Step Mom - California,MO

Updated on October 11, 2010
S.A. asks from California, MO
22 answers

I'm am so lost..I don't have kids..I have a 2.5 yo stepson to be. I love him. But i'm confused. I never had step parents cept for my step dad but he totally took the place of my dad which was GREAT! SERIOUSLY.....but how are you suppose to be a step mom....what do i do...what is my role in his life except for just being there for him which of course I am...But he is only two...Call me stupid...But I just don't know...Am I a big part of his life...Does our relationship change just because I am marrying his dad? Do I have any say in his bedtime or in his life? Is it normal to feel left out when I am with his dad and him? Am I just being selfish? I just don't know what i am here for.... we get him every other weekend

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Ok for those of you who think i don't need to marry someone just because it will be hard are obviously very shallow and you do not need to comment. Of course I have questions and concerns, i want to be the best that I can for this child and his father..and yes even his will be hard, and there will be challenges and rough spots along the way, but don't you think it is worth it if you love the person and want to spend the rest of your life with them. Life is not easy, it never has been and never will be..It's not meant to be easy. I love this man and his child, I am trying to get advice so I can better myself and the situation. If you have anything negative to say..don't post please.

Featured Answers



answers from Miami on

1st of all never feel left out when the three of you are together. Its very very important for that childs well being that he knows he is first in his daddy's eyes. When you are with him and his dad its all about him not you or his dad. What you can be in his life is a really good friend he can talk to and be there for him. Its an added family. If you go slow and give him time you two can grow a wonderful relationship.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Sacramento on

You might look into a step-parenting class. They do exist. Around here there are a million organizations that offer parenting classes. I have Kaiser and there was a great 8 week class on co-parenting that I took when I first separated from my then-husband. I found it really helpful. They talked a tiny bit about step-parenting, but they also offered another series specifically on step-parenting and blended families.

I'd start by asking his pediatrician for a recommendation or, you already have a family counselor, ask them for a recommendation.

Good luck.


1 mom found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Spokane on

Hi S....

I have read both your posts about this step mom thing and thought I would add my two cents...

Being a step mom is hard. I know, I am one. My step boys were 5 and 2 when I met I know what its like. My first thought was to tell you not to sweat the b-days. What ever you guys work out will be fine. We always had 2 separate parties for our kids. The mom would do her thing then we would do ours. Our parenting plan (yes I say OUR because that's what it will be his family too) says we get each kid for 4 hrs on their b-day, and we started a tradition where we take each kid out to dinner, their choice of course, on their actual b-day then have a party on our closest weekend for the rest of our side of the family. For the record I thought your idea of alternating years was good...however most ex's don't get along so this is not possible.

As far as what your "role" is supposed to be...I do not mean to offend any "real moms" on here but you need to forget about all that stuff said about how your role should be up to dad and for dad to handle everything....this is unrealistic! This situation will not just be a "situation" will be your life. You do whatever you need/want to do to make sure your house runs smoothly. The way I looked at it was, looking at/treating my step kids as I do my nephews...I love them. I take care of them. I set ground rules for my house, But yet I am still the "fun" auntie! This has worked great because I am still an authority figure, but also a fun adult to talk too! Your role in his life can be whatever you want it to be. I chose to take care of my step kids, feed/laundry/planning activities/buying clothes/setting rules, etc. just like I would if they were mine...(granted I was only 19 at the time and if I had to do it over again I would have left some of those jobs up to daddy, saving myself a lot of work down the road)...if you think he should have a certain bedtime then talk w/dad...just like you would do if/when you guys have your own kid. I think a lot of the moms on here mean well but some of them do not know what they are talking about as far as how to handle certain things. Leaving everything up to dad concerning the kids is the best way to divide your will not help but feel left out or like you are living in someone else' house if you have no say in anything. You will be this kids step mom. You will be a parent. You will have all the same responsibilities as a parent, so you might as well figure out what all that entails now. Good for you for asking questions and being concerned. It is going to be a hard road...especially if the ex doesn't like you guys. The one thing that has helped me the most is to remember that at the end of the day all real fault is in the laps of mom and dad. It is not your fault that they couldn't make a family work, it is theirs. Mom will more than likely make some decisions that you do not agree with...but that is her RIGHT...SHE is THE MOM! You just do the best you can with what you have been given to work with. Don't be selfish. Don't let the ex anger you. Do your best to stay out of any spats or disagreements they might have. Be cooperative. If the mom asks for something, if it does not involve putting you guys out too much, give her what she wants. Always remember that you have at least 16 more years...and there is going to come a time where you guys need the mom to help you guys with a scheduling conflict...chances are if you guys are nice to her, she will be nice(eventually) to you guys!

