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    Old 10-28-2002, 12:42 PM   #1
    Beth Ann
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    Thumbs up step-children, but no kids of my own

    I can't believe this is the first time I've noticed this forum! I'm a 34 yr. old with step-children. 2 girls, ages 9 and (almost) 13. I do not have kids of my own, and do not plan on having any. I would like to hear from others in the same situation. I don't mind hearing from mothers with their own kids, but I'd really like to hear from the one's who don't. Thanks!

     
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    Old 10-28-2002, 03:28 PM   #2
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    I really do not qualify according to your request but would like to toss out a few things.

    I am the mother of 5 grown children and believe me, God did not send an instruction manual with any of them. Different personalities, different ways of responding.

    Our son married a widow with a 13 year old son. From day one we asked "him" what he would like to call us. We gave him the choice of calling us by first names, grandma/pa or Mr. & Mrs. name or other. It was his call and he chose to call us Mr. & Mrs. until we had other grandchildren arrive upon the scene and then he wanted to call us grandma/pa like the others did. He is now 17 and we always call him our "grandson", not "step-grandson".

    We do not have a close relationship with our grandson due to living in another city but do enjoy visiting with him when he is available and we never leave him out and all gift giving is based the same as for other grandchildren. Our grandson has always felt welcome and glad to visit.

    I say this for the purpose for you to understand that children whether they are your own or "step-children" all come with different personalities and response. Also, no favortism to our own blood grandchildren versus the step-grandson. Children of all ages notice these things.

    It has always been said, treat your children the way you would want to be treated yet, you do and must be the one in control but in a loving way.

    Just because two people fall in love and marry does not mean the children involved will love the new parent or even like them. It takes great patience and understanding to "win" them over to being your "friend".

    The ages of your girls are just right to make a real mother pull her hair out at times, just think what it must be for someone who does not have children of their own.

    Marie


     
    Old 10-31-2002, 07:15 AM   #3
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    I can relate to lots of issues on this line. My husband was married once before and has a daughter from his first marriage. He has not seen her since she was 3 and at that time her mother had already started "brainwashing" her against her dad. He has since gotten her address a couple years ago and wrote her a nice letter but there was never any reply. We both hope that one day she will have a change of heart and come knocking on our door or call etc. Her mother is since dead from complications of diabetes so I really hope she rethinks things one of these days. On the other side of the coin I have hubby's mother and dad who have been divorced for years. Both of his parents had remarried long before we ever got engaged and married. His mothers husband is wonderful and treats our two kids like grandchildren. Maybe not like any of his own granchildren so to speak but he is a grandfather in every way to our kids and they think of him as that. His dad was married to a lady I will simply refer to as Barb (I will be nice today). She never thought of our kids as her grandchildren and NEVER once treated them anything like her own granchildren. She even went so far as to tell me they weren't her granchildren in round about way. One March when the Wizard of Oz was on we were at their house and the men went upstairs to work on a computer while she and I watched the movie with our 2 kids. She proceeded to ask if the kids had received their birthday cards (Jan & Feb birthdays). I told her no they hadn't and she proceeded to tell me that she had asked Don (hubby's dad) is he would like her to pick him up some cards while she was at work and he said yes. She told me she had placed them in his journal but didn't know what more she could have done. UMMMMMMMMM apparently this lady didn't have a clue how to sign a card love grandma and grandpa, address the envelope, put stamps on the cards and find a mail box. This right there told me exactly what I had known all along...............she would never think of them as her grandchildren. My father in law by the way is since divorced from this woman. THANK GOD. This just goes to show that you can have all kinds of relationships with step people. I encourage you to just treat them with the love and respect they deserve and offer your friendship and warmth.

     
    Old 11-01-2002, 01:14 PM   #4
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    Beth ann, I am also married and have no children but I have a step daughter that is 7 yrs. old. It is hard and I need support too. This is the first marriage for both my hubby and myself. I sometimes wonder where I stand. Should I be a friend or another mother to her. The hardest part is not wanting to be a mother to anyone, but being forced to. It sucks because when my hubby and I got married there was no "us" time because he already had a kid. (we have been married 1 year and 1/2)I hate it because it feels so unfair to me especially because I have no children. I love my hubby but it has also caused us major problems. I would like to talk to you further if you like. It's good to see I am not alone. I think we both could use some support.
    Thanks,
    missmoody

