Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms wrote in, Cathryn replied​.
Cathryn's Mailbox
2 Youngsters I can't control.

3 yr old SS crying all the time!

A bio-mom worried about new stepmom in her daughter's life- can we help?

About ready to throw in the towel!

About to become a step parent and am terrified!

Bio mom badmouthing me to my stepson & he repeats to me & my kids.

Bio-mom back & I'm hurt by her impact-what can I do?

Bio-mom doesn't want me present at any of my skids school events.

Bio-mom is online stalking & has issues w/ pictures of skids.

Bio-mom physically assaulted me & telling skids it was the other way around?

Bio-mom used me, I drew a line, she’s angry--now what?

BM doesn't want her kids, then does-what's going on?

Clarifying Mission Statement for SMOMS-revised

Dealing w/ bio-mom who doesn't want to get along with me?

Dealing w/ Deceased Bio Mom's Extended Family

Dealing with SD at my young age

DH finds out he has a daughter-I feel terrible

DH sets no Boundaries for SD20-what to do?

DH w/3 bio-kids not trying to bond w/ my 2 bio kids.

Do I love my ss? I don't know.

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?

Don't know where I went wrong

Ever Feel Like Leaving?

FDH feels guilty about leaving BM & allows her to excessively call/text/email him.

Feeling like invisible parent to stepson- help!

Feeling like the enemy in my own house: Teen SD

Feeling resentment towards my SS & can't connect

From BB- A Ritual for you & your beloved

From BB: Self-awareness can hurt...why is that?

Help w/situation that dad, biomom & skid all agree on but I don’t feel is best

Holiday traditions? Some ideas from sister SMOMS

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?

How can I handle my SD8 who loves negative attention?

How do I cope w/DH's need for perfect family when I'm more realistic about it?

How do I deal with a lying SD, her bio-mom & the ex-step mom?

How do I deal with all the hurt and anger?

How do I help her understand that chores and rules don't mean that I don’t love her?

How do I stop SD from lying to me, DH, BM, and BM's boyfriend?

How to accept bio-mom's "bad" choices?

How to deal w/ unkind skids, ex-wife, MIL costing me my relationship?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?

How to handle bio-mom who keeps asking for more $$$?

How to handle it when skids away Christmas Day?

How to help ss, when BM encourages him to lie?

How to help when bio-mom returns

How to let go of the single life I thought I saw going to live versus being SMOM?

How to make transition easier for skids?

how to step back in after stepping out?

Husband still feels guilty, his kids in their 30’s

I am frustrated with my skids 99% of the time...help!

I feel jealous of DH's ex & unheard by DH-Help!

I feel left out & sort of invisible w/ grown SD’s

I really love my FDH, but really wish his daughter didn't exist?

I want a better relationship w/ teen stepson

I want a Closer relationship w/ stepdaughter

I want my bed back

I would like to know how to change my attitude towards my new inherited family

I'm at the end of my tether... Stepchildren don't seem to like me.

If you're in the mood for SMOMS Pep Talk-read this!

Invested so much love, time, energy & $$...seems it's never enough

It's too much work- I need help from DH & Family!

Jealous of sister-in-law & Skids-what can I do?

Just jealous or maybe time to leave?

Local support stepmom groups???

My DH doesn't understand why my feelings are hurt

My husband stays at his mothers when he has his daughter for the night.

Need better coping skills but..how to do so…

Not a step mom yet but need some guidance

Open for your Questions in March 2015

Right now, I HATE being a Stepmom!!!

Self-Pity-it's an emotional numbing,energy draining tactic

Someone to talk to when things come up or whenever?

SS5 keeps throwing his BM in my face! Help!

Struggling w/ a jealous stepdaughter

Stubborn DH and sexually active teenage SS

teenage step daughter & car...Ugh!

the problem is my partner...why is he fighting my efforts?

Transitions and Coparenting Struggles

Trouble coping w/BF's newborn & ex.

Venting Guidelines- A Requested approach

What are reasonable expectations?

What are these letters?

What boundaries do I need to set with husband and sd?

What can we do about the rage! I "Lost it" last night. Help!

What to do about disrespectful 20 yr/old SS

What to do when Bio mom starts turning step daughter against me?

what to do when step child stops saying I love you?

When bio-mom sends stuff from life w/your DH?

When BM causes drama, how to prevent that impacting my relationship w/ the skids?

When to call it quits? What to do?

When winning more important to bio-mom than getting along

Why do things Skid's say bother me so & what to do?-Updated!

Why does it bother me that my skids don't recognize how much their father does for th

Why does my ss's rudeness bother me so?

Why does my stepson Idolize his bio-mom????

Why don't I matter in the family?

Why so jealous? What about irrational fears?

how to deal w/SD choosing bio-mom for school play?
tomorrow is SS8's play at school. FDH and I are going as his my MIL. We invited BM and her mother so suspect they will also be there. MIL asked for us to bring SD4 to the play (she would normally be at daycare during that time). FDH said yes we'll bring her to the play. I think it's good for her to go to the school and will be fun to see her brother...

