Need help bonding with stepdaughter

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 03/30/2013 ( 9 moms have responded )

581

0

54

Hi there, I need some help bonding with my stepdaughter. I have known her for three years and really struggle to find that motherly love feeling with her. I do care about her but it's not that. " I'd die for you in a heartbeat" kind of love. I wish I could feel that for her but it has not come naturally and I'm wondering if there is a way I can feel closer to her. I have a bio child of my own and the love I have is so intense for her but I only wish I could naturally feel that for her half sister as well. Many of my friends think its normal but I know it can be different bc I've heard other steP parents that love their steps like their own. Did anyOne else struggle with this and overcome it , and what did you do in order to feel that bond with your step children? Thank you all, I just wish it came easier and more natural but since it hasnt I need to try and figure out how to feel like she's my child also !

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Laura - posted on 11/07/2013

1

0

0

Let's face it. Kids = work... and lots of it. It's easy to just see them as part of the "to do" list. When my daughter was young, and now to a degree, I try to think of myself as less of the mother and more of a mammal. What would momma bear or kangaroo do? I know it sounds funny to say out loud, but truthful, there is sooo much communication that comes from just being close and doing without all the chatter and making things complicated. My daughter is actually sort of mensa and I truly believe it's because LESS is more sometimes. It doesn't really matter what you feel, as long as you SHOW her that she is equally important in the family. In time, various situations will arise where she earns your respect. Then they will be counteracted with moments of defiance. But consistently, through it all, what matters most is that she can rely on you. You don't have to love her like your blood but you DO have to be there for her. To love her like your own offspring is lying to everyone anyway. Find a reason to love her for who she is as a person, not her blood line. Families are messy... learn to love the mess... don't clean it up in order to love it. It awesome that you are so concerned, clearly your heart is in the right place. That's all you need.

Ami - posted on 04/17/2013

192

2

59

Very, very true Danielle, in fact I will be honest I believe I lied to myself for years saying I had that kind of love for them but when it came right down to it, it really was different for me. It doesn't mean I don't love them but the connection I have with my bio daughter vs the connection I have with my step kids is different. I truly think that NO ONE has the right to judge you for not having that connection with them. Do you treat her kindly? Is she welcome in your home? Is she welcome to be part of her siblings life? Of course, but it doesn't mean you are the "wicked stepmother" because you don't cry when you think about her leaving for college. Just be a good example and a good friend to her that is all she needs.

9 Comments

View replies by

LalaBoom - posted on 11/14/2013

248

0

41

The short and sweet answer:
Do stuff together. Even if it "feels" weird at first.
But before you do this,
Remind yourself you don't need to have "motherly" or "I'd die for you" feeling/love. That is WAY too much pressure on yourself sweety.

My stepkids and I have an awesome relationship, and I would NOT die for them. I don't care if this makes me "evil." I dont succumb to the double-standard BS of, "your not a real mom," or my favorite, my money is good enough but I am not?? LOL, not happening. Either take me all or not at all.
Now I'm ranting, lol. Anyways, my eldest stepdaughter and I do a lot together; bake, movies, dress-up, face painting, painting in general, park, library, museum... Are any of those things like something you can do with her?

Btw, it's really awesome that you want to bond with her :)

Felicia 'Stupendous Stepmom' - posted on 11/13/2013

2

0

0

Danielle, you are so cool for caring in this manner. My stepdaughter and I are inseparable today because I found her own uniqueness and embraced that. She was 6 when she a came to be with me and her dad permanently and she is now 26.

Don't feel bad that you don't have the same feelings for her as any other child in your life because that does not matter. What matters is embracing her unique person and respecting her for it.

I could write pages about my battles with my stepdaughter because we could not be more different. For example, she's a serious tomboy and I am a serious fashion diva. Talk about big time CLASH. Bottom line is this, love your stepdaughter where she is and who she is and don't be afraid to own your feelings like you did her. Wish you the best

Ami - posted on 04/17/2013

192

2

59

Very, very true Danielle, in fact I will be honest I believe I lied to myself for years saying I had that kind of love for them but when it came right down to it, it really was different for me. It doesn't mean I don't love them but the connection I have with my bio daughter vs the connection I have with my step kids is different. I truly think that NO ONE has the right to judge you for not having that connection with them. Do you treat her kindly? Is she welcome in your home? Is she welcome to be part of her siblings life? Of course, but it doesn't mean you are the "wicked stepmother" because you don't cry when you think about her leaving for college. Just be a good example and a good friend to her that is all she needs.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 04/17/2013

581

0

54

Ami, it's nice to hear someone that's in my same boat . I think it was bothering me so much bc while my husband loves both of his kids he definitely is much closer to our daughter than my step daughter, and It was making me feel bad that both of us had a deeper connection with our baby. I think my husband just got to spend so much more time with our daughter bc he couldn't stand being at home with his ex and they split when she was only one. He got to experience a lot more of those sweet little moments with our baby which naturally would cause you to feel a stronger bond. I feel the most intense love for my baby and I can't feel guilty about that . As long as I show my step kid love and make sure she never feels left out then it's ok for me to never acquire the " I'd die for you in a heartbeat" kind of love. I honestly think maybe some step patents claim they love their step kids as much as their bio kids but deep down they honestly love them differently . There is a lot of pressure on step moms to not be the " evil step mother" so I think women even lie about their feelings to not be portrayed as an evil step mom!

Ami - posted on 04/15/2013

192

2

59

Thank you so much for your post and bringing to light an issue that has been a thorn in my side for the last ten years. My step daughter I didn't have so much of problem bonding with at first but over the last 4 years I would rather eat glass than be around her. My stepson has never really bonded with me and to be completely honest we probably never will. I have a BS in psychology a Masters in Sociology and a PhD in Criminology I have studied the human brain and human behavior for years and to be honest all I can say is sometimes you just don't get along with some people. It doesn't mean you don’t care about them, but something to remember you came into this marriage knowing they already had a mother. Despite what many stepparents say you do not have to take on that role they have a mother and a father, simply being another adult in their life that is a good role model isn't a bad thing.

I love my step children but to be honest yes my feelings over the years for them have changed. Does that make me a bad person I hope not, I actually feel I treat them better now, in fact when they get in trouble it’s me they call because they don't want to call their “parents”. If it had been 5 years ago they never would have called me because I was the over protective crazy parent. Maybe just letting her know you are there no matter what is all she needs.

Here is an example I have a no questions asked policy if they call because they have gotten themselves into a situation they aren’t sure how to get out of. They can call me. I ask no questions.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 04/06/2013

581

0

54

Evelyn, thank you for your post. I have started to realize that it is okay if I have a different bond with her than my bio daughter, as long as I love her and do my best to be someone she can look up to. I know I must be doing something right bc she loves me which says a lot coming from a kid. I know for me it's hard to match the love I feel for the child I created with the man I love and carried inside of me and nurtured so she could grow, but that doesn't mean I can't love another child but maybe not in the same way. I still do hope I can bond more with her and will do my best to spend some one on one time with her bc ultimately I think she deserved for me to try my best !

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms