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Trouble reading the signals

lulu's mom's picture

Hi, all.  My SD30 has a 1 1/2 year old, who is sweet and delightful!  I like SD, and she does refer to me as her stepmom, although I had no part in raising her.  Although I am "Grandma Liz," I really feel like that's the extent of anything.  I do not receive groups messages sent to DH, BM and also SD's aunt (DH's sister).  I do not often get reply to text messages that I send from time to time just to say hello, love you all, would enjoy seeing what's going on, send a picture of the fam, etc.  DH brushes it off saying that she didn't see the text. SD and SIL Duo call a few times during the week so DH can interact with SGD and them.  Sometimes I am working from home (I am a teacher and still quite busy even though it's quarantine), so I totally do not expect to be summoned from work.  But nobody ever asks if I'm free and I would like to say hello or to have SGD see me or anything.  Sometimes I am sitting on the couch right next to DH.  He, of course, is unperturbed and sometimes will try to include me in the conversation (which I totally appreciate), but it's always awkward because everyone stops talking and I'm just waying hello to the camera and trying to say hi and give a little love to the SGD.  Every since SD and SIL got married, I've remembered their anniversary, their birthdays, SGD's birthday, baptism, and sent books and gifts (which I never saw when I visited their home last Christmas).  I have backed off on sending gifts because I'm not sure they are welcome (as in I'm not every told that they arrived safely or thanked).  Although DH tells me that I should do/be however I want, I know that's not reality and it's easier for him to say that because he believes I find it supportive.  

What I really want to know is the straight-up truth.  All of this stuff is confusing and makes me sad.  The straight-up truth might make me sad and hurt, but I"m already feeling like that.  I just want to know what to expect.

Next summer DH wants to plan a trip that would coincide with SD and family's trip.  I seriously do not want to go.  That's not like me-I totally embraced the whole stepfamily thing but now I'm feeling myself want to withdraw from this particular aspect of it.  My family of origin consists of my mother, who lives with my sister and her family, with whom my relationship has been held at a distance as well.  I would prefer to see my mom for a few days than spend time with SD and family, especially if BM#1 is there because she's a competitive grandparent who works very hard to be THE ONE TRUE GRANDMOITHER.  I'm not playing into that.  No time for drama.

So I guess my questions are these:

1. Do I ask DH to talk to SD and get the straight-up low-down on what role she sees me playing in SGD's life and with her family?

2. Do I spend time with my mom (who is 80) this summer or go on a trip that will likely make me feel awkward and marginalized?

Thanks for reading.


Disillusioned's picture

Go spend time with your Mom

Your SD doesn't soiund like she is welcoming...and believe me she may even like you and it has nothing to do with you, it's just the way these situations go

It may in the end be simple loyalty to BM

Go visit your family, see and do what you like, and don't play into the SD/BM drama any longer

Merry's picture

I love my stepgrands like crazy. But I'm an outsider. DH and I have been married 15 years so it won't change. SD and I are cordial, even friendly sometimes. I enjoy the kids when I see them, but DH is responsible for remembering birthdays, buying gifts, etc. And he sucks at it. But I won't make it my problem.

Pick spending time with your Mom. I miss mine every day.  

lulu's mom's picture

I miss my mom like crazy. I lost my dad in 2013, so I know that time is important. It was my gut instinct to do that but had that niggling doubt. 

I've been on the outside of things my whole life, including my own family. I don't think I'll ever belong somewhere. 


StrawberryPie's picture

Visit your mom. We only get so much time with our parents - make the moments and memories. 

Rags's picture

People teach us how they feel about us and how to treat them.  Please, embrace the lessons they keep delivering and you refuse to learn.