Step Parents - would you do it all over again?

(145 Posts)
codsworth Fri 14-Jan-11 12:48:56

Simple question really. If you had the choice, would you do the step mum thing over again?
I'm in the process of ending a relationship, partly over the kids and I swear to god I would NEVER, EVER get with anyone who had children again. I just couldn't do it.

Interested in how others feel?

Petal02 Fri 14-Jan-11 12:57:42

I’ve never, ever, regretted getting together with my husband, despite the frustration that my stepson brings. However, god forbid if my husband were ever run over by bus, I would indeed think twice about starting a relationship with a man with children. The downside to this, is that insisting on a child-free partner would greatly reduce the number of potential men to have a relationship with.

So on reflection, I suppose that yes, I would possibly have another relationship that brought step-children – every situation is different, plus I’d have the benefit of previous experience.

SMummyS Fri 14-Jan-11 13:05:24

That's a hard decision. Ive never regretted being with DP, I love him and his daughter. However if this fell apart (I hope not as have baby on the way) I would seriously have to think about being with someone who has kids. As petal says every situation is different, but I think mines been made easier with the fact I knew DBD since she was 2, and she loves being around me.

glasscompletelybroken Fri 14-Jan-11 14:28:11

I don't regret getting together with my DH as I love him more than I knew it was possible to! Would I do it again? No - I hope I'll never be in that situation again but if something awful happened to my DH and I was on my own I wouldn't even consider starting a relationship with another man with kids. I had no idea what it would be like until I was already seriously in love but I wouldn't let it happen again.

WildistheWind Fri 14-Jan-11 15:01:23

We were lucky in the sense that our 3 girls were young when we moved in together (18m-2 & 5) so the family as well as the children have ''grown'' together and now nearly 6 years later- we have a close-knit family unit.

I can say that despite the highs and lows, we have been successful in blending our families.

With the knowledge I have now -as Petal and Glass say: I would probably think twice about getting involved with a man with kids if I am ever single again(I hope that I won't be smile).

I have been with DH for 12 years and DSD's were 1 and 2.5. DSD who is now 15 has decided she hates me and I broke up her family.

We now have two kids who are 9 and 7 and up til recently have had good relationship with DSDs. Recently DSD decided she hated me and now things are very strained.
This has put pressure on my relationship with DH. If I am honest I wish that I had met someone that did not have kids or an EX Wife.

I feel hurt that DSD has thrown everything in my face as I have done so much for her in the last 12 years.

So altho I love DP to bits and our two kids I can say that I wish I had not met someone with kids as life would be much simpler. Sorry if that makes me bad I just wanted to be a good stepmum!

SMummyS Fri 14-Jan-11 15:33:46

mumof2monster it doesn't make you bad at all. I sense this is what will happen with us in 10 years time with DBD

GwynAndBearIt Fri 14-Jan-11 15:38:08

Well they say you can't help who you fall in love with, and I couldn't imagine ever being with anyone else again, so yes, I probably would say if I had the time again I would still want to be with him, BUT...

I would definitely approach the involvement with his children very differently. When we got together DH was still 'broken' from the end of the marriage and the separation from his children so he wanted to be with me all the time, hence I was involved with the children during his contact times from very early on. This resulted in him and them very much taking it for granted that I was their carer too, they were 3 and 5 at the time.

I think knowing what I do know I would try to keep a bit more at arms length, not meaning that to sound in an unloving way, but that they were his responsibility not mine, and I should be more detached from them than I was. I think this would have made things easier all along. My sister got it right as a stepmum, she used to busy herself elsewhere for most of the time the daughter was visiting, allowing time with her Dad, - she still clears off out of the way now, 10 years on, and has a really good relationship with her step daughter.

cobbledtogether Fri 14-Jan-11 16:37:39

Difficult. As while I don't regret it as I love my DH and I wouldn't have my children if we'd not got together, I would think very long and hard about getting into a relationship with a man who already had children. At the very least, I would be going in with my eyes open as to the reality of what life can be like in a step-family.

I've been lucky in a lot of ways as Ex is not a psycho, but not so lucky in the way that DH can behave towards me when it comes to DBD. There are a lot of things I've put up with this time around that I wouldn't stand for a second time.

There are so many variables: Is the ex unhappy/vindictive? The age of the children? Is Dad Disney?

Its a blooming minefield.

Greeninkmama Fri 14-Jan-11 17:04:20

I think you need to really love your DP and to know s/he is the right person for you. Your relationship has to be really strong to survive the whole step-parenting thing. Or you have to be exceeding laid-back and tolerant. I am not the latter so I am glad that I have the former.

I think it is harder when you then have DCs.

Abip Fri 14-Jan-11 18:19:51

All I can say is that I love Dp very much, but I would think twice about involving myself with someone who had children, especially teenagers. Your own teenagers are hard enough let alone anyone elses that are still living at home and defiant to do anything you ask.

I would definately get more experience of how a partner parents their children before involving my children or living together.

Parenting strategies has caused myself and dp so many arguments as we both disagree but both have children to parent which ends up causing friction between the children also.

But I agree that if you limit yourself to only dating men with no children then it's going to be a loooooong wait. (Personally any man that has reached my age and did not have any baggage I would be worried!!!)

