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another newbie

OtherMom's picture

Wow—what a great site! It’s great to know that so many other people are going through the same things.

I’m SM to two wonderful kids-- I’ve been their mom 50% of the time since SS was 10 mos. and SD wasn’t even born (a dramatic surprise we’ve long since dealt with). BF and I took turns caring for SD pretty much every night when she was an infant while BM was “too tired” to deal with a crying baby. Anyway, because the kids were too little to even remember their bio-parents being together, we really had the chance to bond. We really do have a great family relationship overall, but I have these weird, nagging issues that make me feel crazy a lot.

First of all, I’m not a BM myself. I have this jealousy because I love my SK’s like they are my own, but it seems like everything in this society is teaching them that I can’t be their “real” mom. I know my BF tries, but he doesn’t understand. He is from a blended family, and his step’s weren’t “real” parents. No matter what he says I can tell that he doesn’t really think that in the eyes of the children I can ever be equal to BM, who, by the way is psycho (judging from these posts are they all?? LOL). I have this sudden, nagging desire to bear children, but I don’t have many years left and we’re in no financial state with the other 2 and the X. Then, I feel resentful that I didn’t get to share the experience with him of having our first child together. He’s been there, done that with someone I think is totally unworthy, and now there is nothing left for me. Silly, I know. But it makes me cling to SK’s even more; I really need to be their “real” mom. I know they have another mom, and I will always be careful to respect that relationship and be adult about it. Am I crazy that I want to earn the love that she gets automatically, without even trying?

I guess I’m really focused on this right now, after getting back from a weekend with his family. So many people said little things that made me feel like a big nobody… for example, his sister said, “you’re getting such great practice with XXX’s kids… you’ll be a great mom when you have some of your own!” She meant well, but I was devastated. I started crying in the car on the way home when I thought the kids were asleep. I was trying to explain to BF, who didn’t get it and therefore kept making it worse. Then SS said from the backseat, “Mommy? Mommy!” I turned to see if he was talking to me. He said, “You’re my OTHER mommy!” and asked me to hold his hand. I almost lost it. And in those 30 seconds a 3-year old gave me more than anyone ever has in my life.

Anyway, I’m sorry for the long, rambling post. I appreciate so many of the great things I’ve read in this forum. I’d love to hear anything encouraging about SM’s relationships with SK’s, and also any tips on establishing a loving, healthy family life without feeling resentful. Thanks!

BIOMOM's picture

Believe me when I tell you that other's peoples comments ARE well intended.

One of my dear friends is a stepmom to 2 children, now ages 17 and 14. She has been with their Dad since they were 10 and 7. Mom NOT in the picture at all.

Sometimes, when we are "sharing" our frustrations with our kids, I can actually see her husband's side of things way better. They were telling me that 17 year old wanted to go on her graduation trip at the cost of $400. Stepmom says she can go but has to pay herself. Dad says she can go, and he will treat her.

My comment was, I would let her go and pay. When stepmom started saying that when SHE was younger, her parents didn't do those kinds of things. If she wanted something, she had to make the $$ for it.
Of course my bf chimed in "I would make "timmy" pay too, why should these kids get a free ride?" I threw him daggers and said it was a graduation trip. School stuff. A celebration.... Not a trip to the bahamas with 19 guys going to get laid at the last minute!

I responded: "Well, maybe if she were yours, you would see things a little differently" (They have plenty of $$ and daughter does work since age 15 waitressing at nearby diner).

Well, my friend flipped out. Yelling "OH, since she didn't come out of my crotch, I will never know what it is like to be a real parent????" (BTW, we were in a restaruant at the time).

I immediately understood my mistake. But the damage was done. I tried to apologize, she wouldn't even listen.

I think I was more or less responding to MY bf's comments, not hers.

Anyway, sometimes bio's do not realize the pain they inject with stupid comments. Sometimes, people are just ignorant...myself included....

You are a Mom, day and night to these kids. YOU know it, and the kids know it. They can't call you Mom? So what? They love you anyways...

