Am I a bad step-mom???

Josephine - posted on 09/15/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I wonder if it's horrible of me not to feel for my step-sons like I feel like I should after almost 6yrs of being in their lives......I don't feel like I am emotionally available to them like I am to my own....does this make me a horrible person?

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Sarah - posted on 09/16/2010

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You are doing the right thing, it's you husband who might create a problem in a long run, since he is putting you in a good cop bad cop situation. I would sit down with him and ask him if he would consider to have the same rules for all the kids in your house. You are doing the best you can under circumstances, actualy it's your hubby that has a problem, I know I had to deal with it at one time.

Desiree - posted on 01/06/2014

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I have been in my stepkids lives for about 3 years now. I have absolutely no attachment to them and they are just like visiters in my house to me when they are with us.

Some women just respond differently than others when it comes to step parenting. There is no right or wrong.

Doralicia - posted on 10/29/2013

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Am I a bad step mom b/c I don't agree w/the way my boyfriend and his family thinks it's ok to spoil them and allow them to have their way w/everything. My boyfriend and I have been together for 2 years now and we have had a constant struggle over who is in the right and who is in the wrong when it comes to parenting. They lost there mother 2 years ago as well so I'm the only mother figure they have well of course besides their grandmother's who loves them very much, but there have been times to where it got so bad that it caused us to break up. He says thatI'm to controlling and that I need to start showing them more love and affection and I really do try sometimes b/c I do want them to love me but the only thing I'm trying to teach them is that not everything is going to go their way and crying to get it isn't the correct way to do things either. ..idk what to do anymore or if I should just stop trying.

Erin - posted on 09/18/2013

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I totally get this Josephine. I feel the same way about my stepson. From what I understand this is perfectly normal and to make sure to give yourself a break! We do not have the bond that is there. No you and I and the others out there, are not horrible people for this. We just should always treat step-kids well and take care of them while teaching them as they grow :)

Lorena - posted on 06/17/2013

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I am a stepmother I married my husband 10 years ago my step children were 16 girl and 14 boy , it was the teen years it has been really hard and on the top I was born and raise in a different culture .I have 2 kids on my own 10 years younger than my step y had not bond with my stepchildren and I feel so guilty .I just try to stay on the side of my husband he is who deals with them but I feel sad because I didn't knew how to deal with them and now I feel ignored. So sad.

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Judith - posted on 07/15/2014

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I've been a step mom for close to 5 years now. I have a SD 12, and two SS 9 and 10. I love them like if they were mine. I try to be a loving step mom and raise them how I think It's right. I try to teach them to clean up after themselves, help around the house with chores, respect each other, no fowl language, I don't like them watching inappropriate shows on tv or videos they like watching on youtube. I've noticed that their language in insults toward each other is slowly changing. From dumb to stupid to now idiot. My boyfriend, we still aren't married, agrees but I feel like he leaves me with all the problems to fix. I feel exhausted at times after I constantly tell them over and over again to pick up and behave. I feel ignored at times. I hate taking things they like as a form of punishment but they leave me no option. I feel like I get no help from him or bio mom. She only sees them once or twice a week. When she does she obviously spoils them and let's them stay up late. So I think since she doesn't see them that much she has to be the "fun" mom! I am left feeling like a nagging stepmom. I even told the kids not to call me stepmom because I don't like that word. Sounds horrible. So they call me by my nickname. I have a child of my own a baby of 8 months. The kids love him. I want them to feel like we are all a family. I come from strict parents. My parents would wake us up early to do chores on the weekends. On school days after school we had to do homework first and laundry or dishes before we headed out. I used to hang out with my friends at the gym playing basketball or the library. My parents didn't let us out every day. They monitored how much time we spent on the computer. Absolutely no inappropriate shows on tv or movies. We had a bed time. My point is that I plan to do some of the same things to my son. Like I don't want him cursing at a young age or being disrespectful. I want my step kids to be good role models for him since they are older. I love them all the same but I feel overwhelm since I stay home with them and make sure they are fed, clean, that they do some chores around the house, clean rooms, don't spend too much time playing video gams, healthy. I've recently scheduled them dentist appointments because they have never been to the.dentist and the boys need some work done in their teeth. I do a lot for them because I care, because I feel that if I don't do it no one will. I want them to grow up undependent from people. Sorry for the Long post but I have lots on my chest I just want to Get off. I feel alone at times as if I'm the only one going thru this. I know I'm not but I don't have someone that will understand. I just want someone to listen with out judging.

Alexandra - posted on 12/09/2013

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No - it does not make you a horrible stepmom. There is no specific amount of time that it should take to connect to another person's child. It may never be the same, all you can do is strive to do the best you can to connect, and be aware of your difference in feelings so that he doesn't feeling like an outsider.

