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To think I don't need to be a step 'mum'

(52 Posts)
BloodyMaryAtBreakfast Mon 15-Apr-19 09:07:33

Met DHs children when they were 4 and 6, we've been together 6 years.

AIBU to think I don't need to be a step 'mum'? I like his kids a lot, we have a great time when they come and I enjoy their company but I don't see myself as any sort of 'parental' figure to them at all and I don't want to be.

All my friends / family who are in this situation are quite involved i.e doing pick ups/drop offs, going to school plays, texting exes to arrange contact etc... when I say I don't really do any of that stuff because I don't feel it's my place I'm always met with 'but you're an important person in their lives now, you're their stepMUM'.

I just don't feel the urge to involve myself in anything like that. Don't get me wrong, if there was some reason why DH or his ex couldn't do something like a pick up for example, I would offer. We all get along great.

I guess I just see the children more as little friends rather than as my own children. That's okay isn't it?

I don't make them feel unwelcome, they know they can come to their home with us at any time and they do stay 50:50 presently and they are happy here.

I just get met with such odd looks when I say I don't really see myself as a step mother.

Halo1234 Mon 15-Apr-19 09:18:55

No you are not being u. You sounds lovely. a kind adult in their lives but not a parent. It works for them and it works for you so I wouldnt worry. They might see you as a maternal figure but I dont think u have to take on parental responsibility when they have 2 loving parents. You obviously love them and make them welcome that's all the matters imo.

SnowsInWater Mon 15-Apr-19 09:20:48

It sounds like you have found something that works for your family, there are no rights and wrongs so I would ignore people who say it should be different. As someone who works with separated parents in conflict, my experience is that stepmums wanting a lot of involvement in the children's lives causes way more problems than stepmums who don't look for a parental role.

CarolDanvers Mon 15-Apr-19 09:22:54

I guess I just see the children more as little friends rather than as my own children. That's okay isn't it?

Of course it is. You sound very healthy and aware. I don’t understand this need for step parents get get involved in everything - discipline, practical arrangements etc. I certainly wouldn’t expect it. I think a lot more step situations would work better if the step wasn’t expected to get involved in the childcare and minutiae of parenting children that are not theirs.

PristineCondition Mon 15-Apr-19 09:24:10

My sister is the same, her partner's kids are 5 and 8, they get along great and she cares very deeply for them but she doesn't like being called their stepmum. They have a fab mum and dad already who parent well enough between them

Mrsjayy Mon 15-Apr-19 09:25:32

You actually sound great and considerate you don't have to be involved you don't need to go to pllays or parents night s it doesn't sound lije either parents expects you to do any of these things you can still be a positive adult in their life.

NerdyBird Mon 15-Apr-19 09:32:19

It's perfectly fine. I'm a stepmum and I'm more involved but my stepchildren live with my husband and me full-time, so it's pretty much impossible not to be. Don't worry about what other people think.

BloodyMaryAtBreakfast Mon 15-Apr-19 09:32:32

My sister is the same, her partner's kids are 5 and 8, they get along great and she cares very deeply for them but she doesn't like being called their stepmum

Yes I'm the same, I don't like it either.

Missingstreetlife Mon 15-Apr-19 09:54:19

You are legally their step mother. your actual relationship sounds fine, they don't need another mum, you are a bit like an extra aunt or godparent perhaps, more than a friend but not quite family.
Each situation is different if you have found a role that suits you and them and the parents, we'll done and don't worry. Things may change over time, who is pressuring you and what is it to them?

CarrieBlu Mon 15-Apr-19 09:56:20

You sound like you’ve got it just right for you and the children OP. Great that all the adults involved get on well too.

LoadOfUtterBoswellocks Mon 15-Apr-19 10:09:27

Sounds like a lovely arrangement to me. You're like a bonus auntie or something - you care for them and like to be around them, but you have no need to be a parent to them because they already have 2 parents.

Chilledout11 Mon 15-Apr-19 10:12:15

I think you sound lovely too. Very respectful that they already have a mum. That's why you all get along great I'd imagine. Main thing is good relationships are there and security

Thunderspuds Mon 15-Apr-19 10:16:07

I'm the same with my SD. I've always had in my head that she has two parents who do a good job co-parenting so she doesn't really need me to fulfil that kind of role. It seems to work for us as a family. She has recently occasionally started referring to me as her step mum and it feels a wee bit weird to me, but it comes from her so that's fine. You might find your role evolves into a bit more "parental" as the children get older possibly. Not so much the logistical stuff like pick-ups/drop offs you are talking about, but I'm finding there's a bit more input needed re. behaviour as the normal pre-teen challenges creep in! I have two DDs of my own as well.

