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I'm too damn old to be a step-parent


kitcat15
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Okay. Let me start my saying I feel AWFUL about even typing this subject and my feelings about it...but I'm losing it.

I'm 54 years old and I have two amazing biological children, ages 25 and 21. I'm extremely proud of them. Their father and I divorced when they were young and I worked hard to continue a good relationship with him, for their sake...which wasn't easy. I turned down 3 marriage proposals when they were young because I wanted to focus on them. Not sure if that was a good or bad move.

Anyway...I remarried nearly four years ago. My husband had been married before; once to "Sarah" (with whom he had a daughter), then to "Samantha" (with whom he had two daughters), then remarried and subsequently divorced "Sarah." He doesn't have a relationship with the daughter from his first marriage. Whatever. Life happens...I guess. 

When we first started dating and got married, he saw his two kids from his second marriage on Sundays only. that quickly changed.

Fast forward...his youngest...13 years old next month...was abused by her mother's boyfriend and we took full custody abut 8 months ago. This is horrible and of course a "good" person would do everything possible to help...and I feel like I have gone overboard trying to do so. Taking to school, dealing with her first period, doctor's appointments, therapy, cleaning room, washing clothes, buying treats...my husband works a lot and doesn't do much of the heavy-lifting. Her mother is an immature mess and isn't doing a thing to win back custody. She (step-daughter) LOVES living with us and says she wouldn't go back to living with her mom, regardless.

The selfish, awful part: I feel like this is the part of my life when I should be focusing on my kids and MYSELF. I'd like to travel. I don't want to hear about teenage drama at this point. I know I should have thought about the consequences/possibilities of marrying a man with baggage FIRST (DUH!) but I really never thought it would come to this. I guess I am a total idiot...but seriously...I am just too TIRED to plan sleepovers and deal with middle school at this point. I'm putting up a good front...faking it...what other choice do I have?? Please help me!!!

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  • 3 weeks later...

In the grand scheme of things, in 5 years the girl will be old enough to go off to college or at least be semi independent. I know it's not in your plans, but 5 years overall goes fast. I'm sure I wouldn't be happy about the situation either, but it does sound necessary. Maybe focus on fostering the mindset and skills to be independent as she gets old enough to do that, which would benefit her as well?  At least you married someone willing to take in a child in this situation, some would throw her to the wolves. Although it's falling to you to care for her. I think it may be best to settle in for the long haul and realize you are actually still young enough to travel in 5 years, and it's not like suddenly having a small baby to care for, fortunately. I hope the situation can lead to something good for both of you. 

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You need to talk to your husband. It sounds like he's accustomed to letting the kid's mother do all the parenting while he works, and there's nothing wrong with that if that division of labor was discussed and agreed upon by both parties. But in your case it wasn't, and he needs to step up. Does he do housework? Cook? What was the original plan when you two got married?

And you are not a horrible person at all. A kid is a huge practical and emotional responsibility, and the world would be a better place if more people devoted real thought to those facts before they had them.

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