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What is the hardest thing about being a childless stepparent?

childlessSM's picture

<< With all due respect to forum members who have biological children, this question is really for those of us who don't. >>

Childless stepparents: we face many unique challenges. If you had to choose one thing, what would you say is the most challenging when it comes to being a childless stepparent?

oldone's picture

My SS was an adult when I met him so I have no experience with children step or bio. Part of the issues are generational.

I see DH being a very enabling parent which is hard for me to identify with. By the time I was 20 I was helping my parents financially.

I bought my parents their first tv (color). I paid for them to come visit me. When we went out I always paid.

So it is a shock to me that today's "children" expect to be treated FOREVER. I find it utterly repulsive that my DH pays for SS to even get a hair cut.

childlessSM's picture

Oldone, thank you for sharing.

I think seeing behavior in our spouses through their relationship with their children - things we might not otherwise see - is one of the hardest things about being a stepparent.

How does being childless affect you when it comes to this? Sounds like you would have very different expectations of your own child.

oldone's picture

I'm in my late 60s so there will be no child for me. Smile

But being childless I probably am less tolerant of how pathetic SS is. All I see is a kid who is stunningly handsome, smart, was sent to the best schools, etc. - and he's a drunk bum on the street.

All I can think when he is around is ICK ICK ICK. My DH loves him with all of his heart.

I think of all the opportunities he had (that I did not have) how he threw it all away. Maybe I'm jealous as I had to scratch and crawl my way out of poverty. He started out well and now is wallowing in poverty. It just makes me disgusted with him.

memyselfandi's picture

I'd definately have more discipline with my own children as my husband has none when it comes to his own.

My stepdaughter and I have gotten along great for the past five yeare since I met my husband and married him three years ago. She was 11 then and things continued to be wonderful for two years.

Now that she's turned into a teenager, the fireworks have started.

She has no responsibility for the things we buy her. Bought her a Kindle for Christmas a few years ago and all of a sudden she told us it never worked (but it did and we know it!!). Of course it either ended up in the garbage..ORRR..in the rummage sale box.

I can't tell you how angry I was when she told me that she sold almost everything she owned in order to get s cheap bed from Walmart. This child had had numerous (too many to count!!) bedroom sets..most of them just plain junk that consisted of nothing but pressboard!! She knows nothing about how to take care of things and of course..when something breaks..Disney Daddy has always provided new.

We've had the kids and have family days along with Dad's Day Out with his son; and Girl's Day Out with my stepdaughter. I've spent countless amounts of my own money buying her nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, and getting her ears pierced a second time.

Three weeks later she told me she let her second piercing close as she didn't want it anymore. NOW she wants them pierced again.

Um...NO..

We bought her a new cell phone three months ago..complete with a case that would survive the biggest fall; along with a $35 screen saver (which she picked off the next day). Since then, her screen is cracked, the case broke, and thus..she's hinting on a new phone.

I don't think so!!

In addition, she has had several laptops that she's ruined...four that I can count over the five years my hubby and I have been together. Daddy has always bought her a new one, until the last one where he put a large warranty on it.

She sent it in once and the damage was so bad that they sent her a new laptop. Less than six months later, she was complaining that her laptop didn't work again.

I could see the wheels turning in my husband's head as she told him that her laptop no longer worked. In the meantime, she sent him money to buy herself another laptop..but of course she was short money. Of course Disney Daddy picked up the rest.

I have since put my foot down. The screen on her brother's Smartphone got cracked, my stepdaughter's was cracked..and when seeing both of them..their phones were more than trashed. Thankfully, for the most part they worked, but I KNEW that Disney Daddy was sitting in the background just waiting for one of them to whine that their cell phones no longer worked...and to jump right in there.

Nope..nope..and nope!! I'm tired of sitting in the background saying nothing and I finally told my hubby that it was time his children learned to take care of their things..and we were no longer going to buy them new anymore.

He agreed, yet how his charge cards get maxed out gives me a clue.

We always promised each other that we'd have no secrets in our marriage, yet his charge card thing makes me wonder.

He makes good money but is ALWAYS short to the point that he's asked to use mine on a few occasions.

I'm tight with mine and have given him a few "loans" on my charge cards. This, he had taken free will on and while I told him that he could use it to buy things to fix his car..that would be the end of it.

Normally, a husband and wife would be clear on what's charged on one's card, etc. He asked to be an authorized user on my charge card and I told him..."Once..that's it.." and have since taken him off...only because I have no idea what he charged his cards all up on..but have my assumptions that he's still spending it on his kids even though I've told him no.

His 17 year old son is growing out of it since he's working, but I know he still turns to Dad when he's short. Somewhere along the line Daddy is providing. Same thing goes for my stepdaughter as she's ALWAYS asking for something to replace what she broke..and again..Daddy provides.

Funny he keeps forgetting to make me an authorized user on any of his cards. Not that I'd use them, BUT..I'd love to see what he's charging on them.

He vacations and wants his entire paycheck ($1500) for it. Says he wants it to go out to eat, etc. Can't tell me that he's going to spend $1500 on food for the kids; yet I can believer it.

What to do..what to do!! I am angry beyond get out but keep it all in and don't say anything.

I will tell you though that it has built a wall between my stepdaughter and I. Nothing I hate more than secrets as she types something on her cell phone and shows her Daddy. He replies.

On HIS cell phone..

I just let it go.

Funny how so many of the things my hubby let's go with his kids I wouldn't allow if I had my own.

We've discussed this and I've told him, "They're your kids..not mine..BUT if they were mine..I'd be dealing with the situation much differently."

This coming out of a conversation we had when we first were married. He told me I shouldn't tell him how to raise his kids..EVER..so I've since bowed out. Unless it involves me where his kids are acting out..I keep my mouth shut.

So nice being a step parent, isn't it??

memyselfandi's picture

I'd definately have more discipline with my own children as my husband has none when it comes to his own.

My stepdaughter and I have gotten along great for the past five yeare since I met my husband and married him three years ago. She was 11 then and things continued to be wonderful for two years.

Now that she's turned into a teenager, the fireworks have started.

She has no responsibility for the things we buy her. Bought her a Kindle for Christmas a few years ago and all of a sudden she told us it never worked (but it did and we know it!!). Of course it either ended up in the garbage..ORRR..in the rummage sale box.

I can't tell you how angry I was when she told me that she sold almost everything she owned in order to get s cheap bed from Walmart. This child had had numerous (too many to count!!) bedroom sets..most of them just plain junk that consisted of nothing but pressboard!! She knows nothing about how to take care of things and of course..when something breaks..Disney Daddy has always provided new.

We've had the kids and have family days along with Dad's Day Out with his son; and Girl's Day Out with my stepdaughter. I've spent countless amounts of my own money buying her nice clothes, shoes, jewelry, and getting her ears pierced a second time.

Three weeks later she told me she let her second piercing close as she didn't want it anymore. NOW she wants them pierced again.

Um...NO..

We bought her a new cell phone three months ago..complete with a case that would survive the biggest fall; along with a $35 screen saver (which she picked off the next day). Since then, her screen is cracked, the case broke, and thus..she's hinting on a new phone.

I don't think so!!

In addition, she has had several laptops that she's ruined...four that I can count over the five years my hubby and I have been together. Daddy has always bought her a new one, until the last one where he put a large warranty on it.

She sent it in once and the damage was so bad that they sent her a new laptop. Less than six months later, she was complaining that her laptop didn't work again.

I could see the wheels turning in my husband's head as she told him that her laptop no longer worked. In the meantime, she sent him money to buy herself another laptop..but of course she was short money. Of course Disney Daddy picked up the rest.

I have since put my foot down. The screen on her brother's Smartphone got cracked, my stepdaughter's was cracked..and when seeing both of them..their phones were more than trashed. Thankfully, for the most part they worked, but I KNEW that Disney Daddy was sitting in the background just waiting for one of them to whine that their cell phones no longer worked...and to jump right in there.

Nope..nope..and nope!! I'm tired of sitting in the background saying nothing and I finally told my hubby that it was time his children learned to take care of their things..and we were no longer going to buy them new anymore.

He agreed, yet how his charge cards get maxed out gives me a clue.

We always promised each other that we'd have no secrets in our marriage, yet his charge card thing makes me wonder.

He makes good money but is ALWAYS short to the point that he's asked to use mine on a few occasions.

I'm tight with mine and have given him a few "loans" on my charge cards. This, he had taken free will on and while I told him that he could use it to buy things to fix his car..that would be the end of it.

Normally, a husband and wife would be clear on what's charged on one's card, etc. He asked to be an authorized user on my charge card and I told him..."Once..that's it.." and have since taken him off...only because I have no idea what he charged his cards all up on..but have my assumptions that he's still spending it on his kids even though I've told him no.

His 17 year old son is growing out of it since he's working, but I know he still turns to Dad when he's short. Somewhere along the line Daddy is providing. Same thing goes for my stepdaughter as she's ALWAYS asking for something to replace what she broke..and again..Daddy provides.

Funny he keeps forgetting to make me an authorized user on any of his cards. Not that I'd use them, BUT..I'd love to see what he's charging on them.

He vacations and wants his entire paycheck ($1500) for it. Says he wants it to go out to eat, etc. Can't tell me that he's going to spend $1500 on food for the kids; yet I can believer it.

What to do..what to do!! I am angry beyond get out but keep it all in and don't say anything.

I will tell you though that it has built a wall between my stepdaughter and I. Nothing I hate more than secrets as she types something on her cell phone and shows her Daddy. He replies.

On HIS cell phone..

I just let it go.

Funny how so many of the things my hubby let's go with his kids I wouldn't allow if I had my own.

We've discussed this and I've told him, "They're your kids..not mine..BUT if they were mine..I'd be dealing with the situation much differently."

This coming out of a conversation we had when we first were married. He told me I shouldn't tell him how to raise his kids..EVER..so I've since bowed out. Unless it involves me where his kids are acting out..I keep my mouth shut.

So nice being a step parent, isn't it??

Kimberlee's picture

When I hear things that BM has been doing, such as letting a young girl grind on SD15 or not punish SD18 for speaking out the house, I want to tell her. It is not my place. I guess not having bio children makes me evaluate DH's children in hopes that I will not make the same mistakes.

trusag's picture

I think the hardest thing as a childless step parent is not being able to fall back on that unconditional love that their bio parents can. Or, knowing that know matter what you ever do for the child, their loyalty will always lie with bio parent. Privacy issues in my home was the biggest thing for me. These kids repeat everything they hear. I hate feeling like i am being monitored in my own home. I never feel completely at peace in my home. That kinda sucks. If i could, i would have never gotten divorced from my first marriage. I would have worked harder to make it work. The grass is never greener...well, "most"of the time. Dealing with baby mama and money issues is the pits. But at my age, i have no choice. Plus, i didnt know i would have fertility issues back then, but at least we would have been able to afford ivf...so?!

memyselfandi's picture

I can't tell you how much I understand your post!!

My ex and I had no children together, but made it work for nearly 20 years between dating and marriage. We were both social people and had so much fun together. He was a great guy..until he lost the family business.

It all went downhill from there. He started cheating..using drugs..etc.

After putting up with it for over 7 years..I finally filed for divorce.

My current husband is a wonderful guy and I wouldn't trade him for the world. It's just that, not having children of my own..like you said trusag..there is no unconditional love..and no matter what you do for the child..the loyalty always lies with the bio parent.

Privacy issues are a problem also, as I know the kids go home and repeat everything from the time they walk in our door..to the time they leave..and I too, feel like I'm being monitored in my own home.

I too never feel completely at peace in my home. They've ganged up on me several times at the way I keep house..why I don't throw certain things away, etc.

Had I had my own children..they would have backed me..or to be honest..them ganging up on me never would have happend...

Yeah, I know..if we could only go back as my ex and I could have had children if I would have had more patience with him. We had the money then to seek fertility treatments for me but I refused. Him first, but he refused also because of my stubborness. We could have adopted, as again we had the money then, but communication stopped after that.

We loved each other to pieces, but after losing his family business..he started cheating...and it just fell apart after that. No communication..nothing.

I've since married a wonderful man..yet never feel emotionally connected. They will always be HIS kids..and me.just the sidekick.

newoptions2's picture

I agree you cannot expect anything of someone else's kids, but you cannot also expect much from your own bio ones. Yet, it does seem to be human nature that bio-children do feel more beholden to their biological parents than their stepparents, even if you come into their life early and do a lot of child-rearing. It's rare they feel as if they are adopted by you and are basically their actually mother or father. The other bio-parent has to be dead or so awful without even an ounce of possible redemption, that they just replace their bio-parent with you, But, again, you cannot expect this of a child and you just have to let it happen organically and it's a one in a million thing that such a scenario would arise.

I'm sorry that you're sad and have struggled so much. I wish you could have more emotional connection with your husband. 

sybarite's picture

"I think the hardest thing as a childless step parent is not being able to fall back on that unconditional love that their bio parents can. Or, knowing that know matter what you ever do for the child, their loyalty will always lie with bio parent. Privacy issues in my home was the biggest thing for me. These kids repeat everything they hear. I hate feeling like i am being monitored in my own home. I never feel completely at peace in my home. That kinda sucks." Yes!

"The grass is never greener" If I had a time machine... I'm on the fence if being forever single > married without children.

aSilentVoice's picture

Hi...
Am new to this forum and am so grateful to have read your post. It is terribly challenging to be a stepmom, especially to older and adult children, however, it is that much more difficult to be childless and a stepmother to children who are over indulged and simply feel 'entitled'.
The overt symptom is each of these childrens' behaviours and negative choices but the root is their father's choices to cultivate and enable them to not be accountable and responsible.

dontcallmestepmom's picture

People tell me I do not understand what it is like to have children. That I am not a mother and will never understand. I get that, I really do. BUT...my MIL, who has made great progress as far as feeling bad for the skids, is a problem in some of her opinions.

Long story short-DH has 3 kids, 19-23. 2 refuse to work, one will only work pt. They do nothing but sleep, eat, and play video games. They are at BM's. They are terribly mean to DH and me. They are NEVER coming here. It is NOT negotiable. Putting aside the fact that they are so awful, we have NO room and could never afford it.

However, my MIL says that if the skids become homeless (BM does not work, refuses to work, and they all live with her aunt), we HAVE to take them in. I said NO WAY in hell. MIL said that I would understand if I was a mom. Sigh.

childlessSM's picture

DCMS, it's terrible how often we are told that we would understand "if we were a mom."

Thing is, we cannot love them as our own, even when we do love them. It's impossible! And we cannot love them as a mom would love them. That's impossible, too. Not when we're not parents and they're not our children.

Sounds like you're setting up healthy boundaries with your husband's adult children. Key word here: adult.

dontcallmestepmom's picture

There is nothing loveable about my DH's kids. They are just so nasty. If they did not look like him, I would be suspicious, because he is nothing like them.

And yeah, they are adults...I don't know if they have figured that out, yet...lol.

Maxwell09's picture

When Bm makes that comment of "I am his mother, you don't have kids so you don't know" speech I want to punch her in the face. BMs really believe they get some magical powers upon the birth of skids that make them the know-it-alls with all that motherly instincts that we childess smoms don't have. Well let me just say that I have been the best mother my skid has had, I mean someone has to put him first, might as well be me (even without all those birthing motherly instincts) lol

memyselfandi's picture

I hear that one all the time also, "She isn't used to kids.." .."She's not a mother so how would she know?"

I've heard it all.

While my hubby tells me that I'm the best "mother" his kids have ever had. Makes me feel a "bit" better.

memyselfandi's picture

One thing in your post struck me hard, as I dealt with this all my married life to my ex..

"How come you guys don't have kids?"

And then.."You'd get it if you were a Mom"

Used to make me sooo defensive...in addition to angry.

Some people would say, "Is it that you two didn't want kids?? Don't you like kids??"

Seriously..and yeah..for sure!!

Some people would get into their little "Mom" groups and talk. Now it's "Grandparent" groups. I don't have a thing to say because I was never a "Mom".

Good Lord..I don't even know how to change a diaper..lol!!!

Although there was a void in me..I married my husband and loved his kids as much as I loved him. Was soo looking forward to being a family.

It is what is is though..like you said, "We can't love them as our own, even when we do love them..they're not our children.."

Almost_step_mom's picture

I just had this conversation with my mother this morning. And just like i wont understand cause I'm not a mom, They won't understand b.c they aren't step moms. Thank you so much for commenting on unconditional love, I'm so happy to know my feelings are normal. I really needed that.

RST's picture

Only been on this forum for a short while & signed up when I finally felt I was losing my mind after 7 years as a childless step parent. I'm so pleased I've seen your comment, I had this exact conversation with my Mum recently too when she told me she'd been there and done that with my teenage self...she was a little shocked when I replied she may have 'been there & done that' but not with a child that doesn't give a damn about you who has a BM that has no problem poking fun at what you do in your own home either. I really needed your comment too.

oldone's picture

I've let my SS be homeless. His mother lives a few blocks from me. If she's not going to take in her crotch dropping why should I?

silentnites's picture

LOL...crotch dropping! seriously, I literally just laughed out loud.

dontcallmestepmom's picture

That's how I feel. All their lives, BM told the kids how awful their dad was. The man worked 70 or more hours a week to support the kids, BM, and 2 adult family members who go from home to home mooching off of relatives. He never slept, and never had any peace. BM did not believe in rules, and now does not want to deal with what she created. So, now DH is good enough because she is tired of them. UGH.

anotherstep's picture

Wow - guess there is a "bug" going around. Our BM has washed her hands of the children....now that they are all late-teens and she has destroyed any respect for his authority. It is up to him to "put them first" now that she and her new boyfriend are moving across the country. Yeah - that is realistic.

Granted, he played his part by allowing her to alienate them from him (even when they were married) and being so damned passive in the divorce. And he still insists on "taking the high road" and never saying anything negative about her. So he is every bit as responsible as she is. But watching her hit the road for a brand new life and leaving all her responsibilities behind makes me ill. And - to he completely honest - envious.

Onefootout's picture

Haven't heard that phrase in a long it seems, lol. Also good to see your post old one, its been a while. Smile

Onefootout's picture

Okay I hate it when I think an old post is a recent one. I don't check dates. I feel so dumb.

bi's picture

i've got news for your mil. even if you had children of your own, that is not going to make you feel motherly towards your steps. i have 2 of my own, and i still can't stand the sight of sd20. i wouldn't let her live here. i don't care what happens to her. having children does not make you want to take care of everyone else's children. your mil is stupid.

dontcallmestepmom's picture

My MIL has different standards for different people. It is SO bizarre. A couple of her kids are not nice, but there is always an excuse. She knows that DH's kids would destroy us if they moved in, and she knows that logistically and financially, it would not be possible, but that does not seem to faze her. She simply said they could not be homeless. I simply say, YES THEY CAN. Thanks for making me feel better-I appreciate it, and I know you understand, because your SD is a clone of DH's daughter. I know I am not a mom, but I do think that wanting a peaceful life with my DH is not too much to ask for.

luchay's picture

I'm with you, have 4 of my own so I "know what it means to be a parent" (LMAO and said with tongue firmly embedded in cheek.

