(Closed) *HELP!*–THE IDEA OF BECOMING A STEP MOTHER IS FREAKING ME OUT!

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 17
Member
221 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

Agreed 100% with PPs who feel your issue is not with being a step mother, but with your Fiance having a child with another woman.  I come from a blended family and am now a step mother myself.  It can be a bit tricky at times, but if executed in a healthy manner, the child can benefit greatly from it.  

I have two dads (step and ‘real’), and think of them both as my father.  My step dad has been married to my mom since I was 4, so he’s been around a long time and we have a wonderful relationship! He even got ordained to marry DH and I.  I also have a fabulous relationship with my real dad as well.  I feel like our situation has helped me so much in life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

Now, a step-parent myself, I LOVE it! And I never even WANTED kids! lol But I digress. Anyway, it was difficult at first to navigate the situation with the kids mother (for both Mom and DH) because no one really knew how to act.  Since I grew up in a blended family that did everything together I just assumed this is how it would be now.  We didn’t do separate birthdays/holidays in my family, my dad and step dad got along fine. But I forgot that it took some time to get to that point.  I was naturally a little rebuffed at first that DH and the mom didn’t just all want to be one big happy blended family, but when I realized that it would just take some time I stepped back, gave them their space to “process” the new relationships and dynamics of everything and things just kinid of fell into place.

I was very clear with DH from day 1 that I won’t play any catty games with the mom if they arise, and I don’t want any drama started if she wants to play games. She doesn’t have to like me, but I made it clear that it’s in the kids best interest that we all get along like grownups. No talking bad about the other in front of the kids. She can hate my guts and make a voodoo doll out of me all day long, and I could care less, just don’t do it in front of the kiddos. 

DH also has gone above and beyond to make me feel like I’m a parent to the children just as much as he is.  When the biological parent feels this way, it makes the scenario better by leaps and bounds! 

I apologize for the rambling nature of this, but just know that communication with your Fiance about this should happen sooner rather than later.  Go ahead and get things out in the open (delicately) and tell him how you feel and get him to explain to you where he’s coming from. He may not be entirely sure how to handle this yet.  Which is absolutely okay!  You two just need to agree on what the end goals are. And I can’t say it enough…. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world that my family loved me enough to get along and get past their differences and I feel like I have one of the best support groups anyone could ever have! Give that gift to his little girl! =)

  

Post # 18
Member
8373 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

What you’re feeling is both logical and normal, because you’re suddenly beginning to experience and understand the numerous repercussions of and complexities involved with marrying a man who already has a child.

My DH and I also are Christians, and my husband has not one, but four, children with his former spouse. In my situation, there are no very young children involved (the older two were either in college or older when I arrived on the scene, and the younger two were ‘tweens.) However, I can tell you that you that I have had to go through a lengthy and very difficult adjustment in coming to terms with the fact that I have very little control over a great many aspects of my new life.

Books on Christian marriage emphasize the importance of ensuring that one’s spouse should come first after God, and any children should be prioritized after that.  Although that very wise formula may work fairly well when any children are the result of that marriage (whether they be biological or adopted), it does not work as well when the children pre-date that marriage and are being co-parented by someone else other than one of the people in the marriage. In fact, I believe that, with somewhat older children, it would not work very well even if the other parent were not involved in the child’s life.  Simply being part of “Daddy’s” life before the new stepmother came along sets up a scenario for competition for Daddy’s limited time, treasures, and affections.

My stepchildren already have two loving, involved, parents who have shared legal and physical custody of them, and I have had to resolve myself to the fact that they ultimately are being parented by their father and their mother. I do not get to set the policy for how they are being raised, although I do obviously have some say over how certain things are handled in our home. However, my DH and I have discovered that we have some very different ideas regarding parenting, and we definitely have different approaches regarding how to handle certain issues.

I am very blessed that my DH’s former wife and I get along well, and, although we obviously are not extremely close friends, we definitely care about each other, consider each other to be members of our extended family, and treat each other with respect and honor when we interact. That has helped to make my transition much smoother than if that were not the case. That does not mean, however, that my DH and my stepchildren’s mother do not have conflict over some parenting issues, because they definitely do. And, to be honest, when they are in conflict over issues involving the children, there usually is some spillover into my world as well.

I am not at all saying that you should not marry your Fiance.  However, I am saying that you may have to adjust some (or even many) of your expectations of marriage because of the fact that your Fiance does have a very significant obligation to parent and support his daughter for at least the next 16 years.  That obligation carries with it the need to interact with his child’s mother now and for the forseeable future.

Post # 19
Member
348 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Lala1234:  You said, “I don’t think its the child so much as it is the idea of the chhilds mother ALWAYS being there.”

I don’t mean to offend you, but clarification on a couple of things would be helpful: was your finace married to the mother of his child? Did you start your relationship with him while they were still together?
 
I understand your fears about having to deal with your finance’s ex; it’s never easy, and made more difficult when the father goes into avoidance mode.
 
The best think you can do is to keep the child’s welfare at the forefront, always. Any time you start to feel emotional about any of these issues, just center yourself and ask, “What is the response to this situation that will be totally in the best interests of the child?” . . . and you’ll be fine.

Post # 24
Member
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

Okay, please don’t attack me for this one but I really think you guys need more time in the relationship before you get married. I am a step-mum (I call myself that though I am engaged to my Fiance at the moment) my Fiance and I have been together 4 years and we are in our 30s. When kids get involved, other people get involved and it can get really tricky. You’ve got the children, the mothers, the mothers partners and their families, holidays, vacations etc. I think you all need time to sort out your roles and develop a relationship. You don’t want to walk into a marriage unsure of your place and doubting your relationship. Either way though I wish you the best of luck, it’s a tough road and it takes a special kind of person to care for other people’s children and you certainly seem like one of these caring people.

Post # 28
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Lala1234:  I was a steppmom in my first marriage.  It was rough and probably one of the hardest parts of that marriage because he and I had different parenting styles and you have to deal with behaviors learned at the other parent’s house without saying bad things about the other parent.  My stepdaughter and my ex husband would constantly go behind my back and undermine my authority so that was a major contention.  It also hurt that no matter how many kids we had, he would always have one more and our child(ren) wouldn’t be as special because he experienced everything first with my stepdaughter.  What also hurt was the fact that no matter how much he loved me, he loved his daughter more because she came first.  Ultimately, we ended up divorced because we couldn’t blend into a family unit.

I really recommend individual and couples counseling for you and him to learn how to blend into a mixed family with step and half siblings.

Post # 31
Member
6593 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

@Lala1234:  It does sort of feel like my ex cheated on me by having a child with another woman before we met.  He definitely cheated me out of a lot of experiences as well because I helped him raise his daughter.  Since her needs always came before my own (as any good parent would do), I was constantly put on the back burner and told to deal with things.  I still feel cheated out of experiencing a lot of firsts with my own child and I fear that when I have my own child they won’t be as special for me.

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