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Feeling bad for showing annoyance with SD...

sunshinex's picture

For those of you who don't know my story, we have SD7 full-time and I have a son with my husband who is 17-months old. SD sees her BM in the summer and holidays. She's close with my husband, and despite the distance, she loves her mom. She does call me "mom" but I think it's more out of wanting a mother and not really having one nearby. We have an okay relationship and I try to treat the kids equally. I do show more affection to my son, but I can't help that. Aside from that, I try to have one-on-one time with her and I care about her. 

My husband has my back and I have no reason to disengage per say, but I'm finding myself feeling really guilty for how often I'm clearly annoyed with her. My husband is gone for the weekend on a trip I planned for him. He's a SAHD for the past few months because we're not ready for daycare and it just made the most sense. Today, SD was making comments that really rubbed me the wrong way. 

I was playing with my son and said something about how he looks dumb (he had a bucket on his head or something) and SD said "you can't say bad words to him, that's not okay." and I brushed it off and told her I'm just playing with him. Later, she said "you know you'll have to teach him not to open the door when he's older or he'll run away." so again, I brushed it off. Another comment "don't you know he shouldn't be eating that?" when he had a cookie after eating all his dinner.

She continued with minor remarks about my parenting all night. At one point, I was in his room with him putting his PJs on and he started crying (teething) and she ran over, knocked on the door, and said "what's happening? is my brother okay?" as if I was, idk, hurting him or something? Maybe I'm overthinking but the remarks about my parenting had me REALLY annoyed with her all night. And I know I was short with her. And I'm not short with my own son. I finally told her to stop making remarks about the way I parent because it's not needed. 

A while ago, she went through a similar phase but more focused on making me feel like my son loved me least in the family. It was strange. She would say things like "he smiles most at daddy and I" or "do you know he says dadda more than mama" and stuff like that. I mean, I know it's not true and I'm not worried about that - my son clearly is ridiculously attached to me, but the insinuation bothers me and I was short with her during that phase too. 

I just can't help but feel guilty. I wish I had the same patience for her. I really do. And I'm sure a lot of the things she does wouldn't be annoying if I had that unconditional love and biological connection with her. Anyone else can't help but show annoyance sometimes? How do I stop? I really do feel for her but damn, she rubs me the wrong way SO OFTEN. 



MrsStepMom's picture

I have to think it’s a jealousy thing but I don’t blame you for being annoyed. Perhaps if you can tell yourself that’s what it likely is though it will help you deal with it a bit easier. 

Disillusioned's picture

Sounds like she's a little jealous or competitive

I wonder how she would react if,when she said "you can't say bad words to him, that's not okay" you said something to her like "Aaaawwwwe SD, how sweet of you to look out for your baby brother that way. You really do love him don't you sweetheart?"

So rather than getting the reaction out of you/making you feel belittled like she may have hoped for, you showed her you were above that and even giving her the benefit of the doubt

When my SD's would sometimes try to be manipulative like that to me, using over the top BM comments to try to get a reaction out of me, I would never give them the sastisfaction

For example; one time when dh & I had made a special dinner for YSD that DH was quite proud of, we thought was really good and therefore she would really enjoy, she sat down to eat it but made sure to say to us first that no one but no one made that meal better than her Mom  (we weren't even aware BM made that dish, we just thought YSD might like it, but SD was going through a bit of a maniupulative phase and looking to hurt us or get some sort of reaction) but rather than give her the reaction she wanted, and after seeing that DH was offended, I simply said to SD how fortunate she was that her Mom makes that dish so well, it's a great dish and I would have to ask her Mom how she does it next time I see her, since we enjoy it so much as well

YSD was a little caught off gaurd because I didn't react with taking offence or anyhing else, instead I cheerfully acknowledged her comment with optimism, and YSD ended up sitting there looking ticked off and angry LOL...which confirmed for me that her reason for saying what she did had little to do with the truth and more to do with manipulation, and therefore less reason to get caught up in it

That may or may not work for your SD, it can be hard to do, but who knows if she's never getting the reaction she's seeking then she may just give up

sunshinex's picture

That's interesting. It did occur to me that she knows what she's doing and is trying to be hurtful, but I put that thought out of my head because why would a 7-year old that I've raised and taken good care of want to hurt me? And why would ANY child, for that matter, hurt an adult in their life? I never would've dreamed of hurting adult family members as a child. It never occured to me. Siblings, friends, etc. sure I'd say mean things but adults that cared for me? No way. 

I'll have to try this. At the very least, I'll find out if she's doing it to hurt me or not. 

Rags's picture

"Do you want me to say things that hurt your feelings?  If you want me to speak to you the way you speak to me I will. I would recommend that you knock it off now or expect to learn what abject misery is."

Then do it. She is 7yo not 4yo.  Neither is she a teen.  But... she knows she is being a snarky little shit.  So.... apply consequences and increase the unpleasantness of those consequences in an age appropriate manner until you land on the sweet spot where the pain outweighs whatever benefit she is deriving from being a snarky little shit.

IMHO of course.

Good luck.

Notlovinit's picture

You guys where pretty close before baby boy. You made sure dh was on board with parenting before you even got pregnant.  A step many of us miss. She seems to correct her behavior with structure and guidance. Maybe she's just repeating...thinking she's being helpful. 

shamds's picture

sees me and hubby feeding our then 1 yr old veggies. He says “why is he/she eating veggies... they can’t eat that!” My husband said people eat veggies all the time and our kids had been eating it for so many months. I guess when your bio mum raised you on crap unhealthy food, fruits and veggies seem gross to feed a child

Left out mama's picture

You are singin my song girl!

my sd8 has referred to me as “mom”... but in a playful way almost like she is testing the waters... she also goes through phases where it seems like her intention is to be as mean and hurtful as possible.

she does not criticize my parenting because I have no biological children and her half siblings (same BM) live with relatives in different parts of the country.

Her BM is not really involved. My sd is leaving on Saturday to go see her for the first time in 2 years. BM is very inconsistent with communication as well. Sometimes she will call every week, other times months go by and no calls. Regardless of all of this SD ADORES BM. I wonder sometimes if these phases that as goes through where she intentionally tries to say hurtful things is because she is worried that by having a positive realtionship with me, she is somehow being disloyal or betraying her BM?

what is your SD relationship with her BM? I wonder if we are dealing with the same type of situation or if it is more to do with the age and testing her boundries?