Monday, 10 November 2008

Stepmonsterhood

I am feeling great today, still in a little pain but the bloating has subsided a lot. 14 of my eggs were ICSI'd and 10 fertilised which is great news. I am spending the day at home with the intention of working. I have SO much work to do, but I need to talk. There are lots of BIG issues rolling around in my head that will not fit in one post, so I'll try to break them into more digestible bites. Today its step-monsterhood.

I am a very calm person (except perhaps when taking HRT drugs LOL), I tend more to tears than temper, and hate confrontations of any kind. My DH has a quick temper, it flashes, he swears a bit, then its gone. But he can control it. My stepkids, on the other hand, have no control over their tempers. They are such angry kids its unbelievable. Their mother is know on this blog as the Screaming Banchee because of her incessant screaming and yelling. This is why DH left and tried to take the kids with him.

Last week when she picked up the kids from our house she started screaming at them in our driveway. The kids then started yelling back at her, swearing and slamming car doors. Hello? Do you mind? We live here!

Every other night at our house is interupted by kids ringing with "Mum's yelling at me so I've locked myself in my room" or "I hate Mum, I can't live here anymore" or "Can you come get me". DH talks them through, calms them down. You know its really bad when all 3 are calling at once. The Banshee has taken to ringing as well. She wants DH to admonish the kids for the way they speak to her, he says "they speak to you the way you speak to them", she denies it, he laughs, she yells and swears at him, she says "I'm never ringing you again", he says "good". Next week she rings and they have the exact same conversation over again.

The kids know they can live here anytime, but never last more than a week. They say its too hard to get to school, they miss their friends... but I think its because our house is so quiet, they miss their mother's drama. Tiger says he's moving in here when he finishes school in 2 years.

I love them and I love them being here, but sometimes I find it hard to relax and fully be myself with them. I'm always on edge waiting for the boys to start fighting or the swearing and yelling to start. Our superfast internet connection is not fast enough. Our dvd's are boring. My dinner is not what they wanted. Seriously, their language would make a sailor blush! I lie in bed and listen to the boys throwing stuff and swearing at their video games until 3 in the morning. Tense and unable to sleep.

DH is in court today with his eldest son who at 17 got drunk, stole his mum's Loser Boyfriend's car and crashed it into a house. (I wonder if he will ever realise how incredibly lucky he was?) If the case is heard early enough he may then have time to go to the school to meet with one of Rose's teachers to discuss concerns about her behaviour.

Rose tells me she feels terrified when the Loser Boyfriend is angry and jumps out her bedroom window to go to her friend's house next door. How long before she's doing that to meet up with a boy, if she's not already. Last Saturday she'd been in her pj's all day, then suddenly got dressed at 11pm. Her "friend" was staying the night at her boyfriends house in the next street and wanted her to go over. DH sent her to bed and dead locked the doors. Another friend recently had a pregnancy scare. They are 14 years old!

It's easy to sit in judgement and blame any undesireable traits on the custodial parent, but what if DH and my child was just as angry as its brothers and sister? How would I deal with that? Would I cower from my own child? Would I turn into a screaming banshee?

Last week I met up with my RL stepmother friend. Hers are 11 and 13 (going on 21) and she's having a really hard time, she's at a point where she's finding it hard to like the kids. She told me she's so glad she decided not to have children of her own, she said she'd be devestated if her kids turned out like these and she found she didn't like her own children. She had always prided herself on being a good stepmum and is disappointed to think she's turning into her own stepmother, who she felt never really cared about her. She used to have activities lined up for the kids, camping trips, visitors, but now she refuses to take them anywhere because they are so sullen and ungrateful. She secretly hopes each fortnight that they will ring and cancel their visit.

She told me in one of our first conversations that even though she'd been in the kids lives since they were babies, if she left they would not miss her at all. I've always thought this as well. A few weeks ago DH was talking about his death with Rose and Tiger (I think they were telling him he works too hard). DH said that one of my fears about him dying was that I would never see the kids again. They both said no way, they would still keep coming every weekend and Tiger would still move in after school. Its funny that they say sweet things like that to their father but never to me.

It is such a tightrope we step-parents walk, wanting to be engaged in these children's lives but not step on toes of the "real" parents. I have spent years caring for other people's children. I've always thought that parenting my own child(ren) would be easier. I hope it would be easier. But would it? Is it?

8 comments:

Blended-Families.com said...

I hope the tension you are getting from your stepkids do not affect your desire to get pregnant.

Sassy said...

I can't imagine how difficult being a Step Mum must be. Great news with the super 10 though.

Joonie said...

Oh sweetie, it must be so difficult to be a step parent. I can't imagine all that you go through.

Don't worry about parenting your own child, with your sweet disposition, I'm sure you'll have a happy and wonderful child.

Also wonderful fert report!

wordgirlredux said...

Oh Louise,

I think about this all of the time -- ALL of it -- and in ways its frightening to read it -- what can happen in the teen years -- because those hormones TAKE over -- in I remember my own -- and I had every right to hate my mother -- and did -- and yet perfectly wonderful bonds get tested during adolescence -- and then if the bond feels tenuous because of stepparenthood -- I literally am terrified of the day that W tells me he hates me and its all my fault -- I prepare for it, know it will happen one day and it will break my heart -- but the task will to be to go on LOVING him -- and that's the hard part about stepparenthood -- because there is a part of us that can always distance, can examine it from afar -- but with the motherhood part I imagine -- you love them and love them and they are of you-- and you grit your teeth and get through the hardest part knowing that in the end all they have is you -- in step-parenthood we can take it all so much to heart -- though I think in adolescence they hate everyone -- its just that stepparents are such easy marks.

My love to you -- none of it is easy my friend -- and I literally mull this over every day.

Love,

Pam

Wordgirl said...

oops -- that was my other email -- but you know who I am!

XO

Pam

Topcat said...

HOMIE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Fuck I love that I know you. I so, so relate. I hope court went ok, what a turd!!

L, it is very, very different when you have your own. And - yours will NOT turn into angry shouting banshees, no way. I don't think you would let that happen!

I don't think that stepkids can truly understand what it must be like for a step-parent, until they become adults.

I imagine my Tiger being like stepson sometimes .. and shudder. But, Tiger is very different to stepson. And, I have a whole lot more input.

Thinking of you heaps!!! Go you good thing!!! XOXOX

Melbagirl said...

Thinking of you.
How's it all going?

Lisa said...

Hmm, my comment just got eaten. Just wanted to say FANTASTIC fertilization news, and GO EMBIES. GO x 10!!!

Hugs for all that you go through as a stepparent. I'm sure those kids do indeed appreciate you . . . just sounds like a hard situation on all fronts.