how to deal with being a step mom
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Stephanie - posted on 04/20/2012
My soon-to-be step daughter is 5. I take it as it comes. We unfortunately don't get to see her as often as we would love too. There's distance and many other issues at the moment. We show her we're a family, we do things together and generally, have been letting her reach out to me. (And boy do I love holding that hand) Her father is a wonderful man, and he included me in all the little things early on. I think that introduction has made the transition easy for us all.
We don't talk poorly about her mother when she's here, and give her privacy when they have their calls. The same can't be said while she's at home, but that isn't our style. We don't want it combative or tense. This is her home and we treat it as such. There's nothing better than being asked by K to cuddle at night, or to paint nails, or to play 'webkinz'. Slowly but surely we're getting there!
Lesley - posted on 04/16/2012
i have been a step mom to 3 beautiful girls for almost 6 years. its very hard at times. i never got the your not my mom thing i just would get the attitude as and who you think you are. but i held my strength and brushed it off bc i knew it was the bio mom talking and not them. my hubby now has guardianship of his 13 year old daughter and i am now playing the role of her mom, her mom let her live her and eventually gave us everything as in everything we changed her schools, doctors etc. and right there was and is hard its only been 6 months and everyday changes for the good bc my sd feels as though as her mom hates her but that is a long story and i dotn want to judge her mom i just want what is best for my sd.
it takes time and patience to be a step parent. they might hate you at first and they might not just remember take your time but be firm. treat them as you would treat your other children. no favoritism bc the kids will see it and ask y and that is a whole other fight and you dont need that.
good luck.....i love my step kids.
Elizabeth - posted on 11/28/2010
I think its great that you admit to over stepping your boundries with the biomom, and made an effort to make it right. A lot of step moms wouldn't have or have wanted to take responsibility for doing so. So I think you're headed in the right direction.
Laurie - posted on 11/11/2010
As a stepmom you have a huge role in the child life. Boundaries are tricky. I think you'll be able to manage that as the situations come up. I know a lot of people say that only the Biol. parents should discipline the children, but I think its important that parents (Biol. parents and step parents) stand for the same rules and that everyone is actively and equally involved. Its hard though. I usually try to leave the one-on-one sit down conversations to their dad so they can have a heart to heart. But I also make it known to the kids how I feel too. I believe there needs to be respect for both parties involved, and the kids need to know that you are not a silent partner when it comes to the tough stuff.
I usually do most of the communicating with the Biol. mother and her bf because my partner and the BM still argue a lot, and I must admit the BM is not the most mature or reasonable person to deal with. Your boundaries are where you make them. Every situation is different. We found some success is having a sit down conversation with both couples involved so that we knew we were all onthe same page when it comes to discipline and routines etc. hope this helped.
Jamie - posted on 09/04/2009
My advice to you is to sit down and speak w/ your husband or boyfriend and let him set the boundaries. Now if the child is doing something you feel they should be yelled at for I dont believe you should hold back at all. But I believe you both have to come up with a set of rules for the child and stand by them. IF he wants you to be a stop mom you have to treat the child as if they were your own.
Amanda - posted on 08/27/2009
This is definitely one of the most challenging roles you will play, but it can also be so rewarding... If I could give you one piece of advice, I would say... Make sure you and their father are on the same page. Obviously he cares about you enough to bring you home to his kids.. This is important. You two need to be in sync about your parenting styles, and what your expectations are. As long as the kids see you as a team, everything else will roll out. It will be a bumpy road, if you have an ex involved, but you can do it!! Just stay strong, and be you! If you make the effort, they will fall in line behind you. :) Good luck!
Megan - posted on 08/24/2009
Being a stepmom is a slippery slope. I finally sat down with my partner and told him I was not there to babysit his girls. And if we were going to be a family we needed to start acting like one. He began to listen more carefully to how one of the girls was treating me. That was put to a quick end. I've been in their lives 2 1/2 years now. He (we) get them everyother weekend and 6 weeks in the summer. They sometimes call me "mom." Which has always been up to them. They don't correct people when they call me their mom or us a family. I am their confidant. K and I formed an instant bond. It has been a struggle to bond with S, but we are getting there.
Their mother cannot stand me. (She has never tried to meet me or get to know me). She says bad things about us to the girls all the time. They ask questions and we answer truthfuly, but never put their mother or step-dad down.
