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Old 02-22-2013, 10:53 AM   #1
Dvcmbr09
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Looking for stepmoms out there

Looking for stepmom advice, support, stories and experience! I am not technically a stepmom, but I live with my boyfriend and his two teenage girls. We are so in love, we know we want to spend the rest of our lives together (we are both aware of reality of that statement, no one a fortune teller, it won't always be easy). Ok so, girls are 16, junior in HS, and 13, 8th grade. BF and ex have joint custody and were suppose to have the girls half the time each. But girls have never spent half there time at their moms, they don't want to because their moms dramatic and emotional outburst. It's hard for me to recap the situation. They were both going to moms every other weekend, then big dramatic fight between mom and oldest. Oldest stop going every other weekend and youngest kept going. Last spring youngest tried spend half her time at moms, she stopped after she was having stomach aches everyday, she was in the nurse office everyday, teacher called home concerned. BF and I always try to be respectful of their mom and support that its important they spend time with her. We speculate she not so respectful towards us all the time in front of girls, based on the way she talks about other people (gossipy and negative) The oldest does spend sometime with her mom, and recently more and more time, but we do suspect that her mom paying for tank of gas every other week has something to do with it. When I introduced to the girls just under two years ago oldest had horrible relationship with her mom and was slightly open to having me around due to that. But she never been crazy about her dad dating, having a relationship with some other women. Her attitude has been changing over past 6 months or so. It seems to line up with the break up with her long term bf and started hanging out with female friends. She is very dramatic and emotional. She has a very good head on her shoulders but recently been showing less of that and more attitude. We realize a lot of this just normal teenage behavior and we painfully aware she spoiled brat and that we both contributed to that (and that was started before me)
I am just looking for other step parents out there that going through or have gone through similar situation, step parent with teenagers.
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:09 AM   #2
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I've been a step parent for 28 years to two very nice young men. They were 5 and 8 when I married their father. He had joint custody with a 50-50 split (we started where they changed houses every 2 days but when they became young teenagers we went to every other week).

My experience: I love them unconditionally. I am married to their father but I am not their parent. I stayed out of the relationship between my husband and their mother and I let them parent their children. My husband and I had conversations in private on occasion but never in front of the kids. I supported the decisions they made. I did not attend things like parent-teacher conferences but I did go to sporting events and social events like that.

We have vacationed together as a family, including their mom and step father. There's never been any drama and I have counted my blessings every day that my husband's ex-wife is the nicest woman on the planet. In fact, when my son marries (he is engaged) she will be sitting in the front row with me because my son was always included in the combined family so my husband's ex-wife is like a stepmom to him!!!!

My stepsons are both married and I have grandchildren now. My husband and I are divorcing after 28 years but my relationship with my stepsons and their families will not be affected by this.
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Old 02-23-2013, 05:49 PM   #3
Dvcmbr09
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Thank you for experience and advice. Sorry to hear your marriage is ending but good to hear your relationship still with your stepsons. Best wishes with your new chapter in your life!
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Old 02-23-2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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I have three older step children 22, 19, and turned 18 this week. I have known them since they were 5,6 and 9. DH and I married when they were 12,13, and 16. Love them love them love them. That being said being a step mon is the hardest thing I've ever done and I'm sure it will always be the hardest thing I do. We have/had all three full time (one weekend a month with mom)
Only 18 year old still lives at home.

It is a really thin line to walk, I'm the one there Everyday, doing all the mom stuff, but I'm not the mom. I have screwed up and crossed the line from time to time. How do you love and care for a kid but not step in when they need guidance?

I leave most the discipline stuff to DH, but he and i talk it all through , then he talks to the kiddo in question. there were hard times when he was working 24 he shifts and I couldn't get ahold of him!

Also teen girls are a whole different ball game than boys!!! At one point I actually called my dad and apologized for all the heck I'm sure I put him through at that age

I did most the homework, school field trip, volunteer type stuff. I went to all the dr appts and school meetings.

The time has flown by!!
I love these kids and don't use the term stepkids, they are all just our kids the hardest thing sometimes was other people, societies view of step parents can be grinding sometimes. You just have to ignore the negative and do what works for your family!!

Can't believe two are living on their own, the third will be about 6 hours away at college in a few months, it's crazy and so true about where does the time go?!?!? Enjoy the time you have with them soon enough they will be out into the world
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:03 PM   #5
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Thank you. Yeah one of the hard things for me to deal with is how to deal with fighting or disrespect when I am the only one home with them. I too take them to dr appt, pick up drop off to school, sport games, gymnastic meets, go shopping with them, etc.
And right now I feel we are a bit in a transition, when I first met them I was all about having fun, granted it was not fun all the time. But we played a lot of wii, then when it was just the three of us or one of the girls and I they always wanted to do something and in not knowing how to say no and wanting them to like me I would say yes. So we went mini golfing, we went ice cream shop, movies, and SHOPPING. So now they a bit more spoiled, and do not take "no" to nicely from me.
I am also dealing with feelings of loss of personal space, personal space, and general not able to do what I want when I want.
I love them very much!
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Old 02-24-2013, 01:28 AM   #6
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I know what you're saying. I'm guessing there is isn't a huge age difference between you and them? That's how it is for me, makes for some added dynamics to things. It's easy to be their friend at first bit then hard to transition into more of a mentor /authority type.

