About to be a Stay at Home (Step)Mom-Tips/advice?

Toni - posted on 01/20/2013 ( 2 moms have responded )

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Our family has a weird back story so I won't waste your time with that.


We are (most likely, God willing) getting custody of my husband's twin (almost)5 year old boys, one of who is Special Needs, very soon. My husband and I have a great relationship and it's the same with the boys. Totally Brady Bunch. In order to get a routine and normality going, I may have to take a "leave of absence" that may or may not end up long term. If it does though, I will be taking classes online going towards the degree I have chosen.

Any tips/advice for if/when I do the "Stay at Home Mom" thing? Would appreciate any advice other than "Don't do it" lol Thank you in advance!

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Toni - posted on 01/22/2013

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Yeah we would def do the power of attorney, which we found out about(the POA, itself) about six months ago. It takes some stress off him as he works week nights(M-Th) which has him sleeping during the day(Tu-F) from working the previous night. Which means that during most office hours, he is occupied lol Weird but at least he has a three day weekend every week!

My husband and I have always agreed on my role with the kids. I have an equal say and equal opinion. Matters have come up where most couples would have the end result of "Dad wins because they are his" but with us, we talk, listen to each other, and decide on what is best. Not once in the two and a half years has he pulled rank where most Dads would. I would not be in the relationship if it were any other way. Oh wait, he did once during our first year together, and his butt got set straight and he realized he was wrong and it never happened again. And even then he wasn't really trying to pull rank. So sorry, but just because I am not the biological mother, does not mean my opinion is meaningless. That may be the case in some families, but not in ours. My husband and I have always agreed on every aspect/approach in the parenting area, as well as most other topics. It's nice.We consider ourselves lucky, knowing most could not/would not function as well on decision making.

Sarah - posted on 01/21/2013

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The best advice that I can give is to make sure that you take time to yourself daily (like 15 to 30 minutes) and to take at least an hour or more weekly for yourself. I don't always get to take my own advice and it shows. My irritation level goes way up and I take it out on everyone including my 2 innocent kiddos. My kids are younger than the twins that you will have at home, but with one being special needs, it could be very similar to me having 2 kiddos that are 1 and 2 1/2. Your time should be spent doing something you enjoy...not homework or studying when you start your online classes. Daily I try to get in a favorite TV show or I try to play an online game that I enjoy. Weekly, I try to get a kid free nap. Like I said it don't always work out but at least I know when my limit is reached and so does my hubby.

The only other tidbit of advice I can give is to remember that the twins will not understand what is going on when they have to move homes (even if it is for the better). They will resist new routines and rules. Maybe the first week they are with you and your hubby, if at all possible he should try to take a vacation and be there with you to help set up this new routine and rules. It will show the kids that you and him are united in what is new to them and that even if their dad is not there that you are still in charge. I know it sounds weird to tell you this, but I have seen kids move into a new home and have to learn new rules and routine. It didn't fare well for the step parent. It caused a lot of discussions between the adults that turned into arguments sometimes. The kids knew that their dad would back them up and not their stepmom on certain subjects. It was a rough 6 months before an established routine was worked out. Don't do that to yourselves. You and your hubby get on the same page from the beginning. Present rules and consequences to rules together and if one of you disagrees with the other on a parenting subject, do not discuss it in front of them. I know how hard it is, but let it go until you and your hubby are alone and then discuss it. Not only does this give you both time to calm down if mad, it also give you a chance to think about what it is exactly you didn't like.

Sorry I wrote you a book. I have just been there and done that with step kids (still doing it) and it is not fun sometimes. My step son (he is 15 years old) knows I am the softer parent and usually comes to me before his dad. On some things I will take the control and his dad is fine with that. On other things, I usually tell him that it is between him and his dad. Everyone respects that. Even though your hubby may want you to be the Mommy figure for his twins, remember that you are not the mommy. You can give your opinion on things like school and medical issues, but your opinion is meaningless. However, as long as your hubby respects you, he will listen to you and talk it through with you. He may decide to go a different way, but it is the respect that counts and you can't be upset if he choses to take your opinion and make it his. The one thing that my husband did when we got custody of his son was had a power of attorney notarized stating that in his absence all school and medical decisions would be up to me. I can sign anything and get any information needed from the doctors or the school. We gave a copy to everyone. This allowed me to be able to take him to the doctor if my hubby was at work and to sign school permission slips if my hubby was unavailable due to work. I am also able to talk to the doctors and insurance companies about test results and if something will be covered or not (I talk better on the phone than my hubby and he always wants me to do it). It has been a lifesaver for us at times. Hope this helps and if you have any other questions just ask.

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