A couple days ago, the oldest two kids were spending the night with my parents and the younger two were with their mom. These nights without any kiddos in the house are few and far between. I was excited for an awesome date night.
We went to try a little hole in the wall place in town. All was well and we were having a great time. And then... my husband saw this poster advertising their Saturday special. And then...he commented on how much the younger two would enjoy that. And then...he was making plans to take them there on Saturday. And then...I just wasn't enjoying the evening any more. At all.
My husband sensed it. He asked me about it. These feelings are impossible to express and equally impossible to just let go of. How do you tell your husband that you're jealous of his children? You don't. You say something else or you try to just get over it.
Maybe this seems silly to you, but it's not just the planning ahead for Saturday with the kids on date night. It's the often feeling like you're an outsider when the kids are with their dad. It's feeling rejected when the kids always ask for their dad to do things for them. It's raising my kids one way on their time and standing on the side lines when the step kids arrive. It's doing all the mom things and receiving very little of the mom affection or appreciation. It's having every day interrupted by the bio mom in one way or another. It's not being able to celebrate your anniversary on your anniversary because it's my husband's weekend with his children. It's other people not understanding why one week we bring one set of kids to church and the next week a different set.
You see, it's. all. the. things.
And I can cope for a long time and then a couple of comments on date night do me in and all the ugly feelings want to spill out, but I can't really share with my husband or it does more harm than good.
So, instead I pray ALOT. I have a couple of good friends who listen without judgment. I have a sister who understands my need to really vent once in a while. I write. I go to a step moms meet up and every so often I even go to counseling.
Step mom life can be so hard. No one talks about that because no one except step moms really understands.
So struggling step mom, know that I get it. I so get it.