Post # 1
My SO and I have been together for almost two years now. We’ve lived together for a year and a half – yep, we moved fast, and have never looked back! Anyway, we have always been together with the idea that we’d like to stay together forever. But recently, we’ve been discussing marriage in more concrete terms, as in something that we’d both like to happen soon. I’m so happy… he’s amazing!
Anyway, the only thing that makes me nervous is that I will be a stepmom. I am 25, childless, and never married, so it’s a huge change to me. (My boyfriend was married to his ex for 11 years and he’s 11 years older than me). His daughter lives with us full-time now (we had a year alone while she lived with her mom in another country). She’s almost 13 and we have a pretty good relationship. She confides in me and we get in lots of girl bonding time. As far as stepkids go, I got so lucky!
Recently in the car, she had her headphones on while her dad and I had a whimsical conversation about our wedding. She only caught part of the conversation, got the idea that we’d already been engaged for months and hadn’t told her, and she freaked out. I feel so guilty. She and her dad are really close, and their relationship has definitely changed since I came into the picture. (They are still incredibly close and I am very respectful of their relationship – my own stepmom is terrible and I vowed to never be like that).
Have any other bees been in a similar situation? Things are pretty good but I would love advice, insight, etc., from those who have been there. Or those who have relatively young stepmoms – what did they do that was good? I can’t be perfect, but I want to be a positive force in her life.
Post # 3
I’m actually in the same boat as well. I’m 26 and he’s 17 years older than me. He has an 11 year old daughter from a previous marriage. I love her to pieces. Her mom is still very much in the picture, she lives with her mom during the week and then is with us every weekend. We came to an agreement that I wouldn’t try to be another mom to her but a friend. She understands that I’m the adult and that she needs to respect and obey me but I’m not her mom. I’m her dad’s soon to be wife. I think things will go well and she has asked me a few times if we will have any children. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂 Good luck!
Post # 4
@palmtree23: I don’t have any personal experience with this, but it sounds like you’re going into this with completely the right attitude! You’re not jealous, you’re not competitive, you let her have time with her dad, you want to be a positive influence, etc. I think if you continue to do what you’ve been doing so far, you’ll do great. Just keep on being open and honest and learn from any mistakes you make.
Post # 5
@hikerchick: Ooh, so cool to hear from someone who’s in the same boat. Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things. Have you had to handle a period yet? LOL… that crazy first one was the only time I ever wished her mom wasn’t on a different freakin’ continent.
@throughthebarricades: Thanks 🙂
Post # 6
I am not a stepmom but I am a stepchild. 🙂
I came from a bad situation with my real mom and my stepmom took me in as her own. She had to do all these things:
- gain my trust
- gain my respect
- keep it an adult to child relationship (buddies don’t tell buddies to clean their rooms)
- get to know me and my personality/needs
I now call her mom. I was 14 when I went to live with them.
We’ve had our fights, but she loves me genuinely and I’ve always known it.
Post # 7
My ex husband is remarrying in about a week. We share the kids(2 of them) 50-50. I’ve spoken with his soon to be wife (she has 3 kids of her own) and we’ve come to the agreement that I’m the mom and always will be. She will be there to be the extra person in their lives to love them and direct them. But she doesn’t make decisions. Especially since I’m in their lives 100%. It’s all about how you communicate with the real mother. I don’t meddle in his relationship or in hers with my kids unless I see it’s effecting them emotionally, and which better never become physically. I’ve learned to pick my battles with them.
Post # 8
I am considerably older than you are, but I also had never been married, never had any children of my own, and had waited my entire life to meet the right guy. I never really thought I would end up married to someone who had been married before and who had children, but I did.
My Darling Husband was married for more than 20 years before his divorce, and has four children — two are adults and are married; two are now teens. The younger two live with us 50 percent of the time, and my Darling Husband is a very involved, hands-on father.
It’s wonderful that you have such a great relationship currently with your future stepdaughter. That gives you a good head start on your future relationship after you and your SO are married.