Hugs,
Janice

hopeful's picture

Your post was very sincere and honest and pretty terrific! You don't have to be equal to biomom...you offer something totally different to your sks. What is a mom anyway? A mom isn't somebody who gets their role through biological birth. If that were the case, adopted parents or people who go through egg donation are the only really moms that those kids know?! You are a mom by virtue of your actions with the kids. Is it the same as for biomom...no it isn't...but doesn't have to be? I really believe that being a mother has the significance and importance that YOU place on the role, not the kids. Believe me, there were times in my own children's lives where my role to them was a just a minor inconvenience but to me, the role was really special, even when they were driving me nuts. It wasn't so easy with my sks but that is partly my doing as well as my husbands. Staying united in our role as parents was key and we didn't do that well I am afraid. You have a great influence on the lives of your sks...no matter what the title. That kind of love doesn't have to have a title.

OtherMom's picture

Thanks, both of you. I don't know how you guys stay so strong... being a SM is really hard! I have so much respect for anyone who has made it through enough of this stuff to gain some perspective. I used to think that because it's such a rare and valuable thing for a divorced partner to find someone who loves their kids completely and unconditionally any efforts in this direction would be appreciated. Funny-- it's just the opposite. The SM is expected to be all things to all people, but it's almost impossible to do the "right" thing-- much less know what that is. Suddenly, you're in a position to please your partner, the kids, and the entire extended family, with no one to talk to who understands. Glad I found this site.

hopeful's picture

Sometimes the comments that we make come, not always from making the right decisions, but rather from making the wrong decisions and learning from them. That is definitely the case for me...too soon old and too late smart...I think is how the saying goes.

BIOMOM's picture

I'm not a stepmom....only a bio. I come here to learn about what evil lurks behind ALL of us.

I have come to realize, thru the guidance and experience of these ladies (men too, kinda), that none of us our perfect. I see things that a stepmom can't, while a stepmom can give me the insight to why my son's stepmom feels the way she does.

When I read of all of the frustrations regarding the biomom, I can now see her perspective......however clouded it may be. NOT THAT IS ALWAYS IS. It's just sometimes when a SM here shares an experience and the reactions, I want to say...NO!NO!NO! That's NOT why biomom is being a bitch. But instead, I sit back, listen and learn with an open mind.

My ramblings are usually of my own experiences being a parent. Period. Not necessarily does a bio make a Mom. Sometimes, quite the opposite. What I do know about myself is that I am quick to judge whichever parent does not have the best interest of the child(ren) in mind. It frustrates me. Bio's trying to brainwash kids, Steps angry over child support, Bio's using said child support to sport a new hair color, brand new car, and the latest variation of the LV bag on the market to date.....

Keep coming here and sharing. Venting is definately an issue for all of us... Therefore, if we come here and yell, and are frustrations are justified and identified by others, we don't feel the need to take our rantings elsewhere....

Hugs,

Janice

OldTimer's picture

First let me say that you are not alone.

You know, I've read the posts here and many of which I agree with, but mostly it's all our own experience. Whether you are a biomom or stepmom trying to understand 'the other side', it's still just a matter of your personal experience. This site is great because so many of us can vent off our frustrations or get validation for having such feelings.

For alot of stepmom's, it's more about being heard and validated for our position in the family. It's a very hard position and I think it is the toughest job there is. Alot of pressure is placed on us to meet the expectations of the stereotyped mother... many people think that just because you didn't have that child from birth, that you have no motherly instincts... but it's quite not true. It's that we are women in general and our genics dictate that... literally. Some have it, others don't. But the ones that have it... have it bad! lol.

Always remember that the relationship between you and BF is unique and special only to you two. And remember that the relationship soared between BF and BM- so don't focus on it being 'the first'... come on... I'm sure you've had a first crush too, the first kiss probably wasn't with BF, was it? Think positive and realize that it doesn't matter. Love each other unconditionally and realize the human side of you. Most of all, do not stop communication between the two of you, and work as a united front.

I too have the same deep longing feelings of having my own child. But I know that I already have a child that no one can say is not mine... my SS. I know that others do not view it the same as I do, but I don't care what they think or what they say, he's mine too.

So, rest assure that your feelings are valid. Don't let it get to you personally, because that is your worst enemy. Instead, be proud and keep up the good work- Mom.