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Looking for advice from people that felt closer to a stepparent than the biological parent?

So this is for my wife. I am on her account hoping to get her some help. My son loves her very much, like his own mother. They have a much stronger relationship than he and his own mother have. She is so scared of stepping on my exes toes though. She wants him to know that she loves him too, but that she wants to be close to his mom too. She honestly wants nothing more than for him to feel as close to his mom as he does to her. His mom is kind of...flaky. She is around sometimes, then not. She doesn't do more than the bare minimum. She never calls or anything when he isn't there even though I have extended the offer a million times. She doesn't do the sports or the school events or the doctors visits. That's all my wife. My ex and I divorced when my son was an infant, and my wife was in his life when he was about a year old. My son has told me he doesn't think his mom loves him as much as she does. So what does she do?


Asked by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on May. 12, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • I think that's the sweetest Mother's Day card I've ever heard of. You must be very proud of your son. Ask yourself this: If if weren't for your wife, would your son be such a sweet, well-adjusted child? Probably not. (You're obviously a good dad, that wasn't what I meant.) She's doing the right thing, and doing a wonderful job of it. You go find her right now and give her a hug! LOL!

    Answer by 3_is_enough at 6:45 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • You need to let your current wife keep the lines of communication open. Your child will realize how is mom is on his own. He will thrive with your wife as a mom/step-parent. There is nothing you need to do. I would recommend that you--keep positive and not talk about his mom in anyway other than positive when he is around. Let your wife love your son. There is nothing wrong with sharing him, and if his bio-mom is less than perfect or around he'll know, but that does not mean he won't love her. He'll love his step mom for her selflessness.


    Answer by Teachermom01 at 6:22 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Just let her be Mommy. It sounds like your son's biological mother doesn't want the job anyway.

    My parents divorced when I was around 18 months old. I didn't meet my real dad until I was 17. By that time, my step-dad had been my Daddy for years. My biological father is a terrible excuse for a human being, and I haven't spoken to him in years now. My children have never met him, and I hope they never do. They call my step-dad "Pappy", and he loves them (and me) just like we were his own. Don't push your wife one way or the other, just let her do what comes naturally. It sounds like she's already a great mother to your son. Tell her to keep up the good work. It takes a strong, caring woman to raise a child that not biologically hers. You and your son are both very lucky to have her.

    Answer by 3_is_enough at 6:24 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Just keep doing what shes doing. Its great that they have a wonderful relationship like that. Excuse me for saying, if bio-mom couldn't be bothered with him, it doesn't sound like shes stepping on her toes. It sounds like your son really loves his stepmom, and that is great. I understand that he 'should' feel the same way about his own mother but its not like you can force those feeling on him. As long as you keep the door open for bio-mom, then i think you have a wonderful arrangement.
    Usually its the other way around, where the kid doesn't like stepmom. Your very lucky. So just enjoy it. Good luck. :D

    Answer by Iluvmygirlies42 at 6:26 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Thanks ladies. That is what I was feeling in my gut, but my wife always feels so guilty when he thinks of her first instead of his mom. He made a mother's day card at school and they wrote 5 things I love about Mom on the back. The teacher offered to let him do two so he wouldn't have to choose or hurt feelings. He said that was ok, he only needed one and then made it for my wife. The 5 things were:
    I love that you are Mom even though you don't have to be
    I love that you understand me always
    I love that you are patient
    I love that you love me as much as Sara (our biological daughter)
    I love that you know me so well.

    She was thrilled to get it, but so sad that it was for her and not for his mom. She doesn't want to seem like she is pushing him to choose between them, because I can guarantee that isn't the case at all. And I know he feels guilty too. I am just sad watching her struggle with his feelings.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:36 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • I hate to say it but there isnt much you can do. i was much closer to my step mom. I know it can be hard but it dosnt sound like your son dosnt love his mother. he just seems to have more of a connection to his step mom. it happens alot. as long as you make sure that he still spends time with his mom then everything will work out. i would talk to my mom often and we would go to dinner once a week not always going out but that helped us get closer. and im glad that we did that because even though i was closer to my step mom i still love my mom and wanted to spend time with her.

    Answer by Shelii at 6:44 PM on May. 12, 2009


    That being said.

    The more she tries to make sure your son keeps his bio-mom in the forefront of his brain, the more she's keeping him aware that his bio-mom is a sorry waste of energy. If she would let him think about her when he wants to and no more than that, he'd probably be much, much happier.

    Answer by Avarah at 7:10 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • My son is now 16 but has been closer to my DH than his biofather most of his life, he was 11 mnths old when DH came into his life and he has been his Daddy since, my sons biofather was a pain in all our a$$es until DS was 14 and he let my husband adopt our son. My husband just never said negative things about my ex to or around my son but stepped in where a Dad should but his biofather was too selfish to. The things your son wrote on the mothers day card are very similar to a poem my son wrote titled "what is a dad" that listed all the things my husband did for him that his biofather didn't. Your wife should be proud that your son loves her so much, treat him as her own and not worry abut your ex. My son decided on his own at 12 that he wanted his biofather out of his life and we were sad that he had such a bad relationship with him, but as he said he still has his "real Dad".

    Answer by goaliemom93 at 9:01 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Kids are smart, and they pick up on who loves them the most. My dad and mom shared custody of me, but now I realize that my dad did it out of obligation. My step dad is actually more like my father now. I can call him anytime. He visits my kids...even though, he and my mom never legally married. She passed away a few months ago, and he's always there if I need him. My dad, I've seen him 2 times since Christmas. He lives 1/2 a mile away.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:23 PM on May. 12, 2009