Blended Families

No wonder society hates SMs

I was grabbing lunch today and the woman in front of me was complaining to her friend, ?she woke me up earlier than normal?, and ?I have to make sure I?m home in time to make dinner to her liking?, and I assumed she was talking about her MIL.  Then the woman?s friend asked how long ?she was there" for and the Complainer said, ?My husband has her for 3 weeks during the Summer.  She?s such a pain every other weekend when we have her, I don?t know how I?ll make it through three weeks?.  I was dumbfounded.  This grown woman was talking so horribly about her SD.  The contempt and disdain in her voice when talking about the girl was painful to hear.  I ordered my food to go and practically ran away from her negativity before I could hear anything else she said.

I feel so sad and angry.  I?m sad for the girl who?s SM clearly wants nothing to do with her and obviously resents having her around.  I?m angry at the girl?s father for allowing such a poisonous woman around his daughter.  I?m sad for the BM who probably knows how horrible the SM is and still has to send her daughter there as often as she does.  And I?m especially angry at the SM for being such a b!tch.  I could never imagine talking that way about K, or even thinking those things.
 
I guess now I know why the "evil SM" stereotype is still so prevalent  :(
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Re: No wonder society hates SMs

  • I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.  When we hit those years, it was game over - BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.  I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.  But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.  Now I don't. 
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  • This is very sad to hear.  Both what you heard in the store, and your assumptions about stepmothers based on what you heard.  As a stepmother who has gone through very difficult times trying to include myself in my children's lives, I'm saying you probably didn't hear the whole story and shouldn't be so quick to judge.  Here's some snippets:

    SD was fine with me until she found out her father and I were getting married.  Then I was the enemy.

    SS and SD (for first 2 years) told me with nearly EVERYTHING I did, "mom doesn't do it that way."

    Lied to me repeatedly about what their mom does to get what they want (yes, I'm still learning...she doesn't make pancakes from scratch 5 days a week for them.) One child trying to convince me to "spank" the other child, because that's what their mother does to discipline (I refuse to use physical discipline.)

    I find and fund things for them to do when their out here visiting, yet they stomp and sulk anytime their father and I decide we should have a family outing that they might not like. I finally asked DH what was wrong. SD told him that she (without going into detail) didn't like having to compromise outings with me because of my disability, and could I just stay behind and not be with them when they're out here (in a house I got--big enough so they could have their own rooms).

    They've said they don't need another mother (I get that) that I'm not really family (yet they want me to take care of them like their mother, but they disrespect me when they misbehave.)

    I know children will say things that they don't mean, and sometimes they don't understand why it's not ok to say certain things.  But this had been years of behaviors like this, DH and I have tried talking to them about it, and because of their home life with their mother and the things she says about DH and me, it doesn't feel like they'll change.  So by the end of this trip, I've stepped out of the picture, almost completely. It's killing DH, and heartbreaking for me, but there's only so much a SM can do before it's clear she's not wanted.

     People that write "No wonder society hates SMs" perpetuate the poisoning that may be going on in their OTHER households because of bitter ex's.

  • image 2chatter:
    I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.  When we hit those years, it was game over - BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.  I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.  But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.  Now I don't. 

    I gripe occasionally about my almost 14 year old DS.  Teenagers suck!

     But it was the tone she used when complaining about the SD.  I kid you not, there was so much venom and disdain in her voice, it was painful to hear.  There was no warmth, no humor.  I can't really explain it, but just her tone actually made me feel queasy and uncomfortable. 

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  • image RichardandYaya:

    This is very sad to hear.  Both what you heard in the store, and your assumptions about stepmothers based on what you heard.  As a stepmother who has gone through very difficult times trying to include myself in my children's lives, I'm saying you probably didn't hear the whole story and shouldn't be so quick to judge.  Here's some snippets:

    SD was fine with me until she found out her father and I were getting married.  Then I was the enemy.

    SS and SD (for first 2 years) told me with nearly EVERYTHING I did, "mom doesn't do it that way."

    Lied to me repeatedly about what their mom does to get what they want (yes, I'm still learning...she doesn't make pancakes from scratch 5 days a week for them.) One child trying to convince me to "spank" the other child, because that's what their mother does to discipline (I refuse to use physical discipline.)

    I find and fund things for them to do when their out here visiting, yet they stomp and sulk anytime their father and I decide we should have a family outing that they might not like. I finally asked DH what was wrong. SD told him that she (without going into detail) didn't like having to compromise outings with me because of my disability, and could I just stay behind and not be with them when they're out here (in a house I got--big enough so they could have their own rooms).

