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Any Good Stories?

I am currently in a position where my husband's daughter of six years may be coming to live with us. We have no children of our own, the daughter is coming to us from a neglectful situation (her biological mother is now in jail), and I care about her very much. However, having never been a mother, I am very nervous about the idea. I've spent many hours on the Internet searching for stories from other stepmothers, but they are almost all very, very negative. Is this situation doomed from the start? Does anyone have anything positive to share about their role as a stepmother?
siren1971 siren1971 36-40, F 82 Responses Jan 17, 2008

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Ask me in about 2 more years. I thought things were going ok, but I'm learning that as soon as my SD is away from me, she has nothing good to say about her life here with me. It's been like that for years, apparently. I'm ready for her to be grown and gone.

I was just 32 and I have lost my loving wife.My son was just one year 6 months and during her second child delivery, she had passed away.The second one is girl baby. My mother was aged and she started taking care of both the kids. after 2 years 6 months, my mother forced me to get married and I have married to my own relative. We are almost completed 13 years of second marriage and before the marriage only we had decided not to have any kids. My wife is taking of the kids very well from the day one. My kids are not 12 and 13 years old and we never told about their mothers death. Kids, wife and me are a very living happily.

Is this is right age to tell them about all that happend? If so how to start with, please guide me. I dont know how the kids will take it up? will they accept the second mother

I understand completely. I'm dating a man with an 8 year old son and who is talking marriage...I'd really like some positive stories, too. :-)

Your in for a world of sh&$! Take a class on how to deal with a neglected child. The child is not just a "stepchild", she is an abused one. You will need to be armed to the hilt! I would get her into therapy immediately!!

try to be a friend to her and one thing i tell you( a secret about kids) they love to hear your childhood adventures(as i have a neighbour kid who mostly sleeps at our home..(: ), that is, what you did when you were of their age.<br />
If you can't remember anything then you can make up stories like "fairy was really sad but then she saw a light which was very bright..." and sugar-coat it with every sweet word of hope.<br />
<br />
Hope it helps you..:)

just common sence and be honest. one thing i learned as parent don t tell them something you don t mean. weather like if tell them you will take them some place or buy them something do it. or if tell them if they do something bad you will put them to bed early or what ever the punishment you say . keep your word have patients spend much time with her as can. reading storys she likes to her or having her read one to you eveyday. things like that can create a bond that will last for ever. good luck! i think you will be great just because you care enough to ask. .

i was a step-child to a couple of diff steps.....my mom and dad have both been married twice after divorcing each other. my first stepmother made me feel little and stupid. she did not like me. and i was beneath her and her children. my first stepfather made things fun most of the time. he fussed at me cause i farted at the table once. lol. but i think that was called for. these steps were both during the same time in my life. <br />
the second set of steps came to me when i was already an adult so it is a bit diff...i love both dearly. <br />
if my first stepmother had not felt such contempt for me it would not have shown so much in her actions. you love this girl already. that will show. she will,however, see you as a threat for a long time. she will not be trusting and the neglectful situation will make that worse. as will her bio mother being in jail. if you are kind, loving, thoughtful of her and her pain she will attach to you. show her what your mother showed you.

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She wont like you at first, but be nice, is she notices anything sign of you not liking her in anyway, she wont be happy, i have a stepmother, i hate her, shes always mean to me and giving me attitudes.

I am the stepmother to 5 boys and 1 biological child, also a male. I was a step for 8 years before having a child, which taught me a lot. The boys lived with there mother and we got to spend two weekends a month with them. From my experience, dad wanted to make all their "wants" materialize, therefore they were " orphans" on the weekends we had them. They had no father just a wallet and fairy godfather. I tried my best to maintain structure and order in a house, notice I didn't say home, that the boys considered Disneyland or Dream Central. I corrected with reserve and lead with as much authority as I could muster. I also came to realize that father got absolutely no respect. The only phone calls he got were, "Dad I want and/or need the latest wish fulfilled". At times I was considered the wicked stepmother, I think, but there is a happy ending to this story. I have since been told, several times by each young man, that I was loved and respected and they needed and wanted that structure and authority. Basically, the same thing with my biological child, you can't be their best friend and confidant and expect any respect. Open your heart to them, love them, give them structure and authority, demand respect by showing respect and maybe you will achieve the, "HAPPILY EVER AFTER", that we have achieved.

I am a stepmothe to a five year old. I have three of our own which are 8,7,6. We have structure in our home. When my stepson came to stay with us he was able to do what he wanted when he wanted. He acted like he couldn't do anything for himself. I just explained how we live and that he has to do his part. He never had a family like ours, him and his mother move alot and she had many and I mean many boyfriends, and the her side are just out of it. We only moved once and that was to a bigger house. We have the atmosphere that he needs and the understanding that all children crave. Just go with your heart. Try to remember how you felt as a child and go off that. I do that with all my children. Just don't make the child feel like you don't want her around. be understanding when times get tuff. I think you will do fine :)

well where do i start...<br />
My partner has 2 children a daughter 9 and a son 13 there mother had them taken off her 18 months ago and they were placed in foster care and my partner (there dad) got full custody and they live with us now as there mother was found to be uncapable his son is wonderful so polite so grateful for everything you do for him pushes the boundries like any normal child. I dont have any children of my own and was worried about how they treat me i was told it was paranoier how wrong they were. His daughter tells me not to hold daddys hands not to kiss her daddy dont sit next to my daddy. take yesterday for instance we all went for a walk and we was holding hands not even in her eye view and she pulled are hands apart and said im going to split you up. when ever im cuddling up with my partner on the sofa she has to sit on his lap and push me away i really feel as though she would much prefer it to be her and her dad cos she pushes her brother away and gets jealous when her brother is getting attention from his dad strops about shouts at everyone when she doesnt get her own way is always constantly wanting to be picked up by her dad and carried like a baby wherever her dad is she has to follow we even have to show our love to one another in secret getting kisses whenever we can other whys she goes off on one its really starting to bug me and i need help i feel like packing my things and leaving!!! Im not used to any of this.

