What makes a good Step-Mom???

Jaime - posted on 04/21/2009 ( 20 moms have responded )

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Feedback please...... Obviously I am not turning out to be the best step-mom, as I have been told numerous times, and I can't even be trusted around my SS (but yet I have my own 3 bio girls, and previously I was quiet capable of being around my SS). Just looking for characteristics that make the perfect step-mom. I already know the most important thing- the biomom is always right, and whatever she decides is the way things have to go.........

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Alichia - posted on 04/22/2009

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A woman who loves herself, and her family, includeing SK's. Also, a Woman that is willing to take responsibility and set clear boundaries that she expects her family to abide by so that she is not totally run over. Those are the standards that I have tried to live by.

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Pamela - posted on 04/24/2009

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don't try to ever replace there mum even when she gone like my 2. you never will. just let them know you are always there for them. when they are ready to talk. plus never ever slag of there mum or dad as they the only think they have left of their family life as a family..............

Natasha - posted on 04/23/2009

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What makes a good step mom?....be their friend, don't try to be their mom. Spend quality time with your step kids, learn what they like to eat, drink, play, watch, etc and try to do things together with them. What I have learned from my step kids is that they don't need another mom, they need a good friend. Give them a listening ear and a shoulder to cry on. I have two SD - 12 and 4 - both call me "mama", which of course is pissing BM off big time. She tried to discuss this "issue" with my hubby who told her that it was the kids' choice to call me mom. She also was upset over the fact that the kids wanted BM to cook the meals exactly the way I do!!! :) which just melts my heart!!!I guess I am doing something right. Try to make connection with them on a different level than a mother!! Give it time, it will work....I promise!!!

Colleen - posted on 04/23/2009

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LOL....... is there such a thing ? Best thing to do is to be a happy well ajusted constanent, never give up on your values and challenge them to meet you half way.

Tina - posted on 04/23/2009

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There is no perfect...just be yourself, love them, nourish them, be there for them...and they will know that you are and that you are true to them. Trust me enjoy every minute and be firm when necessary. They will feel your love and things will become smoother with time.

Kimi - posted on 04/23/2009

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I try to think about how all this affects the kids. They have to be away from their moms for a while and then away from their dads. I can see that it's hard for my 3 year old SD to be away from her BM sometimes but then when it's time for her to leave she tells us that she will miss us and often dos'nt want to go. I'm sure the same thing goes on at her BM's house too. It's hard on these kids and kids were not designed to go back and forth like this. It's kinda a crappy deal for them but what else can you do cause a child needs both parents not just who ever is considered the best one. Just think about their feelings. No one is perfect at being a parent but there are some good ones out there. Always put your kids first because their happiness is dependant on you.

Sandy - posted on 04/23/2009

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It would sure be nice to know the secrets to how to be perfect...but to be honest one of the things I love about sharing info on here is the fact that I have learned that it is ok and perfectly normal..NOT to be perfect. I look forward to a day when we as step moms are not expected to be perfect but appreciated instead for trying to be the best parents we can be to children that we have CHOSEN to parent out of love of them and their daddy's. And since today it seems I have been reading alot of peoples post thanking each other for support I will say this " Thank you ladies for your encouragement and for teaching me that it is ok to be human and make mistakes and that I can forgive myself for ...not being perfect" : )

Sharon - posted on 04/22/2009

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I don't think there is any real answer to this question. I have a great relationship with my SD. She will call me just to talk, ask me to go to gymnastics practice, etc. BM and myself get along well and we can communicate if there are any concerns with SD. I have always treated my SD the same as my own kids, I have 2 ages 22 and 3, my SD is 11, she gets treated just like my own in all aspects, she even gets yelled at when needed, just like my own, I have never said anything negative about her mom in front of her and never would. I also think it helps alot to get along with BM, I know that can be hard for most, I am very thankful that I don't have that problem, BM is also very good to my daughter who is 3. BM always remembers my Daughter on her birthday and christmas (buys my daughter gifts from my SD) I also get along well with BM's parents, they are very kind people who treat me with respect. We all get along and it really benefits my SD. Good luck and I think your problem is with BM not YOU-She is probably very envious of you and your relationship with your husband-the only ones that really get hurt are the kids.

Jaime - posted on 04/22/2009

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Yes my husband supports everything I have to say, he reads alot of the posts on here as well. The only problem I have with him, is the way he lets bm and ss dictate when visitation can happen. I just don't think there should be a choice, I would simple say sorry its your weekend with your father, you have no choice but to go. As you can see my ss does not live with us, although my husband has joint custody it has never been treated that way. My husband is guilty of not enforcing his half of the court order, but any time he tried it wasn't good enough. Is it really worth spending all your time fighting between lawyers and nothing ever changes?? We don't want full custody, don't doubt the care he recieves at home. Just alittle help enforcing visitations, let us get to know him like his bm does. We will never get that chance though!

Ultimately the choice is always left up to ss, and he always chooses to stay home. My husband has been trying to see him for a month now, but he never comes. Hopefully one day he will get over hearing the things his mom says about us, and realize we do love him and want to spend time with him. The day will come when he can initiate a relationship with his father on his own.

I know I am a good mother to my girls, and I know I try to be a good stepmom to my SS even though I have been told I am not. Just wanted some other sugestions on things to try, Thanks girls

****HUGS BACK*******

Rhonda - posted on 04/22/2009

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I have found it hard as well to be the loving stepmom and still get disrespected. I'm not sure what kind of relationship you have with the stepchildren...do they live with you full-time? My husband and I have the youngest one (almost 17) still living with us and his mom isn't too stable. I have struggled with the fact that he puts her on a pedastel even though she doesn't seem to know what being a mom is really all about. I am the disciplinarian and I tend to get the attitude from him, because neither his dad or mom stick to consequences when rules are broken. My husband (his dad) is doing better now and my stepson I think is realizing that I'm not such a bad person. Also, I think he's beginning to realize for himself what kind of person his mom really is. Anyway...enough about me, I hope that you will find peace in knowing that you are a good mom and don't change who you are.

Krissy - posted on 04/22/2009

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Quoting Di:

Well all I can say is if being a good sm is having the approval of the bm I guess I am damned for all eternity to be the evil one. I don't think anybody is in any position to judge b/c every situation is different. Jaime I know you have had nothing but bad reviews from your bm. My experience of someone denigrating everything you do and not acknowledging that you do anything right is actually a backhanded compliment. They are usually jealous, they usually feel threatened, they usually weigh up the two and they feel second best so they pull the other down to the level they deem themselves to be by using exageration etc.

Just as every mother is different so is every step mother. Of course you are going to parent differently to you bm. It is unrealistic of anyone to put it on you that you must step parent like this or that. They need to let go of the control. Personally, I love exposing kids to different ppls ways. It makes them grow and learn to get along with all sorts and to respect that everyone is different.

Step back and look realistically at what you do. If it was one of your daughters that was the sk and someone exactly like you was doing the step parenting, would you honestly say you are doing a good job or not? I don't need to know the answer, you do! Another perspective to look at is if someone told you that you weren't doing a great job at being a mother to your daughters would you automatically believe it, or would you look at what they had to say and see if it was true or not? Thats how I deal with the criticisms. I ask myself if what is being said is true or not? How, by taking all emotion out of it and looking at it emotionless. I think if you look at it properly you aren't doing all that bad a job. As step mothers we are always open to criticism whether it is warranted or true. As humans we find it easier to believe the bad publicity then look at it honestly and seek the truth. I wonder why that is?

PS Heidi, I am not judging you, or running you down, or any of those things that you usually accuse ppl of when they make statements of support for Jaime. It is my opinion and I don't need to be hammered with anymore of your yes you are entitled to your opinion and you are only defending yourself etc etc. If as you keep stating you don't care what I think then just take a deep breath and act like you mean it.


LOL.  Di, I'm so wishing that I had like fifteen arms right now.  If I did, you would have fifteen thumbs up.  Oh well, I guess you only get two. 