     
    Old 11-02-2002, 07:57 AM   #5
    Beth Ann
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    Thanks to all of you for responding. To Marie: I know exactly what you mean about kids in the same families having totally different personalities. I have 3 sisters and 1 brother, and we are COMPLETELY different. Some people cannot believe that we're all from the same mom and dad! Some of my sisters have step-children, and my brother has a step-daughter, but they all have their own children also. All of them (except one sister-she's not a friendly person in any way) treat the children as their own. And the rest of my family treats them as children-not as steps. I try very hard to be a loving person to my two. I was blessed in the fact that they are very understanding and intelligent children. They seem to admire me, and sometimes it seems that they respect me more than their Dad!
    To mlgable: I have read many of your posts, some that you have responded to me. I think you are an intelligent lady, especially in health-related issues. I have never seen you vent, though. I think you needed to. It helps to get stuff off your chest, doesn't it? I am sorry for all that you have been through. How old is your husband's dauughter now? Surely she will have a change of heart someday. She has to think about her dad and wonder about him, right? I'm glad that your father-in-law got rid of "Barb". Has he remarried since?

    To missmoody: Yes, we definitely need to talk some more! I need the support, too. Do you have your step-daughter all the time, or just part-time? We get ours every other weekend, and sometimes during the week. My husband is a good father and wants to do as much as he can for his kids. I am thankful for that. He is a better person for being that way. I would not want to be married to a deadbeat dad, because I couldn't respect him. I was a kid once too, ya know? Anyway....my first Valentine's Day with my hubby-we had his kids. I tried to make the best of it. We girls made a heart-shaped cake for their dad and had a candlelight dinner-all of us. We've had his girls for every holiday, and both of our birthdays every year. We try to have "our time" on our "non-kid weekend". Sometimes I get resentful when there is something I want to do without the kids, such as a co-worker's party (that happens to fall on a kid-weekend). Then I feel guilty for being so selfish. I have given up so, so much, but I try to tell myself that I KNEW he had children when we got involved. Sometimes, I don't think I thought exactly how much was going to be involved. Both of his girls play softball in the Spring, and basketball in the fall. We try to go to all of their games, and I have to deal with his ex and her family. They all hate me, and make me feel like I don't belong at all. I did not cause the break-up in his marriage. His ex left him for his best friend. When he got on with his life, and found me, she got jealous and tried to get him back. And they had been divorced for almost 2 years! She tried to use that old line "The kids need us to be together. We need to be a family.". It almost destroyed us, and now everyone blames me for their not getting back together. Do you ever have problems from the ex? I would love to hear your story. Why do you not want children of your own? I, myself, just never had that maternal feeling (except to all the cats I've had). I had a hard time growing up, and I guess I just never wanted any child of mine to go through all that. I don't really think my own mother ever wanted kids. I know my oldest sister was an accident, and I guess she just made the best of it from then on. My grandmother never liked kids, except when they grew up and became adults! I love all my neices and nephews, but sometimes I feel guilty because I do not feel the same "love" for my husband's children. Let me give an example here. When my nephew does good in school or in a ballgame, I have a feeling of pride inside-maybe because I feel he is a part of me. When my husband's daughters do good, I am proud of them, but I don't feel the same as I do for my nephew. Does that make sense? I never let them know it, though. I try really hard to be a good friend and authority figure. Not really a mom, because I don't want to take her place. She's not a good mom to them, and neglects them sometimes. Sometimes she gets jealous of their relationship with me, and tries to be a better mom. I guess that's a good thing, though, right? I could go on-and-on about so much. I wish we could exchange e-mail addresses, but I know we're not allowed to. At least we can help each other through these boards. I've got so much that I need to talk about, and no one to talk to. I'm looking forward to hearing from you again. Oh, by the way, I've only been married for a year and a half now, too. I almost didn't marry my hubby just because of his kids, but I knew he was what I had been looking for all of my life. He's my best friend. He knows it's hard on me sometimes, but sometimes I don't let him know exactly how hard it is. Sorry this is so long. Hope to hear from you soon!

