Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wicked Stepmother

I'm having a tough time this morning and feel the need to vent/share, hope you'll bear with me here. As I've mentioned a time or two before, Beren has two teenage daughters who visit us every other weekend, a week here and there over holidays, etc. Let me first say that they are bright, lovely girls who have never caused us a bit of real trouble. They get good grades, are polite and have decent manners. However...this "blending" of our families has not been easy. As hormones swell and the realities of this "new" life have begun to sink in (they've been coming here for 2-1/2 years now), things have become more and more uncomfortable to the point where I am sometimes (Ok, often) dreading the weekends. Days before their arrival I start to fret, anxious and consumed with worry over what their visit will bring this time. Compound that with the fact that next month they will be coming to stay for an extended period of time - 2 solid weeks - something that has never happened before! I can only imagine how stressful that's going to be and yet have no idea how to make the situation better.

You see, I have read the parenting books, visited the appropriate websites, spoken with professionals, talked to the girls themselves until I am blue in the face and spent countless hours with Beren examining and reexamining every possible option, anything, anything to make their time with us more pleasant and comfortable for all, to no avail. Each and every time it's the same, with different degrees of tension, yet never ever without incident. I'm at my wits end, don't know what to do or where to turn from here, am becoming increasingly resentful and angry which is certainly not a good thing for any relationship. This is so unlike me, you all know that I am normally a kind, giving person, warm & welcoming to anyone visiting the Castle..and I am, ashamed of myself but unable to deny my feelings!

If any of you have been in my stilettos, can give me insight or some magic solution to the problem, please feel free to chime in. All I want is some peace and harmony in my home, live together and love each other without this chronic stress and strain! At this point I'm starting to believe that Cinderella's stepmother didn't start out evil; she was probably a lovely woman who was pushed to the limits by her ungrateful, unappreciative stepdaughter to the point where the poor dear finally just snapped! Just kidding....sort've....sigh...


Michelle said...

I have been in your stilettos! Fortunately, I had no children prior to being married, so the only blending was me, with them. I too found myself dreading the visits on occasion... well, most of the time with some of the kids. I'm not sure that I have any words of wisdom, but you are not alone with your feelings.

We found that if we separated during those weekends... I would do something with the children I adored (I know, that sounds horrible) and he would do something with the others. And I had to have my hubby step up to make changes... I'm sure you know, to have him speak up when the kids were being so unappreciative and disrespectful.

Best of luck!

Jen said...

I have no experience with this at all, but I wanted to send you a virtual hug.

Sorrow said...

Oh dear...
I have never been in those sandals..
but I have a few friends who vent a bit.
And I will share what one did once..
When her 3 darling ( ahem) step children were coming for 2 weeks one summer. She told her husband that she would happily be there for the first week, but the second week she was going to be away. That she felt he needed to spend "quality time" with his kids..( because wasn't that why they were there?) and so she took herself off to her sisters house for a week.
And it was what got her threw the snide comments and tantrums of the first week.
Hope that helps..

Rapunzel said...

Michelle, I'm not sure if you were "fortunate" or not, it had to be hard to handle a ready made family with no mommy experience of your own! Wow! I don't envy you that.

Thank you for the input, I think so much of the battle is setting those boundaries, don't you? And then the Dad being willing to speak up when they are crossed.

Rapunzel said...

Jen, thank you so much for the hug! :)

Rapunzel said...

Sorrow, that is a great idea what your friend did! Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to go..grin..and my children would DIE if I left them alone with him and his kids! LOL! Perhaps one day when I have the $$$ I will take off for that week but by the time that happens they'll all be grown.

Thank you so much for the input!

kim said...

I have had my stepmother for 40 years. She is great. Same with my stepdad. Neither of whom has children before me.

What did they do? They treated me just like they would had I been their biological child.

When I was bad, I got in trouble, felt guilty for my bad behavior, and one time I even got spanked for not beig repsectful.

I was never that bad. Normal pouting, whining child and teenaged angst later.

They need to respect you and Beren. They should be happy their father found someone who loves them so much and obviously makes him happy and tries to make them happy!

Wish I was there to help!

Rapunzel said...

Thank you, Kim. It sounds as if your parents did exactly the right thing, kudos to them!

You know, the thing is that I do believe they actually *like* me, the problem truly lies in their relationship with their dad, and the situation with me only exacerbates it. IMHO and from what they have told us.

We'll get through it, somehow..