Do stepmom's count? I have two step kids, Amberlie, 13 and Shelby, 10. Can always use advice with them.

Christina - posted on 01/08/2009 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I will soon have custody of these two. And I am trying for my first. I am getting two emotionally abused children. So, help me!!!!

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Maryann - posted on 01/13/2009

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I think step moms count a lot, I have three step kids - their mum abandoned them and they now have a nice stable home with 2 loving parents, we are also trying for a baby to complete our little family and tie us all together.

Christina - posted on 01/13/2009

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I have totally appreciated all the advice I have coming in.  As I don't have any kids of my own yet, I got thrown into the deep end as a mom figure.  Add insult to injury is the fact that my kids are on what is called the child protection register here in England due to severe emotional  abuse and neglect from their mother.   So not only have I had to figure out how to be a friend and a mom, I have also had to figure out how to be healer as well. 



 



It has been a stressful time for me and my partner.  So, all of the help I am getting from everyone here is more helpful than I can say.

Arin - posted on 01/13/2009

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I have 2 step daughters 15 and 12. I have been around since they were 9 and 6. The best thing I can say so far is be patient. Be understanding and be there to listen. My oldest talks to me about a lot of things that she doesn't talk to her mother or father about. (something a counselor told my husband about her around a year ago). We now have 2 more kiddos 3 and 7 months. Life is great and I love being a stepmom. We call it mom #2! :) Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

step mum's do count. i have an 11 year old step daughter we have had custody since she was 3 years old her biological mother has access during school holidays. she loves her mum no matter what but i am the one that is doing the hard work. sending to school, teaching good morals, homework and general upbringing of the child. i classify her as my daughter and she has called me mum since she was about 4. her choice. as far as i'm concerned a mother is not just somebody that gives birth to a child . any body can do that. it takes a really strong person to actually mother a child. i have two other children, 6 and 4 and am due to have a new bub in two weeks.  my step daughter also gets mentally abused by her mother but it is amazing how well a child adapts. do everything you can and i'm sure it will be enough.  stepchildren are hard work but it is always worth it. i was only with my husband for 2 months before we got custody and it was too late. i had already fallen in love with him so there was nothing i could do. have to love the whole package. good luck!

Michele - posted on 01/12/2009

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Step moms count for alot. I've been a step mom for going on 13 years(since MY girls were 4&5) Their mother is unstable and has been married  3 times since 1993 when she and my husband got divorced.  Kids need a stable environment to grow up in , and in a "step" family it is even more important to provide a stable home.  My girls call me mom and their bio-mom by her first name. My husband and I have 2 more together, and nobody knows or feels the difference. By the way my oldest is planning a wedding for 2010 and she wants me to be a bridesmaid , hows that for a good relationship, It was pretty rocky a couple of years ago but it wasn't because of me ( actually it was because of bio-moms husband #3)

Michele - posted on 01/12/2009

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Step moms count for alot. I've been a step mom for going on 13 years(since MY girls were 4&5) Their mother is unstable and has been married  3 times since 1993 when she and my husband got divorced.  Kids need a stable environment to grow up in , and in a "step" family it is even more important to provide a stable home.  My girls call me mom and their bio-mom by her first name. My husband and I have 2 more together, and nobody knows or feels the difference. By the way my oldest is planning a wedding for 2010 and she wants me to be a bridesmaid , hows that for a good relationship, It was pretty rocky a couple of years ago but it wasn't because of me ( actually it was because of bio-moms husband #3)

Vicki - posted on 01/12/2009

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I got custody of my step son many years ago (he is now 23), just take your time, be patient, let them know that even if you have another child they matter and that you love them, and be kind to yourself... sometimes it can be very difficult, but the rewards will come... cherish every moment... from Vicki-Anne good luck xxx

Marie - posted on 01/10/2009

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Quoting Christina:

Do stepmom's count? I have two step kids, Amberlie, 13 and Shelby, 10. Can always use advice with them.

I will soon have custody of these two. And I am trying for my first. I am getting two emotionally abused children. So, help me!!!!



I have a step mom and she's been a wonderful role model and my best friend (and i'm nearly 40) !  She had to be patient with me and thought it was breakthrough when I asked her help with homework - she'd been asking me for 6 months if she could help me!  Kids will let you in eventually - be patient and consistent - and most of all dont criticize their mothers behaviour in front of them - they obviously love their mom and you need to take that into consideration as well.  Good luck !



