(Closed) Becoming a *step* mother… Advice, thoughts, concerns

posted 6 years ago in Family
Post # 3
Member
536 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Weetzie:  I am not a step mother but I have a stepmother. My story will be very different from yours but please just read and take what you can from it. My mother was abusive to me and my sister while we lived with her; my stepmother is the only “mother” ive really known.  

 

My stepmother has been wonderful to me…she has taken me in, cared for me, cooked for me, gone shopping with me….but she has never been a real mother to me.  not that i havent wanted her to– i still want her to. i am an adult and i still crave the real love and affection that comes from a mother to a child and i never get that from her. when i hug her, she “teases” that im suffocating her (but her own child, my half brother, she smothers with affection), when she gets mad at me she REALLY gets mad at me. its not like my father who gets mad and then gets over it…and when she does get mad, she’s ruthless. she breaks out the low blows and says how she never wanted this life with my sister and i, and how we ruin her nuclear family (her, my brother and my dad) of course we are friendly most of the time and she pretends this isnt how she really feels….but its obvious this is how she really feels. it destroys me that i have never had a real mother’s love ever, and i will never have it. it makes me anxious to have my own children so i can somehow make up for what i never had. my mother (stepmother but i even call her my mother) hates my fiance (because he is 15 years older than me) and it has been 6 months since we got engaged and she is slowly working on being warmer to me and my fiance. i planned my wedding by myself (we are basically eloping to avoid drama), she hasnt once asked to get a good look at my ring, nor has she asked me about my dress, or really what my plans are at all. 

 

Im not saying you are like this or will be like this.  but please please be aware that you have so much more input and power than you would ever believe. good luck.

Post # 4
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

I want to help you but I keep erasing what I wrote because my story with a step daughter is very long, and this is not the place for an autobiography of my life.

that being said, I’m 53, my stepdaughter, for which I would never call her, she is my daughter, is 42. I’ve raised her since she was 7 years old. I had 3 children with her father and they are her brothers and sister. I am 11 years older than her and she has always called me mom.

she has a mother. She has always been a part of our lives. I always made sure of that. I feel it’s very important. That woman is her mother also, and always will be. We all get along well. Even though her dad is my ex, we were married for 26 years. 

i can offer these tips and suggestions: try your hardest to get along with their mother. Your husband will forever be connected to her, and the better you two can get along the happier the children will be. This situation of being tugged in different directions is NOT their fault. Your children are young, like mine was. You have chosen to marry a man with kids, and now you are a mother. I had to have kids of my own to learn  how to be a mom to her. I had to learn how to love her unconditionally, which I did not know how to do. She pissed me off, she tried my nerves. She had homework, and sports and dance and needs. As she got older,I’m sure I heard I hate you a few times. I heard that from my own kids.LOL. You will never be their ” real mom” but you can make or break their hearts. You have to love really hard and be involved in every aspect of their lives. I have done everything a “real mom” does for their “real children”.

I made a lot of mistakes. I wasn’t perfect. But, I tried hard to love her, and tried hard to let her know she was important. Haveing a stepchild is very, very hard and anyone who tells you different is a big fat liar. They are not yours from your relationship with your husband. There are many families involved. lots of grandparents who won’t like you. You have to suck it up and just be a good mom. We chose to get involved with a man who has kids. Now you have to set examples, and yes, you will be second. If you love your husband you will accept that and carry on with some sort of dignity and grace.. Play fair for the kids sake. It is a lifetime commitment. You aren’t allowed to screw with that. You are taking on a very important role and you have to hug, and hold and cry, and wipe tears that come for a lifetime. 

today, she still calls me mom, she has a 3 year old daughter who calls me grandma. I cut that babies umbilical cord. Her ” real mom” stayed in the waiting room.

 I’m getting married to the man I will spend the 2nd part of my life with. My kids call him by his name. I don’t think they will ever refer to him as” my step dad”. Yet isn’t that what he is? My kids are all over the age of 27, with children of their own. They have a dad, my ex, and they love him. They love my fiance too. 

i hope this helps a little bit. I made the best of a really hard situation and just did the very best I could. Good luck and Gods blessings…….

Post # 5
Member
554 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

@1stRosie:  if I were your step mom, I’d be jumping up and down with joy and pride that my little girl is getting married. I would try on your ring, marvel in  your dress, make your Jordan almond bags! There would be bows, and cupcakes and we would be shitting rainbows together..

we would hug a lot…….

have the time of your life my dear. You, I’m Sure deserve it…….

