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Stepmothering doesn't stop.

(5 Posts)
MarianneSolong Tue 04-Nov-14 17:39:33

Both my stepchildren are in my mid-twenties. One of them is quite 'settled' job, house, partner etc. The other has had a bumpy ride but is doing a lot better and working after a rather long nomadic phase. Both of them currently live several hours away by bus/train car etc.

I've never had much to do with their mother. Although her relationship with my partner had broken down completely before I came on the scene she was unrelentingly cold and/or hostile. Though I could see she had good qualities, loved her children and did what she thought best - in the circumstance I couldn't like her. And her refusal to talk to my partner about anything to do with the children's upbringing, education, health caused many problems.

Over the years I've developed a good, quite close relationship with stepdaughter. My stepson has high-functioning autism so does not really do close. But I have done a lot better once we realised that he wasn't neurotypical, and stopped expecting him to conventional communication.

For years we've known that my stepchildren's mother has had issues which have affected her health. Basically around food and alcohol. When my partner and she were married she made some attempts to address these, but could never actually change in any longterm way.

Within the last week we've learned via my stepdaughter that she's had a major heart attack and an emergency procedure known as a coronary angioplasty. While it's possible that this will prompt her to change her life round, it's also possible that it won't.

I'm left feeling that it's more than likely that she won't live to a healthy old age. Whereas it's more probable I will - in which case I'll then be sort of filling in for my stepchildren's actual mother all again.

(On the other hand of course I may be run over by a bus tomorrow. We just don't know. But I'm trying to get my head round this. My partner's ex and I are the sort of age, and I feel this strange connection. So the news of her illness affects me in some complicated way)

theposterformallyknownas Tue 04-Nov-14 17:45:20

To be honest as they are mid twenties most of the mothering will have been done surely.
If heaven forbid they lose their mother or if anybody does, that mother is not replaced.
They have their father and whilst its lovely that you feel for these adults you won't need to be their mother.
I think you are worrying unnecessarily tbh.

daisychainmail Tue 04-Nov-14 18:48:00

I agree, you are worrying unnecessarily. They are grown up now and won't need a replacement mother if she dies.

StardustBikini Tue 04-Nov-14 19:16:38

I see what you are getting at, OP.

I was recently talking to a Widower friend of mine, who has a partner of just over a year and with whom he shares a home. He was telling me that when his adult son got married last year, his partner felt very conflicted about her role/position at the Wedding.

She (quite naturally) didn't feel comfortable taking her place in photos, seating plans etc in the place that is traditionally taken by "mother of the groom", but equally, taking her place as a "guest", away from him, didn't feel right to either of them either.

If my friends wife had been alive but they were separated, then roles would have been more clearly defined.

SisterMcKenzie Wed 05-Nov-14 16:41:06

My mums had issues with alcohol.
My dad had 2 triple bypasses.
They are both now 80 +.

Worryings a waste really.

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