No way on God's green Earth will skids EVER be moving in here, no matter WTF happens with BM. Over my dead body.

Don't need to be a parent to understand THAT!

jen122277's picture

If I had a NICKLE for everytime SO tells me "If you had children of your own you would understand". I think not having kids of my own makes me understand the picture clearer then the delusional bio parents. I also love the "You WILL respect my kids" even though they are total shits to me and SO. But I MUST RESPECT and not expect anything in return. WTF!!!! And then the "You knew I had 3 kids" speech... yes, I knew you had 3 kids... I didn't know that meant I couldn't vent, express opinions, and feel like a loved member of the family. oh NO! I am the villain... the one who has "Abusive Words" about the "Children" and if he wants his whorish 18 years old Daughter to just come live with us... I NEED TO ACCEPT IT and LIKE IT!!! Oh yes, I am at the end of my rope.

strugglingSM's picture

I've heard that from both MIL and BM (well, I haven't, DH has because neither woman would ever say that to my face). Too bad BM doesn't quite know how to be a mother and is constantly letting the kids do things that are unsafe or not requiring things from them that should be happening (like handing in their homework).

I don't talk to BM (she showed her crazy early on and I made the conscious choice to protect myself), but the woman had the nerve to find one of my social media accounts and send me a message asking for help on how to motivate her children to learn. I wanted to reply and say "wait, I'm the same person who you screamed was not a mom, so knew nothing, who you accused of maybe being a child abuser, and who you tried to ban from parent conferences, but because you now know that I work in education, you feel like you can reach out and ask me for parenting advice?!" Instead, I just ignored her.

hereiam's picture

Losing that privacy EOWE. SD was not a bad kid at all and I did not dislike her, but she was HERE, ya know? I purposely did not have kids, so it was an adjustment.

Knowing that everything we said and did was probably being taken back to BM. It was like having a little spy in the house. That bothered me because I didn't feel I should be uncomfortable in my own home.

childlessSM's picture

Hereiam, man oh man do I know that feeling!

I get along well with my husband's daughter, and I love children, have always wanted to be a mom. But still . . . sometimes her mere presence feels like such an intrusion. Maybe I'd have different boundaries if I were a parent.

I hope someday I can feel at ease in my own home. Right now, it's just possible, not all the time. My husband's daughter also tells her mom things. Even when it's not malicious or manipulative, it is unnerving to have that happen.

T.O.'s picture

That is EXACTLY how I feel ... I alternate between calling SS little spy or little parrot (for repeating everything) with my friends LOL. It's the most awkward/disturbing feeling to not feel at home in your own house.

One of the worst things I have to experience from others is when DH & I go to get togethers for his family/friends ... they all have kids as he's older than me. Then DH's fam/friends push all the 'women & their children' into 1 area to socialize & have fun, and even show me to that area. Like WTF?? It honestly makes me hyperventilate to be surrounded by a bunch of kids - if I wanted that I would have popped some out before now.

May-December SM's picture

omg, to sit through one of those "parties" is complete and utter torture. I never ever ever again want to be in one of those "all about our kids and nothin else and your opinion is only laughed at" conversations. F those stupid women. Pushing a kid out your twat doesn't make you Holy or a child rearing expert. F******g crackheads push babies out everyday!

KayOh89's picture

I can't begin to explain how much I hate this. I have a very small family outside of my immediate family and no children as me and my siblings were the only grandkids on both mom and dad's side. SO has a gigantic family with the traditional South American values of anyone with the label "family" (aunt,uncle,cousin even 2nd and 3rd cousins) are the be all and end all. Majority of the women in his family started having children young (early-mid 20s) and have been consumed by that ever since. Unfortunately for me, I'm dragged to all the stupid bridal showers, baby showers, children's birthday parties etc. Parties always end up with the women and children in one area and the men in another. Of course the women are non stop doting over their children, mauling the baby of the month, and harassing me about when I'm going to give up my kitties and pop out a kid (not sure if they know cats and babies can coexist...). Meanwhile the men are drinking telling dirty jokes and smoking. I'm 25 with no bio kids. What do you think sounds like a better time to me? It took his family a while to accept that I don't fit their ideal of what a woman should be. I don't enjoy holding new borns. Haven't held one since I held my sister as a baby 21 years ago lol. And the next one I'll be holding will be the one that comes out of MY vagina lol. While the rest of the men are being nagged to stop drinking, Kids want your attention, kids need to go to bed, SO is happy as I come in with the next round of drinks while SS6 plays with his cousins and has a blast. I'm sure my future bio kids will be a big part of my world, they sure as hell won't dominate it. I can't see me suddenly changing to be nothing more than a mom.

childlessSM's picture

Thanks, everyone, for your responses. Many of the issues you're facing are really hard, and they're things that stepparents who have children of their own face, too.

What I'm trying to understand is this: what is uniquely challenging about our situation as CHILDLESS stepparents?

Esmerelda's picture

Bonding was really hard for me. Having had no kids, no ounce of cluckiness around other kids and being the youngest in my family, I had no experience with kids when I became a step-mother at 22. It is still a challenge for me at 29. I've resigned myself to being an auntie figure while also being the housekeeper. I'm not a mother. I use the title when it gets me some authority eg at school things.

Being alone amongst my peers in this situation is also hard. None of my friends have step-kids. The ones who have biokids have much younger kids, even among my hubby's friends who are all 13 years older than me. I feel very alone a lot because of it.

The biggest challenge now is working out whether I want my own children or not. Its hard enough to make that decision, let alone when you have two teenagers that you don't love like your own, living in your house, in your space. I fear that having step-kids has put me off my own kids. Have they now stopped me from wanting to have a child with my soulmate? Have they condemned me to being childless? Maybe not on purpose, but the effect may still be the same. They took my twenties away from me (even if it was my choice), hubby and I haven't had the time to live alone together and live overseas etc, all those things you'd like to do before kids. If we have a child now, it'll be gone again.

Miriam.white86's picture

Completely agree, it is hard to feel like you've given up your life and freedom and space to bring up someone else's children, and often have your own maternal or social needs oppressed

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

I am months behind on this thread but WOW!… Everything Esmerelda says… every word...is me.

crazy stepmom's picture

Definitely the whole "you're not a real parent" attitude you get from everyone. They don't come out and say it but their actions speak louder than words. Guess what? I'm a better "mom" than the BM so treat me with some respect!

sybarite's picture

You're in a kinder social circle! They come out and say it to me, "You're not a parent". It was semi comical when principal said it, but in another conversation claimed "in loco parentis".

Gray_Butterfly8's picture

I met by husband when I was 19 and fresh out of a 4year relationship. I was very young and inexperienced in a mature relationship. We moved in together right away and even though I knew he had a child, I didn't think about all the ways it would impact me down the line. I come from a very large family (6siblings) so naturally I've always wanted children. Watching my husband be an amazing father to his son despite all the obstacles the BM placed before him was wonderful. I was in awe of his strength and determination to be involved. Now 5 years later we are married and living 1000 miles away from home. My SS stepdad got a job on the East Coast and my husband thought it was a better idea to relocate then to try for full custody. Having children is and has been on the back burner for years. It's all I can think about. As a childless stepparent and wanting children of my own it has been very difficult to drop my SS off to his mother and know that this is HER son and he is the product of their marriage and love for one another. I've been TTC for 2 years unsuccessfully which only adds to the pain. Because I have no children, my husband often puts his son and the desires of his ex first. He tries to keep the peace which often means I am left unhappy. I have a sick mother in the Midwest who misses me everyday and I worry I won't be there if something bad happens. My nieces and nephews are getting so big and I am missing out on so much. If I had children, my husband would place more importance on my wants but now he just doesn't. He has even said to me if I didn't have a son we would be living wherever you want, we would've gotten married much earlier and probably be working on baby #3 by now. But no babies and miserable living away from all my family and friends. When my SS and husband interact its like a knife to the heart seeing what I can't have.

Almost_step_mom's picture

The hardest part to me is stepping into a family with 4 kids that never had any rules. I live with my boyfriend and his 4 kids. BM is out there living the good life, gets the kids whenever, calls whenever or doesnt call or answer God only knows when they will hear from or see her. But anyway, now that we all live together, i try to enforce the rules their father puts in place which he himself sometimes doesnt enforce. Then they spend time at moms house with no rules at all and come back totally awful. So i guess my biggest issue is no consistancy. And feeling like i cant enforce it because it's "not my place".

dr kad's picture

Thank you for this question. I am a writer, researcher, and bio-childfree SM, and our family has off and on experienced turbulence related to the unique challenges we face. For me, I am currently struggling with something I consider as "Erasure." That is, I think of the kids (11 & 13) as "my" kids, but I recognize that I am not their mom (in name or in their hearts). So, as with most parents, I parent, understanding, however, that my parenting is often erased from the overall family narrative--except for my husband, their bio-dad. In fact, one of my current heartbreaks is that the kids seem to "pencil me in" as MOM when they want to, drawing on me as they do a mother. But then I sometimes feel erased from their lives, especially when they don't want their bio-mom to feel alienated, threatened, etc.

Now, I write all this without casting blame. Seriously. The kids are caught in the middle, their love for me in someways threatening their relationships with their bio-mom. Their bio-mom has worked hard to be lovely and welcoming, but of course she feels threatened at times...like I am "out-mothering" her (my perception). And my husband, the kids' bio-dad, is pulled in multiple directions too. And, of course, I am clinging to my own self-compassion...because this bio-childfree/stepmom gig is HARD.

All in all, as a researcher who specializes in the study of human communication, I will say that the step-parent/bio-kid dynamic has been one of the most challenging to navigate. In my family, everyone is well-meaning and loving...yet, we still end up hurting one another. We still end up heartbroken at times. But we talk fairly openly and recognize that our relationship is ongoing and always shifting. This week, we may feel bad. Next week...who knows?

Again, thanks for asking the question. If I end up writing that essay and having it published, I will post it here, because this forum has been helping me consider so many angles about the realities of SM.

sybarite's picture

"What I'm trying to understand is this: what is uniquely challenging about our situation as CHILDLESS stepparents?" Role ambiguity.

Shaman29's picture

Being told I don't understand since I don't have kids.

Apparently I can't see what's in front of my face because I haven't pushed a grub out of my vagina.

Jinxycat's picture

AnaR, this is so true and has been my experience as a SM. I had a wonderful mother and chose to be childless. However, I devoted the past 15 years to working with children of all ages and of different abilities in the non-profit sector. When I became a SM I expected a fully functioning BM on the other side. Boy was I wrong. I never tired or even thought about "competing" or "filling shoes" or anything remotely close to that...I just related to my SK's the way it worked for me as a teacher...never really thought twice. Fast forward five years and our youngest SD13 prefers me to BM and so does SS17.
From the beginning when I was dating DH, though BM started "diminishing" me as much as possible ...privately of course, not in front of the kids. I kept it between me and DH. Now she has lost custody of them...one by one. Each chose DH and our home BC of the love and acceptance they feel.
Anyway, you hit the nail on the head with 'love is thicker than blood'. I hope one day our kids can forgive their BM and find a way to have a relationship with her...never in a million years would I have predicted this when I got married to DH. It's nice to read others stories BC sometimes you begin to feel very alone as a childless SP and some of the experiences you have.

Disneyfan's picture

I agree with Cheri.

Over the years I've had students who have gone through pure hell at the hands of their mothers. A few of the women ended up in jail for what they did and/or allowed to happen to their kids.

The one thing all the kids had in common was the fact that they still loved their mothers.

These kids(5-11 year olds) were BEAT not spanked, burned, raped to pay mom's debt to a crack dealer.....

hismineandours's picture

Some kids can love their bm or bio father, yet still clearly see that they are a piece of shit. I've worked with lots of kids that are mature enough to recognize their parents faults and which environment is "best" for them-it doesnt mean they hate their bio parent-just means they are smart/mature enough to see reality.

hismineandours's picture

I've been a licensed clinical social worker for 17 years. Now, I largely work with adults/substance abuse, but my last job was working in a therapeutic foster care agency. I was there for 6 years. I would say some kids could determine this around adolescence-11 or so and certainly I worked with plenty of teens who were able to see what was going on.

Rags's picture

I believe that this an extremely powerful and important realization that unfortunately some kids have to make.

My SS-21 has had to do it and has done it fairly successfully. We have never bad mouthed his SpermIdiot or the SpermClan but we have also ensured that he was made fully aware of the facts of their behviors in an age appropriate manner.

We raised him to love the influential adults in his life and to treat them respectfully. We also raised him to know that treating people with respect and having respect for them are not the same thing. He has no respect for his SpermIdiot or his SpermGrandParents but he does love them. This is difficult for him but he understands now that he is a viable adult in his own right that they are not people that he can invest much of his time or emotion in. Out of the entire SpermClan he respects only one of them and that is SpermIdiot spawn #2 who is SS's half sister. The two youngest SpermIdiot spawn my SS has no use for though he does try to counter the toxic influence of the SpermIdiot on the two youngest (half brothers).

christinen's picture

Gudjen, my SD is 5 and is the same way. She never wants to go to BMs house and will flat out say she doesn't want to go. I don't think it's me who she prefers over BM though- I think it's DH. But still, she knows where she is taken care of.

as123's picture

For me the hardest thing about being a childless Stepparent is that I never wanted kids in the first place. I knew about the kids up front, but I wasn't made aware of how demanding they are. And it's tough having to put up with them expecting and demanding everything be handed to them on a silver plate and once they get it no appreciating it. It's hard for me to blame the skids for that though, because they've always been given everything they could possibly want for long before I came into the picture. I've tried to limit it as much as I can, but I'm always overruled.

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

I deal with the same problem. I chose to wait on having children of my own because I didn't feel like I was ready for all of the neediness.. But whenever SS10 comes over…. thats all I deal with. "I want, I need, Can I, Can you…." And its a battle I will never win because thats the way BM and MIL have raised him… We only get him 36 hrs every two weeks.. I can't change that.

strugglingSM's picture

Amen to all of that. If I demanded things from my parents the way my SSs demand things from DH, I would probably not be alive to write this right now. If I complained about the things my SSs complained about or yelled at my father the way my SSs yell at their father, then I would probably not be alive to write this now.

msg1986's picture

Hardest thing for me I'd say is the loss of privacy/freedom every weekend. I like my fss4, he's a fun little boy but I'm 27 and have chosen to not to have children yet and sometimes it does bother me that because my fdh was irresponsbile I have to center my weekends around a child.

ClareMichelle's picture

I find it hard as I feel like I don't belong in my own home. When my partner has his Son (who is 3 years old), I feel very much like its 'them' and 'me'. I feel like I don't fit in. I've never really been around children before meeting my partner. We've been together for nearly 3 years now (the boy was 5 or 6 months old when we met, he wasn't planned, he was the outcome of what was little more than a few one night stands), and I still can't get used to the fact that every weekend my house is invaded by his spoilt little monster! I find it hard that this child that he didn't want, who has ruined his life, is more important than me. I know it sounds selfish, but that's how I feel. It does make me feel like I'm a bad person, and I never feel like I'm good enough.
So, I guess the one thing I would pick out as being the hardest, is the fact that I feel very left out, and I resent his son for that (I know I shouldn't), and as I don't know anyone in the same situation as me, I also feel very alone.

childlessSM's picture

ClaraMichelle, you are not alone! I know that feeling, though, very well. Make time for yourself. Do things you enjoy on weekends when you have your partner's son with you. Make time for your partner on weekends when you have your partner's son with you - even just an hour while he's with a babysitter. It's important!

Alice_tallis's picture

I feel exactly the same my SD is 4. My boyfriend didn't know about her when we first got together, we broke up for a while when we found out but we have been back together for three years and I totally understand feeling like the outsider.

childlessSM's picture

Mother's Day is really hard. Stepmother's Day is the Sunday after MD, but we have yet to celebrate it. Sigh.

christinen's picture

Mother's Day is hard, especially because we have SD 50/50 but BM automatically gets SD on that day so if it falls on our week, she gets her and then gives her back (it's the same with Father's Day). I do so much for this kid, way more than her BM and I am not just saying that, but then that day comes around and she gets all the credit. It's just one more way to make SMs feel unappreciated.

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

I didn't even know there was a Stepmother's Day…. I get a card from my parents on Mother's Day and DH says "Happy Mother's Day" & Facebooks about it… But I don't see SS10 on Mother's Day and I don't get anything from SS10 either… but I'm at every football game, I wash his clothes & make his meals, I discipline him and make cookies with him…. still nothing

Mylilmonsters's picture

For me, the most difficult thing is to be responsible for so many daily things for the kids, but not being a part of decisions in their life. From doctors to bed time. But I'm still taking them to the doc and putting them to bed. Once, the BM was upset with DH because she wanted to change the kids school, but he did not. She asked "imagine if you had children and were not allowed to make decisions for them?" As she was saying it, her face took on an expression of realizing what she was saying. I responded "You just described my life." It's like being a glorified nanny. I often refer to myself as the mail order bride. Just here to clean up.

Mylilmonsters's picture

I often feel BM is more interested in my opinion as a "parent" than my stubborn ass husband is, but it could just be for show. (She is now gay, and she is suuuuper nice to me. I know it's, er, unusual... but I'll take it over the nasty relationships I've read about between BMs and SMs on here! We have gotten along quite well the last 6 years unless she was being a bitch to DH, then my claws would come out.)
I think he values my opinion in theory, but I am definitely the stricter one and he just can't say no to them consistently. Divorced parent guilt if you ask me. Things are slowly getting better because recently he had a chance to see them with their peers on a regular basis and he saw for the first time what a mess they are on many levels. It's help him be more consistent lately because he doesn't want them to grow up to be lazy entitled losers. They are sweet, funny kids. It would be a shame for them to be ruined by their BPs coddling them to the point of helplessness.

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

YES! Exactly! I get to enforce everyone else's rules. Because if my suggestions don't fall in line with their ideas, then forget it. I'm just stuck cleaning up the mess.

May-December SM's picture

Oh Lord, I feel the exact same way. I think many of us end up feeling like a nanny who's sleeping with the boss. I've felt like that a lot in the past 5 years. I've felt like the maid and the chef as well. It's hard to handle it, but it can be just as hard to get them to give you some responsibility.
My SD's dance school needed a form filled out while I was waiting to pick her up and I suddenly realized that I don't even know THE NAME of her doctor! All we do and in the end, we're just like the hired help. It's heart-breaking sometimes.

Almost_step_mom's picture

I'm with you on that 100% i feel like i have no say in anything but i have to do everything.

Mylilmonsters's picture

For me, the most difficult thing is to be responsible for so many daily things for the kids, but not being a part of decisions in their life. From doctors to bed time. But I'm still taking them to the doc and putting them to bed. Once, the BM was upset with DH because she wanted to change the kids school, but he did not. She asked "imagine if you had children and were not allowed to make decisions for them?" As she was saying it, her face took on an expression of realizing what she was saying. I responded "You just described my life." It's like being a glorified nanny. I often refer to myself as the mail order bride. Just here to clean up.

