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A note to new stepmoms

Posted by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM
  • 17 Replies
1 mom liked this

I just wanted to share my humble experience to any (especially young) women who have recently taken on the role of the "evil stepmother" 

I say the evil part jokingly of course - but that was my biggest fear.  When I came into the picture, SS was 12 years old.  While it can be a challenge taking on this role at any age I found the older the child, the harder it is.  Adolescent years come with lots of ups and downs.  My husband had some serious guilt issues (he feels the family should stay together no matter what and he failed his son) and I had to walk on eggshells  to ensure I didn't offend him, didn't affect his relationship with his son, or didn't complicate the situation with his ex. 

DH did not understand what a conflicting situation I felt I was in. I had to become a parental role in this boys life, while trying to foster a new relationship, make sure he felt love and accepted, while dishing out rules and discipline.  Like I said - one of the most challenging and conflicting situations I had ever been in. I wanted nothing more than to feel unconditional love for SS but it doesn't happen over night. And the "evil step mom" label didn't help. I was getting stepped on because I didn't know how to create this unconditional bond with a child who I didn't know - while being a proper parent.  I didn't have any children at the time so I didn't even know how to be a proper parent in the first place! Not to mention BM trashing me, DH guilting me, and SS (like almost any child) trying to play the situation to his advantage.  Cafe mom actually didn't help either. I came here to get advice and sympathy and read post after post saying "you knew what you were getting into with this man - you need to treat the SK like your very own". Posts that made me feel I needed to love this child unconditionally right away while accepting I had no right to make decisions surrounding him. But I just did the best I could, and tried to do right by SS and DH - even though I stressed the whole time.


DSS is now 16 and has chosen to come live with us. We have an 18 month old who SS adores. Today my relationship with him is incredible.  We have developed the bond that everyone else expected to be there immediately. I would do anything for him and I treat  him as my own - putting his needs and wants before my own.  We laugh and joke and are at ease in each other's company. I really do love him.  I don't worry anymore about disciplining him for fear of ruining a fragile growing relationship. 

The only issue now is my parents. Since SS has moved in they are now step-grandparents to a 16 year old (an even more difficult age some would argue). They are the ones stressing out now. They are feeling the same emotions I did. They want him to feel loved, accepted and part of the family, but struggle when he needs discipline and rules. They don't want to offend myself or DH and they have not had the chance yet to bond and grow an unconditional relationship. 

So my humble advice (that I gave to my parents too) is this: If your new at this, and stressing out like I did, just know that it takes time. If your heart is in the right place, the step relationship will grow into something that will transcend all the worries and stress.  things will come naturally eventually - you're not a a bad person or "evil" if you don't feel an immediate bond.  It's alot like a friendship in a way -  you may meet someone and like them and want to get to know them - but it takes time to be able to say whats on your mind without fear that the friendship is at risk. And we all know a step-relationship can be much more complicated that that. 

 

by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:24 AM
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Replies (1-10):
JacyB
by Bronze Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:26 AM
Ha
Crystal_S
by Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:28 AM

?


Quoting JacyB:

Ha



baparrot2
by Platinum Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:37 AM
1 mom liked this

Maybe CM didnt help you because you were listening to the women who were telling you the wrong things? As a "retired" SM, I would have NEVER given you the advice that you have to love him like your own.

But then again, newbies seem to shun anything a long time SM has to give for advice.

Glad things are working out.

And btw, you're still a new stepmom. 3 plus years is still in its infancy and shit is most likely to start hitting the fan after 16.


LoveMy2x4
by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:40 AM

I think all situations are different. I had a much easier time with my older stepkids than I did with the youngest. 

SMInProgress
by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:43 AM

I think that's great.  My dd's SM has a very close relationship with my dd & myself.  I appreciate that she overcame a lot of what you as a SM went through to love my dd as she does her own kids (my exH even adopted them). It took her & us BPs to make sure everything ran smoothly for the kids/skids.

I'm  not a new SM but now am the CSM of a very troubled teen & still struggle with my emotions towards him as his relationship with his BM is very bad (BMs doing, not the skids). I love him, I fight for him, defend him, support him, nurture him but the unconditional part is not there yet. I have yet to get to the point that my SM is at with my dd or my exH is with his stepkids.  So thanks for sharing some positive news for a change here :)


Crystal_S
by Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM

I know Im still a newbie - lol .  I guess I should have entitled from from one new SM to another. 
I don't have any other Step parents in my life. So I felt the need to share what I've learned in  a place that it might make a difference. A little encouragement to anyone in the beggining stages of growing a relationship with the SK's. 
If shit does hit the fan (which is very likely lol) At least we are in a good place to handle it :) 

Thanks! 

Quoting baparrot2:

Maybe CM didnt help you because you were listening to the women who were telling you the wrong things? As a "retired" SM, I would have NEVER given you the advice that you have to love him like your own.

But then again, newbies seem to shun anything a long time SM has to give for advice.

Glad things are working out.

And btw, you're still a new stepmom. 3 plus years is still in its infancy and shit is most likely to start hitting the fan after 16.




Momma_1985
by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM
1 mom liked this

Love the Post! Gawd this is how I still feel sometimes! I stress and stress all the time and well BM doesnt help to ease things but I have learned to love the kids like my own....now we have 5kids! 4boys and 1 baby girl together! I have been to the breaking point many times and so has my husband!

Thank you for the post! And Congradulations!

I think your post helped me more then any adive or opinons.....to know that it's not always going to be like this and that it could get better!

BonusMomTN
by on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM
1 mom liked this

Thank you for posting this!  I'm a stepmom of 5 years now and I am just now learning this.  I wish someone would have told me this before!  I would have beat myself up so much less than I did when I thought I had to automatically feel that love and instinct.  Thank you for being honest!

Crystal_S
by Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:49 AM


I completely agree! I guess different ages have different challenges. I think the bonding part is important though to help with the tough times.  Raising a youngin is probably super hard, I didn't mean to discount that. I imagine it would just give you more time to work on that bond that I feel has helped make the challenges easier to deal with. 

Quoting LoveMy2x4:

I think all situations are different. I had a much easier time with my older stepkids than I did with the youngest. 



WifeyC
by Platinum Member on Aug. 16, 2013 at 10:53 AM

You were definitely getting bad advice.  I'm happy it all worked out for you!

Quoting Crystal_S:

  Cafe mom actually didn't help either. I came here to get advice and sympathy and read post after post saying "you knew what you were getting into with this man - you need to treat the SK like your very own". Posts that made me feel I needed to love this child unconditionally right away while accepting I had no right to make decisions surrounding him. 

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