Blended Family: I’m the Wicked Stepmother

In an effort to make my blogs shorter, after getting some advice from a wise blog- and book-writer, I have deleted the former post I had prepared to put on my blog; I ramble. I know I ramble. So let’s see how I do at this.

There isn’t anything in this world which is more awkward, more uncomfortable to get accustomed to, than being in a blended family. When I was just 21 years old with a 2 year old little tough-guy, I met a 35 year old man who had two teenage daughters. And their ages were, you guessed it: closer to mine than his was. My youngest stepdaughter was 14 at the time; my oldest–16. And they were both about to have birthdays. Yes, that’s right. I was only 5 and 7 years older than my future stepdaughters. I was very understanding to the fact that it was a difficult situation to them. I was a full-time Psychology major when I met their Dad and worked in a group home with troubled youth.

We have now been married for almost 16 years. Here’s what I have learned during that time:

1. The awkwardness of {our} blended family has never gone away. It hasn’t even truly gotten better. My stepdaughters are embarrassed by me now just as much as they were 16 years ago.

2. Don’t underestimate the power of the term “caring what everyone else thinks except you”. I have tried and tried and tried to be the doting stepmother. I’m still the same Evil Witch they thought I was before we got married. You wanna know why? Because every mistake you make as a stepmother is ten times as big of a deal as it is for a Mother. I honestly believe that even if they love you deep down, and you think of them as your own–they want you to fail. It’s not that they want their Dad and Mom to be together, not at all. I believe that nobody wanted my husband and his ex to divorce more than their daughters. They just hate the thought of YOU succeeding when their mother didn’t.

3. No matter what you say or do, you will always be a threat in some way.

4. You would be much better off being a guy, and their father being gay. Trust me.

5. Despite the love you have for them, they will resent you until the end of time And believe me, I do love them…but in ways, I will admit…I resent them in ways, too. It comes with the territory

6. You may love their children to pieces and be the perfectly doting Grandma, but you will never be as good a Grandma as their mother or their mother-in-law. Just accept it.

7. Keep your head up–don’t let them know how much it kills you how they feel about you. It will be viewed as a weakness.

It has been well over two years since I’ve seen my youngest stepdaughter and nearly two years since I’ve seen the oldest (and she’s had another kid since then, making it five). It used to break my heart how they feel about me because I so badly wanted to be loved by them. And I believe that deep down I am. If I died, I think they would cry inside. They have to resolve their anger. It might be years. Who knows, really. I’m giving them their space, not because I don’t care, but because I do. I am never going to totally give up because doing so would be saying I don’t care about their kids and that’s completely untrue–there are a total of SEVEN grandkids! I can’t not love those sweet babies.

I’m a StepMom at 38 (in a week) with a stepdaughter of 32 and a one of 30, and I have 2 minor children at home and a total of SEVEN grand-babies.. Wow. I admit, that does look crazy bizarre.

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3 Comments

  1. A friend’s mother died after marriage to his father for 23 years. He remarried to a woman who is between 10 to 13 years older than the children of the first marriage, and the woman was married to their father at least 34 years before he died, i.e. longer than to the children’s mother.

    In that time, the step-mother never had a decent relationship with the children for reasons related to trust funds their mother set up for the children but the father somehow moved over into his account. (Allegedly….) Plus they thought she was a gold digger because of the age difference. (Anyone who’d live with the father that long- and I liked him! – deserved to inherit the house, etc., though she married him for love, silly person. I truly believe that.)

    When the youngest child married, the people attending were divided into the father’s side of the issues and those on the children’s side. I walked into it, ignorant of the issues, and found I was put in the one side the people I socialized with briefly (“Hi! Lovely wedding, eh!?”) fit into because they were on the step-mother and father’s side, so the other side gave me lots of cold shoulders. UGLY! Then, because I talked with the side that gave me cold shoulders, the other side started to do the same. PATHETIC!

    The middle child married. Same business, only the divisions were carved in granite by this time. I talked with the couple briefly, but knew better than to try to guess which side I could talk with without upsetting the other: i.e. don’t socialize with ANYONE! It was so stressful trying to avoid a situation by talking with the “wrong” persons, I resolved never to attend any weddings or funerals in that family again, and haven’t.

    I know to talk with either side, now, only when the other side can’t see me. I actually like all parties concerned, and felt uneasy not going to the father’s funeral because he was someone I’d know since age two! (I was 64 when he died, so it was an old friendship.)

    Later, talking with someone from the father’s side of the clash (I thought, since she is his cousin), I learned that the father’s funeral was just as horrific as I anticipated it would be, with the widow shunned by the family there because of the father, and the other side, well, snarling under their breath, tolerating the side they hated because the children hated the widow.

    Speaking as a total stranger with this experience with a screwed up family where the other wife came into the picture after the death of the mother, who clearly would never be around to reclaim the father- geez! – I have one recommendation for the girls: GROW UP! The time spent shunning and being immature about things is time wasted that will never be returned to you. You hurt yourself more than the step-mother, showing yourself to be petty, immature, little girls, not adult women. Further, friends of yours and your step-mother and father mostly could care less about your issues, and are likely damn tired of trying to maneuver around you and your father and step-mother for fear of upsetting you. I repeat: GROW UP!!

    Other than that, I enjoyed your blog, and will subscribe to it. I want to learn if the daughters finally grow up, apologize to you for their pettiness, then everone one sat around the dining table laughing about how silly the whole business had been.

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    1. Thank you for the wonderful (long, detailed–LOVE IT!) comments….I get you, I get you big time!
      Thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking for soooo long now. HeHeHeHe
      I think if you’re really interested in this you should check out my blog on
      blogger. So that my comments don’t get spammed, I’ll tell you that you can get to my
      Google+ profile it’s under my name Jenni Stockton πŸ™‚ I have two blogs on there, one
      is my Evil StepMonster Chronicles blog
      Oh I was able to add a link to it here, so it’s above. Anyway thank you for subscribing πŸ™‚ You’re
      a cool dude!

      Lulubelle7537

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  2. Thanks for this Jenni. There are definitely truths to this blog for me!!! Being a step mother is definitely the hardest thing I have done! I treat them like my own and love them but I agree with the mistakes that are made being a much bigger deal than if the biological mom made them. I love my step children and hope they love me. Sometimes, between the bad mouthing done by people who don’t want my step kids to love me (ill let u guess who does that) I have to take a big huge breather and pray or cry or just talk my self down and tell myself I do the best I know how in loving all these kids. I truly have all their best interests in mind. There are sooo many parenting differences in my situation it gets pretty hairy sometimes. My husband does a pretty good job at being my partner in parenting though. It’s definitely been one of the biggest adjustments in mine and my kids lives!

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