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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently read a few posts from some new stepmoms, and thought... "I remember that. Wish someone would have told me more advice."

So I am making a post to send out advice for anyone who wants to read it, or add more to it. Or debate it.

For me there real nuggets I had to learn the hard way:

  1. Every family, bio or blended, has its own weird dynamic. You ARE a blended family as soon as you all move into the same house, and you will be different from all the others. It will never be perfect. Give yourself the grace and forgiveness to know you are going to have difficult times.
  2. You are not the mom. You will never be the mom. Learn to accept that you are still fabulous, and still able to be a part of your kids lives. But you aren't going to be the mom.
  3. You will need to draw boundaries to stay sane. But do it through your other half, who is the dad and can get away with a lot more than you.
  4. Try to avoid being in the discussions with the bio-mom. You really should only be a bystander to dad/mom discussions.
  5. Don't try to push the whole "love" aspect of the relationship. Let your stepkids feel what they want to feel. You will get attached. But remember bullet point 2 - you are not the mom. And your kids will probably learn to love you, but they have no obligation to do so. They didn't choose you, their dad did.
 

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Very well said...Thank you!
My sweetheart and I were just talking about this last night. (the rare night, we had dinner for 2)
That we are a family, and each kid is different in their own way, and has their own personality.

The fact that we all get along 90% of the time, have the random disagreements 5% of the time and 5% of the time get a dose of teenage angst, is a very NORMAL family.
And someday, when they are adults, maybe, if we are very, very good adults, we'll each get hugs and an 'I love you' from our bonus kids. (The extra adult parentish hugs are already happening occasionally.)
In the meantime...we just go on 'being an extra helpful adult who is there to support and be a friend if needed, and let the bio-parents parent, in the style/dynamic that works for them.'
 
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