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Things ive learned that has helped MY sanity

stepmominhiding's picture

1. Don't view your step as a child of yours

2. Don't have expectations of children that are not yours

3. Don't make rules for children that are not yours

4. Don't discipline children that are not yours

5. If there is something bothering you anout children theat are not yours,  bring it up to your SO in a loving  concerned manner. 

6. Come here to vent about the annoying child in your home theat is not yours. 


In following these rules, life has gotten less  stressful,  I used to view sd as a child of my own and that her bad behavior was my problem, that somehow it made me look like a bad parent. Then I realized that sd behavior wasn't my concern. It is still pretty stressful, esp when she's throwing accusations around about me or my kids,  but it is significantly better than it was  before,  I was having serious panic attacks eowe trying to very her behavior under control... now it's DH's job, and our relationship has gotten so much better. 

Kiwi_koala's picture

All great points which I why I don't take care of step kids either. If I'm not allowed to make rules or be an equal parent ( which I understand) then I don't have any responsibility past occasionally helping out when I can and want to.

Siemprematahari's picture

Things I've learned.....

  • Not to take things personally because 9 times out of 10 its not about me.
  • Not to get emotionally/personally involved and that the biological parent should enforce and carry out rules and consequences to their child/children.
  • Create strong boundaries and always remain consistent.
  • Do not ever let step kids or anyone period violate your space.

Yes 3

RisingtheWave80's picture

This makes 100% sense to me but I have trouble executing this in my head. I feel so invested in the outcome of my SD and making sure everyone else is happy at the sake of my own happiness, I really need to figure out how to make this work in my head

ldvilen's picture

I agree.  think this is one of those things that sound good on paper, but extremely difficult to execute, even tho. I agree with most of the points on some level.  IF you have a supportive husband (and in this case, I do mean husband and not BF, because there is a difference between being a not so invested GF vs. a lifetime invested wife, esp. when it comes to managing someone else's children), then this becomes much easier.  Most of the SMs here, do not have the most supportive husband.

Otherwise, as a wife, you have a clearly joint household that you have to run.  There is yours and mine, but there is mostly ours in running a household, even when it comes to various SKs.  It is very difficult to ignore a SD, for instance, who leaves her crap in the bathroom and won't clean up her bedroom, and just let her pops deal with it.  What if pops also has no problem leaving his crap around?  Also, it is critical for SKs to see their dad and his wife as a husband and wife and not as dad and his side-thang.  If a SM acts like she is just there to defer to pops every time, then it will look like SM is simply dad's side-thang.  Further, what happens at family events?  Does SM just not go, because after all, these children are not hers?  Or, does she go to be by her husband's side because she is her husband's wife?  

So, to me it is not even necessarily being that invested in your step-child's outcome.  It is just the reality and the execution of all of it.  And, you have to look long term.  Sure, as a shorter-term GF, these rules might sound ideal.  But, as a full-term wife, it almost comes across as being condescending to the kids and letting them and their dad (and BM) run what is supposed to be a household that you and your husband are jointly running.  However, again, I get, "Not my monkey, not my zoo," and I get staying out of what is really another family's post-divorce issues, and I get learning to say NO, and meaning NO.

Harry's picture

Someone has to make them.  You are living there..  not going to bed on time, not clean up ect shows disrespect for you.  Has to be joint ruled, BF has in force them. 

stepmominhiding's picture

It only is disrespectful to me if I made those rules.  If I didn't make those rules it isn't disrespectful to me. DH makes rules for sd, then it's disrespect for dh. 

Rags's picture

What I have learned. 

Kids will not deliver in compliance to household behavioral standards or standards of performance if there  are no consequences applied for failing to comply.

If they have a pleasant outcome when they comply and an unpleasant one when they don't... they will comply.

