Do your stepchildren live with you?

Andriana - posted on 07/13/2009 ( 35 moms have responded )

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My stepdaughter is 4, and will be 5 in November. She has lived with us for almost 2 years now. Every single time I tell someone that, they want to know why she lives with us and not her mom. I find it offensive that still so many people in the world think a child gets more, or better care and love when living with their mothers. We are a perfect example of that NOT being the case, and I was just curious to see if there are other stepmothers in a custodial household that feel the same way. How do you respond?

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Renee - posted on 07/13/2009

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Hello - I am in the same situation as you. I understand COMPLETELY! my step son is 4 also and has been living with us for approximately a year. I think being offended that people are so backward in thinking that only a bio mum can care for a child completely is totally understandable. It is a hard situation to explain but i mostly just tell people that my step son needs a stable, loving environment and that is what we are giving him. There are SO many other issues that arise from having a step child in your home that the last thing that you need is worrying about what other people think. It takes a special / strong person to love and care for another's child so keep up the great work. Thank you for sharing your thoughts also, it is great to know I am not alone in feeling like this!

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Christine - posted on 07/23/2009

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My husband and his ex have a completely 50/50 realtionship. I believe that he gets loving care at each house, but not at all in the same way. The two families have very different parenting and lifestyle backgrounds.

Claire - posted on 07/21/2009

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I am in a very similar situation too. My step-son is 17 but has lived with us full time for the past 10 years. I consider him to be my son and when we're together people who don't know us naturally assume that I'm his mother and he never corrects them. His mother hasn't spoken to us for 10 years and we like it that way. He sees her only when he wants to which isn't much these days. She causes nothing but trouble when he visits her and we've found out she's been saying nasty things about our family to his girlfriend. He regulary has arguments with her becaue she can't stand the fact that I'm looking after him as his mum and not her. I'm sorry but she had her chance and blew it. It was easier for her to give him up to us as she was getting married and her husband to be didn't want him and still doesn't. He's definately better off with us and he knows who loves him and also who goes out their way to be nasty and try to play games with us.

Sharday - posted on 07/19/2009

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i have the same thing, my step son well son is 3yrs old and hes been with his dad for nearly all his life and ive had the pleasure of being in their lives for 2 years and ive been his mum for 2 years and it offends me that people think mothers are are capable of caring for their children than dads are as my partner has been the sole carer of my son nearly all his life as his mother is well honestly useless!

Jamie - posted on 07/19/2009

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Both of my SDs live with us, and I luckily haven't seen that stigma very much. They usually just ask if their BM has anything to do with them. I say "yes, they get to see her". I don't go into detail because it is no one's business but my SDs. I am the mom that everyone sees, and SDs only mention their BM to those that they feel safe with anyways. I am 5 years younger than DH though and I finally had to get used to the looks when they figure out how old I am. I'm done caring if others judge me because they think I had a child at 14 or because I'm a stepmom - all that matters is that I'm a mom to these little girls.

Christine - posted on 07/18/2009

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didn't realize how many of us raise our sk's. of course I don't refer then as my step-daughters. they are my girls. people look at me and say I'm to young to have a 12 yr old two 10yr olds and a 1 yr old. or are your 10 yr olds twins. no they are 3 months apart. people really look at me funny. anyone else get this?

Lee Ann - posted on 07/17/2009

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My step daughter has been with us for 6 yrs now. We have her everyday. Her mom takes her in a year one month, if you count the weekends she takes her. I need help. I love her like she is my own, but she treat me very bad sometimes and I dont know what to do? Help.... We always want her not like her mother so for the people that think its not cool for the father to have there daughter open your eyes. Not all mothers are great parents. I love my family and having my step daughter and my daughter with us in one house is wonderful.

Wendy - posted on 07/17/2009

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I have brought my sd up since she was 2 she is nearly 15 now. Her mother didnt want to know (still doesnt really) I never introduce her as my sd always my daughter as i feel that is what she is. I will admit though it has been hard much harder than with my natural children as i think is the case with a lot of step-parents. and YES ppl always ask why shes not with her birth mother if they know and i have to say i am honest and i tell them the truth. I love my daughter!!

[deleted account]

Great thread of stories. My hubby gave up placement of his daughters with his divorce because he was traveling so much for work. We got married when his girls were 8 + 10. We were stable in a home and both of the girls took their mother to court 3 years later to come live with us. Here we are 11 years later and they call our house their home. It's not always the mother that is the best choice for the kids. It's where the kids feel the least tension and hear the least negativity. Do what is best for the kids and they will love to be with you.