Think it would help to let her have a"day" every week. We fostered 2 teenagers for 4 years, who fought for attention constantly at first (they are both in college now). Finally, I told them one day each week was "theirs" and my husband (at the time) and I each got a day, too. He got to choose what we'd eat, shows we'd watch, radio station, games, etc, and they learned to respect each others' tastes and stopped trying to outdo each other. If she gets whiny on your day, or her brother's or Dad's, remind her constantly that they let her have her day without complaining and she needs to show the same respect. More and more my boys realized they didn't have to try so hard and the special days eventually faded into everydays, again. On Mother's Day, one of them called and said, "It's your day. Where are we eating?" Nice to know they remembered those days in a positive light. Good Luck!

I see this is an older entry, and I just now came upon it. While I am not now a step mother, I was for over twenty years. No, it is certainly NOT doomed from the start.....in fact, you have a chance to make a real difference in your new daughter's life, in many ways. For me, the best approach to take was to assure my step daughters that I knew they loved their mother, and would NEVER try to replace her. I also made it a habit to NEVER speak ill of the children's parents, FOR ANY REASON, in front of the child. My best advice? Try to relax...let her see you want to be her friend, and nurture the things SHE cares about. You really do care for her, and she WILL see it...though it may take a while. I encourage you to talk to her often, and engage her in daily mundane activities...these are bonding experiences, and highly valuable as such!<br />
<br />
If you ever need to talk, please feel free to PM me, any time. I send you the warmest of wishes for good fortune for the budding relationship!!<br />
<br />
xo

Well, I'm not a step-father, or step-child, nor do I have any kids of my own,...but my cousin & her 7 or 8 year old daughter stay with me during the week, while her new husband trains at the military ba<x>se nearby.<br />
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He's not the girl's biological father, ...she calls him by his first name and knows full well that he isn't her father. The thing that seems to make it go much more easily for her (the little girl), is that Travis (my cousin's new husband) makes my cousin *happy. Show the girl that you make her father happy...make her father happy.

I am in the same situation - my stepdaughter is 9, and she came to live with us a year ago when her mother was sent to prison for a felony drug conviction. It has been very difficult, but ultimately because I love her father so much, we make it work. We have also been through other things, including getting permission to move with her out of state because my job required us to move, making a 1000 mile move, and adjusting to a new place just the three of us. I did see a counselor for about 2 months when I was going through the toughest part of the transition. The hardest part about her mother being in prison is that you never get the break - the weekends off or alternating time so that you can do the adult things that you are so used to doing. We've had a very hard time finding babysitters in our new locale too. On Wednesday this week she will fly home to visit her maternal grandparents for the summer. I am counting the hours because I need my break. It has been very rewarding to get to know this little girl and spend time with her, and I think you'll find you have those moments too. She is young enough where she will respect you as a disciplinarian and major positive female role model in her life. But just remember that it is okay to take breaks for you, its ok to feel the way you do, whether positive or negative, when you feel it. Just make sure you direct the negative feelings somewhere other than the child. It is difficult sometimes but you can't blame them for being in the situation you're all in, its not her fault her mom screwed up so badly. You'll be ok - just make sure you find time for you, and seek help to talk to someone professional if you feel overwhelmed by it all, it definitely helps. <br />
<br />
I've been looking for stepmother support groups in my area but haven't found any, so I'm glad I finally thought to search online for message boards. It really does help to get it out there sometimes.<br />
<br />
Good luck, you can make it work if you really want it to work out with her dad!

My two cents will be ba<x>sed on my own mistakes as a stepmother. I don't have children of my own either by my own choice. I met my partner after my marriage breakup who has a teenage daughter. In the beginning, all was fine, of course, but things take their tow in the end when you can't wear a mask all the time. The girl only lives with us part-time, but it can be very intense anyway. However, it all depends on how the child is being brought up. My step is very spoilt by her parents, so many things make me cringe, even though it's not entirely her fault. So, my advice is: if you're not happy with some sort of behaviour you find unacceptable, have a calm chat with your partner or husband first whe she's not around. And if it's something you really think it could be dealt with on the spot, talk to your stepchild politely but firmly, without showing anger and resentment. Don't have an outburst in front of her, like I did, or even worse, behind her back moaning to her Dad, yet loud enough so can hear you. I felt really stupid and it was impossible to put things right later. I hope your step is better-mannered and has some boundaries which will make it easier for you to love her. They say love should be unconditional...well...let's get real, it's a virtue for only a few. I hope you are this kind of wonderful person who can love stepchildren unconditionally, no matter what. Unconditional love for your biological ones is one thing, but for your stepkids is another. The light at the end of the tunnel is that you can, yes, have a fantastic relationship with a stepchild if you distance yourself enough from delicate situations and almost deal with them professionally, like school teachers do. You must be able to 'steer clear of' your own ego because that's the one which can ruin everything, not your stepchild. However, it all depends as well on what kind of person you are. You might be able to love her unconditionally anyway, because it's part of your nature being a selfless, giving human being. Or you may be good with kids and know how to handle them. Good luck!

I think you have a much better chance at bonding with a six year old vs. a sixteen year old...I went into my marriage with a sixteen year old daughter; an only child with no mother and a daddy's girl to boot and she put me through hell with no support from her over-protective father..Despite of this, I tryed to bond but she attacked me physically a month after we were married and her father sided with her of course simply because she was skipping school and I asked her what she was doing home at this time and inquired as to why she wasn't in school and she told me to ***** off and I wasn't her mother...Not a good experience...Now she is grown with two children and daddy gave her and the father of her children a so-called job with him where she can sit in her office/daycare that daddy had built for her, so she can bring her babies there, and watch her boyfriend so he doesn't cheat on her and shop on the internet and get an awesome paycheck for doing virtually nothing...We are still together, but nonetheless I feel like the daughter and she is treated like the wife..Not a good feeling at all...I wonder if my shoes were on her feet if she could handle this being that her boyfriend can't even socialize with his own family due to her insecurities...

To be pragmatic, it may be a lot easier with the mother in jail. You can do all the things you think will be best for your step-daughter without interference for the sake of interference. I'm not hating on anyone's mother, I just know first hand what it's like to deal with a vicious and insane person disrupting a child's life. <br />
<br />
I think you have a great opportunity to do great things for this child, get her in counseling, sports, reading her bedtime stories, family dinners, without worrying it could come crashing down around your head.

