Lessons Learned
Three Suggestions from Veteran Stepmoms​
Awsookisooki's List
Hi I am 34 years old and have been an smom for 9 years. SD is now 13. I do not have any children of my own but that may be a possibility one day.

The three things I would do differently is:

1. I would not try to "fix" SD. I tried so hard to supplement doing what BM was not in the beginning because I saw how it affected my SD. I tried to be affectionate, loving, guide her, support her etc. All of what BM was not and still is not doing to this day. This caused SD to resent me bc she wanted BM to do it and not me in turn acting out towards me. SD had said she could not understand why I can be like that and BM can’t. So me, being me made her resent all of what her mother is not but it was projected onto me bc I was the one who showed SD through my actions the deficit in BM towards SD. I realized I cannot save SD from the relationship that BM is creating. That is for them to workout btwn the two of them. BM is her mother: good, bad or indifferent. I cannot change who BM is for SD nor can I change what BM does. I have no control over it so the situation is what it is. I would have disengaged a lot sooner.

2.I would not take things so personal. I could not help but take things personal bc most kids I come in contact with love to hang out with me. SD...not so much..lol. I had to realize and accept that was a different dynamic. BM was feeding SD things that were untrue about both SD and DH and I let all of it get to me and interfere with me and DH's relationship. And in the end BM's words don't mean anything to me bc she is no one to me and can carry as much weight in my life as I allow. So I ended up saying " Who gives a flying fig whether BM or SD like me, what they say, think, etc" I am with DH not them bc I love DH. SD and BM are for him to manage and deal with not me. I redirected and refocused my energy.

3. I would let DH parent as he saw fit and not try and control his parenting. I was trying to control him bc I wanted him to parent how I saw fit. I needed to let him make mistakes. But I was allowing what BM and SD said and thought about us govern how much I pushed him. I felt like he needed to prove them wrong when all along he was learning just as much as I was and doing the best he could. Now he parents, he consults with me, but he parents no matter how I think it should be done he does it mistakes and all. How else will he learn to be a dad if he has no mistakes? How else would I have learned to be in the space I am now in as a smom had I not made mistakes? He is her dad and just like SD has to work out the relationship with BM, SD and DH have to work out their relationship as well. I relearned my position as his partner and biggest supporter not his director.
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