Stefanie - posted on 07/16/2009

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Both my step kids lived with us for 8 years. My step daughter moved to her mom's last May and my step son still lives with us. My step kids were 3 and 4 going on 5 when my hubby got custody. They are now 12 and 14. I was always asked if they were mine. I never got asked why they didn't live with their mom. If I was ever asked that question I would have just said it is in their best interest.

Dana - posted on 07/16/2009

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My 14 year old stepson lives with us,,, I've been married almost 7 years and in the beginning we had joint custody (every other week,,,for a week at a time each),, then about 4 years ago his mom flaked and moved away. I have 2 children of my own that live with us.

I honestly have to say that it doesn't offend me when people ask why he doesn't live with his mom. Usually they ask "where is his mother" and I just answer "she moved away a few years back" .... most people I talk to don't ask any further ... but it doesn't bother me to answer.

Just take the opportunity to give praise to your husband in that situation for being such a wonderful father to my children as well as his own.. That's what I do!

Angela - posted on 07/16/2009

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My partener and I have custody of his 4 children. The 7 yr old has lived with us for 3 years, the 14 yr old with us for 2 years, and the 10 & 5 yr olds for a year now. I have two children from my first marriage and we have two children together. If you lost count that is 8 kids....LOL. My step-kids have contact with their mom, but are sooooo much better off with us. They have told us many times that they have a home for the first time. I am proud of the fact that my partner is being a dad and wants to raise his kids. There are so many fathers out there that don't care to be dads and many who aren't allowed to be dads. I don't explain anymore why my step kids live with us, personally it isn't anyones business but mine.

Crystal - posted on 07/16/2009

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Quoting Sara:

Our situation is a little different. I have been married for 6 years and my stepdaughter will be 8 in Septmeber. What was hard for me at first was that everyone assumed that I had "stolen" my husband because the mother of his daughter was pregnant when we started dating, it was a one night stand so there was no stealing of anyone. Our relationship was very hard in the beginning and it almost tore us apart. We got married and my husband then left to Iraq for a 8 month tour, during this time my step daughter turned 2 and I had a very long talk with her mother, explaining that I didn't want to replace her as a mother, but that I wanted to take my husbands place in taking care of his daughter. Since we've been married and since my husband has been back and forth to Iraq, he just finished a year and half tour, I've had visitations of my stepdaughter, once a week overnight and every other weekend Friday to Sunday...The problem that I have is that everyone asks why would I take care of her if he isn't here, my answer is always why wouldn't I. I don't look at her as my stepdaughter, she's my daughter and we've formed a bond that will never be broken. What I find so wrong with most people today is that if a man enters a relationship where the woman already has a child and he takes care of the child he's looked like a hero and if a man enters a relationship with a child and the women takes care of the child she's like the evil stepmother who wants to take another womans child away...I hope with the changing times and where blended families are happening more and more we get away from our old ways of thinking and appreicate stepfathers and stepmothers for the stand up people most of them really are :)


Wow... I wish that this would happen in my family. My husband is in Afghanistan right now and I get almost no contact with his son. We had a daughter together and separated for awhile, during that time he was with another woman for 3 months and she became pregnant. We were back together and married before he was even born. The hardest part is that she hates me and would never allow me to do this. She thinks I stole my husband from her and my step son, when really it was her drug use (yes even while she was pregnant) and lying that ended it. To her I am the evil step mother!  I just don't understand why ppl think that as Step-mothers that we can't love our step-children as well!

Sara - posted on 07/16/2009

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Our situation is a little different. I have been married for 6 years and my stepdaughter will be 8 in Septmeber. What was hard for me at first was that everyone assumed that I had "stolen" my husband because the mother of his daughter was pregnant when we started dating, it was a one night stand so there was no stealing of anyone. Our relationship was very hard in the beginning and it almost tore us apart. We got married and my husband then left to Iraq for a 8 month tour, during this time my step daughter turned 2 and I had a very long talk with her mother, explaining that I didn't want to replace her as a mother, but that I wanted to take my husbands place in taking care of his daughter. Since we've been married and since my husband has been back and forth to Iraq, he just finished a year and half tour, I've had visitations of my stepdaughter, once a week overnight and every other weekend Friday to Sunday...The problem that I have is that everyone asks why would I take care of her if he isn't here, my answer is always why wouldn't I. I don't look at her as my stepdaughter, she's my daughter and we've formed a bond that will never be broken. What I find so wrong with most people today is that if a man enters a relationship where the woman already has a child and he takes care of the child he's looked like a hero and if a man enters a relationship with a child and the women takes care of the child she's like the evil stepmother who wants to take another womans child away...I hope with the changing times and where blended families are happening more and more we get away from our old ways of thinking and appreicate stepfathers and stepmothers for the stand up people most of them really are :)