 

Christina - posted on 01/10/2009

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I have to say that this is a really nice outlet to have.  My partner's ex isn't quite as bad as Jessica has had to deal with, but to me it seems horrid.  I see the damage that she has caused this kids.   The amount of issues they have is amazing.  But to me, they are amazing wonderful kids.



 



I try my best to make up for the damage she has caused them by giving as much love and postivie reinforcement.  I keep telling them how special they are, how smart, how beautiful (the youngest thinks she has fat legs when she is underweight in reality.) how much they mean to me...



 



I have told my partner that after this weekend we are going to sit down and figure out proper discipline for the girls.  I don't want them to be yelled at anymore.  (I am taking tips from supernanny...cheesy, I know...but she is British and so are they!)



 



It seems the more they are around us, the better they get along.  The less they hit each other.  So, I want to continue to have this improvement.



 



 

Paulette - posted on 01/10/2009

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Hi Christina,  I lived in a household that was blended and had a step-mother. She did not speak ill of my own mother. She let me see her for what she was and just tried to parent us enough so that we didn't get hurt. The best thing to do is to get counceling for them and for the family as a whole. Especially the first year, because there are a lot of adjustments to make and they and you are going to need an unbias opinion on what to do on matters. Plus someone to vent to when you are upset.

Johanna - posted on 01/10/2009

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Of course they do!!!! You are a very important person not just to the father but those children do need you. Go with your bad step mom self and know you count!!!! Your in a tough position. The damage has been done to them emotionally with the trauma of their mother and who knows what she said about their father and all instability she brought onto them. I think they will need structure and routine so to get some sort of balance of what normal is. Ask them what they need and want from you. Even if it is hugs....ask them if they would like a hug.

Good luck.....on both the children coming and the one your trying to make.

Jessica - posted on 01/10/2009

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I read the entry after I first posted and could see myself after I first came into the picture and I never want to go back there again.  I remember the "fits"  that my husband's ex-wife would put his children through and then him through and then call him at 3 in the morning and say she needed to meet.  She was is crazy.  This has never gotten better.  My kids have just gotten older.  They do love her and I mean that in the loosest sense of the word because I believe that the only way to begin to forgive someone is to have love in your heart.  She continues to ruin lives.  Whether it is being hauled off to jail or screaming in the ER and demanding to see her daughter who is a nurse at the hospital.. she is what she is their mother.  I am their mom.  I am the stable part in their life.  I don't compare myself to her I continue to love them and treat them like my own and I know that when they are soooooo fragile at the age they are now that they just need guidance and answers. 



Love them that's all I can say.  Never let that go. 



I remember one time and it was the last time that I did this but she called drunk and needed a ride and my husband was not home.  My step daughter came to me and we went and got her.  She literally tried to jump out of window out of my car.  Called me every name in the book.  I never said a word.  She pulled my hair every thing. 



Shortly after this she threatened to have my step daughters boyfriend arrested and the cops were called and down at the house when we went to pick them up. 



I never lost my cool...she has hurt me and hurt my kids and the lioness in me wants to hurt her, but I know that I shouldn't do this.  I should just pray for her.  So that is what I do, well kind of.  I pray for God to give me the strength to deal with whatever he gives me because he never gives me more than I can handle. 



Hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2009

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Yes step moms do count! I have 3 stepchildren, all are in their 20's now but have been there since they were 2, 3, and 5, I also have 1 daughter of my own. It was hard, and there continue to be struggles, but it is very rewarding and wouldn't change it for the world!

Nicole - posted on 01/09/2009

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Christina, I only wish that my oldest daughter had a "step-mom" like you! I really do!!! My daughter is on her second step-mom and this one is soooooo much worse than the first.

I do understand how you feel in dealing with an abusive parent in the picture reguardless if they are step or not. in my case its both. across the board its not right nor fair to the kids involved. These kids never asked to have these people in their lives.

when it comes to "your" 13 yr old, be paciant. she is at a point in her life where she is confused/angery/scared. deep down inside she really dosen't know why her bio mother is doing this to her and her sister. reguardless of how she gets treated by her bio mother she views this as how her boi mother shows love. and she loves her as well no matter what. my husband was married before, and his first wife came from a extreamly abusive home.(he was 17) she would try to get him to abuse her. this is how she precived love. no matter how fustrating it gets and how much your heart hurts. I know it hurts sooo bad to see this. the pain is so big it starts right in your heart and moves to your entire chest and you feel helpless. I truly understand. All i can say for both your girls is just love them to picese. be honest with them, but yes don't say anything bad about the bio mom. deep inside the girls they know that your safe. but they are scared to react or say anything because of their bio mothers backlash. I have been living this for 17 years. batteling back and forth. doing what i can to keep my daughters head streight. I am sooo thankful to god that my daughter will be 18 in 8 months and my hell will be over. so if you really need to talk or vent just contact me. It is always nice to talk to someone that has or is going though the same thing. Most importantly, have faith and never ending love for the girls!!!! there is light at the end of the tunnel. *hugs*

