Spinoff to the Hive: Are you a step parent?

posted 2 years ago in Family
  • poll: Are you a step parent OR have you been a step parent?
    Yes- I am a step parent or have been one (or is soon to be one) : (41 votes)
    59 %
    No I am not a step parent : (29 votes)
    41 %
  • Post # 16
    Member
    97 posts
    Worker bee

    I have been a stepchild myself, and am a stepparent to three, one stepdaughter from my first marriage–we are still close–and two stepsons from my marriage now. I have a great relationship with with my stepdaughter, I met her when she was 5, she’s in her 30s now, and with one of my stepsons. I have basically no relationship with my other stepson, so far he has chosen to avoid me, but I am hopeful that may change with time. I also have a bio daughter I am close to. My first round with a blended family was easier, the kids were young and we always operated as a family despite a poor relationship between my Darling Husband and his ex.. The second round has been more challenging, with the kids either teens or in their 20s, and most initially ambivalent. Last Christmas someone asked my younger stepson how he felt about having two older stepsisters. “I’ve embraced it,”he said. Guess you can’t ask for more.

    I agree that the rule about no vacationing with your family is a terrible one. One of the blessings of a blended family is the bigger world of extended family it offers. Hope you can work that out.

    Post # 18
    Member
    5956 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    fromatoz :  Noooooooo, it wasn’t a reason. Only my husband was the reason. But I really don’t miss parenting with that man. Especially FOUR. Yikes! It’s funny, though. I don’t miss parenting, but I miss the kids.

    Post # 19
    Member
    958 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I am a step parent to two girls, 8 and 12. I met them when they were 5 and 9, we moved in together when they were 6 and 10. My Darling Husband and his ex split custody 50/50. There are days where it can be really really really hard, but so worth it. I couldn’t love them more if they were my own and they know it. I don’t have any kids and Darling Husband and I will not have any. My family has embraced them too, which is wonderful. I’m a fairly involved step-parent and really wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Post # 20
    Member
    884 posts
    Busy bee

    Yup, something I never imagined I would be or even considered that my child would have step parents. His, mine and ours. Blended family chaos. Love, love, love my step daughter and would give up my life to protect her. Darling Husband is a great step dad, the best. But, being a step parent is the hardest role I have EVER undertaken, and I am pretty accomplished and survived some serious shit. Even in the best case scenario of great kids and civil ex’s, the court system works against blended families. Step parents do not have legal rights. I can’t take my SD to the Dr. ok, I can physically drive her there but I can’t be in the exam room. I can’t attend her parent teacher meetings or sign permission slips for her or visit her in the hospital or leave her an inheritance without a stipulation in my will, that btw, can be easily contested. I also have no voting rights in regards to where she goes to school, what time her curfew is, where she goes on spring break, where she goes to college, how much Darling Husband pays for her college, or if she works or not. No voting rights, just a step mom. I just stand back and observe and pray because she has 2 parents. But when the parents decide something totally contrary to my parenting beliefs, I have no alternative but to go along with it.  But I still dry SD’s tears and never signal that I don’t agree with their decision, I encourage her to pursue her dreams and I am her number 1 cheerleader. I encourage Darling Husband to pay 3x the legally required child support every month from our money because I don’t want her to go without. I pay for her to travel the world with us to gain new experiences, paid for her orthodontics, bought her prom dress, paid for her SAT prep course and a million other things but according to her Mom, and backed by the court system, I am nothing significant in her life. If her Dad and I got divorced, I would have NO legal basis to see her even though I have been a huge part of her life since she was 5 because I don’t have any biological rights. I’m not looking for a medal or recognition but for those of you who have not step parented through a broken court system or a malicious co-parent, it is hard to understand the heart break and limitations. Yes, I am the adult and I will always behave like one, even when it is hard, even when it hurts (and it often does regarding dealing with the angry ex), but it wasn’t always this way. Over time as my SD became a teen and started growing more independent, her Mom started getting angrier and angrier as her own 2nd marriage failed. Apparently, I will always take the blame, I don’t know why but that’s reality so I just do my best to not pay attention to her mom’s aggression and just be a positive role model in SD’s life. Being a step parent is incredibly complex and difficult. We do the best we can, but it is far, far from perfect. That’s ok, blame the step mom, we are evil after all – are we not? Thanks Disney