Mylilmonsters's picture

For me, the most difficult thing is to be responsible for so many daily things for the kids, but not being a part of decisions in their life. From doctors to bed time. But I'm still taking them to the doc and putting them to bed. Once, the BM was upset with DH because she wanted to change the kids school, but he did not. She asked "imagine if you had children and were not allowed to make decisions for them?" As she was saying it, her face took on an expression of realizing what she was saying. I responded "You just described my life." It's like being a glorified nanny. I often refer to myself as the mail order bride. Just here to clean up.

childlessSM's picture

Oh dear, I know that feeling. I'm finding a balance between being involved and letting go (not disengagement). It's really hard to put in all that love and care and then realize that in most states, we are considered "legal strangers."

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

DH and I have been together for 7 years… I'm still struggling with it Sad Really hoping one day I will be able to find that balance. For now Im just working on adjusting my expectations

Mylilmonsters's picture

And when they leave Sad it's so lonely without the kids. Even though they can drive me nuts, I miss them. I'm home alone while all of my friends are busy with their kids. It's very painful to not have children of my own.

childlessSM's picture

I understand that pain from not having children of my own. I'm so sorry you're feeling that - I send you many good wishes.

Some days, having my husband's daughter around makes me grateful I have a child in my life at all. Other days, it just makes the pain of not being a mom worse.

Mylilmonsters's picture

I know! Me too. Such conflicting feelings... Good wishes to you too!!

sammmx's picture

Not having children of my own, and having to watch BF enjoy his happy little family from the sidelines. Feeling like a stranger in my own home.

sammmx's picture

I guess I don't want to be a part of it, in reality. I want my own family with my own kids. Not pretending that I mean something to his kids. We are not a family and the skids make that well known to anyone and everyone. I want my own kids, I don't want to have to "make do" with his.

Almost_step_mom's picture

That loving look in his eyes while you sit there like you're looking through a window...

ltman's picture

"You don't understand what it's like to be a real mother." Is such bullshit!!! Or maybe SM's are more objective when it comes to their charges.

One thing I hate is the precarious position I'm in in the event DH dies or leaves. The family I've known/created for the last 20 years could very well evaporate over night. I will be totally alone. An only, adopted person with no issue. The skids and grandkids will probably not stick around. eventhough the grandkids and I are pretty good buds. But blood is thicker than water.

anafiodorova's picture

I left 1 1/2 ago and there was not a forum for childless stepmothers. I was about to marry him and thanks God I left.
This forum is a blessing and I hope it will help a lot of women like me who did not have anyone to relate to and know that they are not alone.
The most difficult thing for me was that he did not try to acknowledge and understand my feelings and listen to me. I understood and walked with him in his pain. He was not ready to do the same for me.
I think it is very important that the man , husband , fiancee , boyfriend is self- aware and understanding with empathy the feelings of the woman that he is dating, marrying or in a committed relationship with. If he is blaming and discharging pain on you and keeps you out of the loop and you feel excluded - this is a sign he is not ready. Emotional availability is another big one for me and it gets easier for me to spot someone who is available emotionally from someone who is not. He was not emotionally available and that was very difficult for me too.

The pressure and expectations from his mother to love his daughter combined with his unrealistic expectations that I should just sit back and allow to be treated badly by his family and his daughter.

I took part in it too. However, I can honestly say that my life is much better - I am happier, can listen to my spirit and smile inside and just be happy. That amazing peace and love around me is something that I will not compromise for. I am single with so so much love inside of me and around me. Never lose your happy spot and spirit to a man who does not deserve you. Do not abandon yourself and stay true to your core values.Have faith in yourself.

Stepgrlfrnd7's picture

Hi, I really cannot even say I'm a Stepmother, as me and the BD are not married but we have been together since 2005, and I feel like I've been a stepmother to her even if she's never appreciated it, even less now. One of the hardest parts about being childless is wanting children. I want kids and want to be married. I guess that's another topic for another time, but one difficult thing is feeling like I have not and am not validated by him, like all the advice and parenting skills I had just when down the toilet over the years because it seemed to fall on deaf ears--like he judged me because I didn't have kids. I have often wished or fantasized that I had a child too so he would at least treat me with that level of commonality and respect. He seems to be attracted to women who have kids or a daughter(s) around his teen daughter's age. I would make a great mom, and if he would've let me, if he would've supported me and not enabled, I could've made a great stepmom too. I'm at a breaking point in the relationship. We had a blowout again tonight, over her. This is becoming commonplace since she's moved in full-time. I was so angry tonight I couldn't seem to calm down, my muscles were so tight they hurt. Just can't shake the anger and don't feel like I have anywhere to go with it. I don't have girlfriends up here that know where I'm coming from or have similar experiences. Feel very alone.

Disillusioned's picture

I think the hardest part of being a childless sm is it has made it harder to understand why dh indulges sd's and ignores so much bad behavior from them. I know he goes over the top and why (guilt, fear of them walking out of his life, etc..) but I think had I had children of my own I would understand more fully why bio parents tolerate what they do and why they expect us to do the same, yes, unconditional love of their children.

derbysmi's picture

Everything that has been said already, EXCEPT in my case, I am a childless step FATHER. So in addition to everything posted here, I get "You're not a MOTHER, so you'll never know (blah, blah, blah)",...followed closely by "You're not a WOMAN, so you'll never know (blah, blah, blah)". Makes me feel like I have no perspective for anything at all (other than sitting on the sofa, drinking beer and farting!).

Very frustrating!

derbysmi's picture

Well, I didn't see a whole lot of guys postings in here, but was pretty pumped to see a website that was solely devoted to the trials and tribulations of step parenting. Wish I had someone there to talk to about this first hand and in person, but at this point, I'll take anything that will help me cope sometimes.

Anyway, comments like those have been haunting my days as a SF for a while now. Kinda makes you feel unqualified for even being there at all.. I can love them, I can support them financially and emotionally, I can feel pride and excitement for what they do, but I'm not qualified to discipline them or offer suggestions as to how to handle the more difficult stuff?? Never really wanted to be just a silent partner in this, but....

derbysmi's picture

Thanks derb8412. Hanging in there is getting rougher all the time! Wish it came as simply with my wife as it seems to be for you. I'm all about setting very reasonable boundaries and consequences. She's all about arguing and yelling at them and in the end, giving them exactly what they wanted because deep down inside, she really doesn't want to ever say no to them. So we both are polar opposites as far as parenting "technique" is concerned. And being as my opinion doesn't count for much because of me not ever being a parent of my own, OR a woman,....well, I've stated that much already. It's like I'm in "Authority Hell" sometimes.

maryann's picture

Not having a true outlet for my maternal instincts.
Having to co-parent/tolerate a child that I did not create (nature and nurture) and not receiving any of the positive feedback (even just knowing he was 1/2 of my genome) that makes parenting bearable/enjoyable.
Knowing that my efforts to love and parent likely will not be appreciated in the future...I am not his mother.
Having all this love and nurturing to give, and unable to do so... Not receiving the love back when I do... And reminded of this often.

It is time for a dog. At least he/she will gladly take and receive love and is easy to train.

hurtandalone's picture

I could have written this, excpt that I do have a dog and he is WONDERFUL. I would definatly suggest that.

Another big thing is I have a hard time being "mom" to these kids (100% custody, no visitation from BM) and knowing that one day they will likely turn on me, and all my efforts will have been in vain because I am not their "real mom"

Onefootout's picture

It's always my SO's ace in the hole when he doesn't like the direction an argument is going. When he wants to shut me down.

SO: I don't need to hear about how to parent my child from someone who has never had kids!

Yep, how can I argue with that?

Onefootout's picture

SS is 16. BM alienated is older daughters a long time ago. I don't think SO was around when they were dating or anything. And for 6 years he only saw SS in the summers. He's only had him full time for a year and a half.

I've worked with kids of all ages my whole life, including snotty teenagers. Had two younger sisters.

And SO can complain all he wants about SS' annoying teenage ways, but if I let one slip like he whines while doing his chores, then I get from SO, "that's how teenagers are!"

Starla's picture

Honestly, my DH and I want a kid of our own but it feels out of reach for us unless we aim for a sperm donor...

Sperm banks we looked into are $300.00 per try at cheapest. I have only one ovary to work with.

DH was fixed just over ten years ago now so the chances of his reversal working is reduced.

These costs would be upfront and our insurance will not cover it.

Think we will actually be using our new turkey baster for its original purpose...

Drac0's picture

SS came into my life when I was childless.

For me, the hardest thing was being told (over and over) "Oh Draco, you don't have kids, so you don't understand." and "he's just a kid"

Everything I saw that I thought was "wrong" about SS and the way my DW was raising him was turned around on me for not understanding the dynamics between parent and child.

"Draco, you are being too harsh. He's just a kid. If you had a child you would understand."

"Draco, you expect too much. He's just a kid. If you had a child you would understand."

So no matter what I said to DW, she would brush it off as me being too harsh and not being sympathetic to SS and his situation.

Drac0's picture

That's a good question. I am certainly more empathetic to DW's relationship with her son and I can understand more now why she made certain decisions regarding SS's upbringing.

When SS cries. I feel no sympathy for him. None.

When my BS cries. I feel his emotion. I feel his frustration, his anger and his confusion. Using that better enables me to deal with BS...I know how I can make him feel better and I can see how easy it is for a parent to want to rush in and coddle their son/daughter when they are miserable and "make the bobo go away".

With SS I do not feel any sympathy for him largely because I do not have that bond with him but I recognize that his mother does and she may not have the same "filter" as I do to properly assess how to handle any "crisis" her son in going through.

Don't know if that makes any sense, but there it is.

hurtandalone's picture

The hardest thing about being a childless stepmom for me is the thought that I really will be missing out on something like my DH always says. I worry that I will be old and I will one day regret not having any children. I also am upset that another woman gave my husband his children yet me, the wife has none.

I have never tried to get pregnant so the possibly is still there, but our situation is so hard. The BM literally has not seen her children (SS6, SD7) in well over a year, and prior to that we have almost always had them since we got married almost 4 years ago. There was an about 4 month break I think. She also lives clear across the country so there is no EOW break. My husband also travels for work A LOT so it is just me raising these children. I work full time and I am looking to start Grad school as well. There is no time for another child. Sure, we are financially fine but I couldn't take the stress.

I love my skids which is the best part about our situation, and the BM never has had any contact with me so no drama there but I often times feel robbed. I guess the feeling of being robbed would be the worst part.

RainbowsAndDaisies's picture

The most difficult part for me is the hormones. Im custodil and bm is not around and i almost want to say that its that I don't have any actual legal rights or protections to / for the kid I raise and am deeply attached to, but while that's difficult it's not the hardest thing for me. I am not ready to have kids; I'm still in school, might want to do grad school, want to travel, and feel like I'm just not mature enough at 24 to go through pregnancy and an infant. But having ss8 makes my hormones go crazy, makes me think things like if I have one now they'd grow up together a little, I go through stages of intense baby fever... Raising ss 24/7 has kick started maternal urges that cognitively I don't agree with but emotionally I very much do. That's the hardest for me.

Tuff Noogies's picture

the emptiness is hardest for me. i think it's built into us to pass our genes on, pass our morals on, pass our guidance and wisdom on. i dont have that opportunity, and it feels empty.

i know that realistically, skids will absorb some things just by virtue of spending time around me, but they'll always be someone else's. i have no one to call my own that i can truly pass a legacy on to.

and there's also another emptiness. having a truly whole marriage in my opinion includes the opportunity to share EVERYTHING. not that you have to *literally* share everything, but having that safety and comfort of knowing that everything in your life is share-able with your Other Half. but i dont have that, cuz i'll never share in having children with the person who is my other half. he shares that with someone else... Sad

Tuff Noogies's picture

hehe replying to my own post Blum 3

actually adding to, but didnt feel like 'editing'. i just read a comment from Cheri on another blog that totally sums up the second part of what i said above -

"the first family, the first kids (in my case the only kids), are the real family and anything else is just.. well.. not the real family." it's lonely feeling like you dont count. and DH can't make it better. it feels empty.

Tuff Noogies's picture

i was crying when i wrote that.

((hugs))

counselors say you're fine? hell, i'd find another one. i think everyone could use a therapist, not just sm's or tragedy survivors- everyone could benefit from an objective 3rd party to bounce stuff off of!

you know what 'fine' means, right? Blum 3
Freaked out
Insecure
Neurotic, and
Emotional
Wink yup, i'm fine too!!!

lesangel's picture

Whats hard about being a childless step mom is knowing another woman is bonded for life with the man you love and that she has provided for him in ways you havnt. Getting over the feeling of feeling worthless.

Endoftether1982's picture

I agree. I hate that the specialness of having our first child together was robbed by a woman who only wanted a sperm donor, and a walking cash machine. I hate that my Man cannot take care of me because everything he has goes to her. I hate that I cannot have children of my own because he cannot afford it. I hate that she can text/call any time she bloody well wants, and can continue to do so for the next 15 years. I hate that I will never have my happy ending. And more than all of that, I hate myself because I stay Sad

oldone's picture

SOME children continue to love and a respect even the most worthless parents but many do not.

I know that easily by the age of 11 I wished so much that I had a family that would take care of me. I didn't want my parents to die and certainly did not hate them. But I wanted the security of a home where the basics like food and shelter were readily available.

I wasn't wanting luxuries or anything like that. Just the security of not having to worry at 10 about how we were going to eat. My job was to add up what the groceries were costing as we went thru the grocery store and put anything back if it went over the few dollars that we had. (way before food stamps) Or having to lie when we did a food diary at school because my mother didn't want the teacher to know how bad off we were.

Most children are actually pretty adaptable. It's easier on a small child to lose their mother than for the mother to lose her child.

Second hand Dad's picture

I raise my two Stepsons(I never call them anything other than my boys in real life). I care for them, Plan for them, Protect them, Provide for them, Guide them, love them. But I'll never be "Dad" I'll never see them look at me with love in their eyes.
I'll always be that guy that lives in the same house as them. Sometimes they may find me funny. Sometimes they may find me useful. Sometimes they may find me necessary. But never once in ten years have they ever met me with love. Never once in ten years have they ever said they loved me. I will Die an old man having done tje job of father, but never receiving the reward of a son's love in return.
With that in mind, I know that when death finds me, I will greet it with a very large hole in my heart that has has my entire adult lifetime to grow.

momsome's picture

I hate to be rude or inappropriate for saying this. But your wife is VERY lucky to have you and it may not seem like it but I cant speak for the love part but the respect will deff be there when it comes to those kids!!!..best of luck and trust me I COMPLETELY understand where you are coming from!!! I have 2 SSs of my own 8 and 10 no matter how much I do I will never have that look of unconditional love that only a BIO parent and child share!!...wish I could have my own but my DH says he is done!!!

Love51's picture

Where do I start. The biggest thing on a day to day basis is the privacy issue, SS always wants to "explore" other people's space but its just another excuse to snoop. I am a very private person and dont want anyone in my personal space. Also, I often feel as if my relationship is put on hold because my SO has a son with problems. I just want my relationship to grow not wait around for some kid to get his act together. I hate to see SS get away with all that he does. He thinks he is running the show, and in some ways he is. I dislike SS very much, he is tolerable at best and the only time I have an issue in my relationship it is because of him. I dont think anyone would have an easy time liking the source of their relationship issues. It is hard when BM doesnt do her fair share and I am the one ending up sacrificing my time, space and relationship because my SO made a mistake 15 years ago.

momsome's picture

well for me I would have to say that showing them all of the love a mother would because they have an absent one and not getting any reward for it. Meaning my DH and I have full custody, my SS (8) got held back a grade due to his BIO mother and is now doing great and even doing better than his grade level. All of the work I put into those kids and to know that I am just doing charity work. I feel like I would be better off going to a homeless shelter and helping or being a foster parent. At least I would have to only deal with half of the BS I go through with BM!!!

needs_a_drink's picture

I would say that raising or helping to raise skids being a step-parent is just that, you are not their parent. You do not have the glory of being the parent. You are not called mom or dad, though even though you go through all the struggles and ups and downs (sometimes more so than their bioparents) you are still second and will always be. It's a tough pill to swallow after many years of putting in your all for 'something' that will never be yours. Not a good analogy but like renovating a house that you rent...it is ungrateful, unappreciative and an uphill battle that sometimes isn't worth fighting. In reality, it doesn't matter if you were with skids as babies or just adults...it's not the same. I'd like to think that at some point I'd have my own biokids to raise the way I want to and to know the bond that you feel from all the hard work you put into parenting that is unknown from step-parenting.

Candice83's picture

The hardest thing for me as a SM is watching BM do things she shouldnt and see how the sks are affected by it. Sometimes you feel so helpless and can only do so much. Some people dont appreciate what they have and its so sad and frustrating.

Rachel75's picture

Ads123 I totally agree. I never wanted kids either. But if I had had them, I'd have gone about things very differently to how these two have been brought up. Now I have to handle the fallout from two emotionally warped upbringings where the kids were used as the sources of affection and emotional closeness and comfort as there was none in the marriage, and where the stages of immediately pre-teen and early-teen development, where they should have been sent out into the world a bit to start developing their own confidence, were missed out as they were being wrapped in cotton wool and given everything they asked for because of the guilt of the divorce. SD15 until recently actually being tucked into bed and sat with till she fell asleep (I'm not a psychoanalyst, but the way I see it, in just a couple years when she goes to university, the first guy she meets who will 'tuck her in and stay till she falls asleep' will be in her panties like a shot as she will be so scared to be alone).

I'd say the hardest thing is seeing so clearly what is wrong in the family relationships, and the problems it causes not just now but setting up for future big-time; but being unable to just sweep in and change it, as it's the result of patterns of behaviour which have developed over so many years.

Thankfully hubbie-to-be listens to, appreciates and acts upon my feedback and suggestions. Otherwise I wouldn't be marrying him. He is worth it - but I know it's a tough few decades ahead.

Jocasta's picture

The hardest thing for me is the isolation of being a childless SM. I do feel like an outsider sometimes in DP's family unit. I have chosen not to have children - I love those who are in my life - my siblings' children, adore them but I have never had the urge to be a parent, from a very early age I decided it wasn't for me. I think if I did have bio children, then in the blended family situation in which I find myself now I would feel as if I had someone on "my team" if that makes sense - my bio children would be there for me as DP's are for him.

I also agree with the others in that I dislike the intrusion in my house and feeling uncomfortable in my own home when the skids are staying.

