Hello all... I’m new here! I’m looking for a place to chat and get advice. I feel like I’m struggling every day with this step mom role. And I hate when people, especially my husband, tell me that I knew what I was getting into. Does anyone ever really know what they are getting into? Does life ever go as planned?
Anwyay, I was a single mom for years before meeting my husband. I had my daughter at 18 and finished college and then went to nursing school. I’ve been a nurse for almost 8 years now and during all this, I had a few relationships that didn’t work out for one reason or another. Then I met my husband, and honestly, he’s the best. I feel lucky every day to have found him... or rather that he found me. What I don’t feel lucky about is constantly having to deal with his past.
My husband was married not once, but twice before me and has two children with his first ex wife and one child with his second ex wife. My daughter is the oldest of the bunch. She will be 14 this month. His daughter is 12, and his boys are almost 8 and the youngest just turned 4. For the most part, I get along great with the older two. Their mother parents very similar to myself and I think the kids can respect that. They are also older... but also extremely loving and easy to work through difficult situations with. The youngest is where I struggle.
He turned 4 in March, but in many ways, still behaves like a 2 year old. He baby talks, throws fits, is hard to understand, whines constantly, and doesn’t listen. My husband struggles to parent him and often looks for my support and intervention, but I don’t want to do it anymore. I just don’t want to listen to any more whining or screaming, I don’t think I can do it. For the record, he is not a bad kid, actually very smart. I’m 99% positive his behavior is a result of parenting... or a lack of parenting when he was younger. His mom babies him and so does my husband. On top of the challenges that come with having a 4 year old who acts like a two year old, my husband expects me to love him and accept him the same as the other kids. I’ve tried every which way to build a bond with this kid and at the end of the day, I love him and I want what’s best for him, but I would run the other way if given the chance. What do I do? I feel guilty for wanting to step back, but also value my sanity. My husband doesn’t understand and it seems that when I’m have a bad day with him, my husband babies him more.
The feelings of anger, frustration, and resentment just build and build. I don’t feel like I have anyone to talk to or anyone who understands. I work very hard for this blended family, often putting my needs last. I buy clothes and birthday presents and plan parties and trips to the zoo... I make sure we have groceries and sunscreen and everything to make this house run smoothly. I do the laundry and keep the house clean. I enforce rules such as bedtimes and snacks... otherwise it would be a free for all. I just feel like all the weight is on me and I don’t want to carry it anymore. My husband is great sometimes, but other times just wants to do his own thing and gets frustrated that I don’t want the responsibility of all 4 kids sometimes.
We share custody of his 3 and it feels like I’m just playing house 3-4 days a week and then it goes back to normal. I hate the feeling. The things he gets excited for are the things I resent. How do I fix this? I’ve changed my whole life for his schedule with his kids... no more spontaneous vacations or even nights out. I have to approve my schedule with him AND his ex wives because everyone has a say. None of this is what I had planned for my life.
At the risk of writing a novel... I have to share one more struggle. I want to have another baby. I was 18 when my daughter was born, I had zero support from her father, and I missed out on so many of those precious moments because I was young and still in school. I desperately want another chance to experience motherhood with support and in a positive light. My husband had a vasectomy after the 4 year old was born and wants nothing to do with another baby. I honestly didn’t think this would be an issue for me. I’ve been content with my daughter for years, but now that my life has changed and my schedule is accommodating to a family and I’ve signed up for 14 more years of sports games and school drop offs, I can’t stop thinking about adding another baby to our family.
I feel like my husband expects me to just love and embrace his kids like they are mine and that should be enough. But it’s not. It’s not the same at all. His kids have mothers... and good mothers too. I don’t want to be their mother, and even if I did, I couldn’t be. I’m not involved in decision making, I’m not involved in scheduled, some days I feel like I’m a complete outsider. I feel like I’m struggling in more areas of this family than I’m not! I don’t know what to do or where to turn. I hope I didn’t bore you all with this... it’s my first attempt at writing this down and I guess I had a lot to say. Any words of advice are more than welcome.