Panda03's picture
Panda03

Daughter/sister in a blended family drama

I live in a blended 'family' consisting of myself, age 20, my brother, age 18, my sister age 15, my other sister age 13, my half-sister age 2 and finally my father and stepmother. In our recent house I share a room with my 13 and 15 year old sister, next door is my dad and stepmom, then across my 2 year old half-sister in her own room and next door to her my brother. Along with the stress of still living at home and having no privacy, it seems like there is a battle going on everyday. It just doesn't seem like we are blending. We have only been a blended family for 3 years now. Right before I moved in with them I found out from my mother that my father and now stepmother had gotten married a few months previously and are expecting. So I was upset that my father never told me or my siblings about this. After we were living with him, a few months later my stepmother had my half-sister. Although I do love my half-sister, I find it annoying that she seems to be treated better than me and my other siblings. Like we are second class citizens. I understand my stepmother's side, because it's her first child, so that is expected, but my father sometimes acts like my half-sister is his only child. I guess I'm a bit jealous because he was out of the picture most of my life and my siblings. I just don't see how can ever be a family. My stepmother acts too much as a mother, with disciplining and yelling, and trying to run our lives. We had a mother, we don't need another. I mean isn't there some type of boundary line for a stepmother? Since my dad lost his job and is going back to school, she is the provider. But when it comes to raising my siblings I think there is a time for her input and another when my father needs to be doing the raising. If that makes sense. Me and my siblings feel like my father, stepmother and half-sister are their own little family, and we're just here. Examples of that is that they go off and do things together, such as going to a downtown fair, going out to eat breakfast or dinner. How do mixed families actually become families? What really should be the role of my stepmother? We had a mother, but she chooses not to be apart of our lives, so we don't really want another. Shouldn't she just try to be a friend instead of a mother? Well, that's it for my ranting at the moment. Thanks for reading.

-Ashley



casey22's picture
casey22

hi blended families are tough it most of the time is not a smooth relationship it takes time and a lot of hard work from all involved .i came from a blended family myself it was hard but to answer what you asked the thing about going out to those places and leaving half the family behind is not how family is about blended or not .to be left out is hard it plays with your mind and emotions .as for the stepmoms role in this yes i feel their should be times when she should leave it up to your dad i have a 2 step children and things like deciding a punishment i leave to him if i dont agree with what he does i never bring it up with the kids listening i wait until i can talk alone .i want respect from all the kids in our home so i give respect i never try to be mom they have a mom i just try to be a positive adult in their lives when i do for my children i do for all when they are not with us we may do things with out them but when we plan things such as a fair ,beach ,etc. we plan for when we have them so i can not imagine them living with us and us just going off to have fun and leave them at home .your step mom needs to be aware that she is not your mom ,that you deserve as much as her own blood child ,that their are other kids in the home and they have a dad living in the home.your dad needs to stand up and say i am not going to do these things with out my own children ,it sounds as though he is letting her run the whole house since she is making the money right now but being the one who makes the money does not give you the right to ignore others in the home and their feelings .If this keeps on you may have to start trying to find ways to move out it wont be easy but if she refuses to allow you and your siblings to be a real part of the family the best thing you can do is find a way to move out and have a place for the younger siblings to retreat to .good luck you may try talking to your dad tell him how you feel but i am not sure if it will help it may make it worse if he tells her you did she may feel like you are attacking her and things could get a lot worse.

tamz's picture
tamz

Ashley,

You are 20 years old, why are you still living with your father and step-mother? I understand your frustration with blending a family, but I believe your step-mother and father are also frustrated. You should be planning a life of your own not complaining about the life your father is trying to make.

If your father is trying to be a better father to his new child than he was in the past, then he is doing a good thing. If he was not there for you and your siblings, does that mean that he should do the same disservice to this new child? Let him learn from his lessons and make better choices.

If you don't want your step mother to discipline and yell at you then don't live in her house. She is the lady of her house just as you will be the lady of your own house. This poor woman has five children living in her house (two of them grown) ... Why don't you step up and help instead of critiszing?

summer5kids's picture
summer5kids

tamz i agree with you on the 20 living at home part and also about her dad doing a better job with the new child but lets not forget he still has a couple of younger kids in that home also from a relationship before her new stepmom he must still do right by them and if he is really leaving them out when going places in no way is that right .i am sorry but i must point that out and yes she is the woman of the house the new stepmom but she must also treat the other children with respect and not make them feel left out just because you move on and get your life together and start doing right by a new child does not just make it ok to forget about others that you have also they need to find a way to come together learn what each other are feeling and wants are for this family so that everyone can get the most out of the blended family and feelings are hurt less often i think it is great he is doing the daddy thing and taking care of the new child but the other children i think she said one is around 13 that is still young and needing a dad also .i see it from all sides i have step children that i love dearly and my kids have a step mom that loves them and i have one child who has a dad that got his life together and takes real good care of his kids with a new wife but does not our child together a dad needs to be a dad to all his kids he should not be allowed to pick and choose .

Panda03's picture
Panda03

Thank you summer5kid, reading about everything instead of just attacking me. Yes, I am 20 living at home. I'm not the first 20 year old to live at home, and I just turned 20 not that long ago. But that isn't the issue. I help out by babysitting my sister when they can't afford to take her to daycare or the daycare is closed. I drive, so I help with errands, picking up and dropping my siblings off places plus I do chores, work, and go to school so I can eventually move out. Most of the issues have more to do with my other siblings, the 15 and 13 year old. I agree that it's good that my dad is good with my half-sister, I wouldn't want her to experience the same as I have, but like Summer said, he shouldn't pick and choose, my other sisters live here too now and he should try to improve his relationship with them. I wrote here to get some friendly tips or advice, not to be judged and insulted. But I merely was seeking advice about stepparents and their roles for step-kids. Is it good that my 15 and 13 yr old sisters feel like they don't belong in a family as a whole, and that they don't match up to my 2 yr old half-sister? I did mention that in my previous post. I guess since I am 20 and in most people's opinion should be living out of the house, I guess my views don't matter? Well, then I guess this post will focus on my two other sisters instead of myself.