SAMBO's picture

The hardest parts for me is trying not to let the stepkids know just how badly their mother treats their Dad and I, how ill and stressed out she has made us both and trying not to let them notice how shit their mother is at being a mother.
We try to protect them from any animosity but sometimes its really hard. For example, the eldest doesn't understand why he can't have a set of keys to our home. He gets a set when he's staying at ours but has to leave them here when he goes back to his mother's. How do we tell him that we do not want keys to our home being made available to his mother because we can't trust her not to use them to do something mean without making it clear to him that his mother is pure evil?
Or when their mother fails to give them allergy medication every single day, or forgets to teach them how to wash, wear deoderant, brush their teeth, get some sleep, do their homework.
It infuriates me that I have to do these things for her, especially as the youngest two are girls and their dad can't very well go in the bathroom and teach them about body odour, body hair removal, periods, hormones etc!!
Their mother is so inept that she won't even let the oldest help the youngest with her math homework because "he is not the adult in this house" yet she won't do the helping herself. I don't want to be saddled with this stuff. I am not a mother deliberately.
I have been the main target of her viciousness with abusive phone calls, lies, etc. We had to pay to have her phone number's blocked from our phones becasue the abuse was so bad. She thinks nothing about using something as terrible as a person's death as a tool to stick the knife in a little deeper. I struggle really badly with the ulcer I am sure I must be developing with constantly swallowing these bitter pills in order to hide this woman's true agenda from her children. I am scared to answer the phone to numbers I don't know and I will not listen to answer machine messages for fear of it being her and the poison she spouts. yet, on mother's day, I help the kids make their mother a cake and the same for her birthday and easter, etc with a pleasant smile on my face. It is literally killing me inside but it is the right thing to do. It's not the kids' fault that she is like this and it is also not their fault that I don't want to be a mother.
That turned into a bit of a rant....sorry Sad

Ejoyp's picture

The hardest thing? Being the scapegoat!! and being blamed for all the dysfunction that was present and the crap that occurred before I entered the situation. I got thrown into a nutty situation. Having all members of the broken family (my bf, his ex, kids) all hate me and making me feel like its me that has the problems. I feel like I got put through a tornado x's 5 roller coasters x's a few earthquakes. Had I known this would be my fate I would've chosen a different path.

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

Dreamer89's picture

The worst thing for me was turning 22 when I met my OH and realising that not only would I never be his number#1 priority but I would have to give up my (idealistic) dream of falling in love, getting married and having a child together.

He already did the rest( minus marriage) with someone else and I still find that immensely difficult to deal with even after 2 years.

I still want a baby, with him, more than anything but I feel like it'll be a measly second for him. It'd be my first and I know that he'd have all the tips and advice that I wouldn't want because I'd want it to be new, daunting and scary as hell for him too.

Gah, doesn't make much sense - I'm ranting again!

LadyG's picture

The hardest thing for a step-parent is BEING a parent to your spouse's children when their ex-wife/ex-husband becomes absent, mentally ignorant, a drug addict; just plain dyfunctional to everyone they're in contact with. You also blame internally your spouse for not standing up for and up to his/her children and for not correcting the behavior of the children when they disrespect you.
My issue with my SS is that he's a horrible mess that goes way WAYYYYY beyond any help of my MIL and my DH. Both of them have enabled the behavior of this child due to his mother being absent but now, the damage is done and I don't know if SS will ever change. His behavior is sociopathic and unfeeling-he just doesn't care and if he doesn't care, I don't want this around. Sadly, I'm glad he's in prison and I wish like heck he'd stay there.
I'm sorry for saying what I did but he r**ed a 13 year old girl. His only remorse? He got caught.
Go figure.

egshells's picture

Being a Step Parent is the most thankless task you can ever undertake, had I known about this forum before getting married,I would have thought twice. I honestly didn't know it was this hard. I don't have any kids of my own.

Im expected to provide money, food and support but no opinion.It feels so lonely, I dont feel like a himan being in the house, no one not even my Hubby appreciates all the time/effort/resistant and resources that I put in to the family.

I lost my baby who was born premature, but know I dont know If I want to have any children, how would it all Gel together. I'm too embarrassed to share the pain with my Mum or my sister who I know would be so supportive.

Im actually considering finding a job in a different city, just to get away, so long as its higher paying my hubby wont object !

Esmerelda's picture

I'm sorry to hear you lost your baby. Please share it with someone you can trust, it doesn't ave to be your mum or sister, but I feel its a way of healing.

I am having a problem deciding whether to have my own kids. I spent a few months living with the idea of yes and then the idea of no. Right now, its a no, which is a relief but I also resent SKs for making it a no. I'd probably have at least gotten pregnant by now if it weren't for them, now I don't even want to go there.

EEB10's picture

I have a very hard time with them constantly hanging out in our room and laying in our bed. Hubs has no issues with it and gets upset if I bring it up. But I can't seem to get over it, I don't like the kids in our bed, or really in our room in general. I wish he would be more understanding of my point of view on that one, I even tried keeping my dog in a different room at night as a means to offer up something on my end. I let the dog back in because the kids are still constantly on our bed. I just need a little "me" space. Even my night stand is cluttered with their iPads and various toys :(. Plus the bed is an area for intimacy, it feels wrong to me when the kids hang out there.

Rags's picture

I have been dad to my SS-21 since he was 1yo. His mom and I met when he was 15mos and married a week before he turned 2yo. I have no BKs.

Since for all purposes except for biology I have been my son's only real/full time dad I suppose the biggest challenge for me has been doing all of the daily dad stuff with the specter of the SpermIdiot/video game buddy/worthless POS in the background. I am my son's father. I have been his confidante, mentor, advocate and disciplinarian. I have been there for the potty training, teaching him to read and write, ride his bike, coached his sports teams, attended every ball game, swim meet, band concert, play, parent teacher conference, etc.......

DickHead did shit for nothing, pawned his CS obligation on to SpermGrandMa and SPermGrandPa and went on to spawn 3 more also out-of-wedlock children by two more baby mamas that he pawned off to SpermGrandMa and SpermGrandPa to raise with no contribution from him.

For me the DipShitIots mere existence has been been the most dificult part of being no BioKid step dad.

That said, I have no regrets. My kid may look like his SpermIdiot but he is my son. He is a young man of character and integrity, he behaves far more like me than the DipShit that contributed the shallow and polluted end of his gene pool. He values what I value, he holds himself and others accountable for decisions and performance and sadly he detests his SpermIdiot probably even more than I do.

His mom and I raised him to respect his elders and he knows that his BioDad is someone he should love and respect. No doubt he loves the toothless moron but even more assuredly he has no respect for his SpermIdiot. My son now invests far too much of his time and resources in an effort to counter the toxic influence that the SpermIdiot has on the three younger half sibs. Sadly my son is likely doomed to failure in this effort. The three younger half sibs have been damned to the same multigenerational failures of the rest of the SpermClan and have not had the priveledge of being raised by parents that hold them accountable for their behavior and performance or require them to study and improve themselves.

lisarunsfast's picture

I dread having my SS15 come over every Wednesday and EOWE. The first couple of years me and DH were together, the BM refused to allow my SS to meet me and therefore, he wasn't allowed to do his court ordered visitation. When the SS turned 15, he decided to come over on his own. Great for DH, sucks for me! I distance myself when the SS is here. I own a private school for teenagers with learning disabilities and I just don't feel like spending my free time with yet another teenager. Also my students are "trained up", and know how to behave around me. My SS is like a feral animal sometimes. He is the messiest kid and has managed to break 2 things (a mirror and a lamp) in the past 6 weeks! Next week we start having him for the rest of the summer. When we had him for Spring Break I told him that I would pick his friends up and drop them off at movies, the mall, the beach, whatever. Turns out the kid really doesn't have any friends. I am dreading this summer visitation. I have never seen a kid who just wants to sit around all day long and do nothing. We live 1/2 a mile from the beach!!!
Glad I could vent Smile My DH kinda "gets it", but not really. He wants me to "save" my SS like I "saved" him from the evil BM/EW!

Its_My_Life_Too's picture

Hardest thing for me Believe it for not is the loss of control in my life. I've been told over and over to go get help for my feelings, I should see a therapist... but none of these people are step parents- they have no clue how hard it is to be in a relationship with a person you love who has a child from outside of your relationship, a BM who is completely controlling of your influence over their child. See, we do an every other week rotation- me and my hunny try to make it out at least once every two weeks for a date, just the two of us. But other than that.... shopping is the closest thing I get to ever "going out on the town". I rarely see my friends anymore because I'm either working, at school or watching my SD. And when the BM has made big waves about me having any control over discipline and control... and honestly if you heard my story you'd be amazed I'm still in my relationship- not because my hunny is a horrible person or doesn't stick up for me... but because of what the BM has so far done TO ME- even when her and my hunny were never a couple, just a one night accident from a ripped condom and her lying about being on the pill. I literally have ZERO control when it comes to my SD, when it comes to medical the BM requested I never know anything medical and never accompany my SD to appointments. Unless it's a complete emergency I can't even take her to the doctor for a broken bone without calling my hunny to take her. I'm not allowed to know what's going on in school unless my hunny tells me and being a guy he's horrible at details, but at least he tries to keep me up to date. Changes in custody schedule conflict with my work schedule and school schedule making it difficult for us to find child care. All the while we are spending loads of money on custody battles that should be sure-fire wins that turn out to be duds.... because well, WI is a horrible state for a man to try and get custody in, until a mother burns her children alive she will still have custody.

So yeah- If you're following... control in you home life is possible the hardest thing being a childless Step. though.... 2 years ago I would have told you that being so close to the child but never being able to experience the earliest moment in order to establish that "connection" with the child that makes you just click. Then again lol I think that may have been a fantasy situation!! Biggrin

Sully16's picture

There are a couple things:

1. Being told that I don't know how to parent and then having my fiance use my advice and it working...gee, and you thought I didn't know how to parent

2. Having my life completely turned upside down when my SD is in town and my fiance not acknowledging that. There is no prepping for her arrival yet I am supposed to deal with it.

3. Having my fiance say that it wouldn't be as hard for me to accept if I had children from another relationship...that's a big assumption there. I always tell him that I could go get pregnant and we could find out. Blum 3

Jakehazex21's picture

Having an ungrateful spouse who does nothing but bitch, but fails to realize that you feed, clothe, bathe, support, teach and financially support a couple of kids that aren't your responsibility to begin with because you didn't create them, it was a role thrust upon you, and you're doing it out of the goodness of your heart. That's my problem at least

rachel b's picture

Oh i hear you. I love my bf but would love to strangle him, i take so much sh*t from his children, temper tantrums, etc, and i'm supposed to lay back and take it from them, ss 6, sd 5, well i think not, i'm a pre-school teacher, i dont take it from my pupils and i'm certainly not taking it from them.
Rant over lol

LadyG's picture

What is the hardest thing about me being a step parent? I had too high of expectations in regards to SS being a "good kid". Instead, he's in prison and has humilitated his family terribly.

I guess the most difficult thing about being a step parent is BEING a parent to kids that you never gave birth to. You know, if you had your own how they would be raised, how they would learn manners, how they would behave and how you would discipline them if they did wrong. Instead, you're dealing with a child that is not your own, one that you did not raise but was raised differently, a father who is feeling guilt because his son failed him in being a good person and knowing that the grandmother is responsible for some of the child's enabling because of this excuse and that one. You have to stand back and let the chips fall where they may and this becomes an emotional distachment (?) that you can't love someone who really isn't yours. If things were different, maybe you could be a mom or a dad to someone you thought highly of you to call you "theirs". However, they are not yours. I wanted my SS to call me "Mom" but he has a mom...he is a BM that doesn't care about him one iota. He got upset because I made a joke about him being my son. After that, I stopped caring about him. I stopped thinking about him, I stopped him from coming into our house, I stopped him from being manipulative and I told DH to see him outside of our home because..sadly, the kid is poison to everything he touches, everything he talks to (he lies constantly), and poison to society as now he's a sex offender.

My SS is toxic. I'm sorry to say...no, I'm not sorry...but I'm glad he's gone. I want nothing more to do with him. I do not want his pictures in our house, I want our house to be full of love, warmth and stability...

Onefootout's picture

The biggest challenge is my independence. I think it actually works against me in a stepfamily type situation. And the fact that I've lived on my own for so many years. I don't have any kids of my own to distract me from my stepfamily life. I like to come home to a relatively quiet house, if I had kids, I'd be more tolerant of noise and video games, I think.

And I'm just not needy enough. That can be off-putting to my SO. I've told SO that he might be better off with someone with kids. But he's made it clear he absolutely does not want to live with someone else's kids, he'd rather it just be him and SS. Go figure...

I do have two dogs who are kind of like my babies and they are certainly not perfect. One's nickname is princess pee pee, so there's that problem. The other dog is always stealing SO's dog's bed and is generally annoying. You could say I've been a disney parent to my dogs, I have not put in the time and energy necessary in training them. And SO puts up with them with few complaints. Not all men would. But SO's dog frequently barfs on the nice oriental rugs, so that kind of makes us even. Whew!

PullingOutMyHair's picture

The hardest thing for me at least is how no matter how many new parenting skills or discipline/reward techniques I learn and try to apply, no one (DH, BM, etc) gives me any credit because I don't have children of my own. They completely disregard the fact that I have had a hand in raising this child since has was three years old. Now he is seven. Four years I have spent trying to help raise this kid and they act like I know nothing. I have read more books, articles, and talked to more people/friends/teachers about how to help this boy. His dexterity is extremely poor, he cant dress himself, he has no emotional control, no respect for adults and teachers, wont do anything that requires even minimal effort, and has failed 1st grade twice due to an immaturity and lack of ability to do as he is told without someone hovering over him demanding he do his work.

I am the only one who has helped him make progress in any of these problem areas. Yet when they (DH, BM) decide finally it is time to make an effort to help him him with any of these things they refuse to listen to anything I have learned. I also was accused of being cruel and mean by both DH and my step son when I suggest he should try doing some household chores like making his bed or emptying one small bathroom trashcan. I truly believe that these small responsibilities with rewards would boost his self worth and teach him effort/reward. But my DH has a step mother himself that used to use him like a work horse when he was a teen so he thinks me asking his son to do one or two very small chores (that my four year old niece preforms easily) is mean cruel. But, suddenly, when BM suggests the very same thing my DH thinks it is a great idea and when SS pitched a fit about it, now it was unacceptable because it was his/BM's idea. When it was my idea, it was cruel.

Basically, if I want to do something to help this kid, I have to make DH and BM think they thought of it first.

Lucky me... It would be easier if I didn't care...

JYMCat's picture

They lack of say or opinion while being expected to love and nurture skids unconditionally.

Redrobyn114's picture

JYM, I couldn't have said it any clearer than that. Having no say or being yelled at when you do yet expected to love and help out unconditionally.

sofblue2's picture

The hardest thing about being a step mom and having no children for me is the judgement. For an example people saying well you would understand you dont have children of your own.......so that means I know nothing about child rearing? I have four skids who I have raised for four years full time?? Just recently BM started geting visitation every other weekend and she is constantly missing sooooo basically full time. I dont get 50/50 I dont get a whole day without them. They are constantly around soooo I think I know more about being a parent then their BM but she birthed the child so what would I know right? I am so sick of hearing that phrase Well when you have kids you will understand......Understand your excuses? Understand your lack of common sense about baic etiquette? Understand what exactly? Even my BF says that and my eye starts twitching I feel like my head will go in circles. I have done more parenting than he has because he worked so many hours in the beginning I mean I was like a single parent for the first two years. I just hate hearing that.

SpoildBrat's picture

For the last 10 years I have been going threw a special kind of hell helping my husband who has 100% custody with visitation that is almost non existent with this thing that managed to give birth to 3 kids she would never give a fluck about ever and I can't have any kids and because my lovely SD 14 years of age decides she wants to run away and accuse me of abusing her I probably wont ever be able to adopt if I wanted to without a fight and BM thinks its funny to remind me that I can never have my own kids every time I see her pretty much ever chance she gets. Then everyone always says you don't know what its like cause you don't have your own kids and yes you are right I will never know and I have to live with that the rest of my life but if they were mine I know one thing there is no way in heaven or hell my children would turn out like my step kids have in any way shape or form some people need to realize what we are really going threw and how cruel BM and SDs can really be there is no pain like it and I don't wish it on my worst enemy. I told BM and SD the day you turn 18 you me an your so called mother are boxing I'm laying both them females out cold and that is the very least they deserve but it will be a great day for me!!!!!!

whatamess's picture

The hardest thing for me has been accepting the fact that I won't have a family. My family is me and DH. I have finally realized/accepted that his kids are not interested in forming any type of family unit that includes me. I had hopes/dreams of having a family and mourning that loss has been extremely painful and a long process. One other thing that just ticks me off is when people say you never really know love until you have a child, like your love for others doesn't count as much as parental love! I think people get responsibility and love confused. There is a level of responsibility that comes with a child that I'll never be able to understand, don't tell me that the love I feel isn't real or "as much". I believe people who say this have not had real love in their lives before they had kids. This ticks me off SO much!

Redrobyn114's picture

Everything! I can't even begin to manage to narrow it down. Pain Pain and Pain. I'm not sure my love for my SO will make it through this. I had no clue what it was like being a step parent and its the hardest thing ever. My step kids are pretty good too, but I will always be an option and never anyone's priority. I want my own kids but that is always on the back burner because the sk have to come first.

missflo's picture

I come to this question in a different way. I'm not a mother & certainly not their mother ( I don't want to be... my children would have been taught respect and gratitude not entiltlment and arrogance).
But as I'm not their mother... or father or grandparent... I see them objectively.
I've taught hundreds of "other peoples children" enough to know a spoilt entitled a#$@ when I meet one. As I'm not related... I see it for what it is.
The younger one (15boy) is growing into a beautiful responsible young man. We see him as often as possible and talk to him all the time.He misses and loves his Dad. He told me when he was last here that he loves being with his Dad now that he's so happy and relaxed.

The older one (17 1/2 boy) is a complete douche, treats his father like crap and has wiped his hands of his dad since he made it clear that we do not reward appalling behaviour especially not with cars and vacations for him and his bogan girlfriend....seriously we were asked to pay for their end of high school holiday to Bali. :jawdrop:
Breaks my fdh's heart to loose a relationship with his son but at least I don't have to watch the way hes treated by this brat.

Considering Cohabitation's picture

I think the hardest part for me is sharing so much of my time, space and life. I lived a very orderly and neat (and unbearably lonely) life. When SO and i met i determined that my life would be better with him and her in it (and it is). I care for her a great deal and we have a wonderful relationship. However there are these moments:

When I came home after a long day and she's been laying on our bed and I find that she got glitter tattoos that day. everything was covered in glitter for a month.

When BM comes over and I can see the three of them as a "family". I feel so jealous.

The moments when SO and SD are super-lovey and I feel left out

When SO doesn't plan for her time here, leaving me to be responsible for her entertainment.

Not having any space in the house that's just mine. I came from living by myself in a house and now there doesn't seem to be anything here that's just mine.

I'll never have children of my own (I'm almost 43, travel a great deal for work and can't imagine trying to raise a baby full time at this juncture in my life, assuming it was even physically possible, PLUS SO doesn't want any more) but I always thought I would so I'm still sort of mourning the fact that I won't have my own child. What IS good, however, is that we don't have the added pressure of trying to blend two families together. I do feel for them as my family, however, as this is as close as I'm ever going to get. A few weeks ago she told me for the first time that she loves me. Priceless.

Would I go back to my old life? Not a chance. It's surely not perfect but it's as close to perfection as I'm ever going to get.

Carrie Bradshaw's picture

There are several things that make this hard for me and I am blessed to say sd15 and Sd17 are not bad kids and they only come over every other weekend but still hard. I guess the first thing is the invasion of my space and privacy. Sd17 walks around like this is her castle knowing her dad moved in with me. Another issue I struggle with is knowing his ex will always have one up me.... The kids. However, since I am a traveler I can say he is seeing the world with me. I must also admit I get a little jealous with their mushy bonding. I hate how my Dh can't keep up with my fab lifestyle because he has financial responsibilities with his kids. Sd17 is always wants things sd15 is a total sweetheart. I hate when I have a concern and Dh does not see my view and I am accused of being selfish. I honestly did not think it would be this hard but like I said I am blessed especially after reading some blogs. One thing I know for sure is if sd17 lived with us we would probably end up in divorce. Sd 15 is a real sweetheart with a huge heart I can honestly say I may be starting to love her.

