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Burnt out

Omghelpme's picture

Hi all.

I decided to make an account because I need someone to vent to that doesnt just automatically dismiss my feelings and try to make the conversation about the kid's feelings.

I have a stepdaughter who's been very difficult and unaccepting of me and my children from the beginning. That's gotten better (after 3 years of marriage). I wouldn't say she loves us but shes not openly hostile anymore. 

So in the beginning she wasnt around as much. I thought she was kind of annoying, probably a little more than an average kid but still thought well, shes just a kid and lots of kids can come across as annoying. I figured if i spent time bonding with her I'd come to love her the same as my own. After all, my own kids can be annoying at times too and I still love them, right?

Well, that's never happened. Since then I've had another child so naturally have a younger child again takes up alot of time and energy. Also, SD is now here 50% of the time. So I'm around her way more than I used to be and I'm just going insane. The weekends were fine before, but now that it's an entire week by the end of the week I'm just ready to lose my mind. I feel like I have less tolerance for her instead of more. I'm a very quiet, introverted person and shes very loud and attention seeking and it takes so much willpower for me to be around her without acting annoyed that I just feel completely drained after a couple days of it. I dont even know what else to do. Obviously she lives here and has the right to be here and I dont want to act mean or show annoyance with her. But I'm starting to feel completely miserable and dread her being around because it's so emotionally exhausting.



CLove's picture

As you do, it does sound totally draining. Does SD do any chores or help out at all? Can your husband take them out to do family stuff, so you have time out (I am half and half, so I get needing some alone time - it is ESSENTIAL)

So, vent away. What does she do that annoys you, or is it just that you are overwhelmed because you dont have a way of recharging?

Omghelpme's picture

I think it's some of both - I definitely have a lower tolerance when I'm already stressed. Which is also true of my own kids. 

The annoying behaviors: extreme clinginess, need for external validation, and general loudness. It feels suffocating. No one can have alone time or do their own thing, she needs to be involved in absolutely everything. If she is doing something she needs to have someone telling her they notice it and give approval. By loudness I mean the actual volume of her voice and she just talks ALOT. Remember Fran drescher from the nanny? Think that type of voice except without the accent. That one I feel bad about because its obviously not her fault but it makes it harder to listen to all day.

Also she can be very snotty at times which irks me. Snottiness or implying superiority definitely is one of the things that pushes my buttons. At times the comments can be downright mean, but it's usually more implied with facial expressions and tone of voice.

Shes nine, but puts on a cutesy voice for my husband when he gets home and acts more like 2. 

The last thing I can think of is that she likes to snoop so I feel like my privacy is constantly being invaded. Hiding behind doors to listen to us (either my older son or husband) talk, wanting to read through anything I have written down for any purpose, etc. I'm not sure why exactly, she never says anything to us about her moms house so I dont know it it goes the other way or not. 


justmakingthebest's picture

Do you work outside the home or are you surrounded by kids all day everyday? 

I know my own children can take me to the brink sometimes and I really don't have patience for other people's kids most of the time. 

Feel free to vent away with your frustration! Personality clashes on top of steplife can be super frustrating!

Omghelpme's picture

I think it is basically a personality clash. My own kids are more similar to me in being a little quieter and more introverted and okay with entertaining themselves so it's easier. I have wondered if it would be just as hard with my own if there was a personality clash.

At the moment I'm not working outside the home.

justmakingthebest's picture

That makes it harder when you dont have an outlet during the days and when it's your DH's time, I am sure you babysit. 

Thankfully, school is back in session soon, so that is something.  Maybe you can also plan something for just you once a week while she is there after your husband comes home. Even if it isnt out anywhere. For example, Thursday is you bubble bath evening. You get to escape when he comes home, he cooks, you draw a bath with a book and wine and hide from the kids!

Whatever works for your family but you need a break too!

steppingback's picture

So, try to eliminate the guilt of having them. You are not a bad person. You are a tired strong person. Try to structure regular time in your day where you are free from her for a bit. Also, sometime to interact so she does feel welcome. SuperNanny talks a lot about structure and schedules for kids at home. And I agree with her. It is okay to make your home fit your personality.

EvilStepMom1977's picture

I really don't understand why people in second marriages have kids.  It really seems tojust make everything worse.  I read it here all the time. 

Boyfriend's ex thought it would be cute to have a bonus baby at 42.  Well of course now she can't get a job.  Has to stay home with the baby.  

I'm not pointing this out to be a dick.  I just want women who have children and are contemplating having children with a man who already has children to stop and realize what a shit show that usually ends up being.  

Harry's picture

But her BF is the one who has to take care of her.  He should arrange Child care in the summer and not dump SD on you. He should arrange some type of activity as a day camp, sport camp rocket camp. For her to go to. You are not the babysitter for SD because BF is lazy .