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“I’m a Childless Stepmother”

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This topic contains 50 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by avatar Scooze 2 months, 2 weeks ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 25 through 36 (of 51 total)
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  • #681737 Reply
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    ele4phant

    I’m not a mom – or a step mom, but I could definitely see how being a stepmother is different than being a biological mother if the step kids’ mom is still on the scene.

    It may not mean you love the children any less than you would your own, but you don’t get to fill the mom roll. Somebody else is doing that already, its not on you to step on their toes. You can participate in child rearing, but you take a back seat to a lot of the decision making mom and dad have responsibility for.

    I’d get how it could be different, and how someone who wants to be a mother would, well, want to be a mother to their own child REGARDLESS of the fact they adore their step children to the ends of the earth.

    #681739 Reply
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    _s_
    Participant

    I mean, obviously I can see how being a birth parent is different than being a step parent just in terms of the experiences/workload/stages of life you do/don’t experience. I guess it just seems counterintuitive to me to say a stepparent isn’t a parent. I mean, we always see the “my guy wants to marry me but wants nothing to do with my kid” posts and say things like “if he’s not willing to step up and be a parent you need to break up” and so on, but here we’re saying “eh, they’re just your stepkids, no big deal, it’s not like you’re really a parent to them, they’re not your biological kids so they don’t really count toward your ‘mom-ness’.”

    #681740 Reply
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    Fyodor

    . I mean, we always see the “my guy wants to marry me but wants nothing to do with my kid” posts and say things like “if he’s not willing to step up and be a parent you need to break up” and so on, but here we’re saying “eh, they’re just your stepkids, no big deal, it’s not like you’re really a parent to them, they’re not your biological kids so they don’t really count.”

    Literally no one is saying this. It can be an important and difficult role but still not the same as being a mother.

    #681742 Reply
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    Northern Star

    Who said that, _s_? Nobody said her step kids don’t count. AT ALL.

    #681746 Reply
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    JennL

    LW your post really touched me and I am so sorry you’re going through such a difficult time. I agree with everyone else who has said that some clarification about whether or not you spoke with your husband about this issue prior to getting married is important. Also what exactly did you mean about trying 3 times a week?

    I, myself, am a stepmother and in no way feel like I’m a mother. I feel more like an adult role model and, hopefully when she’s older, a friend. I met my step-daughter when she was 5. My now husband was recently divorced and, although they have joint custody, his daughter lives with her mother the majority of the time. My step-daughter does not call me mom, mommy or anything similar. She calls me by my first name. We’re affectionate with each other and say I Love You. But at the end of the day, I’m not her mother and she knows it. All three of us (her mom, my husband and I) discuss her care and future. But I mainly support my husband or suggest different tactics for him when dealing with her mom or with her. Mainly, I leave most of the hands on child rearing to him and her mother. My husband and I set rules in our house about picking up toys, bathing, home work, TV watching, etc. She knows that we’re both in agreement about what she can or can’t do and that I will reprimand her, if necessary (we don’t do corporal punishment).

    Do you have his kids 100% of the time? My situation is different since we only have my step-daughter on the weekends. I, myself, have parents who divorced when I was young and I know that weekend time is daddy time. I encourage them to do things without me. I didn’t want her resenting me or feeling like I’m taking her father away. So far things are good. But I do want my own child and thankfully my husband is on board with whatever I want 100%. (Sometimes I do second guess having my own…having a child can be a terrifying prospect lol.)

    I feel like I’m rambling and now giving any constructive feedback. I just want you to know that I can empathize with how you’re feeling. There’s nothing wrong with how you feel. but you will have to made the hard choice. Counseling is a good idea, even if your husband refuses you should go. IMO talking and saying things out loud to a stranger can lead to clarity. I hope you resolve things and are happy with however they turn out.

    #681770 Reply
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    _s_
    Participant

    Who said that, _s_? Nobody said her step kids don’t count. AT ALL.

    Nobody said it, it’s just the impression I got. I assumed stepparents would be vocally offended at the LW’s implication that she “wasn’t a mom” because she was “only” a stepmom but I was obviously wrong since apparently stepparents don’t consider themselves parents to their stepkids (thereby implying stepkids “don’t count” as their kids and they “don’t count” as parents to the stepkids). It’s just not what I was expecting to hear, that’s all. You learn something new every day!

    #681778 Reply
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    Ron

    -S-:
    I think you must have some personal issue that is causing you to read into this things which simply aren’t there. LW specifically says that she loves her stepchildren and wants to keep them and their father. She also wants a biological child of her own. A lot of reasons were discussed for that, none of which suggested that she should not or did not love her stepkids. Obviously, she missed the birth experience, caring for a baby and infant, and maybe even the toddler stage. Likely the birth mother is somewhere in the picture which makes for divided loyalties. Unless she legally adopts the kids, she will always be second or third in line among those making decisions about her stepkids’ rearing and future. As a birth mother she’d be first in line for most of those decisions.

    A step-parent is a very important role in a kid’s life and can be as big a shaper of that kid’s future as a birth parent, but that step-parent also is always walking on eggs in dealing with their spouse’s kids, because the spouse’s view will prevail.

    My father was a step-father to the kids of his second wife. He loved them and did the best job he could to help raise them, but he was always cognizant of the reality that they had a birth father hovering at the periphery of their lives and that his second wife’s views of how to raise the kids would always trump his.

    It is a very different role than raising your own birth kids.

    #681779 Reply
    Crochet.Ninja
    Crochet.Ninja
    Participant

    to me _s_, it’s just one of those things. no matter how much i love my stepkids, i’m not their mom. does it hurt at times? sure it does. but i get over it, because i love them. do i count them as my kids? yep, i do. even if i’m not mom. not to mention i’ve known the younger ones long enough that i see bits of me in there too, which is kind of cool, to know that i actually do influence them, and i can be a good example for them.

    however, i’m also lucky in that we all get along where the 2 smaller ones are concerned. when they lived close, we’d have their mom and step dad over, and we were all friendly. i think that’s important for them to see.

    #681784 Reply
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    Northern Star

    _s_, you’re really, really reaching to make the LW sound like a horrible stepmother who doesn’t love her stepkids. I think that’s pretty unfair.

    #681830 Reply
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    Ele4phant

    -s- nobody said anything about her “only” being step mom, as that was somehow lesser or meant her love for her step children was lesser.

    People are, however, acknowledging that stepmothers often don’t get to be the primary parents in their step childrens lives – as is right and appropriate because these children already have a mother. And people can sympathetic that the OP wants the experience of being a mother – in addition to having her stepchildren in her life.

    #681888 Reply
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    shakeourtree

    I think trying three times a week may be referring to the stepchildren–as in, they’re with her and their dad three days a week, so she’s trying to be a mother to them three times a week.

    #682713 Reply
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    Etm1230

    Did no one else think “I’ve tried three times a week, yearning for my own baby” was a typo? I thought she meant to type “cried three times a week…” not that she was trying to conceive.

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