Thursday, April 12, 2012


Oh goodness... I don't know even where to begin. I can feel the downward pull of depression in the pit of my stomach. It's that awful darkness that I know many people experience. I guess the one positive is that I am recognizing it right away.

Custody changed last week. We went from our hodgepodge weeks (with us having 60% physical custody), to 50/50, with kids being at each house of a week at a time. Three days a week, I am now the picker-upper from school, homework witch, snack-maker and overall evil person. Yesterday was day two. And I was awful. Rude kids, teenage glaring and general disrespect hovered over my entire afternoon. By the time my husband arrived home, I was depressed, angry, in pain, resentful and so over it. Angry because I wasn't involved with the kids when they were little, when they were starting to read and learn how to do schoolwork independently. In pain because of my chronic pain issues, currently affecting my hip and leg. And over it because I'm tired of asking for respect.

I realize that I've been quite lucky. These kids are generally good. They are just poisoned by their mother against their father and me. They feel sorry for her because of her health issues. They complain about the new schedule (we don't get to see our mom all week) - with now thought or comment about the fact that they won't see their dad for a week at a time either. And yes, the older two will text their mom the entire time they are here, while we get radio silence.

My husband has been so-so. He's stressed like I am. I'm burnt out and angry. I can't support him or even myself. He thinks I'm being short and taking it out on him. I'm angry because I don't feel acknowledged for taking on this respondsibility. One kid is being a pain about doing his homework, and I've just given up. I will help people who are nice to me. That's it.

And then the big stressor. Husband went to a mediator to see how child support will change as a result of the 50/50 custody. And we are now paying $2100/month. So over $25,000 a year will go to someone who is on disability from work... But can somehow take care of three children and has no problem taking our money. I don't think that there is anything that we can do about it. A formula is used in California to calculate child support based on percentages and income of each parent. So we get fucked because she's such a loser. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know.

So I'm trying to stay afloat here. Had a job interview on Tuesday, which would be awesome to get. School is done in 5 weeks and I will go crazy without a job. Just need some distraction....

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

still here... again

So we've had two really really good weeks. Which is nice. I finally figured out that my depression was fueling a lot of my negative thoughts, irritability and general numbness. I've upped my medication to a more reasonable level and feel like myself again. The medication doesn't excuse what happened, or erase what was said as I was falling apart -- but it does help to answer some questions for me and make me feel significantly less crazy.

So -- where do we go from here? Both of us are working with our therapist to deal with own shit. I have plenty of it, and my husband has plenty of it. We've also made a pact to take sex off the table for a few weeks. It's been stressful for both of us (he has a higher libido than I do, and therefore he feels like he's being rejected all the time and I feel like I'm being pressured all the time). Learning how to be friends and enjoy each other's company has been great. We are really get back to the reasons why we got together in the first place.

We have a trip planned for this weekend that we are both looking forward to. Will be back in time for Father's Day dinner with the kids.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


How do you untangle yourself from a marriage, from step-parenting, without losing a part of yourself? The relationship with my husband might not be working, but what about all of the other parts of my life that ARE? Work, school, parenting? Not having those kids in my life would be like losing a limb. Their importance to me surpasses all other things in my life. Was that wrong to do? Did I miss something? I did the best I could. The best with my husband, with the kids, with myself. Am I fooling myself into thinking that this will be the time that things click into place? Or am I prolonging the pain and the inevitable for something that just wasn't meant to work? I have been to this place so many time before --> why do I keep coming back? Is this it? Can I, should I, really turn my life upside down 10 weeks before leaving my job and starting school again? My life, my plans, my money are tied into this life with my husband.

I have no fight left. This either moves forward or it doesn't. If it doesn't - where does that leave me? No home, no job, no savings, no partner. Could I start over? Should?

Friday, February 4, 2011

The Other Woman

Anyone heard about this or planning to see it? I'd like to check it out... but have the same anxiety that I have about finishing Stepmonster -- just too much step-mom overload. The trailer for the movie looks promising - hopefully a realistic depiction of step-parenting.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

role playing

Now hold onto your skirts, this post isn't about THAT kind of role playing. But I can blog about it in the future if requested.


I've always wanted to have children. I always had an idea about the type of parent I was going to be, so when I moved in with the husband and step-kids I jumped into the role that I'd be preparing for my entire life. There I was: 24 years old, with my type A+ personality, my amazing organizational skills and dedication to education. I was ready to be the parent I always dreamed I would be. It's all I ever knew. No one ever told me about how to be a step-mom. They don't sell a set of dolls at Toys-R-Us that include a BM, step-mom, and step kids to practice with.