MommaRose's picture

The hardest thing about being a childless step-parent is the feeling of always being on the outskirts of a deep bond of love. Seeing the bond between my SS6 and SS9 and my DH and their BM, and knowing I give just as much (in many cases MORE) time, love, support and effort, but I will never experience that true parental bond or get the thanks or be the Skids first choice, is a hard pill to swallow and at times I feel VERY alone, unappreciated and unloved. It's hard to feel like a babysitter/housekeeper a lot of the time. These last 5 1/2 years have made me appreciate my own SM so much more, she was so good to me and now is my chance to pay it forward!

chefstepof4's picture

The hardest thing for me is knowing how differently I would raise children that were my own. My skids are all still very little, and the way BM raises them is so opposite of how I think it should be done. BUT THEYRE NOT MY KIDS. DH says "they're your kids now, too" but they're not. They never will be. I try to instill some of my value system in them when they are here but its like I'm being mean and dragging them through morality boot camp.

And the other side of that coin being how hard it is to have to take care of children who are taught to lie, cheat, steal, manipulate, and be disrespectful. If they were mine, I would feel more at liberty to correct these behaviors, but they aren't mine.

DH and I may try to have kids and if we do, the time our kids spend with their half siblings will be CLOSELY monitored as I wouldn't want their behaviors to influence my children.

louiseGr's picture

it is pretty lonely being a Step Parent who is in fact childless

at the present time, its like i am invisible. The kids are 14,15 - quite demanding and totally disprespective of mine and their parents time. I feel shut out almost. I am not really allowed an opinion, though i am asked

I do feel as though noone "has my back"
its strange.
Its the first relationship i have been in with kids involved and i had no idea what a back seat i would have to take.
I DO love them both, but i do also feel pretty invisible to them - and sadly nowadays to my partner

Date nights gone, intimacy gone

Rags's picture

DUPE

Rags's picture

For me the worst part of being a Sparent with no BKs is the blended family opposition. If it were not for the toothless dipshitiots in the SpermClan the whole Sparent adventure would be nearly drama free except for the brain farts that any kid tends to go through..

Redrobyn114's picture

The hardest part for me is feeling like my dreams aren't important. My partner has her dreams and what she wants for her kids. I know she loves me and I love her but I have dreams too. She says she wants to support my dreams but what I want can't happen right now so I should just be ok and wait. But I feel like I will have to wait a long time. I can't tell if she is just saying to wait or that's her way of saying not now and not ever.
I also have a hard time not getting any alone time or couple time. My partner thinks I'm being selfish but really I just need to stinking relax! I feel lost a lot lately and wonder how I could love someone so much but it not be right.

kittycat's picture

The hardest thing for me is the expectation that somehow I will be consumed with love for the first grandchild (born two days ago), despite my husband knowing I am seriously in freak out mode and severely detached from the whole experience.

I'm hating the 'want to hold the baby' handball/dance I have to do, and the weird looks I get when I say no, thank you.

I never expected to have children in my life, and learnt to deal with my infertility. It now feels like I'm slapped in the face all over again.

It's only been less than two days, and already I am feeling awful about the whole thing.

I'm feeling selfish, angry, hurt, detached and a whole bunch of stuff.

Stressed24's picture

I think the hardest thing is having your partners past in your face all the time. I mean we all know we have 99% of us had a previous partner. However you can easily forget that because there is nothing to spark a memory. However when they have a kid... you know they had sex, you know that they loved each other at one point (not saying one night stand though).
I hate that he is still married to her, it's been 2 years but in Ireland it is 5 years till you can divorce! I hate hearing people say your wife and I having to explain it is not me or they say her name.

What am I getting myself into's picture

I agree. She thinks it's hard to have my things in the house they shared when she picks the kid up, but I have to live with her paint colors and towels. I don't get to go "home" to escape her the way she can.

Hoff426's picture

The hardest thing?
I guess I'd have to say it's coming to the realization that everyone who has ever got knocked up by some selfish using abusive jerk,everyone who has ever accidentally knocked up some drunken one night stand, everyone who has spawned a child to be able to collect welfare, everyone who got married and pregnant at 16 because they just knew he/she was"the best thing that could ever happen to me", everyone who was too stupid to use birth control and is now stuck paying for a child they never wanted that I have to listen to them complain about, everyone in the history of the human race who has ever conceived a child accidentally or on purpose is SOMEHOW MORE INTELLIGENT THAN I AM.

What am I getting myself into's picture

My thoughts exactly. And of course, being a SAHM is the most noble profession of all.

boogeymom's picture

The hardest thing is having my space invaded EOW. I, too, purposely did not have children (doesn't mean I don't like kids, I just don't want to be responsible for them 24/7...and I DON'T like the skids). EOW, I feel like my house is not my own, I feel like I turn into a completely different person because I have to deal with these spoiled brats, and I feel like I have no control over it. At least when I'm in my classroom, I can control that environment because I'm in charge of those kids for the time they're with me, but I don't feel like I have any sort of control over my home with those semen demons there because I come up against a brick wall every damn time I try.

Rags's picture

For me it is the toxic influence of the shallow and polluted end of my SS's gene pool on him. Fortunately he is a smart young man and has so far overcome the misfortune of that half of his parentage.

hastin17's picture

The hardest part is wondering if there will be a day when the SD7 will ever attempt to move into my home.. Because that my friends would NEVER be allowed. Her mother has made her a mess, and I believe in her teens when all the great parenting from early childhood comes out.. sd7 will be a troubled young girl. In which case, I had nothing to do with, the parents dont want to let me help and guide really, and so I plan on NOT cleaning up a huge mess for the parents.

Also I hope to have children of my own one day and I am terrified that this monster will torment my child or influence him/her in negative ways... Also another thing that will not be happening while I am still living...

No one takes anything someone who doesn't have kids of their own seriously. They think because we have no kids, whatever we are saying is a crock of sh*t. I think most of the time outsiders have the BEST advice for parenting especially when you don't have the 'rose coloured glasses' of parenting on.

Mercury's picture

I never wanted children. I am at an age where even if I changed my mind, it's a bit risky and not advisable. I was fine with that.

The hardest part for me was falling so deeply and madly in love with this man and thinking about the what if scenarios: "IF" I had met him earlier in my life would I have changed my mind about children? What would it be like to share that kind of bond with him? If I did change my mind and have a child with him, how un-special would my experience feel knowing that he already had that "first baby" experience with her? He gives so much to that woman that there is no way in hell he could support another child or be there for me the way I would want and expect him to be.

I have always been independent and self supporting. I have never had to rely on a lover for anything financially. Now that I'm married to the man of my dreams, I don't think it would be such a bad thing to let someone take care of me if I was ever in a situation where I really needed it.

Then the fear sets in: "IF" something ever happens with my job or my health, what will I do? I know what the answer is if the roles were reversed and he needed me....everything I have belongs to him too. He can't do that for me. He is tied down to a selfish beast and two kids I feel nothing for. He says I'm number 1 in his life and has proved it over and over, but financially....he's stuck. I can never be number one in that respect.

What am I getting myself into's picture

I agree. It's hard knowing that you will never experience those moments with your partner even if you made the choice not to.

instamadre's picture

I so agree. This is heart-wrenching for me. I almost cry when I see movies or shows or read books when other people are having their first child together, even though I chose not to have kids of my own, very willingly.

What am I getting myself into's picture

Seeing the light in her eyes when my SD4 sees her mother/father and knowing that nobody will ever feel that way about me still hurts. I chose not to have children, but I can't help but feel like I'm missing something when I witness those moments.

HopeFalls's picture

The hardest part for me is having to always be there be present be accountable but always having to take a back seat at the same time. I'm expected to put 100% of me into the skids finances, love, care etc I understand that I am not their mother and I really don't want to be its just hard having to be expected to be the "parent" like I have the choice in the matter. If I knew then what I know I doubt I would be where I am now.

bananashake's picture

My problems seems to be the opposite but many of my boyfriends peers (wives of his buddies) are bio-moms and seem to take issue with me not taking on more duty or responsibility of his kids. I think they would like to see me become more of a "mom" type. I spend an ample amount of time with him and the kids yet we have no plans to get married or move in together, we like our space.

I am moving to a new place come January 1 and one of his idiot female friends said 'Oh GREAT you can have the kids birthday parties at YOUR place!!' LOL....no it's MY place, I pay for it, and I call the shots on what goes on there. I think she said that to piss me off, but whatever.

Samantha123's picture

Being childless by choice reminds me of something Liza Minnelli once said about being Judy Garland's daughter. She said that the only thing she didn't like was what she called the "Of course factor."

Judy Garland's daughter won an Oscar?
Of course.
Judy Garland's daughter jumped off a building?
Of course.

By this I mean, if my husband's kid want to dump their kids on me, to babysit, I'm supposed to want to babysit them, of course. I'm childless.

If I am not as hyper-sensitive to the grandkids' needs as they would like me to be, and make a tiny mistake and all hell breaks lose, it's because I'm childless, of course.

If they want me to be Betty Crocker and host a big dinner, I should be grateful, of course, poor, childless me.

If I am excluded from a big dinner, why should I be insulted? It's not like I'm a family woman - after all, I never had children.

Of course.

It's a useful excuse for any nonsense my husband's kids need me to enable.

proudstepmommy's picture

I think the hardest thing for me is well, 2 things actually...
1- I love SD like she is my own... And I know she loves me too... She and I are very close, and do stuff together all the time... But having to see her practically beg for love and attention from BM is so hard...
2- I know I made the decision to not have any kids when I met/fell in love with/ & married DH (he had a vasectomy shortly after SD was born)... But sometimes it's hard seeing my friends and siblings have kids of their own. I've told DH this time and time again, and I reassure him that I am happy to have him and SD in my life, but sometimes I just wonder if I made the right decision (9 times out of 10 I think I did... It's that 1 time that will get ya thinking though).

BrownEyedGirl31's picture

Punkin_Punkin…. Thank you for sharing this. I am currently a childless SM and we are going to try to get pregnant very soon. There are times I wonder if I should have children of my own because of my experience with SS10. If it wasn't for my experience with SS10, I think we would have started trying a lot sooner. We've been together for almost 7 years.

Executivestepmother's picture

I think the hardest part of being a childless step parent is having your spouse play family with their kid's other parent at things like school plays, conferences, and sporting event type things. In a NORMAL marriage, you don't have to deal with your spouse playing family with anyone else.

aflak92's picture

its always been funny to me how they tell me i don't understand what its like to be a mom, but i somehow have to take care of the kid.
basically your a married babysitter, who gets blamed for everything that is expected to show unconditional love with no parental rights

weneverhadthisconversation's picture

The hardest part? Intrusion.
The intrusion of my physical space, the intrusion of my privacy in matters seemingly insignificant and small to matters that are more obviously (to others) "important," the intrusion on the dynamic between me and DH, the intrusion of having other people assign and expect priorities for me, the intrusion on my finances and the intrusion on my time are the hardest parts.

When these are impeded upon, I hate myself because it makes me feel like I am a bad person. I feel guilty, angry, alone, occasionally it makes me feel lazy, usually like an outsider/third wheel, sometimes resentful and I often feel like these intrusions hold me hostage. I occasionally feel jealous too which is so shameful and ridiculous.

I cannot BEGIN to describe my behavior when this "gets to me." I try not to act out, so the poisonous (and yes, often comedic) behind-the-scenes little explosions of emotion when no one can hear or see me are so horrifying that I'd be embarrassed to describe them to you. I swear it's not because I am uptight. It's because my private outbursts really are that embarrassing.

***Four or five days ago I found this site and joined. This is my first post. I'd like to say THANK YOU to all of you. I have teared up more than once in RELIEF. I don't know how it didn't dawn on me before to look for something like this on line. Just reading your posts have helped a little. I wildly nod in agreement and comradery and have shed more than one tear out of sheer relief to see that other people share a lot of my sentiment and many of you have it actually much worse.
(I have no idea how to spell comradery and a quick internet check really didn't help.)

I hate feeling like a bitch! I really, really do. My DH is always talking about how sweet I am and I generally DO NOT FEEL SWEET where any of this is concerned.
I am very grateful for my DH, by the way. He is awesome. My situation could be a lot worse, but that said....
I have terrible, terrible issues.

hayley1987's picture

I suffer from the intrusion emotions as well!!! I love my ss like he is my own. He is the perfect child. Is rarely naughty and if he is he stops as soon as i tell him. He loves me in return and tells me he had 2 mothers. I have nothing to complain about with him. But it still doesnt stop the crazy emotions. I get irritated over the simplest things like if he sits in my chair for example. I think it is because he only comes in school breaks so i have 3 months of my life and then i have to share it with another being!
I always feel like such a hprrible person for having these feelings even thoygh i keep them to myself (i never vent my frustration to ss or oh)

Krissy09's picture

The worst part about being a step mother for me is that my step kids 5 & 7 are WORK. I work 60 hours a week & all I want to do on the weekends is come home to a nice clean & quite house. Instead, I come home to two crazies running wild. My Husband just kicks back & enjoys watching his two little monsters royal rumble around our house while I grumble under my breath about their existence in our house.

To recap...the worst part is that they are HARD work with NO reward.

For bio-parents kids are hard work but I hear is worth it. Since I don't have kids of my own I just don't know what "worth it" feels like.

May-December SM's picture

omg, you hit the nail on the head. After all we do for them, at the end of the day all the snuggles and kisses and good words go to daddy and you just get a "'night _your name___". It is a selfless thing we do when we care for them. We have to find the reward in ourselves. We have to feel good about ourselves for doing all of this without reward. But take comfort in the FACT that someday, when they are grown, they will most likely remember how we cared for them and express their gratitude then. I've seen in it other people who are older and finally reached that point. Just gotta keep doing what's right and good for everyone. Smile

BigMike's picture

Oh gosh can I ever relate to the OP on this one. My wife will stab me in the chest to get her kids a candy bar. SD is 23 and just got married. Wife still treats her as if she is helpless. SS is 20, in college (only about 20 minutes away) and lives in a house next to campus. Comes here a couple of times a week and stocks up on food that I bought and takes it with him to his house. Wife pays rent for him, wife pays gas for him, wife pays tuition for him. SS expects Mom to give him everything and then acts like I've insulted him when I don't give him what he wants from me. Good luck. I feel your pain. Smile

Kat67's picture

I consider myself to be a childFREE step because I am happy I never had kids of my own, never wanted them or the responsibility and I think that is the hardest part, I always wanted to be child free and my life was pretty carefree until I fell in love with a man who had a kid. I am not sure we will ever be able to just be.

I didn't choose the kid, I chose the man but now I am expected to be a "Mom" in some fashion and that is not what I signed up for. So, I do not act like a Mom, I do not get involved in parenting, or decisions concerning the child or his future etc. I do my own thing, try to be a supportive GF but I am not taking on more responsibility than that. If that makes me selfish or a bitch or whatever else anyone wants to call me then so be it.

Justme54's picture

I had that threw up in my face. You do not understand. NO...I do not understand. If I had kids, they would have been raised as I was...YOU WANT SOMETHING...WORK FOR IT. Sure, I would help them to better themselves as young adults. NO, I would NEVER support their lavish taste as young adults....much least as an adult pushing their late 30's as DH's oldest son.

GG_Lou's picture

I love my OH dearly and can even handle his kids, but it's knowing that he has had kids with another woman I think that haunts me the most. Like if we were to have a baby, although it would be exciting and new for me, he's been there done, got the little worms to prove it. He doesn't talk about BM at all. What I know about my MIL and mutual friend have told me, and from what I can tell it wasn't his choice to break up with her. The flat we're in at the moment (currently doing up to sell), they lived in from when SD was 2, so when cleaning out cupboards, looking for things, I tend to come across some of BM's possessions or trinkets they both were given etc. I know that he loves me and he wants to be with me, but I find her to be almost intimidating, she was his first love, had 2 kids together etc, now I come along 10 years younger, part of his and his kids lives but I want kids and id want it to be special and I know that its easy to say but I always say to myself, if a child of mine ever behaves like the skids do, I will be dsgusted with myself.

May-December SM's picture

I know exactly what you're saying! I feel that same way. It kind of haunts me as well. It's a weird kind of jealousy that just never goes away. Even when I know that I'm being a better parent to the skids and I'm doing a better job than the BM, it still bothers me that she got to do this with my DH. I've tried to eradicate her things from our house but I still find things here and there and the skids look so much like here. As much as we can all feel like a perfect happy family together (besides the slight distance between me and the kids) I fear I'll always feel that jealous feeling.

We have to try to forget their togetherness. Yes, they had children together. Yes, they shared magical, emotional, special times together. But, she chose to leave and we reaped the benefit in the relationship we found because of it.

I relate it to how a homeless person can find joy in someone's left-overs. No one ever guaranteed us that we'll have the perfect life, it just is what it is, and when something/someone great comes along, we shouldn't be thinking about how it was someone else's first or how someone else got to enjoy the best part of it, we should just be grateful that we've received it at all.

random169's picture

Being told you would understand if he was your son. Or you don't get it because there is a bond between bio kids and parents.
Ok, I might not have that bond but why you using it to give him leniency for bad behavior. I don't think he's cute when he
Breaks something and uses big eyes and a smile. I certainly don't think he's cute when bmp says no and he begs and giggles
To change her mind. I think he's is cutexture when he is behaved.
Also I hate not having our baby pictures and baby stories and pregnancy.

vickimill26's picture

The hardest thing for me was what the BM told her children. She told them that I was barren and couldn't have and children, so I was trying to take her children away from her. She has been telling them this since I was introduced to them 3 years ago. Also told the youngest when she was 5 that is the child spoke to me, I would take her away from her mother and she would never see her mom again.
She has also said these horrible things to me in person, called me a barren bitch at one of the children's sporting events.
Obviously, if I had a child of my own, she could not say these things.

Maxwell09's picture

So far the hardest part of being a childless stepmom is the barrier that's created. If I had my own kids (and will someday) and I want to wake up one morning and take them to a day trip to the beach, I can. No qualms about it, it would be a wonderful day to spend with family. With Skids though, you have to call and ask for permission (often shot down) and the whole thing becomes a huge effort that's usually not even worth it in the end. Once I have kids I already know the "well ss mom said no, so we can't go" will probably happen and them my kids and my happiness will be hindered just because of her.

Everything is a process, seek permission, if given permission get COs ready. (Currently enrolling) constant conversing to check that every little thing is okay or correct by BMs standards. I look forward to when I have my own kids and can easily accomplish school enrollment, sport registration or taking kids where I want without all the hassle I have to go through now.

May-December SM's picture

I think the most difficult challenge is related to what I've seen written here but not in the same words. I think being a childless person gives you a huge advantage with an almost entirely objective view on the raising and discipline of the kids. We are much much much more aware of what is right and what should be taught, etc., without our emotions getting in the way....BUT, everyone thinks/says "you don't have kids, you don't know anything."

