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To ask which of you are step parents?

(34 Posts)
Snoozybird Fri 26-Jun-15 20:51:09

I often read the step parenting section on MN and understand by its very nature that a lot of the posts will be from people who are having issues in their relationships.

Even so I was surprised by the number of people on a recent thread elsewhere on MN where people casually mentioned their DSCs in passing - I'd kind of forgotten that you can have a step family set-up without the drama.

I'm really struggling at the moment and would find it somehow reassuring to know that there are others out there just getting on with family life, and if so what would be your top tip?

happygirl87 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:16:49

I am a step mum- I can't think of any good tips for just getting on with it, I am unfortunately definitely on the "drama" side of the fence, but as one step parent to another I am bumping, and sending you wine and flowers!

Shizzy Fri 26-Jun-15 21:20:56

I'm a step mum. My DSD lives with us permanently. The only drama is the usual teenage shit usually. I love her to pieces.

flora717 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:21:35

My DC have a step-dad. It's fairly good here. My DH also happens to have 4 parents. He has a positive relationship with them all.
There's no shortage of respect and love in his family. It's acknowledged that everyone "needs" but there's no sappiness.

WestEast Fri 26-Jun-15 21:22:19

I have a DSD. There's minimal drama. Mainly cos her mum is fucking awesome.

hesterton Fri 26-Jun-15 21:22:41

I'm one. Heavenly dsd who lives with her mum.

ChuffinAda Fri 26-Jun-15 21:22:41

My husband is step dad to my/our kids

It has its moments where the kids have a 'youre not my dad' strop but otherwise think the world of him and love him to bits.

Shizzy Fri 26-Jun-15 21:23:04

Top tip? I don't have one. I'm lucky that for all the shit she's gone through in her life, she's fundamentally a decent human being. She knows I run this house. Her dad backs me up when I need help but generally we sort stuff out between the two of us.

riverboat1 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:26:34

I'm a stepmum. My tip: if the separated parents manage to achieve that rare equilibrium between still being friends and coparents yet also having moved on with their own lives with new partners and thus each accepting of the other's partner...then things are mostly sweet. I am eternally grateful that this is my situation when I read so many other posts on the SP board relating bitter relations and awful game playing.

Though I must say it isn't really a 'tip' as its up to the separated parents to make this happen, the SPs can only do so much here!

sadwidow28 Fri 26-Jun-15 21:27:03

I am a step-parent (youngest of 3 came to live with us full-time 18 months after we got married). We did have 2 years of drama, but she is a wonderful 42 year old wife and mother herself now.

I recall when she was 28 years old (the age I was when she came to live permanently) and she herself had only been married a year, she said "I don't know how you had the courage and selflessness to take me on". That meant a lot to me.

When we had the 2 years of challenge and drama, I saw it as usual testing of was nothing to do with step- anything. (And I did have the "you are not my mother so you can't tell me" thrown at me.)

Lolimax Fri 26-Jun-15 21:29:13

I am! I have 2 'bonus babies' a 12 year old ss who we have every other weekend and in the week but I'd love him more and a 22 year old sd who leads an independent life but who we see when we can and I have a brilliant relationship with. Lad has a fab mum but lass lost her mum years ago. DH inherited my 2 lovelies who adore him, they are 17 and 18. It isn't always plain sailing but life with teenagers never is, is it?

momb Fri 26-Jun-15 21:29:49

I have DSDs. Love them to bits albeit at a distance as they are here part time and I wouldn't want to cause any discomfort to their Mum to whom DH doesn't speak any longer.
I love and like them individually but have struggled on occasion through the teenage years with how casually they cancel seeing DH to do what seems like trivial stuff and he is gutted but says nothing to them.
We carry on carrying on. No major issues.
I'm not sure DH would say the same about my two who love him fiercely but really make him earn his Dad stripes as their own father is so inconsistent/absent/crap: DH is the only real Dad they have. He's the one they but heads with, draws boundaries and fixes them when broken (with me obviously).

DJThreeDog Fri 26-Jun-15 21:32:51

I'm one to DSS age 14. Have known him ten years now which makes me feel ancient!

We're lucky that DH and his ex wife have a fairly amicable relationship - but it wasn't always like that. I felt very very stressed and hurt at times when I was expected to behave in every way like a parent, but not receive any of the good stuff that comes with it.

pegster Fri 26-Jun-15 21:33:55

I'm a step-mum to two teenagers plus have two small children with my DH. Minimal drama currently after lots of stress from their mother over contact at the start of our relationship (I was not the ow & she was already living with her new DP)
Taking DSD (16) on holiday with us tomorrow, can't wait smile

Mouldypineapple Fri 26-Jun-15 21:35:57

My SD is the same age as me... Does that count?! We get on very well now although it was a bit awkward at first.. Lives with her partner not us.