It is hard work, but it is the most rewarding thing in the world. It takes a very special person to be a stepparent. I wish you luck. Hope this helps. Sorry it was so long.
Missi - posted on 08/18/2009
i never intended to take the place of my stepsons mother but she gave me no choice!! when i met my partner he and his ex had equal shared custody, Aj primarily lived with his dad but went to his mum every day while dad worked! when she first found out about us she was adamant that he not call me mum! we were not even thinking that far ahead yet!! my son and i moved in with them 7 months later! within 3 months of that his bio mum started calling us half an hour earlier than pick up to call in sick!! i had no choice but to keep him with me! of course i didnt mind i loved having him around but i could see how much he missed her and it hurt so just by being there when she wasnt ive taken her place! he doesnt even want to go see her anymore! hed rather visit his grandmother!
Megan - posted on 07/02/2009
I also struggle with this and honestly. I have overstepped on many occasions. I have apologized to BM when I thought I should. I can't seem to help it though. Valerie, I was worried when I read your post, because I think the only way that it has worked between myself and my husband is because he truly wanted a partner. Someone who would help him parent. Not a just a friend or playmate for the kids. I am just an all in person. I want all the good stuff and am willing to take on the bad stuff too. But I have a really hard time backing off. The boundaries are really slippery. Like, BM likes to handle visitation schedule with my husband. Fine. But, they are both fine with the fact that I make the 3 month visitation calendar. So, neither of them want to do that work, but I'm not supposed to e-mail it out. He should do it. I find it difficult to know where to draw the line.
Christine - posted on 06/29/2009
When my husband started daiting, i was relly wairy of his daughter and his ex wife. I wanted him to be happy so i did what i could to help him with watching her, and making her happy. Our relationship naturally grew as did mine with my husband. It's been five years, she now calls me mom, and depends on me for just as much emotional support as her father. I never tried to replace her mother, she is still "mommy" and i am "Mom", plus it was always her choice what to call me, this "mom" title has only been around for a year and a half...
Things take time, and cannot be forced, if you are kind and nurture the relationship it will develop on its own and bloom into something beautiful.
Valerie - posted on 05/09/2009
i ask myself this everyday. i am a new step-mom and i find it to be the most challenging thing i have ever done because i am constantly questioning what my role entails and i often feel like from one day to the next it's something different. i tried talking to my partner but he was a dad on his own for a year and i feel like, in a way, he doesn't really want a step-parent for his daughter. it feels like he wants me there and to play with her and such but not to be active as a parent, and that becomes hard.
Jodi - posted on 11/24/2008
Courtney-Congrats on being a step mom! How old is your step child? How long have you been a part of his/her life? Do you have any of your own children? I think it is wonderful that you want to be actively involved with your step child...and it definitely will come with time. I think the biggest thing to keep in mind that it is a sprint; not a race. You have signed on to be a part of this family for life. You don't have to completely bond right away and be involved in everything immediately. Take baby steps and be satisfied with the day to day progress. As far as boundaries go...YES, they are very necessary. It is very important that you remember that you are not the parent and that you can't (and shouldn't want to) take the place of the mother. The way I view being a step mom is that in our family my step daughter has three loving adults raising her. Her mother, her father, and I. As much as I may not like MANY of the things her mother does; the bottom line is that it isn't about me. We are all a team that is working together to try and raise a healthy, happy and well-adjusted child. That said, my role is not the same as her parents. Personally, I prefer my role. I get to be the confidant when she is mad at the other two. I get to "take her side" sometimes when she feels all alone. She knows her father and I are partners and that I will not keep anything from him that I feel he NEEDS to know. I remind her of this if she wants to tell me something. On the other hand, I also promise her confidentiality on other things so she has someplace to vent (as long as it does not affect her well being I will not tell her Dad what she tells me). At times I know she has divided loyalty and will feel guilty, like she is betraying her mother, if she is getting close to me. When I sense that is going on I try and discreetly reassure her without "calling her out". I may say; "Even though I am not your mom and I know you love to snuggle with your mom; I am glad that you will snuggle with me too and watch this show". It always seems to relax her when I say things like that so she knows that I know she is not trying to replace her mom. I know this was a long winded response. I hope my experiences can help you little. Good luck!