Bio's are so wrapped up in....- whatever that ridiculous bond is that makes them not see what shit-heads their kids are- that they can't fathom that their kids can endure a scolding or punishment, that their kids need rules and boundaries, that their kids will not have a horrible life if they don't give them EVERYTHING they want.

It seriously pisses me off! I love the kids, I'm an educated person, I have great ideas for how to work out their little problems....but, I don't have kids of my own so I "don't know anything."

Since when does successfully putting your sperm somewhere/pushing a baby out your hoohah, and changing some diapers and buying crayons make you the only people who know how to raise good people???!!!

It's ridiculous when people bash Dr. Phil for not having any kids and then trying to teach people about raising them. He's a F******g Doctor! He has a degree! He knows more than you! ::Shaking my head::
That's the most difficult aspect, in my opinion. They just won't take our opinions seriously and everyone suffers for it.

HarrysMama's picture

Having to deal with the aftermath of spoiled, sneaky, deceptive, sometimes cruel children who have been (irretrievably?) damaged by a BM who can barely get out of her own way and DH who wants to be "liked the best" so that he can "win." When I'm not cooking, cleaning, doing laundry or practicing law, my days are spent listening to DH talk about the kids' problems, without ever considering any solutions. Because the problems are caused by the BM . . of course. And around we go . . . .

ian_paine's picture

My DW and two SS sit at the dinner table and talk about silly things they did as babies and toddlers. I wasn't there so it means nothing to me. No one is ever interested in my stories. I've had these discussions with my mom and dad, my brother and sister, and my cousins and it's always a real hoot. So I understand what and why they are doing. One time I decided I was bored while they were carrying on and I left the room to do something interesting for me. My wife made a big deal out of it so now they do it simply to exclude me and unfortunately we just don't get along as well as we once did. As a bonus I'm the bad guy for saying anything at all.

Onefootout's picture

There wasn't an even exchange. I felt like SO always had the better deal, I had no baggage and he had all the baggage, and I would easily become resentful. If I had kids to bring to the table who misbehaved, then maybe id be more patient with his kid since I knew we both had to put up with each others' kids.

And SO and I would have had more in common with each other.

In the end though, I realized if I had kids I would have walked out much earlier. I would have never let that destructive man be around my kids for very long.

So the fact I did not have kids to protect caused me to stay longer.

Hmmmm24's picture

The hardest thing for me is feeling that I won't have a family of my own. I'm 24 and everyone in my family save one brother has had children. I know I'm young but that clock is ticking in my head every day. Will it be exciting for DH when our child is born or is he unhappy at having to start over?

Hakunamafuckit's picture

That it's taboo to complain about my step kids.

I hear people in work all the time saying "oh the kids were driving me crazy last night" etc etc but if I say anything along those lines it's like oh my god, she's a dragon.......

member1234l's picture

How its completely unfair. How instead of dating a single childless young guy like I easily could have in my twenties....I opted for a divorced single dad with a 3yrold.....who would cry and scream in malls and stores we took her to.

Where I would have to wait for him often to take her to the bathroom because she couldnt do it by herself. Thing like where he would bring her along to my famiys big events and go off and entertain her...his daughter..alone....instead of interacting with my family. things like, me babysitting her for him from time to time no questions asked. Or when i taught her how to swim.

5yrs later....do u think he or her appreciate even an inkling or shred of the time i was there with them? Not a chance.

I dont think my situation is unique. I think the disrespect, unappreciation, unfairness, complete lack and disregard for our feelings/wants/needs as a woman and a childess woman at that, is quite common in this type of unatural relationship dynamic ie: being involved with someone who has a child by someone else.

Stjupmamma's picture

The hardest thing for me is being nice and putting in effort to make these children happy and not getting any sign of appreciation for it. life is funny. if i could do it all again, i wouldnt choose to be here. ive always wanted my own children but ive not been blessed yet. husband has 4 from a previous relationship (1 is his stepdaughter) i think about all the things that i would do with my own children, the disciplining, parenting etc. and i hate seeing misbehavior from husband´s children and not being able to say something about it, to correct it. christmas is the saddest time for me. i still feel excluded somehow. sometimes i think that if i have my own child then i would have a family to call my own and wouldnt feel so alone (but of course this is not a good reason to have a child) cos even though husband is there with me, i still feel alone somehow esp when his kids are around.

Tater salad's picture

That is exactly how I feel... My wife and SD ... And then me. Just 30 minutes ago I told my wife I feel so alone always. I'd love to make friends but it seems like that would hurt our marriage in the end.

jeaniemarie's picture

Like Saffron, I also worry about what will happen to me when I get old. I am probably going to be a lonely old lady at a nursing home, but then there are plenty of lonely old ladies there that have kids as well. I can't stand the fact that everything just has to Stop because the snowflakes show up. Seriously, who cares?? DF expects me to drop everything and worship at the feet of these kids--not happening!

jeaniemarie's picture

Like Saffron, I also worry about what will happen to me when I get old. I am probably going to be a lonely old lady at a nursing home, but then there are plenty of lonely old ladies there that have kids as well. I can't stand the fact that everything just has to Stop because the snowflakes show up. Seriously, who cares?? DF expects me to drop everything and worship at the feet of these kids--not happening!

Selene's picture

My heart goes out to you having kids EVERY weekend and the fact that your FDH has told you to make new dreams or just get over it. All of that is horrific! My DH splits custody 50/50 yet I somewhat feel like the skids (SD12 and SS8) are always here somehow. I would be in a padded cell if I didn’t get that blessed, beautiful EOW without DH’s kids.

I hate doing the “people with kids” things too. DH insisted on taking the skids to Disney World this past October. Not to sound like a brat, but I hated it.

My SS8 is an incessant blabbermouth and also has a compulsive need to speak which gets on my last nerve. I’m surprised I don’t have a drinking problem (yet). We were watching a movie the other night and TWO minutes into the movie, he was already asking questions. Seriously?!? Heaven forbid he sit still and keep his mouth closed. He proceeded to jump around the room and toss a ball around for the whole movie instead of going to another room.

I also brought no baggage to the marriage; it’s all his. I’m only 42, but both of my parents have passed away, so I don’t even have the excuse to get out of the house to visit family. One sister lives three hours away and the other one lives thousands of miles away.

I spend 50% of my life counting down the time until the skids go back to their mom’s house. I escape to my bedroom as often as I can when they are here because I am weary of listening to SS8’s mouth – he bellows constantly while playing video games. This kid is constantly jumping around or interrupting adult conversations that are none of his business. It is exhausting being in his presence.

Wicked524's picture

I could not agree with you more. Except I'm with my SS13 and SS11 24/7. BM is not in the picture (drugs, alcohol, etc.) So DH has full custody. So I guess padded cell I go :?

Emily1984's picture

Having other people make all the decisions for you.

Losing your home and way of life.

Being treated like a servant by everyone, and not getting anything in return.

Feeling, sad, anxious, worried, nervous almsot constantly.

instamadre's picture

Being treated like you don't know what it means to be a parent when you're the one teaching them how to wipe, teaching them how to eat right, teaching them how to be respectful to one another and to others, taking care of them 95% of the time, putting bandaids on their owies, cleaning their dishes, doing their laundry, taking them to school and dance and soccer and cooking them dinner and after-school snacks, teaching them how to do big things for the first time, being there for them when they get asked to their first dance, rejected by their first would-be date, helping them find the right clothes for their special events, attending all of their school performances and extracurricular activities (when appropriate).....................and on and on and on.

I LOVE my s-kids, and I treat them as best as I can as though they are "my own" because I'm in their lives on a daily basis, handling their daily drama, helping with their daily homework - i LOVE them.
And you know what bio-parents who denounce step-parents? Screw you, because YOU don't know what it's like to CHOOSE to love a child unconditionally. YOU don't know what it's like to love like a stepparent does and can.

Don't tell me I'm not a parent after you're the one who abandoned them willingly to go be with your boyfriend who is 12 years younger and was 19 when you met!

Cover1W's picture

This. I am lucky however that I have yet to be told that I don't understand because I don't have bio kids. I have a super supportive partner and his girls are (usually) easy be around but this situation still causes some frustration that burbles over at times. Smile
And one cannot be frustrated in front of the SD's because that's what they will use as proof that I am not to be trusted.
I am so thankful that even though my partner is a passive parenter, and I am not, that we have been able to come to agreements on partnering with each other to help us both with the stress (i.e. he gets to do a lot more!).

Step-Mom-ster's picture

Oh my word! Are we living the same life? 1st: I can absolutely relate to everything you've said; BM pretty much abandoned the skids (5&6) & moved to another state with her abusive bf and new baby to live with his mother and I don't think she would have any contact with them at all (only 5 to 10min phone calls every once and awhile) she is obligated to love them; while I choose to love them. Also #2: I am so glad to have met another step mom on here that openly talks about LOVING their skids and not just talking about them like they're burdens. I love my step kids in the same way and treat them like my own.

You're awesome! Stay strong, they will see some day how amazing you are to them. Smile

Step-Mom-ster's picture

Wow...."i shouldn't have to lift a finger" do you know how ignorant you sound? Do you love their father?? Guess what sweet heart he is a package deal, including his children.

Mikhaila87's picture

I chose to be with my partner so I knew the skids were always going to be there. The BM is a pain in the a** that is one of the hard things, having a BM who treats the boys like less of her children than I do. The hurt I feel for them is a hard one, as they aren't in a stable home with the BM.
Also the fact my life has changed so much, some ways good. But my partner moved into my house, so having these little humans in my house with not a lot of respect for things that cost money or even my dog is hard.

Mama Jean's picture

For me it's knowing I won't ever have my own, and being ok with that only to have it rubbed in my face and getting no appreciation for pouring my heart and soul into these babies because their BM canbe bothered with them.

sheltojl's picture

Honestly everything is difficult... everyone has a different situation but it's never going to be easy with step kids
.. as my boyfriend's BM reminded me: they are her kids.. not mine and always will be.

sportslover's picture

Yes, yes they are. This post of yours is so accurate..I just don't understand people and how stupid they are.

AquiousTransmissionsOverADistantHorizon's picture

Well, hardest thing is a sense of resentment.
I never had kids, and feel like Ive had to give up a large portion of me freedoms, and also gain a lot of responsibilities for really nothing.

Back over last Xmas, I wrote on here about how my SS had said I hit him and a whole thing was made up about it, he later admitted that it was all BS.
Then Im looked at like I should just shrug it all off.

But it seems like thats whats usually expected of us steps to sacrifice when it comes to everything. Just shrug the shoulders, dont pay no attention to the freedoms you no longer have, the lack of appreciation for the sacrifices you have made, and just keep bleeding.

And when it happens again "and it will" you are expected to shrug your shoulders again and suck it up.
Im starting to think that there is a fundamental likeness between steps and bios.
Its almost like BIOS believe the Steps owe them for something, or that you have no right to feel like "hey, its not my kid!"

I also dont like the bullshit excuse that I hear "you knew I had kids" that doesnt work for me on so many levels.

It hasnt really been the same for us sense Xmas, chances are it wont be.
All the energy I used to put into her kids, I now 100% devote to myself and my growing business.

I also dont like how they can act like you are doing something wrong.
I've come to conclusion, that all my time and energy has been wasted, and now; its devoted to me and the building of my own personal legend.
I sick of trying to build someone elses temple.

And I guess finally I dont like how all of us have resorted into feeling this way, and feel trapped.
Im going to make a shirt that reads

"I spent 10 years of my life dedicated to someone elses responsibilities and all I got was this stupid shirt!"

sportslover's picture

OMG, was that well written!! So perfect and articulated everything I felt..I'm glad to be out.

Inthemiddle2's picture

And I guess finally I dont like how all of us have resorted into feeling this way, and feel trapped.
Im going to make a shirt that reads

"I spent 10 years of my life dedicated to someone elses responsibilities and all I got was this stupid shirt!"

I'd like to purchase a shirt from you!!! Smile

HMonster's picture

Knowing that at the end of the day, i have no power when it comes to the SKids. I can advise, and warn, but i cant go against the birth mothers wishes, no matter who incredibly wrong they are...

sandye21's picture

I once called a therapist who was quite adamant that "Children come first". I told her about how my DH ran out the door instead of telling his adult daughter, in her 30's, respect me in my own home. She said he was 'conflicted', and I was expecting too much. The problem is my SD, who was an adult when we married, never came first with me - I'm pretty positive I wasn't 'first' in her life either. Like many of the posters on here, I find it insulting that so many people, including DH, thought assumed I was to sacrifice my dignity to placate SD who was downright abusive to me. SD is an adult. Why doesn't SHE have to sacrifice as much as do? A double standard don't you think?

Thankfully I finally set boundaries and the world became sane again. I also found a good therapist. LOL

tryingtobezen's picture

Wow - feel so happy (in a weird way!) - all those issues: MIL enabling, criticizing "You're not a mother" harp, having a little spy in own home full time, uncomfortable, smug BMs who think they know everything...

We call my MIL "the Oracle" (because she knows EVERYTHING - obviously) and her house "Vagican city"... because of the powers a woman gains through her Vajaja once she's birthed a child...

mimi719's picture

I know this is an old topic. I'm here to vent.

What's hard for me is watching my husband be such a pathetic buddy, not parent, to his kids. I used to be so mad at these boys, then I realized, it's their parents NOT raising them.

mpatterson's picture

I think hands down the hardest thing is seeing the kids fail and become and/or be horrible people. I was raised with truth, respect, and ambition and love and when I enforced the rules and values on my husband's kids they chose to live with their mother.

It hurts me to see my husband hurt over it and it really annoys me that I know that my house is the better more successful option and the kids want to live with their fat useless ugly mother in her rent free townhouse in the ghetto. So the girl will be knocked up before she graduates high school and the boy will probably be in prison by then and there is nothing I can do about it. It's frustrating.

mpatterson's picture

I think hands down the hardest thing is seeing the kids fail and become and/or be horrible people. I was raised with truth, respect, and ambition and love and when I enforced the rules and values on my husband's kids they chose to live with their mother.

It hurts me to see my husband hurt over it and it really annoys me that I know that my house is the better more successful option and the kids want to live with their fat useless ugly mother in her rent free townhouse in the ghetto. So the girl will be knocked up before she graduates high school and the boy will probably be in prison by then and there is nothing I can do about it. It's frustrating.

OH! But the best part is currently because I am evil bitch in the kids eyes with my rules and demand for respect they are not allowed at my house anymore and they do not want to come.

frusturatedbeyondwords71's picture

Hi stepmothers! I'm so happy to have found this forum. I am a 44 year old Stepmother and have one SD age 11. I've grown to hate her. I feel in my heart when I see her or hear her voice that I literally hate her! I'm involved in dog rescue (as my passion) and I also work full time in the technology field. My SD has NO compassion for animals at all. My DH's dog (and now mine) was badly hurt in an accident last saturday and he now has all 4 paws wrapped all the way up to his body.

My DH told my SD what happened when he picked her up for the Monday night visit and she walked int he house, walked right past the poor dog and complained that she had a small stain on her shirt and needed her dad to help her get rid of it.

And a few weeks before that one of our dog's eyes was bleeding (we have 3 dogs) and I was frantic and she put her hands on her hips, sighed and shouted "Ummmm Dad, can I go home now? It's time to take me home!!!"
I lost my cool and pointed at her and yelled "GET OUT OF MY FACE! YOU HAVE NO COMPASSION!" and then my DH told me she has NEVER been yelled at before so I scared her. WHAT? she is going into 6th grade and she's never been yelled at?

Oh and prior to this she lied to BM about everything and anything and then BM tried to take my husband's parental rights away! thankfully the court got SD to admit she had lied (she said stuff like we call her an asshole and make fun of her for being fat and torment her...all absolute lies). The case against DH was dropped but this was just the beginning of me knowing my SD is a liar, manipulative, and has a cold heart.

My DH gets so mad at me if I tell him his daughter should see a therapist or that he should have her volunteer so he can teach her compassion. it hurts him to hear I think she's a "bad person".
BUT she is! It's not behaviors, it's who she is.

I'm at my wits end. what do I do?

cindefreakinrella's picture

OHHHHH my goodness. We are the same age with the same age step daughter. the little girl is cold inside. I can see it. She doesn't cry at sad movies or anything sad (unless it's to manipulate her dad) She has no concept of donating to those less fortunate and is totally uninterested. She is just not a loving girl. I feel that most of her actions are not genuine. She only does things if she can benefit from it. I'm sure she gets this from someone. I told her dad she's not a good kid. I shouldn't have, I know..but it came out. In my opinion, she's a mini narcissist. One day she's a disrespectful brat and the next she's nice and I'm just supposed to not feel human and accept everything right away because she's "Just a kid" (if i hear that one more time, I might poke his eyes out) We have her a full week at a time. I'm so sick of all this drama. I truly am. I'm ashamed of my feelings, but i've tried everything to be nice to her and NOTHING is appreciated. ugh I don't have a kid and this is lots of drama for us and is affecting our relationship

dancemom33's picture

hard part for me is not feeling the parent- child bond I think other people wit kids have. Also I am the lowest parent on the totem pole. So no matter what my opinion is regarding the children, mine doesn't really matter. I'm only a part time mom to the kids. Their stepdad is a stay at home dad so of course he gets a say in how they are raised. I'm more conservative than the rest of the "parents" in my skids lives. It bothers me when the BM lets kids watch rated R movies, listen to music with cursing, and play video games rated M at such young ages. How are they supposed to learn what is appropriate behavior is, when they are exposed to so much violence and sexuality during the years they are still so impressionable.

Trying2011's picture

I became an instant stepmum to 4 (SD15, SD13, SD11, and SS6) when I was 28 years old. My DH is 11 years older than me and I love him dearly... The hardest part of being bio childless is BM... First thing she ever said to me was that she was glad I couldn't have kids so that her kids would always be first. She is mean and vindictive and even when I stay in the background laying low, I am still called the "wicked stepmother".. All while she continues to tell the youngest kids that she's still in love with DH, taking NO responsibility for her actions in their divorce. I'm a child counselour so I know the good and the harmful things, even despite, not being a mum myself (I've had that one said to me many times) and now I find it hard to stay engaged their lives.. Bc I'm damned if I do and damned if I don't. I want to be there for them, I do love them, but I also feel hurt by the things that BM has done and encouraged the kids to say and do against DH and me. Thoughts?

cindefreakinrella's picture

The constant "My Mom said this. My Mom does that. My Mom has this" My mom mom mom mom mom. It's understandable, but still..annoying.
I thought being a step mom would give me the feeling of being a Mom and on a rare occasion it does, but mostly it just reminds me I'm not one. I just stepped into someone else's life. And, the Bio Mom ALWAYS in the picture. All three of those things irritate the sht out of me. I had no clue what I was getting into.

cindefreakinrella's picture

EXACTLY!!! but yet her dad tells me that her bio mom can't handle hearing about me. It's like he's more worried about how SHE feels than me. Not in just this instance either. HE says he has to kiss up to keep the peace. UGH. One day I took her out to lunch and she said, Welll If my Mom took me she would know to get me my favorite drink. I don't give a rats ass about her mom's friends, house, husband, car, job, or cooking skills. It's sooooo annoying. On top of this, she told me her mom "hates me" Her mom actually told her that she doesn't like me (great parenting). I just said well, that's okay. I'm sure your mom is lovely. (GAG) I say nothing negative about her Mom ever. I just smile or like you..horrible bitch

cindefreakinrella's picture

I would never say anything about the mom to her. That's not right. She's a child. I will get that book! I didn't see the link. Still navigating through this site. So glad for it. I feel so horrible sometimes, but I've been good to this child and it's very hard

eshaw85's picture

I am a brand new step parent. My boyfriend has 3 kids between two marriages and I don't have any bio children. My whole life I have been wanting children of my own, but have been unable to have any. Honestly this whole adjustment has been difficult for me.

