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Help! Going to be Stepmom!

First off I'm new here, and just starting to get around the site. My husband I began dating almost five years ago, and he also has a daughter who is 5. When we first started to date, his ex was really good about letting him see his daughter. After awhile, this stopped. She no longer would return his phone calls, and would say that his daughter was either too sick to visit, or was too busy. Needless to say, we got lawyers involved, and she is being forced into letting us see his daughter. It is starting slow (which I agree with) as to not confuse his daughter, because he has not been able to see her these past few years. Since then we have also had a son together. Today was their first visit at a neutral place. So we didn't overwhelm her, only he and his mom went. (Dad and Grandma). He has yet to introduce our son and myself to her. I don't want any problems with her mom, but I'm not sure how to act around the mom and the daughter. And I definitely don't want to be a reason why his daughter doesn't want to come see us. I want her to be a part of our family, and am having troubles figuring out what the right protocol is. The mom is not a bad mom, and I can sort of understand why she did what she did. I'm assuming it was because she thought he was going to be the type of dad who left. She had another child at the time when they were together and she became really attached to him. When they broke up it broke that little girl's heart, so I can understand why she would feel the need to protect her children. I'm at a loss, and don't know what to do.

Answer Question

Asked by rsskmommy at 10:07 PM on Mar. 14, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 2 (6 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • Hugs. Just work on helping your little boy and this precious little girl form a friendship. Before she comes, get together some fun things for her, for them to do together, look at pictures of her, talk about her... It will be ok. Just DON'T ever talk about her mother with her in the house.

    Answer by txdaniella at 10:09 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Don't try to be mommy. Just be her friend. Let her know through your actions that while you are her daddy's wife, you won't try to take her mommy's place when she's with you. Be kind and pleasant, play with her like you would play with your son (coloring, play dolls if she wants, etc.) but if discipline is needed let your husband take care of it. Don't talk about her mom in front of either child. Have your husband bring pictures of you and your son to meetings first and talk to her about you and things your son and her have in common. Do the same with your son and then they will have some common ground to start on. Just make sure you make her feel welcome and don't give her mother any reason to feel threatened or to think he may walk away.

    Answer by MamaStuart at 10:25 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I go through this but switch places I'm the mother and i deal with the step mom but my daughters step mom has my daughter calling her mom and always try to one up me that is something that u wouldn't want to do because now my 3 year old can't stand to go with her dad and stepmom

    Answer by jessalyns_momma at 10:29 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I would definitely get professional advice from a child psychologist

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:10 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I think MamaStuart gave really great advice. I think it's also really important when it comes to the point that she visits you all at home, that you and Dad have really clear rules between the two of you long before, and that the rules are the same for both children. I agree with the advice that Dad handle any discipline issues with his daughter, at least until your relationship with her is well established. You're not her mother but in time you can still be a positive female role in her life and someone else to love her and offer her support as she grows up. Just let her determine how close you two become, even a five year old will know if you're trying to push things too fast or force things. It may take her time so be prepared to be patient and all will be fine.

    Answer by MaryMW at 11:59 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • PM me and we can talk :) I'm a SM, and we've had similar issues (though never years with seeing my SD, but BM has prevented a lot, and has now resorted to the Courts each time she doesn't want SD to visit...)

    Answer by laird6372 at 12:57 AM on Mar. 15, 2011

  • I am going to be honest, I am not a fan of step moms. Had a very bad experience with one. Let the child adjust to you and her brother. It will take time. Give it time. The father really needs to get to know the child so the child doesn't feel treaden. So she know she has a safe haven to go to. Be careful the child will also learn real quick how to use the parents against one another. Treat her with love and kindness she will respond to you and your son in time. If fact if she young like 5 or 6 she will be curisous about the baby. You might start out when she comes over having her help you with the baby. Make sure their supervied. Good luck.

    Answer by Parka54 at 3:25 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

  • Take your time, be a friend for now. Maybe when all of you feel comfortable, spend some alone time with her, just the two of you. Even if it's at McDonalds for a happy meal and time on the play structure. She will remember that. I spent some alone time with my four stepkids in the beginning and it made a huge difference. I did wait until they were comfortable with it, though. I still try to when there's a little extra money.
    Think of it as a slow cooker. Low and slow get the best results. Good luck.

    Answer by AlyssaN at 5:48 AM on Mar. 18, 2011

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