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Step parent questions

I just got a divorce after being separated from my X for a year. We have a daughter together who is 2. Since I left him I have played with the thought in my head of what it will be like when I find someone else, but it's never really become as strong an issue as it is now. I feel very protective of my daughter after everything we've been through and it's just been the two of us for so long (her father never comes around and isn't a part of her life) that now that I'm free to find someone else to complete our life I'm having trouble with the idea of including someone else into the parenting picture. After being the only parent trough most of her infancy, I'm thinking it's going to next to impossible to hand the reins over to someone else. When I finally do marry again (and I am with someone who is definitely a potential) is it fair to still expect to be the primary parent? I really don't know what to think, any thoughts?

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:22 PM on Apr. 2, 2010 in Relationships

Answers (7)
  • For me I'm the stepmom, when I moved in with dh the two boys were 7 mos and 20 mos, they are now 4 and 5. The first few weeks/months were sort of weird cuz he was so used to taking care of them all on his own he just kept doing it, I felt like maybe he didn't trust me. I had already raised two kids of my own at that point. But he slowly got used to my being there and being able to understand that I was beginning to love them as much as he did/does. I know things will be different with you being the original parent, but I think you'll come out ok.

    If you want a bit of advice, don't let every guy you meet actually meet your DD. It's hard if the two of them bond and you end up breaking it off with him. Anyone you end up with, they need to love you both and understand that you're sort of a package deal. I've seen too many couples where the one doesn't like the stepkids, but put up with them to be with the parent.

    Answer by daisy521 at 10:29 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • The only way you're to feel comfortable with someone handling your daughter as you would is by testing them. Giving them little steps into the parenting role. This is only after you feel that they will become your husband. You have to test the waters before you can even put your ship into it. Just as you would if you didn't have any children. For example: with your current. Let's say that you're really considering marrying him. You ask "Can you help put Suzy's coat on?" See how he responds to that. See how he responds to keeping an eye on her for a few minutes while you go get ready to go out, etc. Nothing big, nothing that will change anything in either of your lives. The more you test the waters in that manner the more you can see if this person is worth trying a hand at being a step-parent to your child. Take it slowly. Even if you do end up marrying them, it's still a test and see.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:34 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • I think it is not out of realm to want to be the primary parent, even if you re-marry or move in with someone in the future. I married my DH 3 yrs ago and we both came into the marriage with children and I still don't feel like I ever had to "hand the reins over." He often gives me suggestions, advice but in the end I discipline my daughter and he disciplines his. We do everything else cooperatively like a normal family would but when it comes to the big issues, like discipline, we have found that it's a touchy subject. We may discuss how we feel about an issue, but I have the final say over what happens with my daughter and vice-versa. Of course, this is all done privately so the kids aren't aware. As far as they are concerned we're equals. Just be careful. It is a sensitive issue & boundaries need to be set immediately with any new partner in your daughter's life so they know what they can and cannot do.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:47 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • You don't need a man to complete you and your daughter's life. A mother and her child/children can live a complete life without a man. There are many advantages of being a single mom. I had 3 children, 2 from my first marriage and 1 from my second. My second husband and I separated during the pregnancy never to be seen again. I decided to have nothing to do with men. My youngest son is now 21 and I think it was such a good idea and I loved being a single mother.

    If you marry it is up to you to decide your husband's role in caring for your child since your child's father isn't involved. You don't have to give up anything. There is no need to hand the reins over. Of couse you would be the primary parent, your husband would not be a parent. If your child's father remains uninvolved, you are the only parent. Your husband will never be your childs parent unless he adopts your child.

    Answer by Gailll at 10:49 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • i know in my house i have bio child and step children, i make all the primary parenting decsions for my kids and he makes them for his kids i dont see anything wrong with it as long as you dont have extreme conflicting views

    Answer by mommie2twogirls at 11:19 PM on Apr. 2, 2010

  • U r the primary parent!! just because u love this man dont b so sure yr dd will feel the same. thats y the advice is always that the biological parent b the one to disapline and to deal with the sensitive stuff. yr dd is used to u just as much as u r to her. with time and a patient step father he may b able to become very important to yr dd. but it takes time and patience to get to that point. gl

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:15 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

  • You don't have to "hand the reins over" to him. First, I wouldn't introduce your daughter to every guy you date; only do that after you feel it's serious, long term and quite probably going to lead to marriage. With that much said, what role a step-parent or potential step-parent will play in your daughter's life is up to you and him to decide. My boyfriend basically is my kids' dad, even though he is not their bio dad. He very comfortably stepped in and acted as a dad would, I was comfortable with how he handles things, and the kids dealt with him the same way they would me. We never really even had to discuss how it would go, it all just fell into place with us. But, you may find that the man you wish to spend your life with has no desire to play any significant role in your daughter's life, or he may want a large role. You will find what is comfortable for you, and it will all work out, for all of you, with communication.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 10:11 AM on Apr. 3, 2010

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