    They've said they don't need another mother (I get that) that I'm not really family (yet they want me to take care of them like their mother, but they disrespect me when they misbehave.)

    I know children will say things that they don't mean, and sometimes they don't understand why it's not ok to say certain things.  But this had been years of behaviors like this, DH and I have tried talking to them about it, and because of their home life with their mother and the things she says about DH and me, it doesn't feel like they'll change.  So by the end of this trip, I've stepped out of the picture, almost completely. It's killing DH, and heartbreaking for me, but there's only so much a SM can do before it's clear she's not wanted.

     People that write "No wonder society hates SMs" perpetuate the poisoning that may be going on in their OTHER households because of bitter ex's.

    Um, you know that I'm a SM and a BM, right?  And I can tell you that no matter how much bitterness my DH and I have dealt with from K's mother (emotional manipulation, false DVRO, police called numerous times, BM telling K that the new baby is replacing her, etc) I would never allow BM's behavior color my view of K.  And K makes comparisons between households all the time and it has taken a lot of work to get her to understand that what happens at Gma's doesn't happen in my home.  I understand complaining about kids' behavior here and there but to speak about a child that you are helping to raise, regardless of age, with that kind of hatred is never acceptable in my book.

    And to be complaining about getting woken up earlier than normal and having to make dinner doesn't sound like the SD is a holy terror.  It sounds more like the woman doesn't have children of her own and doesn't know that waking up and later making dinner are normal daily activities that one does. 

     

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  • image 2chatter:
    I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.  When we hit those years, it was game over - BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.  I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.  But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.  Now I don't. 

    I'm universally in favor of not judging others based on an overheard part of a conversation. Also not making blanket statements a la "this is why the world hates SM's". That's an over-simplification, and the thing that actually helps is more understanding, not less. 

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  • Again, you're assuming hatred, when you might have been hearing frustration.  You have no idea what has been happening in their life.  I'm sure even after what they've shown me, my stepchildren don't "hate" me, even though it may have sounded like it.

    As for raising the children, I've been told that it's not my responsibility, both by the children and their mother.  If their mother doesn't want it, I have to respect it.

     I agree that you shouldn't judge based on what you've heard.

  • image CurlieWhirlie:

    image 2chatter:
    I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.  When we hit those years, it was game over - BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.  I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.  But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.  Now I don't. 

    I'm universally in favor of not judging others based on an overheard part of a conversation. Also not making blanket statements a la "this is why the world hates SM's". That's an over-simplification, and the thing that actually helps is more understanding, not less. 

    The title wasn't meant in a serious tone, and I know that sometimes tone is lost in writing.  I apologize for that.  It was more a sarcasm with an eye roll kind of tone I was going for. 

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  • image 2chatter:
    I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.nbsp; When we hit those years, it was game over BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.nbsp; I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.nbsp; But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.nbsp; Now I don't.nbsp;


    Honestly I agree. I will never judge bc you just don't know this situation from a few blips. I love my SS but sometimes I hate the situation and sometimes I HATE his attitude
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  • image 2chatter:
    I used to judge these things, then I was a smom to a teenage SD.  When we hit those years, it was game over - BM is crazy, and SD brings that into our home.  I absolutely vent to my friends, albeit not in that way or publicly.  But until we had a full on teenager on our hands, I still judged other people some.  Now I don't. 

    This.  OP, you have it good because you came into's K's life at a young age.  Entering a teenage girls life is much more difficult.

    "How often does the other woman get a happy ending?" Chuck Bass, Gossip Girl
  • I would have felt the same way, Jo.

    And am I the only one who can read sarcasm? What she meant by the title was that overhearing this conversation supports the evil stepparent stereotype that so many of us fight. How many if you who came into a relationship with older skids know that they or their friends probably expected the worst at first? More than one I am sure.
  • image ambrvan:
    I would have felt the same way, Jo.

    And am I the only one who can read sarcasm? What she meant by the title was that overhearing this conversation supports the evil stepparent stereotype that so many of us fight. How many if you who came into a relationship with older skids know that they or their friends probably expected the worst at first? More than one I am sure.


    This. I think PPs are way over reacting the title here. She was saying that this lady is perpetuating the 'evil step mom' stereotype. And OP, I would have judged too. Complaining about having to get out of bed or cook for a child, not to mention the tone and manner you say it was spoken in, I would have judged hard.
  • image SimpleJane:
    image ambrvan:
    I would have felt the same way, Jo. And am I the only one who can read sarcasm? What she meant by the title was that overhearing this conversation supports the evil stepparent stereotype that so many of us fight. How many if you who came into a relationship with older skids know that they or their friends probably expected the worst at first? More than one I am sure.
    This. I think PPs are way over reacting the title here. She was saying that this lady is perpetuating the 'evil step mom' stereotype. And OP, I would have judged too. Complaining about having to get out of bed or cook for a child, not to mention the tone and manner you say it was spoken in, I would have judged hard.

