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When did you "stop" feeling like a step parent?

(15 Posts)
peppersquint Thu 04-Apr-13 22:34:44

When they have their own children?
Do they move from being "step children" to "friends" or "relatives"?
The label "step children" seems to "keep them forever vulnerable and young" - I know it's accurate, but as a SM to four DSC I know that I now see them differently than I did 20 years ago - how to others think?

balia Thu 04-Apr-13 23:57:20

What a thought-provoking question. Well, my earliest experience of being in a parental role to a child that wasn't mine was when i was in my early 20's - my then DH's teenage neice. Her mum's failing health meant we took care of her. She is 30, with her own DS now, I am long divorced from her Uncle but I would definitely count her as family/relative now.

My DSS is 10, and the relationship between my DH (his Dad) and his mum is extremely fraught. I have always been very aware of not overstepping and due to the difficulties of getting contact DH went through a phase of Disney parenting and that threw up a lot of challenges. I would say in the last year we have gone from 'step' to family - have been in his life for 8 years. I still feel like DH has the last word on stuff with DSS in a way I don't feel about our DS, but I don't feel a full 'step' away, IYSWIM.

It depends on all the people involved, I guess. My DH, whose father died when he was in his late teens, calls his step-dad 'Dad' and clearly looks on him as family; but his younger and older brothers don't appear to (at least to the same degree).

Libby10 Fri 05-Apr-13 10:06:08

Interesting post. I think the "step" label carries a lot less baggage as the DSC get older and that makes it easier.

flurp Fri 05-Apr-13 12:59:36

They stopped being just 'my boyfriends kids' and felt more like my stepkids when we moved in together but I can't see me ever feeling like their 'parent', I don't think I would want that either.
I think I care for them more and more as time goes by - maybe when they are grown up I will think of their kids as my grandchildren as opposed to stepgrandchildren - Who knows?

flurp Fri 05-Apr-13 13:00:30

I do think of them as relatives, like I do my nieces and nephews I suppose.

Lilypad34 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:09:55

I don't see myself as a step parent, I don't appreciate the label at all! DSD has a mother. I am my husbands wife and the three of us are a family.

nenevomito Sat 06-Apr-13 18:11:17

I only ever refer to DSD as my stepdaughter when explaining my family to people. I've never thought of her as my daughter, step or otherwise. I'm WAY too young to be her mum grin.

waltermittymissus Sat 06-Apr-13 18:12:54

Great question!

I definitely see dsd as family but she's 19 this year. Is in a relationship. Full time job..

I don't know, sc seems somehow juvenile yet she definitely means more to me than a friend. And different to nieces.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 06-Apr-13 18:15:18

I don't think you do.

Petal02 Sat 06-Apr-13 18:17:07

I agree with Flurp, I think I consider DSS as a relative, like a nephew.

FrauMoose Mon 08-Apr-13 23:25:55

I am fine with the stepmother label. I know that stepfamilies/blended families are very various so it may not feel suitable for some people who are helping to look after a partner's child/children from an earlier relationship.

But I feel as if it is a word that needs to be reclaimed. Also I've done an awful lot of mothering to my stepchildren. They're not younger 'friends' - although as they get older the relationship does evolve - and I don't think of them as like nieces or nephews. It also seems to confirm that my two stepchildren and my daughter are siblings. (Neither of my stepkids find the word 'half-sister' particularly helpful.)

BruthasTortoise Tue 09-Apr-13 14:22:05

I don't think I will ever stop feeling like a stepmother to my DSC, anymore that I will ever stop feeling like a mother to my DCs. In fact I genuinely don't understand the question.

ScarlettInSpace Mon 15-Apr-13 12:11:06

I agree with brutha I don't really understand the question, it is what it is and time won't change that?

It's like saying when will I stop feeling like a godmother to my goddaughter?

My stepdad was in my life for 18 years and sadly passed 2 years ago - he was and always will be my stepdad? Not my dad?

ScarlettInSpace Mon 15-Apr-13 12:13:54

oops posted too soon!

I love my SK's with all my heart, and if recent fertility treatment fails are anything to go by they may be the closest I ever get to having children in my life but I'll still be their stepmother, can't see what would change that, they have a mother already.

Sorry if I've totally missed the point!

Jacksterbear Mon 15-Apr-13 12:41:24

I refer to my mum's lovely DH as my step-dad even though my DM did not meet and marry him 'til I was an adult with DC of my own. So I don't think the label depends necessarily on the step-child being a child not an adult, or the step-parent bringing up the child.

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