How do you feel about your step kids? Honestly

(97 Posts)
jenniferlawrence Sun 01-Dec-13 18:21:54

Just wondering to what extent other step parents have managed to bond and build a loving relationship with the step kids.

I've been in my step sons lives for 8 years, since they were 2 and 4. We get on fine. They are respectful towards me. I treat them fairly, ensure they are well fed, safe, happy and in clean clothes. I ask them questions and listen to them. I stick up for them when I think my husband is being hard on them but that's as far as it goes. I always assumed that a bond would develop over time but I've always found it hard to relate to them. They are easier to get on with when we just have one but we usually have both together. I know my husband wishes I had a closer bond with them but I feel that they don't want to be close to me as they are close to their Mum (rightly so) and I didn't want to push them. I care about them and feel protective but I don't adore them like I do my daughter.

So, how do you honestly feel about your step kids?

TheMumsRush Sun 01-Dec-13 18:39:34

Fine most of the time, dss is in secondary and causes no probs, get on with him well. After this weekend though Dsd (in juniors) is really pushing my buttons! In fact, I'm fuming! She did something she knew was wrong, and she knew it would upset me. Have no clue why! And age is not an excuse! Kids know right from wrong, especially when it's reiterated an hour before the incident!!!!

needaholidaynow Sun 01-Dec-13 19:09:58

OP I feel the same as you really. I will do the everyday things for DSD, but I wouldn't say we have a huge bond. Icare about her, but I don't love her.

louby44 Sun 01-Dec-13 19:32:47

I've known my 2 DSD for nearly 6 years now, they are 15 (16 in March) and 14.

As they have gotten older I find them more distant and hard to 'crack'. I'm low down on their pecking order, which is fine. I don't mind that, I'm a 45 old person who knows nothing! (ha little do they know..) They are obsessed with phones, Facebook, Instagram, clothes, make-up, boys and more recently fags and alcohol...oh and sex!

They are usually polite and well behaved but push it a bit now with me and their dad. Hence our shitty holiday.

Their dad thinks they are wonderful (as he should) but I think he wears rose tinted spectacles. If they lived with us fulltime life would be very different!

purpleroses Sun 01-Dec-13 19:40:32

I would say I was fond of them - most of the time. I care about them, and would certainly look out for them in a way I wouldn't with other kids I just happen to know (friends kids, etc). But it's much more similar to the way I feel about my niece and nephew than it is the way I feel about my own DC.

The feelings for my DSC have nothing like the depth they do with my own DCs. If my own are upset, it hurts me a huge amount more than it does if DSC are upset, if they do well at something I'm proud of them in a different way, and if they're being an absolute pain, I have much more patience for them because there's always part of me that understands why they are as they are. I guess the sense of empathy is just a whole load stronger - I feel the things they feel in a way that I don't for my DSC. If my own DC are away for more than a couple of nights I really miss them - Whereas the DSC can breeze in out of my life quite happily really.

I think that's all pretty normal really. It's important to be kind to them and to treat them fairly, but you can't expect just to switch on a different kind of relationship.

AliceinWonderhell Sun 01-Dec-13 19:48:33

I made a mistake in becoming fond of my DSC - I developed an independent relationship with DSD and spent a lot more time with her than DH did. I have kept texts and cards in which they expressed their affection for me and I was chuffed to bits when DSS told his friends "that's my stepmum".

Big mistake.

I should have remained detached and emotionally uninvolved. If I had, I wouldn't hurt as much as I do now they are hurling allegations and rejecting us sad

jenniferlawrence Sun 01-Dec-13 19:50:18

Purpleroses you have summed up how I feel. I feel like I should love them like my own child and I feel guilty that I don't. It's hard to love children that aren't your own though.

SweetSeraphim Sun 01-Dec-13 20:03:25

I personally can't understand how anyone can say that they love their sdc as they do their own. I can't see how.

I like mine, I'm always kind to them, and I'll always be there for them if they need me, but I don't love them. It was reading this board that got rid of the guilt I had surrounding that, because I see it as normal now.

riverboat Sun 01-Dec-13 20:10:10

Quite similar to you OP. I am very fond of DSS but I do not feel a deep bond with him, or love him, though I wish I did.

I have no kids of my own, I suspect I might feel the lack of real proper love between me and DSS more if/when I do.

jenniferlawrence Sun 01-Dec-13 20:15:16

In a way, when my husband and I had a child together it brought us all closer as stepsons love my little girl but it does really highlight the difference in my feelings towards my child and my stepchildren.

JumpingJackSprat Sun 01-Dec-13 20:15:44

I love him. I don't have children of my own but I love him like I would any child in my family - take pride in his success and I love teaching him stuff. He can be annoying sometimes but aren't all five year old annoying? I don't think I could do this full time though because I bite my tongue an awful lot when he is here- I think I'm stricter than dp but I don't say a lot because he isn't mine. As long as he isn't Disney dadding.

onlysettleforbutterflies Sun 01-Dec-13 20:15:56

Similar to above, fond of them, like them and do miss them a bit if they don't come when they usually do. I love the relationship they have with my ds and love that they all love each other.

Depth of feeling is NOTHING like I feel for my own ds though!

fuzzpig Sun 01-Dec-13 20:21:08

Love them smile

It is a different type of love, because there's no element of "wow I can't believe I made them!" that I have with my bio DCs. But it is love. And pride, and care, and worry when they're sick or sad, and wanting the best for them, etc.

