Stepmoms and Rejection: 5 Ways to Deal When You’ve Been Dissed by Mary T. Kelly, MA
Do any—or all—of these complaints ring a bell for you? They will if you suspect that the stepkids are none too thrilled with you:
⊲ “I’ve never felt so disliked or unwelcomed.”
⊲ “His ex hates me. Now? His kids hate me, too.”
⊲ “His kids were never warm, friendly or kind—despite my efforts.”
⊲ “My stepdaughter and I were close. She turned 13 and it all went sour.”
⊲ “My stepkids loved me before I moved in. They took a 180-degree turn after I unpacked my bags.”
Are you thinking, with some relief, “You mean I’m not the only one who’s ever felt this way?” Uh, no. You’re not. Working with stepmoms for more than 18 years has shown me that these are very common grievances. Many of you have unexpectedly experienced them as a result of falling in love with a man who has children.
Yet you had no idea it would be this hard. You may have even found yourself ruminating about his kids, wondering why they dislike you so much and won’t seem to accept you into their lives. You cook for them, drive them around and help with their homework. Lord knows you’ve tried!
You may even feel a little schizophrenic: Some days you get along great. Others? You’re treated as if you have a communicable disease. But lots of kids dislike their stepmoms, especially early on. According to the National Stepfamily Resource Center, it takes four to six years for stepfamily members to feel fairly comfortable with one another. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the October 2016 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.