Sorry for the rant. I just want you to not forget about YOU. This is your life we are talking about. You deserve to play an important part:)

Time goes by faster than we realize...before you know it your stepson will be 18 like my oldest, who is now living with us full time BTW!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

What I did is to talk to the boy's mother and let her know you are not there to take her place. I asked her what role she wanted me to play and what rules to carry out. This helped out alot. I keep in contact with the kid's mom and get along for the kids' sake. I don't care how old the child is, they know when people don't get along..If I have any concerns I talk to her. Sometimes the father's think that if they say something to their ex,it will cause problems. I hope this helps

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

S., between this and your other post on boundaries, I see that you are sincerely well-meaning, loving and confused.

Let me suggest that you don't have to figure it out ahead of time. I've never seen life follow anybody's pre-written script. It will evolve organically. You will be as big a part of his life as his needs, your wishes, and the family situation allow.

I'd also like to say that as granny to the MOST delectable 4yo boy who ever lived (okay, okay, all you other moms and grannies, yes, YOUR little ones are just as delectable), I must consciously restrain myself from overwhelming the little guy with my gushing adoration. It's a good character-building exercise for me, and surely healthier for him than if I gave in to every expression of love that I feel.

So, be the grownup that you are, do your best to stay sensitive to his actual needs, and enjoy the heck out of whatever closeness develops between you.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

You have some awesome questions but you should be asking your fiancee. This is something the both of you need to sit down and work out. I am a step mom and prior to getting married to my husband we went and talked with a counselor to make sure that your above questions very similar to my own prior to marriage were worked out:)

My parents got divorced when I was two and you couldn't get them in a room together! So my husband and his ex(never married) but were good friends and worked really well together in raising my step son. So walking into there relationship struck a chord for me. How do I do this? I was raised around a different environment? What did I want to bring to the table? How would I fit in the relationship between my fiancee and his son? We have come far since those days! My step son was 9 and he's already a junior in high school! The counselor helped my husband and I to define the role I would have in the future with our family. I have realized that we have a different dynamic on raising our kids vs. how we raise my step son but overall it works for us. I also read the Dr. Phil book family matters. I am also not a step mom that looks to have a bad relationship with his mom. that's counter productive. His mom deserves the respect of being his mom and the woman that gave him life. I may not agree at times but at the end of the day he is her son and my husbands. I love him dearly but I realize the boundaries and dynamic that make us work for him. All of us from his mom, step dad, dad and myself work hard to give him a solid non arguing family. Something I wish my parents could have done for me.
You are his step mom and no one can have enough people that love him! So give hugs and love and realize your home is the safe harbor that he needs:)

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My father remarried when I was 8 and my step mom had a son the same age as me. I remember their tentativeness to just treat us like their own children. 8 is way older than 2.5, but I would say respecting boundaries but unconditional love (erring on the side of parent more than simply a caregiver) is in order. It is an incredible gift to wind up with more than 2 parents that you can count on :) Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Orlando on