Post # 6
Member
440 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I was going to post something pretty similar to 1stRosie I have a mum who isn’t the best mother in the world, she left when I was 6, I still have a r’ship with her and I love her but as a mother she’s not down to get any awards.

However my stepmum who has been in my life since I was about 12, has been a wonderful friend and just did all the things she would have done had I been her daughter by blood, I have never forgotten how loving and lovely she has been to me over the years, and most of all I respect her for not trying to “take my mother’s place” she simple became another part of my life, rather than trying to be that part of my life.

Love those kids the way you would love your own, and over the years they will see that love shining through.

Post # 7
Member
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Weetzie:  My Fiance has two children from previous marriage (she cheated on him as well) and they are 9 and 12. We also have shared custody.

I know what it’s like completelly. Mine also had a vasectomy and we are hoping to have the reversal done next year and try. I will be 33 then.

Post # 8
Member
9139 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

Yes, it will be difficult.  I won’t sugarcoat.  I was a stepmom for 5 years and it was the most rewarding and the most frustrating job ever.  Both houses have different rules and different expectations and the kids at some point will try to play you off one another as well as dealing with the ex trying to play them off of you too.  It will be stressful and if you have a less than stellar partner, you will get sold out to the kids on occasion because ultimately you are not their mom; they know it, you know it, and most of the time it becomes a major issue at least for a short period of time when there is another parent involved (i.e. the ex wife.)

Make sure you are ready to commit to being a co-parent.  The best thing you can do for everybody involved is to try to bury the hatchet with the ex and figure out some way to get along.  If she is totally crazy (not just a standard crappy ex wife) then I would say to avoid her as much as possible.  I tried to get along with my ex-husband’s ex-wife but he didn’t want me to be friendly with her.  It would have been better for my stepdaughter had I been able to pick up the phone and call her mom for advice; it would have showed that I value her as my stepdaughter’s mom and I value my stepdaughter’s needs over all other things.

There are major benefits to having more than 2 parents loving a child and raising a child but you all have to find some way to work together as a team for the best interests of the child(ren) involved.  I suggest reading up on co-parenting and trying to figure out a way to make it work for your family.  Oh, and one last thing.  Make sure your FH treats you as a real parent to his children (i.e. allows you to discipline and reward as necessary) and not like you are a glorified babysitter or second class parent.

Post # 11
Member
107 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

@Weetzie:  

I could have written your story myself, except that I have only one future step child instead of 3.

Know this… You are not “less than” their other mother. While being a mother is difficult, being a stepmother is PAINFULLY difficult, for all of the reasons you stated above.  But no matter how hard it is to play this role, you still choose to do it. You choose to love them with all your heart, even when it hurts more than you think you can handle. You care for them, you clean up after them, you cry when they hurt, and you rejoice when they succeed. You do everything their other mother does, but with even less of the thanks and recognition she gets.  But still, you choose to do it.

There’s no two ways around it.  Standing on the sidelines letting “mommy” have all the glory while you do all the gruntwork sucks. Just know that in the end, those kids will know how special and wonderful they are that you chose to love them and raise them, not because you had to, but because you wanted to. To me, that is something even more special than having given birth to them, and don’t doubt for a second that once they are older, they too will understand just how special your love for them is. You are not “less than” her… you are so, so much more.

Post # 12
Member
1311 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Weetzie:  Are you ever on the fence on having your own children? I want to one day and not the next lol. Only cuz I started the step mom role when the oldest was a preteen and that is hard, specially when their bio mother tries to do anything in her power to jeopardize the relationship between the kids myself and their dad and always plays the victim card.

Post # 14
Member
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

ME ME! I’ll be a step mom to 1 beautiful 7 year old boy in November. 🙂 I’m scared. 

 

From what he says, unknowingly, mom is threatened by me. I come up with fun or cute things together as a family or for him and when he tells her, she goes full tilt and over does it. I laugh because she doesn’t know I’m a former nanny to 4 families, taught Montessori & was a camp counselor. I had to be creative!!!! 

But ya… I’m scared. It’s a big change. I am taking it in baby steps and plan to do therapy once we get married. Right now we are in pre-marital counseling/marriage prep. 

Post # 15
Member
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

@Weetzie:  Fiance is the same to me too. He’s so sweet and is very involved but most of the cooking, laundry, kid errands, homework and general running of the house when his son is here, is up to me. I’m better at multi-tasking & remember (most) everything. So I remind him and step aside or do it. However, we recently just set up rules of what I will & won’t do for his son. 🙂

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