"Loving" Non-bio children

posted 3 years ago in Parenting
Post # 3
928 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

I have two biological children and one that I adopted from state care when she was 17 months. I love all three equally. I tell her her brothers grew  in my belly and she grew in my heart. I explained to her that our dogs are adopted, too, but I’m their mom. That is what finally made sense to her that she is no less a part of the family. She was getting teased at school.

My soon-to-be stepchildren are different.  They were 10 and 13 when we met. It’s hard but we are getting there. They are loyal to their mom and jealous that their dad found someone. His daughter cried for an hour when we got engaged because she thought I was going to start being mean to her when we got married.


Post # 5
147 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

I have yet to birth my own children, so I cannot speak to how that feels vs. step children.

However, one of my best friends is adopting a girl from Hati and it is amazing the conection she feels for that girl even though they hardly know each other. She is still going through the long drawn out process an her daughter is still in Haiti.

I suppose it is a choice to love them unconditionlly to a certain extent. But my friend also mentions how when she visited the orphanage in Haiti it was like falling in love when she met her daughter. She said that it was an instantaneous sense of responsibility and love for her.

She wasn’t even planning on adopting when she went! It was just a church mission trip. So I tend to believe her. And I can just see it. She loves that little girl.

I admire her very much for it.

I would think that every situation is different because people are all so different.

Post # 6
2792 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

Being on the other side of this (one of two adopted children) I think you really choose who you love.  It doesn’t mater adopted, step, or biological children.   You see people who are horrid to their bio children just as much as step parents who are amazing with their step chidlren.  If you choose to love them (not like, love) no mater what, you will.  If you choose not to love them, even if it is a bio-child, you won’t. 

Post # 7
1613 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I have step-children and don’t plan to have biological children so I can’t make that comparison.  I will say that for me, loving my kids is a choice, there was a moment of decision that I said, “Ok, I love this man and I love these kids and now they are ‘my’ kids.”  I take as much responsibility for them as I would had I birthed them.  And yet, they are my kids but I’m not their mom.  Love and families (can) come in all shapes and sizes if you let it/them.

As a PP said, the love came after the decision for me.  I decided that they were ‘my’ kids, and that created more love for them.  I mean, I loved them before that too, but it changed when I changed my mindset about it.

Post # 8
547 posts
Busy bee

My stepmother favored me over my siblings. Then she had a bio child and we all got shoved on the back burner. One time she said, “I married your father, not all of you!” She was childless and married a man with 5 kids. They divorced years ago, btw. I never see or hear from my half sister and that doesn’t bother me, to be honest. 

Post # 10
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I am an Encore Bride, and an Older Bee.

Mr TTR & I both have children from our long-standing previous marriages.

In our case our kids are all grown adults… so they aren’t around 24/7 like little kids would be.

And because of that, I would never consider myself to be a “Step Mom”… I am merely their Dad’s Wife.

My relationship with his kids is good to excellent…

But it is very much just like any other “adult” relationship with Friends or Aquaintances.

— — —

I truly believe that when children are minors… things are a zillion times more complicated.

There is no one size fits all solution (as some of the Posters on WBee wish for)

A lot depends on circumstances of each situation… and ya, that means how bad the Divorce was… who initiated it… and for what reaason.  Who was the “winner & loser” in that battle.  As it is rarely a case of a smooth ride (as many who are not Divorced seem to think of when it comes Divorce)… a 50/50 Split.

Who got Custody.

How the exes get along (that piece of the puzzle is HUGE)

And relationships… what is the relationship between the child & the Parent.

A baby will have a different relationship with a Parent, than a Pre-Schooler, Child, Pre-Teen, or Teen.

Parenting FULL TIME is hard… Parenting Part-time a lot harder.

Add in being a Step Parent… and it is even more complicated.

Personally, I strongly believe that as much as some people are able to step into the shoes of being a Step Parent… because of all the EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES that not every NEW Spouse can … OR SHOULD

Sometimes the better thing to do… is just be the NEW Spouse… and leave the Parenting entirely up to the actual Parent.

And ya know what… that doesn’t make the NEW Spouse a bad person.

Might actually make them a SMART PERSON if it means less DRAMA & TRAUMA for the child and ALL the Relationships that are going on surrounding this child

Ie… Dad & New Wife – Mom & New Boyfriend – Mom’s Parents – Dad’s Parents – Dad’s New Inlaws – Dad’s NEW Kids (step brothers & sisters etc)

Kids come first for sure.  But they truly BELONG to the Parents who “birthed them”… and IMO those are the people who should be making decisions about them… and be the ones on the front lines when it comes to dealing with “FAMILY” matters / issues that come up

Just my 2 cents

EDIT TO ADD – I should add this doesn’t make me cold hearted… I’d still say that the Newlyweds should work out between themselves as Adults (out of earshot of the kids) how they’ll make things work logistically with the Ex Spouse(s).  Everyone should be able to act maturely enough to give say kids a decent Christmas – Birthday – Vacation etc.  So ya, if that means the kids visit alone on a schedule, or they come with Mom in tow… that needs to be negotiated / planned for.  Not every family after Divorce can be that open (Exes & Current Wives socializing) due to circumstances (Hubby ran off with GF who is now wife).  BUT if it can work that everyone can be under one roof… great… that is AWESOME.

