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Please don't hate me
Old 10-14-2019, 10:06 AM
  #1

But I don't want to put my stepdaughter (I raised her since she was 2 and she knows her mom) in my pics with my other children. It's just me and my kids now. stepdaughter and I fell apart last year and have barely started to heal our relationship. I was married to her dad for 15 years but I don't have the same connection to her that I do of my own biological children.




I did tell her when we were doing pictures...but I don't know if she will make it. I am going to do them anyways.



I kind of just want a family photo shoot of my own kids and me. However, stepdaughter is their sister by blood (half if you wanna get technical) and by adoption (my ex adopted my daughter).



She told me she is moving to California and I'm not even worried about it. If one of my other 2 was moving, I'd be worried so much I couldn't sleep and would probably be sick.



I feel bad, but yet I don't know what to do.



Same a mother's ring. I don't want to put my step on my mother's ring. I had one previously and my ex put her stone in it and I just never said anything...


UGH....
Like I said, don't hate me. I came to this group as a safe outlet.



Last edited by Vet3Teacher; 10-14-2019 at 10:26 AM..
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:34 AM
  #2

I have a somewhat similar situation. My oldest dd was my foster daughter and niece (daughter of dh’s sister). She is 7 years older than my ds and 13 years older than my dd. She lived with us from age 13 till age 21, when she got married. She lives at quite a distance from us.

When she moved out, we quickly went back to being a nuclear family (mom, dad, two kids) and left her out of lots of things, like family reunions of my side of the family, family photos, family holidays. It was easier and seemed more natural since she didn’t live close and neither of us could really afford time and money to travel often. We never had a falling out or official break, and we do keep in touch, but it is casual and limited. We really didn’t try to exclude her...just did not take extraordinary steps to include her or insist that she be “obligated” to be involved in various family functions.

We have become friendlier over the years (in her teens she had a lot of resentment about her situation that she displaced on us), and now she will call me for advice, or just to check on me. I’m sure if she lived close we would see her much more often, but she’s an adult and a parent with a full life! I am so proud of her for making a wonderful and independent life for herself. She’s an amazing woman.

So let her go, but maybe try to see it not as “excluding” her, but merely as “not including” her. The move to CA will make that very natural. Give the relationship some more time, and it will naturally fall into a comfortable place, I suspect.

Please honor your own childrens’ relationship with her, by the way. If they want a photo that includes her, get one done before she leaves. That doesn’t prevent you from getting one with just you and your own kids too.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:38 AM
  #3

If she does come, can you do some photos with her and some of just your kids? I guess I can understand in a way, especially if you and her dad are divorced, but I'm glad my stepfather always treated us as his own kids.
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Old 10-14-2019, 10:50 AM
  #4

My sister-in-law and her husband divorced when their 3 girls were under six years old. The girls’ dad remarried and has two step children. The girls’ mom remarried and has two step children. ( no blood relation to the girls).
They are all adults with families of their own now. At weddings etc. they take pictures with their own moms, but then all the step siblings take a group picture together. I’m amazed at how close they’ve become as adults.

I think you take pictures with your own kids, but let your kids take a picture with your step daughter. We never now what the future will hold.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:18 AM
  #5

Quote:
If she does come, can you do some photos with her and some of just your kids? I guess I can understand in a way, especially if you and her dad are divorced, but I'm glad my stepfather always treated us as his own kids.


I have called her my own for a long time but without going into detail, I was asked to step away and that made me lose my feeling of being her mom.



She does call but it's only when she needs advice. It's never, "Hey how are you?"



I like the idea of just getting her and the other two. I extended out the invite but if she can't make it, no one can say I didn't try and getting this photographer is hard.



She's 18 so we will see if she actually does make it to Cali.


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Old 10-14-2019, 11:19 AM
  #6

Of course we don’t hate you and you’re entitled to do what you like.

I like what hand suggests.

I have a very different perspective: because I’m an only child and only have 2 kids myself, my picture and event strategy is “the more, the merrier.“ I figure it’s always easy to round up exactly who you want for a couple of shots, but I like big loud family get-togethers with lots of candid shots. I am not a fan of posed pictures and laugh when none of us can remember who that guy bobbing for watermelons is. I like making picture-taking a fun and inclusive event.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:37 PM
  #7

I agree that you are entitled to your own opinion and decision.

I like the idea of adding another pic where it shows all of the stepchildren in the blending family.

It's interesting reading a stepmother's feelings about not wanting a stepchild in a photo with her birth children.