It has been very interesting reading all these comments since I am a struggling step-mom. I always said I would never marry a man with children or a child. I did marry him and when it was time for me to say 'yes' during the ceremony, I said it in a low voice since I was hesitant about getting a step-daughter. I am going through a bit of a rough patch since I feel myself becoming jealous and resentful toward my step-daughter when she is short (and sometimes nasty) to me. I have to keep telling myself she is a little girl and sometimes she is nasty to her daddy too...but for me sometimes it hits me harder- maybe I am over-sensitive... but when she behaves this way, I get very quiet and do not want to have anything to do with her...and my husband immediately picks up on it. I would be very grateful if someone out there could offer me some advice on how to overcome this over-sensitivity I have!!!

never talk badly or negatively in any way about her mother when you know she's listening or when you aren't sure.. because they are ALWAYS listening.. Encourage her relationship with her mother.. to keep in touch as she feels comfortable.. give her lots of love, encouragement and praise, and don't be hurt if it takes her a while to warm up to you.. work on being her friend and winning her trust first.. never expect her to call you mom, unless it's her idea.. and most importantly love her dad so she can have the example of a positive loving relationship. Kids learn by example! Goodluck!

I have never been a stepmother, I am the mother of 3 very beautiful, sometimes very willful children. I have friends that have been in your shoes, the most positive situation that I have seen: My girlfriend never tried to be his mother, she more or less was a friend/authority figure. She was more of a confidante, and to this day I believe they have kept a good relationship. I think the negative stories are where the stepmother has maybe overstepped her boundaries. No matter what, you and your husband have to agree on discipline or it will be chaos.

I also can only give you a stepfathers view. My two(2) stepchildren, one being 3yo remarkable little boy. Always with a smile and easy nature. Watched over his 2yo sister as if she was one of his toys!Very bright and loving, with that "little" twist in how she would see and respond to things around her. I almost can say, I fell in love with her before I fell in love with her mother. I had two sons with my first wife, ten years apart! So, to say I always wanted "daddys little girl" of my own(which I experienced naturally a year later) was given to me w/o hesitation by this wonderful, charming little 2yo. From the beginning, I interacted with both at their level and basically grew up together .Never did they feel I wanted to replace their father and, never did they feel I didn't love them as much as their father loved them. There were few easy questions they didn't find in a dictionary giving them two possible answers and, until they were older, didn't have to find the answers alone. But, there's a sad ending. We lost our son/stepson in Afghanistan Independence Day 2009 and I was overlooked as being just the stepfather, so follow your heart is my advise.

Best advice - always, always be honest and do what you say you gonna do!

I married my husband when his son was 13 yrs old and we have gone up and down. But I am happy to say, the majority has been up. He lives with us and he has always been accepting of me since day one. Yes we have had some differences but he has opened up to me and he's said that he'd rather get in trouble from me than his dad! He likes how I don't yell, create a relevant consequence, and then forget about it. I never really forget about some things but I always try to remember that it takes a village to raise a child. The more people in a child's life, the better. He's now 16 and we have a pretty good relationship. I can't tell you how it will be with a younger girl. She has to find a way to accept you on her own terms and that may take some time. Just don't try to compete with mom. You will never be her mother but you can be a good and guiding influence in her life. Good luck.

hey don't worry a six year old will win your heart automatically by her innocence.approach the child with open mind and loving heart.and look at the miracle happening.

Hey.Although I am just a teenager..but I have complications in my family n feel like sharing.I have a step father and a step mother both moving in my life.<br />
To answer your stuff..all I want to tell you is just eradicate the fact that the girl is biologicaly not your's..she is just 6 and will get along the changes in her life soon..n yes..in the beginning,it might be tough..she might not get along u well..like I couldn't with my step father,..it is really hard to stand a child's tantrums..rude responses and stubborn attitude..but it will be fine and she will be your child for the rest of the life.<br />
So instead of having complications and worries..just invite her like she is just born to you..and you are her mother=)<br />
Relationships are not something to do with the bolld..it's something to do with the hearts of two people=)<br />
Cheers and best of luck=D

I have been a stepmother for over 10 years. I was lucky enough to enter her life at a very young age (18mo) so she has not really known anything else. I will say that over the last 10 years there have been moments where I have resented my stepdaughter and my husband. It is hard to deal with the daughter, the husband and the ex-wife. But in the long run, we do it for the child. After I married her father we had 2 other children and it was difficult for me to treat them all equally.<br />
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The best advise that I can give you is to realize the #1) you are not her mother, but that you can have a huge impact on the person she becomes. Biology doesn't make a mother, her heart does. <br />
#2) You have to accept her and love her as she is. This can be very difficult. You have your ideas of how and what you want your chidlren to be like, but she has a her own. <br />
#3) Allow her to express her feelings. She may be confused and hurt by the situation and needs a place where she is safe.<br />
<br />
All in all I have been very blessed to have my step daughter in my life. She has brought me much joy, and taught me a lot about myself. I hope that I have been able to influence her as much as she has me.

I wish you all the luck.........When thing get hard pray God will help you for all your kindness to this angel......... She didn't ask to be in this postion GOOD LUCK.

I wish you all the luck.........When thing get hard pray God will help you for all your kindness to this angel......... She didn't ask to be in this postion GOOD LUCK.

I am childless, but if my love for my Stunt Toddler of a nephew has taught me anything, it is that it's enough if children know that you will always be a place of absolute safety and trust for them. You can't wrap them up in cotton wool or protect them from all the evils of the world. Show your stepdaughter daily that you love and respect her mother. Some days you'll be a "mummy" (no matter what you set out to do), some days you'll be an "auntie" (ouf). Just let her know that you're willing to play either role as her needs dictate. I'm in a position where I am investing a lot of time and love on that little boy, but I know that I'll never be a parent to him. You sound like a wonderful person, and I wish you all the best. I'll never forget a TV interview I saw once, with a psychiatrist working with a shelter for abused children. She said that no matter what the parents may do to children, beating them or abusing them, they always want their mother, and would give everything to be with them again. The Stunt Toddler is only three, but he knows how to bug his mother. Be brave and strong, and love that little girl with all your heart. If you dare to let her treat you like a "Mom" when she needs it, no matter what the cost to you in terms of your emotions, but without making her feel torn between you and her biological mother, I think you should be okay. I've never been a parent but I know a fine young woman who loves her "two Dads" and her biological mother. It can be done.

childen are very perceptive and intelligent. They SEE. If you give them unconditional love, they will not reject you. That is all they want. Unconditional love is so less in this world.

childen are very perceptive and intelligent. They SEE. If you give them unconditional love, they will not reject you. That is all they want. Unconditional love is so less in this world.

i can only speak as a step-daughter..but i no it may be hard on her. it was for me. just let her no that you do care and love her..just remeber just cuz your not her real mom doesnt mean you have to be super nice for her to like you. you do still have to put your foot down. but it was really hard on me. i felt like my dad was taking my mom away from me. but now i no it was better for me in the end.

