I think its funny how there are days to celebrate being a mother and days to celebrate being a father. There are blogs, books, memes, movies, and more about the difficulty of being a parent. I find there isn’t very many people talking about how difficult it is to be a step-parent. Its the very definition of the old adage, “You can’t have you cake and eat it to.”
We all think of the evil stepmother from Cinderella when we think of stepmother. The truth is, any parent has the same risk of being great, mediocre, or lousy. Step has nothing to do with it.
I am a stepmother. I know that if we were talking in person you would ask if I had any children of my own. The answer is no, I don’t. I love childre, but I haven’t been blessed to have any of my own thus far. My husband and his exwife are not nasty in dealing with each other by any means. They do show clear signs that they don’t like each other very much. They were ill suited for each other and the marriage was not a happy one for either of them. Here is the hard part for me. In loving my husband and loving the children, I inherit all the problems and none of the ability to fix them.
I feel it an automatic stereotype that the new woman would have a problem with the old one and try to cause problems. That is not true for me. I always try to stay passive when it comes to making decisions for the kids. I focus on loving them and sharing my knowledge with them. I do see clear signs that the mother pushes us out of the kids lives often. She remarried very shortly after the ink dried on the divorce papers. She wants her knew husband to replace their biological father. Everytime he tries to become more involved she micro-manages his interactions, causes drama, makes rules that contradict each other, and attempts to poison the children against their father. The childrent are older being preteens and young teenagers, they pick up on the tension. My husband will back off to avoid the children being caught in the middle of something nasty. When he backs off, she then starts complaining to everyone that he isn’t involved enough. She refuses any money outside of child support, then complains that he doesn’t give any money outside of child support. He offers to buy or pay for things, she refuses it and then tells everyone he doesn’t do those things. He moves to be closer to the children, she takes off and moves 13 hrs away from him.
As a stepmom, this is frustrating because there isn’t anything I can do. I support my husband and give him insight into a womans psyche. I try to help him make decision as to what is best for the children, but that is all I do. I am a fixer, I like to tackle a problem, face it head on. If I try to talk to her or help the situation, then I will get labeled the “evil stepmother” trying to take over as mom. I know that if I help directly, it will make things worse. Women often have this problem, but I know stepdads have this issue also.
I think that both sides need to let go of their will to be happy and try harder to make the children happy. I cannot have children of my own but if I could, I feel its a desicion to put your well being and happiness second. You can’t replace a father. I know, mine didn’t have much to do with me.
I’m not just a stepmom, I am also a stepdaughter. I have a stepmom and a stepdad on either side. I love them both dearly and they have special place in my heart, but that place isn’t the place my main parents should occupy. I say this because I don’t want you to think that I think I could do a better job as mother or I want to take her place. I don’t. I want her to be able to see herself and the choices she is making as they are. I realized several years ago that we as a society, look at ourselves through the lense of justification. It okay for us to do that wrong thing, because of this reason or that reason.
She justifies her actions. My husband used to, but sense I have a strong habit of self reflection, he has begun to look at himself in truth. How do you make her see that she isn’t only hurting him, but her kids? I really trully think she believes its okay to treat him horribly because he wasn’t a good husband. Well they aren’t married anymore so being a good husband is not connected to him a being a great father. He isn’t the man she was married to anymore. She wasn’t blameless in the marriage and did some bad things also. She says they were his fault, not hers, his actions made it okay for her actions.
I hate being caught up in this and unable to make anything better. I wont leave because I love my husband and those kids more than I dislike her actions. she doesn’t see me as important because I’m just the stepmother. She thinks I am not equipped to make good judgements in regards to the children, because I have none. I am not an only child, I have sibling and cousins that are much younger than me. I know how to be a good person. My mother was a wonderful mother. I also don’t want to take over. I am not going to let them get on the internet unattended, I don’t need to be told that. I am not going to let a little girl wear a skimpy bikini. I am not going to let a 13 yr old, date or go off my himself. I am not going to let them do anything stupid or hurt each other.
This is my first time on here so I thank you for letting me vent. I want to share my perception. I want to understand other people’s perceptions. I think understanding that we all are different and the same, is very important.