A.S. Noraford

Amy - posted on 12/06/2013

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No it doesn't. I can tell you from my own experience that no one can tell you how you should feel unless they have been in your shoes. I have been in both. I have been a stepchild to four different step-parents and I have three step kids. I stopped caring what others thought a long time ago. Hugs to you!

Rebekah Aka Strong Stepmom - posted on 10/14/2013

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Each stepmom deals with their own struggles. This doesn't make you a horrible person. We deal with so many different emotions. ((hugs)) to you

Ariana - posted on 07/17/2013

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This doesn't make you horrible but it does mean you have to take a look at the situation and what's going on.

I don't know how many step-sons or bio children you have but maybe you should try to make a point to do things that bring you and your step-children a bit closer, something that connects you together. Not everyone is super connected with their children, so finding a common interest could help.

You could even have one day of the week where you take one child a week to do something special, so every Thursday (or whatever) you take one child to do some special Mommy whoever activity (maybe your husband could take one child out too a different day and then you'd have special time with the other kids without that child, who knows?).

I wouldn't say you're terrible, but it might be a good idea to try and find a special activity just you and they do (possibly on an individual basis) and let them know you are there for them.

Good luck!

Sally - posted on 08/14/2012

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You are not a horrible person....easier said than to feel that way, but I get it. I too, do not feel the same for my step daughters as I do my son. I've been fighting this battle for 8 years now and I don't know how to turn things around. Their real mom passed away so I am the only "mom" figure to them, but its still so hard. I actually packed my bags and my sons last night because it's so stressful. We came back in two hours though. :-)

Dusty - posted on 12/24/2011

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This doesn't make you a horrible person, but PLEASE for the children's sake, do NOT make this known to them that you don't feel the same towards them. They will be damaged by it.

C - posted on 11/03/2011

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Your a wonderful mom.. I can tell because your worried about this!! Horrible moms dont care about things like this...I am a step mom and my husband is a step dad, my sisters husband is a step dad, my mom is a step mom.... We all have talked about this... :)

Sharlene - posted on 10/28/2011

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Hi . No it does'nt your only human LOL give it time that feeling come even without you knowing ,Cheers

Penny - posted on 07/20/2011

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Omg it's like you are in my life . My 6 year old SS has told me I should move back where I use to live , That his BM says he doesn't have to mind me because I am not his REAL mom ... I just smile and say I am not your birth mom this is true . But I am the mom of this house and you will mind or you will have consequences for your actions . We to have family meetings , What I like to do though in the meetings if we are having problems with one of the 3 kids we talk to that child away from the others . That way it doesn't give the other kids info about the negative behaviors one child is doing , That the other child can start to do ... Ever since I married my DH my step son has had behavioral issues . I think a lot of it had to do with the fact as soon as his parents were divorced I and my kids were in the pic . The BM even told the SS that I took daddy away from them ..... Ugh who tells a child that , Which is so not true he asked for the divorce before ever meeting me !

Shauna - posted on 09/27/2010

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No this does not make you a horrible person. I think we all love our stepkids, but when you experience the emotions of giving birth to your own children its just overwhelming and the love for your natural children will always hold strong.

Rhonda - posted on 09/26/2010

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No...you're not. You have most likely been through a lot of issues over the years with all parties involved which has left a imprint on your heart. You have been a good person to care for and provide love to everyone in your home. People have to realize love is something you choose to give or do. If you are not treated the way you feel you should be, then it may make u feel that you are not loving them the correct way. Continue to show love and your doing the right thing for your step children.

Jackie - posted on 09/26/2010

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Okay well let me rephrase that to where it makes sense. Some step ids will try to make the step parents life a living hell so they will leave. Sometimes the bio-mom will even tell them to. (My case.) Dont get me wrong I love my step-daughter and would die for her but she intentionally makes it hard since her mother is teling her to make me move out any way she can. So far it hasent worked in bio-moms favor. Just made Hallies life (my step-d) alot harder. She constantly gets grounded for her attitude. Her mom told her that she doesnt have to listen to me because I'm not her mom and shes even thrown it in my face that I'm not her mom. Dad grounded her for that and we had a family meaning. I told her that I would never take her moms place and she never has to call me mom. Bio-mom makes her call the mothers boyfriend "dad". I dont agree with this at all. Shes 11 and is at the age where its her choice as to what to call Joe (moms bf) and I. Told her that she has one mom and one dad and thats all shell ever have.

