Monday, October 12, 2015

Past Memories

Have your stepkids ever mentioned a past memory that did not involve you and it made you feel out of place? My stepdaughter used to do it pretty often.  There was one time in particular where I felt like they were trying to put the blame on their Father for something that wasn’t really his fault.  When my stepson was three years old he climbed up a ladder and went on top of the roof of the house.  At the time my husband was not at home, he went to the hardware store when this happened.  The biological mother was supposed to be watching him, but apparently she blames my stepdaughter saying she was supposed to be watching him.  My stepdaughter was only five years old at the time of this incident. How can a five-year-old be responsible for a three-year-old toddler? I corrected her and said I don’t think it was your fault your brother got on top of the roof that day, you were only five years old, you shouldn’t be responsible for watching a three-year-old.  Then my stepdaughter blamed my husband, but he wasn’t even home at the time.  However, he did leave the ladder against the house, but really the biological mother should have been keeping a close eye on my stepson.

After a past memory is shared I would try to find some way to change the subject to talk about a memory that I am included in.  It does not always work, but most of the time it does.  It did feel like almost every other weekend we had them she shared a memory of the past that involved her mother and my husband when they were married.  It did make me feel left out and weird at first, but then I learned to let it go and try to find ways to get involved in the conversation of the shared past memory.  It is important to give your stepkids permission to share about the past that doesn’t include me in it.  What I try to do often is when they share something with me around instead of retreating and allowing it to ostracize me, I share something that relates to the past memory that I remember.  Which shows the stepkids that you don’t feel left out of conversation and that the topic doesn’t bother you?  After a while, I came to the realization that my stepdaughter mentioned past memories just to make conversation with us. Usually, after she would share a past memory with us, then she would talk about what was happening in her life that week with her mother’s side of the family or about school.
Has this ever happened with you? How did it make you feel and how did you handle it?

10 comments:

  1. Interesting. I'm not a stepmom but I can see how shifting the blame wouldn't be good for anyone.

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  2. I'm not a stepmom either but I think your strategy sounds good. I can see how this would be especially difficult with younger children whose life still revolves around their parents. They would have limited experiences to talk about. It's good that you reassured her that she didn't do anything wrong but didn't voice your opinion of her mother to her. I can only imagine how challenging being a step parent would be.

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    1. Yes, being a step parent is very challenging and every time my stepchildren are here, there's always a new challenge. I try my best not to ever put down the biological mother because I don't want to put my stepchildren through that. I try to keep my comments about her parenting style to myself.

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  3. I am not quite s step mom yet but I live with my boyfriend who has two boys that are over infrequently. This issue hasn't come up yet but I am sure it will in the future. Interesting food for thought for sure.

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  4. I'm a stepmom. We've been married since our kids were 4, 5, 6 and 6...and have had them 95.5% of the time. It's weird because most of their memories include me. But, I think my case is not the norm.

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  5. I am not a stepmom, but I am an adoptive parent. And totally know the feelings you were describing. Acknowledging and moving forward with new memories is what is working for us. It's hard sometimes, but worth the consistency.

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  6. I am not a step mom, but i can see how you would feel this way. I give major props to step parents your love is by choice. :) great post thanks for sharing.

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  7. Being a step parent is hard, it's also hard being a step child. I'm lucky to be blessed with two wonderful step parents. As is my daughter.

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  8. Being a step mom must be really hard. I can't imagine being in your place. You're a great mom and step-mom, Michelle!

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    1. Thank you, that means a lot. Because being both a Mom and Step Mom is very hard. Hard to wear two different hats all the time.

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