Here to assist

[deleted account] ( 3 moms have responded )

I am not his mother, I am his stepmom (even if not legally).
His mother is alive, involved, and even currently living in our home. We have a good relationship, although it did not start off well.
My stepson will be living with his father (my boyfriend) and I starting this summer (he has been living with his grandmother states away) and his mom will not (in fact they are both going out to his grandmothers (SS's moms mom) this week).
Yesterday was a rough day and his mom almost moved out (she has a very unstable home-life and is used to just packing up and leaving when things get heated), but we all talked things out and are okay. Here are a few things I would like to point out that have helped us 3 as a unit:

1) THEY are the disciplinarians
-my SS's mom and I view this differently. She is displeased when I talk sternly or raise my voice to him (as I no longer put him in time-out) but also understands that this is the only thing I can do. I believe children should listen to all adult who are involved in their home life as it could be a life or death situation and neither one of us should have to say his name more than once to get a response, and although she understands this, she says it just confuses him . This is something we will work more on.

2) Just because I express something I disagree with doesn't mean it will change
-The mother disciplines differently from how I would (because of the situation she babies and coddles him more, where as I am more stern and do not dismiss his inappropriate behavior because of all the stress and anger he has). We've come to compromises on things like timeout, but other things haven't changed. This is fine. This is their son, and as much as I love him it is not my place to force change on how he is raised, just give my input when it's asked for (sometimes days after it's been asked).

3) Me giving him what he wants (which is my company along with thiers) does NOT mean mom and dad alone can't do that
- when I came into the picture SS's mom was in a very different state mentally and physically, I was there when she wasn't, this however does not mean that since I am there now it is for the same reason. I am not involved because she isn't. I am involved because they are my family.
- I have sacrificed a lot of things I want to do with my SS (such as playing one-on-one as much, hugging him as much, telling him I love him, and getting up every morning so he can count with me while we make daddy's coffee and eat breakfast together), but I care more for giving him what he needs (to see a stable functioning relationship in his life)/wants than I do helping her not be jealous, and will not lesson my presence in that household (although I'm fine with the 3 of them doing things without me) to make her more comfortable (anytime I'm gone SS asks for me).

4) I am here to assist EVERYONE, not run the home
-I maybe dating him, and I may get flared up when he is hurt and stressed, but my boyfriend is not my only priority. When SS's mom comes to talk to me I'm there, when she asks what she's doing wrong I give her my opinion honestly. I try to keep her as comfortable as I can while still being involved in my SS's life. When they need to talk privately I take SS outside to play, I make sure he has food in the house, and make sure he knows that despite whatever's happened in the past, when we say momm's coming back she is.

We are not the perfect family, we are a work in progress, but we communicate our problems (even if things have to get heated ever-now-and-then for us to do so), we are 3 adults trying to work around and raise a child who only came from 2 of us (and for 1 of the 2 he is the only things she has), with this comes tension, patients, and a lot of dirty dishes. We are a step family. I am here to help and love.


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[deleted account]

Raye: oh my that's a lot of little ones around ha. My SS gets jealouse with just his older cousin hugging his mom, so I'm very nervous for when in the many years from now he has a sibling of his own. Thanks for your input hun.
Sarah: I've told the father I've felt this way towards his son since he was about 8 or 9 months old ( which is when I came around), and without me mentioning this AT ALL to my SS's mother she has told him I am his stepmom. Nd I stay very far from interviewing with their discisions, they make their own plans for him, nd if they ask I give input. If I disagree with something major, I bring it up with my boyfriend alone nd ask his permission to talk to his ex about it. We all have an agreement that we will speak and communicate things if they pose as an issue to one of us. My SSs mom nd I even go for drives and sit outside together while we talk about things that are on our minds.

Raye - posted on 02/01/2016




I am a step-mom, and while I agree with you on most parts, I'd like to throw my own 2 cents out there...

1) While THEY (the bio-parents) should be the primary disciplinarians, YOU should have authority in your own home. The kids cannot be allowed to disrespect or not mind you as an adult in the same house. As the step-mom (or woman acting in that role, if not married), then you need to be on the same page as the child's father to be consistent with discipline and know what your authority is when he's not there. [Most of us don't have the bio-mom living with us (Thank GOD!)] It does not confuse the kids for them to mind and respect all adults in the house, as long as you're not contradicting each other.

2) Correct... Just because the step-mom disagrees doesn't mean it will change. The step-mom should speak privately to the father when there's a disagreement of rules or consequences. Then a decision should be made (hopefully together) on how to proceed. When the child's time is split between houses, one house cannot dictate terms of rules and consequences at the other house. They SHOULD all try to work together (if grounded from electronics until grades improve, then it should carry over to the other house), but kids can adapt to different rules at different houses.

3) Affection. While all parental figures should be open with affection for the child, the step-mom should be reserved in the bio-mom's presence and not try to overshadow her. The kids should NOT be made to feel stuck in the middle of a war (silent or otherwise) on who's "allowed" to show affection. Lessen the bio-mom's jealousy if you can, but she should not be jealous in the first place. It's not a competition.

There should be one-on-one time with all the parental figures and children, as well as family time. IF the bio and step parents can get along, I think it is important for the kids to see all in a group setting (at b-day parties, the kids' sports events/activities, etc.) and for them not to feel awkward about if one might "cause a scene". Me, my husband, his two kids, their mom, her BF, and the BF's two kids all went to see Star Wars together. While this is not the norm, all should strive to get along for the sake of the kids.

4) The step-mom is there to assist. I often talk about the phrase "not my circus, not my monkeys" when talking about being a step-parent. You are there to help the monkeys... love them, teach them, and contribute your part to the show. But the two main ring-leaders are the bio parents. They should be most involved in making plans and provide most of the direction. And, when ALL are doing their part, that creates the most successful outcome.

All families are a work in progress. Nobody is perfect; mistakes will be made. Communication is KEY. And trying to keep the best interests of the kids at heart, while not getting caught up in petty drama and squabbles, is the best advise I can give to anyone who is parenting, co-parenting, step-parenting, etc.

Sarah - posted on 02/01/2016




Not sure what you are looking for in your post, but you are not a step mom and he is not your step son. You are the girlfriend and he is your boyfriend's child. You should not be Disciplining his child. You also should not be in the middle of his mother and father's decisions....that is not your place.

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