Monday, February 11, 2013

Hold It In

Jump into that water and see for yourself
Take a deep breath and hold it in
Hold it in

She's got a secret
And she wants to tell
But I made a promise to hold it in
Hold it in

Hold It In--Jukebox The Ghost

It has been a while since my last post--mebbe that's a good thing--it means that I've been living my life with its ups & downs & generally having more ups than downs.  There have been a few--downs--like the continuing struggle with the youngest skid who really makes it hard to like her.  And instead of venting my spleen here, I went to a step mother discussion board sponsored by StepMom Magazine & got some good advice. Like the song from above--I do a lot of holding it in as a step mom.  I find it hard to admit that there are many times that when the SDs don't come over for whatever reason, I'm way happier.  It makes life much easier.  Saying that made me feel that I was a bad person--also being done with them on Sunday mornings--wishing that the weekend was over & they were going home.  It's not that I don't want them around or that I don't like them, it's just that it is very hard to maintain an unruffled & pleasant appearance--very stressful.  They cannot seem to handle that I have emotions too--that sometimes I get angry & slam a door or yell.  So every other weekend I'm on eggshells.  And the youngest doesn't make it easy as I said--the whole one step forward, two steps back kinda' thing, so that's why I sought advice because I was really at my wit's end.  Here's what one woman had to say:
I think a lot of times "I don't like her" really means "I don't like that my life is changing and my dad is changing so I am going to try to change it back to the way it used to be." Unfortunately, this usually plays out as an issue with the woman who walked into the situation, wondering what she possibly got herself into. It's easier to blame the new person because "those issues were not there before."
Give space and take space. There is no rush. You do not have to like each other, just treat each other with common courtesy. At some point your BF will have to take your side and stand up for you. It is not easy for them to do.

That was very helpful because it reminded me that it does take time & we're still new at this--and there will be setbacks.  Another woman had this to say:

I think one thing to remember is all that you are feeling is normal. The fact that you enjoy your time without the stress of having the girls there. That's normal! The fact you want to send them back to their BM when you've had enough -- normal! And it's also normal for the kids to have wishful thinking that their parents will get back together or that they will have their father to themselves when they choose to be around him. All normal.

Reading the responses on the forum really helped me--I have come to realize that sometimes I must have "a grin & bear it, slap a smile on my face" attitude when I am being pushed around & hope that I can contain my own emotions without losing it & saying what I'm really thinking.  I do that a lot when the skids are around.  This step parent gig really is one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I know Xing Fu is worth the effort but sometimes it ain't easy being green.  

But I end on a positive note--a good encounter--this past weekend my "M-I-L" was in town with the stepdaughters here too.  Never easy but I decided to do my thing with my besties & go wine tasting--definitely needed--I took some space for myself--something else that was recommended by other step moms.  And then I took my DS (Dear Son) & the middle SD to a sold out  Jukebox The Ghost concert at the OttobarThe three of us had a great time--all of the bands were great--first was the Lighthouse and the Whaler, then Matt Pond, & then JBTG.  I was happy to take them & I think it went a long way in building a positive relationship with the middle SD. So I know it can happen--at some point mebbe I can have a positive relationship with the youngest SD like that.  I don't know, but I keep working at it--like going to a basketball game when I'd much prefer to be out with the BFFs more, etc.  Time, Time, Time.....

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