Oh how I feel for you! It must be so hard, not having kids of your own, to put yourself in his mom's shoes, which is what you need to be able to do in order to figure out where you fit in. She is his mom and that is so important. You NEVER want to get in the way of that or the CHILD will end up resenting you. I had a mean step mom. She never really seemed to want me and my sister around. You didn't say how often the child will be with you and your husband. Do your best to cherish the alone time you have with your husband so you won't be jealous of the times your stepson is sharing him with you. It sounds like your own "dad" was a good role model for you, so keep in mind that your stepson is learning how to be a man and how to treat women by watching his dad and the relationship he has with you. That being said, any time a child is in the care of a loving adult, it is the adult's responsiblity to keep him safe--- which includes discipline. Follow your husband's lead on bedtime, rules when he is with you, discipline strategies, etc. Keep in mind that he is a first time dad, so he is just learning the ropes, too, but try and follow whatever he feels is best for HIS son, and discuss things with him if you see something you want done differently. Make sure you explain your point of view as it is in the best interest of the child. For example, if you want him going to bed eariler when he is with you guys, explain that you think he gets crabby the next day if he doesn't get enough sleep as opposed to saying you want him to go to sleep so you can have adult time. Hope that makes sense. Also, get it in your head and accept it that your husband is financially responsible for his child. Instead of being upset that he spends a lot of money on him (which will happen more and more as he gets older), remind yourself that he is a wonderful man who is not a dead beat dad, because who would want to be with a man like that?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Provo on

I would suggest that you talk with the father first and see what kind of role he wants you to take. I think that you will make things a lot harder on yourself if you go into the relationship thinking that you need to take on a role as being a mother. Just give him lots of love and structure and he will tell you what he needs. It doesn't have to be in words but the more you are around him the more you begin to understand his behaviors. Being a step-parent doesn't have to be hard if you find out what the father expects of you. My kids have a step-mother and my daughter told her upfront that she already had a mother. My daughter was 16 years old at the time and sometimes it is hard to be a biological parent of a teenager. I think it is wonderful for you that the boy is still young. Embrace your time together with your two boys! I listen to my kids talking and their step-mother is very jealous of the time that they spend with their father. That is a really fast way to throw a kink in the step-parent relationship. Look at it as family time!! If you are having a problem, your best source would be your fiance.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Welcome to the club! lol. I am a step mom too and I love it. Don't sweat it to much, just take it as it comes, you don't have to go out of your way to make him like you/love you, just be there for him, treat him how you would treat your kids if you had them. Even becoming a new mom is hard, when you have your 1st natural child, teh questions are not all that different. Technically you are a new mom, so congratulations! Never view yourself as "just" the stepmom, and never see the natural mom as the "real" mom, becasue what is "real" ? He can hear you, see you love you, hug you,touch you, so therefor you are "real", you are mommy #2, or a bounus mom, or "insert name here" Whatever he feels comfortable calling you(so long as it's nice :)) Don't worry, it does take getting use to, and you may hit a few snags or feel left out now and then, but like everything else it takes time. I have been a step mom for 2 years, and it took about a year for my step child and I to have a great relationship and understanding. He calls me Lysa, and tells people I am his other mom, and actually, he come to ME, not his dad or natural mom when he has difficult or deep questions. It's just a matter of how much love you give them, how open you are with them and *(REALLY IMPORTANT) how you treat the other mom. If you alwasy are kind and respect her, the child will respect you!

oh yeah and YES your opinion counts in his life, don't be afraid to speak up on his behalf! You do have a say, cause you ARE an mom!

Good luck and congrats on your future marrige and family!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

sorry for all of those negative people out there! I would say that when he's in your care that you have the right to do anything a mother would do as far as making decisions for him. Have you talked to your soon to be husband about this and what he thinks. Good Luck!!!



answers from Tulsa on

treat him like hes your kid your step dad did. Ask him advice hes been there. Why treat them like they are not your kid thier mom may be lacking and you treating him like yours may be what he needs. Expect the step parent wars when they get older do not take offense when you hear your not my mom.

Its an attempt to get thier way and not follow the rules. I heard it I think all steps hear it. When they are older and they say you can't tell me what to do. The answer your going to give is as long as your in my house you will follow my rules. They will adjust to diffrent houses diffrent rules. If you and dad disagree over rules its no diffrent than if they were blood kids. You discuss it. work it out and then follow through on the agreed rules. Notice I said agreed not yours only.
Dad is going to give them special attention when they are there they need it. Don't take it offensive they are not trying to leave you out. But it may feel that way. They are bonding dad can see you anytime. The kid has to adjust to you.



