The Dreadful “Tide” of Step-Parenting

I wonder if I am the only step parent who feels this particular way.

I feel like the tides are changing in my relationship with my kids. Maybe in particularly my daughter, Doodle. We have been building a relationship since the moment I met her, cultivating a bond that doesn’t come naturally, because I didn’t give birth to her. I thought all was going spectacularly until here recently.

Then the tides turned. I am now faced with a little girl who hardly looks at me when she is with her mom. One that is argumentative, rude, and disinterested in our relationship. One that I am not excited to be around because of the disappointment it brings me. I don’t know if this is a result of something I have done or if it is a phase that all step parents go through- or more like, a tide we struggle with each time it approaches?

A part of me wants to recoil into myself so that I can’t be so hurt by her actions. A part of me wants to yell at her because I know she knows how to act and behave towards others…and this is not it. And yet another part of me wants to sit down and talk to her and try to figure out what is going on to cause this change in our relationship.

I am really just at a loss.

How have other step-parents approached a situation like this? Granted my daughter is 7 she is mature for her age. What strategies have you used when you have felt a feeling similar to this in your relationship with your child?


4 thoughts on “The Dreadful “Tide” of Step-Parenting

  1. This is something I can relate to 100%. I came into my step daughters life when she was 5. She actually met me before I had met her father. She was so playful and always wanted to talk to me and do things with me. When she was about 7 or 8 things changed. I had been living with them for some time and I almost found it a benefit that her mother was in and out of her life before that so I was needed more, until this age. She also completely distanced herself from me and was, and still is, entirely rude to me. She is now almost 10 and I go through this constant struggle of “am I doing this right? What am I doing wrong?”. I have found that I may not do everything right as expected because none of us are perfect, but she is struggling far more than me trying to figure out how to just be around me without feeling like I’m taking her mother’s place. She is now old enough to understand and though she sees and visits her mom regularly she still feels as though I’m taking the place of her mother and if she is rude and nasty I will just leave. This unfortunately comes along with motivation from her mother to believe it which was admitted but my step daughter is witness to how her mother treats me and talks down and nasty to me so she also feels she can do it.
    Being a step mom is no easy task by any means like some would think. I just continue to put out love and know that as much as I struggle, she is struggling that much or more as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for sharing!! It is so hard to love someone so much and watch someone else turn them against you. Your daughter is lucky to have your unconditional love and understanding. I will try to continue to provide the same to my daughter. You’re right, it is not easy to be a step parent!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey Mary. Although my situation is much different than yours, I can understand the pain you are going through. It’s sometimes really hard for us Step Moms because we care so much, and love these children that aren’t “ours”.
    Your little probably feels that she is “cheating” on her mom when she is around the both of you, and feels as if she needs to prove her loyalty to her mother. I would take what she’s doing with a grain of salt.
    It’s difficult for children in this situation. Her mother doesn’t say nice things about you, so she feels as if she shouldn’t like you either. She’s conflicted because of her own feelings about you, and the feelings her mother has. If her mother is high conflict, this would make complete sense.
    Plan a step mother daughter date, and try and rebuild that relationship again. Ask her how she is feeling, what might have changed, and if she has any questions for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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