Jackie - posted on 09/26/2010

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Not at al. We really cant even answer that totally for you because we dont see how you interact with them. Everybody has extenuating circumstances as to why they are attached to the stepkids or why they arent. Also some step kids make it hard for us step parents to love them.

Jessica - posted on 09/24/2010

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Of course you cannot feel for children that are not actually yours like you would your own. I don't think that makes you a bad step-mom. I'm in a similar boat. My boyfriend has a 6 year old from a previous relationship and we have a 13 month old and a 1 week old together. She has been in my life since before my own children. I love her. But there is a difference when it comes to loving a child you gave birth to and brought into the world yourself than some other woman's child. You are not horrible at all.

Josephine - posted on 09/21/2010

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Ruby, I'm sorry hun....I feel your pain...sucks that no good deed goes unpunished huh?! I kinda have the fear of that happening to me...because one of the mothers can't stand me for whatever reason. So I'm afraid the boys he has with her will turn their backs on me. And it will be heartbreaking, I just pray that it doesn't happen. Good luck and remember you did the best you could :)

Carla - posted on 09/21/2010

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You are right, Josephine, when you say maybe your feelings haven't been tested yet. I am sure that if you treat them the way you have expressed, that when an emergency or trauma comes up, you will fight for them like a tiger.



We all want to be the best--best wife, best mother, best step-mother, and on and on. Cut yourself a little slack and just be yourself with them. It'll all click in.



God bless, sweetie!

Ruby - posted on 09/20/2010

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I also have had to deal with the seperate rules for my kids and the stepkids. I have been married to my husband for 13 years and he had 3 boys and I had 2 girls and 1 boy before we got married. His exwife left him with the 3 kids so when we first got together I was their "mom" in every sense except for giving birth to them. We were doing great until his ex-wife came back into the picture (she only came back because we got engaged and tried to cause problems for us) then it was like a switch turned and I was no longer to care for them like my own children because their mother came back so all my "mothering" was uncalled for, broke my heart. Oh....and I need to say that we had the kids full-time which made this even harder. So.....from then on the kids were all raised with different sets of rules (my kids couldn't watch gory or rated R movies but his could, etc). As a result today my youngest stepson does not talk to me, is married and has a baby that I am "not related" to and I tell my husband all the time that "his grandson" is adorable and he never corrects me and says "our grandson" and it breaks my heart. It's been going on for years and it still breaks my heart. I don't know if I should keep trying (which to this day has not made a difference) or just give up.

Josephine - posted on 09/16/2010

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They don't live with us full time, but they have at one time. And I have been in their lives going on 6yrs now. I feel like I love them but I don't feel the kind of love I have for my own. I try really hard to always be fair, and to treat them all the same. But sometimes I think other people don't think I am, but they have to understand that I have full control over my children discipline and have the authority to make decisions for mine but when it comes to my step sons I have to respect and follow what my husband wants for his children. So in some circumstances things I would let my children do my husband might not agree with so when it comes to my step sons I have to put my husband's way of doing things in play. So in turn it looks like I'm being unfair. I do miss them when they're away, and I do go out of my way to do things for them. I just want that feeling of knowing....maybe I feel this way because those feelings haven't been tested? Or tried?

[deleted account]

You're not a bad mother. Please get that out of your head. If you keep feeling like this, you're kids are going to know (or feel negative vibes) and that's not healthy for them.



I have known my step-daughter since she was 3 1/2 years old. I love her to the very depth of my soul, but I know I don't have the same level of love as I do for own my biological daughter and son. It's OKAY to feel that way. You will always have an intrinsic feeling/emotion attached to your own biological kids. (You knew them when they were growing inside of you and that is an unbreakable bond.) This will not hamper your motherhood capabilities as long as you acknowledge it and move on. Accept that you care for your step-kids. It's more than a lot of step-parents I knew growing up. As long as you treat them fairly, give them guidance, and look out for their well-being...that's more than enough. Maybe in time you will feel "more" for them. Currently, I'm in Iraq and I had come to the realization that I truly love my step-daughter. It's not the same level of love as the others, but its love regardless.

Sarah - posted on 09/15/2010

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No you are not horrible step-mom. You didn't state if they live full time with you or not. I have 2 of my own daughters and 1 step-daughter and 2 step-sons. I am very close to my oldest one and my step-daughter and not talking at all to my younger one. They are all adults now, but I haven't been close to my younger one since she was 16(36 now) and clicked with my step-daughter before I married her father, does that make me bad mother; no. We just have different life dynamics, I actualy prefer my step-daughter over my own younger one and we have lots in common like she was my own. Take time to get to know your step-kids like you know yours, I think that might be a problem, naturaly we are always closer to our bio-kids than steps.

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