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New to the Site - I feel that step parents are very misunderstood

(89 Posts)
Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 13:23:43

I have found some really interesting conversations on this site about parenting - which help alot when you are thrown in at the deep end. However, I am a little concerned at how undervalued we are by the "real" parents - no one would question an adoptive parents love and standard of care - so why ours?

Anyway - rant over

Marne Sun 14-May-06 13:31:59

Hi starrychild, im a step mum of 3 kids age 6, 10 and 13 which i love as my own, yes we are undervalued.

Marne Sun 14-May-06 13:33:03

'starryshine' oops, being a step mum has messed my brain up

Caligula Sun 14-May-06 13:33:39

Because an adoptive parent actively chooses to adopt a child that isn't theirs, while in many cases step-parents find themselves in a position they would not voluntarily have chosen. Coupled with a history of emotional turmoil between the chilren's parents, possible bitterness, former love, betrayal, angst, anger, fury, etc. etc., and in some cases a lack of maturity and / or preparedness for the emotional minefield into which they are entering on the part of a step-parent, and you have quite an explosive cocktail.

The remarkable thing is that so many step-parents and blended families achieve a family life with equilibrium so successfully, given sometimes unpromising beginnings.

Welcome to Mumsnet Starryshine, you'll get some great support and advice here whatever your circumstances, and you'll see a few humdingers of rows as well! All great insights though.

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 13:40:54

Yes - good point that an adoptive chooses, but equally I didn't have to get involved with a man who already had children - I was fully aware of the situation from the start.

I have felt messed up at times too - all the emotions to deal with - but it has definately made me a better person in the long run.

Spot on about having to be mature etc.- I'm sure alot of damage is caused to some poor kids - luckily mine seem to be doing great in the situation.

littlerach Sun 14-May-06 13:46:47

Do you have children of your own, Starryshine?

How old are your sc?

welcome to MN by the way, it can be a godsensd at tiomes.

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 13:53:45

Not yet - although I definatley want some in the future.

They are 5 and 3 - I meet my dp two years ago - so emotions were a little raw with his ex when I came on the scene (although she had a new partner) - but its settled down now and I love them completley.

littlerach Sun 14-May-06 14:03:10

good to hear!!

MamaMaiasaura Sun 14-May-06 14:07:37

starry sunshine, sorry but i found that quite generalised and offensive as i am bm and have posted very supportive posts re step parents. At the end of the day what matters most is the kids to me and as long as the adults around are supportive and loving then that is all that matters.

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 14:28:42

I hope this isn't going to lead to one of the humdingers I've been warned about!

It was a bit of a generalisation actually - sorry about that - maybe my insecurities coming out there about feeling valued myself.

MamaMaiasaura Sun 14-May-06 14:30:20

sorry.. didnt mean to start ruckas.. I appreciate that soemtimes bm have resentments to sm. I think i perhaps am one of the lucky ones.

Greensleeves Sun 14-May-06 14:32:23

"I'm sure alot of damage is caused to some poor kids - luckily mine seem to be doing great in the situation."

Sorry - they're not yours, are they? Am I misunderstanding something here? You don't have any children of your own, do you?

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 14:33:57

I meant my step kids.

They are part of "my" family.

Greensleeves Sun 14-May-06 14:37:50

I think that's your answer as to why people get resentful towards step-parents though, Starryshine. It's very presumptious to refer to someone else's children as "mine". That's the difference you asked about, between an adoptive parent and a step-parent. These children already have a mother - they're not yours, and they're never going to be. If any other woman ever referred to my children as "hers", I would be very angry indeed, regardless of whether or not she was living with their father.

MamaMaiasaura Sun 14-May-06 14:38:51

tbh - my ex-p gf doesnt try and be mum. Think that is why we get on. She has said she has children of her own & does love my ds but does not want to be mum & he doesnt call her mum. My son doesnt call my partner dad either & although he is a significant loving adult in ds's life he is not his dad. If you are referring to your step kids as your kids tbh, as a bm that would piss me off.

zippitippitoes Sun 14-May-06 14:42:52

dp has been great with my kids but he doesn't call himself a step father..in fact he is adamant that he isn't ..he is my partner. Admittedly ds was 11 when we got together but he is a responsible adult in their lives not someone who makes any parental decisions or takes on the role of father.

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 14:44:13

I'm not calling them my kids - I call them my step kids.

My STEP kids seem to being doing great I should have said.

I'll have to watch what I type in future.

didn't mean to offend!

Greensleeves Sun 14-May-06 14:47:51

But you did say "mine" and not "my step-children", didn't you? That's why people get annoyed. Sensitivity counts in these situations, the little things beome really big. If you refer to someone else's kids as yours, people will naturally think "hang on a minute", whether or not it was a mistake. It matters, I'm afraid.

MamaMaiasaura Sun 14-May-06 14:48:31

hmm. Sorry but do you refer to them as your kids in rl?

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 14:56:41

Okay - noted.

Greensleeves Sun 14-May-06 14:59:31

Message deleted

zippitippitoes Sun 14-May-06 15:00:01

I think there are a quite a lot of parallels between grandparents and step parents actually in as far as relationship with the children goes..

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 15:07:50

Thanks Greensleves - its good to know what might offend a bm though - I wouldn't want to inadvertantly cause her any upset by not thinking before I speak.

I'd never ask them to call me Mum.

What about step grandparents?? Mine are keen to get to know my partners children as they mean so much to me.

Starryshine Sun 14-May-06 15:15:57

I meant my parents when I said mine this time. They are my parents - honest.

Marne Sun 14-May-06 15:16:45

I never refer to the step kids as mine because at the end of the day they're not mine and i dont have a say in what they do, where they go etc..
I do love them like my own but my own allways come first (that might sound selfish).

starryshine, do you think you will feel differently towards them when you have your own?

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