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Reddit Step Parenting

JanRebecca's picture

When I was searching for 'help' along the lines of stepparenting - I also came across the Reddit community   

 

 https://www.reddit.com/r/stepparents/

 

I notice that people in that community are mostly big happy families and it makes me wonder what is wrong with me and mine that we can't be like that??!!! 

I used to try so hard to accept SS8 and have us all be a big ole happy family on 'those' weekends but somehow I kept getting 'slapped in the face' .. So what makes them so much better at it than I am??!! I carry so much guilt sometimes about how things are - but I also am just done trying. 

I feel really bad when BS gets all excited about SS coming so he has someone to play with and then by Saturday noon he is hiding in his bedroom because he needs time out from SS. I don't think he understands what happens because these issues don't come up when he plays with any other kids. I don't know exactly how to explain it too him. 

hereiam's picture

There is nothing wrong with you.

Different situations and different personalities will result in different dynamics.

In my situation, it wasn't my SD that was the problem (she was pretty well behaved and respectful) but her mother, who is a psycho bitch. Had she been normal, we could have been one of those happy step families.

Some people just get lucky. The exes are sane, the kids are not behaviorally challenged, the parents actually parent. Wouldn't that be nice?

TwoOfUs's picture

lol...I basically have that situation and I can still barely stand my skids. 

Of course, I have a lot of resentment because I've been financially contributing to them for years while being unable to have my own children...so there's that. I think if that hadn't been the case I wouldn't feel so disgusted by them. 

Iamwoman's picture

I willing to bet a paycheck that most of those stepmoms are the types of mothers who lie to themselves in an effort to convince themselves and others that they are amazingly wonderful people with amazingly wonderful lives. I'm sorry, but nobody's life is that perfect. Nobody. Anybody who says it is a liar.

We all have aspects of our lives that are perfect for us (for instance: my DH and I are so glad we have each other - best friends etc, always feel sorry for married couples who bicker or disagree on important issues, we both work hard and appreciate each other, etc, BUT it seems like people around us, including our children, are a-holes, and this is draining). We all have aspects of our lives that could be better.

Perhaps the stepmoms on reddit (if they aren't flat-out lying to seem more perfect than they actually are), have lower standards. Some people are happy for their kids to earn C's and D's, but DH and I demand A's with an occasional B from our kids. Some people are fine living in a pig sty (I've been to houses like this - kids bouncing on the couches, dirt all over the floors, etc), but DH and I demand our house be a quiet zone (kids must go outside to be loud and run around), and we don't tolerate much dirt. Some people think mouthy, uppity children are normal, or even worse, adorable. DH and I demand respect from our children. Some mothers are ok with their entire existence revolving around their husband and children, and they not only think this is normal but they live for it. DH and I have hobbies and interests that honestly are usually more fun without the kids (we have given them so many experiences, and I don't regret it, but I also acknowledge that children often don't appreciate vacations or other hobbies the way adults do because they haven't worked for it). I've noticed a lot of STalkers here also have outside hobbies and interests that aren't enjoyable with children, and that can be frustrating because society teaches kids that the world should revolve around them and they get all pissy when it doesn't, so only the kid-centric households have a chance for non-conflict since today's expectations that parents completely lose their identity and bend over for their children's every demand excludes us from having a life outside of our children, which is actually healthier for adults and children, but society will never admit this. 

Here is another great example of why I call BS on the reddit SP claims: I have a cousin who is middle aged like me. She has no biokids, but has 2 skids. She is the breadwinner for her family, and even though they are roughly the same age, her DH looks fresh, young, flirty and handsome (the guy doesn't look a day over 36). My cousin, however, looks at least 10 years older than her age, she has lost so much weight she looks skeletal, she has become "twitchy", and her DH belittles her problems while exagerrating his own. She works her butt off, pays for elaborate vacations, a boat, a beautiful house, and she claims that she is happy with her family and her role as stepmom. It is so obvious that she is being used, but she would laugh in your face if you suggested this. There have been scientific studies done, proving that when a person makes a bad decision (like buying something they can't afford, or taking a vacation that was a terrible experience), that person will often justify their decision to avoid admitting they made a mistake or are not happy with their lives.