    Post # 21
    Member
    5113 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: December 2014

    I’m not a step parent, but I am a step child (and a red headed one at that, lol). On my side it was fairly easy because everything happened when I was young and my biological father was rarely in the picture. My mom married my step dad when I was probably 4 or 5, so he’s really all I’ve ever known as a father. We didn’t get along during my teenage years, but what parent does get along with a teenage girl? He brought my same age step brother into the mix and there was much more drama on that end. My brother always had behavioral issues and he lived primarily with his mother and came to our house on the weekends. We got along fine, but the dynamic between my step dad and his ex wife (she never remarried) wasn’t always great, especially dealing with wanting to parent a problem child differently. My mother, as his step mother, was pretty hands off when dealing with the more intense parental issues. Thinking back now, it almost seems like it’s been easier not having any relationship with my father than having to deal with being in two different households with two different sets of parents. 

    Post # 22
    Member
    2499 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2012

    I’m a step mom to two young ladies, both in their early 20’s. Their dad and I have been together for 10 years but we only introduced me to them about 7 years ago. I got to experience the difficult teenage years with them. And it was especially tough because neither girl had a good relationship with their mom so they didn’t know how to interact with me, a stepmom,  for a long while. 

    Through a wacky series of events, both girls came to live full-time with us and it was hell for a few months. My husband is a a good man, and a caring father, but he and his ex split when the girls were in elementary schools so he never had to create or enforce household rules. He’s definitely a non-confrontational, back-seat parent. And so, the girls walked all over us. I couldn’t say or do anything because I was already on eggshells with them as the “stepmom”. Unitll one day when it all blew up. It took months to rebuild those damaged relationships. My older stepdaughter and I are very close now (3 years later). My younger stepdaughter is still pushing our buttons regularly and not doing what she’s supposed to do. But we’re working on it, slowly. 

    That was the tough stuff. Now for the good: I will forever remember the day my older daughter introduced me to her boyfriend’s parents as “stepmom” instead of “Dad’s wife”. Same thing 3 weeks later with her co-workers. And how my younger daughter brought me home my favorite latte on Mother’s Day this year. And a thousand other small things they’ve done or said that warm my heart. I love them more than I thought possible. And I’m incredibly proud of them. 

    I’m not a mom, nor will I ever be. I’m CFBC and mistakenly thought my husband was a safe choice since the girls were almost adults when we started dating. Boy, was I wrong. Someone on the bee once said “the only thing harder than being a mom is being a stepmom”. I can neither confirm or deny the truthfullness of that statement since I’m not a mom, but I can tell you that being a stepmom is the HARDEST thing I’ve ever done. And I’m still doing it. 

    Post # 23
    Member
    20 posts
    Newbee

    I am a soon to be step parent. I didn’t think I would ever face this or even consider being married. I get along with my future step daughter- almost 12 yrs old- facing the difficult years very soon. However, she does not know we are getting married yet (SO decision to wait to tell her). I’ve been noticing some slight rude remarks- to me and her dad, and he hasn’t broke her of co-sleeping yet- so I sleep on the couch. Never did I think I would put up with that either. But here I am hoping things will change- but I’m fearful it won’t change much at this point since we are headed into the “bitchy” years as I like to call it. I love my fiancé so much! But I know this is not going to be easy being a step mom and dealing with a bitter/immature ex wife. Is it ok to not know if I’m going to be able/ willing to handle it? Help! 

    Post # 25
    Member
    2527 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2018

    free2bee :  I wouldnt consider it co-sleeping anymore. Why is he letting a 12 year old daughter sleep in his bed with him while you sleep on the couch? That is beyond bizarre. 