Thanks,
Ashley

Panda03's picture
Panda03

Thanks for the reply Casey, I missed it when I replied back to someone else. Well I could talk to my dad, but it's not just my stepmother who plans events for the three of him..but I think I shall discuss to him about including my other sisters without it seeming like I'm accusing him of anything. I wish my stepmother would do that, a lot of times she just decides on punishments for my sisters without consulting it with my father, or if she does, she tells him what punishments my sisters need. I definitely am working on moving out, unlike what some other person thinks, I do help out in the house and don't just criticize. I just have pint up feelings that I wanted to express and have feedback without getting criticized by my thoughts or feelings. Journals are good but you can't get feedback or advice or anything else. I'll think about what you wrote, thanks again for replying.:)

Ashley

summer5kids's picture
summer5kids

i would say to do what you can for your sibs if your dad is refusing to put them first also. my adult son has a stepmom who does not like him and never encouraged his dad to see his son or to even pay his child support i had him at age 16 his dad was 21 he wanted to go out and get drunk so i broke it off ,he started dating my friend who had a son a week older then mine he married her adopted her son ,this hurt me so bad because he did nothing for our son over the years he had more kids with her and also adopted his first wife kids he saw my son when he was 2 yrs old and not again until he was in court for not paying child support we went my son was 16 yrs he needed to see him to put closer to it ,his dad and step mom beg for my help because the court was doing mods and taking alot of their money i looked at her this was funny the people who could care less about my son needed me to speak up and tell the court i was fine with the little amount of 120.00 a month they had givin me in child support for all those years i sat their and said nothing i walked out with 980.00 a month instead and of coarse a smile on my face !!! some times step mothers can be wonderful and then their are the few who can not handle the fact a man has other children with other woman .I do feel like your dad should speak up to her and not allow her to treat you or your sibs this way ,is their a way you can make some extra money so that you and your sibs can get out and enjoy some things life has out their also ? dont worry about the still living at home it sounds like your younger sibs are lucky to still have you in the home since favs are being picked .i have a son who is 21 still in my home he works full time ,goes to school he can stay as long as he needs .it is very sad to hear about parents and stepparents showing favs it is very hurtful .maybe you can check around and find some fun things for you and your sibs to do out .i know some places give out free bowling cards .i would focus more on trying to make life better for you and your sibs because if your step mom has issues with all of you ,you may never change that as for your dad he may wake up and take notice but prob not for a while this wife and new child are new to him .i wish you luck i would make sure to focus on school for yourself and your sibs .if it gets worse you may need to get out and give the other sibs a safe haven to retreat to .i just can not imagine playing the fav game with my kids and step kids i just love them all so much .

summer5kids's picture
summer5kids

by the way your views do mater you are still his daughter and deserve respect also no matter is you are newborn or a 100 some people just think life is a straight issue and only should be a straight path taken well sorry life is not like that and thank god ! you keep strong and be their for your family i feel like you care so much about them .dont worry it will all be okay if you stay focused and do what you need to do for your sibs

2xstepmom's picture
2xstepmom

You have a full plate!!! It is admirable that you care so much about your siblings and family to try to get some help and clarity on this forum.

As far as living at home as a 20 y/o student, there is nothing wrong with that. I lived at home until nearly 22 and my 25 y/o daughter has been back at home with me for nearly a year. It seems from your post that you are also to support your younger siblings, which is a good thing. If you were not there to help out so much your stepmother might be ever harder on them.

I can see both sides of the situation having been a stepmother 2x and also being raised in a blended family. My mother was pregnant with me when she married my dad and they had my younger sister 19 months after my birth. Needless to say, she seemed to us to be the princess of the house, could do no wrong and yes, they went on lots of special outings with her causing much jealousy and sadness to the other 6 of us left at home. As an adult, I came to realize that my parents were unthinkingly causing the rift in our family that has never healed. My oldest sister took on the role you have chosen and for that my other siblings and I will always be grateful. It is sad that you are in this position, you should be able to go on and enjoy your life as the other poster stated, but you feel too obligated to your younger siblings to do so. I get it, since I have lived it, but unless one has lived through that pain, it can be difficult to understand.

To try answer your inquiries: yes, there should be boundaries for a stepmother and ideally, she should be more of a friend. As a stepmother, I can tell you that your stepmother is probably overwhelmed with 4 stepchildren and a 2 y/o. From my perspective, you doing your share and helping out with all of the children can only help the situation. There is no magic formula for successful family blending. Open communication, trust, love and commitment are some necessary ingredients.

As difficult as it may seem, you and your siblings may just have to accept the fact that your 2 y/o sister will be first in you stepmother's life. The four of you will always have each other. Keep in mind that your half sister did not ask to be born into this situation. My younger sister has told me that she always felt like the outsider, that the other 6 of us were members of an exclusive club which she would never be invited to join no matter how hard she tried. She had a lot of sadness too, as a result of my parents treatment but we did not see that until much later in life. So, keep on trying to understand the complexities of your situation, keep on doing the right thing, try to help all of your siblings, and know that you are a good person for your positive role in all of this.