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Are your step children part of your family?

(43 Posts)
AnneLovesGilbert Wed 19-Oct-16 16:32:04

Inspired by another thread on here, and remembering something from the book How to be a Happy Stepmum, do you think of your DSC as part of your family?

DH and I don't have any of our own yet (one on the way) but since we moved in together I think we've all considered ourselves our own version of a family. Getting married made no difference, it was the living together bit that formed the foundation. They have a life and home with Mum and another life and home with Dad and Anne.

Their ages have definitely made things easier, they adapted quickly and we've had a relatively easy ride of it. I'm not naive about it always being this way, but whatever happens, my DSC will still be the first children DH and I had in our family and that means a lot to me.

In the book, she talks about how even if you never see your SC they're your family, they're your spouse's/partner's children and therefore related to you. Whether it's a close, loving relationship, or an absent painful one, you're all still somehow related.

Is she right?

Chasingsquirrels Wed 19-Oct-16 16:35:07

I don't, I've been with DH 5 years, his children are 18 and nearly 22. They have nothing to do with me and I only met the eldest this year and had only briefly met the younger a few times previously. It's a sad situation and I wish it were otherwise.

maritiredofthis Wed 19-Oct-16 17:51:10

100 x yes!

When you marry someone their family becomes your family.
In my case DSS became part of my family the day I started loving his dad as he is part of his dad, didn't matter if I knew/liked/cared about him or not. He was family, end of. And as with family not always you love/like them but they are your family.
I always urge my friends who want to date someone with a mini me, that they need to think a lot before they enter this road, as they are not only getting a SO but the whole enchilada.

Somerville Wed 19-Oct-16 18:06:19

My fiancé read this book (because there aren't many on becoming a step-father) and was very enthusiastic about it.

From the other side (a parent who is soon to give my DC a step-father) it feels utterly absurd that I could marry someone and them not view my DC as family. My DC are my family and when I marry someone he then becomes my family too.

blueistheonlycolourwefeel Wed 19-Oct-16 18:14:01

Oh yes. My DSD was 4 when me and her dad got together and she was 15 when we split. I still see her regularly more than her dad! and keep in contact. She's my son's sister and a delightful young woman to be around.

Petal02 Wed 19-Oct-16 18:38:05

Yes, in time I grew to think of DSS as a family member. It doesn't happen overnight though.

WitchOfEorzea Wed 19-Oct-16 18:43:39

Of I was to be brutally honest yes I see dsd as part of our family but while I do love her it's more the way I love my nieces and nephews than my own children iykwim.

It makes me feel awful but I'm 99% confident dsd doesn't realise this as I treat all the children the same.

Long periods between contact (everything was done to stop this) I think is the reason why.

CozyAutumn Wed 19-Oct-16 19:00:00

Well I don't have any stepchildren but I do consider my dad's dw to be family. I don't call her my stepmum, but we are incredibly close and like really good friends.

wheresthel1ght Wed 19-Oct-16 19:12:49

Yes yes and 100 times yes.

They are my family, my wider family consider them as part of our family. It has been that way since the first day they met my parents

Thatwaslulu Wed 19-Oct-16 19:16:48

Yes of course. They were teens when I became their stepmum (at the grand old age of 20!) and gave them a baby brother. DH had full custody and I think that made a difference as their needs were always considered as a matter of course, rather than them coming to visit every now and then and making room for them if that makes sense. DSS2 just got engaged and I was the second person he told after his mum, and we all went out for a family meal (even the exW!)

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 19-Oct-16 20:14:48

It's a good point about how your own parents/family view your DSC. But then they're more likely to know them if you have a lot of contact with them.

One of my brothers has DSC and I have a DSM so we're used to blending and my family were keen to embrace my DSC as soon as DH and I were ready for them to be involved. The effort my family and friends has made with them has strengthened all of those relationships and made things a lot easier for me over the years.

AnneLovesGilbert Wed 19-Oct-16 20:17:14

You must have taken on a lot Thatwaslulu!

But I know what you mean. I remember at our wedding leaving my DM and DSM playing with my DSC while we slunk off for photos. When families are messy but work anyway!

HoleyMoley2016 Wed 19-Oct-16 20:22:45

Yes but they aren't the same to me as my own children. But then again I don't feel the same about my in-laws as I do about my own parents. I feel quite differently about every family I have I suppose. Each answer will be unique to that person. I have friends that Are far important to me than some blood relations. It also depends on how your DSC see you. Mine will say that I'm "sort of" family. We have a lovely relationship and really have had an easy ride compared to most. I feel like I've taken their lead.

Thatwaslulu Wed 19-Oct-16 21:23:51

Anne, it didn't seem like a lot at the time, but then I think if we hadn't have got on well it would have felt really hard.

I think you're right about how your family views blended families - we had no experience of divorce or stepchildren in my family (parents have been married for 45 years, grandparents were married for ever, no aunts and uncles) but my parents embraced the ready made grandchildren and took DSS2 on holiday to America as a companion to my DSis (who is the same age as DSS2) every year. It has worked for us, but looking back I think I was lucky - I have read so many stories on here about stepmums who aren't happy and have struggled to find a place.

Wdigin2this Wed 19-Oct-16 23:30:21

Technically yes.....emotionally no!

alwaysanagonyaunt Wed 19-Oct-16 23:37:29

My DSC is now my child. Because my DPs ex is a vile human being and not worthy of the title mother. In our eyes she has treated her own child so abhorrently she is merely an egg donor (for years she referred to my DH as a sperm donor - apparently in her eyes a sperm donor is a father who doesn't bow down to a mothers ridiculous almost daily demands)

MumOfTwoMasterOfNone Thu 20-Oct-16 23:30:37

No I wouldn't consider them family. Me and DP aren't married and have 2 children, so even though we aren't married, I consider us a 'family unit'. I don't know if the fact we aren't married makes a difference to how I feel though, but I doubt it.
Behaviour of the DSC, problems with DPs ex and the 'Disney Dad' treatment of the DSC has caused an immense amount of stress and arguments over already difficult years for us and so I've minimised my contact with the DSC.

LHReturns Fri 21-Oct-16 11:12:06

100% for me - but if I am honest it was only real when I had my own DS with their dad (this happened within 15 months of meeting him, so very fast).

I love our family of five now, and would like to have them with us as much as possible.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Fri 21-Oct-16 20:08:35

Not anymore sadly. It works both ways, and my DSCs do not really consider me or my son their family at all.

I did treat them all like my family for several years, practically full-time, down to things like having 'family calendars' where I put photos of everyone, regular cinema trips. Did the 'mum' thing, cooked, cleaned for, looked up sick DSCs, as family of my own. His ExW and some resentments were allowed to become full scale anti SM feelings which kind of poisoned the whole thing. Very easy to happen.

Sadly too, I think DP still lives in hope, but our family is really only me, DP, our son and mine, that is our unit. Anything and anyone else is always fraught with indifference and silly tensions that I just refuse to have around me anymore. sad

FATEdestiny Fri 21-Oct-16 20:18:11

I know a family where mum bought DD1 into the family, Dad bought DD2 and DS1 and then they went in to have DS2. All resident in family home. Very blended, happy family.

Then parents split up. Suddenly both parents lost interest in their step children, priort shifting to their biological children.

My son is best friends with the DS1 in this family and my daughter is friends with DD1. Except now these step brother amd susters now rarely see each other. Both are utterly devastated at the complete loss of their step family from their life. I feel really sorry for them.

annielouisa Sun 23-Oct-16 12:41:05

Yes they are my very precious family. I was there when DD3 (no steps in our family) gave birth to DGD1 such an honour. My DH is very close to DD1 and DD2 from my first marriage

I have been apart of their lives for 20 years and we have created a special family.

BlueBlueSkies Sun 23-Oct-16 13:12:39

No, I do not think of my DSS as my family. Nor is my late DF's wife, nor my DH's parents and siblings. None of them are my family.

My family is DH, my kids and those related to me by blood.

Feelingthelove Sun 23-Oct-16 20:54:40

Yes I definitely consider DSS part of my family however we have also been told in the past that we couldn't spend time with her over Christmas for example because we 'weren't her family' by her mother. So whilst you consider them part of your family it doesn't always mean they feel it or it's plain sailing for a complete variety of reasons.

NZmonkey Sun 23-Oct-16 22:37:21

DSD and DH are always singing 'we are family DSD DH and NZ' its very cute. My entire extended family have accepted DSD as one of our family. My parents are called Nana Nz and granddad Nz and we call my Grandmother and Nan by Grandmother and Nan. They all know I won't have kids so are very happy to have a step grandchild to love and spoil very much.

SleepyHare Sun 23-Oct-16 22:47:44

One of them.

We only see ss not sd, so I consider ss part of the family because he is. He's here half the time, we have a relationship.

I don't have a relationship with sd because of her mother through her choice, so no I don't consider her family. Even if she changed her attitude I don't think I would consider her family anymore to be honest. It's sad, but you can't change what's been said and done.

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