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What is the most valuable thing you have learned being a step parent?

queensway's picture

Haven't been here in a long while and hope all of you wonderful step parents are doing well.

Comments

Chmmy's picture

Most valuable thing I've learned is dont marry a man with 4 children, watch for red flags of piss poor parenting and manipultive kids, and dont move into a house with 5 other people and expect to be accepted. Im just living with DH and his kids in their house.

futurobrillante99's picture

You're living the hell I lived! Only I owned the house with XH2 but it was still THEIR house.

The most valuable thing I learned is to get out and stay out.

Chmmy's picture

Did you get them out when you divorced? Did you have to buy hubby out. Ugh. Im glad my DH owns the house & is in debt, mortgage, car, student loans etc. I own my 2 cars outright and have savings. When we leave the marraige he is in debt and I have cash.

Gimlet's picture

Boundaries, boundaries, and more boundaries.

I've also learned that just because my kid is doing well in life, it doesn't mean I know a damn thing when applied to skids.  I neither need nor desire to give parenting advice, help with bigger topics even if I have knowledge about them, or assume a parenting role in any way whatsoever.  I am my DH's wife, period. 

Life works out better for me this way. 

Goodluck's picture

Hi Queensway...

1?

Thats hard.

First lesson WE learned is, never underestimate a dog on a bone.

Aniki's picture

ONE most valuable?? 

  • They are NOT your children and, no matter what generous, selfless things you do for them,  the blood tie of the vile BM will typically win out.

 

Things I've learned via STalk:

  • A parent who cares more about letting a spoiled brat get his/her way has NO respect for you.
  • Disney parents mean the step parent will be living in Hell because the Disney cares more about Skidly's fee-fees. (see above)
  • 18 is NOT the magic age for a skid to launch.
  • Keep your finances separate. 
  • It is NOT the responsibility of the step parent to fund a single thing for a skid. NOT ONE THING.

Merry's picture

Most important thing for me: what I want and need are important too—And that doesn’t equate to selfishness.

susanm's picture

That I can fail and I won't die.  And I mean that in a good way.  I always took on too much.  At school I was that annoying gilrl who had to get the A in every class.  At work I had to be the one selected for the hardest assignments and be the one everyone came to in a jam.  Failure was not an option.  

But in stephell I found failure.  In great giant mounds. No matter what I did those skids were never going to accept me.  I tried and tried and nothing worked.  But it was never going to.  BM told them they were not allowed to like me and that was that.  And it didn't kill me.  There were times that I was sure it would kill my marriage and destroy my soul but it did not.  I am strong enough to fail and still live.  And that shocked the hell out of me.

strugglingSM's picture

I’ve had to accept that DH’s family and SKids will never really like me. But then I discovered the freedom of never having to like them myself. Settling for toleration is enough for me now. Coming to the realization that it’s okay for people not to like me and that it’s not my job to make them like me. As long as I treat them with respect, I have done what I need to do. Toleration is enough for me. Toleration and respect from others would be better, but I can’t control their behavior.

strugglingSM's picture

I’ve had to accept that DH’s family and SKids will never really like me. But then I discovered the freedom of never having to like them myself. Settling for toleration is enough for me now. Coming to the realization that it’s okay for people not to like me and that it’s not my job to make them like me. As long as I treat them with respect, I have done what I need to do. Toleration is enough for me. Toleration and respect from others would be better, but I can’t control their behavior.

advice.only2's picture

Most important lesson I learned was the you can’t care more than the parents who produced the child.  Also that all good intentions mean you will be the scapegoat for DH, skids and BM.

strugglingSM's picture

I learned about how important it is to not allow other people’s expectations or societal expectations rule your life. You have to identity your authentic self and be willing to step into that despite the judgment and drama. In particular, being a SM forced me to examine expectations around family and family roles. It’s okay to have a non-traditional family and you need to do what is right for you, not what others think you “should” do. You will not likely “love the children as your own” and that’s normal and okay. You do not have to be satisfied accepting crumbs or poor treatment, but you will have to be somewhat diplomatic in how you approach that. This will cost you friends and even family, but being true to yourself will save your sanity. 

In order for you to have a successful stepfamily, you need a DH who is willing to do the same thing. You also need to have strong well-defined boundaries. These won’t happen overnight and all of this will take A LOT of work. Sometimes it feels unfair that the SM has to unpack all this and buck the societal tide. You also need to lean in to that if you’re going to maintain your sanity and happiness.

shamds's picture

Too often we are told to suck it up and eat the shit thrown our way and how out of line it is for us to stand up. 

Poor them they’re kids of divorce is no excuse to raise dogs, honestly dogs are better trained than these skids alot of the time.

any partner who has true respect for you will never tell you to suck it up and live in an unharmonious home environment and wash his hands of the problem..

Kes's picture

No good deed goes unpunished, so do not go the extra yard, never mind the extra mile.  Do not care what is said about you, don't waste energy imagining what it is. Do not expect your DH to ever take off his Dad goggles and see his offspring as they really are. 

ntm's picture

Better to be content on your own than miserable in step hell. 

queensway's picture

Thank you all for your comments. I have a new friend (male) and he has 2 daughters and a son. So far things are fine but my brain keeps saying ... don't even think about it. So I think my friend will just stay a friend. Forever.

Dovina's picture

RUN lol

Hi queensway havent seen you on here in ages! Nice to see you are back Smile

justmakingthebest's picture

For me, it is something that I have to repeat any time SS14's name comes up.

"You have no control"

  • No control on what BM is doing or saying
  • No control over the lies
  • No control over SS having a relationship with his father, brother, me, my kids
  • No control over anything regarding anything relating to SS's travel
  • No control at all.

This has been a very hard and painful lesson for someone like me, who tries with all her being to make things better, to fix, to help my husband... This has been a brutal time emotionally. 

Siemprematahari's picture

The most valuable thing I've learned is anything that costs you your peace, well-being & sanity is too expensive....

Let that sh!t go!!!

whyme33's picture

You are expected to care for the kid emotionally, financially and all other aspects but you truly have no say in the child’s life. Be prepared to feel used.