BloodyMaryAtBreakfast Mon 15-Apr-19 10:27:43

Thanks all. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me that I wasn't getting these sort of maternal feelings towards the children that my friends talk about.

I hear so many people saying how they think of them as their own children or love them as much as their own children etc...

I don't have any children yet so I have nothing to compare but I certainly don't think of them as my children. They are a part of my life for sure and a good part at that, but I don't see them as mine.

If the kids referred to me as their step mum of course I wouldn't tell them not to, it's just not a term I'm comfortable with other people labelling me as I guess!

Tbh I like never having to be the bad guy, they love me because I'm not the one that decides bedtime or tells them what they can and can't have to eat after tea grin

GiantPretzel Mon 15-Apr-19 10:34:03

Tbh I like never having to be the bad guy, they love me because I'm not the one that decides bedtime or tells them what they can and can't have to eat after tea

I'm going to go against the grain here and say you're ducking out on something that is going to become more important, even if it's not an issue now -- at least supporting your DH's parenting, when his maturing children view him as the 'bad guy'. Teenagers and pre-teenagers are pretty good at divining hairline cracks and exploiting them, and if you insist on holding to your 'not getting involved, guvnor' role, I think it could end up being a difficult dynamic between your, your husband and your stepchildren, especially if -- as might happen -- they want to come and live with you at some stage, rather than with their mother.

GabsAlot Mon 15-Apr-19 10:43:09

im the same but never lived close by to the kids so maybe that was a factor-theyre adults now and we get on well but im not a stepmum

Campurp Mon 15-Apr-19 10:44:28

No I don't think you're being unreasonable. You actually sound like my stepmum who I met when I was 6, and love so much for not trying to be a forceful parent to me.
My stepdad on the other hand, I HATED! He was always overstepping the mark and was horrible and abusive.
You may find that as thy get older you will become someone they can confide in.

tisonlymeagain Mon 15-Apr-19 10:44:48

You're not alone, I don't see myself as a stepmother either. They live with me 50/50 and of course I look after them, feed them, care for them, tuck them in at night, give them baths etc but externally, I am not involved with ex, contact arrangements, school etc. I have my own children and I feel very differently about how I parent them but when we are all together I don't treat the 'step kids' any different, however I am not their parent, they have two!

BloodyMaryAtBreakfast Mon 15-Apr-19 10:47:08

I do support my husband, I don't ever go against what he's said to the children.

I'd never continue to chat or play with them if he's said it's bed time or give them a snack he's said they can't have for example.

I just don't make the initial parenting decisions because I'm not their parent. For me, it's up to DH to decide when he wants to send his children to bed or what he wants to feed them for a snack etc...

regmover Mon 15-Apr-19 10:54:37

I agree with you, that's how I was with my "step-child".

regmover Mon 15-Apr-19 10:57:50

It's a bit misleading to say that you are "legally" the stepmother. That's because a stepmother has no legal status in relation to a child. If they adopt them then it's different, but they wouldn't really be a stepmother then.

downcasteyes Mon 15-Apr-19 11:08:13

I don't think there's a right or a wrong way to be a step-parent. Very involved parenting might work well for some families, in others a looser and less engaged style is fine.

As long as no-one in the family itself is unhappy in any way - and it doesn't sound like they are - there is no problem!

Chewbecca Mon 15-Apr-19 11:09:35

I had/have a similar relationship with my SC who I met when they were 10 and 12. They had 2 parents already, didn't need another one in that role. They're now around 30 and we remain good friends, they know I am and always be there for them, care for them, provide support and advice and that they always are welcome here. I look after a SGC now too on occasion which is fab!
There were some tough times in the late teenage years but thankfully they were short lived!

BestestBrownies Mon 15-Apr-19 11:17:06

It's a shame more women in your situation don't behave as you do OP and expect the father to actually parent his own DC.

The ones who take on too much responsibility are just enabling Disney parenting and conforming to our patriarchal society's view of the woman's place/duties in the home.

Don't change anything OP. You're doing it right.

stofi Mon 15-Apr-19 11:19:14

My dad died and I had a stepdad from the age of 10. My mum said she would never put another man in charge of her children, so he sort of lived with us as a kindly uncle, he never interfered, he was just there. I never worried about it, just called him by his Christian name and accepted him.

It was fine, you'll be fine too OP, just take it as it comes.

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