Probably the biggest piece of advice I can give to you is that it is important for you to try to develop realistic expectations of how your life will be once you become part of this already existing family. Even though I was a much older, first-time bride, I really had NO idea how little time I would have with my Darling Husband due to his many other obligations, including those to his dependent children. When you marry someone who has the responsibility of being a parent, he is going to need to invest a lot of time, attention, funds and other resources in parenting his daughter. There may be many times when what you wanted to do, or how or when you wanted to do it, will have to be set aside based upon the child’s schedule and needs. I had to work through a lot of challenges when my DH’s own demanding work and activity schedule, and the school and activity schedules of the children, meant that I had little to no control over my own time and life. I had a great deal of adjusting to do following my marriage. You proactively may need to endeavor to not become upset, angry or resentful.
I wish you the very best!
Post # 9
@palmtree23: No period yet! But we keep say that when she does those will be times spent with her mother! LOL 🙂
Post # 10
@howtobeawife: That’s beautiful – it actually brought a tear to my eye. I have a soon-to-be stepson who was 3 when I met him and is turning 8 next month. My only wish is that he feels the same about me as you do about your step-mom. Thank you for sharing that.
Post # 11
@happybbbeee: I’m glad to know my story is helpful to someone. Every situation is different, but there is nothing more important than for a child to know s/he is genuinely loved through both the words and actions of the adults in his/her life.
Post # 12
- Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn
I’m a step-child, from my mom’s husband and my dad’s now ex-wife. We were pretty close, so we still keep in touch. She’s even invited to the wedding, despite the awkardness, that’s how much I love her.
We definitely had our ups and downs, but it was almost always up. She didn’t try to be my mom, and she didn’t try to “parent” me, but she made sure I knew she was there and I could talk to her if I needed her. Sometimes she said it so much that it annoyed me, but hearing it everyday was comforting. If I had a problem with my mom, or my dad, she was there to just listen. Occasionally she needed to call the “adult” card as I was a teenager and at times bratty, and she handled us pretty well for the most part.
Post # 13
- Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn
@jmaze: YES. The biggest problem with my stepmom was the snarky backhanded comments from both my mother and her. Civil discourse and minimum amount of respect is a necessity, even if you cannot stand the mother. Even when my stepmom was 100% right about my mom, it still hurt to hear.
Post # 14
My S.O. has been married before and has two children. He is actually a couple of years younger than I. I’ve never been married and have no children. His boy and girl both live out of state with their mom, which has made the little time I get with them very important. They are both young enough that I hope to have a significant relationship with them. Both children are very sweet. The relationship between my SO and his ex is… a work in progress… to say the least. She has spent the last four years or so doing everything she can to undermine SO’s relationship with his children. It’s been bad enough to require court intervention repeatedly. The one time I met her, SO introduced as and I smiled at her and said it was nice to meet her and she just stared at me without saying anything. So my one bit of advice is to try and be as positive an influence as you can both with his daughter and within the situation as a whole. As another postet said, nobody is perfect. But it does seem that the right attitude makes all the difference.
Post # 15
My partner has a step mom. His biological mother passed away when he was young. She came into his life at age 8 and basically had an “I am your mother now, forget about the other one” attitude. And when my partner asked about his bio mom, it was ignored.
She took away so much of what was part of his child hood. It sounds silly to say that she told him he couldnt have bubble baths anymore but she forced her presense into his life & “parented” by being forceful and demanding. She never respected his space- walking into his room, throwing toys away etc.
To this day, my partner dreads being around her and forget about the holidays, they are hard.
And when I came into the picture ? wow. that was bad.
I think respecting her space is huge. Have conversations where you both listen to one another. Accepting her for the woman is growing into, is another big one.
Post # 16
@howtobeawife: Your doing a great job! I too got teary reading your story. Its nice to know that others can love our children as much as we do. My Darling Husband met my daughter at age 8 and she is now 14. They have a great relationship but bicker on occasion because well… she’s 14 and he’s a stubborn mule! What I loved about him and she does too is that he is always there for her. Picking up from practice, at every game and tournament, buying her soup when she is sick or something silly that he thought would make her laugh. He puts her before him in life like every parent should. He calls her his daughter. We avoid the step terms.I feel blessed to have such a great man in our lives.
Love your stepdaughter the way you would your own. Remember your the adult and since she is hitting that time, listen, listen, listen. Even though you could give so much advice all they want is someone to listen. 🙂