Templeton21's picture

Looking for resources...

I am going through a situation right now that has me at my wits end with my SO and my SD. I googled blended family to see if there were any good sites to help me out and came across this...

http://www.joydigitalmag.com/everyday-life/the-blended-family-dealing-wi...

Maybe I am wrong but I find this disturbing. It basically says that a step mom should be submissive to her Skids and SO and suck up all the negative that comes with being a step mom and understand how hard the divorce was on the Skids. Jawdropping!

Templeton21's picture

Exactly! I'm glad I have

Exactly! I'm glad I have this site to reference as well! LOL

ctnmom's picture

Oh God that is rich!

Oh God that is rich!

ybarra357's picture

Not too surprising

Not too surprising considering the source.

That's no moon, it's a space station!

Templeton21's picture

LOL, yes, always consider the

LOL, yes, always consider the source! I figured I would just share all this insight and help all the stepmothers here! Smiling

ESMOD's picture

Honestly, if you strip away

Honestly, if you strip away the fact that the POV seems to be that of a BM..lol, a lot of the advice is not too far off point.

Trying to have empathy and see things from someone else's point of view can help ease resentment.

Templeton21's picture

I do agree that seeing things

I do agree that seeing things from someone else's point of view can help ease resentment and some of the information could be useful. I just think it was strongly biased and seemed to portray the step mom as the bad guy. I thought it seemed like the POV from a Disney Dad!

hereiam's picture

It basically says that a step

It basically says that a step mom should be submissive to her Skids and SO and suck up all the negative

That's not really what it said at all.

Templeton21's picture

Well how did you interpret

Well how did you interpret it?

secret's picture

I didn't get that at all,

I didn't get that at all, either.

I got that the stepmom shouldn't go into the blended family life thinking it's all going to work out - because she has expectations that might be different than those of the father, or of the children. I also got that to avoid conflict, SM should respect that they had a life/roles/responsibilities/rules/whatever before she came along, and that just because she's also now joint head of household, she doesn't simply have the right to dictate to everyone how it's going to be from this point forward

I got that if SM doesn't want negativity with the kids, maybe she shouldn't come into the blended family life with proverbial guns blazing, and should try to remain the outisder when it comes to parenting the kids...that she should remain disengaged from parental responsibilities...or she risks resentment from all sides... it's saying that she might deal with a disney daddy who doesn't want to risk the love of his kids by refusing to discipline....

It's basically saying - leave the parenting to dad if you want to be a happy wife. It's saying - disengage or risk divorce.

es stört mich nicht

Templeton21's picture

Hmmm, maybe I should read it

Hmmm, maybe I should read it again. It really didn't come across that way to me. Maybe as a stepmom I am just biased in my opinion.

DaizyDuke's picture

Me neither. I thought most

Me neither. I thought most of those pointS were quite normal and generally what those with lots of experience preach around here? Puzzled

•Doesn’t pretend that a second marriage is the same as a first, and she doesn’t expect everyone to be happy- ALL TOO COMMON ERROR, THINKING YOU'LL BE LIKE THE BRADY BUNCH
•Acknowledges that it’s normal to love stepchildren differently than biological kids- HOW MANY TIMES HAVE ALL GOTTEN TICKED AT A MAN WHO EXPECTS SM TO LOVE KIDS AS HER OWN??
•Takes time to understand children who are coping with loss and loyalty conflicts- YES BUT WITHOUT LETTING THEM WALK ALL OVER YOU
•Recognises that children often feel disloyal to the biological mom if they treat their step-mom kindly- TOTALLY HAPPENS
•Doesn’t step hastily into her husband’s parenting role, even when he refuses to- YEP, WE ALWAYS SAY LEAVE DISCIPLINE TO DAD
•Respectfully discusses issues about the children privately with her husband- YEP- COMMON SENSE?
•Is prepared. She isn’t naive or ambushed by complex stepfamily issues and is flexible to cope with matters that she didn’t see coming- SOMETHING I WAS NOT AND WISH THAT I WAS. NEVER IN A MILLION YEARS DID IT CROSS MY MIND THAT SKIDS WOULD WANT TO COME AND LIVE WITH US UNTIL SKID WAS ON MY DOORSTEP
•Has a strong support system with other women who share her values- UM DUH.. STEP TALK!
•Tries to be at peace with the biological mom and asks God to help her see things from the biological mom’s viewpoint- I GET THIS, I MEAN I DO THIS WITH LOTS OF PEOPLE.. NOT JUST BM
•Does not try to become a replacement mother to children who already have one, nor does she insist that the children call her mom- AGAIN HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE SAID, YOU ARE NOT THE PARENT SO LET DAD OR BM HANDLE SKIDS
•Acknowledges that she may not see the fruit of her sacrifices until the children become adults- TRUE, THAT'S MY HOPE FOR MY SKIDS, THAT ONCE THEY FIGURE OUT HOW TO ADULT AND BE PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY THAT THEY WILL SEE THAT'S ALL DH AND I WANTED FOR THEM
•Resists the negative label associated with being a stepmother- YEP COULDN'T CARE LESS WHAT PEOPLE THINK ABOUT ME AS A SM

