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I am an awful stepmum

Punkmum's picture

I just find it so hard sometimes.  We are a family of 6.  I have 2 step-daughters and sometimes they can be a nightmare.  When they haven't been nice or their behaviour hasn't been very good I find it so hard to come back from it mentally.  With my own kids I can easily talk with them about what I expect and how we behave nicely and can resolve things with chats and love.  
I find it so hard to express my feelings to my partners girls and like now where I'm angry with them for their recent behaviour I don't know how to make it better.  I'm just so cross I don't even want to be around them. 
The teenage girl (13) had her friend over at the weekend and she was a complete nightmare, she wasn't very nice to her friend she upset the whole house, Dad was grumpy and the whole weekend was just awful.  The other (10) picks on my eldest who is a year and a half younger than her.  She bosses her around, blocks her in rooms, takes things off her and won't give them back.  They can get on but I'm always on edge wondering if she's being nice to my daughter.
I find it so hard to forgive.  

futurobrillante99's picture

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times: you have a partner problem.

He needs to lower the BOOM on his little "darlings." Right now he's either being completely lazy or he's afraid of some female(s). He should be afraid YOU will be pissed with him, not his daughter's or his former partner.


Stepdrama2020's picture

Everything Futurobrillante said.

If a lil B was picking on your kid I would call it out right then and there. NFW should anyone get a pass on shit behavior. Your DH should back you up , otherwise this nonsense will never end.

Imagine a life with no lil B's around to ruin it. Guess what its fantabulous.

Ask your DH why are you grumpy, then that leads into the conversation of why YOU are grumpy. If he doesnt support you, then you will have a lifetime of this. It wont go away once they are an adult. It gets worse.


stepper47's picture

I agree with the other posters, the problem is with your DH and his lack of parenting, probably because he is afraid of "losing" his kids.  I experienced similar - as I saw negative behaviors from my SD now 18 get ignored or even rewarded, I withdrew and shut down.  The few times i did speak up to her, DH would talk to me later about how she was upset by that, not about her behavior. And if I tried to get him to correct something without saying anything to her, he would he defensive.  So I felt like I had no control in my house and like I was the enemy. I think that sould get to anyone.

If I could go back, I think I would try not let my withdrawal get so deep,and be more persistent in finding ways to get DH to understand where I was coming from.  Ironically he does see it now.  I would also have addressed things with SD as they happened - I have never had a problem doing that with any other kids and they still loved me after, but I let my fears with her take over.  Probably better to address gently along the way than store it all up until it pops also.

Dh and I ended up in counseling due to the situation because we almost ended our marriage.  The counseling did help us hear each other and we both made changes to be a better team. Our relationship improved, but his and hers got worse as she did not appreciate his attempts at consistent parenting.  She ended up moving in to her mom's full time 2 years ago,  full of anger, which she still has.

I don't know if that would have turned out differently if *I* had been different, but I do carry a lot of guilt for how my withdrawal contributed to the situation.   I try to be gentle with myself about that, because we are all just people doing the best we can to navigate a complicated situation.   Don't be too hard on yourself! 

BethAnne's picture

It is tougher to forgive other people's kids. It is even tougher when they show little remorse and continue to treat us (and others) rudely. If I were you I would have it out witth your husband as to minmum levels of respect expected in your household and how to enforce that. If he is unwilling to engage constructively with you or fails to follow through then thats a bad sign. 

Wicked stepmo.'s picture

Living with kids who are disruptive and disrespectful who you have no control over will wear you down mentally.

Not having partner who recognizes that and actively tries to address the situation and show support for you. Only causes further anger and resentment.

That's not your fault you are only human. It's your situation. 

Rags's picture

When the SD-10 bullies your daughter, your daughter needs to punch her in the face.  When the 13yo pulls her behavioral bitchy shit she needs a swat to the ass, loss of her phone and all connectivity, and 30-40 thousand sentences all written in isolation in perfect grammar, spelling and penmanship.

Lather rinse repeat until the behavioral crap ceases.

Reread your post focusing on the drama these two failed family breeding experiments are reponsibke for.

Aniki's picture

PUNCH her in the face?! Rags, I am torn between disappointment that you are serious and being appalled at your recommendation.

OP, please do NOT encourage your child to do this. 

Rags's picture

Bullies rarely respond to anything less than pain.  A bully will bully until they run into a victim who makes it painful for the bully.

Coddling a bully does nothing but create more victims for the bully.

IMHO of course.

I was the kid that bullies targeted.  Until I came to clarity that it hurt to be bullied whether I fought back or not.  So, I fought back and magic happened.  A bully who bleeds painfully quickly learns not to bully.

Aniki's picture

I never suggested "coddling a bully". Not everyone has to get into a physical altercation to get a bully to back off. That is YOUR experience. And as someone who was hospitalized and almost killed after having had the crap beat out of me by psycho exh, I do not condone violence. PERIOD.

If the OP's child is being bullied by another member of the household, it is OP's duty as a parent to protect her child. Even if that means moving out with her children. 

Rags's picture

I am sorry that you had those experiences with your XH.  Hopefully he is still in prison.

Initiating violence I do not condone.  Responding to violence with overwhelming force I absolutely advocate.


Aniki's picture

There is a difference between self defense and protecting yourself and "responding to violence with overwhelming force". We will never agree on this. 

The bottom line is that this is a parenting fail on the bio parents. It is OP's responsbility to ensure the safety and well-being of her child(ren). If the child is in danger in her own home, either the threat is removed or the parent removes the child from the threat.