Tiffany - posted on 01/09/2009

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Step Moms TOTALLY count. Step mom of 3 here... well step mom of one and step step mom of 2 more. They are my fiances ex wifes kids.  His former step kids but he has been the only father they have known and he is Dad to them in more ways than one. We have the oldest, a 19 year old self absorbed undisciplined daughter living with us right now and its not going very well. I love her to BITS, as if she was my own.... but we are butting heads. The biggest problem I find with being a step parent is the ability of the kids to play the step and bio parents off each other. If they dont get what they want from one they go to another.



My story aside... you count in a BIG way. Good luck I am rootin for ya!

Christina - posted on 01/09/2009

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I completely refer to them as my kids as much as possible.  But the relationship with their mother is very acrimonious.  I tried being her friend for as long as I could, but I got constant verbal abuse from her.  And one day I was trying to help her out, ( I have a car, she doesn't.) she went off on the older child telling her that the child has ruined her life and she had been stuck with her since she was 17 (The child wasn't born until she was 19) and that she should just f*** off to her dad's house and leave her the f*** alone.  (There was about 30 minutes of you f**in' this, you f***in that...She screamed so loud for so long that she actually made herself sick.)



 



The thing is, I have tried my best never to say anything bad about their mom, but it is soooo hard.  The girls are being teased or being left out of stuff because of how abusive their mom is to other people.  We have social services involved because of the level of abuse.  The girls are on something called the 'child protection register' here in England.  It is the highest level of of protection from social.  The girls hate it, at least the older child does.  She completely resents it.  She is the one who is most protective of her mom.  (In many cases they have swapped roles, where the daughter is the mom and the mom is the child)  The amount of stress that the girls get put through by their mom is disgusting.



 



I have told my partner that we need to be the vacation from the stress that she causes them.  And we have as much as possible.  But I also have to deal with the fact that their mom picks fights with my partner when he goes to pick them up from her.  Or she will put them on a guilt trip to try and keep them from wanting to come over here. 



 



We don't have custody yet, but the social worker has pretty much said that they are close to take the children off her completely because she hasn't bothered to be cooperative with social.  So many people who know their mom keep saying that as soon as we get them, we should remove them from her influence completely by moving away.  (the home conditions are not hygenic, she has started to become physically abusive and has been leaving the girs with her mother and brother--who has been in trouble for violent and sexual acts.)  Part of me wants to take that advice and take them back to the States (which is where I am from).  But I also have seen the few good times that the girls have with their mom.  So, I don't know if that is the right thing to do.



 



It has been a seriously hard journey.  And the helpful advice hasn't always been so helpful...or forthcoming...

Jessica - posted on 01/08/2009

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Of course we count...that's why we are there to pick up some of these kids.  I am the proud mother of 2 and the proud stepmother of 2.  I don't treat any of them differently.  I am ten years younger than my husband and his wife left him with his teenage children when I met them they were 13 and 15.  We had our good and bad times, but there now there isn't a day that goes by that I don't talk to one or both of them.  They are both married and now I am a proud, I guess, step GRANDMA.  I am pretty sexy for 38 but step never has come into our picture.  These kids are my kids whether I gave birth to them or not I love them and would do anything for any of them.  A mother's love run's deep and you must remember to just love and understand that you will love them in your way and that is right and never ever no matter how awful their mother may or may not be don't talk badly about them.  That is their Mom too and they love them on another level even if they have been hurt.

Nathalie - posted on 01/08/2009

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I have 5 step kids and get offended every time I am referred to as a step-mom.  Yes, we count!  Good luck with your new children.  Make it a family, take out the word step, and love them all.  Be aware that you will love each one differently.  Be ready to discuss the needs of a new baby (such as every waking moment of yoru attention).  Talk about how much you love it when they help out and let the older children hold and feed the baby.



 



I have two natural kids along with my five older kids.  I nursed the babies, as well as bottle feeding them.  It was very important to me that everyone get the chance to help with baby feedings.  They also all learned to help with diaper changing, though I was careful not to load them down with it as a chore!