     
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    Old 11-03-2002, 10:56 AM   #6
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    It is so odd, you mention you nephew. My husband resents my nephew because I love my nephew to death. I don't favor his daughter that same way. I try to, but it is very hard. My nephew is 4 years old. The situation with the ex, well I have never met her. I dodge that bullet everytime it comes up. My mother in law usually picks my stepdaughter up and when she doesnt my husband does. i never have to do any interacting with her. They were never married. My stepdaughter is supposed to come every other weekend too, but my mom in law wants her every weekend so she goes and gets her. Her mom pawns her off every opportunity. The problem with that is my hubby is off every other weekend and I want the weekends he is off too, but I don't get that. His kid does. I feel like I take a back seat a lot. I think that is why step parents can get resentful. I feel bad when I start resenting her, but can't help it sometimes. I keep telling myself one day she will be grown and then we can have those weekends finally, but at the same time she is only 7 yrs. old. I had the same type of mother as yourself. My mother resented having children, but she had 14. She wasn't afraid to tell us that either. Do you think maybe our attitudes about children have something to do with our mothers' attitudes about us? Just a thought. Your question about why I wouldn't want kids: we'll I like my own freedom. She with a step kid, they do go back to their moms. With a natural child of my own, I would have to have them 24-7 with no break. I guess I am just not ready for that right now. Do your step daughters call you mom? Mine doesnt, I am just curious. You get along with your step girls very well?

     
    Old 11-04-2002, 02:36 PM   #7
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    Hey missmoody! I know exactly what you mean about feeling resentful sometimes. That's why I came to this board. I feel the same way sometimes, but feel guilty for it. I have to agree that I think a lot of our feelings do come from the way things were with our mothers. I know that everyone tries to blame their problems on their childhood, but that's usually the real root of our problems. I think that is another reason that I never wanted a child of my own. I know that if I made one wrong move during their childhood, that they'd be screwed up for life.

    No, my two do not call me Mom, they call me by my name. I don't think they really see me as a mom. We do get along pretty good, especially me and the youngest. Their mom doesn't cook at all for them. They eat at McDonald's or Burger King every night. When we get them, we try to cook decent meals for them. The youngest watches me cook, and always wants to help. She watches every move I make, and has told me that she tries to make things at home that I have made for them. (Simple stuff like homemade onion dip-Lipton Onion Soup mix and sour cream. Yummmmm.) All of that has made us a lot closer. The older one, I'm not as close to. That's where most of my problems come from. She looks and acts exactly like her mother, and I try really hard not to hold that against her. Her mom is extrememly selfish, and so is she. She thinks the whole world revolves around her. She treats her little sister like crap. I guess she was the "shining star" until the younger one came along. She acts like she should get everything, and the younger one should get nothing. Her mom buys her new clothes all the time, and the little one only gets hand-me-downs. I thought that's one of the reasons we pay child support! And the older one is always bragging and rubbing it in the little one's face. It makes me resent her. I'm gonna have to get back to on this. Just had company come in.

     
    Old 11-07-2002, 05:53 AM   #8
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    No my father in law has not remarried but has had 2 female companions in his life. The lady he currently dates is nice but just not overly friendly but that is fine. She is more like a companion for him and really doesn't try to be more than she is. As for hubby's daughter............she about 24 or so and has since married. I do keep tabs on her address when I can via the internet just in case something should ever happen to her dad. I do feel she should know if something really serious happened to her father. So long as she is happy with her life that is the most important thing and if she ever decides she would like to see or talk to her father she is more than welcome here or anywhere.