Francesca - posted on 04/22/2009

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Quoting Krissy:

That's a tough question. One that doesn't have an answer that is cut in stone. Step-parenting is a lot like bio-parenting. You don't get a manual when you decide to take the leap into a marriage with children from a prior relationship. I will be honest with you, I don't have any kids of my own. I do, however, have a beautiful 12 year old stepdaughter that I have treasured since I walked into her life 7 years ago.

In my opinion, the bio-mom is NOT always right. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone makes bad judgement calls. Bio-moms are no different. You are allowed to be right, as the stepmom. I want you to know that.

These things have helped me with being a stepmom:
1. Love her as my own, but acknowledge the fact that she is not.
2. Never speak poorly of her bio-mother in front of her, and make sure to encourage respect (no matter how impossible it seems at times)
3. Stepkids learn how to play one set of parents against the other. As the stepmom, learn to see the signs and don't play into the game.
4. Take a stand when you believe strongly in something. Not rudely, but stand up for yourself. Don't be a doormat.
5. Join a stepmom support group (I'm in one and it's fantastic). I've found that having other stepmoms to vent to greatly decreases the stress that I take home with me.

Bio-moms and step-moms alike...we are all parents. We need to learn that we are in this together, we are working towards the same goal. Our goal is to raise our step-kid(s) into happy, healthy, well rounded adults just as bio-moms want the same for their kids. I've been doing this for seven years and it isn't a bit easier today dealing with my SD's bio-mom than it was back at the beginning. I have learned to see the bigger picture...I have a great relationship with my SD, and I don't care what the rest of the world has to say about it.

Chin up. Convince yourself that you ARE a fantastic stepmom, and maybe others will follow suit. And if they don't? Piss on them. They couldn't have been important enough to cast an opinion to begin with.

And in closing: Here is my motto : Those who matter don't mind. And those who mind don't matter.

*hugs*


you are so right krissy. as long as you show the love and support them the best you can i think thats a good stepmum.



hope all havin a good day x

Di - posted on 04/21/2009

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Well all I can say is if being a good sm is having the approval of the bm I guess I am damned for all eternity to be the evil one. I don't think anybody is in any position to judge b/c every situation is different. Jaime I know you have had nothing but bad reviews from your bm. My experience of someone denigrating everything you do and not acknowledging that you do anything right is actually a backhanded compliment. They are usually jealous, they usually feel threatened, they usually weigh up the two and they feel second best so they pull the other down to the level they deem themselves to be by using exageration etc.



Just as every mother is different so is every step mother. Of course you are going to parent differently to you bm. It is unrealistic of anyone to put it on you that you must step parent like this or that. They need to let go of the control. Personally, I love exposing kids to different ppls ways. It makes them grow and learn to get along with all sorts and to respect that everyone is different.



Step back and look realistically at what you do. If it was one of your daughters that was the sk and someone exactly like you was doing the step parenting, would you honestly say you are doing a good job or not? I don't need to know the answer, you do! Another perspective to look at is if someone told you that you weren't doing a great job at being a mother to your daughters would you automatically believe it, or would you look at what they had to say and see if it was true or not? Thats how I deal with the criticisms. I ask myself if what is being said is true or not? How, by taking all emotion out of it and looking at it emotionless. I think if you look at it properly you aren't doing all that bad a job. As step mothers we are always open to criticism whether it is warranted or true. As humans we find it easier to believe the bad publicity then look at it honestly and seek the truth. I wonder why that is?



PS Heidi, I am not judging you, or running you down, or any of those things that you usually accuse ppl of when they make statements of support for Jaime. It is my opinion and I don't need to be hammered with anymore of your yes you are entitled to your opinion and you are only defending yourself etc etc. If as you keep stating you don't care what I think then just take a deep breath and act like you mean it.

Jennifer - posted on 04/21/2009

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I agree with Krissy, however, your spouse also plays a part in your relationship with your SS. As a step-mom myself I have learned over the years that the support of your spouse makes a difference in the relationship that you have with bio-mom and your step children. From the very begining my husband made it very clear to his ex-wife and children that I was not going anywhere and that he expected that everyone would treat each other with respect. Over the years we (myself and bio-mom) have had our disagreements and have not seen eye to eye on many things but in the end we all want what is best for the children and we learn to work together to achieve that goal.

Jaime - posted on 04/21/2009

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Thanks Krissy! Your post is very encouraging! I have tried to follow all the things you have posted above. I went even as far as siding with BM in a conversation I had with my SS the last time he was with us. Nothing to serious, just about a decison she made that he didn't really like.

I will keep trying, thanks again!

Krissy - posted on 04/21/2009

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That's a tough question. One that doesn't have an answer that is cut in stone. Step-parenting is a lot like bio-parenting. You don't get a manual when you decide to take the leap into a marriage with children from a prior relationship. I will be honest with you, I don't have any kids of my own. I do, however, have a beautiful 12 year old stepdaughter that I have treasured since I walked into her life 7 years ago.



In my opinion, the bio-mom is NOT always right. Everyone makes mistakes, everyone makes bad judgement calls. Bio-moms are no different. You are allowed to be right, as the stepmom. I want you to know that.



These things have helped me with being a stepmom:

1. Love her as my own, but acknowledge the fact that she is not.

2. Never speak poorly of her bio-mother in front of her, and make sure to encourage respect (no matter how impossible it seems at times)

3. Stepkids learn how to play one set of parents against the other. As the stepmom, learn to see the signs and don't play into the game.

4. Take a stand when you believe strongly in something. Not rudely, but stand up for yourself. Don't be a doormat.

5. Join a stepmom support group (I'm in one and it's fantastic). I've found that having other stepmoms to vent to greatly decreases the stress that I take home with me.



Bio-moms and step-moms alike...we are all parents. We need to learn that we are in this together, we are working towards the same goal. Our goal is to raise our step-kid(s) into happy, healthy, well rounded adults just as bio-moms want the same for their kids. I've been doing this for seven years and it isn't a bit easier today dealing with my SD's bio-mom than it was back at the beginning. I have learned to see the bigger picture...I have a great relationship with my SD, and I don't care what the rest of the world has to say about it.



Chin up. Convince yourself that you ARE a fantastic stepmom, and maybe others will follow suit. And if they don't? Piss on them. They couldn't have been important enough to cast an opinion to begin with.



And in closing: Here is my motto : Those who matter don't mind. And those who mind don't matter.



*hugs*

Kimi - posted on 04/21/2009

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The perfect step-mom from the bio-mom's point of view dose'nt exist. But you should'nt have to impress her. Just worry about the kids cause it's really their oppinion that matters here. My SD knows that her mom dislikes me and her dad but she loves us both regaurdless. The perfect step-mom in my oppinion is someone who will allways fight for what's best for her kids.

Debbie - posted on 04/21/2009

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What makes a good Step mum? What ever the Bio Mum says she should be. The bio mum will never be happy with who ever, so if your biomum likes you you are a good SM.



Ok dont get me wrong I think all SM's that are on here are all great SM's. They are here to better themselves and to find other ways of dealing with things so to me that goes to show that they care enough about the child/chilren to spend their own time finding out how to be better!!! Stepmotherhood is the hardest job on earth and I think there is only selected ppl by god that can handle this important position.

So to all SM's out there we are all special, believe in yourselves, trust that we have been picked to be a parent to these kids not just automatically got that right!!!

Jaime - posted on 04/21/2009

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I would hope my ss knows I love him, his dad loves him, and all his sisters love him. I have never and would not ever try and replace his mother. I just want to have the option of being another loving parent, not degraded by biomom.
I guess I am at the end of my rope, I have tried my best and it is never good enough.
Thanks Kelli

Kelli - posted on 04/21/2009

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What makes a good step mom? not an easy question. I have five step kids ranging in ages 23 to 17. I've been married to their dad for 10 years. My answer would have to be to always be there loving them no matter what. In time they will realize that. Don't try to replace their mom just love them

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