I've been a step-mom for 12 years. My Boyfriend (now husband) got together shortly after his daughter was born in 96. Although their relationship had already ended, i was seen as a home wrecker. She fed his daughters head full of lies trying to get her to hate me but it didn't work because she saw through all that. I sat down and told his daughter one day that, "I know I'm not your mother, and I'm not trying to be because nobody can take her place, but i do Love you and hope to at least wish to be your friend and someone you can come to for help." Those words were all she needed. Now we have 2 children of our own and I have found this to be true, no matter if you are a mother or step-mother all you need to do is show a child Love. Take it step by step, one day at a time. find things that they are into doing, encourage them, play games with them and make them feel like they belong. Also, don't be afraid to tell them when they have done wrong, but be compassionate. Remember nobody is a perfect parent most of the time we have no idea what to do, but in the end it all works out if you have Love in your heart.

Well, I am not a stepmother and I certainly don't know the hardships, but one of my best friends inherited two children: a boy at the age of 7 and a girl at the age of 4, and all I remember hearing is how wonderful the experience was. She was learning new things all the time, and even though there were the occasional fights, my friend found a sense of purpose and an overwhelming new kind of love that could not have come from anyone but those children.<br />
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Good luck! But I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with how well it all works out. You'll probably surprise yourself and realize: hey, I'm a wonderful mother and she and and I have an incredible, even though, different, bond.

The fact that you are looking for information and taking this so seriously proves your determination and interest it doing a good job. At least she is still young enough to be shaped by a positive role model. I admire your desire to create a positive experience. I was in a situation like yours and I was nervouse too. and everything turned out okay. Just make her comfortable and try to relax.

If you don't know already, there is a group on Yahoo!Groups called ChildlessStepMoms. It is a great message board and very supportive. I a also a childless step-mom, and while it hasn't been a piece of cake, I wouldn't trade it for the world...

As the natural father in the "Step" situation, I made sure that regardless of where they were living, with their Mother or Us, there were rules to be foillowed (the same in both households) and there is respect that would be expected. I made my partner feel as important regarding their upbringing as I or my ex-wife were. This worked well as they didn't have the ability to ask the other Parent if they didn't like the answer they got from the first. We were all on the same page, and mutual respect was a must.

I have two children, now grown who lived with me and my second wife. My second wife would never give them any love or hugs. She was super strict with them. When I came to her and told her they were children, that children acted up sometimes she was angry with me. When I came home and one of them was crying I would try to console them and ask them what happened. My wife would go off the wall, telling me that I shouldn't molycoddle the "two brats." Well, to make a long story short, that wife is now gone. My two children are succesful adults. Once they left the house they never talked to their step mother again.<br />
If you want to be a successful stepmother you will have to realize that the child will try you. Be firm, but be loving. It's better to grab the child and hug them while telling them what they did wrong than to belittle them. Give her whatever punishment is appropriate but always always tell her that you love her. Don't tell her she is bad, tell her what she did was bad. As I said, there will be days you want to pull your hair out but if you stick in there and give the child all the love she deserves when she is grown she will bring her children back to grandma's house and hug you and tell you, thanks

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Love is the key. Just be in love with the little being! She is being drawn to your life for a reason, trust it, go with it. <br />
<br />
I am a mom of three, and we adopted two. I love them all. I am so incredibly in awe of who they are as young beings. When you come from love, everything just works out.<br />
<br />
Don't get too carried away by the title "stepmom" and just be of total commitment to the happiness of this person. I think step anything sometimes causes a distance and issues just by and in and of itself.<br />
<br />
Love is where you accept, care, and show your authentic emotions. You are clear and comforting and encouraging. Plus you get to go cool places!!! Good luck.

I am a step-child and it was very difficult for me as an eleven-year-old to have a new dad. And it was till I was in my early twenties and realized that all those mornings reading the paper, or renting a vcr for movie nights every two weeks, the random drives for adventure in the country-side along with stories. The patience and love that greeted all my tantrums and tears and silences made more of an impact on me than my biological parent ever did on my life and how I now conduct my life. These are just a few of the memories that I have that my step-parent slowly and patiently gave to me. It was very difficult and sometimes the rewards can take years, but the patient, calm, gentle persistence given unconditionally with love will make more of an impact than you will every know!

Try to see it from her perspective for how she's going to have to learn to respect a new set of older people. She'll probably blame the new situation for not feeling just like the old one she was used;<br />
<br />
But hopefully you can show her a new friendship and a better learning environment--and she might be young enough to appreciate it and grow with it.<br />
<br />
If you can do this without condemning her personally for acting out, maybe she'll begin to see you as a wonderful role model.<br />
<br />
You just might see her bloom over time in a way she never would have.<br />
<br />
Patience is probably the key in any long term adjustment.

I too was a step-mom, and although my step-daughter did not come to live with us until she was 16 and an emotional reck, I did learn the most important thing I could tell any step parents, that is treat them with love and respect unconditionally, nurture them, and set boundaries. It is very difficult at times, but the rewards are ten fold. At this young age, you are very blessed to be able to help this child. Don't be afraid, as if you show love, then you will receive love. My step-daughter and I are very best friends now, and I know that coming to live with us was the best possible situation for her as well. Just one other thing, please dont ever put down the birth mother, as this litlle one is already confused just as you are. Good luck to you and your new family.

I was a stepfather to a daughter and learned the hard way to not try parenting a non-biological daughter, at least, not until you establish a very strong bond of friendship.<br />
<br />
Be her friend, - leave the parenting to her father.

I am a step child and I came to live with my step dad at the age of 6 as well. There have been rough times, but I don't think it's been much worse than for any other parent raising a teenage daughter. be prepared that there will come a day when she challenges you and says something really hurtful: "You're not even my real mother". Don't let this get to you. Let her know that you are very well aware of this but that it doesn't matter much. You're her family now just like her real mum. Of course it isn't the exact same situation. But since you said you cared about her very much I'm sure you can be a good mum to her. And I'm sure she'll appreciate it a lot, but especially in her teenage years might not be able to show it. <br />
<br />
Just don't panic too much. ;) i love my step dad very much and I'm incredibly thankful for his unconditional love.

I am the daughter of a step mother. Although we had our ups and downs, like any parent step or biological, we worked through it. All realtionships require work and understanding. Dont look at it as doomed but a work in constant progress. Love her and care for her no matter what and you will be fine. Btw. My step mom and I are as close as my real mom had she lived to know me. She is amazing and your interest and questions already show that u care:-)

Hi, Being or taking any role in life can be challenging but you should realize that its all a phase and you will soon be manifested with that new sense of feeling of being a mother.

honestly, as someone who has a stepmother AND a stepfather, i can just say this:<br />
<br />
you get out of it what you put into it. i LOVE my stepdad more that anything. i'm very close to him. BUT, on the downside, my stepmom has never been a good person to me. me and my sisters have had quite a few problems with her because she's clearly a gold-digging wench. and she's said alot of cruel things to me.<br />
<br />
so i'm sure if you walk into the situation thinking you'll never have a good relationship, you won't. but it seems like you really want it to work out. so i have faith it will al work out.

I am currently in a similar situation. I married knowing my husband had children and so did I. His children lived with there mothers for the majority of the time. One even visited only in the summer. That soon changed from visiting to permanently living with us. I found my self very stressed out and still am,but I remember what it was like to have a step parent. I gave my stepmother hell foe awhile because I felt like she was taking the place of my mom. It's funny because my mother was neglectful to me but i still didn't want her replaced by anyone else. I also did not like to see my father with another women. So after taking all of these memories in to consideration, I made my own decision on what part I was going to play in each of their lives. I don,t like the word step mom or step dad it just sounds so negative to me. They both have mothers who raised them and these children didn't need another mother. I choose to be an advocate to them and they are my family. I want them to respect me like they would respect any other adult. I choose to let my husband discipline his children because I don't believe that would benefit my relationship with them. That's when you hear "Your not my parent" I support my husband and do what i can with out making the children uncomfortable nor myself. I also heard that the parent of the child should be the one to be the bad guy from Dr. Phil. Do what ever you have to do to keep yourself mentally healthy and don't lose yourself in this process.. I would also suggest counseling for the family, especially for the child. As difficult as it is for us to adjust it's worse on the child. Do only what you know you can do nothing more. Support your husband because he may not have been prepared for the sudden change. You can get caught up in the tail spin and never find your way out. Stay true to your feelings during the process and express them to your husband in a way that he can understand how you feel. He may not like everything you have to say but some things must be said in order to keep your marriage strong. <br />
<br />
From someone in the same situation

I am currently in a similar situation. I married knowing my husband had children and so did I. His children lived with there mothers for the majority of the time. One even visited only in the summer. That soon changed from visiting to permanently living with us. I found my self very stressed out and still am,but I remember what it was like to have a step parent. I gave my stepmother hell foe awhile because I felt like she was taking the place of my mom. It's funny because my mother was neglectful to me but i still didn't want her replaced by anyone else. I also did not like to see my father with another women. So after taking all of these memories in to consideration, I made my own decision on what part I was going to play in each of their lives. I don,t like the word step mom or step dad it just sounds so negative to me. They both have mothers who raised them and these children didn't need another mother. I choose to be an advocate to them and they are my family. I want them to respect me like they would respect any other adult. I choose to let my husband discipline his children because I don't believe that would benefit my relationship with them. That's when you hear "Your not my parent" I support my husband and do what i can with out making the children uncomfortable nor myself. I also heard that the parent of the child should be the one to be the bad guy from Dr. Phil. Do what ever you have to do to keep yourself mentally healthy and don't lose yourself in this process.. I would also suggest counseling for the family, especially for the child. As difficult as it is for us to adjust it's worse on the child. Do only what you know you can do nothing more. Support your husband because he may not have been prepared for the sudden change. You can get caught up in the tail spin and never find your way out. Stay true to your feelings during the process and express them to your husband in a way that he can understand how you feel. He may not like everything you have to say but some things must be said in order to keep your marriage strong. <br />
<br />
From someone in the same situation

I am a mother period. I have known and baby sat for a woman who was a step mother and she was horrible, she was jealous of the relationship this poor little girl had with her father the womans husband. I could easly see what the problem was but it was not my business to but in,. When I was asked I would give my feelings and suggestions and say so but beyone that now.<br />
<br />
The girls had a mother that abandoned her and left her with the father then took off never seeing or talking to the girl again. So it was so easy to see the girl suffered from abandoment problems and just needed a woman she could trust an be close to. but her daddy was the only one willing to step up and it made the woman furious.<br />
Just keep in mind that there will be times when she will want to just be close to her daddy just let her be, she will come around she is not trying to come inbetween you two she is just a child and needs love so if you give her that she wil in time come around.

Just remember you are not the biological parent in the situation, all you are there is for to love, support, encourage. Most of the negative stories come from step parents who try to discipline children who are not their own. Think of it as, you get to play the "good cop". Wish you the best of luck.

Just remember that children, no matter who they belong to, are whole and complete; perfect. I am a biological mama of a dear little six-year-old boy. All he wants is my love and attention. So, I freely give it to him. <br />
<br />
You as this sweet, little girl's stepmother have a chance to get to know this child unlike any one else. Take advantage of that. Make a difference in her life by empowering her to be herself, in other words; perfect. Consistently rejoice in her ability to be a perfect human being.<br />
<br />
So far, my son has shown up to everyone else as a wise and kind-hearted boy. You have the opportunity to raise this child as an integral being. Please, do so...ferrin

i'm not a stepmom, but i am a mom, & i did have a stepfather. just a few thoughts - like most everyone has already said, give her lots of love. don't push too hard to get close to her, but don't give up if it doesn't happen right away. it may take her a little time to learn to trust you. never give up. my stepfather didn't try very hard to get to know me, i was 6 when they got married, now i'm 30, & i don't even speak to him. just be patient, always make time for her, & NEVER give up. the fact that you're looking for help means that you're on your way to being a great 'step'- mom.

