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Resentment, guilt, sadness etc

may927's picture

I think i’m in reflection mode because it’s a holiday.  I don’t have monster step kids.  They have accepted me and are mostly pleasant.  Im mostly referring to SD 14 and SD 19 (who is at college most of the year), as SS 18 is hardly around.  They don’t spend a lot of time alone in their rooms, and seem to need a lot of attention from my husband.  They are very different than me- they are constantly talking and needing to be part of whatever is happening.  It exhausts and annoys me (which I feel bad about). My husband is the most wonderful person I know.  He has totally appropriate boundaries with his kids and expects them to be as independent as possible. 

  I used to manage a happening bar and restaurant and was never around on nights and weekends, effectively avoiding his kids when they are with us EOW.  Seven months ago, I had an amazing baby boy, and while it gives me and the kids something to bond over (they love him), it has been incredibly challenging to suddenly be home all of the time when they are around.   They are very close with my husband, and need a lot of attention as I mentioned before.    I struggle to feel like I fit in, though they don’t try to exclude me.  I have resentment that has built and I wind up disengaging and/or being cold to my husband which causes problems.  He is a very present person in all his relationships and notices when I’m far away emotionally.  It kills me how much I’ve disappointed him.  

I have seen two different therapists and hired a life coach in the 5 years we’ve all lived together.   The life coach work has yielded some success and I plan on sticking with it, but today I didn’t try very hard and just wound up feeling alienated and acted distant when they were here.  

I’m sad and frustrated today.  I am so sick of feeling this way and distressing my husband.  I care about his kids and respect them but I simply do not want to live with them.  I feel I am failing to change when I know my situation isn’t that bad, and while I try not to beat myself up over it, I’m struggling today.  

I love my husband so much and have a child with him now.  We want to move but the 3.5 years left until his youngest graduates sometimes feels like ages.  We live across the country from our families and it was extra hard today.  I’m hating myself for not managing my emotions better while simultaneously just feeling like this isn’t the life I want to live which doesn’t help my frame of mind in any way. 

Thanks for letting me vent; these forums help a lot.  

SecondGeneration's picture

You only had your baby 7 months ago. Everything is still very new so please cut yourself some slack. 

I have a very good relationship with my SD9, but at various points during pregnancy and the early part of DD1s life, I had moments where in really struggled. I'd get short tempered, I didnt want her around, I'd feel myself have dread before she arrived and feel relieved when she left despite her not having done anything wrong. 

I'm a big believer that theres something more going on when you become a mum for the first time. Especially when theres other kids in the household. It's a primal desire to want your offspring to thrive, and ultimately an unconscious desire to have the previous offspring disappear. It takes a while for all of that to settle down.

Not only that but you have multiple step kids in the picture and the arrival of your baby has naturally changed your day to day life. 

It gets better, keep acknowledging your feelings, keep talking about it, keep venting and it gets better. 

My little one is 15 months now and things are now back to normal for how I feel between me and my SD. Though I do notice when shes here for a week I am ready for her to go home. 

tog redux's picture

I'm confused on why you think you are the problem here. It's hard to live with your own teenagers, much less someone else's. They may in fact like you and be good kids, but that doesn't mean you enjoy sharing your home with them or, as you said, listening to them talk all the time.  If you are an introvert, just having them around can be exhausting. 

It sounds like you are kind and respectful to them, and that's all DH can expect. You have every right to get exhausted and annoyed with them, and to figure out how to take your own space and deal with them being in your home.  They are close to launch age (two are partly launched already), so figure out how to take care of yourself until they have left the home. 

I hope DH isn't making you feel guilty for not loving every minute with his kids, because that's unrealistic. 

futurobrillante99's picture

#1 Your feelings are valid and not wrong. #2 You might be dealing with a bit of postpartum depression.

#3 Living with your own bio teenagers is TAXING. I couldn't wait for mine to go to college and move out. And I love them very much. Your feelings are pretty understandable as a SM.

#4 It sounds like you have some needs that are not getting met which is 100% your responsibility. I think you need quiet time in your own house. You need to be able to walk around your house and not have constant noise, conversation, interaction. I know, because I am like you.

Things you can do is create a quiet space for yourself - a lady cave of sorts that has all the things you need to hide away. A mini fridge, tv, sound canceling headphones. You can also ask your DH to take his kids out for a few hours or the afternoon. You can pack up your sweet baby and go disappear somewhere quiet like a museum or library. Or just take a drive in the car.

Make sure your husband knows that you need some peace, quiet and solitude to be at your best and then compromise by agreeing to one activity OR sharing a meal with them while they are around. Be clear to DH on all the positives about his kids, but highlight that YOU have a different personality and need certain things so he doesn't take it personally. He still might take it personally because many parents would. That's not your problem.

Still, I hope you'll talk to your doctor about possible post partum depression. Additionally, having your own child can make your maternal instinct very strong and increase your lack of tolerance for another woman's offspring in your home.