Kiwi_koala's picture

I agree

1wonder woman's picture

I agree but disagree... I came from a divorce home my parents were divorced when I was 7 years old my Dad and both of my parents remarried remarried within a year after they divorced and my Dad had full custody of us girls and we went to our moms on weekends. We were raised in two separate houses by two sets of parents and in each house we had a list rules that we had to follow and chores that we had to follow and do and we knew if we broke any of those house rules there would be consequences to pay we would be punished.. My dad and step mom created a house rules list just like my mom and step Dad did... and a chore chart too.  The one thing both of my parents taught me was if there was anything that I wanted may it be a new outfit or toy I had to work and earn my own money to pay for it... unless it was a Christmas or Birthday I had to do chores to earn my own money. I was just never given money. I was disciplined and punished by my step mom and my step dad just as if they were my bio parents... I was taught to show my step parents the same respect as I showed my Bio parents. I also had step brothers and sisters and a half brother and we were raised to love them and respect them all as if they were our full blooded siblings. My sister and I turned out great and now that I have read some of the horror stories on this site wow I appreciate my parents even more today for the way they raised us kids...when my mom had us on weekends it was not a Disney day no it was just like the five days with my dad we had chores we had house rules. My parents always stayed on the same page working together as a team helping one another to raise us kids. My mom did all communication through my step mom. My bio parents disconnected and stayed out of each others business. My parents set boundaries and respected those boundaries.  After my parents remarried I never once saw either set of my parents fight and argue in front of us kids either. In both of my homes it was my mom and my step mom that laid down the house rules in each house and they were the leaders of us kids because our dads were working so much. Both sets of my parents stood together united we kids knew there was non of this stuff me telling my step parents no you are not my mom or you are not my dad I do not have to do what you say...nope we were made to show them all respect! 

 Today I see how truly blessed I was to have two sets of parents two moms and two dads..I am now a reflection of four great people that helped to raise me into the person I am today. When my birth mom passed away that was the day I saw wow how lucky I was to have another mom to give me a shoulder to cry on that day and to wipe away my tears. My parents were so unhappy when they were married to one another and then I saw my father and mother fall deeply in love with two other people and then I saw how happy they became after they divorced...I feel when you agree to marry someone that already has kids of their own you are also making a commitment to helping your partner to raise those children as if they were your own... they are a package deal. Children need structure... rules and chores and yes discipline and love lots of love... but most of all they need two parents in each home working together staying on the same page. You as a parent may it be step or bio parents must have authority or you will be raising kids with no responsibility and you will never be respected! Why parents try and raise their kids differently just because they are divorced beats me?  The only difference in a divorce blended family is this... the kids have two separate homes with two sets of parents... two sets of house rules and chores and two holidays... two birthdays... 

Today I look at a divorce as a blessing... I got double the love... I got double holidays and double the gifts...I have lots of siblings instead of one and four parents instead of just two... those parents all loved me and helped raise me into the person I am today!  I am a reflection of all four of them! 

RisingtheWave80's picture

I grew up in the same type of home(s) I had two moms and two dads and they all related to each other in a civil manner. My Stepdad is one of the best people I know and he saved me from myself as a teenger. There are so many rules around parenting and not parenting of children now it makes it harder.

stepmominhiding's picture

The difference is your mother nor father have never pitted you against anyone in the opposite home.  You never felt the need to cause chaos in either home. You never felt the need to compete with a step/ half sibling to make yourself look better.  You never felt the need ti tear down a sibling (step or half) to make yourself feel better.  That's the difference. In my home I have all of the above talking place.  So I need to follow these rules, as many of us do.


I was a half sibling to a step child in my home growing up.  I loved  my brother (half brother, but I never viewed him as only half) I love him just as much as I love my full siblings. So I get where you are coming from.  It doesn't always have to be bad,  but unfortunately to many it is. 

Thisisnotus's picture

Oh yes! I agree and I’ve been doing all. But number 5 should be changed to don’t even say a word to your SO. It does no good, and will only cause you problems. Especially in my case with Disney dad afraid of BM and afraid to upset his kids.....once I stop number 5 for good it should be smooth.

i went into this thinking and doing the opposite of all of that....huge fail.  They aren’t my kids....will never come close....I count down the days until they are 18 and at least I can deal with them without BM from there on.

stepmominhiding's picture

I did too. I did soo much to try to make us look like a perfect family.... I have since then stopped, and it's gotten better... sd is still a brat, but I know I have nothing to do with it. 

Martianinthecity's picture

It’s difficult to not say a word but anytime I do bring things up in a kind way my husband just acts frustrated and like I’m nagging. How do I just turn a blind eye to my SS’s entitlement and laziness that affects all of us? I don’t think my husband and I will ever agree or see things the same way. What frustrates me most is that my husband wants to treat me like I am a full parent but I am not part of discussions with my SS’s BM so I have no real authority. It’s uncomfortable feeling like the third wheel in my home 1/2 of every week.