I have been dating this wonderful man and we have started talking about getting married soon. He has a beautiful and trying four year old son. whom i have grown to love very much. I do not wish to be his Mother but i would like to be a part of his life. His father and i already make joint decisions about his son. The biomother has him every other weekend from 8am to 5pm. She is not allowed overnight stays. When she had custody she was abusive and neglectful. The father has already expressed his feelings about her towards her and me. She continues to force herself into my boyfriends/future husbands life. She flirts open in front of their child. I myself had a step parent growing up and he is more like my father, but i am unsure on what boundries should be in place. and where should the lind be drawn in regards to the mother. any and all advice is welcome. I am 20 years old and work part time as well.
Future step mom
For me, I found the best thing was to have some distance between me and BioMom. In the beginning of DP and my relationship, BioMom prefered to go through me for decisions regarding DSS. I was fairly emotionally neutral and her and I got along well. Fast forward 6 months, DP and I had a long talk about how him and BioMom needed to figure out how to communicate about DSS without me. I felt a bit guilty doing it, but it was stressing me out to be the peace-maker in the middle. It's been 6 months since BioMom and I have texted and I feel that it is going well. We still get along at DSS's functions, but I'm no longer the go-to person.
I think it can be hard for step-moms, we naturally want to help, ensure smooth communication, and problem-solve. I think some healthy boundaries that work for you and your partner are a WONDERFUL thing. Good luck.
When BioMom is flirting in front of the child, is it with your partner? If so, I would have your DP tell her to stop.
For me, when DP and BioMom are together, you can cut the tension with a knife. There's no flirting, but surprisingly (at least to me) there's a lot of familiar touching - just placing a hand on the other one when moving behind them, things like that. Neither one even knows they're doing it - but I see it!
i would say, don't over think it and don't set any expectations or boundaries. just allow your relationship with your future step son to develop naturally. don't push anything or hold back too much and you will eventually just fall into place. it doesn't happen overnight and it can be awkward and hard at times, but that little boy will take what he needs from you and if you let him take the lead, you'll end up right where you should be.
with my DSD, i never imagined we would be as close as we are but she just wormed her way into my heart and i found myself parenting equally with DP. I will never be her mom and i don't want to be. she has a mom and she is very much not my daughter, but we love each other very much.
...The biomother has him every other weekend from 8am to 5pm. She is not allowed overnight stays. When she had custody she was abusive and neglectful...She continues to force herself into my boyfriends/future husbands life. She flirts open in front of their child...
I definitely agree with the PP's comment, that you need to let the relationship with the child develop naturally. Be open to hugging and cuddling, but don't create situations where he feels like he has to (i.e., "I'm home! Where's my hug?"). When you feel like telling him you love him, don't hesitate! But don't leave a pregnant pause, where he's expected to say it back.
But you have a situation distinct from a lot of stepmothers: you're in a position to function as "Mom", significantly more than his mother does.
If he were only with you guys every other weekend, it might be appropriate for you to hesitate actively "parenting" him, until everything feels more comfortable. But in your situation, the kids' right (and need) to feel like a full-fledged member of the family where he lives - and to feel like he has a stable family - takes precedence. It's one thing, if a kid only spends a couple days with Dad every 2 weeks and step-Mom is mostly a smiling face in the background, for the first year. If he lives with you, I think you need to jump right in and start doing the things you would do, if he were your own child. Volunteer at his school. Be involved in his daily routines. Get to know his friends' parents and help schedule play-dates for him. Help with homework, if he has any yet. Take him places, do crafts, play games and read with him, even without Dad.
He deserves mothering. And you are the one there, to do it! That his mother is not, isn't your fault nor your concern, just don't overtly disrespect her; or be negative about whatever relationship your DSS has with her.
If there are major discipline problems and Dad is around to address them, that may be best, for now. But do not hesitate to intervene, if your DSS behaves in a clearly unacceptable way and it's not convenient for Dad to address it. Handle it with very calm authority - no yelling, exasperation or spanking (even if Dad spanks, it is not appropriate for you to do so!) DSS needs to know you regard him as part of your family now. You will respect and be good to him, and you expect and deserve the same.
All this is predicated on the idea that you and your BF are actually getting married. If you were one of those who just doesn't believe in marriage at all, I wouldn't say this. But you said he is your future husband. That means you want to get married...i.e., you place some importance on the vows and making a formal commitment...but you haven't done it yet. You're very young. It is not at all uncommon (nor "bad") for young people to think they've found their forever love, and then realize later they made a mistake; to talk about getting married, but never do it, and move on.
But, to be blunt, the adage "It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all" does not apply to parents, except when they die (i.e., they can't help being out of your life).
This little boy has already (in many ways) lost his mother. Getting attached to you and then losing you would be worse for him than never having much of a relationship with you, in the first place. You do not want to help cement the idea in this kid's mind that women never stick around, they're never reliable; they say they love you, but then they abuse you, or abandon you. The examples he sees now, of relationships between men and women, will affect what he expects and demands for himself, when he's an adult.
So, if you would commit to the kid, commit to his Dad. All the way, don't leave one foot out the door, indefinitely. If you're in favor of marriage, but you're not ready to be married to his Dad - for whatever reason - then the kid's not ready for you to be his step-Mom, yet. And choose carefully. Have you known your BF long enough to really be sure he's the one? Are you past the infatuation stage where each of you think the other is perfect; and into something deeper and more lasting, where both of you know and accept each other's imperfections? Be as sure as you possibly can.
Edited by VocalMinority - 11/20/11 at 5:12am