New to site! Need to be taking more advice than I can give, but if I would have found this at age 21, when I got married to man with baggage, I might have done things diffrently.
1.) I would not deal with bio-mom. She’s bi-polar. At first, I left it alone and then I got sucked in, feeling I should pick up where my husband left off. DO NOT. It is your husband’s duty to deal with his ex-wife and mother of his children. Now she calls constantly and wants to try to be friends, when really she doesn’t, she wants your trust so she can manipulate everyone involved.
2.) Establish EVERYTHING before you, at any point, cohbaitate with all involved. Talk through the dumbest (it seems) of details and WRITE IT ALL DOWN!
3.) Choose your battles. As hard as it is (and 6 months into my stepson living with us I find this INCREDIBLY DIFFICULT), let the small stuff go. As long as they can contain their mess to their room, ignore everything else. I drive myself to anger, isolation and tears when I worry about all the little things. And if they bother you to the point of no return, tell your husband. Explain why and how things upset/frustrate you and ask him to deal with it.
Background: I married my husband at 21, having never met his family and after 2 yeras of living together. His kids were 4 and 6 when they came to stay the summer with us. My husband worked the midnight shift and I instantly played mom. WRONG! BAD SITUATION! He was only around on weekends! Up until this school year, they both lived with their bio-mom. This year, my husband and their bio-mom gave stepson the option to live here or there (at 12 years old!). Now, he has the decision to make on whether or not to stay…which will impact a lot of things in my life that I feel I have no control over…another biological child; getting a bigger house, opening up or keeping my feelings guarded. Whether or now I may need therapy!!!!….Hope this helps some new, younger, SMOMS!