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Feeling like a family(11 Posts)
At what point did you start to feel like your "step children" were part of your family?
I'm not married to my partner, we both have children from our previous relationships and we have one on the way.
At the moment I don't feel like we are a "family" - if someone asks me about my family then I kind of consider that to be either me and my children or me and my partner.
I don't yet see us all as one big family - I'm sure this will come with time but just wondered at what point you actually felt like one?
Been together 4 years and probably only recently have I started to consider my SDs my family and not just DP’s kids.
I don’t think of them in the way I do my own children though, I view them more like nieces who I like to hang out with occasionally
I think probably when we first went on holiday all together, as people assumed we were all one family. We also took the plunge and put the kids into a boys room and a girls room (thus mixing up my kids and DP's kids) so they started interacting more.
Today there are many times when we feel like one big family. When we moved in together we decided to put my son and DSS sharing a room together as that seemed a happier pairing than any combination of full siblings. I think if you asked any of the kids how many siblings they had these days they'd include their step siblings in their answer. Though other contexts when I'd probably describe myself as having two children, eg when visiting my extended family.
But I still remember the first time that me and my kids came round to watch a movie with DP and his and we all sat together on one coach and them on the other, all nervous and separate. We've come a long way since then!
To be honest I still don't and I doubt I ever will. Probably has a lot to do with how positive the relationship is and how often you see them, but even though SS is my daughter's half brother it still just feels like something "other" when he comes that is very far removed from our usual day to day life, for both me and my partner. He doesn't cope well when things aren't tailored around him and expects them to be that way by default, and shows very little interest in others, which is probably why it just feels like entertaining him for three days and then getting back to our normal life.
EOW is always likely to get in the way of them feeling like a core part of your family, I think, because most of the time you get used to them not being there.
It’s been 14 years and we still don’t. But it’s not that way for everyone. Many bond much better and quicker. Depends a lot on many variables - ex’s, personalities etc.
Hi, I run workshops - see BeStepWise - for step-parents and people tell me that one of the best ways to look at this is to see yourself as two families under one roof. This takes the pressure off feeling as though you have to be one happy family. Makes everyone feel more at ease. Stops people pretending to be things they are not, and step-parents feeling as though they should be a parent when they are not. My experience is that when children move to a new developmental stage, like teenagers when they were under ten, or adults when they were teenagers, you grow into the family you will become.
When I was given joint custody of DSS with DH 10 years ago, when he was 7.
I have 2 children just didn't give birth to the youngest. The boys are brothers and we are now a family.
DSS's Mother just doesn't bother and DS's Father doesn't, although we have tried really hard to keep the relationships going for the boys their other parent just doesn't want to know.
I think this made a huge difference and there were no extenal influences/rows etc.
DH and I are Mum and Dad to both.
I was with exdp for 5 years & honestly we never felt like a family. As others have said there's a huge amount of variables at play but the two negatives that were foremost in our situation was dp's very angry & bitter exw whose behaviour made it very difficult for his kids to feel at ease with me & my kids, & eow with teenagers just doesn't work when it comes to blending. Teens lives are so busy that I had to place all my focus on mine on the weekends we had the kids & dp ended up having to travel to see his as they wouldn't come to us.
Also to add that initially my kids made an effort with dp's kids but it wasn't reciprocated so my kids eventually stopped trying also.
Our experience culminated in a disastrous joint holiday this summer which started us on the road to splitting.
I hope things work out better for you .
Just to say, and that really is not criticism because you can't make yourself feel what you don't feel, but be aware that in almost all likelihood, your SCs will know that show you feel because even if you try hard to hide it, your behaviour, words, decisions will reflect your feelings and that inevitably will impact on their attitude back.
I knew that my SM didn't consider me part of her family with my dad and her DD he adopted. I knew even at the age of 8 that she thought I didn't know, but I did, and yes, it made me see her as an enemy of some sort. It felt like a huge rejection of be as a person, that I wasn't lovable enough to be part of her family.
As said, you can't force yourself to see them as your family, but don't expect them to then treat you and their siblings as they do others who consider them their family.
I have a great relationship with my SM. It took awhile but I was a little shit to be fair but she never gave up on me. I was determined not to feel included in her family and I made her life tough. Fast forward and I naively thought if I replicated the way she was with me then my SD and I would also have a great relationship. But sadly it doesn’t work like that unfortunately.
I think it depends on personal relationships. I’ve only been with DP about a year and a half but we were friends for much longer (20 years). Two of his sons I would say feel like family to me (not like they are my own kids in any way, but like some kind of family relationship). But they are the two I have always been closer to. The other two I just don’t know so well, have never known so well, and they don’t seem like family to me at the moment, although they are perfectly nice.
I think it is about time spent together, but also it’s something you can’t rush.
My dd probably does think of DP as family, and her “step-brothers”, and her dad’s DP and all her “step-siblings” on that side. I haven’t asked her, but I would say she does. But she spends lots of time with both, and is an open-hearted child.