I can just tell you, as a child of divorce that deals with a stepmother, don't try to take charge. Remember that her room is her room, only her father is to go in there without knocking. Also try to remember that you are not a mother. If the child is 6 years old, she may like you or dislike you from the start. You never know with children. I am 14 and this divorce took place when I was 12. We left an abusive situation with my father. there were times when we had to scrape together change to come up with dinner money, so divorce is not easy on anyone. Don't talk to the child about her mother unless she starts the conversation. My stepmother tried to be a mother and spent her time telling me what color and style MY room could be, painting over the color me and my father had put there when she first moved in, giving me no say in anything, and trying to be a mother. Eventually, the child will warm up to you and you can take a slight parental role, but don't force yourself on her by all means. Try to be a friend at first, all commands must come from the child's real father, and she may still love her mother and feel devoted to her, so don't trash on the other parent. At least not in front of her, but children hear EVERYTHING, and I mean everything. I am still a child in some ways, and we pick up everything going on around us. Leave any talk about her mother for when she is out of the house. Maybe give her some household chores to make her feel like she belongs. Or, get her a pet (something as simple as a goldfish would suffice) so that you are telling her that this is her house too. Children always love that kind of inconspicious stuff. Don't try to hug her upon arrival, she may not feel comfortable. Don't tell her that you love her until you are sure that she loves you back, or let her say it first. Eventually, she will make the first few moves and you can assume an almost parental role, remember that you will never be a full parent, even if you feel like one. When her mother gets out of jail (or even while she is in it) she may want to go visit her. Have your husband accompany you on these visits. And maybe when it is just the two of you (your stepdaughter and you) inside the house, and she is watching T.V. and you are reading or something like that, ask if she would like t ogo out for icecream. If she says yes, then you are a friend and can start talking to her more and possibly hugging her, if she says no, you are moving to fast and may want to back off. Make the child feel like it is her house too, as much as it is yours. That is about it for now. If you have any questions whatsoever, feel free to message me. I knopw my advice sounds harsh, but my situation was very much like this little girl's and my stepmother screwed it up big time and now I won't forgive her. I actually hate her now. So, not that you can screw up as bad as she did (by calling me her daughter when she was PUNISHING me!) but try to take it easy on "mothering" stuff. And everything will turn out great.

HI, I became a step DAD to an eight year old. I married her widdowed mom. It was a challenge. I wanted to give her everything, but couldnt (financially). We did ok though.Her mom and I Loved on her as much as possible. She grew up to be a super mom herself.She calls me daddy to this day and her kids know me as grandpa. The younger you start a relationship with a child the better. You'll do fine.Just be her friend, LISTEN. Be like a mom, Watch. Have fun like a kid.

I adopted my wife's daughter at age 3 (she's 15 now), and my wife and I have an 8-year-old son together, so I've seen both the biological and adoptive sides of this puzzle.<br />
<br />
I won't lie -- the connection with a bio child is stronger, in a way you can't really appreciate until you have one. That being said, children are treasures, and giving your heart, effort and, most of all, consistency to a child is one of the most soul-satisfying things you can do. It won't always be pretty and will often feel thankless, but you and she will be better people for your efforts.<br />
<br />
My specific advice, if you intend to make a lifetime commitment to this girl (and she deserves nothing less):<br />
<br />
1) As you see from other posts, much of the challenge arises from still having the other parent in the picture. For everyone's sake, if this situation is truly neglectful and the baby-mommy is behind bars, please see a family law attorney and do whatever it takes to terminate her rights and then adopt the child. Thereafter, terminate all contact with the bio mother. This will set the stage for a home defined by you and your husband, and give consistency and comfort to the child. Seriously, do what it takes to make this happen -- do away with all the 'step' nonsense and take her as YOUR child.<br />
<br />
2) Enroll your husband in these steps. He probably bears some guilt regarding the child's situation, and may overcompensate by indulging the child in ways that will eventually hurt her and you. You must decide the kind of home you want, establish a plan for achieving it, and then act TOGETHER in all things. It's of critical importance that the child see a unified front between dad and you, the new mom.<br />
<br />
3) Take your husband's last name, if you haven't already, or change his name to yours, or come up with one together. Then adopt the child and give her this last name also. It sounds small, but kids benefit tremendously by feeling they're part of the clan, and a common name is one of the deepest ways to bond.<br />
<br />
4) Imagine the tone of the home you'd like to have -- gentle, respectful, polite. Model these behaviors for her, between you and her, and between you and your husband. Children need to have a certain amount of leeway to experiment, but when a rule of common civility is violated, STOP what you're doing and address it -- if the child fails to say 'thank you' or 'please', don't continue whatever you're focused on -- STOP and correct it gently but firmly RIGHT THEN. A little extra investment on your part in a baseline of being polite and gentle to one another will yield great dividends in the peace and sanctity of your home later on, especially with a child who surely bears baggage from a neglectful mother.<br />
<br />
5) Most important: Love is what you DO, not what you FEEL. You will have days where you don't FEEL loving toward her -- perform loving ACTIONS for her anyway. Make her lunch, read her stories, play with her, take her places. Do so kindly and gently (you can fake this when you don't FEEL loving -- pack her lunch gently, even if you feel like hurling the stuff into the lunchbox). Act loving, and the feelings will come in time -- I promise.<br />
<br />
Best of luck to you ...

Don't try to be a mother, or excercize disciplinary attitudes that are a mother's prerogative. You are basically a good friend who can offer advise and be a good listening post. Your role will be fulfilled without becoming an adversary as a caring friend. It is not your responsibility to do the child rearing.

Great story. I dated a man a long time ago when I was very naively young. He had been married and divorced twice with four kids. Red flag? The relationship didn't last, but it wasn't all because of the kids either. <br />
<br />
At the start of any relationship, it's easy to live in fantasy land until that phase shifts and reality whacks you in the head after a year or so. The kids will always be there, and at times they were definately an "in yo face" reminder of that "ex" who comes to visit every week. You will be involved in that web most likely.<br />
<br />
Another view. I've also been step fathered by a guy who was quite decent. We got along for the most part with some awkward moments but without too much trauma. As for my mom who was a step mother to my step siblings, she found it harder to do. Her jealous streak worked against her eventually after the honey moon period. She didn't want to be reminded of that "ex" and became suspicious of the kids. Hell, they DO tell their parent/ ex- spouse everything about you. That is a bit of a pain.<br />
<br />
Solution? there isn't an exact one. Think pros and cons, and think so realistically by talking to people, therapists, whoever can help you think ob<x>jectively if you feel too enamoured by this person. It doesn't mean it won't work. In rare instances, it works but it depends on the personalities involved, temperament, amount of past bagage accumulated on both sides etc.

