I'm a step-mom-to-be, anyone have any advise about stepping into this role?
MOST HELPFUL POSTS
Angela - posted on 08/08/2009
Thank you everyone! I think many of you confirmed my original thougts. To answer some of your questions - There are 2 children, 1 boy (just turned 11) and 1 girl (will be 10 in Oct). I do not have any of my own. Unfortunately, the mother has made it very clear that she does not want me in their life - but that is okay b/c I"m still going to try my hardest to do right by the kids. I do not see my self as a step-mom - it's just a technical term. But I do see myself as a 'guardian' - someone that needs to keep them safe while in our care which includes discipline as necessary. I see myself most importantly as just one more person that they should be able to trust and come to. Someone more to love them - the more love the merrier - right. My husband-to-be and I have already begun some preliminary discipline talks and the importance of standing behind each other 100%, even if we don't agree. We have even taken on online parenting course.
Thank you again everyone!
Donna - posted on 08/08/2009
It's not easy. It will take both of you working together very hard. Kids can be very jealous of Step-mons. And they can cause problems in your marriage. You and your Husband will need to sit the kids down and talk with them and let them know you love them, but that they will have to go by you and your Husband's rules. Your Husband needs to back you up. It will take some adjusting and it won't happen overnight. But hang in there. i'm a great-grandmother and I've been in that situation. Best of luck to you all.
Tara - posted on 08/07/2009
I am step-mother to 2 wonderful boys. It was a hard transition, more so with the older one who had some guilt issues about getting close to me. I think the best thing to do is to make family ritual, something you all do together everyday or every week, or every time they visit. During the summer, we all take a family bike ride after dinner and then everyone showers and we all pile into mine and my husband's big bed to watch some tv show before bedtime. The kids started calling it "Family Night" and they absolutely love it. During the winter, when Christmas is getting closer, we watch a Christmas movie at least once each time they visit and I make hot chocolate and cookies (just the break and bake kind). These little rituals that bring you all together as a family will help them feel wanted by you and that they are important. Some issues that come up are things like discipline and how involved in things like education and medical decisions. When it comes to these things, it depends on how much the biological mother is willing to let you in, but the more people who are concerned and involved, the better I think. At my step-sons' parent-teacher conferences, we all pile in and sit on the small uncomfortable chairs together. We have crowded into many doctors' offices together too. Talk to you soon-to-be-husband and possibly the childrens' mother, if that is something you feel comfortable doing so. If there is bad blood between you all, then take the other route. You do what is best for the kids, but she is not your ex and you need not have any contact with her directly. I have been on both sides of this. The important thing is to let the kids know how much you enjoy their time with you and make them feel special and that they are a part of your family routine. I am sorry for going on so long. I hope some of this helps! Remember also, that being a step-parent is one of the hardest jobs there is. God Bless! Tara
Melissa - posted on 08/07/2009
just go in there open minded. don't expect it to be easy and don't try to be there friends they need to know that you are the mother figure in the home with their father. I have been a step mom twice and the one thing is to let them know you are not trying to replace their mom and that jsut because thier mom and dad are not together doesn't mean they love them any less and that you will be another person to love them and for them to be able to go to you if they ever need some one
Ciera - posted on 08/07/2009
well try as hard as you can to stay out of th arguments between father and ex. you will never love the child likeyou would your own but try not to ever show it even a lttle especially when you are fighting or arguing with the child :)
Rhenika - posted on 05/27/2014
Reading some of these responses helps me out some. I am in a relationship with a guy that I am in love with. He treats me well and it feels amazing to be with him. He has a 7& 1/2 year old daughter. Before this I normally would avoid dating a guy with kids. I didn't want to deal with their baby mama drama etc. I wanted to fall in love, get married and have children's dn raise them together. But realistically the selection of decent single men with out children is very slim.
I have spent some time with him and his daughter. I do not expect us to form a healthy bond etc. overnight. She has a lot of energy, not a bad thing. My boyfriend is pretty reserved. His daughter likes to be in the spotlight. She also likes to whine A LOT!! I know all kids have thier moments. She seems a bit too old to me to be doing it so often. My boyfriend does say stuff to her, but not enough in my opinion.
She is not my kid so I try not to say to much, but honestly, it really gets on my nerves after a while. The other day the three of us spent the day together and though we had fun mostly, she whined so much I almost went home early. My boyfriend knows it's annoying, it annoys him too. I've been feeling really confused and upset and emotional. I love my boyfriend. I've never felt like this with previous guys before. But I don't know if I can handle living with hos daughter even part time, let alone becoming a step-mom to her. Yet the thought of not being with my boyfriend upsets me. HELP, advice please?
Jean - posted on 08/12/2009
i have recently acquired 3 step children. 17, 10 and 7. they are wonderful kids and i love them like my own. the best advice i can give you is to let it happen naturally. dont try to force a relationship on them because their first reaction will be that you are trying to take their mother's place. good luck!
Pamela - posted on 08/08/2009
i'd been in my stepchilds life since she was a baby but she came to live with us when she was 8yrs old. My husband stepped back and allowed me to nurture and discipline when she was young. The difficulty came when she became a teenager and did not want to do chores etc. My husband would not enforce those rules and I started feeling irritated all the time because I felt why am I repeating myself over and over about chores. I feel that as a step mom you never feel comfortable about how you fit in no matter what especially if their real mom is around. Be careful not to start one way then switch the next.
