How many stepmoms who have their own biological child/ren...

Claudette - posted on 03/09/2010 ( 24 moms have responded )

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have a hard time being the kind of parent to them because of the different relationship they have with their stepchildren?

In other words, do you find that being a stepmom makes it harder for you to be the kind on mom you want to be to you own biological child?

I have a biological son from a previous relationship, and there were times (especially at the beginning of our relationship) when I found it really hard to just sit with him and cuddle him. Whenever I did, the girls would be upset and yet if I did hug them, my son would be very jealous and act out. I was always caught in the middle.

Have you ever felt that inner struggle? What was it that made it difficult?

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I treat all my kids just the same. I know this is hard to say with full honesty, but I truly make a concentrated effort every day to treat them all equally and fairly. To do this, I also make it a point to involve all the kids in each other's lives as well. So, instead of ignoring my oldest while changing a diaper, I would have her help me (she would get the diaper for me, throw it away, play with her sister while I take the trash out, etc.). It's really worked well and as a result I also have very helpful children that love to take part in pretty much all chores and activities. It's been really nice to find our happy medium and I feel all my kids get the attention they need.

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Megan - posted on 03/28/2010

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I have a biological daughter and a step daughter who are 5 months apart, I think I lucked out on this one because they are both so young that as they grow up they wont know another way so I think itll be easier. Has anyone been in the same situation?

Christine - posted on 03/28/2010

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I agree with what some have mention when I have to divide my attention between I always invovle the other in it. Unless it is private of course. I.E. if my yougnest cries I tell his big sister "bubba's crying let's go make him feel better" and she will go to help and say bubba's crying and give him a big hug and I do the same viceversa

Tara Lee - posted on 03/28/2010

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Janan...Thanks for the support. My husband and I have FINALLY adopted the same additude...Do to some cercumstances(not going in to), we have been comcentrating on the baby and us...although both SD and SS are a part of our lives, they both live outside our home and it is much easier to do our own thing without feeling "bad"...
Do to extraordenary cercumstances, my husband lucked out in support payments(arangement with BM) and we didn't get "nailed"...and could still "LIVE" comfortably. And except for some really bad times(mostly do to the kids 'playing' us against one another), we have all got along pretty well(Husband, BM and myself).
Good Luck and Thanks Again !

Janan - posted on 03/26/2010

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Tara...you have gone above & beyond what is necessary. Being expected to buy a new bedroom set just because the baby got one is not fair to you, yet you did it, allowing her to be the 1st to hold the baby is a very generous thing to do on your part. the problem is, all this "giving" is making her expect that from now on. Of course, you did so much & now that something has changed she does not want to go with the flow. News Flash for that child. Life is that way. If you go to work & 2 people work on same project you can guarantee 1 co-worker will get more priase than the other & in life you don't always get "something" because someone else got it. Even with siblings. The 1st child get's all the "new things." after that those "new things" get handed down to siblings there after. Stop trying to "please" her. Like you said..time for her to simply get a grip & grow up. You can't go broke buying things for her in additon to your own child. She has a Mother & a Father of her own & received plently from them. Your baby deserves the same thing. Why should your baby not have the "same" as the older sis did? They are different ages & the needs are completely different & U sure can't get "hande me downs" from a step child's home. Unlike what could get away with in your home. I feel for you. I too, have a 2 yr old, a 14 yr old Sd & a 10 yr old SD. I could not affford to get my own child an Xmas or Bday gift this year, but we HAD to get one for 10yr old otherwise her mother would start a WAR..even then, we got told that we didn't do enough, when MY child didn't get a damned thing! I could care freakin less. As of now I just picked up full time schedule, vs. the part time sched I've had since little one was born. I can assure you that as of now, I will get MY child Xmas & Bday gifts & I don't care who else get's what. NOT my problem. To be very honest, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVe my SD's very, very much & I am extremely close to 10yr old (btw husband has 2 children with 2 diff moms) so 10yr old Bm is the one that flips out over everything. Because my husband is paying her "rent" in FULL, she can live in a 2bedroom apartment in High End Princeton & I live in the ghetto about 45 mins away from her in a 1 bedroom apartment, when SD comes it's hard to arrange where everyone sleeps. Husband got child sup raised so high becuase major overtime last yr, so I said THAT'S it!!! We need MONEY TOO!!! He needs to stick to a straight 40hr work week, I WILL make up the difference & he needs to get that child sup lowered!!! Enough is Enough!

