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.
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?
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 stepkids 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 stepkids 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