On the other hand when my sis was dating, she commented how every man she seemed to meet was emotionally scarred, Commitment phobic and needy!!

pleasechange Fri 14-Jan-11 18:54:47

no. I absolutely wouldn't do it again. Not that I really have it so bad, but it's such a minefield and I really had so idea at the start how it would be

onadietcokebreak Fri 14-Jan-11 19:02:46

No I couldn't. I was talking about this to a friend yesterday.

silverfrog Fri 14-Jan-11 19:07:37

no way.

I couldn't do it again.

Oggyandthecockroaches Fri 14-Jan-11 20:20:02

Put it this way - I wouldn't want either of my DCs to have a relationship with someone who had kids.

I do, however, deeply love my DH and do not regret our relationship one bit.

Sushiqueen Fri 14-Jan-11 21:27:24

No. I wouldn't do it again.

Both DH and I have said that if we ever split, neither of us would get involved with anyone - especially not some one with children.

I have friends who say they would never go out with a man who had children, just because they have heard of all the hassle we have been through.

I've read all your replies and I'm still not 100% sure.

Only one 1 of my 4 DSC is any bother, but the other part of the package is harder- his fucking mother hmm

Saying that, I have several single parent friends who have dated guys without DCs. None of the relationships have lasted and the standard reason seems to come down to the lack of understanding by people who have never had to put DCs needs before their own.

Joy and pain... (Maze)

mjovertherainbow Sat 15-Jan-11 00:36:50

Message withdrawn

slimbo Sat 15-Jan-11 09:17:20

I love my Dp, but i don't think i could ever take someone on again with an ex wife like his, and older children like my step kids are.

I think my life might have been easier
if his children were small and were then more inclined to accept my rules etc, as it is my youngest step is 10, and the one living with us is 12, so i've come in at an age where really they can still remember how it was when mum and dad were still together.

However, i do have to say that a LOT of the trouble, and a lot of the reason i would back away from doing it again, HAS to be his ex wife, who has done everything she can to make this whole situation as hard and as painful for all involved as is possible. And i wasn't the OW, i just met him when they were divorcing......

Sometimes when i think back to how it was when it was just me and my dd i remember how lovely it was, and it feels like those days of peace are long gone.

Bonsoir Sat 15-Jan-11 09:18:12

I wouldn't want to bring up someone else's children again. Adult stepchildren only, next time please!

marmon Sat 15-Jan-11 18:46:16

All of the above really! I love my DH to bits and would not be without him but having been through the nightmare of ex wife, dss and my husbands parents who have been nothing short of horrendous then i think i would have walked away. The awful thing is that i have become a cliche, i am according to them the "wicked stepmother", which i find so frustraitng as they have also played there part in the whole mess but have decided to lay all blame with me! And i would like to say that i have mostly not seen the dss so he could have quality with his dad but it seems to me nothing is ever good enough when you are a step parent

eviekingston Sat 15-Jan-11 20:35:10

No, it's just too hard. Constantly having to take the feelings of so many people into consideration, so many different needs to juggle, feeling guilty for not measuring up, having no money, feeling constantly jealous of the time and attention given to everyone else, feeling excluded, at best being tolerated and at worst being resented. And every time you dare to express any of this, being told " but you knew he had children when you married him..........."

ByTheSea Sat 15-Jan-11 20:42:46

Same as the rest of you. Although I wouldn't trade the babies I made with DH for anything.

wendihouse22 Sun 16-Jan-11 13:05:30

eviekingston...... I totally agree.

I'm lucky in that mine are grown ups at age 20 and age 22 with a younger one at just 16. The youngest was 11 when I met my DH (and it was some 4 years after the break up of his former marriage. BUT, it does always feel like I'll never measure up. Not really sure what it is.....I get the impression I'm just not up to the mark. I have a young son of 10 and I would never have gotten involved with a man who either has no kids or, has kids he doesn't see. My DH is a good man, a goods father and consequently a good step-dad to my son.

I have to make allowances for his youngest who clearly tolerates me and views me with disdain. At times (usually, when she's had a few drinks at some teenage bash) she has screeched liked a banshee that she hates me and is clearly jealous of dad having another person in his life.

Hopefully, she'll grow out of it. If not, I shall continue to make her welcome for my husband's sake and acknowledge to myself that, of his three kids, I really like one, acknowledge another's fierce allegiance to their mum and feel non-committal about the other. Two out of three ain't bad! Who knows, had I had three, my DH may not have genuinely been able to say he "likes" all of them.

Steepedinalcohol Sun 16-Jan-11 23:16:10

Wow, I'm so saddened that you all feel like this. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. I love my dsd to bits and even though I'm no longer with her Dad she still comes to stay with me, and we are very close.

It was tough at times, yes. Her mum was a nightmare, yes. Did my xh help with any of those issues, probably not as much as he could have done on reflection. Yes, life may well have been much easier without her, but I simply can't imagine my life without her, nor with dd and a sibling (which we'd probably have had) instead of dd and a half-sibling.

Yes, I'd definitely do it again. And I haven't posted to be smug or anything, I did just in case someone was reading this and thinking that it is always bad news when you get involved with a man with children. It's not IME.

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