How to deal w/new step w/ my adult kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-09-2003
How to deal w/new step w/ my adult kids
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 2:21pm
I have 4 children from a previous marriage that ended over 4 years ago. We all live in the same town. They are now 26, 22, and twins that are 18 (Seniors) At the time of the divorce both daughters were living on their own. The boys were at that very difficult age of 14 years old. Their father wanted to do shared custody with rotating every other day - didn't work - then we went to every other week. Everyone was getting so confused & wore out - not knowing when, where, etc...

Any way, long story short, the boys ended up staying with their dad full time. I told them if they decided to stay at one home that would be their permanent home and no moving back and forth when they were mad at the other parent. This made them feel more stable having (1) place to call their home.

Well, their father just recently had his girlfriend move in (this lady & I were school mates, so I know her and trust her.) And also knowing her personality, as I expected she has taken control & flaunts every little thing she does in my face (in a nice way, of course HA!) She and my ex are the kind where they buy the best, do the best for the kids and of course the kids love it. Me, on the other hand live on a budget just like I always have - even while married to my ex. My kids grew up nicely dressed, well fed - but they weren't spoiled to where we would have to run to the mall every week (2 hours away) for everything they wore. They also were raised to where the needed extra cash, they earned it (chores, jobs when old enough, etc) the girls also paid for their own long distance calls, and auto insurance. A lesson well taught - they have even told me so. The boys on the other hand have not had to earn those type of things as the girls did when they were in the "family home". The boys have everything handed over to them from their dad and I see a rude awakening for them after they graduate and move on their own. Most of this was started by their father after we were divorced. He was buying their love and knowing I couldn't afford the same - did those things to make me look bad to them. It was working for awhile and as they have grown up, they pretty much understand now. Sometimes they still say – well dad gave me $200.00 at Xmas and I can only afford $50.00.

My second daughter & I were "best buds" - did everything together. I have 2 grandchildren (1 from each daughter) and have been there with them both in delivery. It was great! Their father was never around - just good old mom. Well, now this second daughter has her nose stuck up her new soon to be step mom's $($*(. She goes to their house almost every night, calls her, rarely stops by or calls me. She is now expecting her 2nd child and who do you think she has asked to go to doctor's appointments and also in the labor room with her this time??? Not me. I think about it & I cry - hurt.

My dad was in the hospital for 27 weeks last year. Along with other issues (his pending divorce, foreclosure, etc..) I had to deal with because I was his power of attorney. Anyway – I was busy – it took time away from doing my normal things (such as family). Anyway she is using that excuse – because I was/am too busy. And also the new one has convinced her of that. I have admitted to all of my children – those weeks were the most stressful time of my life – I wasn’t giving enough time to even make calls to them like I did before – asked them to hang in there, it would all go back to normal for me & that I felt I was stretching myself sooo thin.

With this 2nd child, I admit I am not as excited. She is not married and the soon to be baby's father is ??. But, I just had a baby shower for her, making a quilt, looking forward to going into the delivery room again – getting mind set. Until last night, when I called her to see how things were going and if she was going to call me day or night like before? She told me the news. I was hurt.

Graduation around the corner - the new soon to be step mom - has taken over - ordering the graduation announcements, etc.... She is good about calling to leave messages, etc... and I do call her back and she always has those little rubs. Daily things mostly about the 18 years - things I wouldn't know because I am not in that household.

I just want us to all get along – I want the new one to be their friend and appreciate all she does for the boys on a daily basis. I just want the new one to remember that I am “the mom”.

Any suggestions – all I read is about step moms and younger children. Thanks

Avatar for cl_starrzz_n_moonzz
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-15-2003 - 6:02pm
My heart goes out to you. You sound like a mom who loves her children unconditionally and has always been there for them. You gave them(the boys) the choice of where they wanted to live and were always there for your girls when they needed you. Now you are being shoved into the background. Like yeah she's my mom, but look what I have and what should we do for this baby? Right? All I can say is remember this you are their mom and you did a great job. You stood beside them and let them choose their path in life when all us mom's want to do is walk down that path for them so no harm comes to them. They seem like they love you in their own way and maybe they do not mean to hurt you maybe they just feel they shouldn't burden you with their troubles. I would call my boys and celebrate their graduation in your own special way. I would be available to help when they needed me and let it be known that you are there. You said you quilt why not make each of them a memory quilt as a gift to them, somthing that will have a special memory. yeah they may not think so now but down the road I will guarantee a gift like that will mean more than money or trivial stuff. As for your daughter just try to be supportive as you can. I am sure this is a hard time for her too. She may be spending time with her soon to be step mom because she may feel embarressed to come to you. I would also call her and get together with her maybe for lunch and you all could hit the stores and browse around for the baby things? You didn't mention your eldest daughter? How does she feel about all this? Maybe she could help you understand what is going on with your other daughter? I am sure they do n ot mean to hurt you in anyway. I just know they( even us as kids) hurt are parents without ever even knowing we are doing it.

Please let us know what happens. We are for ya when you need us! I know it helps a lot to be able to talk these things out and get different views. Do you quilt often? I started just this past fall and am loving it, just everyone wants me to make them one too. Hang in there and please keep in touch. Until then~~~~Michelle

Avatar for cl_2and1more
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Wed, 04-16-2003 - 8:43am
Hello, I'm so sorry for all the "stuff" life has thrown at you lately. I haven't ever lived your life and I really don't have any good advice. I was going to suggest a trip over to divorced moms and when I went there to check it out, I saw you had already posted there. Continue to be strong and be there for your children. It is hard to always appreciate your mother but it usually comes back around when they need something or go through a difficult time.

Let us know how it is going for you and the kids.