Betty - posted on 07/16/2009

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My husband and I have our little girl about 40% of the time and we are getting 50% very soon. I think that in a few years we will also have her 100% of the time because of the BM's nature. When that happens my response to people will be that she is where she belongs.

My parent's are still together and my mom is wonderfull but I feel like the person who shaped my childhood the most was my dad. He always worked long hours for my family but all I remeber looking back is all the wonderfull things he taught me and did for me. Dads can be just as important as moms are.

[deleted account]

Quoting Renee:

I just wanted to say that all you women are truly special and really an inspiration. For so long i have had to deal with all these feelings on my own cause people never really 100% understand unless they have been there also! It is fantastic to see sooo many women being there unconditionally for their step children. I feel stronger and more empowered. Keep up the fantastic work ladies!!



Exactly what I was thinking going through these are reading them!



Thank you for all the support people are giving on here - it's great knowing other people are in similar situations and I'm not the only one! :)

Keela - posted on 07/16/2009

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I have 2 step-children, one is 15 and the other is 16 and they have lived with us for the past 6 1/2 yrs. Before they lived with us full time they were switching every year, so they had to switch schools every year! Finally I put a stop to that, making my husband and his ex realize that is not healthy for young boys! I have too been asked why they live with us and not their mother... and I simply say...they want to live with us and that is why!

THEODORA - posted on 07/16/2009

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hi Andrianna!...look many people do not understand the challenge a stepmum has to face but giving her a loving home its the greatest thing you could do and i wish you the best...

Renee - posted on 07/15/2009

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I just wanted to say that all you women are truly special and really an inspiration. For so long i have had to deal with all these feelings on my own cause people never really 100% understand unless they have been there also! It is fantastic to see sooo many women being there unconditionally for their step children. I feel stronger and more empowered. Keep up the fantastic work ladies!!

Jacqui - posted on 07/15/2009

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Brandy that is really sad. I was fortunate that my step sons biological mum stepped away and we don't even have to worry about calls because apparently she is too busy to give her son a call. I am in Australia so I don't know much about the laws there but I am sure you would have a department for childrens rights and safety you could contact because that is clearly not a good nor safe place for the little girl to be. Some of the stories are so heartbreaking. It's sad that grown adults use children as a tool to get what they want with no concern for the child's well being. I have never understood the threat a biological mum feels about a step mum. I want my children to be loved by as many people as possible!!

Brandy - posted on 07/15/2009

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Everyones story is so inspiring. My Husband had custody of his now 7 year old daughter. Two years ago, his ex took his daughter at Christmas and decided not to bring her back. He was devastated and we had a great relationship as well. This was after the mom took off, left her with him to persue an old boyfriend less than a year after they had been married. He was even PAYING THE EX $800 per month, just to keep her AWAY. He was the caregiver, and always was because he worked from home, and occasionally at night. We tried to fight her, with a weak unspecified divorce decree, but it became daunting with legal costs adding up quickly. We are also in Texas now and she is in Florida. Our relationship has become strained the few times we have visited. It was NEVER like this before. When we met it was like she was instantly my daughter. Now, we can tell the mother has been verbally poisoning her. She told us that I took her dad away, and she is now jealous of our daughter ( her sister). This was not a problem before. Her current environment is not positive and the mother had an alcoholic boyfriend living in for a while. Her 16 year old Bipolar half brother is her summer babysitter while mom is at work. We want her to come live with us now. My husband is concerned over the relationship between me and her, and how the transition would affect each of us. Any words of wisdom??