    All of this. I can't believe that woman was talking so ill of her SD! 

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  • I usually tend to agree with a lot of what Jo posts, but I don't really here. I think that if someone had done the opposite and said something to the effect of "no wonder people think all BM's are ..." or something equally awful, everyone would be up in arms. I get that it is meant to be sarcastic, but I also think that as women, especially some amazing women that put up with A LOT of crap, it is hard to not get frustrated with stupid generalizations. I wasn't there to hear the woman's tone, and maybe if I was I would've been annoyed. However, I've heard BM's say hateful things towards their children and even in front of their children, and people just respond with a "oh well parenting is really hard." I was at the grocery store when I heard a mom say she couldn't wait for her kids to go back to school because she would kill them if she had to spend any more time with them, in front of her kids. My coworker was telling a story about her DS and ended it with "I'm really starting to hate that kid." Yet when people hear that they don't judge all bioparents, they see them as the exception instead of the rule. Whereas with stepparents they hear one awful story and its like that must be true because our culture and every fairy tale says it is. There is such an expectation that step parents are expected to put up with so much crap and if they ever complain, it makes them this horrible person to say anything. I'm not saying the lady was right or that OP was wrong for judging. I'm just saying that there are so many awful generalizations and the only way to get away from it is to stop perpetuating it ourselves. 

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  • I think it's ridiculous to judge someone when you have overheard one conversation. If she said she locked the kid in her room and tossed her some bread and water every few days, judge, call the cops, whatever.
    It's freaking hard to be a SP to an adolescent. It's really freaking hard when it's only four days a month and just is outside the norm for you. Everyone gets into a routine and it can be jarring. I know i probably sounded like this lady on more than one occasion, I don't hate my SS, I love him very much and our relationship has grown over time, but the first five to six years were hell on earth and damn right I complained to an appropriate audience. You have no idea what else might be going on in her life. Maybe she is dealing with a stressful job, ill parent, etc.
  • FTR I have no idea how old the woman's SD is. I don't know why people are assuming the kid is an adolescent. The woman didn't look any older than 25 so who knows how old the SD is.

    My point was her tone. It wasn't a tired or frustrated tone. The tone made me really uncomfortable, and I know I would never want to hear my DH use that tone when talking about my children.
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  • Not knowing how old her SD is makes it more difficult to judge.  If I overheard someone using a venomous tone about a 7 year old, I would probably judge it more harshly, (wrong or right, if I heard overheard it I would probably jump to some conclusion about what she was saying).  Maybe there is a behavior problem. Maybe her husband makes her do everything for SD and he does nothing. Or maybe she is a selfish b!tch that wants nothing to do with the child and feels inconvenienced.  Any of those would be unfortunate. 

    If she just had a run in with a particularly snotty teenager, I could understand a harsher tone.  I've used that tone many times myself when venting to a friend, my therapist, my mom or my aunt about the latest incident with SD.  9 times out of 10, that conversation would be when I am in the privacy of my car on the way home from work so no one would over hear it and it would be out of my system.  But I have vented about SD at lunch and quite possibly someone has overheard me and thought I was being unreasonable. 

    Hopefully she was just venting to a friend so she could go home and put on a smile and a better tone of voice with her SD and not ever let her husband or SD know that she spoke about SD that way. 

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • PamelacakePamelacake
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    edited July 2013

    I probably would have reacted the same way you did and just walked away as soon as I could. I don't think it matters how old the child is.. I agree with PP that hopefully she was just blowing off some steam to have a better attitude when back at home.

    I am both a SM and a BM. All SK's are with me full time except the 5th. She moved out. I wouldn't talk about SK's or BK's in a public place like that or in that manner. Do they get on my nerves at times.. yes. Sometimes I have to take a little "time out" for myself. lol.

    I bring things up to DH and talk to him about handling things at times or if it's something that need the counselor's attention I will let them know about it.

    I also think the tone would have a lot to do with it. If if was such a venomous tone... I don't think it would matter what the age of the SK was but hopefully she wouldn't act like that toward or around SK.

    ETA: I may have even vented on here about SK's or BK's but wouldn't ever want it to be misinterpreted into something harsh about them as I love them all the same.

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