Loss of personal space etc. is also normal. If you don't have any bio kids then you went from worrying about yourself to an instant family. I felt like I was playing catch up for a long time. I figure babies turn into kids then teens for a Redon, do parents have time to figure out what the heck they are doing, when your a step parent (with no bio kids) you are thrown into whatever stage the kids are in and have to figure out where you fit and how to relate to them without 1) just being fun all the time 2) not replacing their bio parent and 3) not losing your own sanity. It's not for the faint of heart.
It can be done however. Talk a lot with your BF , forgive him when he gets defensive about his girls even when they pull teenage behaviors, forgive the girls when they get rude and surly with you. Try to remember most of its normal teen stuff, and they are trying to figure out how this all is going to work as well. They will push you, in a way it's like dealing with toddlers all over again, they want to test their independence but need reassurance someone with be there when they crash and burn

Try to find someone you can talk to other than BF. yes you need to vent but venting about the girls to dad is a recipe for disaster. Find a friend, maybe another step parent? Who can relate.
Also realize BF will not ever really understand how hard it is to be in your place, try not to fault him just remind him you are doing the best you can and want the best for the girls
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:16 AM   #7
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I can see things from a double perspective as it were. I am a stepmom and my children have a stepmom.

My children's stepmom, really never wanted to be a 'mom' but more of a friend. Which is fine. She is good to them and I have no qualms whatsoever of her having the kids when dad isn't around. As a matter of fact, when my ex was deployed she would call every so often and ask if the kids could come for the weekend to hang out. I like her a great deal. She, nor the children, have ever given me any reason to thik otherwise. However, that being said my children understand from both of their 'parents' that she is an adult in their life and they will at least 'respect' that place.

My stepchildren lived my dh and I always. Their mom lived on the other side of the country. And it was difficult sometimes. I was kinda the 'mom' since I was the person here everyday doing the mundane tasks, drs appts, sick call at midnight, prom and homecoming dresses, and other life events. In the end, I was never their parent. Some of that came from their mom, who I know wished that she could BE here for those times but wasn't. She has a few issues mentally that made it not such a good idea forthem to live with her.

In the end, continue to be a good 'person' in their lives regardless of the title. And be careful as the go in to the teenage years with buying their affection. Teens have a tendency to sway with wherever it benefits them best because of maturity. It can cause some hate and discontent from time to time if you fall victim to the 'my mom will give it to me, I will just live with her'. Don't take that stuff personal.

And honestly, your relatonship with your dh is a priority regardless. It shouldn't mix with the parent aspect if that is clear. Don't get bogged down in what you would do if you were the parent unless it deals with disrespect to you personally. That is the only battle worth fighting. The kids have 2 parents, let them parent. Just know your personal boundaries.

Being a stepparent is just like bioparenting..its the same thing. It has great moments and bad moments. But its a good life.

My stepchldren are all adults now. The two youngest and I have a great relationship but they both lived with me from 7 and 9 yo. So most of their lives. The oldest, we are much more friends. She was already 20when i met her dad. The second oldest dd, was 16 and unfortunately had a lot of troubles. It has been a rocky road. But, my granddaughter is a major blessing in my life so no regrets.

I wish you much strength and happiness!

Kelly
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:03 AM   #8
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As one who became a stepmom to a 5 and 8 year old(they're both in their 40's now...wow! ) the best "rule" we had was "you stay at the home that you are fighting with until you work it out". This stopped the playing one parent against the other.
I'm very lucky that my DH's ex and have been very good friends, but I think that came from the initial rules laid down.
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Old 02-24-2013, 10:54 PM   #9
Dvcmbr09
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Thank so much for your experience and advice. JessB and Kelly I can truly relate, thank very much. Your words truly mean a lot to me!!! Thank you
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Old 03-12-2013, 08:53 PM   #10
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Ok need help again!! So now apparently the oldest of my bf two girls doesn't seem to like me anymore. She use to talk to me about boys and school and friends, etc, she use to txt me randomly, she use to like to go places with me. Now just in past few weeks she barely speaks to me, she no longer txt me and doesn't answer my txt. She doesn't want to share barely and info with me. I spoke with her a few days ago letting her know I can tell she not happy with me. I let her know I want her to be able to talk to me about if she upset or mad at me. I let her know neither of us are perfect and there will be times we dont see things the same. I let her know I care very much about her and I am here for her. I let her know I was proud of her for getting along with her mom and glad she is spending more time with her. She really didn't say much but that she really hadn't been talking cause of a boy of her interest has for third weekend in a row cancelled on her. I told her we need to work on her being able to share her feelings, giving her the example of when this boy (who asked her to prom) asked her via txt if she wanted flowers or a corsage for prom. She proceeded to freak out, big smiles but didn't know what to tell him cause if she said what she really wanted, a corsage, then she was being selfish and rude according to her. I was there and only I was there for this moment and I told her he just asking her a question and she it's okay to tell him what she wants, it's not at all selfish or rude. I really could not understand her perspective. And I have experience similar situations with her not want to express how she truly felt feeling it was rude, wrong, or selfish. Now there are definitely times she does express feeling and those times I do feel abit like she is being dramatic and selfish... So maybe it is things I or my bf say on those moments that make her feel in these other moments she shouldn't say anything.

Ok a bit side tracked.... I am having a hard time not taking this change in her behavior towards me and her not liking me anymore. I understand many theories as to why this maybe and is very common. But that understanding doesn't really help the emotional part of me! Any words of advice?! I love her, her sister and their dad very much!
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