answers from St. Louis on

wow honey, all i read was the first post below (the one before mine, Amelia) and REALLY? you knw it really makes me mad that you said that because im a single mom and i look to marry someone someday if it is in God's plan for me. For you to sit here and tell someone you dont even know that what they feel is wrong because the other person has a child, where do you think you have the right? S., all i have to say is it takes a strong woman to be willing to marry a man with a child. I am proud of you for wanting so badly to be a part of this childs life. I have seen a couple posts from you but have not commented because this is not something that i have gone through, however i have some insight. first of all you have to realize that he is 2. this is a very interesting age. my son is 2 1/2 and has a very strong personality. Your fiances son is probably not really aware of what is going on right now. He is still a little young to comprehend that he is going to have two mommies (a step mom if you want to be correct, i dont think his biological mother would want him to call you mom, but that is just a thought i had). I would just say try to build a relationship with him. dont push it on him though, but i dont think you would do that from the questions you are asking. As far as the what part do you play in his life, there will always be the fact that you are not his real mom (especially when he gets older and you try to punish him, they tend to like to throw that in your face "I dont have to listen to you, you are not my mom" type thing), but you can make the best with what you have. I would say that is something you need to discuss with your fiance, when you can discipline, put your foot down, or have a say in what happens. In my opinion, once you two get married, the house in which his son will be staying with you guys every other weekend will be your house also, so you have a say in rules and that sort of thing. again, i may be way off base here, but again just my opinion. i hope this helped. And asking these questions is normal, im really glad you are asking them, because if you weren't and you didn't care, then that would be a problem. Dont listen to everyone being so negative out there. Only you know when it is love and what God has in store for you. Im sorry you have gotten some nasty feedback. Good luck to you, and keep us posted on how things are going!



answers from Wichita on

Good Morning S., first off it's great that you adore this precious child. He is to young to really understand the relationships here as yet. He knows his momma and daddy aren't together anymore and he is confused as to why.
As he gets older the relationship you have now will change. I had a Wonderful step mom and 2 awesome step dads. Plus my parents of course, but when I was little I had no clue what was a real family group was. Daddy was always late picking up on the weekends and late bringing me home. Caused a lot of arguing, for EVER.

The only way you can figure out how to be in his life is to talk to his parents calmly, let them know you want to help, be there and nurture him also. Go by their rules, bedtimes, play times, etc... Ask about the birthdays and holidays etc.. Get some dialog going calmly. Ask his mom if there is anything she has her son do that you need some instruction on. What foods does he really like, special toys or something, things he likes to do. Communication will help so much in the years ahead. Read him bedtime stories, sing songs, help him feel comfortable around you. For he just doesn't know himself what he is supposed to do. He is just a baby still.

Be patient S. there isn't a hand book on step parenting. Your not selfish, you just want to be a part, it takes time and alot of patience.
God Bless you and may you relax and just love the little guy, he will get it soon enough.

K. Nana of 5



answers from Kansas City on

Honestly, you will always feel left out and at time jealous of his relationship with his son. And his son will be angry about his father's relationship with you and devestated when you have children together. The tension between you and his mother will also hurt him. This is really a terrible idea. I strongly encourage you not to go through with this. Find someone who doesn't have children already. You obviously have tons of questions and concerns; you have them for a reason.



answers from Boise on

ok well im terribly sorry that you had a few very neg. responses from some people. I am also a step mom of a very handsome young man. and have been for about 3 yrs. now. I agree with Sandi. I think that when he is in your care you just need to do what you feel is best for him there at your home. You are a huge part of his life, just as is his dad and bio. mother. Just doyour best and he will decide himself what he thinks when he is old enough.good luck