It makes me wonder if parents of an adopted child ever feel the same way about including or excluding their adopted child/children in family photos.
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Old 10-14-2019, 12:54 PM
  #8

Well, I am a stepdaughter and I am very close to my stepfather, so I would be hurt if I were in her shoes. But, I don’t see any wrong with getting pictures with just your children and then doing a few group shots with all of them. It sounds like a fair compromise.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:03 PM
  #9

I know your entitled to your opinion but damn!! I couldn’t imagine treating someone I helped raise this way.... I feel sorry for the girl this is a cold hard cruel world, it’s nice to have safe people when we fall. You said she’s 18? And she only calls you for advice? Who is she suppose to call? That shows she trust and respects you, she’s 18 still a kid. I think you feel bad cause you know what the right answer is and you want someone to tell you it’s ok to feel that way to relieve your guilt.
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Old 10-14-2019, 04:10 PM
  #10

This is a really, really sad post.

It would be one thing if you entered her life when she was older, but you raised her since she was 2. That's her whole life. It means her first memories are of you. You are her mom, in a lot of the sense of the word.

Have you always felt this way? I wonder if she knows it and has always felt a little bit the outsider, a little bit less loved than the other kids. That makes me so sad.

I don't hate you and I know you want a safe place to vent. But man. I can't tell you what you want to hear.


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Old 10-14-2019, 05:38 PM
  #11

As an adoptive parent, my heart breaks for this girl. I urge you to think about how you would want your children to be treated in this same situation.

I think it would have been better not to tell her about the pictures than to have her endure combinations of pictures that include her and then the ones with your "real" kids.

I hope you can find a compromise that works.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:44 PM
  #12

I obviously cannot speak for every adoptive parent in the world :-) but I can say that I don't think that most feel that way. My adopted child is as much mine as any biological. I love her the same, provide her the same opportunities and consider her my family as much as any other child. She has the same rights of inheritance and everything else. My adopted child is front and center in family portraits cause she's super cute

Not judging anyone else's feelings, just telling you mine.
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Old 10-14-2019, 05:54 PM
  #13

Quote:
I have called her my own for a long time but without going into detail, I was asked to step away and that made me lose my feeling of being her mom.

She does call but it's only when she needs advice. It's never, "Hey how are you?"
Obviously, I don't know the background, but if you have been in her life since she was 2 and she is 18 now, then that's most of her life. I think it's good you invited her, and I hope if she comes that she feels included. Expecting an 18 year old to call and see how you're doing is not too realistic, IMO. I'm really not trying to criticize, but consider how you would feel if you were in her situation.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:42 PM
  #14

If she comes to the photo shoot how about doing one with just her and you, one with all of you, one with just ou and your kids and one with just the kids. In the grand scheme of things you would only be buying one or two more photos.
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:58 AM
  #15

Quote:
I know your entitled to your opinion but damn!! I couldn’t imagine treating someone I helped raise this way.... I feel sorry for the girl this is a cold hard cruel world, it’s nice to have safe people when we fall. You said she’s 18? And she only calls you for advice? Who is she suppose to call? That shows she trust and respects you, she’s 18 still a kid. I think you feel bad cause you know what the right answer is and you want someone to tell you it’s ok to feel that way to relieve your guilt.



Mia98, no I don't want someone to tell me that. I seriously came here to vent and talk. If you had the same situation as me, you would be coming here too.

It's not the kind of advice you think. It's stuff like how does she license a car. Not, hey mom, I'm thinking of moving to California. Let's figure out how I'm going to do this because I really like this guy.



So, thanks...but no thanks!!
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:02 AM
  #16

I haven't adopted her. She's my ex's daughter. I was thrown into the mom role without being asked. However I did know she would live with us for a while.


She's always mistreated someone in the family except her dad. She and I have gone rounds. It's been rough.





I have thought about this and if she wants to go to the photo shoot, I've told her when it is.

I asked the other two and they said she probably woudn't show up. That's their thinking too. She has excluded them from many of her plans and a lot of her life.



I think I will delete this post....some have helped and some have made me feel like the wicked step mom. I'm not even a stepmom technically anymore as her dad and I are divorced. My children are her half siblings.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:03 AM
  #17

I think I would think "whatever, I don't even care." Because that's how she thinks anyways.



She said when she moves to California, she will only miss about 3 people.
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:05 AM
  #18

Quote:
As an adoptive parent, my heart breaks for this girl. I urge you to think about how you would want your children to be treated in this same situation.

I think it would have been better not to tell her about the pictures than to have her endure combinations of pictures that include her and then the ones with your "real" kids.

I hope you can find a compromise that works.

I'm not the adoptive parent. My ex husband is. I am the stepmom (ex now). I have thought about if my ex would get pics and not include my daughter (whom he adopted). She would be highly upset.

But I think this is hard to explain as she and I have a very rough past. She started calling me by my first name again after her dad and I split up. For 15 years she called me "mom."
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Old 10-17-2019, 10:30 AM
  #19

If you post on a public forum expect honest responses, you actually sound like the step mom in Cinderella!
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Old 10-17-2019, 04:35 PM
  #20

You reached out and that's all you can do. I don't have kids but that sounds like a tough situation.
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Old 10-18-2019, 12:00 PM
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