Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills to do so…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible
Hello Cathryn,

I find my self in a spot that makes me feel " Like I'm the only one in the World" going through this...

Just heard in January of this year 2012 from the woman who was in a relationship with the man who now is my husband since 2003 that she’s calling him to ask him for support for a child he and her had in 2001 . He was aware that she was pregnant and came to his house and wanting to fix their relationship by asking or telling him to marry her at the time when the child was born.

When he refused she vanished taking the child and never communicating with him till now. The DNA test has not been done YET , tomorrow I’m going to look for the Clinic to set an appointment but so very confused .

I'm in a jealous point that I wish this was never true. My husband and I have not been able to have children of our own because I had a hysterectomy before we got married. I have two sons of my own from a previous marriage .

Yesterday she called him and threatened to take him to court for payment. She called him in the beginning saying she thought it was only fair that he pay her $50 week . But some weeks are slow and work is not very productive (we are self employed) and I'm guessing she thinks we are raking in money left and right. My husband is YET to see her (his so called daughter) and has been sending her money every week or every other week.

My husband says he wants to see her and take care of her, so he could make up for all these years he has missed out on her life. The child has no idea who her father really is yet because the mother of the child thinks she needs to go to a psychologist first so she will not be traumatized or hate her for not telling the truth. But this bio-mom wants my husband to pay for it since it’s his obligation ( In which way ? I have NO idea.)

There are moments I get very upset and wish to leave him, just because he’s on cloud nine that he has a daughter. I don't know what to do.

Signed, Confused


Dear Confused,

I sure can understand how upsetting this news is, as well as the shock of getting the news in the first place. It’s quite a “curve ball.” I’m not sure from your letter as to whether you knew (or not) about the existence of this child. If not, then you’ve had a heck of a giant shock all at once. I’m so sorry for how all this is hurting you.

Whenever we experience a sudden emotional jolt, it’s a very good thing to suspend making any major decisions until you have a chance to catch your breath and get back on your emotional feet again. It’s very understandable that you would be upset. Most, if not all stepmoms understand some level of feeling jealous, envious and/or angry at the women who’ve had a child with the man we love.

If you want to join our (now private) bulletin board, I believe you will get a lot of support and compassion for your situation. Feeling like you want to leave him also seems like a reaction to the rushing emotions...especially if you didn’t know about this child or situation. Seeing him, his attentions and his enthusiasm pulled towards this unknown child while he is being “ordered” around by a former lover is going to upset most of us so I hope that you are getting lots of support from your friends at this time.

There are going to be lots of decisions to make.
Is there any way you can get some therapeutic support to help you with all the emotions that have and are going to come up for you?
Is your husband showing you the compassion that you need from him?
Does he know how you feel about all this?
Can there be a space created so that you can feel included in what is going to happen going forward?
If you wanted another child with this man (but couldn’t because of your surgery) then there’s bound to be a lot of grief that will arise, seeing him share a child with another woman. This is all very understandably upsetting.

Whether to leave him or not?
That’s certainly an option for you IF that’s what you want.
My recommendation would be to take action to support your feelings, your needs, your wounds from this shocking news BEFORE you make any lasting relationship decision. Ideally you want to be your wise, grounded, strong self whenever you make such an important decision.

If you need space, can you go visiting for a day or 2 or three?
This is certainly a game changer and a life changer for both of you (all 3 of you, if we include the child.) Is there room in your heart for this child? Do you have any interest in getting to know her with your DH?

This is a hard situation and sadly I can’t offer you much more than more questions to consider and the plea to take the time and get the support you need until you feel settled, grounded, connected to what you really want and need going forward.

I found, over my last 16 years as a SMOM, that many things occurred which kicked up unhealed emotional wounds from my past. Once I embraced whatever was happening in my life, as a chance to get curious about how and why it was effecting me in this way or that, I began to learn so much about myself and what I needed to give to myself (support, kindness, approval, freedom of expression, freedom to grieve, be bitter, feel whatever I did). This can become a powerful transformation process for you...or not. Sometimes things happen and we just know what we have to do.

You are welcome to register for the Bulletin board (if not already) to get all kinds of support from sister stepmoms. I wish you lots of healing and support so you can get to a place of feeling good about your situation.

Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055