Tara Lee - posted on 03/26/2010

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I have been a SM for 16 years. SS is 20yrs and SD is 17. I have loved these kids like my own for ever. We have had our issues, some of them pretty bad. But all and all, they're good kids. However, even after 16 yrs, I sometimes feel left out in the parent department. At different times both children have lived with us, and during this time,I have been the 'primary' parent, doing things for them, taking them everywhere, ect. But at the same time the 'strict' parent, I don't put up with any bullsh*t. I have always had no tollerance for SS or SD doing wrong, and I would say so. They don't like that. Used to tell BM that I 'picked on them'.
My husband and I agreed not to have children together, and I was fine with that. However, 18 months ago, I gave birth to our baby girl. WELL, this has now caused all sorts of 'fun'. Although my SD LOVES her sister to death, she is also SO jealious of her. I have tried to make her feel just as important and special since the moment I discovered I was PG. We bought the baby a bedroom set, we went and got SD a new one too. I included SD in ultrasound appointments, she was in the delivery room, she was the first to hold the baby. But still, she makes me feel like sh*t, if I go out and spend any money on the baby and nothing on her. Babies NEED things, she doesn't see that, she only sees us spending on the baby and not her. I've even gotten to the point were I just tell her to grow up-she had more as a child.
I would love to say I treat them equally, but I know I favor my BD. However, thier ages are so for apart, its hard to say...there situations are nothing a like. And with my BD, I don't have to deal with an other woman, and different parenting styles.
Sorry if I got a little off topic. I actually forgot the question once I started to type...lol

Janan - posted on 03/24/2010

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I have 2 step daughters & 1 of my own, all very different stages, I treat them as my own, no different, I refuse to allow anyone, even my own family to tell me how to raise a child I clearly gave birth to & is my responsibility. I feel that if I were in court, a judge would not accept me saying well I didn't want to make my daughter do this or that because her step sis/bro doesn't have to so we do not offend BM etc...a Judge would say, bottom line, this is YOUR responsibility..so I say..Yeppp...so true..I have to raise my baby as best as I can to my fullest. I tell the others all the time, if (my daughters name) were older, she'd be expected to do the same exact thing as you are doing no questions asked! Being it bring a dish to the sink, clear your table place setting, hang up your coat, do home work & ask for help if needed etc, whatever it is, there's 1 set of rules & everyone has to oblige if theres a dispute..lets ALL talk about it & figure out a compromise!

Girlio - posted on 03/22/2010

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This is all very insightful ladies! I would love to read more. Currently I only have 2 step children (8yr girl, 5yr boy), but none of my own. Having a child/ren together is in the talks but there is a lot to consider and there is a lot of apprehension on both parts on both sides of the fence. Hearing all of these situations/stories lets me know that I am not the only one that thinks of these things or that he is unwarranted in his opinions. Its a tough decision not to be taken lightly, sometimes I think an accident would be easier (but certainly not an intentional accident)

Karen - posted on 03/12/2010

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yeah it's so funny hearing her say how cute Rob Lowe is. At least she has good taste.

Claudette - posted on 03/12/2010

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Karen. What a great way to create shared experience. This is a great idea.

Karen - posted on 03/11/2010

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I try very hard not to treat them differently. I do try to spend alone time with both of them. Which is a great way of bonding with my stepdaughter. She's now 16 and is into old 80 films.. *L*

Tiffany - posted on 03/11/2010

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I treat everyone equally. That way no one gets hurt. Rules are rules, love is love. Doesn't matter if it's a different kind of love that you have for your son. Children sense this and will definately be emotionally hurt especially if they really care about you and look up to you as a role model.

Claudette - posted on 03/11/2010

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Great sharing ladies. As you can see, it's not easy to merge two families into a new one. I know that one of my issues was trying to be fair, but what is fair? Neglecting my son so that my stepdaughters felt included or vice versa. When my stepdaughters had something special with there mom, my son would feel like, well how come I don't get to do something special with just my mom? We finally worked some things out, like special "dates" with each of the kids, but again, it's not easy. There is no right or wrong answer. Only what works for the family.

