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Step Children...How do you fit into their world?

I am expecting my first child in June this year. I got married 6 months ago. I sometimes feel like an outsider still. My step daughters are 5 and 13. The 13 yr. old is constantly saying things like "My mom does this or my mom likes that." I know that she is just sharing what her other life is like with me, but to be honest I don't like hearing about her mom. I am not in anyway trying to take her moms place. It just makes me feel bad. I don't want to feel this way. What do I do? We have the 13 year old every other week, and the 5 yr. old every other weekend and every other Wednesday. My husband says not to take it personally, but I feel in a way she does this to throw it in my face that her mom was there first. HELP.

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Katina23

Asked by Katina23 at 7:34 PM on Feb. 24, 2010 in General Parenting

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Answers (8)
  • It is hard. I dont know how long you have been in the girls life....like how long before you got married, but it may take some time. Also if she says that her mom does it one way when you are doing it another, i would just say that well, this is the way that i do things in my home. She is probably testing you some. it is hard not to take it personal and it is hard to hear about mom. i totally understand. i wish i had more advice. i would try to see about doing fun things with her. try reaching out a little to her to include her in your world and maybe she will help you feel a little more apart of theirs. Good luck!
    aly38914290

    Answer by aly38914290 at 7:48 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • She might be doing just that but then again she may just be sharing or uncomfortable and does not know what to say. Maybe just say something like " That's nice to know but I think we will do it this way." That way you are not suggesting her mom does something wrong just that you do things differently. A comment like "it's amazing how many different way there is to cook the same meal" should difuse any possible arguments.
    CorrinaWithrow

    Answer by CorrinaWithrow at 7:49 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • The 13 yrs old isn't throwing anything in your face and first of all I am a step-mom also you need to understand that her mom is her mom and no matter if you have been with her dad for 6 months or 10 yrs she remembers when they were together and you need to get use to her talking to you about her mother and I am sure she speaks of you to her mom. Your married to her father so get use to the issue that she will be speaking about her mother no matter if you don't like it or not and don't ever speak bad infront her of her mother cause it will blow uop in your face one day and you will not like the after math. Build a relationship with her(13 yrs) I have a wonderful relationship with my step-children and I have a good relationship with there mother also.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:54 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • I have been in my stepson's life since he was very little. I guess watching him grow up I got very use to hearing about his other family. Over the years we have become very open on both sides because we are all looking out for the best for him. That is the other half of her life and she is just expressing it- you have two roads to take- being upset because she talks about her mom or joining the conversation. She is just trying to fit in.
    Kari126

    Answer by Kari126 at 7:57 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Your step daughter is not in charge of your thoughts and feelings. She can't make you feel anything. Only you can control what you think, feel, and how you respond. So when your SD says, "My mom really likes this...or my mom cooks pancakes in the shape of hearts....or my mom lets me....." just listen. Sometimes reframe it in a positive way. Say, "Oh I love pancakes too. Shapes are a great idea...I think I like that movie as well....you're lucky to have your mom." Take a non threatend/threatening stance and the rest will follow. You are only an outsider for as long as you allow yourself to think that way. Create new traditions with all the children and your husband.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 8:23 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • Don't give too much of a response either negative or positive. If she is just sharing, just a simple "oh, that's nice" will suffice (minus the sarcasm, of course).

    However, if she is being snotty, like contradicting you and telling you that her mom has a different rule or allows different things, you can answer firmly "Mom makes the rules at your house and Dad and I make the rules at this house. I expect you to obey your mom when you're with her, but you obey us when you're here." Make sure your DH reinforces that.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:49 PM on Feb. 24, 2010

  • I think she is struggling with the idea of you and her Dad geting married. She somehow thinks you want to try to take the place of her mom, that is why it's my mom this and my mom that.Always stay positive...never say anything bad about her mom(or Dad) honestly, she is looking for someone to blame for her" happy little home" falling apart and it would be so convienient to blame you right now. I have a twelve year old and her Dad is getting remarried and my daughter talks to me all the time. She sees this woman as the one who stole her Dad from her.(I'm sure there are many differences but...)If I were you I would sit down and talk to her and tell her you would NEVER try to replace her mom and you would be upset if someone moved in and tried to replace YOUR mom and thats NOT what you are about.Be honest and open always. Kids deserve the same as we do...tell her you just want a friendship and you can start slow. Trust takes time
    mxmomma05

    Answer by mxmomma05 at 4:20 AM on Feb. 25, 2010

  • Please read the book Blended Families It will give you great advice. I also liked Step Moms. It let me know it is not a sin to not be in love with your step kids. I do think however you need to lighten up a bit. Their mom is just that their mom. You soon will have a child...you will always be best to that child..you are its mom. Their mom is important to them. If they share, you should smile and be encouraging. This can be a tough situation to be in, but you should try hard to be understanding...you are after all the adult here.
    salexander

    Answer by salexander at 9:58 PM on Feb. 25, 2010

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