We all get on really well although I am far closer to the DSD who spends more time here (others are busier with work/friends, but youngest is a real homebody), we have so much in common we could be sisters TBH! Bizarrely she is the one who I had most trouble bonding with in the beginning.

The absolute best thing is my DSCs' relationship with my DCs. We never use the word 'half', as far as they are concerned, they are full siblings IYSWIM despite having different mothers. Makes my heart soar to see them all together.

CountryGal13 Sun 01-Dec-13 20:43:37

They're nice girls (teens) but if I'm being honest, If I never saw them again then I wouldn't miss them in the slightest and I'm pretty sure they feel similar about me.

Deep down I think they don't want me around and they think I don't want them either. (reiterated to them regularly by their mum) Having said that, I'm always chatty and polite, i'll make their tea and send them a nice message on special occasions ect but really we're all pretty detached from each other. Really I think they'll only ever be happy if I wasn't around anymore which just makes me want to detach even more to guard my feelings.

allnewtaketwo Sun 01-Dec-13 21:08:37

Much like countrygal above. I get along fine with DSS2 and tolerate DSS1. I would say I'm fond of DSS2 but not as strong as with my nieces and nephews. With DSS1 I find it hard to find any common ground really. As he's 18 now it's much the same as having any adult around a lot who you don't particularly relate to - small doses are fine but more than that is too much.

matana Sun 01-Dec-13 23:06:50

I love my dsd. Not as I love my ds but it's love all the same. Interestingly we have become even closer since the birth of my ds 3 years ago. She's the best sister he could wish for. I've known her for 11 years though, so plenty of time for love to grow. It helps that she's ultimately just very easy to love though: kind, generous, loving, funny etc. I very easily see her as a huge part of our family.

matana Sun 01-Dec-13 23:12:00

And like fuzzpig she is never referred to as a half sister. That word doesn't exist in my family's vocabulary. I adore seeing them together they are inseparable.

stepmooster Mon 02-Dec-13 02:44:19

I care a lot about DSS, but my DH has experienced similar to Aliceinwonderhell. I cannot allow myself to 'love him' and because i am not the sort of person who can turn off the love and heartache because contact is suddenly not important or desired.

I saw what that can do to someone and I have my own demons from my childhood which make me more prone to MH problems. DH gets it and as such our stepson and stepmother relationship has been allowed to develop at its own pace. DSS and I joke about me being his wicked stepmother. Humour is often used to get around awkward moments.

I must be the only person on DSS's fathers side who can see that the lad is no longer 7 and is fast approaching adulthood. I talk to him like an adult, and he shows me respect. He can be a bit back chatty to his dad which I don't like but its DH'S fault for years of Disney.

I breastfeed in front of dss which was incredibly hard to do at the beginning both of us were a bit weirded out by, but sitting in our room to feed was getting ridiculous and uncomfortable. Now it doesn't phase either of us which shows how far we have come.

Tuckshop Mon 02-Dec-13 07:18:35

I've talked to dsd about this. She lives with me (not her dad, my ex). I love her, no question. I consider her as much a daughter to me as dd But biology means that there are differences in the instinctive things I feel that I can do nothing about. That's not about dsd and my relationship with her. It's just nature.

ZombieMojaveWonderer Mon 02-Dec-13 08:52:25

I feel the same op and I just assumed its because I don't see them very often, we have them in most holidays for a week to two weeks but as soon as they walk out the door (sometimes they don't even say goodbye) and I am obviously forgotten straight away and the bond that was built is broken and I have to start again when they next stay. My husband says he feels the same funnily enough. He sees my kids every day and looks after them and does things with them and he hates to admit it but he has a much stronger bond with my kids than his own. He says when he collects them it's a clean slate and feels he has to get to know them all over again every time and sometimes he feels as if he doesn't know them at all which is really sad.
I care about my step kids but not in the same way as my husband cares about my kids.

moody7557 Mon 02-Dec-13 12:48:01

I think what you said in the OP sums it up for me. We're two years into living together full-time and I've known his children since they were 3 and 4. I don't see that a bond with them is getting stronger - it's just as it's always been... I care for them and am fond of them, but I can't relate to them fully and they irritate me at times in ways that my own children just don't. My BF on the other hand reports feeling closer to mine as time goes on... It's been suggested to me that it's a lot easier for men, but I don't know?

Sam

Kaluki Mon 02-Dec-13 12:50:08

If you had asked me this question 4 years ago I would have said I couldn’t stand either of them!! They were awful badly behaved spoilt brats. I used to dread their arrival and count down the minutes till they left. But after a lot of work from DP who has successfully ‘undisneyed’ himself by setting them boundaries and discipline and teaching them to behave I can honestly now say that I do love them. Obviously not in the way I love my own dc, nothing comes close to that, but I do care for them and want the best for them. I love the fact that my own dc get on so well with them and that they seem happy when with us. I even look forward to seeing them now which I never thought I would!!

moody7557 Mon 02-Dec-13 12:52:31

Kaluki - that is a very reassuring post for me with how I'm feeling at the moment. Can I ask how you DP changed in being able to set boundaries and discipline... I feel that is a big issue for us at present.

willyoulistentome Mon 02-Dec-13 12:52:33

DSD1 - I don't really like her. I have had periods of actually hating her. She has always been difficult and demanding.

DSD2 - I'm very fond of her, but I wouldn;t go so far as to say I love her. She's a lovely girl.

