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…

No matter what I do, bio-mom still hostile. I feel hopeless & scared

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?

Does the BB help or hurt with issues?
I am just wondering if anyone has found that by going on the boards, it has actually perpetuated the stress level with regards to BM? meaning, that by going on here and reading other posts, it only makes you more resentful towards BM and all of her craziness, thus being counter-productive? i was just wondering if i was the only one who felt that way sometimes. its like, when i am on here, it puts the BM and the problem of her in the forefront of my mind. dont get me wrong, you ladies have been sooo supportive and helpful, but this is what i have been thinking lately. just wondering all of your thoughts on this. thanks!!

CATHRYN’S REPLY

I'm so sorry to hear that this board has been a source of increased stress for you. While I don't know the details of your situation with your skids' bio-mom, I do know hostile bio-mom stress and it can be overwhelmingly impactful in our lives. The feelings you are describing are the same feelings I had after leaving 3 different stepmom/stepfamily support group meetings in 1999. It was actually the feelings you are describing that led me to get frustrated enough to leave the group and say, outloud in the car, "I'm a stepmom on a mission and I need to do something to help myself because there has to be a better way." A couple of ah ha moments and 3 months later the first Stepmoms on a Mission meeting.

What you're speaking to suggests we need to get more focused, on the posts, on how we're feeling, what we need to be different and what we can do to create change and give ourselves what we need. While it's always tempting to share stories about the horrific things hostile bio-moms can, have and will continue to do (misery loves company) we have all realized that talking about it rarely changes anything ONCE we understand our feelings and feel understood by someone. It is very important to get clarity and acknowledgment as a first step.

As SMOMS we can (and do) fill that role for each other. Being with women who truly understand how button-pushingly excruciatingly painful and infuriating our skids, their bio-mom and our situations can be is just what we need to get started in making things better for ourselves. It's also very important to remember that it's only the first step and most other groups (at least many that I first attended and discovered) stop at the point where the magic really can begin. We've uncovered a secret that works. Understand, get acknowledgment, get creative with options, then choose and act. That's a succinct formula for our process.

Let's all use this post as a reminder to help each other stay focused on the goal-helping each other better understand and get clear about, our feelings, our needs, our rights so we can find creative and healthy ways to get and hold our power and our protect and preserve our well-being and loving natures.

Once we understand our feelings, or the feelings of a sister SMOM, let's turn our focus to, "OK, What do you want to create going forward?" This means we have to resist the natural, almost magnetic temptation to linger in the space of blame, bashing and victimhood. Sometimes it's hard to move on, like when you ride past an accident...and that's where we can help each other. Have you ever noticed how wise we can be for someone else's situation? Have you ever noticed that reading the situation of another can help us get more in touch with what we're really feeling? Sometimes those feelings are scary or painful. Sometimes it is can feel safer to sort of "get into" the feelings of someone else's situation. It can go either way. This is a very human thing. It's very understandable. Not bad or wrong, just very human.

Going forward we can help each other by being as aware of our feelings, as brutally honest with ourselves, as we can. We can realize (self-talk required here) that the quickest and most effective route out of the pain and rage is moving forward into a new way of handling it or processing it or reframing it or changing it. This group is very creative, very compassionate and very, very smart so we have all the raw materials we need to help each other through almost anything.

I'm aware, as I say this, that I've been away from the BB for most of the past 4 years. You all have been doing a great job without me. I can see that and I am grateful for all the SMOMS who kept our mission alive in my absence. During this time I've had an intense period of crises followed by learning, counseling, training and healing. A lot of things are different for me now and as we all know, hindsight is often 20/20.

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I'm even more inspired to help you all get more value and more support from this board after reading it. Please be open to a new way of processing your feelings here. I'm grateful for so many women, from so many backgrounds that are registered and active here, as there is bound to be someone with exactly the right words of support for each of us. Please pass along any more feedback about this site so we can make it better at every turn.

Sincerely, Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055
609.206.2009
Cathryn@smoms.org