Dansak Fri 26-Jun-15 21:44:57

SM to two preteen dsd's here, minimal drama and generally all rub along quite nicely.

Love that our ds together, has two great big sisters, they teach him so much and really enrich his life.

Ikeatears Fri 26-Jun-15 21:45:48

I'm a SM to dsd who's grown up now but I've known her almost her whole life. Two tips I'd give are maintain a good relationship with mum if you can (not always easy I know) and make it clear that although you have a role is dsc's life and love them, you don't want to take the place of their parent. (Again, unless mum isn't on the scene and you have become mum iyswim). I have a lovely relationship with dsd. It's not the same as with my own dc but it's different to any relationship I've had with any other child. It's a unique relationship and should be treated as such. Not always easy but then neither is bringing up your own dc sometimes.

QueenofLouisiana Fri 26-Jun-15 22:04:34

I'm a step-daughter with a fabulous step-dad who is an amazing grandad to my son.

He's been around since I was 8. So over 30 years. He's made me countless cups of tea and listened to me cry about everything from messing up my homework to leaving a long term relationship. Ialesy buy him lunch on Fathers Day and allowed him first cuddle with DS- in the delivery suite while I was recovering.

I don't think I could love him more of I shared genes with him.

catzpyjamas Fri 26-Jun-15 22:13:44

I'm stepmum to a 20 year old DSS. We've been in each other's lives for 14 years. He found me before I ever spoke to his dad, now DH. He was my neighbour. I used to say it was a BOGOF deal (never sure which one was free). He's a lovely big brother to our DD and still comes to us every weekend.
We've been through all the usual growing up dramas but survived. Like any parent, this had it's moments- still does.
The best advice I can give you is to listen. He can (and does) tell me anything. I feel very privileged about this. When his parents disagreed on anything, I didn't take sides but did try to work out what HE wanted/needed and tried to make sure both parents were aware of how he felt.
I also made sure he knew our house rules stand no matter what happens in his other home.
Oh and NEVER be their homework buddy. Geez, that nearly broke us!grin

littleshorty Fri 26-Jun-15 22:19:58

I'm a step mum to dss 8. Dh step dad to my ds 6. No dramas here. Any problems with dh ex (few and far between) are for him to sort out I've never been involved except to support dh. My relationship with her is distant but polite.
We all just want what's best for the kids and respect each other.
Most problems on the step board are respect and boundary issues either caused by bitterness from exs or guilt from nrp.

2rebecca Fri 26-Jun-15 22:21:10

My top tip is that if they have 2 natural parents involved in their care then you aren't really needed or wanted in a parenting role. Back off and be more of an auntie type figure and leave parenting to their parents.
You still have to agree appropriate behaviour in the house/ no rudeness etc but I left tellings off etc to my husband and didn't push to go to parents' evenings etc.
Problems between my husband and my kids arose when he tried to tell them off when I was around.
I think you are naturally more lax with your kids than someone else's because there is a degree of love and tolerance that you don't have with someone else's kids.
Try not to get wound up over trivia.
My step kids are now young adults and with an adult-adult relationship things are much better.

Snoozybird Mon 29-Jun-15 09:46:57

Thanks everyone, I'm not sure whether my relationship is going to survive but it really helps to read some positive experiences.

wink1970 Mon 29-Jun-15 10:14:14

I'm a step-mum to 2 (now grown-up) and a step-nan to 2.

we had a few drama moments in the first year, almost exclusively down to my lack of understanding of how to do things - I tried telling them off, rather than setting boundaries but asking DH to enforce them. They pushed back as it was 'their' house, and played their natural parents against each other ... the usual stuff, really.

15 years on, I love my children dearly, and I know they feel the same. I acknowledge I will never be their mum, so - as another poster says - I try for an 'aunty' role, which works really well. Mind you, to the grand-kids, I am "number 1 nan" as I put the time in, so I think the lack of biology gets trumped over a generation by love.

The best advice I can give you, OP, is to pour a glass of wine each evening with your DH/DP, after the kids have gone to bed, and talk things over rationally, laugh, vent, cry, whatever - but do them together and don't let the kids see. Face everything together with 1 position, even if you disagree privately afterwards. Never slag of their mum, stay silent if you cannot say anything nice. Invest, and you will reap.


Shakirasma Mon 29-Jun-15 10:21:46

I have a 22yo DSD, and i have been with her dad since she was 7. There were some ups and down over the years but she has developed into a beautiful, bright, hardworking young woman who I am immensely proud of and we have a great relationship.

BallsforEarrings Mon 29-Jun-15 10:22:46

I'm a step mum but I view my 25 year old SS as my own, I hardly think of myself as a stepmum it doesn't sound right or close enough for our actual relationship, we are close family that better describes it.

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