do u have to be married to be considered a "step"

Sarah - posted on 03/28/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

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Just a question...we arent married but have been together 3 years...my daughter was 4 and his were 3 and 10 when we met, the girls call themselves step sisters and call me stepmom, kendle calls mark her stepdad, but his ex is upset at the whole "step" name and insists her girls stop calling my kids stepsister and stepbrother and to refer to me as dads gf.They were never married, and her oldest child has always referred to mark as HER stepdad, so whats the difference with me? So, my question is, do you have to be married to be considered a stepparent?

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Bronwyn - posted on 03/31/2010

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The more love a child has the happier they'll be. Especially if they feel free to love who they see fit. It's unfortunate that alot of parents feel threatened when their kids love someone else even when they know that they're happy and healthy in their care. We're having trouble with my step son's bm at times because we have him 50/50 but he complains when he's with her that he's bored and misses us. She complains about every little thing even though we're very careful to do things 'her way' and do our best to keep her happy. When he's with him BM and SD (SD is in his 50's with grown up kids and not interested in being a parent to a 4yo) he has no kids to play with and his BM just wants to relax after she picks him up from daycare. When he's with us he has my 7 yo daughter to play with and we all join in with crafts, singing corny songs, cooking together etc. I feel like BM wants us to never have fun when he's around because she feels like she can't compete but we're careful not to do anything different when we have him than when we just have our daughter and not fair on either of the kids to have no fun just because he's around. The jealousy thing is definitely the big issue as well as the insecurities she has. Before I came along she was constantly complaining she couldn't cope with him and asking my partner to have him more often (hard for him with how much he has to go away with work) but now we're able to have him more she's really not coping. But she still asks us to have him when it's not 'convenient' for her of course.

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Amy - posted on 04/09/2010

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we went through something like that where bm was telling sd she had two daddy's but only one mommy. Husband and I were married at the time which would have made me a "Step" however she was not married to the guy she was living with. I do feel for you. I'd like to say that it gets easier but I honestly can't.

I heard a quote the other day funny one actually
"you can put step in front of my name if it makes you feel better"

Had to pass it on.

Donna - posted on 04/09/2010

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I have been with my boyfriend for three in a half years and all his children call me mommy and have been calling me mommy all along. We told them my name and they felt more comfortable calling me mommy. There mother doesn't like it but it is none of her business cause they only call me mommy when they are with us. Which is every other week for a week. The youngest child was 7 months old when I got with her dad and if they introduce me to people they say I am there step mom. We are not married.

Jessica - posted on 04/03/2010

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I would say yes you do have to be married to be considered a "step" parent. I know that it is just a peice of paper saying that you and your husband are married. Everybody has their own opinions and that is mine. Yes the person would take care of the child and do everything as if they were already a "step" parent but god forbid if anything was to happen between my husband and I, My son would not call my husbands girlfriend/fiancee stepmom. Yes ya'll have been together for 3 years but something could always happen and ya'll split up. Im not saying thats going to happen but things change. They are kids and if they want to call each other sister & brothers then they should, they are kids and they do not know the difference.

[deleted account]

I actually had the same question until i read this forum :) I have been with My Man for almost a year now. he has triplets and i have been a part of their life for quit a while. I love the babies (they are 19 months). I do parenting with them just as if they were my own. I don't have my own yet lol. Ive bathed them, disiplined, fed, takin for walks, takin care of them when they are sick ans have stayed up all night with them before because they wouldnt sleep or they were sick. Its truly a blessing to be apart of their life. Their BM of course does not like me and has made that very clear lol but I'm willing to look past all that, she is just jealous. But i agree with everyone that has posted here. you can be a step parent without a piece of paper saying so. Irregaurdless of what other say or think. The BM can complain all she wants lol

[deleted account]

I agree with all of these posts. I am a stepmom and yet i am only engaged to my daughters father. BM is not in the picture and my daughter is going to be 2 in June. We only found out about my daughter being my fiancee's when she was 5 months old and as soon as we got the DNA test results back, I was already considered her stepmom because we were planning on getting married and i was going to be a major part of her life. After BM abandoned her at 8 months and lost custody when she was 7 months, i started referring to myself as her mom bcuz i know BM is not coming back... but no, you don't have to be married to be considered a stepparent. a piece of paper means nothing. it's the relationship you have with the other parent and the children that make you a stepparent and the way you take care of them

Angie - posted on 03/30/2010

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I am referred to as my fiance's son's step-mom. He lives with us full-time and does not see his mother. I take him to doctor/psychiatrist/counselor appointments, go to his parent-teacher conferences, get him ready for school, help him with homework, take him to daycare, discipline him, and give him unconditional love.



I think being a step-parent has much more to do with being a family and how you treat the kids, and much less to do with a marriage certificate.

Bronwyn - posted on 03/29/2010

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We make it easy and just let the kids decide! We've only been together about a year but the kids refer to each other as brother and sister and by us by our first names mostly but occasionally mum and dad. We don't use the step part other than when we're explaining the nature of our 'family'. My daughter is 7 and a half and my partner's son is 4.

Nicole - posted on 03/28/2010

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Personally, I don't think you have to be married to be considered a stepparent. My stepchildren refer to me as a few different things before my husband and I were married and even still. I'm just now "officially" stepmom. I am called everything from Nicole, Cole (my nickname), mom, mommy, my/our 'other' mom (when talking to someone else about me), etc. I considered myself a stepmom before I was married and I considered them my stepchildren. I think being together for 3 years is long enough to consider yourself a stepmom. Or when you get engaged...

I agree with the other posters, it just sounds like his ex is jealous. I had a bit of that as well. My husbands ex told him once, "Yeah, well...she's not their 'stepmommy' YET..." Just try not to let it get to you. If she is reacting that way, it's because she is jealous, feels threatened by you, or something of that nature. Keep doing what you're doing and love those children with everything you've got! Best of luck to you. :)

Charnette - posted on 03/28/2010

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No, especially if u are taking care of those kids. It sounds like someone is just jealous. don't let that bitter person get to you. U know misery loves company. Keep doing what u do. It sounds like everyone is happy except the ex.

[deleted account]

I'm not sure on the legal definitions etc but it's my understanding if you have a significant relationship with their father then it's considered stepparenting and 3 years is fairly significant. I dont really think it's any of her business, esp if her kids are happy with the arrangement; but I guess that's for her and yr man to decide together.

Christine - posted on 03/28/2010

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She i just jealous. If you love the kids and I would say you do then you are their stepmom

Gaynor - posted on 03/28/2010

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I am engaged and my partner is trying for visitation rights to see his daughter and i already consider myself to be her step mum and so does Rob as we have been together for nearly four years

Jeanie - posted on 03/28/2010

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You are a family and it's fine to use "step". Sounds like his ex is jealous. Before my husband and I got married we used "step". My kids even dropped the 'step' and just called him dad before we married. Don't let anyone tell you what is right for your family!

Mandee - posted on 03/28/2010

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I can see not concidering them step kids (siblings, etc) if you've only been together for a short time, but after 3 years your a family. A piece of paper that only makes it legal for the IRS doesn't change that

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