Trying to look at it through the mature point of view our biggest challenge has been getting onto the same page for how we want to parent the children. When I try to discipline the children according to what we discussed, my boyfriend will get angry and yell at me in front of the kids (which I told him I didn't want to do). My upbringing is completely different from what his was (I had been adopted by a man who raised 6 kids in the 60's and my mom was military) and my boyfriend uses that against me when we discuss things. His complaint is that I am "too strict" with the kids when I tell them to finish their meal or else they can't have a snack, ect.

Honestly I just don't know what to do. I'm frustrated because I want to be a good step mom to the kids but yet everything I have done gets criticized. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Trying2011's picture

If it was me, I would sit down with BF and talk just between the two of you. I would let him know that I wanted this relationship to work and that right now the co-parenting between you and him aren't in agreement. I would ask him what he would like done. He's less likely to be really defensive if you approach it this way. I know it's harder for you because you guys have discussed this already and you guys have agreed already, but obviously what he agreed to and what he sees are two different things. I would be perfectly honest that you are trying but you feel like everything you do is criticized or even he raises his voice in front of the kids. I would ask him if he thinks he does yell at you in front of the kids? I would tell him you're trying to be a united front with him in front of the kids but that seems to not be working.
If you really love him and you really want this to work I would begin trying to approach him with caution like this. If things continue even after you've talked then there's still plenty of time to yell and scream at each other. But do you honestly see yourself yelling and screaming with him forever? Over kids that aren't yours? And this is over seemingly minor issues such as how you guys want to parent together, not to mention baby mama drama (I've had plenty of that!!) or court issues or other things that come up as you continue to raise these kids...

eshaw85's picture

I am a brand new step parent. My boyfriend has 3 kids between two marriages and I don't have any bio children. My whole life I have been wanting children of my own, but have been unable to have any. Honestly this whole adjustment has been difficult for me.

Trying to look at it through the mature point of view our biggest challenge has been getting onto the same page for how we want to parent the children. When I try to discipline the children according to what we discussed, my boyfriend will get angry and yell at me in front of the kids (which I told him I didn't want to do). My upbringing is completely different from what his was (I had been adopted by a man who raised 6 kids in the 60's and my mom was military) and my boyfriend uses that against me when we discuss things. His complaint is that I am "too strict" with the kids when I tell them to finish their meal or else they can't have a snack, ect.

Honestly I just don't know what to do. I'm frustrated because I want to be a good step mom to the kids but yet everything I have done gets criticized. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Steps on my toes's picture

I was brought up the same way. I am in the same boat. New as well. 2 kids two mums. I am too strict (ha) as well. He lets his girls get away with anything. "We only see them weekends I don't want them to hate coming here". We got a new house so they can have their own rooms which when I have enough kids to fill them the two of them can share a room. To make you feel any bit better it will bite your partner in the butt in the long run. What kid gets an iPad. What kid gets "no bedtime". They ask me for something I say no and dad gives it to them. Its a losing battle. I can't do anything but vent. Weekends are a jail sentence to me now. I look forward to work on Mondays. I hope it gets better. I am adjusting as well. And it's nice to know there are people going through the same

On a lighter note. I said no running in the house. My evil skid doesn't listen runs into the corner of the kitchen island and it takes her down because it's sits eye level. She cries bloody murder for her dad. I said "hunny I told you not to run and that's why" Karma

bd-sm's picture

In absolutely the same boat here.
2 skids, two mothers, zero rules.
DH is quite open about the fact that he treats them very differently to how he would if they were FT, and excuses any shitty behavior with "Well, they're just excited to be here!". He's desperate to try for one of our own - and then what, have two different sets of rules because "They're only here on the weekends and a few nights a week, they shouldn't have to hear no or be told off"?

I'd cut my own tubes with cheese-wire before I'd let my kids be raised the way he raises his, or to have them call those little horrors siblings.

HopeFalls's picture

Putting all your time, energy and love into something and someone and having it not valued at all. Being expected to take care of children financially, emotionally etc but when the important decisions come you are just a passenger. I could go on and on Wink

IsItJustInMyHead's picture

I also cannot begin to describe how much I relate. Although I've never been married, I was with my ex for five years. We had fun. Went out, went to baseball games, and so many other adventures. But I was always the one paying, cleaning, cooking, yard work, and running errands. He could never hold down a job and would party with friends as I stayed home. It stressed me out. I was a college graduate with a Masters! I loved him but thought that I was being used and deserved better. There were other issues. Like, he always pressured me to have a kid with him. He even had the name of our first daughter picked out. I wanted to have a family but knew I wouldn't be able to handle everything if my ex didn't step up his game.

Now, I've been with a responsible guy for the last year. We met online. He has a career and owns his own house. His son (three at the time) accompanied us on our first date. Although I thought it strange that he wanted to bring his son, we ended up hitting it off. We spent more and more time together. And I thought it was going to be great. He asked me to move in at 6 months (I had been living with my sister and her boyfriend). I moved in at 8 months and since then have noticed a change. BF rarely touches me or verbalizes his love or appreciation of me. And his son has started being disrespectful to me (slapping me, clawing me, sticking his tongue out, telling me to go back to my house). I work with kids. I know that there have been a lot of changes in his young life. I try not to interrupt their weekends together. However, his son will seek me out to be a punk. Most of my weekend is spent working at my desk in the garage. Boyfriend and his son never want to do anything but watch TV and build train tracks. I've talked to boyfriend how I'm feeling uncomfortable and he's responded with "you need to stop being insecure". Maybe I am...but how am I supposed to feel when I'm either a third wheel or completely ignored? I've spent the last three weeks wishing I had my own child to kiss, cuddle, play with and love the way my boyfriend has his.

It hurts to know my ex has found what appears to be a great girl and is planning to get married (they've been together three months). I'm the one that ended our relationship because I wanted something more balanced and healthier. I'm not sure if I've found that. Maybe had I worked harder with my ex we could have made it. Maybe I need to let go of my past and work harder in this relationship. Or...I need to end it all. I know I could be happy by myself. But I would hate to have a second relationship in which I feel I wasted something good.

SugarSpice's picture

"Now, I've been with a responsible guy for the last year. We met online. He has a career and owns his own house. His son (three at the time) accompanied us on our first date."

I-m so happy this was the red flag.

you are not insecure. you need the be put first as the woman in this mans life. this seems so typical. your boyfriend, by paying all this attention to his son, is enmeshing the young man. he needs to find friends his own age and treat you as his partner and equal. its good that you are not married to this man. let this new woman absorb all the heartache she has coming. he is immature and not ready to commit to an adult relationship.

BethAnne's picture

Questioning my desire to become a parent because I've already tasted it and I can see that it isn't all perfect and I am not a perfect mother figure, but knowing that even if I don't have a child of my own, I still have over a decade to go of raising someone else's child.

Teresa_kaz's picture

Having to accept the fact that this was not my choice. I never wanted kids, and would have been perfectly happy to remain child free.

SugarSpice's picture

then worst thing is always being the last priority for everyone. its like we are the afterthought.

JennMarie1008's picture

in a relationship with a man 10 years old then I am. He has an 8 yr old daughter.
he gets mad at me because I view the child a little differently then other people do.
I honestly see her as a walking peace of the past. Like when you get into relationship, you know for
a fact that he/she has a past & I feel like that child is a constant reminder of that.
She didn't just fall out the sky, you obviously had to have had unprotected relations with the mother.
I never wanted to be a stepmom but when I was getting to know him I fell for him and she wasn't really around. After we got together I found out he had joint custody of the child ....50-50.... and I kinda was just stuck in the situation cause I fell inlove with him. But I don't wanna share him with that little girl. simply bc she not mine. I kinda almost feel bad cause as much as try to change that thought...it never will .

notbelievingthelies's picture

I'm sorry that you are not being appreciated the way that you should be. It's sounds to me like a problem with your SO. Have you tried talking to him about it? I would not be cool with that at all! Beee

notbelievingthelies's picture

I don't have time to read through all these posts, but I want to comment and keep this thing alive! I've been looking for support in this new step-parenting thing, mostly as it relates to crazy biomoms, but I, too, am a childless step mom! I was married for 16 years with no kids and wanted to be a mom for most of those years. I am now in a committed relationship with a man who has two biological sons (7 & 10) and two adopted daughters (5 & 6) who have special needs (wheelchair bound, in diapers, responsive but not communicative). God has a really funny sense of humor! I love them dearly and it's a huge commitment to take on that responsibility, but you can only imagine the kind of criticism I get. Not only am I not a mom, but I'm expected to be a nurse! She constantly makes comments about me not being a mom like it's a negative thing. This coming from the woman who had two children from two different men before my SO married her and gave her four children and then got herself knocked up again by her live in "fiancee" less than a year after their divorce was final. No, I'm not a mom. I'm a responsible person who can support herself and doesn't need a sugar daddy! She gripes about the smallest things that I do with the kids, but is trying to make her "fiancee" the kids full-time father figure and says crap like he's a "real man". First of all, he's a 27 year old kid who is 14 years younger than her and moved away two hours away from his own toddler kid! Between the two of them, they will have EIGHT kids, two who are severely disabled! She would love for my SO to disappear, but be isn't going to. He is fighting for his rights as a father and she had grossly underestimated me and my ability to support him as a parent and give those kids a stable, drama free household, albeit on a part-time basis, at least for now. I'm not believing the lies. I'm believing God!

dog lover 2015's picture

I hate every moment that SS6 is around. I hate to spend my time, my freedom, my money on him...
He's a good kid, but I just can't stand close to him.
He has the same ugly eyes that his mother, and every time that I look at him, I can see that women.

edgrolvr's picture

The hardest thing about being a childless stepmom...
My situation is a little special because my new family is French and I'm American. This enhances my feeling of being an outsider sometimes. My husband and I were both with our ex-spouses for 17 years. h He had 2 children with his ex-wife and I had no kids with my ex-husband because he never wanted any and I foolishly stayed with him for 17 years. Now I'm finally with the right man but at the wrong time - he already has the two children he always wanted and we're in our mid-40's. I'm never going to have any children of my own. I moved from the U.S. to France to start my life with him and I'm very happy about my choice. His daughter, 9, and his son, 15, have thankfully accepted me and even like me. The hardest things:
1) fitting into a new family without speaking the kids' language...I came to France speaking no French. 2 years later I'm conversational so it's manageable.
2) having the ex-wife constantly in the picture, which is natural since the kids live full time with her and only come to us every other weekend. She doesn't acknowledge my existence because the divorce wasn't her choice and she doesn't want to be around me. She doesn't say anything directly bad about me, but the kids aren't blind and I know they pick up on the vibe. So when the kids are with my husband and I for a long vacation, for instance, and her daughter wants to Skype with her mom, there's a global expectation that I disappear out of sight to make everyone else comfortable. I sort of feel like I live in her/their world: her kids, their memories, their old haunts, their everything.
3) He and his ex-wife went everywhere and did everything in France while they were married, so nearly everywhere we go already holds some old family memory which my husband and his kids and their friends will talk about: "remember when we all did this".... and/or some old photo will come out that includes my husband, his ex-wife, and their kids.
There's so much more but in summary, none of them get how painful and overwhelming it is for me to be bombarded constantly with the reminders that I'll never have children, and even worse is the constant feeling that I completely wasted 17 years of my life with my ex-husband whereas my husband and his ex-wife at least created children... Sad

Superstarfish's picture

The hardest part is .... still wanting bio children after experiencing step children and step family life. Ahahahaaaa.

steelgirl92's picture

I think the hardest thing for me is the self doubt.

SD11 is spoiled and babied. She gets EVERYTING she asks for both on Christmas and Birthdays. If something from her "wish list" is missing when she opens presents the first thing out of her mouth when asked how she liked everything is "Yeah, but I didn't get..." I don't think I have ever heard her thank DH for anything in the 2.5 years we have been together. It drives me up the wall.
I struggle most with the babying. She is 11 and still follows us around the house like a puppy. If we step outside to do yard work she follows us outside and then complains that we are outside. She has to be constantly reminded to flush the toilet, pick up after herself, and even shower. She won't even pour her own milk for cereal. There have been some weekends that DH will leave the house to run an errand and I will stay with her, once, I went to the bathroom and came out and found her sitting outside the door waiting on me. Most weekends that she is with us she has a crying meltdown at least one night because she doesn't want to sleep in her room (thanks to BM who still sleeps with her every night). She even still says she believes in Santa...
But because I have no children of my own it's hard to judge what is normal and what isn't. And because DH has never lived with her full time I think it's hard for him to see it at all. So when we talk about it, and he disagrees with me, I doubt myself. I wonder if I'm just being petty. Because all I know is what I feel in my gut.
It's like walking into a job you've never been trained for, and just being expected to do it. Nothing about it is easy.

steelgirl92's picture

I think the hardest thing for me is the self doubt.

SD11 is spoiled and babied. She gets EVERYTING she asks for both on Christmas and Birthdays. If something from her "wish list" is missing when she opens presents the first thing out of her mouth when asked how she liked everything is "Yeah, but I didn't get..." I don't think I have ever heard her thank DH for anything in the 2.5 years we have been together. It drives me up the wall.
I struggle most with the babying. She is 11 and still follows us around the house like a puppy. If we step outside to do yard work she follows us outside and then complains that we are outside. She has to be constantly reminded to flush the toilet, pick up after herself, and even shower. She won't even pour her own milk for cereal. There have been some weekends that DH will leave the house to run an errand and I will stay with her, once, I went to the bathroom and came out and found her sitting outside the door waiting on me. Most weekends that she is with us she has a crying meltdown at least one night because she doesn't want to sleep in her room (thanks to BM who still sleeps with her every night). She even still says she believes in Santa...
But because I have no children of my own it's hard to judge what is normal and what isn't. And because DH has never lived with her full time I think it's hard for him to see it at all. So when we talk about it, and he disagrees with me, I doubt myself. I wonder if I'm just being petty. Because all I know is what I feel in my gut.
It's like walking into a job you've never been trained for, and just being expected to do it. Nothing about it is easy.

SugarSpice's picture

the hardest thing about this was that my husband thought his children were perfect and could do not wrong. as a teacher who taught every age from kindergarten to high school, i knew all the tricks children try to pull over adults.

dh was clueless. they would lie to his face and hed smile like an idiot and reinforce it by saying oh you little fibber mcgee.

he also put the skids ahead of me in most things. for instance he had family expenses (supporting elderly mother) and said our wedding anniversary gifts would have to be frugal. i was ok with that.

then he blows five hundred dollars on sd sports equipment as a "just because" gift. no birthday or special occasion, just because.

you better believe i exploded in his face. he did not do that after wards.

Icy's picture

The hardest thing for me is that I NEVER WANTED CHILDREN. I worked very hard to arrange my life so that there was absolutely no children coming from my nether regions. In order for me to be with someone who has children I always told myself that the person would have to be extremely exceptional both in the way they treat me and the type of parent they are, and that the children would have to be older, either out of the house or nearly so. And he is, and they are. But I sometimes want to remind everyone around me (my friends, his parents, the kids, and yes, sometimes even him) that I am not impressed. I am not impressed with the things the kids do,or say, I don't care if it is their birthday, don't care if you think they walk on water, I don't care. I am polite to people's faces and inside I just don't care. I want them out of this house so I can move on with the life I had planned and I hope it happens. When you are a non bio-kid-having step parent you pay for other people's choices constantly, and it is wearing on you, emotionally, physically and financially.

Tayyay7's picture

I understand what you're saying about wearing on you emotionally. You would feel different if they were your biological kids but they aren't. You shouldn't be expected to feel or act as if they were your own. I don't care what anyone says, we don't have an obligation to step kids. It's a choice we make..out of want,not obligation. Don't feel bad for how you feel, this isn't easy.

Major Blunder's picture

Blindly agreeing at the beginning to do everything a regular Dad would do, slowly watch as what was your life slips away and you fade into the background and never getting the appreciation or recognition that at least you feel you deserve.

Tayyay7's picture

The most challenging part is feeling excluded and not being taken seriously when it comes to suggestions with parenting. My husband has a 6 year old daughter and an ex wife who makes life for us rather difficult sometimes. Not having any biological children of my own allows the ex to question every suggestion I make or any input I give when asked for input regarding certain situations. My husband has told me that he wants no more children and that right now he wouldn't even consider having children with me because I haven't proved to him that I'm even capable of being a mother. We've been married for two months and we're dating two years prior to getting married. I'm not trying to sound like a cry baby but not having my own kids is apparently an issue in regards to my husband and his ex questioning my abilities as a stepparent. They expect me to parent their daughter but have questioned me heavily when I do as they expect me to.

BethAnne's picture

Wow that is disgusting for your husband to tell you that you have to prove your mothering abilities on his kid before he is willing to bestow the honor of having his child. I just don't know how I would go on after hearing that from my husband. He sounds awful. Did his ex have to meet similar standards before they had a child? How were his parenting skills pre-fatherhood. What are they like now? He is wrong on so many levels.

CLove's picture

That is an extremely challenging part for me as well. I raised a dog from puppyhood - that is the extent of my skills, and he said I failed at that when I left my ex (and did not take the dog). Oh well! I am told "you don't have kids so you cant really talk about these things". This is when I suggest being consistent in giving rules and following up to make sure that the rules are followed.

Its like, you cant say to kids: "sometimes you can do x" and then "no, you cannot do X RIGHT NOW", then "never do X!!!!". Or better yet, "always pick up after yourself or I will bag the stuff you leave out", and then they leave stuff out and you clean up after them. When I mention consistency might help, I get shot down.

As to capability-proving, I would say that there is definitely a deeper issue at play there...

lenp2's picture

I feel like my needs, desires, wants go unheard much of the time. I feel powerless, threatened and insecure at times. I know that sounds weak, but it's honest. My BF is fiercely loyal and protective of his ex and I still sometime times feel like an outsider.

lenp2's picture

I feel like my needs, desires, wants go unheard much of the time. I feel powerless, threatened and insecure at times. I know that sounds weak, but it's honest. My BF is fiercely loyal and protective of his ex and I still sometime times feel like an outsider.

