being a Step"mom" for the 1st time...

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2009
being a Step"mom" for the 1st time...
Tue, 01-06-2009 - 10:59am

Hi everyone!!

I need help because i have no idea what to do at this point...heres my story...

I've been in a wonderful relationship for over 4 years and my boyfriend has a 5 year old daughter with another past girlfriend. We've been through many battles over seeing his daughter. The ex moved and cut off contact with us for no reason. We finally found her address and filed papers to see his

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Tue, 01-06-2009 - 1:28pm

I've never been in your situation so I am not sure what I would do would work. It would be hard and possibly not appropriate to act as her mother when she is only with you part-time. However, you are an adult in her life and what comes to mind is would it be possible to think like you are her aunt? How would you treat your nieces and nephews? They would get more lee-way than your own child, right? You'd take out the personal, the fear that her behavior is a reflection of you which might make it easier for both of you to deal with various "inappropriate" behaviors. You aren't competing for a place in her heart as her "mom" which might make it easier for her to come to love you without feeling like she is betraying her mom. As a beloved aunt you get to set your own house rules and expectations for her behavior when she is with you without being disrespectful to how her mom does things. In that role you can say, hey we don't jump on the furniture here but how about we go make chocolate chip cookies right now even though dinner is in an hour. You don't need to punish her for jumping on the furniture because she isn't your kid but you don't have to let her do it either. You redirect. It is okay as an adult to say, uhm, how about you ask me nicer to play? If you ask me nicer I will certainly be willing to play this game with you. If you don't want to ask me nicely then maybe I'll go do something else until you decide and then walk away. Again you don't have to punish her for talking rude but you also don't have to do what she is asking either if she isn't being nice.

It sounds to me from the outside that she isn't sure of her place with her dad and she is testing to see what he does when she acts up. Is he (and you) going to reject her? Some people will try to push you away so that your not being there doesn't hurt.

You could be right that she doesn't get much imaginative play at home. It could be that she doesn't like those kinds of things. It could be that she has tons of them at home. It is hard to know why she reacted to the gifts the way she did. Maybe she really needed to know that her dad picked out some of these gifts that were from the two of you. Maybe her mom said something along the lines of your dad has no clue what you like so he will have his girlfriend/fiancee buy you something but she was convinced that he would be getting her the "perfect" gift. So it is possible that she was disappointed because her mom was right and her "dream" that daddy would know exactly what she wanted didn't come true.

You both are in a difficult position. I find it admirable that you are looking for ways to help her and you have a good relationship with each other and her dad.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-06-2009
Tue, 01-06-2009 - 8:07pm

Thank you ! I can see where your coming from and it makes alot of sense :)

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-14-2009
Fri, 01-16-2009 - 10:44am

Hi, I understand how you feel,
I`m a stepmom, and I tell you, It`s a nightmare, If I can only go back where I can choose a single man without kids,I would,
My situation was the worst, I tried to be very patient with my step son as much as I could,
I understand his mother past away, he suffered a lot, so I tried to console him as much as I could,
No matter what I do he would never accept that his father got a new wife,
He tried to be nice with me sometimes but I can feel he don`t like me,
Until our son arrived, then my nightmare begun, My pregnancy was terrible, I was bed ridden could`t move and he kept fighting with his Dad why he keep helping me.,
Our son suffered with colic and he`s there complaining all the time fighting,
He hate so much his step brother he never touch, never smile and the worst is screaming so hard with the baby for no reason, , I`m so terrified he gonna kill the baby.There are times I see his milk was open, I have to throw it all fearing that he put poison in it, We were all living in one roof.
I can see my husband suffer so much on how his son acting so bad. His rebelious screaming all the time, and hitting the table while were eating that all the food jumps,
In short my stepson made me suffer so much!
I know my husband love him more than anything in the world and that was okey, he gave him all the attention he need and thats alright,
Even the most patient person will get tired of this terrible situation, I wanted to separate But my husband insist we stay all together,
For now I just the accept my situation, I could`nt do anything anyway!
Now my son is four its the sweetest happiest boy but he can feel the tension when his around,
His step brother would scream at him for nothing, I could`t do anything bec. Im afraid he would do something wrong,
I know he is taking drugs but my husband dont want to do anything. He cannot accept it.
One summer vacation, were all together in our vacation house, He just ket on screaming at the baby I lost control, I could`nt take it anymore, for the first time I tell him to stop doing it. I was relieved but scared,
Then he started to act very bad, fighting with his father screaming throwing things etc.
Every night I have nightmare he`s gonna kill us, I was so scared, I hide the sharp knives in the kitchen,
I dont sleep at night.
One day ,he went on the beach he forgot his cell phone, I was so tempted to open,
I was so shocked and shaking of what I`ve read! He tx" I cannot take it anymore I`m gonna kill all of them, Im gonna kill all of them! Then his friends kept on saying, dont do that!
I cannot smile at him anymore, Its too terriying to live in a house when you know someone is gonna kill you your son or the whole family.
I fianaly convinced my husband to live in another house, we got small apartment. but he made me promise to go back in the big house and we stay all together every weekend, I dont want to go back in that house again, I dont want to see him again, but my husband will pull me and get very mad If I dont go, I hated him of not understanding me.
My stepson is also college student, I see him every weekend, His still screaming at my son, every mother cannot support that, the only thing I can do is to avoid him and tell my son to get away from him,,
I tell you, that is really hard!
For lunch or dinner, I just cook for the whole family,
My husband and him eat in the dining room,
I bring my food in the living room and eat with my son,
I preffer to that than eating with them, He critisize everything shouting with my son,Banging the door so hard so and so..

My situation as a stepmom is really terrifying,
I used to think that being a stepmother is cool, but I was wrong,
Think of this, if a husband have a son, the attention love etc. is divided!
Instead of going to you he would go to bring a son, and his not only thinking about you,
he always think and worry about the son or daughter,
I want to edit this long message but I have to go, my husband keep on calling me we have to go to the big house again, my heart is crying, Im cying I`m gonna meet my stepson again.
This is my weekend, terrifying sad weekend!
Good luck to you!

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Fri, 01-16-2009 - 2:50pm
I am so sorry you are going through this. Have you talked to someone other than your son about your worries and fears?