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Stepparenting isn't difficult

Posted by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM
  • 44 Replies

Yet many SMs seem to find it especially challenging and even people who have never been in the role think it is a very difficult job. Why?

If you are a veteran SM, was it ever difficult for you? Why or what made it difficult? How were things resolved?

If you never had challenges in stepparenting, what do you think made things so simple for you? 

Career Woman, Wife and Mother of Two Children, a Girl and a Boy.

by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 8:35 AM
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by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM
Being a step - parent isn't difficult at all. I adore my SD and we have an amazing relationship.

The difficulty for me comes in when I see BM employing guilt trips and emotional napalm on her young daughter, just as her mother did to her. It is the steady chipping away at SD'S emotional well being and me being powerless to stop it that kills me. It is difficult to still keep a positive attitude toward her mother in front of SD. I have managed, but that aspect of being a SM can take its toll.

:0 (
by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:01 AM

It was difficult for me during a brief period in the early years when I allowed myself to be taken advantage of, and I was resentful. I partially disengaged, DH stepped up, and the resentment disappeared, and after that, stepparenting became easy.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:20 AM
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Sure it was difficult. Because I made it difficult in my head. WHere I put my place in my head was the biggest obstacle. Even though everyone was struggling....SS, dad and mom, it was not my place to help these people out. This was their journey to take. I quit focusing on them and started focusing on my child and things smoothed right the hell out. Everything I told my DH that SS was suffer from came true. Still not my place. Plus, things had a way of working themselves out in the end anyway. I kept my nose where it belonged. Out of their business.

by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:21 AM

I think it just depends on where you are in the development of the relationship. I think it's been difficult for me because we are still quite new at this. But we're working things out - talking, playing together to break the ice and most of all - I am TRYING to stop analyzing everything. I am too hard on myself which has become clear to me in the last few days.  Part of what has been difficult is finding my place - what I can and can't say, where I can push and where I need to keep my mouth shut. So maybe difficult isn't the right word, but challenging. It's not easy because every day is different. But in my case, my husband and I talk things through almost daily. I ask him how he thinks I am doing. If he doesn't like something he'll tell me. It's a work in progress with no real answer, but an evolving one. The only difficult part to me is the dealing with the mood swings of a pre-teen. But from what I hear, that be difficult no matter what.

by Bronze Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:22 AM
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I guess it wasn't necessary challenging, it was just the initial adjustment period.  I do not have biological children, so I literally came into "motherhood" with a 7 year old.  I love it now and honestly would not change it for the world, however those first few months where I was really SM and not daddy's new girlfriend were rough for me.  There was another lil being in the house that I had to account for.  When planning something, I all the sudden had to make sure we made it home before bedtime.   I realize this seems like common sense and it truly is, but it was getting into that mindset.  I made it to my 30s with no kids, so I had a good decade of coming and going as I pleased.  Meals couldn't be too spicy or too far out there.  Laundry was an ever growing pile. Sticky handprints can literally be found in the most unusual places in my house, there is no way for me to find them all and get them all cleaned.  On any given night, I may have a 2 am wake up call cause someone got scared.  

You get the picture, it was more the adjustment.  I knew there would be change but it was just in every aspect of my life.  You just don't fully grasp it until you live it.  

by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:28 AM
I am the stepparent of a teen with a severe mental illness. Her mother, until her death, had an unmediated and uncontrolled mental illness. Her maternal grandparents are raging alcoholics who think BM is a great mother. MIL thinks I am the cause of SD's issues, not her mental illness. DH had to work long hours to pay off the legal bills and medical bills caused by SD. SD's mental illness caused huge issues in our home before it was diagnosed.

Hell yes, stepparenting is hard - but most of you do not face 1/10th of what I do! Thank goodness!!!!
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:35 AM
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It has very hard in the beginning because I inserted myself every place I could think of that I really didn't belong.

Now? I find it very easy.  Parenting a teen? Now that's fucking hard.

by on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:38 AM
Its hard to be a stepparent or biological parent. Its just hard to be a parent all around!! Its rewarding and the best experience you can ever have in life but in my opinion its in no way "easy".
by Platinum Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 9:46 AM

It's not difficult after you figure out the dance and that others lead. 

by Silver Member on Apr. 9, 2014 at 10:07 AM
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it was difficult for me the first year. im a uber control freak and dh moved into MY home. so I had a very hard time , not controlling everything going on in MY home as I was used to. I didn't have a child at the time and I really didn't like or have much experience with them . I trird WAY to hard to get his kids to like me. I would buy them stuff, spend all my time with them and try to be mommy at this home.
all it did was make it bitter and frustrated. I got my feelings hurt when they wanted to sit next to dad and not me, when they wouldn't eat my cooking, when I didn't get please or thank yous. I tried too hars to tell dh how I THOUGHT his kids should be raised.
Now I have my. own child to focus and decide how to raise. now I push dh to do what HE thinks is best for his kids. I urge dh to spend alone time with the boys. I dont care if they dont like my food, I make them what THEY like. I try to be more of a adult figure than a mom, id compare it to the bond a child develops with a nanny they spend alot of time with.
im so much happier and not bitter at all. I know my place and step life is easy breezy
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