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Had a terrible SM and I'm turning into the same mean SM to SD...

Cassienova's picture

My step mom was AWFUL.  She made me sit in my wet pants for hours when I had an accident. She always had a bad attitude towards me and my whole family.  I always felt unwelcome in her home. When I was 15 she called me a slut.  Over all she was and is a miserable woman that made me never want to hang out at my dad's house.  

My SD is 6 years old and her mother is, well, not the best mom in the world and down right evil most of the time. I really dislike her, but try my best to get along with her.  SD has a lot of issues because of how she was raised thus far.  At 4 years old she wouldn't speak to anyone.  She hadn't been taught her colors/numbers/Abc's - nothing.  I can't blame that all on BM, her father is also partially to blame.  However, he was deployed for a while and worked full time and went to school full time.  And while he was working and serving our country, she was raising her kid with an Ipad.  She didn't want to potty train SD until she was "ready" so she didn't start potty training until she was 4 at dad's insistance. 2 years ago when I met her she was tested by the school district and they told her father she was on the verge of being labeled disabled because of how far behind she was.  She tested in the 3rd percentile for speech and the .5th percentile for fine motor skills. 

Fast forward 2 years and she is doing MUCH better developmentally.  We've worked really hard with her to get her up to speed.  She's still a little behind in reading but she's a whiz at math and really social these days.  However we are having so many other issues.  She pees her pants on a regular basis.  Almost every night and every day.  She pees her pants at school, at tae kwon do, at home, alllll the time.  Sometimes she just sits down where she is and pees.  She's also having behavioral problems in school.  Stealing is a big one.  She's been taking other kids toys and jewelry and saying that it's her own or that someone gave it to her.  The teacher is having a really hard time controlling her in class.  Dad has ADHD and we're pretty sure SD does as well, but she hasn't been tested yet.  We're working on it. 

Ok, so after all that.. For a long time I've been totally gung ho on being the best SM I can be.  I've been instrumental in helping her with school work and potty training and everything else I could help with.  Recently though, I am turning into an awful SM.  I'm extremely short with her, she irritates me a the drop of a dime.  The peeing all of the time makes me crazy, she doesn't listen to ANYTHING.  I have to repeat myself a million times to get her to do anything.  I just don't seem to have the patience for her anymore.  Yesterday I asked her to throw away a piece of string her was carrying around and she burst into tears.  That was it for me.  I wanted to rip the string out of her hand and throw it away!  I didn't, but I wanted to.  I don't know where the anger and hostility is coming from, but it's really concerning me.  And it's EVERY day.  As soon as she walks in the room I find myself getting irritated.  Which isn't really fair considering I'm angry at a 6 year old for doing nothing at all.. Believe me, I understand that it's ridiculous. 

Has anyone else experienced anything like this?  Do you have any tips for getting through it? 

Thanks everyone! 

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture


You’re frustrated with the situation and I think that's perfectly normal. Everyone gets burned out and no one likes struggling with "difficult" children. It's easy to feel like she's the one to blame for everything but really all of this is a product of her upbringing to this point and any possible deficits she may have already had or developed because of this.

Even bioparents can feel this way but on top of this you’re not her bioparent. You have the option of running and so that’s going to cause extra frustration.

What you do is seek help for her and also yourself. Forgive yourself for frustration and look for the positive things in her. Find the good stuff and focus on it. It will help you when the bad stuff shows up. It’s easier to deal with the negative if you can remember all the good. It’s also easy to forget the good when everything seems bad.

Work with her father and make a plan of how to deal with things. Seek therapy for her and whatever else she needs to improve herself.

Take care of yourself. Give yourself time away and pampering maybe even seek a councilor to speak to from time to time when things get too much.

ase of this. 

Cassienova's picture

Thanks for the advice.  I have started going to counseling - today actually.  I will try that - seeing the positive and focusing on the good.  I've suggested therapy and a second doctors visit.  It's difficult to get mom/dad on the same page about things.  Puts SD in a bad spot.  

stepmominhiding's picture

Being the BEST sm means different thingsin different situations.  Sometimes it just means facilitating a great relationship between her and her dad, or her and her mom.  Sometimes it means just making her feel great about herself.  It doesn't mean you have to be a super active part in her education. Step back and see where you can fit in and make the best of what you are

Cassienova's picture

Unfortunately, this is something I struggle with A LOT.  Her dad works really late and I'm with her more than he is.  So, I have to parent.  If I step back, she won't get discipline when she needs it or get bathed on a regular basis.  He's working on his schedule to figure out time to make things better.  But I made the mistake of sticking myself in the middle of everything early on and I don't think I can step back too much at this point.  Thank you for the suggestion though.  I'll see what I can do. 

Aniki's picture

With SD is wetting her pants on such a regular (and unusal) basis, she could have a medical condition.

Where is your DH in all of this? Are you providing the majority of parenting for SD because he's not there?

Cassienova's picture

I took her to the doctor a year or so back.  Yep, you heard right.  I took her.  Her dad was working and couldn't make the appointment and her mom refused to take time out to take her.  So I did.  They checked her blood sugar and did a urinalysys.  Everything came back normal.  They haven't taken her since though.  I have suggested it, as well as therapy.  There is this power struggle between her parents.  Mom wants dad to do EVERYTHING and dad wants mom to be involved and help out so he doesn't do anything either.  It puts SD in the worst position possible. 

He works a lot, in the reserves and has a civilian job.  So that does leave me with her a lot.  

futurestepmom95670's picture

Hi Cassie, I'm also Cassie :).

I just recently posted also about having a mean step mom and feeling like I'm turning into a mean step mom myself. I'm very new to this site, and this situation, but just like with everything you can only do as much as you can do. It seems like you're really trying and that you care. Don't be so hard on yourself. 


I'm struggling with what seems like the opposite. I can't seem to want to care or be around because I'm so put off by my FSD7's behavior, and the inability/lack of desire for my SO to consistently improve on it. He is lucky to have someone who is so helpful, keep your head up, and send me a message if you need someone to talk to!