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Letters from readers and CyberParent surfers.

Stepparents and professionals answer questions from stepfamilies.

Stepparents

Stepparents’ Questions and Answers

Stepparents and professionals answer questions about stepfamilies.

As the blended family becomes more prevalent, we findstepparents giving each other advice. This is a page for stepparents and professionals toanswer questions.

Question:

Can anyone help me? I am only 24 years old and have been a step- mother to a beautiful five-year-old girl for almost three years. We are very close, but the stress and tension between my husband and I is growing.

In a nutshell, I am a stay at home mom. I have a 10 month old son. My step daughter stays with us the majority of the time. She only sees her mother for 4 hours on Mondays and Tuesdays, and every other weekend . Needless to say, I am the only full-time parent she has (my husband works 40 hours a week, and goes to night school). The full responsibility for her has been put on my shoulders, from school to doctors appointments to homework to dance class, soccer, and just about everything else. And on top of that, her mother hates me for being the primary care-giver, but does absolutely nothing to help the situation. She is extremely immature and will not even speak to me (trust me, I’ve tried). She is a very bad influence for her, in every way. She says extremely inappropriate things to her and puts her in the middle of her battle. My step-daughter is seeing a child therapist to help her deal with all the stress she’s put through. She’s even said herself that her mom is "bad" and "mean" and "lies when she says she’s a good mom".

But my husband is afraid to do anything drastic about it because he things if they end up going to court, she’ll get her. There is no court order for them, it is just an oral agreement all this time (they were never married). So, here I am, stuck in the middle, loving and caring for her, while I listen to her cry about the stuff her mom says and does, yet being entirely powerless to do anything about it. Can anyone give me advice on how to handle this?

Thank you, JH

Answer: I have a similar situation so I can relate.

I think at this time you are doing all you can do. It is hard to be anunselfish and mature stepmom when mom is being so childish and selfish. The only thing wehave going for us is that our reward comes from the love our stepchild has for us.

I am ten years older than you are so I think you are amazing to have somuch insight at your age. Just hang in there. Fathers (married or not) are getting morerights all the time and it may work out for you to have your stepdaughter in the future.If not, you will know and your husband and stepdaughter will know what a positiveinfluence you have been in a child’s life. Sometimes that is all the reward we need.WOD

Question:

I am a stepmom to adult children. Not only do they have problems with eachother, they have problems with me and my children. It’s a war!!

LN

Answer:

I had somewhat the same problems when I was first married and a stepmom to adult children. First I read some books on getting along with adult children–mine and stepchildren. I decided to take the easy way and just stay out of everything that I could. Over the years all these children (7 total between us) seem to have worked out their own problems. I hope the same thing will happen for you. Just stay as detached as possible… Don’t take sides and be outloud about the fact that you can’t take sides, even with your own children.

Good luck SS Additional information about stepparenting,stepfamilies.

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Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.

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