Sometimes I worry my stepdaughter and I will never get along. We "butt heads" so much - it makes my crazy. It's like, no matter how hard I try, some of the things she does just drives me crazy and I can't just let it "roll off my back" like I would like to.
So, this just makes her see me as a bossy, bitchy, "evil stepmother" who she would rather just avoid than talk to, and we just seem to sort of coexist in this semi-permanent state of being irritated with one another.
I don't like that. I want to change it, it just seems that every time I try, I fail. Now she is here for two weeks... and I was hoping that when we drop her off into her mother's waiting arms on August 17th she would at least leave thinking "maybe Lisa isn't that bad after all." But, here we are, nearly halfway through her stay, and I feel I have made no progress whatsoever. I know my husband sees it too - just this morning as he left for work he said: "try to do something bonding with her today..." - ok, what he thought I was just going to ignore her all day? (I know he would not really think that.) It's just, I DO try. So today we made brownies together... or I guess you could say we did it "together" - she cracked the eggs, and I asked her if she wanted to sit with me a bit while I stir it together, because I knew she wanted to lick the spoon... instead she says "but can I go on the computer?" So I asked her didn't she want the spoon and she said "yeah, I'll just come back in for it." Ok - what was I going to do... force her into conversation with me? It's like I feel like I am following HER around the house TRYING to get her to see I am not some horrible person.
Then, there are times when I feel like I *am* some "horrible person" - like I am too up tight, too quick to say "no" and such with her. I just don't know how to balance it.
For instance, today I woke up and saw it was very cloudy out - it looked like it was going to rain all day long. My instant thought was "thank you" - because that meant no pool today. Now, I LOVE my pool... but when my stepdaughter is here, it is just yet another source of stress, because from the moment she wakes up until the moment the sun goes down her every thought somehow revolves around that damn pool. And I had decided today I really, really needed a break from the pool... my hip has been really sore (pregnancy thing) and I just really did not feel up to it. Then, the baby is taking her afternoon nap and my stepdaughter comes prancing into the room (nearly waking the baby because I don't think she understands the concept of talking *quietly*) announcing "the sun is out!!" So I looked... and it was not, but it did not seem so bad. So, I had been hearing the neighbors outside and I asked her if she wanted to go play with them... and we get into this huge conversation: "well, what if the are in their pool" she snaps, and I said "you can go in with them as long as there is an adult outside"... and she says "nahhh" but I KNOW she wanted too... so I suggest waiting till the baby is up and then we will go over together... and she finally agrees to that - and goes back into the other room... and I swear began making as much noise as she possibly could - to wake the baby. (But I ignored it.) About 30 mins later the baby woke up, and I began getting us ready to go next door when it became apparent: they were no longer in their pool... BUT they were still outside. So I told her we can still go over... but now she is not interested. Now she wants to go in OUR pool. Once again I explained to her I was not feeling good... but suggested she go next door to get out of the house. She wanted no part of it. Now she is on the couch, watching TV, basically moping and giving me one word answers to any question I may ask. So, what do I do? Be the eternal bad guy?? Or show her that when I say "no" it's not set in stone and go in the damn pool... and just deal with my hip hurting.
I don't want her to hate me. I just also don't want to budge on the things I consider important... because MY children will be raised a little differently, and I can't have them seeing me go further for her, than I will for them - that would just be wrong.
How can I find a common ground with her?