DSS - He's OK. Can take or leave. Getting better with age.

I love dsd. Get on well with her, feel protective, care about her and am proud of her. I've been in her life since she was 15 months old (she's now 10). It's not to the same level as my own dc's though. When she annoys me, there isn't that natural instinct there. When she's mean to either of my dc's, I immediately side with them.

DH and I are in the process of separating. The thought that I might not have her in my life anymore is actually horrible hmm I will miss her

benid Mon 02-Dec-13 13:45:50

What Countrygal said.... "if I'm being honest, If I never saw them again then I wouldn't miss them in the slightest and I'm pretty sure they feel similar about me."

I like them a lot and we get on great but we don't have a bond of any kind. I agree with a PP - it's like niece/nephew or "children of friends" type feeling.

zqu76y Mon 02-Dec-13 16:28:41

Hi
Sorry this is my first ever post on here and I came on to ask the same question.

We've just got custody in september of my OHs DS who is 6, I'm currently pregnant and due any day. I saw the HV today and she asked me whether I was bonding with DSS, I said I love having him around but I do believe the bonding can take years. She appeared shocked at my statement.

Like everyone else, I support, feed, clothe, play and educate him with as much love as I can but he can be a spoilt brat - a result of the court hearing and I feel myself gritting my teeth sometimes. My OH is brilliant and is now giving him structure and discipline but I can already tell that my feelings for my unborn child is stronger. I have even thought about going to counselling as I thought I was abnormal.

Thank you ladies, I can feel the weight lifting already that My feelings actually are normal. Xxx

I love her. I've known her for 6 years and for 5 of those we've had a joint residency agreement. On the weeks when she isn't here I feel a hole, despite my 3 bio DCs being here.

It took a little while to bond but now I love her as much as 'my' kids, can't imagine being without her. I hope when she's a bit older she might choose to spend more time here.

I understand what people are saying about a lack of biological bond but she is so much like DH. I do love her differently than my bio DCs but not less IYSWIM.

KringleCandleLover Mon 02-Dec-13 17:08:50

DSD1 is 16 and lives here. I get on with her but don't love her. She has nc with her DM and sees me as 'mum', which makes me a bit sad as I don't see myself fulfilling that role,I don't want that role.

DSD2 is 14. I can honestly say if I never saw her again it wouldn't bother me. I feel absolutely nothing for her.

Tuckshop Mon 02-Dec-13 18:21:08

Zqu76y please don't give yourself a hard time. I bet you're doing brilliantly. There's another thread where I talk about my dsd coming to live with me. I'd been her SM for 14 years at that point and it was still hard to adjust to. A bond builds over time and as memories are created, and you learn to trust each other. And to trust that even at your worst you're still loved. That was my experience anyway. Don't worry.

zqu76y Mon 02-Dec-13 18:34:35

Thank you Tuckshop. I'm very realistic that it will take time and don't get me wrong it's not an easy transition. This time last year I was tottering around in stilettos and driving an Audi TT and by the end of this year there will be 2 kids in my life, I wear flats and drive an estate and it scares the hell out of me! I'll look out for your thread! Thanks again.

Bonsoir Mon 02-Dec-13 18:34:46

I have a great relationship with my DSSs. The are 16 and 18. They basically live with us (DSS1 is at university) and visit their mother only occasionally. We are their family.

But, hand on heart, while I am interested in everything they do and work hard to support them in every way, I do not miss them when they are not around.

WhatTheHellIsHappening Mon 02-Dec-13 18:46:42

DSD is 13.

We have a great relationship. We have 50:50 contact, although it really depends on her. Some days she'll want to stay with her mum to do some art homework because her mum is great at helping her, other times she'll come over to us when its not usual to, because she missed her siblings or the guinea pigs or whatever.

I am lucky that DP/ex are good friends, they split simply because they didn't love each other and therefore remain talkative and happy together, they do the best for DSD and this is possible due to them both being on good terms with each other.

DSD came into my life when she was 6. Because of having a lovely DM, it meant she didn't have as much of the upheaval and pain some SCs may feel. So we can have a laugh together, we both share a love of animals and DSD managed to convince DH to agree to guinea pigs, she's currently the best SD EVER in my opinion and I am good at styling her hair. It's a fun, easy relationship and I'm lucky to have a great DSD.

DSS is not as easy, he's 15. He has chosen to live 60:40 with his DM. He is definitely a nice kid, friendly, shy, bright- he's had more difficulty with the change. As he got older, our relationship strengthened, but I'm definitely not as close as with DSD, which I'm sad about, as he's honestly great! We aren't very similar and as he was 8 when we met, he had a harder time adjusting. Every day we are becoming much more together and he's definitely become looser with the contact, so he often spends more contact time with us for various reasons (although it is fairly even). I think we will end up as close as I am with DSD, it is taking more time.

MonkeysInTheFog Mon 02-Dec-13 18:54:52

My stepson was 9 when I met his dad.

He is, and always has been a peach. We've always got on famously. I guess it helps that relations between DH, DSSs mum and me have always been cordial; she's become one of my best friends.

