When you truly realize you are JUST a step-mom, your heart will break. It will feel like you have lost all control, all sense of function and almost as if you’ve lost a child. Once you realize or are even possibly smacked in the face with it – it will feel like a shock, like you were blindsided and never saw this coming. The reason I know this, is it happened to me today.
During this exhausting fight over contempt, parenting time, child support, having me banned from pickups and drop-offs and whatever else she deemed necessary – I feel like every aspect of myself has been tested and re-tested and I am the one who loses.
How did I lose exactly? Because, I married a man and we live in Oregon apparently-
Our attorney called us last week and said that he was going to turn in paperwork asking for in addition to our Tues-Sun every other week, that we also get Wed-Sat on the other weeks, so that we get him every week for at least a couple of days. You’ll notice I say “We” when another cold hard fact is it’s actually “he” and not we at all. My heart was ecstatic at the thought of having little man around every week, watching his bond with my husband growing more than it has already been and all the happy thoughts that follows having our family whole a little more than we have had.
Then, within a flash – it all changes. Husband walks out of mediation with a grin – he whispers to me “We got more time” my heart is about to leap out of my chest I am so excited!! BM even talked with me about Ethan and was very pleasant – things were really going our (his) way, finally. Then once were outside I ask the details and he tells me ” during Summers we get him every other week from Sun-Sun and we get him spring break, and Christmas break” so he is set for school. Instantly I feel my breathing stop, my head is screaming internally WTF, you agreed to what?? and as he is trying to explain how this is MORE time, and now it’s not up to the Judge, and this is GOOD, all I am thinking is my heart is broken! Who cares what happens next SUMMER, and we already have him on Christmas break, that’s not EXTRA that’s not what I want – Damn-it that’s not what I want!!! And guess what – It doesn’t matter what I want – because I am just a Step-Mom. As much I want him to be, he is not my son, I am not his parent and nothing will ever, ever change that. It makes me hate every article I read and was against, it makes me feel like a failure – it hurts – A LOT!
As I yelled and freaked out, then calmed down and tried to rationally explain my point and how he just traded in for a horrible offer, because he is afraid the Judge wouldn’t have given it to him, because he is a man and we live in Oregon – we got nowhere. I should just be happy we got more time. In my mind we lost days,months even – this year overnight calculations will be 130 – next year with their “new agreement” he will have 145, had he waited until Monday and had his attorney go in like he was supposed to – he would have got 209!! TWO HUNDRED & NINE days out of THREE -SIXTY-FIVE – but I’m just a step-mom, what do I know? I’m exhausted and don’t know what else to say at this point.
Have you felt the pain of realizing you’re just a step-mom?
See you next blog – Jess
6 thoughts on “Heartbreak – Reality of being JUST a Step-Mom.”
I have two step sons – I realized that I am just a step-mom when it came to the discussion of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Currently the boys (well I say boys, one just went to bootcamp so it is just one now) – they spend from Friday when school gets out to 8:00 Christmas eve with their dad (us). I have been through this for a couple of years now and it wasn’t that bad. But now that we are trying to get custody of the 14 year old (his choice and law allows him to choose) the discussion of Christmas came up of who gets him when… BM wanted from the time he got out of school to 10 am on Christmas day. We would have to leave before then to get to my parents house in time to do our annual Christmas traditions with them. Of course being a BM (and B stands for something else in this sentence) she brought up the time they spend with her current husband’s family…(their step dad)… but said my family shouldn’t matter. Can you say doubled standard? Before he realized what he was saying, the boy even told the dad he should give in to the mom – not in so many words but that is basically how it was said. Then some other discussions happened but that was the one that really did it in for me… I realized I haven’t been around a whole lot in their lives. They are teenage boys and I know they don’t go around saying I love you to everyone all the time. Most of the times they will say it back to me when they leave when I say it to them…sometimes it is like “ok” or “I like you too”. But I realized that kids pretty much “have to” love their mom and dad for the most part…but they don’t have to love their step-parent. Even though I love them like they were my own, they don’t “have” to love me back. I am not saying that I want them to HAVE To love me or their parents for that matter… but I got down in the dumps thinking that I do love them like my own but the feelings doesn’t “have” to be mutual because I am just a step-mom.
I remember when I had that moment too. When what I wanted and saw was the best option for everyone didn’t matter because I was just the step-mom. It hurts like hell and it never gets any better. I wish I could tell you that it does. All you can do is love that little boy to the best you can, enjoy the time you do have together and make as many memories together as a family as you can. As long as your husband respects you and your decisions, as long as he is willing to listen to your side of things as a person from the outside looking in then you have it made. It’s when your other half doesn’t want what you do…that’s when it hurts the most. That’s where I was at a few years ago. Now him and I aren’t together, we hadn’t seen his daughter in 5 years coming this November. I wanted him to fight and keep fighting for his daughter but…that’s not what he wanted. I fought for her more than he did and I think that’s what hurt the most then. Eventually the situation regarding his daughter was the final straw when he started blaming me for not seeing her more often. At the end of July of this year we broke it off for good, two months before our wedding and the hardest part even now so far removed from his daughter, so far removed from the break up; the hardest part is knowing I’ll never see her again that she will never know how much I loved her and how I never thought of myself as “just her step-mom”. Stay strong my friend you are in a hard place to be and you will be tested for the rest of your life by this other woman and as the child ages by him too.
Thank you so much for you kind words and sharing your story! My heart hurts for all you went through and will always go through suffering in some manner the loss of a daughter. I can’t imagine a 5 year battle to end like that. Thank you again for your sharing your wisdom. I hope you are on our Facebook as well, would love to have you join!
I realize I will never be the mom, but I have something better. I am not the mom!
I don’t have a dog in this fight so I am able to be more open with SS and less judgmental.
SS is 16. Did I mention I hate puberty?
I am the one SS comes to for advice because I am not the mom.
SS’s actions do not reflect on me and my parenting skills because I am not the mom. How he reacts to me does reflect those things.
This is tricky though. It is my nature to remain unbiased about both parents. Most people do not have the patience to hold back. It’s something I learned a long time ago when dating men with children. I never say anything negative regardless. I may think it, but I reserve that for my head and my shrink. No one else is privy to those thoughts.
I know I am doing something right because SS comes to me for everything. What really matters in the end, (I know because my mom did this for me) is SS feels safe and loved. We all want this, and really, don’t we deserve to know at least once in our lives what it really is?
I love the outlook you have on this – and I hope that I get to be anything close as to how you are with your SS. I guess I worry that he has a mom already, and therefore I will only be needed on our weeks. I hope that I will serve a good purpose in his life. Thank you for sharing and instilling a whole new hope! Are you on our Facebook as well??? People om there would benefit from your positive spin!
Sorry I’m getting back so late. I forgot to turn on reply notifications.
I have Facebook, but not a page devoted to this stuff.
I’m starting to think I should since I see how bad others seem to have it.
It has been a long journey to get to this place. It definitely did not happen overnight either.