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!

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 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?

How can I find the right balance & Boundaries?
Why does it bother me so much when my stepkids love their mom no matter what I do? Help! How do I have healthy boundaries? I go from giving everything to giving nothing...I am spent.

Hi Cathryn,

Why does it bother me so much when my kids get away with everything? eg.  I had to give our rottweiler back, we got it when it was a puppy and i fought with my husband till the bitter end and stood my ground and said no, then he finally broke me, i caved and of course i got attached the most, he became my dog, of course he became too much he was too big of a dog, and waaaaaaaaaaaay too powerful, I couldn't hold him back, and letting him run was too dangerous, so long story short, I have now ended up with my husband’s terrier (which I am not a little dog person, can’t stand them and am trying really hard to not be mean about it, but now my stepson wanted a little dog too and of course I caved. now I am at home with two little dogs, and both yap the whole time they are in their pens and I am at home alone with the noise, plus I work from home, why do people never think about me?

Thanks, UJ


Dear UJ,

You pose a few very good and very important questions. In the time I have let’s see what we can cover in your question.

Q: Why does it bother you that the skids love their MOM no matter what you do?
A: This is an interesting perspective. Can you create 2 categories in your mind for the love they feel for her and the love they feel for you? I’ve noticed that it can feel hurtful to a Stepmom when she works so hard doing so many tangible things and yet the bio-mom says “Bless you” and the skids feel she is “the Best.” It is an inequity, when it is considered something to compare. The dynamics of mother-child relationships are complex, let alone add in divorce and a mom who is not all that involved. I encourage you to stop comparing what you do with she does and look at how you’re feeling about what you do and why you do it.

Check out the thread about resentment and the case studies in case there is something there that may help you assuage some of your distress. Something is going on to cause you pain, it is about doing whatever you can to figure out what it is and how YOU can change to make yourself feel better.

Q: You ask about how to have healthy boundaries.
A: This is very good place for introspection and there are a few articles and smommentaries that may help you look at your choices in a new way. From what you wrote, your feelings and what you want are not being honored, in at least a couple of ways and you are being forced to be impacted by other people’s choice. That powerlessness is going to trigger rage and there’s a lot of power tied up there. Take a look at when you are (and aren’t) willing to speak up. Do you feel free to speak up for what you want? DO you feel punished or disregarded if you speak up? Whatever anger you are feeling is trying to tell you..”Need new boundaries! ASAP” so you are on the right track. Check out the smommentary “Caring for VS Catering to stepkids” and the 2 articles (Relationship section) about “Boundaries for Nice People.” There’s lots of food for thought there.

Q: Why do people never think of you?
A: This has got to be a very painful feeling and I can’t do it justice here. I’m betting that this is not the first time people have NOT thought of you, what you want and what you need? Anne Katherine wrote a good book about everyday boundaries that you may find valuable. It’s called, “Where to draw the line.” YOu certainly have a right to have a voice in matters of your own life. Seems like it’s time to craft a new path that isn’t about all or nothing, but about flowing in between based on the situation, your needs and feelings.

Please check out the articles mentioned so you can KNOW that you have some options. “Nothing changes until you do.” One of my teachers told me that. Seems maybe you’re getting feedback from your emotional realm that it’s time for you to make some changes. You can do it!

May something in the essays you read, light a fire under your imagination so you can create a greater sense of being respected and honored in your own world.

Best Wishes, Cathryn
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055