DSS is nearly 24 now, hardworking, lovely and has just bought his first house with his GF who is also adorable. I'm so proud of him and hope my children turn out like him.

jenniferlawrence Mon 02-Dec-13 19:36:16

I think it's harder to bond with them as there are two of them. The older one is very loyal to his Mum so doesn't want the younger one to see him being too friendly to me and the younger one copies his big brother. If I am alone with either of them they open up to me a lot more and are generally more friendly and relaxed around me.

flowerpotgirl12 Mon 02-Dec-13 20:07:58

I like both my sc, , nice kids but we don't have a strong bond. In all honesty if me and dp split I wouldn't miss them. I am pregnant with my first dc and a lot of people have said this will change the way I feel and look at my sc. not sure if that's true or wishful thinking.

Georgia82 Tue 03-Dec-13 10:41:56

Zqu76y you sound like me. 2 years ago I was single, now I have dsd with us ft ( apart from eow and some hols) and two babies! I haven't yet got rid of the sporty car bug it's on its way..., :-(

I totally understand how you feel. All this stuff comes in time. My dsd is lovely, if at times challenging , but I guess that's children for you. If your experience is like mine, you'll create your own unique bond and shared experiences and traditions. Your new baby will also help too If handled well, although hat can be tricky too. Congratulations, enjoy the baby and don't worry. You actually care, do the looking after your dss both practically and emotionally so sound as if you are doing fine!

Georgia82 Tue 03-Dec-13 10:44:02

Oh, and you'll find that the heels and bags soon make a reappearance!

Xalla Tue 03-Dec-13 15:32:07

"if I'm being honest, If I never saw them again then I wouldn't miss them in the slightest and I'm pretty sure they feel similar about me."

Same here. Which I'm ashamed to admit given that I've been in her life since she was a baby and I was her main caregiver for a number of years; she's almost 8 now. I think the main reason is that I ended up feeling the time I spent caring for her was keeping me from my own children (not her fault obviously but I ended up resenting her for it anyway).

My DH and our other children would miss her very much though.

Livvylongpants Tue 03-Dec-13 15:45:52

Same as above. DSS 12 lives with us. I feed him, clothe him, do his homework Etc but the bottom line is he isn't my son, we rub along together etc

I naturally favour my own hildren but try my best to treat them all equally (my DD is 2 and DS 9 weeks) for example if I'm out shopping ill often go 'ohh Dd would like that' or 'DS would look sweet in that' but don't really do the same for him. However he has 2 parents of his own (only child on mums side) he doesn't need me to mother him.

purpleroses Tue 03-Dec-13 16:23:07

Livvy - I think your reaction to the clothes you see is probably more the age of your DCs. My DS is 13 and I now find myself spotting cute bits of baby clothes and thinking "ooh [friend's toddler/nephew/any random baby I can think of] would look cute in that" but never that DS would! They're just not cute at that age grin

willyoulistentome Tue 03-Dec-13 16:31:43

"if I'm being honest, If I never saw them again then I wouldn't miss them in the slightest and I'm pretty sure they feel similar about me."

Same here too. I feel guilty about it as my own DSs adore them.

jenniferlawrence Fri 06-Dec-13 15:06:34

Thanks for all your replies. It's good to know that I'm not unusual for not loving my stepsons the same way I love my DD. I feel less guilty now.

ElenorRigby Fri 06-Dec-13 15:26:22

"I've been in my step sons lives for 8 years, since they were 2 and 4. We get on fine. They are respectful towards me. I treat them fairly, ensure they are well fed, safe, happy and in clean clothes. I ask them questions and listen to them. I stick up for them when I think my husband is being hard on them but that's as far as it goes. I always assumed that a bond would develop over time but I've always found it hard to relate to them. They are easier to get on with when we just have one but we usually have both together. I know my husband wishes I had a closer bond with them but I feel that they don't want to be close to me as they are close to their Mum (rightly so) and I didn't want to push them. I care about them and feel protective but I don't adore them like I do my daughter."

You have pretty much described how I relate to DSD there with a twist.

Like Stepmooster and Alice a breaking of trust occurred when DSD made false allegations against her dad 3 years ago.

Intellectually I know it wasnt her fault, she didnt know what she was doing and was heavily manipulated by her mother but still it's caused a break. I cant quite trust her and am a little on guard which is really sad.
I try not to let it show. sad

Cleorapter Fri 06-Dec-13 16:02:28

I have one DSS, he's almost six, I find him...difficult. He can be a nice boy, but sometimes very mean, incredibly whiney all the time and quite manipulative (learned behaviour) he's incredibly spoiled and pampered to.

But when it's just me and him, we get on well and I feel a lot of affection for him. I just wish his parents would spend more time, not money, on him.

sheldor Fri 06-Dec-13 19:25:12

J love my dsc' all 3 of them..It's strange because one is the same age and the other two are 18months older but i am honestly so happy that one of them now has a daughter.My dcs skyped thier brother and neice for the 1st time this evening and it was funny to watch.Mine and dps dcs are 5 and 7 ,Dss's dsd and dd are 5 and 5 months smile

sheldor Fri 06-Dec-13 19:27:14

Oh and my dp was a single dad when i met him.I moved in with them all until they were 20 odd

sheldor Fri 06-Dec-13 19:34:14

I do think it's different if dcs have lived with thier mum tbf.Dps wife walked out on them.I would never have gone with dp if it had been the other way around as i can't stand exs and don't feel i could have bonded with them because of her grin

sheldor Fri 06-Dec-13 19:39:23

Kids really shoudn't be blamed for thier behaviour.If they have been bought up like it that is how they will be unforntunely.The only people who are to blame are the ones who bring them up spoilt.

sheldor Fri 06-Dec-13 19:44:03

Please excuse my spelling my mistakes.I text too fast blush

Mumallthetime Fri 06-Dec-13 19:51:11

sheldor At what age can DCs be held accountable for their own behaviour?

If they are adults, have positive professional, social & emotional relationships, should stepparents continue 'blame the parents' when their DSC behaves badly towards them?

IThoughtThat Sat 07-Dec-13 01:23:50

You have to wonder what the step children would write if they were asked to be honest about what they thought of their step parents confused grin

BritInTDot Sat 07-Dec-13 02:14:12

Poor dsc

Mumallthetime Sat 07-Dec-13 07:27:36

You have to wonder what the step children would write if they were asked to be honest about what they thought of their step parents

Honesty is not a virtue my DSC possess grin

- but their actions speak for themselves; I am in no doubt of their true feelings towards me.

apachepony Sat 07-Dec-13 22:20:17

If my dsd were being honest - conflicted feelings, sometimes likes me, sometimes resents me. Has in the past said she loves me, but I don't know about now.
Funny thing these step families. Sometimes it feels the best protection is not to feel too much

alikat724 Sun 08-Dec-13 21:37:36

Thank you OP for this thread! I came looking for support tonight, having a very tough time as DH wants DSS 15 to move in and I just...can't. Our marriage has stumbled from crisis to crisis for 4 years and I know that adding DSS to the mix full time would just be too much. He's a nice enough kid, I thought at the outset that things would be very different as I had lots of good intentions but it's all come to nought in the end. apachepony as you say, conflicted feelings on both sides. Hats off to all posters who have made it work, it's bloody hard to do at all, let alone well!

annielouisa Sun 08-Dec-13 23:53:34

I have read this thread and reslised our family must be pretty odd. I have 2 bio DD and 2 DSD and 2 DSS. I love them all they are all now adults. I think perhaps our family were helped in bonding by all DC being NC with the other parent.

We were never the Waltons but I think we were seen as the loving parents who always put the DC first.

apachepony Mon 09-Dec-13 08:22:24

I think being nc with the other parent makes a huge difference. Then it seems it can almost be like adoption

I love my dsd, but like other posters, I can be away from her for ages and not really miss her. I think this has gotten stronger since I had my own daughter a few weeks ago - in contrast, I get upset at the thought of leaving my own baby for a few hours.

In fact, dsd ended up spending extra time with us during my husband's paternity leave, so that she could bond with our new baby, and for the first time, I really resented her presence. It wasn't like she was badly behaved - she was golden child as usual. But I felt like she was in the way.

And in the meantime, she will always see me as an interloper. I spoke to her last week about how I grew up and built my own family. And she corrected me and said that I came into what she and dad already had. In her eyes, I will always be a member of this household because she let me, not because I put in any life changing effort.

Feeling a bit bitter. Dsd extra time in the house was neither my idea nor choice.

MrsWickens Mon 09-Dec-13 10:20:10

I don't like them. They are not nice children. If they were friends of my children they would not be allowed in the house because of their behaviour, attitude and bad manners.

ReluctantStepMum Mon 09-Dec-13 18:38:57

I dislike them intensely, and now I dislike my husband because he is a bloody Disney dad who has just ruined 9 years of being loved intensely. They live with us ft and are 16 and 18. He doesn't realise what he has spoilt, cos we were nearly there, going to live the dream. Now he can take a hike.

KepekCrumbs Mon 09-Dec-13 19:02:43

My dsd is nearly 20 years younger than my dc. I think dsd is wonderful- she's funny, very clever and courageous. I love the way her mum has raised her and I feel so lucky to have another bit of parenting without the sleepless nights. I miss her when I haven't seen her for a while but it is different from being a mother- I don't have the prime responsibility for her, her parents have that. Whilst I would protect her and care for her as much as I would my own children, it doesn't ache my heart in quite the the same way. I do love her though. She's a brilliant kid.

Moxiegirl Mon 09-Dec-13 19:44:39

I get on well with dsd (15) and bite my tongue when she irritates me. She is here 50:50 whereas my ds is here all the time (eldest dd lives away from home now). I think we get on well as I don't try and parent her, I leave it to dp - although she is a good girl anyway and any irritation is just normal teen stuff. I don't love her though and wouldn't expect to although I do care about her.

Weegiemum Mon 09-Dec-13 19:48:25

I'm a stepchild.

I have a fabulous relationship with my stepmom. She's been my "mum" since I was 14. Apart from calling her by her first name, everything else about our relationship is pure mother/daughter.

It is possible!

HopAndSkipAlong Mon 09-Dec-13 20:03:41

I am a step child too, have got with my step dad since about 17 after some tricky years in teens, I think it's easier with a step dad as they don't get as emotional and involved so just get on with things and there's less arguments (in my experience anyway!)
I still can't stand my step mum. It's been interesting reading your posts to see things from her point of view. I think it just always felt like she'd rather not have me and my brother around - it made our dad's house seem more like a relatives house where you're on edge rather than home.

Now she suddenly makes more of an effort since DD was born, funnily enough she barely speaks to my brother with no children..!

needaholidaynow Mon 09-Dec-13 20:11:03

Probablyjustgas I feel exactly the same as you wrt when DSD isn't here. I can't really say that I miss her at all. DP does obviously, but I don't sit there wishing I could see her or count down the days until she comes again. Especially because that time is my quality time with my own children which is precious to me, and they also keep me busy too. Life is busy in general anyway. So I have no time really to miss her.

Life carries on when she isn't here, much to people's dismay. smile

Mamuss Mon 09-Dec-13 20:22:07

I don't like mine. I really struggle. Teen sd who is rude nasty selfish and her father allows it. It makes me resent them both. My ss is not so bad but had real behaviour issues cause his mother doesn't parent very well. And we end up trying to sort his behaviour at the weekends. I have a young son of my own and I could never love my step children in that way :-( wish it was different

missmargot Mon 09-Dec-13 20:26:13

I like my step child, even more so now he is older and talks to me more. I care for him very much and will always do the best I can for him, but I don't miss him when he's not here and I'm not sure I love him.

MsColour Fri 13-Dec-13 12:34:52

Honestly, very mixed feelings. He is fun to have around, gets on great with my dcs. I love him for being him and because I love my dp and they come together.

But it isn't the unconditional love I have for my own children who I can forgive anything. I dislike the way his mum treats him like the world revolves around him so dislike it when he behaves in a spoilt way. I sometimes resent him for things that aren't his fault e.g the fact that we are financially supporting him when my own dc get no financial support from their dad.

Sometimes i'm glad when it's just my own dcs here. But when we haven't had him for a few days I miss him.

trooperlooperdo Fri 13-Dec-13 12:35:06

Can't stand the eldest. her attitude stinks, she's a bully, incredibly lazy and 99% of the time she's downright rude. I can take or leave the youngest, she's also very very lazy and has the occaisional lapse into behaving like her older sister, but she's not a bully.

lockie1983 Fri 13-Dec-13 16:54:06

I love him madly. Think the absolute world of him. Do everything I can to make sure he feels loved, appreciated and part of our family. He has been in my life for 8 years.

In fact, I recently had a baby (six months ago) and didn't feel an instant bond with him. This rubbish about loving your own more than your step kids haunted the first difficult weeks of having the baby and contributed to pnd.

I tearfully told my husband and HV that I was ashamed for loving dss more than my baby ... Luckily, they reminded me that I have love dss for 8 years, and the baby for only a few weeks.

I feel pretty lucky that I love them both so much after seeing other peoples replies.

newbiestepmum Sat 14-Dec-13 22:51:12

Great for the tiny minority who do deel a bond which they feel equals that of biological mother/child.

However, for me the realisation that I am not abnormal for not feeling this magical bond, has also been a huge weight off my shoulders. My husband made me feel guilty for not automatically bonding with SD, or even feeling the love that I feel for my nieces. I knew my nieces from birth, bottle fed them etc etc. Whereas I have known my SD nearly 2 years and at age 12 she is a little lady, not a dependant baby/toddler who you feel needs you and is connected to you.

Reading the book 'stepmonster' was the first time I let myself of that hook and it did me the world of good.

I still get annoyed at those pictures doing the rounds on social media about how amazing stepmums are because they love their step kids as their own. Sounding their own trumpet - good for them if they genuinely feel that way but perhaps it's more of a tool for self assurance than the whole truth?

My SD is lovely in so many ways. The less than lovely bits can be attributed to an over indulgent mother who has her priorities in life skewed (i e money is more important than anything else and hard work is to be avoided at all costs). Not the way I would bring up my own children which makes the bonding process all the harder IMHO.

Don't be too hard on yourself. Keep on keeping on!

shey02 Mon 23-Dec-13 01:41:09

I think maybe the 'love' part might need to be reciprocal and the 'bond' part is perhaps formed by doing/taking care of and responsibility for them and them to a degree of you, other family members and the house... I had a great relationship with my ex-bf ds, I would say I loved him and although he never said it, I think he loved me to. We shared good family time and just chilled like a normal family would.

FF to my new life and new partner and much as I want to have a relationship with my boyfriends dc, we spend so little time together that every time is like starting again and I worry that bonds will never form. It needs time and effort and reciprocation and normality. Plus when kids are coached to hate you for no reason, I wonder if there's any hope anyway.

TinselTaTas Mon 23-Dec-13 05:48:06

I do a lot for dsd who we have 50/50, I don't love her though I care about her. No idea how she feels about me, 1 minute she's all over me and the next hates me.

When she's here 3/4 days on the trot I find myself going out on errands just to avoid her. It's her dad she's here to see it's not my job to be around 24/7.

Loveineveryspoonful Mon 23-Dec-13 10:08:12

Clingons?
Wish I could share this pun with dh, he's a massive Star Trek fan ;)

Of course its lovely to see kids hug their dads (or wrestle when they're too manly to hug, as ds with his dad), but I don't think any sm is that stupid to not be able to tell the difference between a genuine hug that's given with love, and a clingyness that simply suggests "naff off, he's mine" in no uncertain terms.

Would love to hear from those sms who have open, honest, great relationships with their dsc where territorial clinging beyond the age of 2 or 3 is not a problem.
What do your dps do different? (I'm pretty sure its a reaction caused by vagueness in dads whose uncertainty in new relationships make their dc feel uneasy too, but could be wrong...).

LoodleDoodle Fri 27-Dec-13 16:24:04

Delurking here. Honestly? I loathe mine, with a passion. Spoiled, difficult, nasty to my DD. One is more likeable, I care for her although it isn't love. The elder is vile, vile, at 11. Not their fault, their mother truly is vile, and it's learnt behaviour. They'll never know how I feel about them, but honestly? I count down the minutes till they're gone.