answers from Kansas City on

Hi S.,
I haven't looked at your other posts, just noticed your question(s) and wanted to tell you to just be you! I am very happily married (for almost 12 years now!) to a wonderful man who has a beautiful daughter from a previous relationship (I hardly call it marriage, it was less than 6 mo)
I have been a part of her life since she was 2, she does not remember a time that I was not with her Dad. I understand all of your reservations, confusion, I remember those feelings of being left out as well. (I think those tie back into your own childhood dreams of finding a great guy getting married and having children together. Those dreams don't involve him having previous children.) :-) I will tell you that I just took the time we had with her and enjoyed it. I did a lot of "Mommy" things with her, like making cookies, etc. that her mom didn't do... Our lives became more interesting as we have been blessed with two children of our own, who are 5 & 2 and all of the confusion with why she leaves and why she can't stay with us are all for a different post. As well as her feelings of going from an only child in both households to the big sister (she was 10) in both houses. (again, drama, her mom had another child just 3 months before we had our daughter)
I think I have started rambling, so what my main point yourself. Talk with his Dad about what you want your relationship to be. I'll be honest, we do not have parties, etc with her Mom's family, never have. As my husband and his ex do not get along. (Do your best to stay out of that!) Enjoy your time with him. The best advice I can give you, is communicate with your boyfriend/fiance as much as possible.
Best of luck to you! I am happy to let you bounce other questions/concerns off of me if you think it would help you. ;-) I truly wish you the best, taking on a relationship that involves a child is hard, especially for the child. I have been blessed with a fabulous husband and 3 wonderful children, as I consider her one of my own.
All the best, J.



answers from Detroit on

Hey don't let them shallow people get to you in any way they must not know how to put themselves in your shoes. If you have any questions about anything send me a message, I have three step daughters and I came into the picture when the youngest was 5 going on 6 and now she will be 12 this year. It is not easy and takes work and lots of patients. Now my youngest was 3 when my hubby came into the picture and they have a great relationship and he just turned 9 last month. If he notices its his bedtime if I am busy he will just tell him hey its such time so why don't you get ready for bed because you have to get up for school in the morning. My son knows his real dad and has a great relationship with him to. Just got to let his son know that everyone loves him and is there for him no bad mouthing each other and he will do just fine and so will you. Like I said I am here if you need any advice.



answers from Joplin on

being a step mom or a step dad isn't nothing i really know about on a personal level.
i do have three kids and if another women was trying to be apart of their lives as a mom, it would be a little weird for me.
you are in this childs life no the mom isn't goin to like, but your there and if the marriage works out your there for many years. dont always assume the worse, first of all he is a 2.5yr old. he hasnt much of a clue of what is going on. also at this age in his life it would be best for him if you tried not to push yourself in his life. just think if your an adult and your confussed of your role imagine how he feels......???
just keep the childs feelings in mind in each descion you make.



answers from Columbia on

I too am a "stepmom". The girls are now 8 and 12, but were a lot younger years ago when I married their father. I too struggled with what you are going through. The best advice I can give is to just be you! Don't be afraid to tell him "No", or "it's bedtime", he needs to know that your role isn't too far fetched from his own mother. The thing I love most is the girls feel like they can come to me and tell me things they couldn't tell their mom because we established a "friendship" before I became their stepmom. I don't make them call me "mom", they call me whatever they want to (Mommy M. is what they call me around their friends). I just let them know that I am here for them whenever they need me, but also step up to the responsibilities of being responsible for two beautiful girls. You may not feel like a BIG part of his life now, but over time you will naturally fit into the equation and it will all work out just fine. I don't know if any of what I said helps, but please let me know if you have any other questions!


answers from Dallas on

I think it is great that you are trying to work these things out. It shows how much you care.
I think you and your husband should decide now how you are going to interact with your stepson, especially on discipline. I have seen so many marriages get in trouble because of the disagreements over this.
My friend her is a stepmom herself with the children grown now. They think she is great. Over time she has developed a wonderful relationship with the exwife. She is a family therapist helping others with these issues. Hopefully you can find a family therapist there with that kind of experience.


answers from Kansas City on

you are already awesome in my book for being concerned and trying to do your best. that's so sweet. 2 year olds are great but it's a tough time to try to step in. (i guess any age is). just be there, love him and follow his cues, don't try to push yourself on him, but after he's used to you maybe take him on a walmart run or something, small steps, for you two to develop a relationship. but yes, you'll have to discuss rules w/new hubby (congrats!) and make sure you both stick to them, as well as the same discipline techniques. don't be afraid to love him, talking to the mom is a good idea if the relationship between her and dad is okay, if its bitter and bad already i wouldn't even open that can of worms. but like i said, don't be afraid to get close to him. his mom will always be his mom. but kids never have love over doses ;)

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions