Why arn't step-moms recognized as parents too?

Tiffany - posted on 08/04/2009 ( 35 moms have responded )

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I am tired of everyone assuming b/c I am a step mom I don't know anything about my step son or parenting. I know him better than his own mother does! Does anyone else feel this frustration???

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Melinda - posted on 06/22/2011

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I do!!! I think that alot of times we are not giving the credit and respect the we've earned. Non step parent do not realize how hard it is to gain the love and trust of a child and when we do get it they wanna tell us that we are not MOM!!! Really?!?!?

Mel - posted on 02/24/2013

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I know what you mean about having to explain being the step mom. I dont ever consider myself the step mom i raised them i have been the one that has been there. But at times we get no respect like we don't matter. Like if you are only a mom if you carry that child for 9 months i think that is total bs. A mother is someone that is there always to support, love to raise that child .

Amanda - posted on 02/18/2010

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I do. We have custody of my stepson and I feel like nobody but my husbands family really sees all the work that I do. I look at him as more my own than either my husband or his bio mom b/c I spend more time takeing care of him than both of them put together.

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Mel - posted on 02/24/2013

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I have raised 3 children their ages at the time that I became their step mom 3,4,5 i was 23 years old know they are 17,18,19. It has been a long journey their bio mom lost her rights when she choose other commitments instead of her children.

Things where good they choose as they got older to call me mom. I always felt like their mom I raised them I was always there to help them, advise them, give them all i could and be the best mom for them. With time I came to realize that they where always nice to me as a front to their dad. The word mom was not real they really hated me and it hurts. Being that their mother didnt want them in her life and it hurts.

Last night my 17 year old choose to not come home and not call. When she did get home her father question her and when i sat on the table she told me " get out of my face you are nothing you are not my mother i F*** hate you" It has broken my heart I raised this little girl and gave her so much love. But she always one way in front of me a different way in front of her dad. Any chance she gets to throw on my face how much she hates me. Even when she emotionally hurts me my love for her makes me forgive her. But after last night I cant forgive her. I feel like she could live in my home and I dont need to address her. I am so hurt.

Someone please advice. I am hurt

Rebecca - posted on 09/26/2012

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I have been a step-mom for nearly 8 years. My stepson was barely 7 when I met him and his parents were newly divorced. He is 14 almost 15 now and we have an amazing relationship. He began living with his father and I full time in February of this year because he wanted to be in one house. Even while we had joint custody with his birth mom, I did whatever I could for him - much like I would have for my own child. His father and I have always made him our focus and priority. I love having him here all the time. I feel like no less of a mom just because I didn't give birth to him. I feel a different closeness...a chosen closeness. I chose to be in his life when I married his father and he has chosen me. I have never experienced any of the negative stereotypes of step parenting...thankfully. He has a relationship with his birth mom, but I believe the one I have with his is stronger. He would agree. As far as I am concerned...he is my SON. He even calls me MOM. I think the best way to get through the stigma of step parenting is to chose not to believe it. YOU are a mom...period. I notice how many things my step son does that are like me, too...it's a unique relationship that is as real as the birth mom relationship.

Vicky - posted on 09/11/2012

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I think we stepmom's should get much more credit than we do - especially if we are custodial.



I have stepson 26 days out of 30 (he visits BM EOWE), and I spend all day with him since he is homeschooled. BM came back into his life when he was 6 (he's 8 now) and the only thing I didn't do was give birth to him.



The funny thing is that he looks like me and people always tell me that he looks exactly like "his mom" (me). I just smile and walk away. Although, sometimes I am tempted to say, "Wait until you meet his biological mother."



When BM came back into his life she introduced herself to him as "mom", so that's what he calls her. He started calling me "mom" at that time, but dropped it immediately when BM showed up. Now he usually calls me by first name, but sometimes he calls me "mom". However, he refers to me as "mom" to other people.



I don't have a problem with him calling BM "mom" because she's the one who gave birth to him, but I wish he would call me something similar (like "mama" or "mommy") since I am the one raising him full-time.

Monica - posted on 09/08/2012

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That depends. My Daughter is 17 years old, her step mom came in her life when she was almost 15 years old. She acted like she had done so much for my child.... She broke up my childs happy home.. but was she there to wipe noses, kiss boo boo's, did she change dirty diapers, or mend broken hearts? No... she didnt... But, what matters is not what every one else thinks. It's about your relationship you have with your step child. My Daughter loves her step mom, I cant publish on here what I think she is... But, I allow them to have their relationship. And honestly If something happened to me I would want my Daughter to have a person she can go to.

Kaytie - posted on 05/13/2012

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I have been a stepmother for 4 years. Not once have I gotten any recognition for doing the things that I do with my stepchildren. I have 3 and I helped take very good care of them. I love them like I was their own birth mother. I cook for them, help them with homework, play with them, give the littlest ones baths, take them to the park, everything I can possibly do to make sure they are happy and healthy. When mothers day comes around, I get sad because no one ever says Happy Mothers day to me. I feel like a mother even though my duties are only part-time. Although I don't do these things to gain recognition because I do it out of love, a simple acknowledgement would feel great. I don't get a card, a kiss, nothing. So today is Mothers day, and I will be spending it at home, sad, because apparently stepmothers aren't really that important. To all the stepmothers out there who go unnoticed: You aren't alone in this.

Amber - posted on 03/14/2012

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OMG I hate this too...just because I'm not a legal parent and she's not MY child doesn't mean that I don't care of her the same way, if not better (no joke) than her real mom, and even my husband...It's annoying sometimes that Bio mom doesn't listen to what I have to say about her daughters care, even though the majority of the time we have her I'm doing the all the care!

Molly - posted on 10/04/2011

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Hay.. I know what your talking about.. I have 3 step daughters, I give them breakfast everymorning, get up and get them ready for school, I pack them up and drive them to school, I clean up after them, I cook for them, bathe them and I love them like they were my own. and because their mother cant take care of them, they have to live with us.. so why do I get crapped on by her family and friends? not fair..

Shay - posted on 09/28/2011

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I can feel ya on this one. Im looked at as a monster as far as the BM is concerned. But as time goes by those who thought as she did are now seeing im not anything she says I am. And as a step mother to 5 kids I can say in time the children will figure out on their own what or who you truly are as well as the bio mother. My ex husbands babymomma hates me to this day even thou Im no longer married to her ex. BUT her son still calls me mom. Hes now 15 and very much apart of my life despite his bio parents hatred toward me. Now as for my new 4 step kids the oldest already knows im here for her no matter what. Her BM and I get along great. The other 3s BM is a nightmare who claims her hatred toward me is because I FORCED her children to call me mom. Mind ya I have done no such thing. The children know no matter what the BIO parents think of us! So keep your head up hun. The world just has to remember one thing. WE CHOOSE to do this. We didnt plan on these children. We made the choice to say ok I love my man/women and I except the responsabilty as a parent to help raise these children the best we can......bio parents dont have a clue what thats like!

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Tiffany: I agree with you 100%!! I am too am in a similar situation (in some ways). In my other half's eye's, my family, & his family- I am my step-daughter's MOM. My step-daughters came to live with us in 2006. Long story short, their bio-mom wasn't taking care of business- thus the judge awarding custody to their dad for the school year & summer visitation w/her. She seems to think that she is this great parent & tries to make me look like the "evil" step-mom. She seems to forget that SHE is the reason her kids are in the situation they are in. Everyone who knows us & her know that the kids are better off with us & we can provide for them; when she can not & will not quit her crap to give a better life for her girls. She seems to think that welfare & child support is enough to support them. Anyway, I am always told by others to continue what i am doing for the girls. And to let the kids make that decision for themselves when they are older. The oldest one will always take her "mom's" side as she has been brainwashed to no end with her nonsense. The youngest one seems to be torn & not know what to think. I will leave it to her to make that decision when she is older. As far as I'm concerned I AM THEIR MOM!!!! I work to help their father provide a stable living enviroment for them. Which means I pay half of everything (bills/food/clothing/etc) to provide a better life for them. I am the one who makes all the sacrifice's for them, while she sits 3 hrs away thinkn & posting on facebook that she's "done a good job raising them". HHEELLLLLOOOO!!! They are good kids because of all the time & effort I put into them so they see life isn't the way their mother lives. Life isn't about being jobless, freeloading off yer parents, whoring & drinking. just remember we are better people for taking on a responsiblity that is not ours. We are being blessed to have these children in our lives. God has brought our worlds together for a reason. Let the bio-mom talk all the trash she wants. As long as you know the truth everyone's opinion shouldn't matter until they've walked a day in your shoes. Best of luck!!!

Kristin - posted on 07/11/2011

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Absolutely. I consider my 2 step sons my own, although not in the sense that they are just mine. I don't like their bio mom but we're civil for their sake. I'm not trying to replace her, just add more love to the kids' lives.

Ashlee - posted on 06/27/2011

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My least favorite saying, "you'll understand when you have kids of your own." I am a custodial stepmom to a 2 year old boy. I have been with his dad since he was 6 months old. Originally the arrangements were 50/50, one week with birth mom/one week with us. Currently he lives with us full time and she gets supervised visits on Saturday (which she doesn't exercise her rights). I have spent more time with him overall, I care for him, take him to the doctor, show him love, make sure he is taken care of. The only difference between his birth mom and I is that I didn't carry him or give birth to him. I know pregnancy and childbirth are very special moments in life and I'm not trying to lighten that fact, but I don't believe just giving birth makes you a mom. Mom is a serious title you have to earn and live up to! It isn't fair that stepmoms are considered 2nd rate citizens in families. Especially those who are the "main" mom. We have no say in medical care, schooling, when they stay with us....but we're expected to provide insurance, buy school supplies, and change our schedule around what's good for bio mom and the courts. Stepmoms are moms and we do know what its like to have kids. We can be as good at parenting as birth moms, but work twice as hard for the respect.

Gina - posted on 08/17/2010

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Oh definately! My boyfriend is very close with his son and there are still things I had to tell him about his own son. It's a very frustrating feeling that people think just cause we are the step parent that we don't love or take as much interest in our stepchildren as the actual parents.

Michelle - posted on 05/13/2010

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AMEN sister! I know MORE and MORE about my stepson then his mother does! He tells me and not his mom or even his Dad how he feels and what he thinks. I can even tell you which child calls out in the middle of the night. Can she?!

Brandy - posted on 01/20/2010

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I have a StepMom and a StepDad - they are amazing people and I call them "Mom" and "Dad". My StepDad walked me down the aisle while my bio-Dad sat in the pew at my wedding. I've been a stepMom for 10 years. I've always wanted to start a "stepparent's" day - if only we could get it nationally recognized!

Danielle - posted on 11/16/2009

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I agree with Alexandra, One other thing that drives me crazy. The phrase "Kill'em with kindness." I will tell ya i try my best with they're bio mom and that never works. I've pretty much given up on that, Its just sad had one bio mom can turn other bio moms against ya and you not have a say in it. We Step Mom's need rights too. Not just to be called someones paromore!!!

Alexandra - posted on 11/08/2009

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i hear ya...we aren't recognized as parents for two reasons: 1. BM's would never let us join their ranks because we'd make a lot of them look pretty pathetic and 2. the gov't that makes the laws hasn't figured out that just because something has a uterus and can give birth doesn't actually mean they do anything too well with their young after that!!! It's kind of sickening actually the way the law looks on mothers...like they are the be all and end all of a childs life but they don't realize that a village can indeed be better than one nasty female who only uses her kids for a "paycheque". Hopefully one day step parents will have some rights but until then....we just keep on keepin on :) its the best worst job out there

Vicki - posted on 10/13/2009

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I do all the time, & it sometimes makes me doubt myself as a parent! It's very unnerving. However, my man always tells me this one thing....that only HE can judge me as a mommy, & if he ever doubted me for a moment, he never would have given me this opportunity or responsibilty". It always makes me feel better. So, remember that if you're good enough in his heart to love & care for his children...then they're yours too. And there will be sometimes that you're not sure what exactly to do, but the truth of the matter is that, even "biological" moms doubt always either! I truely hopes this helps...much love to you for everything you've done for your children. They will cherish it in the long run...& that's what really matters.

Kerri - posted on 08/24/2009

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I remember the day bio mum told me i will never be her childrens stepmom, because technically i'm not because me and my partner arent married yet. But that really isnt up to her to decide. i think of myself as a stepmom, I feed, bath, dress, and care for my stepdaughter as much as bio dad does. I take her places, I play with her, I do everything a mum would do. Giving birth to a child does not make you a mother in some cases, you have to earn that right. I wish i could get along with biomum for the childrens sake but for some reason she won't let that happen and i don't know why, I don't interfere on conversations between bio mum and dad or changeovers. I stay out of there arguments. I just wish we could sort out our differences

Megan - posted on 08/21/2009

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Oh yes. Very much so. You just have to remember the most important thing is what your step children think. Thats exactly how I get through it. I just think about them and know that they know im doing my best.

Breanne - posted on 08/19/2009

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I am also glad too that i found this community because there's so much infomation that people are sharing and their honest. And that's what parents need is honesty so they know that they are doing the right thing. I just became new to this site and it is helping me also and probably alot more in the future!

Jenny - posted on 08/19/2009

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i am so glad i found this community. i am 26 and none of my 26yr old friends have any kids, especially not 11 year old step children. i was really beginning to feel bitter and alone. it has taken a long time but i finally feel like my step daughter is MINE. There is no difference between her and my 2 boys. I hate having to share her with her deadbeat mother.

Breanne - posted on 08/19/2009

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U are so right Jenny! It does take alot more to actaully be a mother then just give birth! Sometimes I feel like we are doing everything and she's not doing anything for him. Even when he was living with her it felt like this because all that you would hear from him is that he would stay inside, play with toys and watch TV. And everytime you would go over there the TV would be on. Or we would bring him back and the TV would go on immediately. Even now when he comes back she brings him a movie back with him for him to watch. Like ya, I know he likes TV, but come one now! There's so much other things he could be doing instead, to educate him and help him learn. So I do it when he's here. I'm not totally in your situation where people look at you differently because the child doesn't look like you, I usually hear, "Your son."

But I do get funny looks from people from time to time because I do look so young, like i'm 14 or 16 when i'm actually 22, lol! But that's okay let them think what they want think because I know the truth and so do you. Your a mother to this child because you love, care, provide and want what's best for this child and that's what a mother is. And that's what counts in the end.

Jenny - posted on 08/18/2009

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I'm with ya! I am more of a mother to my 11 year old step daughter in my sleep than her birth mother. But I hate the way other moms look at me like I don't belong just because I am young and they can tell that I am obviously not this girl's real mother. I am tired of getting pushed aside and pushed around by birth mother. I am a MOM and that takes more than just giving birth!

Breanne - posted on 08/18/2009

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I have a daycare too that I run from my home. He's here with me also from Mon-Fri, but I have been getting him to call me by my first name because in the beginning the BM didn't like him trying to call me mom. She felt like I was taking her place, and this was when we didn't have him living with us and we would go adn see him every other weekend and he was calling me mom already. So we didn't want to make her really upset, so we just got him to start calling me by my first name.



I think he's just so used to it now because it's been about three years, so it just kinda stuck.



She gets him probably every weekend now, but once every month we have him for the weekend, so she's lucky. But there will be times where she will take him and come and pick him up in the morning and she's supposed to have him for two days and she will bring him back the very same day and have the lamest excuses for why he's coming back. You can tell it's hard on him because he's so upset and he's crying because he wants to see her. The one time when she brought him back early, which was recently, she had the excuse that her friend needed to talk to her about something important that he wasn't aloud to hear. She brought him back at 9:30pm by the way and his bedtime is supposed to be at 7:30pm because it takes him time to calm down adn go to sleep. She also brought him a movie adn told him that he could watch it too adn it was 9:30pm at night!! He was sooo upset and she still left anyways. Then there are times too where she will call and he asks when she's coming to pick him up and she'll tell him in two sleeps, then the next day she will call and then it's more sleeps and so on. He gets so upset he's crying on the phone.