Nathalie - posted on 01/08/2009

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I have 5 step kids and get offended every time I am referred to as a step-mom.  Yes, we count!  Good luck with your new children.  Make it a family, take out the word step, and love them all.  Be aware that you will love each one differently.  Be ready to discuss the needs of a new baby (such as every waking moment of yoru attention).  Talk about how much you love it when they help out and let the older children hold and feed the baby.



 



I have two natural kids along with my five older kids.  I nursed the babies, as well as bottle feeding them.  It was very important to me that everyone get the chance to help with baby feedings.  They also all learned to help with diaper changing, though I was careful not to load them down with it as a chore!

Donna - posted on 01/08/2009

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My kids have a step-mom who is just wonderful. I think that if you have a hand in helping to raise kids as beautiful and loving human beings, you're going to need help and support and input, through this community or another forum/venue. I am thankful that the woman who is part of their lives is so willing to work with me, instead of against me, when it comes to the benefit of my kids. I realize not everyone has that kind of situation, but that's what makes these kinds of on-line communities so valuable!

Pati - posted on 01/08/2009

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Step Moms Count! just maybe not to the kids or the birth mom.  I was blessed with a little boy through my ex. He was 3 at the time we met and his dad and I got married when he was 11. Though he lived back and forth with us and his mom, I was the one responsible for getting him everywhere and doing everything for him. His mom was more into her business and her boyfirends to be there much. Full of empty promisses that were paid off with something new he did not need. But I have to say if there is ONE thing you should never do is speak bad of their mom. I felt like I was choking on my words sometimes, cause this other mom was just a let down. Weekly I would find myself consoling this kid that his mother loved him and was being the best mom she could be. But that is what you have to do. He turned on me when I left his dad, and since his death we do not hear from him at all. That hurt though Ive let it go attribute it to being just like his mother but I dont know that my daughter ever will. She is still so hurt that she has not heard from her brother in 3 years. And she has made many attempts to contact him.



If I had to do it over again, I would. From sitting at every baseball practice and helping with homework to cooking cleaning and being at every school performance and being there when he was sick or just playing a the beach. I loved raising him and I have no regretts.

Denise - posted on 01/08/2009

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Stepmoms totally count!  I have a 13 yr. old step son and now 2 daughters.  My stepson has lived with us since he was 4.  There are lots of times that I have done more than biomom and biodad!  Good luck trying to get preggo!

Cari - posted on 01/08/2009

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Hi Christina, It sounds like your signing up for the hardest job there is. The very best advice I can offer is never ever under any circumstances say anything negative about mom EVER! Even if she is the wicked witch of the west it's really painful for them and you would be considered the one that is bad. Realize that they are children and they are reactive , angry and sounds like they are going through a whole lot. Be the best person you know how to be research as much as you can. Demonstrate loving behavior everyday keep a tight schedule and consistancy  so they can regain their trust. And you as a mother needs to know that even when they make you angry or hurt your feelings be always accepting and loving. Make sure you let go of anger swiftly and let love and understanding coupled with discipline your guide. Take it from someone who had 2 obusive parents and went to foster care. All that I mentioned begins the healing and it will become the most rewarding job you'll ever have!



Good luck and may patience rule your world. Acceptance is key.

Elizabeth - posted on 01/08/2009

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Step Moms count big time!!!



I have 2 step children ages 10 and 9 that have been living with us for 5 years. I also have a 2 year old and a 3 month old.  It wasn't always a bed of roses. In the beginning it was hard for the children to adjust to changing from living with their mother to living with us. But, now it is just their normal life to be here. I have to say that it is a thankless job unfortunately. I do everything for them just like my own children and it's rare to even get a thank you from them...but, that's just kids. It seems that children always identify and are defensive about the parent that isn't there everyday. But, just know that when they are grown they will appreciate all that you have done for them. Good luck and know that there is a light at the end of that tunnel.

Katrina - posted on 01/08/2009

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Of course they count!  I think lots of love, encouragement, and understanding will help them alot.  A new baby will be a blessing too.  Especially if you show them that this is their baby too.  Commpassion and friendship on your part will go a long ways.  God bless you.

Mia - posted on 01/08/2009

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I think stepmom's count! Being a stepmom can be really tough. I have an 11 year old step-daughter (who's mother is also emotionally abusive) and we are expecting our first child together in March. Lot's of fertile luck to you! How long have the girls been with you?

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