Disengaging from my stepchild when I have friends that are parents.
I am starting my disengaging journey with my stepdaughter with varying levels of success. I'm down to one to two days of doing before and after school a week. I hope to make it one day a week permanently when the opportunity arises. I've made it known I am completely disinterested in hearing about any custody drama. I am getting better at feeling less guilty about spending time alone. Im focusing on my career not being the full time mum and breadwinner. It's all going well.
But my friends have children and look at things from the birth parent point of view. I don't talk to them about my disengaging but there's often a "we should catch up with the kids" comment at the end of our coffee catch ups or brunches. I'm not completely opposed to this but I don't know how it works with disengaging. I'm trying to get my life back and my friends who are parents naturally assume I love being a stepparent. One of them actually said "I'm so glad you get to have this experience." Recently I reconnected with an old friend. She asked about my life and I gave her the update. She asked about my stepdaughter and of course I had some good things to say about her and I didn't go into how horrible she is to me. We talked about catching up more often and then there was that comment again...let's get the kids together next time. She has a boy the same age. They would probably get along - they seem to be into the same things. But I have to pretend all day everyday at home. Seeing my friends is an escape where I get to be me. Plus I think my closest friends would be able to see I am not relishing the role of stepmum. I've never told them I love it or made out it was wonderful - they kind of just assumed and I stayed quiet. I think the most critical thing I've ever said is that it can be challenging.
I'm not even really sure what I am asking here. But there's something about this I don't quite know how to manage.