~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Too much negativity

I'll admit, I have a LOT of pet peeves. At the very tip top of my list though are complaining and lying. The girls' complaining bothers me so much because they have SOOOO many material things, they have sooo many people to love them and contribute to their "stuff", they have a whole collection of things at mom's house, at dad's house, at our beach house, at their grandma's houses... They go to an expensive school, nice vacations, and on and on I could go. So when they complain about something or pout that we're not going out to eat, or call us mean for sending them to bed early, it REALLY, REALLY gets under my skin. Lying bothers me for the same reason it bothers anybody. The person lying to me thinks I'm not worth the truth, or I'm too stupid to realize they are lying. Either way, it's an insult.

Jane (12) has been doing a really good job the last two weeks of keeping me flustered with pet peeve 1. This is how it went for a full two hours after school last week:

Jane gets in the care: "I want a snack. Where are you taking us for a snack today?"

Me: "Well I don't OWE you a snack every day. It's an occasional treat. Today we have to run some errands until your voice lesson."

Jane: "But I need a snack. I'm starving. I'm not happy without a snack."

Me: "Sorry. Did you eat all your lunch? You went 4 full months during play practice with no afternoon snacks and you survived just fine."

Jane: "But I was angry and hungry the whole time." (Pouting, huffing, puffing)

Jane: "Where are we going for dinner tonight?"

Me: "We're eating at home."

Jane: "What? Why? I want to go out!!"

Me: "Sorry. Menu is planned. Daddy wants to eat at home because we've been out a lot lately."

Jane: "Well, what are you cooking? I want chicken cordon bleu."

Me: "Sorry. Groceries are bought and menu is planned. We are having chicken, but not chicken cordon bleu."

Jane.: "That sucks. I want chicken cordon bleu." (More angry faces and pouting, huffing, puffing)

Jane at the store: "I don't want you to get this (game to play outdoors at beach house). I won't play it. I want badminton."

Me: "Badminton won't work on the beach. It's too windy. You'll never get the birdy over the net. Everything will blow down."

Jane: "Fine. I just won't play anything."

Jane, holding up some other item: "I want this."

Me: "Maybe you can come back and buy it with your own money."

Jane: "I want you to get mean extravagant Easter present."

(It took every ounce of self-control I possess not to lose it right then!) Me: "We don't do Easter presents. And you definitely don't need anything extravagant. You should hear yourself right now. You sound like a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum. You're angry about everything I say or do. You need to snap out of it."

She proceeded to go sulk in a corner until I came and found her when I was ready to check out. We had a few minutes before voice lesson, so I took them for a Sonic slush. Not even a thank-you or word or appreciation after all that whining and pouting!

I realize a big part of this is that her step-dad's mom and her mother pretty much cave to all of her demands, and then she comes over here and thinks she can treat me the same way. Sorry, not gonna happen here. Her dad and I sat her down that night and talked about how negative she's been lately. She seemed shocked by how much she had said "I want" in just one afternoon. We showed her how all her angriness and poutiness just makes people not want to be around her. It doesn't accomplish anything but to make her unhappy and drag down everyone around her. I will dread going to pick her up in the afternoons if being around her is a constant beat-down. If she's like that around friends, she won't have any left pretty soon. I hope we got this message through while she still half-way listens to us before the full-force teen years take over soon. It sucks all the fun right out of game night/family night when she gets angry the second she starts losing anything. No one wants to be around an angry person. And it makes it so hard for me to stay in a good mood. We explained to her that since we are the people responsible for her well-being and happiness, when she is constantly UNHAPPY, it makes us want to quit trying. If nothing I do ever makes you happy, why try? I'm not stupid enough to believe that if I just give in to all her "I wants" she will be happy. It just makes her worse (as bio-mom is soon to find out, too late).


  1. Wow. I hear you. You are absolutely right. I think the entitlement issue is with most kids these days. However when the other half of the equation allows this behavior and makes you out to be the bad guy you are in a no win situation. Being a great parent/step parent is impossible when everyone isn't on the same page.

  2. Hi Kristi-
    I stumbled upon your blog about a day ago as I too am newly married and have to stepsons. I thought to look and see what other moms go through and I will tell you that you are not alone. I'm sure you know that. I also hope that you know I share some of your thoughts. I too have bit my tounge in order to let an unfun situation play out. But one thing I learned ( ironically as I'm sure you and I were at some point some verison of an annyoning adolesent) that when you let them vent like you did and explain what the nastiness looks like they will eventually listen. I think you and your husband did a good job as a team. I will share a "funny" story with you. I too have a 12 yr old in junior high and he loves to whine about his younger brother or pout when he's not winning at a game. Well I happened to be playing soccer with them and was filming them in slo-mo kick goal shots. All the 12yr old could do was whine at how his younger brother wasn't kicking the ball right and how I was getting it on film. So i decided to switch their positions and have the 12yr kick and the 8 yr old play goalie...and you guessed it a massive tantrum about making the switch...and I told him that for now we will try it this way and then we will go back unless you keep whining. Then the 12yr started to kick and try and make goals...but he too just like his brother was having a hard time doing it right for the camera...So I...and I don't normally do this and I have no idea what came over me...just for the record...turned to the 12yr old and said in a whiny voice "Oh my gosh...what are you doing...your not kicking it right!!...why aren't you kicking it right?" And he was so shocked that I said that in that way...and when I saw his reaction I said in a calm low voice..."Does that not sound good? or look good?" Right...it sounds pretty bad right? So lets try and just have fun and not yell and whine at anyone today." And we had peace the rest of the day. Like I said a bit untraditional but it seamed to get the message across and although we're very clear that I am not MOM this is our place and we have rules and we still love you very much type of thing. Again, I feel ya and moments are tough but you are doing great! Hang in there :) you will come out on top it will just take time