If not, then other plans need to be worked out. And the NEW Wife needs to be adult and roll with whatever comes down the pipe.  She knew going in he was a man with a History… and Kids…. her chance to work out the consequences of that decision to marry him and ALL of that should have been part of her Dating evaluation.  Altho she can love her own flesh & blood more (their kids)… she needs to be sensitive that a GOOD MAN / GOOD DAD will put ALL his kids first in his life… the one’s he had with the Ex and the ones he has with her.  That is just a fact.


Post # 12
509 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

I will admit (and hope I don’t get flamed) but I had a stepdaughter. I loved her a lot. But when I had kids, I realized that while I loved her, it was no where close to the love I had for my babies. We only saw her for a few weeks a year and she wouldn’t talk to me throughout the year. I tried to have a relationship with her but she didn’t want one. 

After her dad and I divorced, we had no reason to keep in touch. I haven’t seen or talked to her in 5 years. I would have loved to have had a relationship with her but she chose not to. 

Post # 13
1843 posts
Buzzing bee

I had a bf for three years. He has a daughter and I slowly created a cordial relationship with the mom. I’d call her to split the shopping for back to school items and other things. One of the three years he and I were together (didn’t work and we broke up, in part due to his lack of responsibility with his daughter) I threw her a kick ass birthday party at a gymnastics facility with a special gymnastics field day. Super fun. I invited her mom, step dad, her sibling , grandparents on mom’s side and her closest friends. 

Her dad and I broke up and I live out of the country half of the year but I make the effort to visit and take her out at least once in the 6 months I am in our country. I love her and she knows it. One of the hardest things for me was when her dad and I informed her we were not going to be together anymore. Seeing her cry broke my heart. :'(

Post # 14
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

To @freshflowers:  I added an ETA to my original post.

Re – Your Reply # 10

And I agree being a Step Parent is a lot harder than being a Wife (and being a Wife is not easy)

It makes sense… Parenting is the hardest job in the world.

Also why if you go look in a Book Store in the Self-Help Section for books on Remarriage the vast majority is about Blending Familes / Step-Parenting etc.

Kids need to absolutely come first in these types of Marriages.

I am lucky as I say Mr TTR’s kids are grown ups… and we all have a good relationship.

BUT NOTHING stands between him & his kids… I NEVER get involved / interfere.  He wants to do something with them… I smartly step aside, put myself on the back burner.

He’s been THEIR DAD for over 30 Years… HE’LL BE THEIR DAD FOREVER

I on the otherhand have been here a mere decade… I definitely am the back runner.

And I am ok with that

(And that to me is part of the issue… I don’t think there are a lot of NEW Spouses who’d be quite so willing as I to take a back seat in a Marriage on occasion.  Some people get really offended by that idea in my experience.  They are too greedy to see that by doing so it works in their favour … and the harmony of the relationship they have with their man / bigger family)


Post # 15
2630 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

A friend of mine dated a woman with two children. They were together for something like seven years, and by the end of that time, he was more their father than their bio dad. He and the woman were never meant to be and shouldn’t have lasted that long, but he told me it hurt him so much to know the kids would be hurt by the split. The oldest graduated high school with high marks after starting out almost failing because my friend was there for him every step of the way. For graduation, he (kid) had to write letters to the three people who were the most influential in his life and to his success. When my friend found out he was getting a letter, he cried to me on the phone. 

Even though they’ve been apart for a while now, the kids still keep in contact with him. He sends them presents for holidays/birthdays and talks about them like they’re his. He wishes he and the mom could have made it work, but that’s a different story, heh. To me, he’s a model for what step-parents should be like.

Post # 16
582 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I am 53 years old. I married the first time when I was 18. I inherited a 7 year old daughter. Full time. we had three children of our own. I raised all my children. The step daughter is now 42 years old. She calls me mom. I call her daughter. 

You ask if I love her differently than my three bio kids? Honestly, Yes. 

That being said, I can’t explain why. I don’t treat her different than my kids, but I do love her different. For me, the connection is different. 

I am now divorced from her dad, and my childrens dad. We were married for 26 years. I just remarried 87 days ago. My new husband has a 29 year old son, and I have all my kids, 28,29,32 and 42. We are not step parents to each others kids. We are “his wife” and “my husband” and that is just fine.

Taking on a step child is a commitment for life. Just because i felt love differently, did not give me a right to treat her different. In my opinion you can’t screw with someone’s heart.  That girl loves me as her mom. She has a bio mom, and from the start, at 18 years old I was always nice to that woman and included her in most everything. She is still a part of my life today. 

Advice……if you are going to blend a family, be ready to embrace the other side. That is my best advice. Be nice to their mother and every other family member that comes with the child. It just makes things easier. 

 Being a parent is hard. Being a step parent is hard. But today all those kids have given me grandkids. They all call me grandma. The 42 year old (step daughter) allowed me, her mom to cut the cord when her daughter was born. 

Merry Christmas

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