Lessons Learned
Three Suggestions from Veteran Stepmoms​
Butrfly462's list

SMOM age 29, SD9, DS 4 months. Been married to DH since 2009, together since 2007.

1. I wouldn't fight DH's battles. I was the one who pushed for primary custody of SD bc I truly believe it is best for her to be raised by us, however, I don't know if DH would of done this on his own. Looking back, I think I was really thinking that SD would be best raised by me, and quite frankly, that isn't my job. So now, here we are with SD M-F, and I spend most of my time wishing she weren't here. I was also the one who dug up most of the dirt on BM and who put together all of the custody papers for the custody battle. I put so much pressure on myself to get "it all" and I was such a nervous wreck that I became extremely resentful of SD and the situation, which is ultimately not fair to the child.

2. I wouldn't sweat the small stuff. I'm a big worrier by nature, but I absolutely dwell on things sometimes. During my whole pregnancy, I dwelled on the custody battle, I dwelled on how much I hate being a smom, I dwelled on how I didn't want my SD near DS bc she comes from BM, I dwelled on how I didn't want my DS to be exposed to all of this dysfunction, etc. etc. I still worry and dwell a lot, although it has gotten a lot better now that I'm no longer pregnant! But had I known how much this whole situation was going to affect my anxiety and my ocd, I may have thought twice about whether or not I'm the kind of person who is strong enough to deal with being a smom. 

3. I wouldn't try to pick up all the pieces that BM left behind. Yes, she is a horrible person. Yes, she is unfit to be a mother. Yes, I have a very strong opinion about her. But at the end of the day, I can't fix all of her flaws. I tried for a really long time to do all the things that SHE should’ve been doing. And I again became extremely resentful bc here I was raising someone else's kid, to be smacked in the face with a custody battle in the middle of my first pregnancy. My DH also became quite accustomed to me doing everything and I began to feel taken advantage of. So I stepped way back and disengaged, and I think this was hard for me and probably confusing to SD. I wish I had just been a good role model and a buddy from the getgo, instead of pseudo-mom, role model, buddy, housekeeper, homework helper, manners teacher, etc. etc. 

I think had I known what I know now and had I found that balance initially, our entire situation would be 100% different. I'm not sure if it would be better or worse, but now I'm left trying to find happiness with the situation, and it is really hard sometimes. SD is a great kid, but the situation as a whole is really tough. I wouldn't wish it on anybody.
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