ღIt's all fun and games until someone doesn't pick up on the sarcasm ღ
ツ I try to act nonchalant but underneath, I am chalant AF ツ

Templeton21's picture

I agree with your assessment.

I agree with your assessment. I think I definitely just interpreted the article differently. I had more issues with the paragraphs before and after the bullets. To me it felt like they were saying all will be fine and dandy as long as you are a doormat step mom. I'm also not religious so maybe that made me feel more biased towards the POV in which this was written.

Dovina's picture

Well considering the source

Well considering the source of the article written, the POV is skewed in that direction. It seems to place value on the first family, and SM expected to be empathetic to the childs turmoil. That in itself sounds reasonable, and taking in the childrens POV. But many of us know, that we are human and its hard to be empathetic if you are treated like dirt. Children thrive with boundaries and direction, in all areas of their lives. They survive and are expected to follow different rules at school, activities, extended families homes. They can certainly do this in the dads and SM home as well.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" ~ Albert Einstein

Templeton21's picture

I think the fact that it

I think the fact that it stated that the first family is more important is part of what bothered me. I have a child from a previous relationship as well so I do try to empathize with the children in that regard.

hereiam's picture

I didn't read it as saying

I didn't read it as saying the first family is more important. It is a fact that the children exist (and yes, were there first) and when marrying someone with kids, one cannot expect the spouse to take only the new spouse into consideration. If I had wanted my DH to move across the country, for example. I knew that all of my wants did not necessarily come first with him, he had a daughter to think about.

You cannot marry a person with kids and expect it to be the same as marrying someone who has no previous commitments. That's how I took it.

Templeton21's picture

Well this is the beauty of

Well this is the beauty of having this forum. I can read something and interpret it one way and then others offer insight and I can see things from their prospective as well. I did read the article again and see what you are saying.

Dovina's picture

Me too! It depends on your

Me too! It depends on your mindset while reading.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" ~ Albert Einstein

Templeton21's picture

Agreed and my mindset right

Agreed and my mindset right now is one that is fed up as being viewed as an evil step mom! LOL

Aniki's picture

I've decided that if the

I've decided that if the skids want to see me as the evil stepmother, it is THEIR problem. I know I'm a good person. I know I have gone above and beyond what plenty of others would have done. They want to put their skanky 'ho mother on the GUBM pedestal, they can go right ahead. In no way would I ever attempt to compete with a 'ho!!

I decided to stop reaching out. It's just asking to get my hand slapped. ~Aniki

The juice ain't worth the squeeze. ~SourGrapes

Shun her like an Amish chick who got caught wearing a thong. ~Echo

secret's picture

I didn't read that, at all,

I didn't read that, at all, or anything close to it - nothing about the first family being more important - I just re-read the article.

It does state that SM needs to realize that before she came along, the children were first in dad's life, but that often she expects to be placed first...in other words, a new SM often expects that her husband will stop putting his children first and put her first... and that the SM needs to acknowledge that a second marriage is not the same as the first marriage...

es stört mich nicht

Dovina's picture

I read it as an empathetic

I read it as an empathetic article to first family. The first point was the "negativity" brought in by SM and expecting to be placed first. My impression is this came from a Christian website where usually marriage is viewed as man and wife stand first and together then the children in the hierarchy. But that is only valued with the first family, and the consummation of a second marriage does not hold equal weight. Yes the children came before the SM, and yes their needs should be met. Of course an SM should expect to respect and fulfill the needs of the steps and adjust the family life accordingly. That's what reasonable SM's do, especially in the case of minors. I think we get caught up in what coming "first" means. That changes also depending on the age of the children. Of course this is just my humble opinion. Everyone reads and interprets differently.

