Day 27 – Step Mum guilt and blended families

I’m sorry blog but I need to vent. Anyone who is part of a blended family knows how hard it is to make it work for all involved. My husband constantly feels at loss when his eldest child is with her mother, and then showers her with attention to the point of almost ignoring BB when she’s here. I think this sets a bad dynamic and could affect their sibling relationship as soon as BB realises when their sister is here they effectively get pushed aside.

I’ve tried communicating this. One example I used was about a month ago, when the husband was actively playing with BB and my step daughter comes in. All she wants is for someone to watch her. She’s really intelligent and good fun to be around but the flipside of the intelligence is manipulation.

So husband is playing with BB and my step daughter goes Daddy can you watch me ride my bike. “Yes of course”, and he drops BBs toy stands up and leaves her sat on the floor to go outside and watch my step daughter ride her bike. I don’t know if I’m over protective as it’s my baby, but my heart breaks. I see their little face watch their dad walk away and then trying to drag themselves forward to see where they’ve gone. This isn’t one occurrence, it is one of many.

So I raised this almost other things. The other things being we can’t move further than 10 minutes away from my step daughter so he can be close by. I understand the need of being close by but unfortunately her mother lives in an extremely expensive area, so that means to live close by we are crammed into a small house. If we could move 20/30 minutes out it would open up more what we could afford. It would also give us more choice on BBs schools etc.

When raising this he got defensive and said he didnt favour either of them and could I imagine what it’s like being with out your child 50% of the time. I held my ground and said his daughter should be a factor for when we move but not the factor. I also explained about the day with riding the bike and he promised to be more mindful. Although I don’t think he completely got it.

So that was a month or so ago. The discussion happened on the Tuesday and I gave up alcohol on the following Sunday. It was one of my reasons of quitting, to help with the harmony of the family. I think I was drinking to escape how miserable I feel some times as a step mother. My perception of my family is our step daughter on a pedestal, then my husband, then my baby and I at the bottom.

Since the conversation, I can see he has actively tried. He’s also put my step daughter into summer school and she’s so much happier there. Instead of me trying to juggle a baby whilst home schooling a 7 year old who keeps fibbing that they’ve done some work, I’m also happy that I get my 1 on 1 time back with BB. I feel its helped the family harmony.

Last week we went the lakes without my step daughter and it’s been the happiest I’ve been in months. I loved being outdoors, hiking and wild swimming, showing BB new experiences. I also loved BB having her dads full attention, she adores him.

This week family camping rolls round Friday. It’s already been decided me and BB won’t go because of the heat. So my step daughter and husband pack up to go. On the side there’s a sachet of hot chocolate we brought back from the lakes. Now I know it probably sounds petty but I had my eye on that hot chocolate and was planning on drinking it last night when I knew I would struggle with the urge to drink alcohol. It was going to be my treat

I’m in the kitchen trying not to get stressed as they are so disorganised leaving. I wipe down the surfaces and I notice the hot chocolate has gone. I go over to their stuff and see it there. “Oh” I say, “that’s my hot chocolate I was going to have that this evening”. My step daughters like “no it’s not its mine”. The husband steps in, I said she could have it. I’m like fine, through gritted teeth. He asks if I’m actually fine and I’m like no I’m pissed but just take it anyway.

So then he takes it out the bag and gives it to me. I feel like the biggest brat and so so guilty. But I’m also annoyed. At no point did he consider me, he just focused on my SD. Once again she’s on the pedestal and when I raise it I’m the bad person yet again. My guilt makes me give it her back when her dads not looking and we repack it in her own bag to enjoy that evening.

And I know it sounds so petty. I feel like such an idiot writing this but it’s a million tiny gestures that makes me feel it.

This morning I video call to see how their first night goes, they’ve both had a fab time. Husband thanks me for packing a flask with hot water. I ask if my SD enjoyed her hot chocolate. She looks at the camera, “you didnt give it me”. I come back with “yes I did I handed it to you and we packed it together”. “No we didn’t” she replied. I can tell she remembers as she does a certain face when she’s fibbing.

“Yes we did maybe Daddy should check your bag see if we can find it” I reply. “Oh yeah I forgot”. The husband doesn’t even notice.

They then ask if I could bring BB up to the camp site. It’s an hour away, its scorching and I have no air con in the car. I explain no because of those things. My husband says “oh but SD will be disappointed she was excited to show the camp site”. Once again her needs over BB. I say no through gritted teeth.

So I’m sitting here, trying not to cry and drink. I’ve decided to empty my gin cupboard and all the closed bottles give away.

Does anyone else feel this dejected being a step parent? Constantly having to advocate for their child whilst one sits high on their pedestal. I’ve really tried and constantly do try with my SD. I make sure she gets 121 time with me and her dad, I take her horse riding, for walks but nothing seems to work. It’s just this circle.

And I’m sorry if I seem the most pettiest woman alive. I certainly feel it.

Published by lifesippingaway

36 years old, wife, stay at home mum, outdoors lover, wild swimmer, starting the journey to an AF life

26 thoughts on “Day 27 – Step Mum guilt and blended families

  1. I don’t know if this will help, but I’m going to share my experience in case it does. My stepmother is one of my favorite people. We had a hard time when I was growing up. I was jealous of her time with my dad when I got to be with him. Apparently, I was pretty hideous to her at the beginning, and kids can really be terrors when they want to. Then, later, after she had kids with my dad, I was jealous of her love for them. I was always worried that she didn’t love me as much as she loved them. By that time, I considered myself as having two mothers (I also loved my biological mother tons). But the relationship is tricky, you are right. Now that I am an adult, however, everything is pretty great between us, and I feel so fortunate to have her in my life. I think we both feel that the hard times were worth it for the relationship we got in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That does help massively thank you 🥰. My step mother was horrible, so I try and be everything she wasnt. It’s so reassuring to hear there are some success stories. Any tips? I try and carve out time for her and her dad and for her and me. I try and do stuff she likes and actively engage with her. It’s almost the more I try, the more she fibs or tries to annoy me (she knows I hate a baby voice so will go out of her way to do that). Everyone keeps saying in 5 years it will be a different landscape, I’m just hoping it’s a positive one xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It sounds like you are doing all of the right things. She’s at a tough age for reflective thought on her behavior. It will get better. Hugs!