The biggest thing in my situation, was making sure my step-daughter knew I was NEVER going to 'take over' her mother's role as 'mother'. That her mother would always be just that, and, that what I was, was 'there for her'.<br />
<br />
I also follow her mother's rules, to both, keep consistency, and not 'over step' my mark. Also, I'm only strict with regards to , manners and courtesy etc, no big things - and my partner and I are always completely united, never any exceptions! If there's something one of us doesn't agree with, we'll discuss it later and if need be, create a new line of approach... it's ok to change your minds... but not disagree in front of the child. <br />
<br />
There's always going to be issues, especially with the 'other family' and even with the 'biological' mother, but you've really just got to keep all things as calm as you can for the sake of the child and 'pick your battles'. <br />
<br />
Unfortunately, you can't control what others do, so all you can do is be consistent for the sake of the child. This is something that can actually drive me mad (especially when the others are just looking out for their interests, and not the child's)... but I always just rise above it, never show or say anything bad about them in response, and keep consistent.<br />
<br />
At this stage, I've managed to maintain the respect of my step-daughter, and not cause any additional issues in her life. It's hard to keep my mouth shut when others continue to create drama - but in the long run, I really feel that being a 'rock' for her, where she always knows where I am and what to expect from me, will serve her best.<br />
<br />
Also, little thing, but I always make a point of being happy to see her! And never make her feel like she's a burden.<br />
<br />
Good luck.

I am a stepmother of a 3yr old girl. My husband and I just moved to the area and we went to court to get visitation rights. We see her at least once a week and I can honestly say that I love being a stepmother. She enjoys spending time the us, the mother is not a big fan but she it seems she is trying hard. I personally think that the hardest part about being a stepmom is the other parent. I let my husband and the mom discuss the ways they want to raise her, granted I do give my husband input, but I try to let them have the most influence on her. <br />
She loves me for my part in her life and I love her like she is my own child...and that's all that matters =]

Hey! Kids are a blessing from God, take care of her as if she was your own child... give her all the best and God will reward you for that even if she doesn't (i don't wish that happens to you) <br />
<br />
My best wishes...

I mis-spoke when I called your husband your fiance- sorry!<br />
madisonjewell

Dear new step mother,<br />
I was once in your situation several years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend and his nine year old daughter-along with my 6 year old son. My boyfriend was a fine man. But my son hated him- he wasn't "daddy". However, my boyfriend daughter loved me and wanted to call me mommy. The situation with the attitude of both children freaked me out so bad that I got cold feet and left- which I have always regretted. Your new step daughter may be like my son and hate you because you are not mommy. Or she may be like my ex- boyfriends daughter and really love you. Believe it or not either scenario can be overwhelming. My advice to you is this- Go For It! However the child may feel towards you, remember she is just a baby! Be patient and don't underestimate your abilities to be a good mom. Know that the little girl loves her mom unconditionally- she is too young to understand the situation. Let her love her mommy as well she should. NEVER EVER badmouth her mom in front of her! Be patient, show love, and don't sweat the small stuff! Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Follow your dreams and don't pay attention to any nightmare stories you may hear from other step parents. If you love your fiance and love his little girl- well then everything will work itself out. In hindsight I wish I would have known then what I know now! Good luck and God Bless!<br />
MadisonJewell

Dear new step mother,<br />
I was once in your situation several years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend and his nine year old daughter-along with my 6 year old son. My boyfriend was a fine man. But my son hated him- he wasn't "daddy". However, my boyfriend daughter loved me and wanted to call me mommy. The situation with the attitude of both children freaked me out so bad that I got cold feet and left- which I have always regretted. Your new step daughter may be like my son and hate you because you are not mommy. Or she may be like my ex- boyfriends daughter and really love you. Believe it or not either scenario can be overwhelming. My advice to you is this- Go For It! However the child may feel towards you, remember she is just a baby! Be patient and don't underestimate your abilities to be a good mom. Know that the little girl loves her mom unconditionally- she is too young to understand the situation. Let her love her mommy as well she should. NEVER EVER badmouth her mom in front of her! Be patient, show love, and don't sweat the small stuff! Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Follow your dreams and don't pay attention to any nightmare stories you may hear from other step parents. If you love your fiance and love his little girl- well then everything will work itself out. In hindsight I wish I would have known then what I know now! Good luck and God Bless!<br />
MadisonJewell

Dear new step mother,<br />
I was once in your situation several years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend and his nine year old daughter-along with my 6 year old son. My boyfriend was a fine man. But my son hated him- he wasn't "daddy". However, my boyfriend daughter loved me and wanted to call me mommy. The situation with the attitude of both children freaked me out so bad that I got cold feet and left- which I have always regretted. Your new step daughter may be like my son and hate you because you are not mommy. Or she may be like my ex- boyfriends daughter and really love you. Believe it or not either scenario can be overwhelming. My advice to you is this- Go For It! However the child may feel towards you, remember she is just a baby! Be patient and don't underestimate your abilities to be a good mom. Know that the little girl loves her mom unconditionally- she is too young to understand the situation. Let her love her mommy as well she should. NEVER EVER badmouth her mom in front of her! Be patient, show love, and don't sweat the small stuff! Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Follow your dreams and don't pay attention to any nightmare stories you may hear from other step parents. If you love your fiance and love his little girl- well then everything will work itself out. In hindsight I wish I would have known then what I know now! Good luck and God Bless!<br />
MadisonJewell

Type your comment here...

