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Regretful behavior?

savethedrama's picture

Do any of you regret how you may have acted towards or treated your SKs? Mine are not THAT bad, but I find that I have gotten really short tempered and angry with them, even for things that normal kids would do. I guess when it’s not your child, you view it differently. And I think half the time I get angry, it’s more because of how DH and BM handle many situations that I have no control over. My husband is getting mad at me for not wanting to be around them as much, and he says I don’t treat them the way I treat our own children. While that may be true, I also don’t have to deal with a lot of the crap from my own... but then I feel guilty at times.

Sometimes I think back and I feel bad about something I have said or done...at the end of the day, they are children in an unfortunate situation. They now live with their BM more (she used to live out of town). But I cant help but think they want to be there because they don’t want to be around us, even though life at BM’s is a walk in the park with no chores, rules, etc. I often feel bad for my husband because he doesn’t see them as much..but he also isn’t making much of an effort to see them either. 

I guess I am just venting...

Doublehelix's picture

I don't treat my bf's kid poorly, but I get annoyed like anyone would, so I'm present but not super engaged. She's not even that bad, relatively, but like you said, she's not mine, and I don't have my own kids yet, so it's different. I do wonder if I'll regret later that I'm not trying to enjoying it more now though, bc I can't imagine it getting better when adolescence kicks in, as her attitude is already 6 going on 16...lol

ESMOD's picture

Hey.. give yourself some credit for being human.

Being a step-parent is tough.. You don't have much control.. but there is  a lot of stuff that can affect you and your household.. financially, emotionally etc...

I think it's great that you can have some empathy for the children.  Because it can't be easy to be in that situation.. I'm not saying that should give a COD a free get out of jail card..but a bit of understanding should come with the program.

I guess my best advice is to be kind whenever possible.  Practice patience.. and learn that it's ok to let things go sometimes.... not every transgression has to be a hill to die on.  And.. go easy on yourself and when you think you went too far.. you can even apologize..

And.. it won't be "forever".. eventually these kids will have a larger world and will be less dependent on their nuclear family. (and this should be encouraged so that they can be independent when they are older)

susanm's picture

There is no question that I could have handled some things better than I did.  I will never deny that.  I am not going to hang my head in shame either.  I did the best I could at the time with pre-teens/teenagers being told for years to actively hate both their father and me and being rewarded by their mother for doing so.  Luckily things have changed substantially with SS.  Not so much with SD.  But I can definitely think of two instances when I did not cover myself with glory and would like to take back things that I said and did.  Not anything earth-shattering but not my best self and nothing that I would want printed on the front page of the newspaper.  I apologized afterward but we all know that you can not unring a bell.  Sad

MurphysLaw's picture

He’ not making much of an effort to see them …so he’s a lazy parent that feels guilty about it and instead of changing his ways, has decided to blame YOU.

And in typical form, you as a mother (of your own children) feel guilty, yet you have NOTHING to feel guilty about.

Bet he’s never THANKED you for putting up with his kids, has he.

Cbarton12's picture

Yes. I do feel guilty sometimes when I get really annoyed or when I dont spend more time with her. She's a really sweet kid for the most part just DH sucks at parenting her. 

stepper47's picture

Yes for sure, I have lived in regret.  Like you, i don't think I have ever said or done anything excessively terrible, but when a kid says they feel unwelcome in your home, continues to act out, and eventually moves out with continuing stress and drama, you tend to analyze what you have done to contribute to it.  I fully admit that I withdrew from SD when her attitudes and behaviors started to take off around age 11.  I can think of 2 times when I got snappy with her, but other than that it is mostly that I shut down and didn't engage... and also that I had some expectations for our home that I left to DH to enforce.  It took him a while to get on board, which contributed to me withdrawing more and basically not having a super happy home environment.  I have learned that what I look at as just being quiet comes across as having an attitude.  I know I could have done better, and I feel guilty that I didn't.

  But....you can't change the past, you can only start now to work on the future.  Part of my work is coming to realize that everything does not fall on my shoulders...we all had our moments of not doing the best we could.  Not one of us is perfect.  I have made sure in the last year to have conversations with both of my stepkids to let them know I love them and apologize if I have ever made them feel unwelcome.  I explained that this has all been difficult for me too, I am very introverted and I learned at a young age to withdraw when I get uncomfortable.  SS got it, and we are in a great place, although we were never in a bad one.  I don't know what SD thought about it, she didnt really say anything (I blogged about it, it's kind of amusing now) and things are still a hot mess with her.  Although I have felt like her negative feelings have shifted from me to her dad.  I think the problems that are going in with her would happen regardless of who was in her dad's life, I have stopped taking it personally.  I just want to focus on moving forward and trying not to focus on the upsetting things that she continues to do (blogging here helps a ton) so that I can treat her with kindness when I do see her.   Try not to be too hard on yourself, stepparentting is truly a hard gig!