    Post # 26
    Member
    20 posts
    Newbee

    He hasn’t told her because ex-wife threatens to keep her away from him if I’m going to be around her. As far as the sleeping, idk she is afraid of the dark, thinks the house is haunted….? I have a feeling she will continue to come up with reasons and My fiancé will believe her. She is immature for her age and is treated like a baby because she is the only child. 

    Post # 27
    Member
    469 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2016

    I am a stepmom to my DH’s 15 year old daughter (soon to be 16). Overall, we have a good relationship. I don’t feel we’re extremely close since I came in the picture so late. We only see her every other weekend. I kind of back off from the parenting aspect and leave it up to my Darling Husband and his ex even though I disagree with a lot of what they do/don’t do. I will tell her to get her homework done and give her our house rules, but that’s the extent. I try to be there for her if she wants to talk about things and she’s slowly coming around. She is excited about my Darling Husband and I expecting our 1st child together. I’m trying to include her in picking stuff out for the baby and we are doing a shopping spree this Friday. Hopefully, we can use that as some bonding time. I love his daughter with all of my heart, but I still feel somewhat like an outsider when it comes to our relationship.

    Post # 28
    Member
    507 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2016

    I have a step son, (18 yrs old) and I have bio son (19 yrs old). My step son lives with his mother 5 hours away. I love him dearly, he is such a well mannered young man! He calls me mom, wished me a happy Mother’s Day, we keep in touch via text & phone.  

    My husband is a great step dad to my son, it has been a really easy transition. Both sons get along and are very laid back, decent, and respectful young men! My son and I are very close, I’ve been crazy about him since I learned I was pregnant, lol.

    Both sons know we love them and will help them get established as adults. 🙂

    Editing: My son is in college and lives home with us.

     

    Post # 29
    Member
    181 posts
    Blushing bee
    • Wedding: January 2013

    I have been a stepmom now for 5 years. My husband’s children were 9 and 12 when we met. I had been a single mom to my own 2 for about 7 years and we had our lives pretty straight. Darling Husband had only been divorced about a year when we met. His wife abandoned the family after 20 years of marriage, and my step children were really messed up for it. She re-emerged as a “strong single mother” type and has been an extremely difficult variable to navigate. 

    To say that this has been the most excruciating season of my life is a dramatic understatement. I cannot begin to count the hours of therapy we’ve all been in. Group, family, individual, small pairings. Yikes. 

    His children, their personalities, the way they were raised so differently than I raised mine….their ages….wow. These teen years are just beyond words. 

    The myth I bought into, somewhat self-imposed for sure, is that it’s all about the children. Well, a lot of it is for sure. But I’m human and I have wants and needs and boundaries too, that do matter. Foresaking that makes me a martyr. Fortunately, my Darling Husband has been supportive to me and his children and has really tried to foster a healthy relationship between us, even if it’s only a friendly one, and not one that resembles a parent figure to child. 

    I arrived at home plate determined to treat, love and mother his children like I do my own. Yeah they shut that down the first year we all lived together. See, fact is they aren’t my children, they don’t want another mother, and they aren’t even slightly wired to receive me like my own children. I am fond of them, but in no way do I love them like my own children…and that surprised me. I felt guilty and wrong and ashamed of that. I really, really thought that because of the love I have for their father and the love I posess as a mother, it would automatically translate to love for them, and no, it most certainly does not. And that’s OK. One does not have to love another human to be good friends with them, be honest with them, treat them right and be respectful and attempt to meet their needs. Sometimes “like” has to be enough… 

    In hindsight, if I knew then what I know now,  I would have insisted that we wait until after all 4 graduated high school for us to be married. The love between a man and woman who wish to be together does not equate to compatibility for all parties involved. I am quite guilty of being very naive, lovestruck, and just selfish enough to believe we weren’t going to be that blended family with all these difficulties. Surprise! 

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