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?

How to help when bio-mom returns
Dealing with bio moms return after long absence 

Question:  I have been helping my husband raise my stepsons for almost 3 years now. Without bio mom around she has been in and out of jail and things. She is about to complete rehab and has been trying to talk to my husband about opening a line of communication. He is unwilling and I agree with him not wanting her to se the kids yet. But I have been trying to get ahold of bio moms mother to let bio mom know if she wants to talk to me so I can explain things better as my husband isn't very good at it, or just ask what her kids have been up to she can talk to me. But no luck as I'm just being ignored. I'm so mad...I'm the one who is with her children the most. I don't understand.

Cathryn's Reply: 

Hi there,  It makes sense that you would have a lot of feelings about this situation.  Because I only know a little bit about the circumstances, I'd like to ask you to think about a few questions.  Maybe these questions will help you find a pathway to feeling peaceful about the situation; that's my intention. 

1. Regarding you not being able to get through the the bio-mom's mom...what if this is just the "Universe" trying to help you not get involved for your own good?

2. What if you work with your husband and write her a letter to tell her about what is happening, all you'd like to share with her?  I can't tell from your letter if your husband is aware of you feeling he is incompetent at explaining?  Can you see how this could upset him?  (Even if it is true and you are a better communicator, how can you work WITH him to accomplish your goal?  Write a rough draft for him to edit?

3.  What is your goal exactly, in wanting to become directly connected to the bio-mom?  I can tell you, from 19 years of personal experience and working with thousands of stepmoms since 2000. that directly connecting with a kind or civil bio-mom is challenging enough. Inserting yourself in this situation, before she and your husband work things out in their way could really cause horrible stress between you and your husband.  If you haven't told him what you are trying to do, he could well feel betrayed by these actions.  How can you honor your need to be included AND stay connected to your husband in this likely to be stressful situation? Please see the public article on the site, under SMOMS & their partners about the "Nobodies Right, nobodies wrong approach to relationships." 

4. Re: you being ignored. It is incredibly painful to feel ignored, invisible, like we don't have any rights, etc. I hear you loud and clear. It is so hard. Again, I don't know the details, however is it possible that the bio-mom and her family feel ashamed about her actions and resistant to working with you because you have been "the good mother" to these kids? I could certainly understand that. The bio-mom/kid connection run very, very deep and you may be setting yourself up to be the punching bag for a lot of misdirected anger.  It could be a very very kind thing you are trying to do, but I'd encourage you to figure out what is propelling and compelling you to try to be helpful  to her at this time?  No right or wrong answer, just something that is likely to give you some insight.

5. Do you have your own bio-kids?  Is her return threatening your sense of connection with the stepkids in any way? Is some part of you afraid they will reject you when their mother returns?  Did you ever see the movie, Kramer vs Kramer?  If any of this is true, I can really relate AND...if you want to take the loving, high road for the sake of the stepkids, you will separate these two issues and help yourself AND the stepkids with 2 different plans. 

6. Finally, you definitely do know more about her kids than she will ever know.  Is it possible that the true value of your wisdom will feel like daggers to her heart no matter how you present it?  Does she want to know anything about their past?  Perhaps writing down as much as you can think about and giving it to your husband will give him the support he needs to share as much as he wants to...with you knowing that you have given him support unique to you.  

Is it enough for you, your husband and the kids to know you have changed their lives when their own bio-mom wasn't around?  
Is there a part of you who wants to make sure she knows who's more important to the kids?  

These are all very human feelings, so I would ask you to think again about this...what is your goal for this situation?  Who are you trying to help?  What are you trying to accomplish?

Your stepkids are incredibly lucky to have you in their lives.  Those years and the positive impact you have had on them will never be erased, nor can they be made up for. This fact is going to eat at the bio-mom.  Not knowing how self-aware she is, I can't predict her handling of this reality, but I bet your husband can...maybe even better than you might believe.

Going forward, you  have another tremendous opportunity to help the stepkids in your life.  You can show them that you honor their desire (conscious or not) to have a safe, loving connection with their bio-mom.  You can show them that it's safe for them to love both you and their bio-mom.  You can trust the love you have shared with them, even if it takes a back seat to their bio-mom for awhile. You can joyfully, lovingly and wisely support them in the terrifying future of possibly opening their hearts again to someone who crushed it.

I'm not sure if this is helping you understand things better and I will hope it does give you some new ways to look at the situation and your many choices. 
Please feel free to join our group as a Guest Member (Free) and get more support and opinions from the other stepmoms on a mission at SMOMS.org

May you begin to see new options, feel more peaceful about it and feel excited about the possibilities.
Kind Regards, Cathryn

Copyright 2016 Cathryn Bond Doyle. All Rights Reserved. 
Cathryn's Mailbox
Stepmoms on a Mission®
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