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Being A Stepparent...

To anyone who's read me before knows that I have two stepdaughters - Trouble (17) & Sunshine (14).  For those that haven't read me before, I'll give you a little backstory or refresher if you've been around these parts before.  Anywho, I started dating their father, Paul, back in June of 2010 so the girls were 12 & 9.  Paul has had primary placement of the girls pretty much since their mother/his ex-wife moved out of the home.  I'll call her SLW (her initials).  She was in & out of the girls' lives, moving to other states or different cities for guys while living her daughters back.  She was never all that involved whatsoever.  I came around & it was a long time before Paul would let me even be around his daughters, which I understood, he didn't want them to get attached if things didn't work out.

Well, I started coming over & spending time with them & doing things with them, going to school activities, helping with homework, showing how to do their hair & makeup - all the things a mother should be doing.  There were even nights when I would put them to bed that one or the other would grab on & wouldn't let go cuz they didn't want me to leave & begged me to stay.

Once their mother learned about me, she first tried to get Paul back, he obviously denied her.  Then she would start making cruel things up about me like I was a child molester, a stripper & cult leader.  She would tell the girls how I was going to take their father away from them & that I was this horrible human being.

Trouble was, well, trouble from the very beginning.  She would try to tell me to take pictures of Paul & I off as my profile picture on Facebook, she would throw fits if she found out that Paul & I were off doing things while she was with her mother, etc.  But other times, she would be so sweet to me & make me things saying that she loved me & would tell me that I was more of a mother to her than her actual mother.  However, she hated that I would not turn belly up for her & give her her way all the time, that was our demise.  She is currently living with Paul's parents due to my last straw with her back in November.  I won't go into too many details but she got physical with me (she had before as well) but this time took the cake & I was done.  We both unfriended & blocked each other on social media.  She just recently unblocked me on Facebook & we've sent a few short messages back & forth.  I'm still not ready to forgive her for what she did but I do give her credit for talking with me.  She has some more work to do on herself as well.  Now, here's the kicker, her mother called her up & yelled at her for talking with me.  Really?!  I just don't understand the hatred SLW has towards me, it's insane how much time she must take out of her day to just sit around & hate me.  Don't get it.

Now, Sunshine.  There's a reason I call her "Sunshine".  When things were going poorly with Trouble, Sunshine was always my bright light.  She is a kind, loving girl & she gave me chance right off the bat.  She was sweet & would hold my hand in parking lots or want to be held.  But as of late, she's not been very nice to me either & after all is said & done, I have to remind myself that it's just typical teenage stuff but I'm so scared that she's going to turn a corner & start acting like her sister.  Everyone says that she will not but that fear is still there.  She also has her mother chattering in her ear & her sister.  I've got all these forces working against me.  I say or do something she doesn't like, she runs up to her room & calls or messages her mom telling her that I'm being mean.  I hate that, it sucks SO much.  She's my Sunshine, one of the reasons I didn't give up when things were really bad with Trouble.

I've gone to bed two of the last three nights feeling lousy about myself & my abilities as a stepmother.  I know that some of you out there are stepparents, do you have any tips for me?  I went on Pinterest last night & started looking up quotes & such about being a stepparent & a lot of it is about doing the work of a "real mom" but not getting the credit, appreciation, etc.  I knew it would be hard but right now it just seems SO hard - I've got one that I've failed & another one that is coming up & I'm just so afraid that I'll lose her too.  Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself.  I don't know.  Ugh.


  1. Mandie, the line that jumped out at me that I have to say "I've got one that I've failed"...from every conversation we've had and every blog post I've read, I won't accept that you say you've failed her. You've been loving and giving. Yes, you've set boundaries and handed out consequences, but that is not failing her. She may not appreciate it now. She may never appreciate it. But that is not YOU failing.
    Don't give up. Don't give in to the gossip. The meanness. The inappropriateness. The lies. Seriously? A cult leader, stripper, and child molester? Damn, you've been busy.
    I know it is terribly hard, but you must continue to do what you feel in your heart is the right thing to do. You cannot control how others react to you.
    I wish Sydney to Wisconsin was a whole lot cheaper, and a whole lot less expensive, and I'd be coming to give you a big old hug and a glass of wine!

    1. I knew that you would comment as I know that you understand. I too wish that you were closer cuz really, you were the one that I wanted to hear from. You made me cry with your comment. Somedays, I know all those things that you told me are true but just lately, I've been feeling sorry for myself, I guess. I gotta stop that & pick myself back up. I appreciate you very much! Hugs!

  2. I know this was a serious post, but I admit I LOLed- "child molester, stripper, CULT LEADER?" What?! That is ridiculous, and laughable.

    Of course I don't know anything about it other than what I've read, and I hope you don't think I'm overstepping (cos you asked for advice from other step-parents, not busybody cousins), but you have always seemed to be such a reasonable, constant, fair, loving prescence in the girls' lives. I've admired the ways you've cared for them and loved them. They may need to get the "teenage angst" out of their systems, but one day they will recognise all you've done for them, and I certainly hope they express their appreciation & love for you.

    1. Oh my gosh, when Paul told me that she said that I was a child molester, the only thing I could say was "I don't even own a rickety van". My response to the cult leader thing was "don't I need Nikes to lead a cult?!" I've laughed those things off as it just shows how bat shit crazy she is.

      I loved hearing from you. I know that when I was younger & you too, I'm sure, I disliked how hard my mom was on me but now, I thank her for that cuz I would not be who I am without that. I'm just hopeful that someday, these girls will say that about me.


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