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  2. Ohhhh, you are not the pettiest! You are trying your best and she’s lucky to have you. But it is a tricky situation all around. I have only been a step mum for about a year and am not even sure how it’s going. So many dynamics, so many personalities. Maybe we should private chat some time too bad you’re not closer so we could just drop in for a yard chat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. God I’d have given it a good go too 😂. I’m going to give them away I think and the bottle of champagne save for BBs 21st, it will be vintage by then.

      I know right, I think there’s even an Ocean between us and yet it’s the same struggles. Private chat some time would be lovely

      I’m 2.5 years in. It’s really hard isn’t it? I’m lucky as she seems to really love BB, but tries to be her mother and push me out which is frustrating. But I’m just pleased she loves her.

      How you doing today? Hope you’re having a great Saturday

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I find it curious while you are trying to quit drinking you think ahead 20 years to drink with your kid! My Sat. is fine it’s just past noon here, my kids left early to camp with their Dad and I am suffering through listening to hubs try and “help” (as in, do it mostly for her and explain every step) step daughter clean her disgusting room. HAhahaa. Does yours know you keep a blog? I have not shown it to mine yet…

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      2. I get what you’re saying re the fizz. I hopefully would be 20 years sober by then (wishful thinking) and hopefully she’s inherited the moderating gene off her dad.
        I bet you’re giggling away listening to them discuss the room.
        My husband knows, that’s it. Only because I was suddenly on my phone loads and didnt want him to think I was having an affair 😂. He doesnt know the name etc and has promised not to look. No one else knows, I quite like it this way though. It’s like having a nice secret and holding it close to my chest (instead of the drinking secrets instead).
        Do you think you’ll tell him? It’s a tough one isnt it

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      3. I told him I wanted to blog because I need to get my thoughts out and connect with others. He’s a very private person especially with sharing on the internet (no social media for him!) so was hesitant about it. I think I’m staying anonymous enough though?

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  3. Mind you she is nearly 10 and should know how to clean her own room. One difference with us as parents is I am much more strict with my kids. Enter that whole divorced working full time Dad guilt thing.

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    1. I think the term is “disney dads”. Mine suffers from the exact same. Every weekend we have her has to be a “fun” weekend. Until I put my foot down and make us all potter round at home

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  4. Well I think so? Like I dont know where you live, your age and I dont think your name. Hopefully it’s the same for me?

    My hubbies the same. No Facebook and I cant remember the last time he logged into Instagram

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  5. I’m sorry. It must be complicated.
    I got divorced last year and have full custody. My kids (15 and 17) have a baby half brother who we have never met. They have almost no relationship with their dad, as he moved to another city. They definitely feel abandoned.

    Your husband is in a tough spot. He has a child he loves and doesn’t see that often. And now a new child. Finding the balance must be hard.

    The most important thing for you is to be sober and calm. At 10 the stepdaughter will lie and will probably try to manipulate both her dad and you. Those are pretty common behaviour. A family therapist might be a useful consideration.

    Take care of yourself.

    Anne

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That must be so hard for your children to come to terms with, I really feel for them. I’ve never considered a family therapist, but that’s actually a great idea. You must be so strong going through all of this and staying sober.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like a tough one but for what it’s worth it sounds like you are doing everything you can to build a relationship whilst not giving in to tantrums and bad behaviour. I can’t really comment more as I don’t have experience of blended families (yet!). Good luck though xxx

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    1. Thanks so much, she’s gone back to her mums now for a week so I get a bit of a break. She wet the bed last night and was too embarrassed to call us, when she would a nightmare. Feel so guilty so tried extra hard this morning doing her hair etc. You definitely have more feelings sober, that’s for sure. How was your first weekend on keto?xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that’s the point of sobriety, you deal with it properly and have more awareness. Don’t feel guilty .. it’s learning for both of you. You have this in the bag and your relationship will be wonderful because of that.

        Keto is ok. My sugar cravings have reduced already after 3 days proper keto (and a few lowering carbs and sugar as a prep). I feel less bloated and i have bought some almond and coconut flour to bake some keto goodies xxx

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  7. I totally understand this and have been in the exact situation as you are in now. My kids and step child are now older and my stepchild is now an adult and does not live with us anymore. We had full custody for most of the years she was a teenager. It was very hard and I remember feeling at the bottom list too. When a new baby comes along it can be very difficult for everyone and my husband wouldn’t hold his baby in front of his daughter, which made me so upset. Now everything is fine, we all get along great and wouldn’t have it any other way, but it is hard and it’s even harder to talk about, I’m glad you have this space to vent.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so lovely to hear you’ve come out the other side and everyone gets on now. I think unless you’ve been in that situation it’s so hard to understand. Thanks so much for commenting ♡

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  8. Gosh, it must be so hard. I don’t have this situation but I feel for you and I feel for your husband too. Your both trying to balance a steady ground but both a little unbalanced with how each other feel. SD sounds like she knows how to play her dad too. I do hope it gets better for you as I’m sure it will in time.

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