help and regular meetings with the school. I know he will always carry this trauma of course it's not a quick fix but a lot of his behaviour stuff isn't to do with ADHD or loss there is a line where he actually needs to learn right from wrong. 

disengaging really helps but it also comes with its own sadness when you are 24/7 with the kid. If he went anywhere else it would be better but he doesn't so I spend my life tense, stressed, upset and biting my tongue disengaging.

how do I survive this? How do I be strong? How do I be a good parent to him? I'm so confused. Has anyone been in this situation? 



futurobrillante99's picture

Okay - I will say that I've never been in your exact situation. I have been a stepparent to unruly young men, but not as young as your SS. I am also in a relationship with a widower who has an adult daughter. Her mom died when she was 26 but it devastated both of them. They are still healing. I can never be her mom. I'm in a relationship with her dad and the only gift I can give her is loving him and being a friend to her.

I will correct one thing - his kids never saw you as their BM - that means biomom. They clung to you as the closest thing to having their mother. I don't know what kind of mother she was, but it usually doesn't matter to children. Losing their mother at ages 7 and 10 will leave a deep deep wound.

While you might have brought some faux stability to their lives because you were LIKE a mother to them, it seems they have not gotten the help they need to grieve the loss of their mother.

ADHD doesn't cause this kind of behavior. Grief, anger & ADHD might be the cause. That kid needs help.

You cannot be the person he needs. He NEEDS and wants his mommy and your presence is a constant reminder that she's not here. And, I assume he's a preteen or teen, and he's acting out his anger (grief).

You can't replace his parent. You can be a loving and supportive adult and more like a fun aunt, if you choose. At the very least you can be a stable force in his life, BUT you can do it without trying to parent or mother him. You are a human being who has her own needs and feelings. You do not need to endlessly sacrifice yourself for this child.

Disengage - it's okay. You're allowed and it's actually a lot better for him if you do and let his dad take over EVERYTHING. Your SS probably resents your very existence because you're not his mom.

It's not your fault. Be there for the SS who isn't acting out (if that's the case), but still.........STOP trying to be their mom.


OKtoStep's picture

I don't know your whole story but how old is your BD? If she is still a child in your home, do you owe the steps more mothering than you owe your own child?

I applaud you for your maternal instinct and trying to care for these partial orphans. However, the second a child tried to make my kid feel bad about having a mother that cares would be the day I walk out of the situation.

you are not all that these skids have. They have a father and, presumably, grandparents. You owe them nothing.

Thumper's picture


We are here for you as much as we possibly can.


Harry's picture

He can not or will not control his kids,  will not parent them to do the right thing.  ADHD is not an excuse. This kid should be in therapy.  DH not putting him in therapy is just another sign of bad parenting.

DH want you to do his job in raising his kids with out help from him. Actually doing thing or not doing things to make your job harder.  This is never going to change  Time to start looking for an exit plan.  Of course he will not want you to leave and he has to deal with his kids 

tog redux's picture

If he's not in therapy, he needs to be - and to see a psychiatrist. I agree with the trauma of losing his mother, but you may be right that he inherited stuff from BM that is now coming out.

Also, 14-year-old boys are at the worst, most difficult age, in my opinion. With therapy and clear guidance from DH, he may mature, but it needs to be consistent expectations and consequences.

Livingoutloud's picture

Wow it's so rough. Many hugs to you

SS needs professional help and ASAP. They were traumatized by their mother's death and maybe  never got proper professional help 

my SDs also lost their mother but they were adults and DH and I were already married. They have complicated grief because they had no relationship with her. One was estranged and the other had strained relationship. Their life is less stressful without her as she was a dangerous person but still she was their mother so it is brutal thing to live through (the way death occurred all in itself was traumatizing). All I can do is to be there for them. Since her death they are more clingey with me and their dad, which is understandable. BUT having said that I don't have to raise them. They aren't kids. It would be quite different if they were young.

Your SKs need a lot of help. I also think you yourself might need therapy dealing with it.

I have to add that it does not sound like  ADHD. Hopefully professional mental health provider can figure it out 


Wicked stepmo.'s picture

If DH is doing his job and the kid sees a counselor and he is still having these issues.

I am not an advocate for medication but SS may need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist. If you have tried everything else and failed sometimes its a chemical imbalance.  Whether is be the ADHD or clinical depression which in teen boys comes out as anger and aggression. Having him evaluated may be the best next course of action.