I know that these are not my kids. But when they are with us, when I'm taking care of boo-boos, reading books, snuggling while watching movies and brushing teeth - it FEELS like they are. I'm doing mom-things, but I'm not their mom. Which is so confusing and difficult (for me, as well as for them). Because they aren't. These are not my children. But I'm in this ill-defined role of caregiver and co-parent - but I can't be mom. I can't be THE parent.

So I've stepped back. I don't help with homework unless asked, and even then, as soon as it starts to become a struggle I step back. I didn't rush to meet the kids' teachers this school year. I'm answering a lot of questions with, "You'll have to ask your Dad about that." I love them and stay invested in their wellbeing - but I am not RESPONSIBLE for their wellbeing. I do what I can to help them be happy and caring human beings, but expect the husband to step up.

This was a really hard thing for my husband to come to terms with. I was so overly involved before. Killing myself to be amazing and "fix" the kids. Give them what they missed out on in life. When I stepped back, my husband was confused and hurt. Why wasn't I making an effort to meet the kids' teachers? Weren't the kids going to be hurt that I wasn't as involved? And finally it came to me. The thing that I hadn't found words for yet, the thing that I didn't want to fully realize.

"We have to stop playing Mom and Dad. Because we aren't. We're Dad and Step-Mom."

So here I am. Still trying to find a balance. A balance in life and within myself. Because, honestly, I don't want to be anyone's step-mom (do any of us?). I want to be someone's mom. Bio-kids are several years off for us right now. So in the meantime, I'm going to stay present with the amazing step-kids that I have. Try not to put pressure on them to be something to me that they are not. Try not to put pressure on myself to be something that I'm not. Right now, I'm a step-mom. And I'm working on being okay with that.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What I wrote back

So a few weeks ago BM emailed me this long and ranty email. Thanks everyone for your input. A friend helped me craft the following response. BM hasn't responded, which is fine.


I want to start off by acknowledging the huge risk that you took in writing this email. I, too, would like to move past some of the hurtful things that have occurred between us. In your email, you talked about the effectiveness of using email to communicate and I agree that this is a great way for us to transfer information about the kids, so I hope that we can continue to do that. As another step towards building a good relationship, I plan to make extra effort to be polite and friendly when we interact in person. I think that communicating via email and changing the way we interact in person will go a long way towards building a better relationship between the two of us.

I have found a lot of resources online for step-moms, one of which is a book written by a mom and stepmom pair about how to work as a team for the benefit of the kids. I found it to be helpful and think you might also relate to it. I'd be happy to get a copy of it to you if you're interested. In the meantime, here is a link to their website:

It it very clear to me how much you love your children, and I want to share with you that I love them very much too. I hope that with these changes, I can someday be recognized as a valued caregiver for your children. It's been an honor and pleasure to watch them grow up.


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

tax return

So for those not in the know - husband and I had our wedding in early 2010, but got legally married in early 2009. Health insurance etc caused us to do it sooner. We didn't tell our families because it was about 6 months after we met and we were already accused (appropriately) of moving too fast.

Fast forward to now. BM found out about husband and I getting married before our "wedding". She requested the 2009 tax returns for child support purposes (which we filed jointly) and then texted husband yesterday, "when exactly did you and [stepmom] get married?" She was all pissed about it, but said she wouldn't tell the kids. We decided to beat her to it, since she's bound to get pissed at us sometime soon and tell them. We didn't tell SS8, since he's well SS8, and wouldn't understand anyways or really care. So we decided to only tell SD10 and SD12. I explained it superly awesomely and neither of the girls cared. It was pretty great. SS10 had some questions, but they were good ones. I reiterated to them why we didn't tell them before and that it was okay to be grumpy with us about it - but that we made what we thought was the best choice at the time. And that we considered our wedding to be when we got married and became a family, not when some piece of paper said it. Their general response was, "Whatever. Can we eat dinner now?"

I would like to be in the room when BM tries to turn the kids against us by "telling" them - only to have them shrug and say they already know. *cue evil stepmother laugh*

Monday, September 20, 2010

she wrote back

Wow... I'm still trying to process this. Not sure what the write back. The ear infection that I currently have doesn't help matters either. Any suggestions?

