When are you officially a stepmum?

(46 Posts)
Drawtheline14 Tue 13-Nov-18 16:15:51

Out of curiousty do people class being a stepmum from marriage, a certain of relationship or from moving in?

This is not me.

Background, my husband left me for another woman when I was 27 weeks pregnant, we now have a 2 and 1 year old AND a four month old.

He has EOW contact for the older two and visitation only of the baby at present.

We’ve been separated 7 months now so that’s how long he’s been with her ‘officially’. He met her at his new job and he hasn’t been there a year yet so they’ve not known each other long but moved in straight away and have our older two EOW for one day but two full days.

So would you class this as being a ‘stepmum’? I wouldn’t...

I’m only asking because me and my STBXH agreed that we’d want to work in a team of 4 (when it happens, i’m currently single) and be friends etc but i’m wondering if it will last with this woman (she’s ten years older, has no children and has a rep) or whether I should swallow my pride and get to know her if she’s having an active part in their lives. As my ex said he would if I get with someone.

Would you wait and see if it lasts or accept she’s likely going to be a sm and progress out co parenting relationship with her also and that’s what my ex and I both want?

OP’s posts: |
PerverseConverse Tue 13-Nov-18 16:46:46

No I wouldn't. My stbexh has been with his gf for nearly 6 years. My daughters in no way consider her their step mum. Your ex has been with this woman 5 minutes. No way I'd want her involved with my children if it was me. Why does she need to be involved?

PerverseConverse Tue 13-Nov-18 16:49:01

You're not even divorced! He's a cheeky sod isn't he expecting his OW to be step mum to your kids when you're not even divorced and he cheated on you with her when you were pregnant. I'm surprised you even give him the time of day beyond what is necessary nevermind friends!

mammynowanauntyIRL Tue 13-Nov-18 16:56:12

I was with stbxh for almost 13 years, I was never a stepmum, always just mammynowanauntyIRL or h's wife when that was the case.

She's his gf and nothing else right now, if they'd both been single, he wouldn't be her partner by now in my eyes that takes time and commitment

Mondaytired Tue 13-Nov-18 17:01:51

I’d go with your gut instinct to be honest, I’ve been with my now husband 10 years. He separated from his wife about six months before we met each other, we moved in quite quickly but I never had a step mum role at first. This came in time and instigated by his ex wife.. she started to message me about DSS, seeing if i was free as husband wasn’t so that DSS could come over more etc.

DSS I met when he was six and probably after a few years he referred to me as step mum.

On the other hand his mum has been with her boyfriend for three years and DSS doesn’t see him as a step dad and I don’t think ever will to be honest. It’s just his mums boyfriend.

So whatever you feel comfortable with? I’d say too early but you can include her in things if you feel comfortable, I’d imagine she will be really awkward about it all knowing what she has done

StressedToTheMaxx Tue 13-Nov-18 17:11:04

I would in now way class her as a step mum. She hasn't even knowen the children a year.
It's bizarre he introduce her to the children so fast.
I waited till my db and I where together 1 year before they met. And nearly 2 years before we moved in together.

Drawtheline14 Tue 13-Nov-18 17:19:38

Thanks for you messages

The problem is I can’t stop her being involved cause the day he broke up with me he moved in her house so the overnight stays are always in her presence.
I don’t like it one though but my 2 year old (the only verbal one) never mentions her just says he did this or that with daddy. But my stbxh never takes them out if she’s busy he literally just stays in with them, yet I take all three out of my own so that annoys me that the days they are the busiest and having the most fun is because of her, which is good in a way but bad in others.
They also play happy families with the kids at my in laws, and they went to get my daughters feet measured and buy her new shoes together so they very much are playing the happy family role.
I think he’s crazy but what can I do but to go along with it. But we were friends before we got together and I want to have the best possible relationship with him for the kids.
It wasn’t too long ago she wanted to meet me to discuss my boundaries at first I agreed but then decided against it, as it was too soon too fast. She’s 35 and has no kids of her own and I feel my kids are being a replacement of that?
I think because he only has them EOW and comes to see the baby then it’ll be hard to bond with her properly anyway so I don’t know. I don’t think i’m comfortable with her being their sm at all but I guess if they work at some point I will have to get over that.

What bothers me is her selfishness and lack of consideration for my kids. Putting aside the fact that she had an active part in ending my marriage she also goes away lot, date nights and other ‘arrangemenrs’ with my ex causing him to cancel or rearrange so I don’t think that’s really healthy to start with.

OP’s posts: |


Pebblesandfriends Tue 13-Nov-18 17:23:43

She becomes step mum when they get married. Before that point she's Daddy's girlfriend.

AnotherEmma Tue 13-Nov-18 17:24:43

"What bothers me is her selfishness and lack of consideration for my kids. Putting aside the fact that she had an active part in ending my marriage she also goes away lot, date nights and other ‘arrangemenrs’ with my ex causing him to cancel or rearrange so I don’t think that’s really healthy to start with."

Let me correct that for you. Your ex is selfish and inconsiderate towards his own children. Your ex CHOOSE to cancel or rearrange contact, disrupting his children's lives (and yours) in order to suit him and the partner he has chosen.


You can't control her involvement in their lives, but you can put your foot down with your ex when it comes to sticking to contact arrangements.

Chewbecca Tue 13-Nov-18 17:27:01

On marriage, without a doubt. Who is to say she will still be around in a year? Obviously marriages can break down too but at least then that formal intention has been stated.
I think you are still and will always be just 2 parents.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Tue 13-Nov-18 17:32:05

They are playing at families, while you get all the real work and responsibility. I wouldn't consider either of them to be in a parenting role tbh.
Be careful of being too accommodating because he is taking the piss already. Child access should be set in stone as his sbsolute first priority and he should cancel only if he's dying in a ditch!

RCohle Tue 13-Nov-18 17:47:18

On marriage for me. But I'm prepared to accept I might be old fashioned and I'm not trying to understate the important relationship a long term partner could have with the kids.

bumbother Tue 13-Nov-18 18:30:59

Put your foot down and hold your head up, OP. thanks They're a pair of selfish sods. They're going to take advantage of you, and put your kids way down the list of priorities if you don't stand up for yourself here. Get a set contact arrangement in place for starters. And I assume he's paying the right amount of maintenance?

Having said that, I wouldn't be surprised if the happy families behaviour is an act. Them against the world and so meant to be, rather than the homewreckers people know them to be.

Bananasinpyjamas11 Tue 13-Nov-18 18:43:51

I’m sorry your Ex left you when you were pregnant, that must have been awful. Not nice at all. He sounds ruthless.

And if he visits for the baby there’s still him being in your life.

Personally I don’t think the name SM matters, it’s not a hard dividing line. Although I think it’s better to get to know someone’s kids gradually, but that’s not something you can control.

You sound upset at his GF, but I think hard as it is, really just focus on you and your family. I wouldn’t be meeting up necessarily yet. She’s a total fool to get with someone who left his pregnant wife. But you are free of him and one day, hopefully, will find someone a lot better. Don’t give her or him headspace. You are their mum and their stability, no new woman will replace you.

anniehm Tue 13-Nov-18 18:51:47

I would think that getting to know her was a good idea, whether you like it or not she is part of their lives and to be honest, co parenting will be a lot easier if there's a good level of trust. Children do benefit from ex partners having a good relationship, my daughters friends parents plus partners even holidayed together, highly unusual but the kids have a wonderful relationship with all concerned - anyone else heard of this, it amazes me!!!

user1493413286 Tue 13-Nov-18 18:53:47

I started playing an “active” role with DSD when I moved in with her dad.
I’ve been with DH 5 years and while I’m friendly to DSDs mum when we pick her up I’m certainly not her friend and I don’t see it as my role to “work with her”.
Any general parenting stuff like schools, holidays, punishments for any thing big etc is agreed between her and DH; me and DH decide on the rules and expectations in our home. I don’t have any need to speak to her apart from polite chat when I see her.
I did meet her not long after meeting DSD as she wanted to know the person who was spending time with her child; I was happy to do that but that was her choice and nothing I would push on her.
I’m interested in what your ex wants you to do or expects from you

Wallywobbles Tue 13-Nov-18 19:18:59

I was always happy to get to know the other women in my kids life. Charm offensive on full power. They spend time with your kids and mitigate the awfulness of your ex, so why wouldn't you. I was friends with the ex's and invited them to birthday party's and sporting events long after they had left his life.

Wallywobbles Tue 13-Nov-18 19:20:48

I use the term friends quite loosely though. The last thing I'd want to do is talk about my ex.

SandyY2K Tue 13-Nov-18 19:30:47

She's your STBXHs GF. A 1 year old..2 year old and a baby . You're doing a great job to hold it together. That's challenging when you have a partner...never mind as a single parent.

I hope you manage to get time to yourself occasionally... It must be hard with a toddler and 2 babies.

You're very gracious and very mature/sensible for your age.

I guess your Ex will stay with her because if nothing else, it's somewhere to live.

Even if things aren't going great between them, he has to think of the cost of where he'll live.

AnotherEmma Tue 13-Nov-18 19:31:06

Wally, all these girlfriends of your ex that you happily socialised with, did any of them shag him while you were still together and pregnant with his baby?

Drawtheline14 Tue 13-Nov-18 19:45:14

Thanks for the replies, too many to reply to individually so i’ll try and reply as a whole.

I’m sorry if I appear to be upset at her, tbh i’m not nor do I think she’ll ever replace me. In fact they seem to have more fun weekends when she’s around and that’s something I appreciate as my ex would happily stay in all on his phone or watching tv and let them do their own thing. So whilst he’s playing the amazing dad role with her he’s actually doing more with the kids so that’s good.

I actually have trouble letting anyone else in because I don’t want them replacing him. Not in a husband way but their dad kind of way. If I got with anyone then they’d see our kids more than him and I just find it really sad and i’d feel sorry for him 🤷🏼‍♀️

I am upset for some reasons that when they’ve cancelled it’s sometimes because she has arrangements that she wants to drag him along too. If that were me and it was his weekend and wouldn’t even bother asking as it’s his time with the kids. But I guess as she isn’t a mother maybe she doesn’t realise the importance?

We have an agreed arrangement between us but getting something legalised seems pointless, i’m always encouraging him to keep to it and he often cancels, so I doubt any court order would help that as there’s no accountability for him if he does this.
We’re just drawing up a deed of separation now for him to pay the mortgage for maintenance and then pay for difference to me directly. So that’s pretty much sorted.

My ex wants me to meet her, or did before I refused cause they'd been together not long at the time (3/4 months maybe). He wants to meet who I end up with and wants to get on. He talked about us all being friends, having each other over, days out with the kids so neither have to miss out and the kids don’t have to do something twice all the time. I did agree that this would be best but i’m unsure whether it’s jumping in the deep end a bit.

She supposedly is ‘desperate’ to meet me but I think this is more for her conscience than mine.

That actually sounds like a good set up! I guess if there’s no bad history and only good intentions then it would really be good for the kids.

My sister was like this too with some of her ex’s old partners, I used to think it was weird but it seems pretty normal for me now, I hear it a lot. I guess it’s good for the kids too!

May I add that I know lots of people that know her, including her cousin, my sister, a few of my friends and a colleague of my husbands and none of them have said anything good about her... so I find it worrying and i’m a socially awkward person and I hate conflict and known for being too nice and too much of a pushover.

OP’s posts: |
AnotherEmma Tue 13-Nov-18 19:55:12

"I am upset for some reasons that when they’ve cancelled it’s sometimes because she has arrangements that she wants to drag him along too. If that were me and it was his weekend and wouldn’t even bother asking as it’s his time with the kids. But I guess as she isn’t a mother maybe she doesn’t realise the importance?"

You still don't get it, do you? Your ex could, and should, tell her that he can't go with her because it's his time with his children. But he is prioritising her over them. That's the reality of it. He's the one who doesn't realise the importance of being a father.

He abandoned them (and you) for this woman. That's on him. The fact that people don't have good things to say about her just reinforces the fact that he has terrible judgement.

Please don't make this her fault. You don't have to meet her if you don't want to, though. I expect it's easier to all be amicable if people don't cheat!

AnotherEmma Tue 13-Nov-18 19:58:52

I meant to add: if you had a new boyfriend/partner and he wanted you to do something with him (minus children) on your weekend with them, what would you do? Say no to him or make your ex have the children?

Mondaytired Tue 13-Nov-18 20:07:01

I think it’s something that can come in time, one of my best friends had an affair with her now husband. They actually all get on quite well with the ex wife her now husband and their kids they have together.
They can celebrate birthdays together,go out places together.
It took a lot to get to this place and a lot of healing, but it fell naturally into place and wasn’t pushed.

I would take each time as it comes, maybe when a birthday comes up for one of the kids it could be explored?

Drawtheline14 Tue 13-Nov-18 20:31:27

Hey anotheremma, I guess when you put it like that then yeah, he should have said no, i’ve said to him many times that he needs to prioritise his children but it’s like getting blood out of a stone sad the sad truth is I don’t think he cares. Shortly after we broke up he told me this woman was just an escape and he was struggling with being a ‘full time dad’ so I think he likes it this way.

I think in time i’ll probably meet her and I would want a working relationship. I’m not one of those people that want to be constantly disagreeing.

Haha tbh i’m quite a clingy parent so i’d probably just to say we’ll do it on my next ‘free’ weekend, or do something whilst they are in bed and get a baby sitter.

My ex and I do swap the occasional weekend though, this I don’t mind doing as then he stills sees them without cancelling but I have told him when I return to work shortly then if he wants to do something in his weekend he’ll have to get a baby sitter as I work some weekends, so the same will follow that if I have plans my weekend I guess. But I see them all week whereas he seems them 2 days out of 14.

I’d guarantee my ex would say no if I did ask though.

I did write down how many times he’d cancelled on them in 7 months and it’s 9 times but some of these occasions have been over more than one day so that seems a little excessive.

Mondaytired she probably realised this woman did her a massive favour as they probably weren’t compatible and she just helped her to realise this and be much happier. It’s lovelt that they get on even if it did take time xxxx

OP’s posts: |

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