Laura - posted on 03/11/2010

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I've felt that struggle too...i found it very hard when my son was born to raise two children..not because there were two kids, but because most people who have their first biological child get to dote and spoil the baby...it was a whole different experience for me because my then five year old stepdaughter also needed my attention, i couldn't only pay attention to the baby. But, I've also come to realize that it doesn't matter that you have to divide your attention between your "biological child" and your "stepchild" because yes they do get jealous of each other, ALL kids do that. Biological siblings do that too. Especially when there's a new baby, even if they are both your bio kids, it happens. My kids get along great, yes they fight over me, but I've found that dates alone with each child makes a big difference in how they feel. I've let my stepdaughter help me a lot with my son, and her and I go on dates alone every now and then. The same goes for my son, all that matters is they both know I love them.

Nikki - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have a stepdaughter who is 12 weeks older than my biological daughter. I find it terrifying sometimes because when one needs my undivided attention the other feels jealous and slighted. There are times when I look at my daughter and want to cry because I know she feels like I'm "not her's" anymore, and almost five is not necessary the age of reason, you know? My sd sees her mommy all the time, but she is very sick, so in essence, I'm her mommy all the time. It's challenging and frightening and I find that I still don't have it all together with them, but we are working on it and getting better with it all. I often why we couldnt all be like The Brady Bunch and magically get the fix-all answer in thirty words or less.

Peggy - posted on 03/10/2010

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I have never had this problem, but I have had problems when it comes to teaching them right from wrong. My stepson has been taught a different way, and has no manners, like I taught my daughter. And now my daughter wants to act out because of it... She wants to know why it is ok for him to do or say something, but not ok for her to do or say it... I feel like the bad mom sometimes, but know that I am doing right by my daughter.
I guess for you, you will have to let them know that you love all of them equally and that just because you hug one at a time does not mean that you don't love the other and that you will be more than happy to hug and hold all of them, one at a time... Good Luck...

Cheryl - posted on 03/09/2010

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i feel like that sometimes i have a son from a previous marriage and step kids from this marriage i am use to only having one child and yes he is spoiled rotten and i get the its not fair issue alot when i buy my son things he wants and not them but they also act up alot and destroy the things i do buy them so im leary of buying them anything i have even tried taking them places and they still show thier tushies and dad plays it off as their adhd is the problem. i fights my sd and ss to get decent grades in school and i've run into issues with dad with that one too he has given up on even trying to make them do half the stuff they should be doing.

Megan - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have a two-year-old daughter with my husband and two stepchildren: my daughter's half-brother who is ten and her half-sister who is twelve. I have found that having my own child has made me a better stepparent. I now understand the inherent deep connection my husband has with his biological children and I am better able to honor that. Also, I find great joy in the fact that my daughter adores her siblings.

Claudette - posted on 03/09/2010

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You sure do Cassandra. You certainly have your hands very full with all that you have. Do you wish Dad would be more plugged into what you are struggling with?
Does your SD live with you full time?
Any others wanting to share?

Cassandra - posted on 03/09/2010

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I have a 10 1/2 yr old bd, a 7 yr old bd, a 7 yr old sd and a 3 yr old bd. I try to treat all the girls fairly and equally but I find it difficult to juggle a moody tween, two 7 yr olds with emotional problems and a pre schooler. My oldest is my heart, love and joy, my right hand gal if you will. She is convinced I hate her when nothing could be further from the truth. My 7 yr old has emotional problems aka childhood depression coupled with bipolor disorder, not medicated besides holistic suppliments. My sd has ADHD that her father just ignores and says is "normal kid stuff", but acting up and getting bad grades and almost being kicked out of 1st grade isn't normal. The pre schooler isn't in school yet and being the youngest wants to be babied and coddled 24/7. Dad is in the Navy so I get to juggle this by myself when deploment time comes and when he is home he is "on vacation". I try to play with each child indavidually but there are not enough hours in the day between after school activitys. Soccer, ballet, gymnastics, dance, tumble, singing, after school clubs, dinner and for some odd reason my house is not clean enough for king jerk. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh.......... I need a vacation!

Claudette - posted on 03/09/2010

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Thanks Jessica for your post. We really try I think to be as fair as we can with all our children. I often observed that parents sometimes treat their own biological children differently.
I eventually recognized that each of the kids had their own personality and tried to focus on their strengths.
So any other SMs willing to share?

Jessica - posted on 03/09/2010

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I see my sd as my own. I try my hardest not to treat her any different but I know that I do sometimes. and my sd is 3 and my son is 6 months. so I do things different with both of them. Yes it is hard for me. I feel that struggle almost everyday. I play with my son on the floor with his toys and then my sd wants me to go play with her. When I leave my son on the floor to play by himself he screams (not crys), My heart breaks everytime they fight for my attention. and it does not help that dad hardly plays with them.

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