[deleted account]

When my partners ex wife took off she left him with the 2 girls-and although she lives fairly locally its not convenient for her to have them more often (they used to have one week on / off for a time) We think its because of her accomodation circumstances that in the past have not been particulary stable or ongoing. Not sure when that will change but not fussed really-the girls have a stable home with us and they see their BM regulary 5 nights a month over a 3 weekend period as per a parenting plan. I love having the girls with us and know they are safe and not at risk of being "evicted". I admire my partner for doing the single dad thing too because he did it very hard emotionally dealing with the BM walking out on them all (then flitting back in and out when it suited her) I think its more common then people realise (kids with their dads instead of their mums)

Stacey - posted on 07/15/2009

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Well, my two step-children live with us. However, the question I get from people is what did the mother do? It is mostly still true that the court systems grant the mother as the residential parent in any custody system. However, in our case, the mother had some serious problems with prescription drugs and depression, so we took her to court and she signed over custody.....after having to be involved with DCS. Bottom line is, we can provide a loving, supportive and structured environment for our children and she couldn't. I would imagine something happened in your life with the bio mom that proved that the father and you were a better home for your child. Kudos to you.

Amanda L - posted on 07/14/2009

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My stepsons are 14 and 11. Their dad and I married almost 6 years ago. The boys have lived full time with us for over 3 years now. They still see their mom every other weekend, off and on during summer, and we work out the holidays. So I definitely understand all of you! Most everyone in our community think that I am the mom until one of us say otherwise.

Glenda - posted on 07/14/2009

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My husband, (we just married last Sept., but have been together for 4 years) had full custody of his 3 girls when I met him. Apparently, the biomom decided she wanted to 'live life' and left them with him. She proceeded to get into some trouble, which was when I met him. I've been the mother figure in their lives from day 1 and even though she tries to be a mom, she fails and is only their buddy. She can't even take the girls for a weekend without having her parents around all of the time, which is frustrating to say the least. Everyone that knows my family has commented on my relationship with my girls, they respect me as thier mom, but call me by name. Does this bother me? Sure, but I have the satisfaction in knowing that I am the one making a difference in their lives, am the one that they cling to and the one that tucks them into bed every night. Strangers have commented on how much they look like me and the girls just smile and squeeze my hand. As to the quesitons, I've been lucky enough to only have good friends ask about it, so I don't mind telling them the truth. But my husband hates it when I call them my stepdaughters, maybe you should not specify and leave it at that. Your their everyday mom, don't shy away from that pride!!

Jacqui - posted on 07/14/2009

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I am in the same situation too. My now 7yo stepson has lived with us for 4 years fulltime. His Mum hasn't even seen him in a year and a half. Thankfully he knows he is in a better place. The thing that annoys me is the comments about him being unfortunate and "poor him". This was often said in front of him and he grew a complex that he was a child missing out. He was saved from a welfare existence where there was no love and at 2 and 3 he was having to get his own breakfast... now he lives in a loving household with his brother, Dad and Mum (his choice to call me that and his actual Mum by her name), does 3 extra curricular activities and lives a very social life with a big extended family. I think this is a lucky child not an unfortunate one. Thankfully the extended family know the truth of him being fortunate. The only thing they have annoyed me is second guessing if I would have the same rules etc... for my 3yo. My expectations will be exactly the same because they are the behaviours I think are important but the parenting can't be identical when the children are so different and that has nothing to do with them being biologically mine or not.

Karen - posted on 07/14/2009

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I think you will find that as time goes on, times are changing and people will stop being so suprised. Keep in mind, 10 years ago no father had custody... because we were still in an age of "dad works, mom takes care of the kids" which meant no dad ever took care of the kids and therefore couldn't handle it alone! Times have started changing... my bonus kids live with us full time with no contact with bio, I also have a best friend with custody of his, and a brother in law with custody of his... it's happening more and more, and I personally think it's great.

No one is going to stop people from being suprised because they aren't used to it. My only advice is to try to accept things for what they are and find the positive in it. Or... when asked why she doesn't live with her mom, tell them she does... she lives with the only mom that counts... YOU!

Rynella - posted on 07/14/2009

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This is a second marriage for both my husband and myself. We brought together our families, he with three daughters and myself with a daughter and son. His two youngest daughters and my children all lived with us for 15 years. My step-daughters are 23 and 25 years old with two children of their own and they all still live with us! My daughter moved to live with her grandparents when she graduated from high school and my son lives with us still. The hard part when the children were little and my husband got custody of the girls was explaining to them why their mother never kept contact with them. Now that they are older, they don't have any respect for her.....which is sad but then she made it that way. I'm still trying to get them out of my house and on their own but its been a battle!! :)

Lisa - posted on 07/14/2009

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Better car with their biological mothers is not always the case, that is for sure. My step-children live with us. It became finalized through court recently. We had to pick up my step-daughter from a foster home due to abuse. Both children were abused by their biological mother and her boyfriend. The court and child services are trying to strip her of her rights. A homestudy was done on me and their father to make sure that they would be better off in our home. We now have both of my husband's kids with us. They have a lot of issues now that they wouldn't have had, had they not been raised by their biological mother.

