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about step parenting...

I try so hard to raise my step daughter as I do my biological children. We have her a majority of the time and I am home with all of them all day long during the week. She is four and I've been a big part of her life for almost half of it now. I show her as much love, concern, reward, and punishment as the others. As far as I'm aware I don't treat them differently at all. Is that wrong? I read books on step parenting all the time and all anyone has to say is that I ought to accept my role like a benevolent aunt... because after all I'm not the "Real" parent. I think this is CRAP! What am I, artificial??? I know what it's like to have bio children! My mom was adopted, how is that any different? I'm not trying to replace or compete with bio mom... I am there when she is sick though, I am there when she needs love, when she needs clothes, when she needs food, when she needs education.

What are your thoughts on the role of a step mother?


Asked by ashleyaction at 2:10 PM on Jan. 7, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 16 (2,543 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (19)
  • My step mom raised me as her own and I was hard on her because I was little but now she is the Alpha Mom and I don't know how I would have grown up as well as I did without her. Children have to be loved and feel safe. I'm sure you're doing an excellent job.

    Answer by Kimberlee115 at 3:12 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • So you would rather that woman remain completely indifferent to your child, and have your child grow up wondering why they weren't worthy of he love?

    I guess I was just raised differently. I was raised to believe that anyone can become family. My sister, who is not blood related to me, is every bit an aunt to my kids as my other sisters.

    FYI I do not play mommy to my step son. I help raise him while he is in my home. I respect his mother, and defer to her when certain situations arise. Like I said, we work together for the good of our son.

    Answer by my2.5boys at 4:37 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • i agree with you

    Answer by pookipoo at 2:12 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • I think you should keep doing what you're doing and throw the books away. The best thing that child will ever need is love and security. You are not competing with Bio Mom...You are Step Mom..both MOMs. If bios and steps could think of nothing but the kids everyone would be happier. I'm glad you have to mind set you do. Great job!.

    Answer by GrnEyedGrandma at 2:14 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Anon- I'm sorry you had such a poor experience with your step child. My step daughter is a lovely girl whom I try to treat the same as my bio kids. I think you're doing exactly the right thing OP. And kudos to you for loving her and treating her just the same, even though she's not yours by birth.

    you rock


    Answer by gabenmikeysmom at 2:32 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Thank you everyone. I needed the affirmation so badly. Some people think that there are parts of my daughter's life I should just "bow out" of. Like they are some how not my business, and I should somehow enjoy that because it's not something I have to be responsible for... I kind of find that sick to be honest. I don't know if I am some kind of over maternal freak but I need her and I think she needs me too. I refuse to sit on the sidelines when it's time to parent my kids, and I really believe it's what's right for her. In good times and in bad, that's why they call it unconditional love. I've accepted her into my heart and that's no easier for me to dismiss than my blood. Thank you so much to everyone that had good things to say. I needed the strength today. It's not always an easy job.

    Comment by ashleyaction (original poster) at 2:42 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • Your role is very similar to if you were babysitting.

    I don't think that's true at all. My stepson is being raised to know that all four of us (his dad and I, his mom and his step dad) are all his parents. We all love him equally, and we all work hard to make sure he has the best life possible. Instead of trying to put labels on us, and decide who has more power/say in regards to him, we all work together. When he is in my house, his father and I are the parents. When he is at their house, his mother and step dad are the parents. It's really that simple. People tend to make it so much harder than it has to be, and it only hurts the kids.

    Answer by my2.5boys at 4:24 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • I think what you're doing is great because there so many bad step parents out there it's about time someone makes a difference. and i think that girl is very lucky to have you as a step mom

    Answer by soraya14 at 11:14 PM on Jan. 7, 2011

  • While you have her in your home she is your child. Whether you are her "real" mother or not, its your duty to her to treat her the same as you would any of yoru other children because you ARE a parent to her. I am a step-mother and I've been in my daughter's life since she was born. Although her mother used to hate me she has come to appreciate that I care for her daughter just like any mother would and that she knows her daughter is loved even when she isn't there. Besides, if you love a child then there is nothing more that matters.

    Answer by GoldenLinds at 3:13 AM on Jan. 8, 2011

  • So, when a child is in a woman's home, that is her child? So when my child goes to her friends house, she isn't mine at that point, she is her friend's mom? Marrying a man with a child in NO WAY makes someone a mother, you become a mother through legal adoption OR giving birth, THAT'S IT. Yes, a step parent should be shown respect by the child, just as any adult but being a step mom doesn't make you a co-mom with the children's mother, it just means you are married to the father.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:02 AM on Jan. 8, 2011