Here is an exerpt about self-jsutification and cognitive dissonance:

This process is self-justification, and it is driven by an engine of cognitive dissonance, the discomfort we feel at the gap between our self-image and the less attractive reality that sometimes confronts us. 

It works like this: I do something that I should not have done, and this troubles me, because I'm not the kind of person who does that sort of thing. So, to salve this nagging complaint of the soul, I declare to myself that the act was right all along, and I confirm this by reinforcing it at the earliest possible opportunity. 

The humand psyche is so complex and we definitely live in a competitive "keeping up with the Jones" world. Most people will never admit just how much they might be suffering because it gives them a power trip to make others believe their lives are perfect. That's why I would bet a paycheck that most of those women are lying.

That's also why I like steptalk so much. The women on here, for the most part, are simply more real and willing to face reality head-on. Every sinlge one of us who joins some sort of stepmom group online did so out of misery and frustration, and anyone who says otherwise isn't being real with themselves. Think about it, if their lives are so perfect and wonderful, why are they seeking out groups and advice online, or even going online to join groups and give advice? The answer is that their lives are not perfect and wonderful, otherwise they would just be living their lives and not logging into a forum. Everyone on these forums is looking for advice, some are just too afraid of not seeming perfect to actually put themselves out there and ask for it. Then, there are sites like the one you mentioned, where any advice-giving just degrades into a contest of whose life is the most perfect. Once a group of women begin to play the "I'm happier and more put-together than you" game, it almost seems suicidal to be the one woman who has issues and needs advice. Again, another reason I like steptalk. There are many, many very real women on here who aren't afraid to lay it all out there and make changes for the better instead of just sticking their heads in the sand and trying to make other women feel badly about themselves by pretending to be perfect. That's just a game and not helpful to anyone.
 

 

amyburemt's picture

Ive been married to dh for 6 years now and have known sd's for 8 years. They are both teenagers and i have 2 bio teens myself. My sd17 has been a nightmare. Her mom has been an ultra nightmare. I believe as steps we go into the relationship with the best intentions. No one says "hey i don't want my family to blend". We have this hope that with our love, kindness and nurturing we can help these kids. My family has been on such a roller coaster ride with sd this past 8 years that we have literally dropped the words "blended family" from our vocabulary. At this point we are just trying to survive until she moves back to bm's house. I have never had experience with someone so completely hateful and how do you , as an adult, stand up to a bullying 17 year old? I can say the words all day long, but she still bully's. My dh finally told her he's had enough and that she is the one who chooses wether she's nice or mean. needless to say she is just like bm. She's been to every  counselor known to man, but until she actually wants to utilize what they teach her, it doesn't matter. She's an extreme negative attention getter as well as a bully and that combination is so difficult to deal with. She says she wants a job where she never has to deal with people. I think she needs a huge reality check. I'm pretty sure at some point one of the other kids in the house will end up in a fistfight with her as they are sick of her behavior as well.

Exjuliemccoy's picture

I pity the other kids in your household for having to grow up with your SD. That's so unfair to them.

Maxwell09's picture

I went there once, I commented once “Ignore the Whore” and it was flagged and removed. *pardon*

dysfunctionally_blended's picture

I didn't visit the link - I can just imagine and do not want to get annoyed. 

But I think many factors have to take place in order for a 'blended' family to run smoothly without complaint. Meaning, everytone involved needs to be sane. No crazy HCBM or HCBD, disney dad/mom, normal kids, etc. When you factor in even just one of those things not being the case, you get this forum here. Reality. 

It isn't easy smashing a bunch of unrelated people into a home. Add in chaos and crazy and it's a recipe for disaster. 

OR, as the others have said, that link is a bunch of people LYING LOL!

thinkthrice's picture

Don't think they are being abused or that anything is wrong.