Also about the BM in your situation picking up her daughter and then dropping her off at the grandparents house, well his BM doesn't do that, but it might as well be the same thing as him going there and being stuck in front of the TV all day. I ask him what he's done at mommy's house and it's watch TV, play with toy and play video games. And I know for a fact that when he watches TV here, which is limited by the way, that he plays with his toys while watching TV. When the TV's off it's so hard sometimes to get him interested in anything else because he watches so much TV when he's with her. I keep on trying though, but his favorite things to do is watch TV and play video games.



There's more stuff that goes on, but I don't want to get into all of it right this moment, but if anyone has any ideas about this I would love to hear them and for you to share if you are in the same situation.

Tauni - posted on 08/17/2009

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I do! I have her 6 days a week..I have a daycare that I run from home, so I literally have here all the time. when the bm does have her she drops her off with the grandparents...I have become mom and she calls her BM by her first name.

Breanne - posted on 08/14/2009

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I'm 22 years old and became a stepmom at basically 20 years old. I know how you guys are feeling and it just sucks so much that we are looked at like the bad person or the person that shouldn't be involved. You always hear so many bad things about stepmoms, but now after being one, i just don't understand because we do so much for these children and we care so much for them just like a parent would. I have gotten some bad feedback from some people, but i also get alot of support from others because they see first hand at what i do for my stepson and how much i care. It's just so frustrating when the bio mom says rude things about me, when i'm nothing like that at all and she very well knows that. I don't get my stepson to call me mom, he calls me by my name which is fine with me because i know he loves me, he tells me everyday and that's all that i need to hear. We just need to remember all the things that we do for our stepkids adn how much they love us and that's all that we need.

Jackie - posted on 08/09/2009

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my stepmom always took good care of me and did alot for me. I could see how that would frusrate you to have people think you know nothing of parenting.

Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2009

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i can totally relate! i don't even tell people he's my stepson, he calls me mama...we unfortunately just have visitation...but are hoping to get custody of him soon. The worst part is, she's not even my husband's ex...he was messed up on pills and alcohol and came home and blacked out, he woke up w/this girl (his sister's friend) having sex with him....who does that??? then, she ends up pregnant saying it's his, but it could be this other guy's, etc. long story short, we finally got the dna test done last year, and we have spent as much time w/us as she will let us. my stepson has called me mama since the first time we got him, isn't that so sad?? he didn't even know me, and started calling me mama, not to mention he is scared of everything. he is about to turn 2 next month and my husband and i have a 1 yr old that is less scared than he is...it worries me so much!

Tiffany - posted on 08/04/2009

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I am lucky, he doesn't know his "real mom". (I hate that term, I AM his REAL mom!) I just hate how the general public looks at you differently b/c you didnt go through child birth. News Flash giving birth is not what makes you a mother! I know all that really matters is that he considers me his mom I just hate always explaining that I am his step mom and then being seen as unexperienced. Thank you for your encouragement!

Kayce - posted on 08/04/2009

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Well we just went through child custody and most of the time the judge wants the child to be with either parent. Well he thought there was nothing wrong with my sd being with me as much as she is. He recognized me as a parent to my sd so in NC some judges see that we are parents and I am so glad that they do. Since my sd was 2 she asked me to be her mommy and to me we are a mother figure to them they look up to us. But to most bio moms we are there worst enemey. It is jealousy because they feel we are taking there child away and we dont "deserve" the time with the child. We didnt give birth to them and carry them for 9mo. Well I am sorry but it takes then giving birth and carrying a child for 9mo to be a parent. Keep doing what you are doing the children know who is there for them and who isnt. I know my sd appreciates everything I do for her and recognizes that I am here 100% for her.

Ikeca - posted on 08/04/2009

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oh yeah. you betcha. Step moms are often pushed to the side because bio moms don't want to be outwitted by that "other woman" in the children's lives. I've only been here for a year, and my stepsons to be already wish i was thier mom. It sucked because in florida we are considered "legal strangers" and yet I'm the one that takes them to the doctor, cuts their hair, and buys them clothes. The Bio dad feels the same way that you do. We just have to put up with it unfortunately until the law frickin realizes HELLOOO we are just as important as the bio mom, like adoptive moms you know? Because technically that is what we are. Except the bio mom is still alive. In most cases that is indeed unfortunate.

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