Tara - posted on 08/08/2009
I agree with Jodi Adams. In certain situations, it is okay to take on part of the disciplinarian role. I am the warden in my house. I have never done anything physical, ever!, but I do use time-out and other means. But all our house rules are those put in place by my husband and I together and he supports me 100%. We are a team and above all else, the boys know I love them. I feel, at least in my situation, that the boys respect me more because of this role. Maybe my situation is different because they were younger when I came into their lives. But like Jodi mentioned, all situations are different. I hope this helping
Evette - posted on 08/07/2009
Become friends with their mom. You don't have to be best friends but you do need to respect each other. If you have their mom on your side your life will be so much easier. They will respect you more if they know their mother does. Also, get on the same page with your husband right away as to how you will discipline the children. Make sure that he backs you up. Kids are smart and will take advantage of the adults being divided. All the best and God bless. It's not so bad
Jodi - posted on 08/07/2009
Actually, Tammy, on the discipline issue I think it depends on the individuals. Obviously it doesn't work for some people, but we basically set house rules. Because I had my own child, and my husband had 2, and then we had another child together one year into our marriage, it was the only way we could make the family dynamics work. There would have been all sorts of trouble if there was one set of rules for my son and one set for my step children.
Because my son lived with us full time, it was mostly my house rules that applied, although over time, these have changed a little. But the most important thing is for both of you to agree to those rules and what is important. Sometimes my husband has to work when my step children are here, and he has no problems with me disciplining them when needed (just the other week I had to confiscate a nintendo because of something my step son had been told to do time and time again).
In the early days, I did get "you're not my mum, you can't tell me what to do", but I very nicely explained that this is also my house, and as adults, their dad and I had rules in OUR house, and as their father isn't here, doesn't mean they can do whatever they like.
We have been married 5 1/2 years now, and our family is in a great place and get along wonderfully. All the kids accept who the adults are in the relationship, and understand that discipline will come from either of us. They have enough respect for both of us to view us both in the parenting role. The most important part of this, however, is for your husband and yourself to be absolutely on the same page as on another. If you are the one constantly compromising, I could imagine it would become awfully difficult and I can see how that would break marriages up.
I am not in that situation (thank God) but I do know it's really tough. Many of my friends have been there. The most important piece of advice that I have heard over and over is DO NOT TRY TO BE THE DISCIPLINARIAN. Let the "real" parent do the disciplining. You will just make yourself an enemy and cause more strife. Also, you will have to be really patient with your husband probably not wanting to be the disciplinarian either. The non-custodial parent usually indulges the kids because they don't want to be the bad guy. I think this breaks up more second+ marriages than anything else. From all I have heard and seen, this is the biggest challenge in second marriages. I think the big thing is just be nice, be tolerant and realize that the chances of you being a "mom" to the kids are iffy. If you don't go into it with the expectation of it all being one big happy family then you can be pleasantly surprised if it DOES turn out that way and not disappointed if it doesn't. :0)
Ebony - posted on 08/07/2009
I am the step-mom to a 13 yr old boy. I have been in his life since he was 2. The key is to be yourself no matter what. Don't tey to be their best friend just try to be there for them and let them know that you are there for them
Sharon - posted on 08/07/2009
I would aim for the role of "aunt" if both parents are actively engaged in their child(ren)s lives. I'm not sure about the title. But talk about with the hubby & ex if you can to see what is acceptable. Keep in mind if you have kids or are going to have your bio kids - your child will use what ever nickname/title the step kids are using.
Congrats to you on trying to be a good person.
Lisa - posted on 08/07/2009
suggestion i will make if you have kids and he obviously has kids is make sure the kids see 1) the 2 of you stand behind each other and support each other 2) let them see the playful couple ( u & him) " no going at it but a kiss a hug tickeling etc*
also make sure you are well aware of the rules he has in place for his kids and if yours are different- maybe decide to come together on the rules....
and another thing to always be aware of never step in the middle of mom and dads arguements.
my husband and i are both step parents his daughters one i got along well with and the other took much longer (his were much older then mine were and lived in diff state) my boys seemed to take to him well, until they hit the teen years that was
Lesley - posted on 08/07/2009
I became a step mom to a 6 year old girl. But as her real mom was still very much part of her life, I only tried to be a friend to the little one and never her mother. She is now 19 and I am no longer with her father, but we are still very much in touch as friends so I think it must have worked. My only real advise is be yourself and dont try and be something your not because children can see through that. Good luck. xx
Elizabeth - posted on 08/07/2009
NO matter how hard the child resists you or denys you as being a step mother to them always always ALWAYS love them exactly the same as you would love your own children....there's gonna be difficult times but never give them the doubt that you don't love them....they will eventually come around and they will appreciate that no matter how hard they resisted or tempted you you always showed them loved thats my advice after having helped raise a lot of children and most of them while they aren't teenagers and some weren't even in the step child sense they all still know that i love them and they all love me and whenever there's a problem they always come with questions just be supportive and loving don't ever even if you feel that their mother is evil or not great at her role never critisize her never act as if you don't like their mother because she is their mother and they are always going to take offense good luck and god's speed
Krista - posted on 08/07/2009
My husband had a daughter from a previous relationship. She was seven when I first met her and I have to say that before anything, I tried to be her friend. I didn't want to shove myself off on her as someone who was going to step in her mom's shoes. Over time, she came to realize that, although I was a friend, I was also an authority figure to her. I believe our relationship was helped by the fact that she's quite jaded towards her mother. She'd said many times before that she wished I was her mom or she even down right called me Mommy. I had to tell her that while I loved her like my daughter, I wasn't her mom and that her mom would be very hurt if she heard her say that. Now, I'm just Krista......step-mom extraordinaire. She comes to me with problems and asks me about make up and stuff. She's now nearly 12 and we have a great relationship.
Jodi - posted on 08/07/2009
Angela, I am step-mum to a 17 year old girl and 10 year old boy (they were 10 and 3 when I came into their lives). I think the approach you take depends on their ages. I approached it differently with both of mine because of the age difference, and also because at the time, my own son was 5. How old are the kids? And who do they live with the majority of the time?
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