But I am REALLY REALLY NOT LOOKING FORWARD TO IT!!!!! SD4 and I are really close. But I know when she sees BM tomorrow she will want to sit with her rather than with me and FDH. I understand why she's a little girl and loves BM. But it's really going to hurt my feelings... how can I brace myself for this?


CATHRYN'S REPLY:

Hi, This is probably going to be one of many events that bring up this important issue for you. I hope I can offer you something that makes sense for you. It's certainly natural to feel hurt or left out when skids choose their bio-moms over us. The difference is going to be how you decide to handle your feelings. The good news is you have a few choices. How you choose to think and feel will have positive or negative impact on you and your skids. In your situation, you're feeling what many bio-moms feels when their own children rush to see their stepmoms. Kids/skids do this out of pure enthusiasm and the desire for more love. They'll take it wherever they can get it. You have a chance to do some real, wise loving things in this situation.

You also have a chance to help this little girl feel good about having a bio-mom AND a Stepmom. You can help her see that it's not going to have to be a choice, that she is not going to be punished by anyone for loving both of you. You have a chance to spare her a potential "loyalty war" between her parental units. (See Smommentary about Loyalty Wars for more information) You can sit in that room, knowing that you two are close, trusting that love AND knowing that a child's biological,energetic connection to her mom's is a physiological bond that can be dreaded/resisted by you OR that can be embraced by you and her Dad. She is 4. She is not responsible for the choices of the adults who control her life. She feels any tension and doesn't understand it. You can love her from across the room in a way that will impact her deeply, even if she can never express it. She will feel your love even when she is not sitting with you because your heart will be open. Remember that famous saying, "When you love someone, set them free..."?

You, wonderful SMOM, are older and wiser than your skid. You can do the very thing many of us wish the bio-moms would do for us at times like this...you can be your gracious, generous thoughtful self and put her well being ahead of your tender feelings...for the time of the play. YOU are strong enough to find a way to do what is right for your little skid. This option is a tough, yet wonderful choice that you can make. You do have others but I'm not suggesting them. Your attitude and energy will be crystal clear to your skid precisely because she is 4. SO I'm not suggesting you act from a suffering victim perspective, but from the place of a powerful woman, confident enough in the love connection you share with your stepdaughter, to give her the freedom (the gift actually) to openly love and receive love from her mother. She CAN love you both. She can love you all.

If you are anxious or angry about her choice, she will feel your apprehension. From the perspective of a little one, she's not able to understand all the nuances of the circumstances. Children love their mothers and it's good for them to get as much love as they can from as many people as they can. This is one of the things we wish all our bio-moms would understand, but many don't. From the sounds of it, she'll be going home with you and her Dad. Think of the joy you can give her if she can go to school, see her brother perform, get the attention of her mom and grandmoms AND then get to re-live it by telling you and her Dad about everything she saw and felt and loved about the day?!?

Can you see, again from her perspective how much joy and love and happiness you have the ability to give her? Would you be willing to give your beloved stepdaughter the gift of being able to enthusiastically and openly be happy to see her bio-mom? To me, this is what mothering is about. The gift of giving someone what they need, because we can.

Now, to your feelings. They deserve to be honored and I also know about how it feels to be left out of school events. The adult woman you are, understands about kids wanting to be with their bio-moms. Seems you understand the logic of the situation. It's not the logic of the situation that is upsetting you. It's the emotions that need our attention right now, right? It can be helpful to separate our thoughts from our feelings so we can better support our process. The emotional part of you, who is feeling badly about her wanting to "choose" her mom (over sitting with you) for this event needs some huge doses of lovingkindness and nurturing self-talk.

Can you give yourself a lot of love and support about this so you can free up/spare this dear little girl from having the responsibility of helping or hurting you? When we can realize that many of our own hurt feelings need OUR attention then we can help ourselves without needing anyone else to do or say anything. It is really the beginning of being able to be self-reliant and empowered in a whole new way. Kids and SKids will push all our unhealed buttons and as you step up and find ways to help yourself when your feelings need attention-this is going to give you lots of powerful energy going forward and save you lots of lost time.

Can you trust that as a smart adult woman you'll find a way to support yourself and your feelings about this situation so that you can attend this play with your head up and your heart wide open? Can you know that the hurt feelings will be supported by your friends, your sister SMOMS and hopefully your sweetheart?

Choice is a powerful thing. The more choices we are aware of for any given situation, the more powerful we feel when we finally make a choice. (You may want to read my article about choices. I think it is called "Are your choices based on courage or fear?") Sometimes it can also be helpful to fast forward and imagine how you will feel after you have made your choice-as if you are looking back a year later. I hope that you'll see that by making the choice to go to the play and be OK with wherever your stepdaughter chooses to sit, you are showing your stepdaughter that it's OK (and safe) for her to love both you and her bio-mom. I think you'd feel proud of yourself for giving her that gift. We are here to help you. What choice feels right for you?

Good Luck. Your Stepdaughter is a very lucky 4 year old. Best Wishes, Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055
609.206.2009
Cathryn@smoms.org