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How old were you when you became a stepparent?

(47 Posts)
PrettyBrightFireflies Fri 30-Oct-15 08:18:29

Just that really?

Reading recent threads got me thinking; do the successes and challenges of stepparenting vary depending on the age and life experience of the stepparent?

Houseof5boys Fri 30-Oct-15 08:25:01

I was 19 when I met my now DH and 23 when we got married. My dss were 6 and 8 when we met.

BoboChic Fri 30-Oct-15 08:30:08

I was in my mid-30s. Successful stepparenting is dependent on multiple variables but the one key issue is not to impose your vision/influence on the SDC but rather to sell it to their parents!

TotalPerspectiveVortex Fri 30-Oct-15 08:35:40

23 when DP and I got together, 22 when I met him & DSD. Bit of a shock to the system for me, but 5 and a half years later we're all doing ok smile

80sWaistcoat Fri 30-Oct-15 08:37:10

35 when got together, 40 when married. It was a huge shock, I'm not sure what life experience would have prepared me for it!

MascaraAndConverse Fri 30-Oct-15 08:49:54

I was 19 when when we met and 20 when I met his DS.

M00nUnit Fri 30-Oct-15 16:47:42

37 when I got together with my DH and still 37 when I met his boys (3 years ago). I'm very lucky as they're amazing kids and we get on great.

riverboat1 Fri 30-Oct-15 19:10:07

27 when I started to spend time with DSS. I felt very inexperienced and ill equipped, which may have been a good thing. The fact that I was aware I didn't know what I was doing meant I did loads of research online (thank you mumsnet) and played it very cautiously. I was hyper aware of not imposing myself upon DSS as a second mother or to be seen as taking his dad away from him. My regret is that maybe II have ended up going a bit too much the other way and have not developed as close/affectionate with DSS as I might have done being less paranoid and cautious at the start.

mrssmith79 Fri 30-Oct-15 19:25:56

27. DSD was 12. Haven't really thought about experience and age, we've kind of just bumbled through. She's 22 now and we have (and thankfully always have had) a great relationship.

Maybe83 Fri 30-Oct-15 22:03:55

27 when I met SS 28 when we married but I had been a parent since I was 18. My dd had a SM and a step sister so I had a lot of experience from the resident parent side. It helped me understand and deal with my SS and his mam. We get on quite well and I like her as she does me so that takes alot of pressure of.

Wdigin2this Sun 01-Nov-15 01:57:39

Goodness, I was much older than most posters....I was 39 when I got together with DH, and SC and my own DC were teens! Now in my 60's...sorry to say,things don't necessarily get easier!

Shutthatdoor Sun 01-Nov-15 02:18:05

37 smile

wallywobbles Sun 01-Nov-15 02:20:05

43. So far so good 2 years down the line. 2 kids each of similar ages.

swingofthings Sun 01-Nov-15 09:57:23

This is a good point, I do sometimes also wonder the age of some posters as their attitude towards parenting and also their self-centered views appear quite immature.

My own SM was only 22 when she met my dad, but had led a very sheltered life, only 15 years older than me. She'd fallen pregnant at 18 and her aim at the time was to find a man to look after her and take her daughter as his. My dad was the perfect man for that, but unfortunately I came with it and that is something that she really struggled to cope with. She defined me as someone always seeming to seat just on the edge of her perfect circle and running it. She thought that the best way to deal with it was to try to confirm me to her view of what would bring harmony to the circle, having no respect at all to the fact that for me, I was also evolving in another circle totally different to the one she wanted to build. As a result, she made my life very difficult, constantly challenging my father to try to change me, even though my father was very happy with the child I was. I hated her for going hot and cold with me, one second wanting to mould me to her liking and the next second rejecting me because I didn't do so.

I am now in my 40s and we have grown closer each year since my own children were born. Recently, she started opening more about the past and she has admitted that she had treated me appallingly because of her immaturity. She sincerely thought she was doing the right thing and her intentions were well minded, but she didn't appreciate that when you take on a man with a previous life that he can't leave behind, you have to accept that you might not have the same perfect family life you would have had without his past being part of his present.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Sun 01-Nov-15 17:36:04

Interesting post I agree. I was 35.

In one way, this helped as I had some life experience, a support network to draw on.

In another way, my DP had been married for a long time previously, the kids were used to a certain set up and there was little flexibility (or none!) for me to fit in!

WSM123 Sun 01-Nov-15 18:42:51

38 for me. I wonder if younger SP may have an advantage because they are still growing up too and had less time to be "set in their ways" so to speak. I personally have no probs with the kids its his ex (kids mother) that causes all the problems

DiscoDiva70 Sun 01-Nov-15 18:57:14

*I personally have no probs with the kids it's his ex (kids mother) that causes all the problems

If I had a pound for everytime I've heard this same sentence hmm

MascaraAndConverse Sun 01-Nov-15 19:03:19

Hate to break it to you but there are difficult mothers out there Disco. Why are you so offended? hmm

DiscoDiva70 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:17:37

I never said I was offended, but it is a sentence I've heard many times.

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 01-Nov-15 19:20:09

disco Try hanging out on the single parents board for a bit - you'll hear the same thing said about non-resident dads, which should even things up for you grin

MascaraAndConverse Sun 01-Nov-15 19:22:28

Clearly you are, or you'd just accept that some mothers are not saints.

DiscoDiva70 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:24:18

Thanks for the tip but I'll go where I like

PrettyBrightFireflies Sun 01-Nov-15 19:35:33

Fair enough - but if you surround yourself with stepmums on an Internet forum, you're likely to hear the same sentences as the discuss the challenges they face.

It seems far too self evident to be posting about, after all, you breath and walk upright, but I assume you don't post about that, do you?

WSM123 Sun 01-Nov-15 19:40:48

Hi Mascara, good on you. :-) there are some posters who just like to try to stir, I assume Disco is one of those. Unless you have to deal with all the BS that many of us have to deal with from vindictive and/or manipulative ex's you have no idea what its like, until i was in this situation I didn't think humans could be so nasty.

MascaraAndConverse Sun 01-Nov-15 19:55:08

Hello smile Thankfully I have not had to deal with a difficult ex, but that doesn't mean difficult ones don't exist!

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