Abby310w's picture

There are many difficulties for me in being a childless stepmom, but the hardest part for me is frustration in not being able to participate in raising the child. My SS was 7 when I met DH and he was a total nightmare. I nearly broke up with him because I couldn't deal with the child. BM didn't believe in discipline and DH was afraid to discipline for fear of ramifications from her so he was out of control. We married when SS was 10. DH only saw son maybe overnight on weekends. BM had remarried the guy she cheated on in marriage to DH when SS was 2 and SD raised SS. BM insisted SS call SD "Dad" and pretty much excluded DH from things having to do with SS. DH was supposed to have SS overnight every weekend but if he came over twice a month, it was rare. When SS was visiting it appeared to me SS had a reading/learning disability. I mentioned my concerns to DH which were dismissed as being jealous of child or didn't know what I was talking about because I wasn't a mother. I wanted to be a mother but had 4 miscarriages and when it was determined I couldn't carry a child to term, spent $$$ on trying to adopt which was unsuccessful. I suggested to DH that SS needs tutoring and it was ignored. Fast forward to today, SS is 20, is entitled (by BM not DH), never worked, and is in his 3rd year of community college but is still considered a freshman because he has to repeat at least one class every semester. SS has no ambition or drive because BM gives him everything and anything he wants. SS and DH bowl every week in a league which is only contact DH has with his son. I rarely see SS; maybe once every 6 mos to year.

Frustrating to me that if I had a hand in raising him, he'd be a much different child, one whose learning/educational needs were met, he'd be a responsible adult. Equally frustrating is that DH now says he wishes he would have listened to me years ago.

sunshinex's picture

I think for me, it's all the effort I put in without being appreciated. I really enjoy my SD and love my family, but it really hurts when I hear her praise BM because she's barely been there. She hasn't done anything whatsoever for the girl, and I've done everything. I'm the one who puts her to bed, helps her practice reading, does her hair, gets her birthday party setup, buys her christmas gifts, everything a mom would do but I don't get the recognition of being a mom; BM gets all the praise while I get nothing.

My husband is great at acknowledging everything I do, but it's really, really hard. I recently miscarried and it makes it even worse. I can't help but wish I had a baby and put all that effort into the baby so I could at least be appreciated and acknowledged as "mom" in exchange for all the work I put in.

sadiefrost's picture

The hardest thing for me is the jealousy. I feel left out all maybe 80% of the time they are here. If I had kids, I think I'd be able to empathise with how he feels towards them

Jersey Not So Sure's picture

Feeling like a second class citizen in your own home.
Taking care of all household chores and basically being treated like a nanny/maid.. minus the pay or appreciation.
Sometimes feeling like a single mom without bearing any children.
Wondering who the bigger child is.. the SO or the SD.. and wondering how they would get by if I just up and left.

CLove's picture

Lately I have been having 'baby-itis' in that I am having many many regrets. I have been daydreaming about the "what ifs", and everytime something comes up with Skids, I tend to think "I would have done THIS".

For example, my SD17 might/might not graduate high school, and has no permit/does not know how to drive. I would have had that permit earned and driving lessons every weekend. Or nutrition. SD17 does not eat meat. She does not eat well to compensate. I am into nutritional foods, and veggies and would have taught her how to cook. Oh! what fun we could have. Current SD17, the last time I asked her to help me, was snotty and rude. Eventually she got into it, but she does not prepare meat...

I would say the hardest thing is that I feel like I really would have been a good mother to my child if I had the chance. So when I see the SD's and the things they are missing/not doing/doing wrong, it makes me sad. Their mother is nice to them, and takes them to the dr when needed. But also takes them out for fast food and doesn't take them out to do things, things that really matter (I like to volunteer my time if I can). BM allows them to exist on their laptops playing videos/games. She doesn't take them to park or museums or activities.

Also, not being able to have a valid opinion about anything to do with children solely because I am childless. Honestly it doesn't take a masters in child psychology to know that a kid will do what you allow them to. Not being valued for a valid opinion.

The list is long....its all hard.

0328sac's picture

That last comment about parenting not being rocket science. SO.TRUE.Yet when the child is yet another entitled millenial,no knows why??? :?

Hikinggal's picture

I have an easy question to this. The hardest thing for me is knowing that he shared pregnancy, childbirth and raising kids with HER (the ex). It made me physically ill when I thought about it for a few years, I am just NOW getting to a peaceful point of acceptance with it all.

His kids are adults (22, 26; we met three years ago). So I don't feel I am a true "step parent." I am sure they see me more as "their dad's wife." BUT they do make it possible for me to be a "Gramma" to their kids and for that I am thankful.

Luckily for me my husband's world does not revolve around his kids. He puts our life first and foremost. I actually wish he would want to spend more time with the grandkids, but he likes our world and to protect our weekends for our own activities.

mapitout's picture

The hardest thing is that DH and SKIDS sometimes resort to the thinking that because you never had kids, you know nothing about having kids. Maybe you knew enough to realize that you didn't want that lifestyle, maybe you couldn't, maybe you know a boatload because you're educated, maybe they're making excuses for their own shortcomings! I say, grow up already!

Cecilia's picture

One of the worst things for me is that if my husband and I divorce I lose my whole family. If you have your own kids at least you still have them no matter what.

Acratopotes's picture

Cecilia - you are not loosing your whole family Hon.... they never where your family, the skids did not like you,

if there's a SIL or some one you are friends with, you can still be friends with, and you can get animals to keep you company.....

StressedOutLove's picture

My girlfriend has her tubes tied, and the doctors said she would die if she tried to have another kid. So the worst thing is for me that I may never children of my own.

Loxy's picture

I think the hardest thing about being a step-mum without your own bio kids is that you don't get to have the life of someone without kids so it's a lose/lose situation.

I took on my skids with the knowledge that I would have my own kids. Fast forward a decade later and years and years worth of unsuccessful fertility treatments and I'm now a few months away from 40 and childless. And yet I've spent a decade sacrificing my time, effort, privacy, space and money for someone else's kids. That now makes the last decade feel like a complete waste of what should have been some of the best years of my life. It also makes the next decade feel the same as my skids are only 11 and 12 so the responsibility stretches on and through the worst years to come.

People without kids get to live a life of selfishness - dinners out all the time, travel, total freedom. It's one thing to forgo that life for you own kids or a package deal of your own and skids but to do it ONLY for someone else's kids is honestly the worst job in the world!

0328sac's picture

Yessss!! Youre going through the motions of a parent without the kickbacks. Fuuuhgettabout it!

Loxy's picture

As a side note, I ended up pregnant just before I turned 40 and am due in June this year so knowing that I'll be able to raise my own child alongside my skids has really helped my resentment levels - although doesn't change the fact that I spent the last decade sacrificing for them!

strugglingSM's picture

The constant judgment is what gets to me the most. I was childless by choice before I met DH. I had a fun cosmopolitan life in the city, with lots of travel for fun, and a great network of friends. My DH has two sons and had been divorced for three years by the time I met him. Instead of being happy for DH that he found love (love which he never had with BM), his family was extremely judgmental of any trips we went on together that did not involve the kids, even though our travel did not happen on his visitation weekends. If he spent any money on me, MIL had an opinion on how he shouldn't be spending that much on me when he had his kids to support. DH pays his child support on time and provides everything the kids need. He was also spending all of his weekends constantly entertaining the kids. He spent far more on them then he did on me, especially because I paid for a lot of our travel expenses. Right before DH and I got married, MIL made a point of telling DH (in front of me) that he should make his brother the executor of his will to ensure his kids get what is rightfully theirs. Um, DH had nothing when I met him and has many years of life ahead of him, so why the talk of wills at all? DH told me that MIL said that because she was bitter at what her own stepmother got when her father died. There were also thoughts on where we should move, what extra things we should provide for the kids, where we should take them on vacation, etc. If these were my own children, I could tell my MIL not to tell them how DH and I should send them to an expensive camp, because MIL thought they would enjoy it or that MIL should not sign them up for things and then expect us to pay for those things. I could tell her not to "encourage" SS to partake in an expensive hobby that she likes, but for which neither BM nor DH have the money for. I wouldn't have to deal with DH's family who have decided they will reserve judgment about me because they are "just being protective of my SSs". I would not have to deal with a DH who thinks I'm being mean or selfish if I want some alone time when SSs are with us and insists I partake in every activity while they are here.

iamlosingit's picture

Hardest thing? Meeting a man who is a really great father, but knowing you guys can't afford a child of your own thanks to CS/child obligations and after dealing with all of the skid problems you start to question if having another child is even worth it.

Trying_my_best_'s picture

This hits very close to home. We are currently going through 3 court battles, I fell in love with a man who has two HC baby mama's and is so damaged by tehm emotionally (and financially) that he is terrified to consider having another child. I see him with both his ownkids and friends/families babies and it breaks my heart. I have always wanted kids and don't get me wrong I love his children but I have beenput in my place enoughto know they are not mine and will never be mine. There are great times still left to be had but I missed out on some of the best and will probably never get to experience them. And then there's mother's day....which falls directly after my birthday. Nothing like having your birthday go unacknowledged by the kids and then have to fake being supportive of them buyimg their horrible mpther's things to celebrate them.

Rags's picture

Dealing with the toxic influence of the shallow and polluted end of your SKid's gene pool.

RST's picture

Dealing with the bitterness that still exists years after my SO and his ex split, 3 years before I met him, had they not have had a child they would have just gone their separate ways and moved on Sad

SAFjh's picture

For me the hardest part is that I am expected to love these skids as if they were my own regardless of their behavior or what kind of people they are, but I am not supposed to have any say so in how they are raised. Bio-parents sometimes don't seem to understand that children are people too. They can be likeable or unlikeable, loveable or unlovable. Just because they are children...or teenagers doesn't mean they automatically deserve the love of somebody who had no hand in creating them. You wouldn't just expect somebody to like or love their co-workers if those people do nothing to earn those feeling. Watching my SO raise these skids in such a different way then I would raise kids of my own(if I had them) is hard enough but I am perceived as mean or heartless at times because I cannot bring myself to like or love people who are so selfish and disrespectful.

Inthemiddle2's picture

You could not have described this situation better!! I told my DH no one will ever feel the same way you do about your children. It is mentally and emotionally impossible. You created them they are part of YOU. And I cannot stand when someone’s says “you don’t understand, you don’t have any children’! Makes my hair stand up. I am a daughter! I have a mother that I am very close to, so trust me I understand the bond between a bio-parent and a child! This is how I know the dynamic between a step parent and a child is very different. I started off with very good intentions and really wanted to have a loving relationship with my step children but after several years of watching their disrespectful and obnoxious behavior I do not feel the same for them anymore. I can barely stomach SD18 and SD14 is now starting to go through the change. Sad Sad

strugglingSM's picture

You hit the nail on the head. My SSs are not required to do anything for themselves. They are in middle school, yet neither can use a knife and a fork and one even still gets help tying his shoes. If they get bad grades in school, it's always the teacher's fault. They are entitled, careless, demanding, and ungrateful. It's not their fault, neither BM nor DH really want to put in the work of parenting, because it's too difficult and they would both rather prefer that their children are just "happy" all the time and think they are both wonderful - not to mention the competition to be the "fun parent". I'm supposed to just let this all go and act as if it's not a big deal that our house is a mess after 2 days of SSs being there, that they get treats and outings even when they have low grades, that they are completely disrespectful. I'm just supposed to say, "well, I married their dad, so I guess that means I have to love them, too." I have zero control over how they are parented (or not parented), but still have to treat them as if they are family and be willing to sacrifice and give everything to them. Not only that, but for DH's family, if I don't act like SSs hung the moon, then I'm just the wicked stepmother they always suspected me of being. If I were BM, I'd be embarrassed at how my children act when they are out in public and if I were BM and DH, I'd be disappointed at how lazy and ungrateful my children are. I try not to say too much to DH because he always gets defensive and accuses me of being mean, but really, it's so frustrating. If I'm expected to play a "mother" role in their life, it shouldn't just be for all the good things. If I'm not allowed to expect certain behavior from them, then DH (and his family) shouldn't expect me to behave in certain ways. How many people don't love their mothers-in-law? The relationship with Skids is the same as the relationship with in-laws, just because one is younger, we're supposed to feel differently?

Loxy's picture

The expectation from bio parents that you will adore their kids because they do is indeed one of the hardest things to deal with as it's just so unrealistic and the bio parents never truly understands that. No one can understand how hard it is to even like (let alone love) skids unless you have experienced it.

You go on the journey of grief when you take on skids - first it's denial (everything is going to be perfect and happy) then reality hits and you become angry and then depressed at the situation you're in. And don't even get me started on the resentment. All of these heavy emotions make it almost impossible to bond with skids.

My DH is pretty good for the most part and understanding but he still makes comments regularly that suggest he thinks bio parenting and step-parenting are far more similar than they really are which annoys me.

I also know that DH feels constant disappointment and sadness about the fact that I just can't stand SD13. I do love SS11 - although that took a very long time to happen but I don't think I'll ever even like SD13, let alone love her and there's nothing I can do about that. You can't make yourself like someone you just don't like!

WesternGirl's picture

Loxy, I SO get what you are saying here. While I like all my SKIDs, I too realize that I will/can never feel about them the way DH does. So often, I feel he is disappointed in this, wants me to feel like a mom (and a grandmother to their kids), but I just can't. I also feel that he, since we got married, is trying to re-create what he lost...a happy, intact nuclear family. But it doesn't work like that, does it? So often I feel that, in us getting married, I wanted to make a different, new life, and he wanted to continue the life he had before, but with a new partner. After my first DH died of cancer, I had very unrealistic fantasies of a much easier, breezier life with my new spouse....and what I got was a marriage. A real marriage that needs a lot of patience, understanding, and flexibility on both our parts. WOW, is it hard.

WesternGirl's picture

I found this forum, and yay! Am remarried to a wonderful, divorced man after having lost my husband to cancer. Am childless, and my DH had several adult kids. The very most challenging things about our union now:

*DH feels that his divorce -- his wife left him and kids (but still lives nearby) -- damaged his children. I believe he now overcompensates for this, even though they are adults and doing well emotionally and financially. They all live in town, and two of the three have children now, with the third with a baby on the way. I constantly feel like I am competing for his attention and time and realize, with enormous pain, that his blood bonds with his children and grandchildren are stronger than our bond is. It absolutely kills me. He loves me, but our bond just isn't what his is with his family of origin.

*DH's ex-wife lives very close by. Now that grandchildren are in picture, she is very involved. I feel uber self-conscious as I have no exerience with babies and don't know how to change a diaper! DH and his ex started having their kids quite young, and DH is 7 years older than I. While he is over the moon re: being a grandfather -- and babies are darling -- I don't feel ready to be a "step grandmother." It feels like a role for someone older than I want to feel now. Virtually all of our neighbors where we live are older than I am and are also in the "new grandparent" phase of life and when gathered, talk of little else.

*I come from a divorced, dysfunctional family myself. When I see the love and care my DH gives his adult children and grandchildren, it brings up massive pain for me re: what I didn't get. Though I love and admire my DH for being such a devoted dad and grandfather, it still hurts. It's not rational...it's just there. I feel jealous, resentful, abandoned -- and hate myself for having these emotions. If I had had my own children, I think I could better understand the bond/dynamic DH has with his kids. This life situation has tested my self-image and self-esteem at a level I never thought possible.

*My DH and I have very different interests. We love each other, we just don't love all the same things. His dad-hood, plus this reality, make it even harder to establish a strong bond of our own. While we're on couch after dinner, I'm trying to talk about current events or tell him about the history I'm reading, and he's looking at pictures of grandbabies on smartphone. There is no way in h_ll I can "compete" with babies. It's impossible.

*DH also has siblings and an elderly father who live in town. This large family gets together a lot, and the vast majority of the conversation focuses on everyone's kids, their activities, and all the other people everyone but me knows. With me not a mom at all and with no history with these particular kids or the larger community, I have very little to nothing to say. I smile and nod and try to interject relevant remarks into conversations, but it gets old fast. This is a family of good,decent people, but often I feel like I just don't fit in. It is terribly lonely and frustrating.

*As a childless stepparent and a (relatively young) widow, I often perceive that others are thinking, "This new situation is great for her. She got an instant large, loving family. What more could anyone want?" Well, trying as a childless person (from a divorced, dysfunctional family) to fit into a large, stable family where everyone is focused almost exclusively on children is no easy task of adjustment. I don't think anyone ever fully realizes what they are getting into when they, if childless, marry a man with children whose entire extended family -- with children -- lives nearby. The SKIDS, grandchildren, and extended family connections make forging a new marital bond even harder than it would otherwise be. 

*In addition to the problems faced by trying to fit into a large family as a childless person come the inevitable challenges of caring for aging, ill parents -- his, close by, and mine, farther away. (In addition, I had cared for my grandfather, who raised me, for many years before his passing, and for my late DH, before HIS passing). Carving out time for the obligations of this care can take an enormous toll on a mid-life remarriage...especially for the partner -- me -- who was fantasizing about weekend trips, other travels, and lazy weekend mornings.

I had NO idea, in my excitement about finding love after my first husband's death, what it would feel like for a childless midlife woman to try to blend her fully formed life into that of a man whose primary identity was as a dad. NONE. As one commenter said above, though all parties are good, caring people, there is still loneliness and heartbreak for me way beyond what I could have imagined.

If only there were an instruction manual for adult life.

I would strongly urge any midlifers considering this kind of marriage to have open, extensive conversations with their partner about roles, wants, needs, etc., before you say, "I do." Maybe think about being lovers/companions without getting married? LAT, as it's now called: living apart together? Maybe this kind of arrangement would ease some of the loyalty binds and the practical difficulties. 

 

 

 

beastofburden's picture

you seem to have succinctly summerised so many of the complexities faced by us 'older' women without kids. Things I had never ever thought of or contemplated are now the things that I feel and I am reading about others experiencing the same felings and frustrations. I had never even considered how his kids could have such an impact on my future life...if they have kids... I cant be a grandparent!!! I dont even like kids!! I dont want that to be forced onto me, which it will just because he will want to see his grandkids all the time... Im so glad I have now had the opportunity to read about all this 'extra' scenarios tha I honestly would not have contemplated before... Its makingit easier for me to make the break with my partner as I am seeing that we re just not going to be compatible with our lifestyles... and I cnt change the fact that he has a bond with another family. It sucks. 

newoptions2's picture

Feeling rejected and not acknowledged. I wanted children with my partner, was literally told in many ways that my wife was open to it, then she changed her mind when I proposed we actually follow through with it. 

Then her acting like I should expect my SK to be like my own child, when in no way should my SK be beholden to me or my have any expectations of my SK. I will say, "I'm scared if you die before me and I am old, and get sick, I will have no one to take care of me" (I don't have a family, my mother adopted me single and she has no extended family) and my wife says that the SK "will take care of me". And my thought is "why should I expect that of the SK and put that on the SK?" Basically, the SK, who is almost 18, has stated out loud that she concerned with taking care of her BM and BF, but understandably doesn't think she is responsible for me (I came into her life in her early teens after her having her BF and a previous stepfather, so she was older and kind of done trying to latch onto another father).

I express these existential fears of not having a big family, which I wanted and thought she wanted too, that I will die alone, etc., and she just doesn't understand and doesn't want to spend much time on it because in many ways it sounds like I am rejecting her. And well, it's tough, I feel like she has gotten what I wanted and thought she wanted with me? And now she has changed her mind drastically and I am left alone to grieve alone.

It's super tough.