[myname]....I am going to go out on a limb here,
I am sorry. I am sorry for any hurt that I have caused you. I am sorry for any hurt that I have caused between you and Marco. I truly am. I wish I had the time to have gotten to known you before our worlds came colliding together. I believe it would have made all the difference in the world.
You don't even know me.... and I don't know you.
you only know what [husband] tells you and that's tainted, yes the angry, hurt, sad,bitter worn out [BM]. That person is so not me. I hate that person. Why do I end up being this person more than half the time when I talk to him?.... and then you have to hear about it so it then just can confirm what you think of me.....That's a very easy answer: it has nothing to do with you or him....I ache for my children. My heart is empty without them. I knew them before anyone did, they grew inside of me and after they were born when they opened up their big beautiful eyes I fell in love, a connection was made. I have never been the same after the divorce. For me it was about the loss of my children....yes I see them but not how I want or need to. So it becomes so painful for me and I am sorry I have let that pain over shadow all the good things you have done for my kids.
One day [stepmom] you will have the joy of caring a child and giving life to him or her and falling so in love that you think it's almost impossible to take your next breathe of air you're so taken back by the child's beauty.

You see those three Beautiful children: [SD12, SD10, SS8]
the lights of my life.... [husband] and I created those beings together
and I am just like them....just as he is.

I put ALL of who I was into [husband] and my kids, and so little into myself only to have my family slip through my own hands. Was I holding on too tight or not tight enough?? I can sum it up to one word: FEAR. THEN ~ it consumed me until I was not even recognizable, and NOW~ well I can see it and I don't want to live with it any longer.
It's time for me to let go.... and trust. I need to trust in [husband] again and you are his other half. With all my health problems I have, it's time. If something were to happen to me, I need to know that the woman [husband] has given his life to will give her life to my children and him and will be faithful and true...... So I am going to believe in you because [husband] believes in you. Not only that but because [husband] loves you with all of his heart. Changes will not happen over night because some wounds run deep but I am ready for them to heal. I will not let the fear of change or the type of loss i have gone through damage this family any longer on my end if I can help it.
I know this is alot to take in at one time.... but I need the both of you to be on board here. I can't change the way this family functions on my own. I can only change the way I function. We may need family therapy??? lol
so just's all we can do at times. It's ALL I can do at times.... just breathe.....

Point is I would like to start over with you, if you are willing.....

I love my children more than life it's self.... if you knew my background, my up bringing, you may just understand why I am so protective over my children and why I have build my walls so high. But I have to get over these feelings I guess.... who knows lol lol I'm willing to work on them an have already started the process.
It's only going to work if we all three are willing to do it together. I want the BEST not only for the kids but for everyone around them.
Small steps can lead to great things....


I don't know even where to being. I'm scared that this is just a momentary respite from her crazy. So hurt, so angry.... I'm not sure if I can move forward. Suggestions?

Friday, September 17, 2010

emailed her


Hope this doesn't backfire in my face. I emailed BM for the first time ever. There was an issue with SD12's school website. We originally thought that we could create individual logins to view grades etc, but then found out we could only create one. Well, I got there first and therefore BM couldn't create one. So I changed the password to something innocuous and emailed her an apology along with the new login information. I even set up the emails for her. Let's see what this olive branch does.

Monday, September 13, 2010

more money, more child support

Greetings. So the husband is considering changing jobs (same field, just different company). The pay would be substantially more than he makes now, which is great for us. We have goals of owning a home and saving for our bio-kids and a raise like this would help us get closer to that. My issue? A raise for him means and 'raise' for the BM in terms of child support. This just blows my mind and I'm almost beside myself with resentment. At this point, it's very likely that he is going to take this job, so I obviously need to get over this. But uggg... it makes my blood boil. It's frustrating to be trying to build a life with someone, only to have to pay his ex-wife's rent as well. And the money isn't even going to the kids - which would make it somewhat better.

So yes, I obviously have some issues that I still need to work out. No one really prepares you to get married and then share part of your household income with another person who you hate. That was not part of thought process. I don't like being so stuck on money, but it's frustrating. I need to be supportive of the husband since he's dealing with a lot, but I can't help getting angry every time he writes a check to her. So to therapy I go with this issue again -- I guess the answer is to just deal with it?

Anyone else been in this situation? With a pay increase for your spouse and the ex at the same time? How did you deal?