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Am I a terrible Step Mother(10 Posts)
Bit of background...been with my partner for 2 years, live together, dogs together and he has a daughter from a previous relationship. She's 7 and a really sweet, lovely girl and we are quite close. She stays at ours every weekend and only lives a stones throw from our house so sometimes she stays in the week as well.
I have no children of my own and have never been pregnant (so may have a fertility issue but don't know.) Also very undecided if I do indeed want children (I am in my early 30s.)
The reason for this post today is as much as I like my step daughter and care about her I don't love her...even after 2 years. When she returns back to bio mom I can quite happily slip back into my child free life of work and it just being me and my partner and our dogs at home without giving my step daughter much of a thought. When she is over at the weekends it is nice to catch up on her week at school and do all the family stuff but I just don't feel that "love" for her. It might sound awful but I would say I love my dogs more than my step daughter.
Does this make me sound horrible? Is anyone else or has anyone else felt this way?
There has been an almost identical thread to this going on today which hopefully will help to answer your concerns:
No i dont think it does at all. You are kind to her, you talk to her you spend time to her, sounds like you are her friend and that's all you need to be. Just enjoy her while shes there and make the most of your child free time when shes not.
You’re not unreasonable at all. They aren’t our children and we aren’t programmed to love them unconditionally.
I’ve know my DSC almost 6 years. Extremely fond of one, TBH the older girl (now 14) is extremely difficult and i’ve found her very challenging. For my own sanity i’ve had to disengage from some things.
If their dad ever split up I wouldn’t see them again.
Once you're kind to her and interact with her thats love in itself.. Would you do anything to protect her?? Be upset if anything happened? Thats love..You're just not trying to be her mother and thats ok because she already has one
@peakygal absolutely. She was ill yesterday and I reached out to bio mom to check she was ok.
I do really care about her and she's important to me...it's just when she is back with bio mom its kind of my "normal" adult life is back and I just don't miss her when she's not around but when she is around I do enjoy the family life that we all have. I do feel bad that I do enjoy the time she's not with us as well though.
OMG - you are normal!!
Even parents love their child free time!
Relax-sounds like you have hit the right balance, just keep going and stop worrying.
Well I have to say you sound like an amazing StepMom and thats all that matters
Honestly you are so lucky you even like her! Your doing good 👍
Dear Loudoglover, let me know if this answer is any good for you.
When children are born a hormone called oxytocin is excreted by parents and child and it bonds them. (This is a scientifically recognised fact). The child needs this to make sure the mother / father cares and will look after them otherwise they would not survive. Plus you don't share genes with a step-child, genetic connection makes you feel proud and happy about giving time, money, forgiveness etc, etc. - endlessly. Whereas a step-parent can naturally feel resentful about always giving and never getting anything back.
My feeling is that a step-parent is doing a wonderful job to be doing the best they can. A child needs good enough parenting and a step-parent who makes effort is a bonus. Often step-parents can get caught up in feeling that they should love the step-children as if they were their own. Even the step-children are not fooled by this and often don't even want it. Sort out the role you would like, and check it out with the children (and partner). Everyone including you can be happier if they know you are not trying to be something you are not! By the way, there is a great workshop being run on this topic on Saturday 5th October. See bestepwise.co.uk for information.