MatryoshkaDoll Fri 27-Dec-13 19:49:55

Anyone feel like their relationship with their DP isn't as good as it potentially could be because you don't love their DC like they love them?

I sometimes feel like DP is disappointed in me that I'm not totally besotted.

NachoAddict Fri 27-Dec-13 22:07:50

I love dsd, not as much as my own dc but genuinely love her. That's not to say she doesn't irritate me, she does but them so do my own dc sometimes. I teared up when dp and I taught her to ride her bike, I feel proud of her and miss her when she's gone.

I do sometimes resent the behaviour of the adults around her but that's not her fault and sometimes she has an attitude that gets on my wick whereas I am probably more tolerant of my own dc because I have more control over their behaviour etc.

oadcb Fri 27-Dec-13 22:46:27

I really dislike mine. I try my hardess and its been flung in my face too many times.

My DSS is a selfish money orientated lazy bratt

My DSD is lazy muniplitive.

I've decided to detach completely now and just do damage limitation of the effects of their behaviour on my children.

oadcb Fri 27-Dec-13 22:48:17

I really dislike mine. I try my hardess and its been flung in my face too many times.

My DSS is a selfish money orientated lazy bratt

My DSD is lazy muniplitive.

I've decided to detach completely now and just do damage limitation of the effects of their behaviour on my children.

Princessjonsie Thu 02-Jan-14 03:28:01

We have a better relationship now older and the penny has dropped I'm going nowhere . I still dread vists as he is so disruptive to home life and makes everything difficult but surprise myself how protective I am towards him. I think I don't care but if anyone hurts him I'm like a lioness with cubs. Mother instinct is a powerful thing

bluebell8782 Thu 02-Jan-14 13:46:33

I love my DSD - she's ten and I have been in her life since she was 5. I don't have children of my own so I don't know how different the feeling would be but I do know I would fight to the death to protect her, I feel warmth and teary when I look at her sometimes and feel happy when she smiles.

She will always love her dad but I'm now starting to worry that I perhaps will be in the firing line in her teens. I think she is starting to feel guilty about her love for me as her mum despises my existence. She did tell me once that she loved me which I will always remember.

WoollyNortherner Thu 02-Jan-14 14:38:48

I like my dsd, I care for her greatly but I don't love her. She has a totally different life at her mums and her attitude, values and aspirations are very different to what I have encouraged in my ds's. She is very young for her age, very dependent, very clingy, needs constant attention and loves a bit of drama. She also refuses to share ANYTHING but thinks nothing of just helping herself to my ds's things.

All these little things grate on me and cause tension in the house. We try to treat her the same as my ds's and certainly don't encourage her behaviour, but its an uphill struggle as she's only with us 50% of the time and she idolises her morally challenged mum.

colditz Thu 02-Jan-14 14:42:06

I love them. They have been in my life for half of their lives (more for dsd) and we know each other well. Their mother, while being a source of deep irritation to me sometimes, is doing a very good job with them, and they are pleasant, polite, well socialised, intelligent and fun.

PixieFairy Thu 02-Jan-14 14:51:41

I'm fond of them. We get on fine and they're polite. However, it's not how I feel with my own dc. Thankfully DH understands what I mean when we've spoken about it. We're not as close as most step parents but I think that's to do with the living distance between us.

hiltontribe Sun 05-Jan-14 12:38:31

Things were good with dsd until she started writing 'I hate my step mum, she is a bitch, she can't be in charge, she's not my mum' on every bit of paper she could find. She'd leave them for me to find, the sweetie pie!

She moved to her mums 6 months ago and the difference in the house is unbelievable. No fights, shouting or tears. However I would have her back without a second thought.
For all that she was a pain in the arse, I miss her. It's just a shame she doesn't miss us! She's more like her mum than me and Dh would like to admit!

Xalla Tue 07-Jan-14 06:09:01

*I do a lot for dsd who we have 50/50, I don't love her though I care about her. No idea how she feels about me, 1 minute she's all over me and the next hates me.

When she's here 3/4 days on the trot I find myself going out on errands just to avoid her. It's her dad she's here to see it's not my job to be around 24/7.*

Yep, I can totally relate to that too.

trooperlooperdo Tue 07-Jan-14 13:59:57

I actively dislike the eldest girl (and everything she does only serves to prove my feelings about her are spot on) and completely indifferent about the youngest. after the way the eldest has assulted and bullied my child, he can't stand her either.

colditz Tue 07-Jan-14 17:23:46

Trooper, how old are all the children?

MrsExtraOrdinary Wed 08-Jan-14 12:35:05

Jennifer I think you've summed it up entirely! I live with one of my dsc and have done for 4 years after his mother rejected him. However there is no love there. I care about all of them but I don't love them like I do my own.

impatienceisavirtue Sat 11-Jan-14 00:28:54

I care about them because they're DH's kids.

But I have to say, reading some of these threads have made me feel a lot better - I really was starting to wonder if I was an incredibly awful person as, though I wouldn't openly admit it, I generally find them rather unpleasant :/

Not DH's fault - it is apparent from the way he parents them, the way he has always parented them and the way he parents my 3 DCs that the, er, issues that they are developing are coming from some spectacularly bad parenting moves from their BM.

Marwois Tue 28-Jan-14 15:54:04

I've been seeing my OH for just over a year and have known his children (dsb's nearly 4, and 5) for about 4 months. My OH has said if I love his children then he'll do anything for me...!

