How do I create a relationship without replacing the biological mother

Kats - posted on 02/15/2016 ( 6 moms have responded )

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I have a 9 year old daughter who I love dearly but she seems to be very reluctant towards me the only thing she tells me is that she wants mommy and daddy together. The only thing I want is for her to see that I am not taking his dad but I want to be more like an aunty not mother. The worst thing is that her biological mother does not care and she hardly even call or visit her. There is a lot that happened but all I want is to make her aware that I love her and her dad and I am not taking daddy away from her.

Should I try counseling ?

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Raye - posted on 02/16/2016

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It sounds like the father is indulging his daughter too much. Maybe he feels guilty that he contributed to her unhappiness, but that's no reason to let her get away with being a spoiled brat. She's 9 years old and wants to be carried? She's having some issues with jealousy, and that would be understandable if the relationship were new, but you've been together 7 years. So, what's changing recently to get her to act out more? Her father needs to make it clear what the father-daughter boundaries are, and that you're his girlfriend and she needs to get over it. He should also try to show her appropriate affection. Give her hugs, hold her hand. But a child does not replace a lover, and the daughter should not be wanting to share his bed or pretend that she is her father's partner. Sounds like she and the dad definitely need counseling to learn boundaries.

You said she packed up stuff for you to take home, so I assume you don't live with your boyfriend? And you're not yet married? Then first things first, stop referring to her as your daughter. She's not. She's not even your step-daughter. She's your BF's daughter. But, you still should be treating her with love, and trying to form a good relationship with her. Regarding the stuff you bought her, she needs to understand that she is not being disloyal to her mother by accepting your love or by her caring for you. Her mom will always be her mom. I agree that you should not get married until the issues are getting better with the daughter. If father and daughter do not work on making things better, maybe you should not be in that relationship. If everyone isn't working to solve the problem, then it will only get worse.

Dove - posted on 02/15/2016

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Cancelling what?

Or do you mean counseling? I am a big believer in utilizing counseling to help w/ some of the difficult things in life. A good counselor is a valuable resource, sounding board, and accountability person.

Raye - posted on 02/15/2016

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So, the girl is your step-daughter? Or are you even married to her dad yet? How long have you and her father been in a relationship?

The bio-parents should be speaking clearly to her to explain that they will not get back together. It won't happen. It's not her fault, but she can't change it either. If you're in a relationship with the father, you need to be ready to step in and be a mother figure to the child. You shouldn't take all the responsibility of parenting a child that isn't yours... the father should be the main one in your household to determine rules and enact consequences, but you both need to be on the same page and back each other up. You should not intentionally create distance between you and the child by trying to fill a different role that you are not... You are not her friend. You are not her aunt. You would be her step-mother (if you're married to her dad), so if you're not willing to be a mother figure, you either need counseling to figure out how to do it, or you need to get out of the relationship. That child needs someone that will be a parent to her and love her like their own child. No, you don't want to replace her mom. She has one. But there's nothing wrong with having two.

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Raye - posted on 02/16/2016

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Is your boyfriend trying?
It shouldn't be a competition between you and her for his attention. He should give you both attention in different ways. Maybe he secretly likes the conflict... it might make him feel needed and wanted. But it's unhealthy to allow it to continue.

I am a step-mom, and it's a very difficult thing to be. If you are unhappy with things as they are now, and the father isn't trying to teach his daughter to act properly, then I would leave. You'd be better off finding someone without all the drama. You'd have at least another 9 years of general teenage rebellion and anger to get through, so unless you get a solid foundation to work from now, you'd only end up being unhappy for a much longer time before deciding to end it. One person can't fix it alone, and if all aren't trying then all of you would be unhappy, and what's the point of continuing that?

If you are both committed to the relationship, and committed to helping this poor girl, her father and yourself learn how to cope with these problems, then stay. Again, no one can do this alone. The father has to get involved. He has to discipline her for behaving badly. He has to show her love and teach her to accept the relationship between you. He has to get over any guilt or whatever feelings it is that keeps him from being a proper parent to his child. He needs to respect you for the sacrifice that you're making to care for and love a child that is not your own.

So, think about what's happening and how progress can be made. Talk to your BF about it. Try to get on the same page with him about how to move forward. Look at all the positives and negatives. Then only you can decide if it's worth it to stay, or if you're better off moving on.

Kats - posted on 02/16/2016

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Thank you for the response.

His father and I have been in a relationship for 7 years now and last year he wanted to pay lobolo but I stopped him because I want the relationship between me and my daughter to be normal. @ Raye I met his father when she was about 2 years and I have loved her ever since. I have taken the responsibility of being a mother to her since. I have done everything that I could to be a mother. The father is very supportive and her gran but when she was 8 she started being very reluctant and wanting mom and dad which we decided that maybe I am coming on too much and she feels that I am trying to replace her mom. All I want is to have a mother daughter relationship with her and I feel that maybe me trying too much was a problem.
Example of her behavior: One day when I got home I found her packed everything that I have ever bought her in plastic for me to take home even a simple thing like her vitamin syrup. and when we go out as a family should her dad hold my hand she will also cry and say she wants dad to hold her hand or he must carry her. she does not want to sleep in her bedroom anymore as she wants to sleep with dad as one day I offered to sleep with her in her bedroom so that I understand what is wrong with the room but she wanted to sleep with dad in daddy bedroom.

I want to make our relationship work but I don't know whether its me who is the problem. maybe I coming too much and not giving her space she needs.

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