Jessica - posted on 07/13/2009

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I have been lucky enough that most people have responded with awe and respect for my hubby, and for myself. He has had sole custody of his daughter since she was six months old (she is now eight), and I have been her full-time mom for four years. Many don't ask, but you can see that they wonder why she is with us, and often assume that the BM was somehow incompetent, which she was, so that doesn't bother me.... As far as people telling you that you SK should be with her mom, I think I would have a hard time NOT telling them where to go.... Obviously depending on their relation to you, I would definitely respond to those types of comments with "Excuse me, but you do not know the situation, my child, my husband, or her biological mother, so for you to pass judgement is quite offensive. My SK is a very happy, well adjusted child, and with the circumstances we are faced with, there is no better place that she could be." Stand up for yourself! Full-time mom's to their SK's don't get enough credit!

[deleted account]

Oh my goodness! I am in pretty much EXACTLY the same situation! My daughter's mother left when my daughter was 2 years old (she went to live with a guy she met on the internet who lived in Tenessee - my husband and daughter were in California). My husband tried to take her back for Sasha's sake and even paid for her pane tickets THREE times and she left again each time (with him paying for the tickets each time, not the guy she left him for). Each time he asked if she was taking Sasha and each time she said no (but did try to steal my husband's computer the last time).



My husband and I met when Sasha was 3 (she is now almost 7) and we got married after just 6 months together. I instantly knew they were the loves of my life. Sasha still ives with us 90% of the time and we are fighting her mother about custody stuff (as soon as I came in the picture she wanted her daughter back... suprise suprise...). We are going back to court on the 23rd (the 5th time we have been there in the last 3 years) and we are petitioning for full custody. This woman who left has no idea when it comes to her daughter - she doesn't even know Sasha's favorite books, color, websites, anything! She's just fighting because she doesn't want me to "have" what's "hers."



Now, her husbad (they guy she left my husband and daughter for) is in Iraq (he's in the military) and has told her he has cheated on her multiple times, has no intention of stopping and wants a divorce when he gets back in November. He never even wanted Sasha in the first place. He said that he didn't want kids and the fact that she's fighting for Sasha is making him mad. He is not a good role model and does not want to be. And, in all of this, my daughter's mother is also cheating on her husband... with THREE different guys! I do not want my daughter in this environment at all!



I tell everyone who asks that giving birth doesn't make you a mother. Staying and raising your child does. Thank you so much for putting your post - it is great knowing there are people in the same boat!

Amanda - posted on 07/13/2009

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Both my ss, 5, and my sd, 3, have lived with us full time for about 2 1/2 years. We never really get the comments or responses you have both gotten, but we live in a VERY small town and most everyone knows our story already. I do often get "oh, your just the step mom" when taking them to doctor's appointments and things like that and I find it so irritating. No, I am not the biological parent but that doesn't mean I don't know them better than anyone. I raise them every single day with my husband and just because the bm is not around does not mean they don't have the best life possible.



I admire my husband so much because he is an amazing father. Even before we were together and he was still married to bm he was pretty much the only parent they had. The stories I have heard from family and friends that knew them both make it pretty clear that they are better off in our home. I just don't understand why people always assume a bm will love or care more for a child than their father. That is just not true. The kids are obviously with dad because he can provide the best home for them. Simple as that.



Kudos to you ladies and all the other full time moms to sk's. It is not an easy job, and it is very often thankless, but it really is worth every minute.

Renee - posted on 07/13/2009

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I just find it incredible that there are still people out there that believe only a BIO mum can do the parenting. What are dads and step mothers......babysitters? I get it all the time when i take SS to school - the looks, the whispers....it is both petty and ridiculous! I feel sorry for all the Dads out there that are doing it tough being single parents with no support and this sort of mentality! sorry for the little vent!

Andriana - posted on 07/13/2009

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wow thanks Renee, and i totally agree with you. I think most people assume that there had to be something crazy that happened for us to be able to have her live with us, and its just not the case. its a simple fact of exactly what you said, providing a stable home for her. thats all. I still have people say to me that she should be with her mother, and its just not something that any of us feel is right, including her mother. its totally a backward thinking, and its terrible!!! thanks for your words, and im glad you could relate!

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