I know having read here and elsewhere, and having been in a relationship, where I had a dsd and the relationsip didn't work out, that it's not always possible to love your dsc. I do like my dsc, but due to the previous relationship where I did bond I am, I think understandably, apprehensive and scared. I bond with with all my nieces and nephews but it's all just different kind of relationship levels isn't it? So no problem bonding in my eyes.

OH and I do not live together and yes we both have baggage which we bring - I am faced with "love them as I do" which is having impact on relationship with OH. Do I take my time to get to know them or jump in? Both the dsc really love it when I'm there, and ask if I'm going to be there but it's overwhelming me (past relationship baggage I think). My parenting suggestions have not been welcomed and ignored but it's not unreasonable for boundaries to be in place for children (and step-parents)?? ie it's ok to wake up in the morning at 5am; rather than teaching boundaries to stay in bedroom etc??

It's also important that OH sees them on his own so I have gone and done things when we've all been at his - it's healthy isn't it rather than trying to force a unit onto a group of people??

I'm struggling with communication at the moment with the OH who has given me alot (support etc), but also is very keen that we are a 'family unit'...End of tether at the moment...

ShesYourDaughter Tue 28-Jan-14 16:55:29

Marwois, two years ago I asked my DP to join me in a New Years resolution that we would be more of a family unit, rely on each other, discuss things, share or at least communicate on parenting, do things together. She promised.

It was the last New Years resolution I made.

Not because we didnt try, we tried very hard. It's just not that easy and trying and failing was doing more harm than good.

There were times in the past when I actively didn't like the dsc's, that grew to a more neutral stand, and now after looking after them single handedly for 5 days I think we've come to a positive point.

It's not a parent child relationship it's a mutual respect and regard, they realise I'm there to support and guide them as much as mum, and have a bit of fun along the way. I find them quite good company, in an exhausting way!

But I'll never feel that deep empathy I don't think, or make any decisions with my heart instead of my head.

May just be a case of they're getting older, no mum around to play up for. I'll find out next week.

To be honest my own kids became a bit like strangers for a few years at a semi independent age where the only use they seemed to have for me was as the person to test how far they could go! Teenagers huh?!

Kaluki Wed 29-Jan-14 11:57:23

Marwois - he's asking too much of you. You can't just turn love on like a tap.
If he won't listen to you and ignores you when you ask him to make changes and set reasonable boundaries then how on earth can you be expected to bond with the dsc. He can't have it all ways.
My feelings for my DSC have evolved over the years from indifference to dislike when they were at their worse and with DPs help I am now at the point where I do love them and want the best for them but it doesn't come close to the love I have for my own dc.

ScottishPies Thu 30-Jan-14 15:26:50

i wish I'd known of this board and of this thread in December.

My DP has 11yr ds who is lovely and friendly and loves/adores his dad. And Dp loves/adores ds. I have been with Dp 14months, spent every wknd with them and been staying with DP since Sept (not moved in, staying while look for somewhere to rent). I sadly have no dc. Dp has ds 50/50.

Ds found it difficult to adjust when DP first started dating me, and then again when I started staying with dp. I get on with ds okay, I think he is a great kid, and but there has always been a clear difference in his mind about the role his dad plays and the role I play and I have always felt on the outside of this little unit of two (three is you include the dog!).

DP made it clear on several occasions that ds always comes first and that if i want to be with DP i had to adjust my life to dp, ds and the dog.

Ds always refers to his dad on any discussion/decision, even down to what we have for dinner - when I tried to make suggestions about what to have for dinner (because I know dp got fed up of thinking about it and I like cooking) he would dismiss my suggestions and say lets wait for dad to decided. And any day out would be directed by dp/ds, my suggestions tended to get dismissed. I was consistently patient and never showed any irritation, although I did feel as though I was a stranger in their home they were being friendly to.

Unfortunately, the relationship also suffered other pressures which lead to one to many rows and me moving to staying with my parents 25miles away just before xmas.

I love DP and I care for dss, but I'm not sure how things will pan out. Perhaps I need a separate thread of my own!

freckledleopard Thu 30-Jan-14 15:49:42

Thank God for this thread. I was a step-mother 50% of the time to my now ex-husband's son, and it was a hellish experience and a key contributing factor as to why we divorced. The situation was fairly unique - his son is autistic and neither my ex or the mother would deal with, or barely even acknowledge the situation. I couldn't cope and the marriage ended (as well as there being other reasons).

I'm now in a new relationship and my partner has a four year old son. He is super cute, fun, very boyish (which is a massive contrast as my DD, now a teenager, was always very girly). I like spending time with him, playing trucks, drawing etc, but I am still so scared of committing to this relationship, knowing how my marriage turned out. I'm worried that whilst it's easy to play happy families whilst dating, things can turn very different when you commit as a couple and move in together. Day to day reality is different from weekend visits and I worry if I can cope. I don't want history to repeat itself.

I don't want to simply tolerate a step child either. I'd hate for DD to be 'tolerated' (my ex-husband was a very good step-father to her) and would want to really love and bond with a step-child.

The whole blended family thing is a minefield confused

fubar74 Fri 31-Jan-14 12:12:24

MatryoshkaDoll, I agree our relationship suffered because of my 'relationship' with his DS and I say that term very loosely.

Basically I don't have a relationship with SC, and prefer it that way because I can't deal with the softly softly disney approach when he wasn't like that with this kids when he was with his Ex

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