     
    Old 11-07-2002, 11:34 AM   #9
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    Beth Ann,
    I feel guilty when I get resentful too. It makes me feel like I am the worst person in the planet. You say your problem is really with the older one. Have you thought that maybe their mom tells them bad things about you and more than likely makes negative comments in front of them. Kids believe what they hear especially if their own mom is saying it. If you were constantly told bad things about someone you would wonder if those bad things were true, even as an adult. Putting the other parent down and the step parent is just one of the immature bitter games the jealous parent plays. In your case, the ex-wife. What upsets me is when my step daughter goes home and lies to her mom. She sometimes says I said things to her I never even said. My step daughter lies a lot because her mom lies a lot. Well, after my daughter lies to her mom, her mom calls my mom in law and all hell breaks loose. I have to walk on eggshells, careful not to say "the wrong thing." Why don't you try spending lots of quality time with the oldest to win her over. Here is what I am doing to do just that: this weekend I am throwing a slumber party for my daughter and her cousins. By the way, my little nephew I told you about will be coming. I will have 3 or more. I am not sure who all will be coming. I will definately have between 3-7 kids. Last weekend I took her and her cousin and my nephew to the trail and we walked to the park and played a little while. You can find things to do that you all enjoy that can also be a bonding experience. I have to swallow my resentment to do these things. I think it's not fair, but I have no choice but to be a parent if I want to keep my husband. I do it all for my husband and to make it easier on myself. We used to have many fights over his kid. Now that I have taken some initiative he is happier with me and we don't fight constantly. We have almost gotten a divorce several times over his kid. It's because I would try not to be around her so she had no opportunity to make something up that I said. I have gotten to the point now where I don't really care if she lies on me or not. I am not going to fear what a kid is going to say about me. That would make me wonder who the adult is. I have heard people say that step parents shouldn't discipline, but only be a friend to the kid. I don't know if that is good advice or not. I struggle with knowing what I should do and what role to play because I have never been a parent. I can't all of a sudden develop instincts because I become a step mother. I hate how I am criticized for my parenting. People expect me to know how to be a mom even though I had zero kids. They expect me to know how to handle everything. That irritates me. Do you get the same thing? Gotta go, I hope I made sense and didn't ramble on too much.
    miss moody

     
    Old 11-23-2002, 12:59 PM   #10
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    Hey, guys. Sorry it's taken me so long to get back with you. The past couple of weeks have been kind of rough. I've had MAJOR PMS, depression, depression, depression. I feel better now. It all started two weekends ago, on a kid weekend, no doubt. This weekend is also a kid weekend, and things are MUCH better this time. Everything's going pretty smooth. Missmoody, I'm proud of you for what you did with all the kids. I bet having the little nephew around helps, doesn't it? How is your hubby acting towards him? Better, I hope. You talked about how the ex does. I don't think that my husband's ex talks bad about me, but I'm not sure. I think the girls can probably sense that she isn't very fond of me, and maybe that is part of the problem. The oldest one is closer to her mom than her dad, and maybe she feels guilty if she tried to get closer to me. I don't know. What do you all do during the holidays. I hate the holidays now. It's just so hard. On Thanksgiving, we get the girls to take to my Mom's house for lunch. Then, their mom gets them to take them somewhere with her that evening. My mom has five kids and a ton of grandkids now. She tries really hard to plan it so everyone can come. She mostly has to work around my schedule. I hate that it has to be that way, but I'm glad she cares about the girls. I never thought about all this stuff when I got in this relationship. But I love my husband with all my heart. I can't imagine a life without him. I'm just gonna try to keep trying hard to be a good step-parent. A friend told me that there's a lot of good self-help books on the subject. I might just have to read one or two. I guess I better go. I feel like I'm rambling now. I don't mind your rambling, Missmoody. I think all this is helping us both. Oh, one more thing. Yesterday, my oldest step-daughter turned 13. (We didn't get to get them until today. She had a big sleepover at her Mom's.) Anyway, I got her a lot of balloons and decorated her bedroom with birthday banners - and I baked her a special cake and got her favorite ice cream. It really made me feel good doing those things. I'm really trying hard!

     
    Old 02-01-2003, 07:22 AM   #11
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    Step kids, aren't they wonderful? I have never actually felt resentful towards my step-son. He was 6 whne my husband and I got married. My two children were 18 months and 31 months. It really wasn't the step-son that I had problems with, rather it was the x-wife. My x ran thousands of miles away and hasn't seen the kids in over six years, so no problems with him there.
    Before my marriage his x would drop her son over at my house towatch him while she went partying, ect. He would stay there until his dad got off f work at 6 pm or so. I never really had T for more than 4-5 hours at a time so it was ok. During those 'dropoff' times T and I became really close. we bonded really well. Then I married his dad and the proverbial crap hit the ceiling. SHe decided she hated me and proceeded to make my life living hell, along the way tearing down any good thing T and I had.
    Now, 6 years later T and I get along really well. He calls me mom occasionally, when he feels that his mom won't find out about it. He is a very loving child. We are lucky though because they have joint custody. Joint being we get him one week, she gets him the next, and on down the road it remains the same. When he is here he feels part of our big loud family with three other kids loving him and looking up to their "big brother", when he is at his moms house he has free rein of the place and does whatever he wants because she is mostly gone. so, don't feel guilty, just do your best, that is all that anyone can do......

     
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