Rags's picture

No doubt about that.

Your XH was not a bully, he is a violent criminal.  I do not condone spousal abuse, child abuse, assault and battery, etc... .  I could not even immagine what you  lived through in that tragic relationship.  I am sorry you experienced that.

IDontCare3117's picture

You HAVE advocated things that were at least close to child abuse, and probably crossed over the line into it.   I've read many of your posts going back many years trying to gain some insight.  You've maintained the same rhetoric.  

Quit giving "advice" that could land people in jail, or have CPS on their doorstep every day of the week.

Rags's picture

Corporal punishment is not child abuse.  Neither is writing sentences, or grounding, or Military School, or ....

You know what they say about opinions.

Aniki's picture

You do advocate spanking. In this day and age, BIO parents have gotten in trouble with the law for spanking their children. One excellent reason for a Step parent to never do that. 

Gimlet's picture

Yeah, I usually keep scrolling but this one is ridiculous.

Teaching kids to punch each other in the face to resolve issues is horrible parenting. 

What happens if the 10 year old wins?  Younger kid shanks her with a knife next time? 

Rags's picture

Discounting bullying as an "issue" is naive IMHO.  
If a bully hits, shoves, or is physical in any way, the bully bleeds.  End of problem.

If the bully limits their bullying to non physical behaviors, that can be ignored.

There is no need to win in a physical conflict with a bully.  All it often takes is just to fight back.  Bullies do not like victims who will stand up for themselves.


CLove's picture

Because this is currently happening in MY world, is that I agree and disagree.

Munchkin SD14 was kicked in the stomach recently, by Feral Forger SD22. Her response was defensively to take a shoe, and swat her hand, resulting in a "sprained thumb". 

Her father has always told Munchkin to defend herself how she needs to.

Her mother Toxic Troll is herself physically and verbaly and emotionally abusive.

What is the answer that I came up with, because Munchkin did not want to report it? Call 911. That is ABUSE. That is ASSAULT.

I know that there are differing schools of thought on this.

I saw this happening a long time ago, but things escalated beyond what I considered, however my answer is the same. We cannot operate under the same assumptions as to what works for us in the past - with divorce, and child protective services and custody visitation schedules, its a whole different ballgame with whole different rules.

I never ever advocated for Munchkin to hit or punch her sister in defense, but I did mention the fact that thats what it would probably take to get her bully sister off her back. I did notate that she will just snap, and snap hard some day. But I never would think of suggesting this. There are other tools to use to protect our children.

But, I maintain that I may not be right in this.

Rags's picture

I am 6 and 8 years the eldest sib.  I cannot even immagine the hell that would have rained down on me if I had kicked one of my brothers in the stomach.  Particularly at 22yo.

With Munch being a minor assaulted by an adult can't your DH press charges against FF?  Even if Munch had responded by beating FF to a pulp IMHO FF should be facing child abuse charges.

I agree that there are any number of methods for dealing with a bully.  Right up to the point that the bully physically  attacks.  At that point, all bets are off and responding with as much overwhelming force as is necessary to immediately and completely neutralize the threat is entirely appropriate within the events at play.

CLove's picture

Sounds like an excerpt. That and Fight Club.

I dont know what the answer is, truly. 

DH is "waiting until things get worse to do something drastic like report to child services and the police". This is his official answer to that question. Its not bad enough to do anything about. To him this is normal sibling fighting, I guess(?).

To me, Im still considering if I will report it. Munch told me that she doesnt want to and I need to respect her wishes, so I had to disnegage from that...

Rags's picture

A tough situation.  

Not surprisingly, this is a black and white issue for me.  My parents did not tolerate us fighting at all.  If we argued when we were little, mom would grab one of dad's T-shirts and put us both in it to hug it out for as long as it took.  Never long.  We would be laughing in very short order.   

When I was in my pre and early teens the rule was if we ever fought each other we would have to fight dad when he cans home from work.

We never fought.  We came close once when I was in my early 20s and my brother was in his mid teens.  I diffused that incident.  There was no way I was going there with the my little brother.  He would have gone toe to toe with me.  He always has been more aggressive than I am.

CLove's picture

Feral Forger has been acting abusively towards her sister since I have been there, almost 7 years now. It started small - calling Munchkin "ugly and stupid", then shunning her with family members, shoving her and elbowing her. Its now escalated to calling her "Freak", and kicking in vulnerable parts. Its now escalated from two children bickering to an adult assaulting a child.

Unfortunately, this treatment was largely ignored and allowed to run up to this level, by both parents. The mother favors the eldest, as does the rest of the family. The father and myself favor the youngest. The family is starting to come around, to see the truth of things. 

The separation caused many things to slide and escalate as far as dysfunction goes.

We had drama just last night when we were supposed to do drop off at Toxic Trolls apartment. She simply refused to go, and Toxic Troll required them both to "aplogise", and Feral Forger started calling her names, yelling, screaming and cussing over the phone.

Its just a sludge ball of mess.

CLove's picture

Munchkin is going down the same Rabbit Hole that Feral Forger went down, following the mother.

Im having dificulties reaching her with respect to school work and she is fighting and blocking me. And her parents are "Im not in this!" As well Munchkin and Toxic Troll are arguing. Threats flying around.

Munch is slipping down the slippery slope, getting drawn into the Drama-Sphere and mucky swampland of the Sludge Valley. 

I hope she comes out the other side.