"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result" ~ Albert Einstein

Templeton21's picture

Dovina, thank you, you

Dovina, thank you, you expressed what I was thinking perfectly and couldn't quite word it correctly.

Templeton21's picture

I went and read it again

I went and read it again also. I see your points.

Aniki's picture

^^Yep. SD21 has been milking

^^Yep. SD21 has been milking the "I'm a Child of Divorce, Feel Sorry for Me" for 10 years. She does NOTHING to try to move past it.

I decided to stop reaching out. It's just asking to get my hand slapped. ~Aniki

The juice ain't worth the squeeze. ~SourGrapes

Shun her like an Amish chick who got caught wearing a thong. ~Echo

Templeton21's picture

Exactly, I think as step

Exactly, I think as step mothers who have tried to empathize but are still dealing with crazy BMs and Disney Dads we know that some children learn to manipulate the empathy. That is my problem! Also what about the turmoil they cause us?! LOL!

hereiam's picture

its hard to be empathetic if

its hard to be empathetic if you are treated like dirt

True. My DH didn't, and does not, let his daughter treat me like dirt. She was taught to respect adults. Now that she is an adult, herself, she knows that she still has to respect me as her dad's wife. She knows that she is still not my peer, nor is she DH's.

And yes, it may be weird at first, following different rules at dad's house, but kids learn pretty quick what they can and cannot do and where. Shoot, my niece figured that out when she was a year old, between four or five sets of grandparents and various aunts and uncles. So, I don't agree with the article in that respect. Huge trauma from different rules is a little over the top!

advice.only2's picture

"True. My DH didn't, and does

"True. My DH didn't, and does not, let his daughter treat me like dirt. She was taught to respect adults. Now that she is an adult, herself, she knows that she still has to respect me as her dad's wife. She knows that she is still not my peer, nor is she DH's."

Awesome! Your DH was a true parent, he didn't elevate his child to the status of peer and allow her to walk all over him and his spouse! My DH allowed his daughter to be an equal and she never respected him or listened to him because she felt she was his equal.

Templeton21's picture

Well I wouldn't get carried

Well I wouldn't get carried away advice.only2, lol, he definitely still has flaws in some of his parenting or I wouldn't be here Eye-wink I do give him credit for the positives though! Also before anyone jumps the gun....I know I am not a perfect parent either and can learn from others!

Templeton21's picture

Ooops, I just realized you

Ooops, I just realized you weren't replying to my comment! LOL

Templeton21's picture

My SO doesn't let my SD be

My SO doesn't let my SD be outright disrespectful either and I appreciate that. My problem is that I see her manipulate situations between our house and BM's house and he acts as if she is completely innocent and would't ever do such a thing. I'm not saying my son is perfect either. He used to try to manipulate things between our house and his dad's as well. Like you said though kids learn pretty quickly what they can get away with in different homes/settings!

strugglingSM's picture

I think the tone of the post

I think the tone of the post is what makes it most offensive. It talks about how stepmothers feel negatively toward the children as if stepmothers are just being mean toward the children. It should explain that blended family relationships are complicated because family bonds don't exist between stepparents and children, leading to unmet expectations and frustrations on all sides.

I do disagree with the idea that the stepmother should come second in her husband's eyes. There are many researchers and psychologists who say that the wife should come first, even if she is the second wife, because that creates a functioning family dynamic, which is necessary in order to build a successful blended family.

I realize that the bio parent and stepparent may not always agree on which course of action to take with the children and the stepparent may have to make some sacrifices for the children that he/she wouldn't have to make if they were her biological children (e.g. not being able to move to a different state), but I think that a lot of the breakup of second marriages happen because the children are given excess power in the relationship because they are seen as "needing to come first."

Parenting by guilt doesn't help anyone. If children or parents are still working through the pain of a divorce, they should seek professional help to process through that, rather than trying to throw everything aside and make the children the center of the universe as a way to compensate for the divorce.