stepdaughter - FamilyEducation
06/10/2008 at 17:04 PM

Hey im new here i need to talk to someone about my one i know understands what i go through.I have two daughters ness who is 6 and a half and mena who is 4.ness is my husbonds daughter from a previous relationship.i have been taking care of ness full time for 5 years now.she visits her birth mom on fridays for a few hours.the rest of the time she is with me and mena.ness and mena share the same dad.its hard im trying to find the words.Basicly its this, ness is looking for something in me that she will not find because anything i do for her witch is everything is not enough.I think shes looking for that special bond that me and mena share.but i think shes looking in the wrong person. she needs to be looking for this in her mom.but her mom strait up doesnt like her.I try to bond and connect with her but everytime i feel we are good it turns bad.i have absolutly nothing in common with her.she is very annoying i know she is trying to do something but im not sure what because she does things i know she knows i cant stand.she trys to get my attention but the part that is wierd is that i give her attention confused.then it sucks because i need to watch what i do with mena because it offends nessa if she is not included.for example if i paint menas nails while nessa is at her moms or school or whereever i have to paint hers because mena has hers done.or if i give mena one kernal more than ness she wants that one more kernal.what the f  !!! it gets to the point where i get annoyed because she watches and analyses EVERYTHING i do.i dont want to be a bad step mom.i feel terrable enough that i dont feel the same twards her than i do twards

Jenni, I hope you are ready for us to provide some real and honest feedback here. I suspect you might get some suggestions you will want to argue with and I want to encourage you, in advance, to keep an open mind and really consider what some ppl might say. I can only use the information you have provided here and it is very limited, but I think you are right about one thing, Ness is looking for a special bond. However, I think you are wrong about her looking for it in the wrong person. If Ness wants her fingers painted because Mena has hers, then paint Ness's too. Your children will learn fairness, caring and integity from you. You must do all that you can to make Ness feel loved as much as Mena. It is your responsibility, as her caregiver and the adult, to recognize what she is going through and help her. Please don't give yourself the "out" that she is not your bio child and therefore you don't owe her as much as Mena... I believe you do. You married her father and you married her too.

Your daughter's sister will always be that, your daughter's sister. She and your daughter will always share that bond. You have been taking care of her full time for 5 years which was before your daughter was born. You knew she was going to be in your life from that time. You are doing your own birth daughter a great disservice by having any kind of negative attitude toward your stepdaughter. And, all sisters have a certain amount of being competitive, as you put it "watching and analyzing everything" you do. I have 4 sisters, 3 half and 1 full. The half sisters were always jealous of me and my younger sister even though my parents really tried to treat us equally. I am equally close to all my siblings and love them all dearly. They are my SISTERS half or not. Let me know if I can be of any more specific help.

It sounds like your stepdaughter is crying out for you to treat her as you do your own daughter. She deserves it too and if you carry on treating her like a second class person, then you are building up big trouble for the whole family. You knew what you were taking on 5 years ago and have had plenty time to adjust. She was only about 18 months old when you took her on and she will look on you as her mother. She is just as special as her sister and it's up to you to make sure she feels safe and secure and loved, just as her sister does. What does Dad say about your treatment of his daughter. You need to treat both girls exactly the same and no preferential treatment for YOUR daughter.

I think you need to set priorities for yourself if you wish to have harmony in your family. I also think you need to have a heart to heart talk w/ Ness. You shld tell her that you love her and that you want her to feel you are there for her when she needs you. Try to be understanding. It's got to be hard for your step-daughter being tossed back and forth from a mother who doesn't seem to care, to a step-mom who she's desperately seeking love from. Remember, she was your daughter first, even though she's not your birth daughter. Cld she be feeling some jealousy towards your relationship w/ Mena? How was your relationship w/ her before Mena came into the picture? From your post, it sounds to me like you treat Ness as if you're her babysitter, not her mom. You also said you find her annoying. Does your daughter Mena not annoy you at times? I'm sure that wld not change your feelings toward her, so why Ness? Is it b/c you feel you don't have to have the same responsibility to connect to Ness as you do Mena b/c she's not your biological daughter? Are you only trying to connect w/ Ness out of obligation just to keep peace in your family? If so, that's not very fair. Ness needs you. Look at all the parents who adopt children. They are able to find a connection to their kids, why can't you? I'm not in your situation, so it's difficult for me to understand how you can feel this way. Have you considered talking to other step-moms in similar situations or maybe attending a parenting group in your area? Maybe that wld help. In any case, whether you realize it or not, you've become a mother to Ness. You need to step up to the plate and accept it. I know Ness is not your birth daughter, but she needs love just like Mena does. This situation is very unfortunate, but it's your situation. You have to accept it if you wish to stay in a relationship w/ your husband and also raise a happy and healthy family. Like Junieg, I wonder how much involvement the girls' father has w/ them. Have you spoken to him about how you feel? My advice to you wld be to try and focus on Ness' positive qualities, and do things especially w/ her that you know she loves to do. You don't have to do exactly the same thing w/ each of your daughters b/c their individuals. They each have their own personalities and interests. Go w/ that. If something doesn't click, have a discussion about it, and see what you can do next time to make the situation a better one. There will always be times when one child wants what the other has, but that's only normal, even w/ siblings from the same parents. When I was younger, my brother and I used to always fight over who had more juice or who got what toy. Don't get discouraged. Just try to do your best. Remember, the most important thing is to show both your daughters how much you love them, no matter what conflicts arise. The other things are trivial. Good luck!

I was not so detailed in my message.I feel misunderstood.I just want to explain a little better.I have been taking care of ness for five years but for the first two and a half years she went 3 days a week and slept over her birth moms.I always treat ness equaly.I was venting on how i feel inside some times.I try my hardest everyday to be a good mom to ness.she does not get treated like a step child.I always make things equal.i just didnt understand why she is overanalyzing everything.Me and my sister never acted this way when we were kids we were happy if we even got noticed at all.Ness and i have a good relationship sometimes.she talks to me no one else about stuff that bothers her.i just feel that its hard to relate or see thing in common between us.Me and mena are alot alike.She is a pain of course just like ness but in ways that i get.I try to have a open mind with ness because we are so different.I feel i do alot for her and try.I take special time just for her so she feels loved from me it just seems like its not enough for her thats why i feel shes looking for something.I believe that a birthmother and child have a special and ness dont because her mother was in ness's life makeing things so much harder.the past 2 years or so i have been full time everyday taking care of her and loving her the best i can.I was their cleaning up the mess that her birth mom did to her.I just feel that we are missing something.I do love her and yes i think she is annoying whith eveything i mean everything having to be compleatly equal.I make it equal and not say a thing but i just didnt get why a 6 year was in that stage.i thought the yunger child would want what the older childs has and its not its vis vers.sorry if i came off has i wicked person but im not good at words on a computer.if i were on the phone with you it would come out the way it

It sounds like you are trying, and I can only imagine how hard things must be for all of you. Just keep the lines of communication open. Also, make sure your husband is involved in this whole process with both your daughters. If you don't see things improving, maybe you can consider family counceling. I hope this helps.