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.
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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.