I’ll admit I never pictured myself as a stepmom. I come from a family where my parents are still together, happily married and in love. I’ve dated and even married someone of divorce parents. I have no feelings towards the matter, I just remember thinking how frustrating it must be never knowing where you belong. My Ex-husband struggled with this well into his early adult life. When we divorced we had no children, this made our process a little more quick and easy.
Then I met Eric, my forever partner in life, he too was from a divorced family and now his son is. Something I learned from previous relationships, my sister and her journey into being a stepmom and from friends who are stepmoms is never, EVER try to replace their mom. You simply can’t and shouldn’t. What you can do is be their number 3 person. It’s just as good as number 1 or 2, I promise.
If you are like me, and came into their world while they are young it’s very confusing for them. After he spends the weekend with us (which usually means me, due to Eric’s work schedule) he asks if I can move in with him or come over and play with him and his mom. (DO NOT make comments–no matter what you’re feelings are towards that parent. I know from personal experience how much kids pick up on this when it happens and how they begin to feel guilty for wanting to have everyone they love get along.) Remember this is the sweetest and most thoughtful thing that this innocent child can offer to you at this time in their life. He or she is wanting you to become a part of their world and be with the things they love.
Yes you can take care of them like they are your own and if you’re in a serious relationship with their parent you should. Don’t be the neglectful stepmom who makes them feel unwanted. If you are bringing a little brother or sister into their lives make sure they feel involved and understand they are not being replaced. Eric and I are bringing a little brother to him this April, something at first he did not understand but now he is excited about. (He has named him Gummi and asks us all the time if he can come out and play.)
The biggest thing is to answer their questions, their world has already been turned upside down. They are looking for support and a friend and that’s what the number 3 person can do. Listen to them, play with them, love and care for them and make sure they know they are wanted and a part of your life as well as their mom’s (or dad’s).
Any other lesson or tips from stepmoms or dads? How did you help make sure they felt like they were a part of your growing family?