Dear new step mother,<br />
I was once in your situation several years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend and his nine year old daughter-along with my 6 year old son. My boyfriend was a fine man. But my son hated him- he wasn't "daddy". However, my boyfriend daughter loved me and wanted to call me mommy. The situation with the attitude of both children freaked me out so bad that I got cold feet and left- which I have always regretted. Your new step daughter may be like my son and hate you because you are not mommy. Or she may be like my ex- boyfriends daughter and really love you. Believe it or not either scenario can be overwhelming. My advice to you is this- Go For It! However the child may feel towards you, remember she is just a baby! Be patient and don't underestimate your abilities to be a good mom. Know that the little girl loves her mom unconditionally- she is too young to understand the situation. Let her love her mommy as well she should. NEVER EVER badmouth her mom in front of her! Be patient, show love, and don't sweat the small stuff! Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Follow your dreams and don't pay attention to any nightmare stories you may hear from other step parents. If you love your fiance and love his little girl- well then everything will work itself out. In hindsight I wish I would have known then what I know now! Good luck and God Bless!<br />
MadisonJewell

Dear new step mother,<br />
I was once in your situation several years ago. I moved in with my boyfriend and his nine year old daughter-along with my 6 year old son. My boyfriend was a fine man. But my son hated him- he wasn't "daddy". However, my boyfriend daughter loved me and wanted to call me mommy. The situation with the attitude of both children freaked me out so bad that I got cold feet and left- which I have always regretted. Your new step daughter may be like my son and hate you because you are not mommy. Or she may be like my ex- boyfriends daughter and really love you. Believe it or not either scenario can be overwhelming. My advice to you is this- Go For It! However the child may feel towards you, remember she is just a baby! Be patient and don't underestimate your abilities to be a good mom. Know that the little girl loves her mom unconditionally- she is too young to understand the situation. Let her love her mommy as well she should. NEVER EVER badmouth her mom in front of her! Be patient, show love, and don't sweat the small stuff! Don't wear your heart on your sleeve. Follow your dreams and don't pay attention to any nightmare stories you may hear from other step parents. If you love your fiance and love his little girl- well then everything will work itself out. In hindsight I wish I would have known then what I know now! Good luck and God Bless!<br />
MadisonJewell

Hi there, well as i am a mother of two kids and my husband left me for another woman he eventually married it has been just a year since the divorce and he married her 10 months later, no biggie they deserve each other. <br />
<br />
The fact is she has two kids of her own and mine lived with him for a school year only to see what it would be like with dad. Well they would complain of course about this and that. But i realized that she was raising mine the way she raised hers. My theory is in order for a child to respect you, you have to give it. Be a human and understand her and her needs and what she has been through, do not let her take advantage of the situation and get away with things, you will have to be stern with disclipine and be prepared to hear those words "YOUR NOT MY MOM" they all say it eventually no matter what. Do not give in and yes it will be tough. BUT YOUR A STRONG WOMAN.

This comment will probably be a bit long. <br />
<br />
My husband's son moved in with us when he was 9, two months after we got married when his mother decided she didn't want him around anymore. Be there for her when she needs you, give her love and understanding. <br />
<br />
I can't speak for girls, so I don't know if your situation would go the same as ours has. If my stepson's mother had been consistent and just stayed out of his life, everything would have gone a lot smoother. Instead, she kept on barging back into his life for "visitations" which started out fine for several months then would quickly deteriorate, eventually exploding into a mess again. One example, when he was 11, she picked him up one Saturday at 9am. An hour later, I heard the door slam and my stepson came running into the house crying his eyes out. When I went to see what was wrong, he said his mother had said she never wanted to see or hear from him again and he wanted to know what was wrong with him that she didn't want him. All I could do was sit there and hug him and tell him there was nothing wrong with him, that his mother had some problems she had to work out and it wasn't his fault. <br />
<br />
And no matter what she did, he always worshipped the ground she walked on. It was tough to watch because we saw how much she hurt him, but we never badmouthed her, we always tried to support their relationship. <br />
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As he got older, the relationship with his mother caused us some problems, especially when she'd use the "she's not your mother, you don't have to listen to her" line when he complained about something that happened at home (our house). Eventually it turned out she's mentally ill, and she ended up losing her other child as well (different father). But not before it took its toll on our household. We've had our ups and downs since then, including several months last year where we had to ask him to move out (he's 20 now) and then he begged us to let him come back (which we gladly did), and I'm proud of how he has turned out. <br />
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It is not easy and you can never really foresee all of the possible scenarios that might present themselves. If you have access to a family counselor, that might help - I wish we had!! <br />
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The best you can give is the best you can do. Good luck!

This comment will probably be a bit long. <BR><BR>My husband's son moved in with us when he was 9, two months after we got married when his mother decided she didn't want him around anymore. Be there for her when she needs you, give her love and understanding. <BR><BR>I can't speak for girls, so I don't know if your situation would go the same as ours has. If my stepson's mother had been consistent and just stayed out of his life, everything would have gone a lot smoother. Instead, she kept on barging back into his life for "visitations" which started out fine for several months then would quickly deteriorate, eventually exploding into a mess again. One example, when he was 11, she picked him up one Saturday at 9am. An hour later, I heard the door slam and my stepson came running into the house crying his eyes out. When I went to see what was wrong, he said his mother had said she never wanted to see or hear from him again and he wanted to know what was wrong with him that she didn't want him. All I could do was sit there and hug him and tell him there was nothing wrong with him, that his mother had some problems she had to work out and it wasn't his fault. <BR><BR>And no matter what she did, he always worshipped the ground she walked on. It was tough to watch because we saw how much she hurt him, but we never badmouthed her, we always tried to support their relationship. <BR><BR>As he got older, the relationship with his mother caused us some problems, especially when she'd use the "she's not your mother, you don't have to listen to her" line when he complained about something that happened at home (our house). Eventually it turned out she's mentally ill, and she ended up losing her other child as well (different father). But not before it took its toll on our household. We've had our ups and downs since then, including several months last year where we had to ask him to move out (he's 20 now) and then he begged us to let him come back (which we gladly did), and I'm proud of how he has turned out. <BR><BR>It is not easy and you can never really foresee all of the possible scenarios that might present themselves. If you have access to a family counselor, that might help - I wish we had!! <BR><BR>The best you can give is the best you can do. Good luck!

Step-ing is hard, especially if the child's other parent sees you as a threat. What worked best for me is making friends as best I could with the other moms, asking her advice about things, trying to keep her routines and set of discipline rules when we could. It doesn't always work, but when that person is hostile to you, it is a clear uphill struggle to make a success of the relationship. Good luck!

I am not a stepmother. My friend is. She says she doesn't get in the middle of her husband and his ex wife decisions on raising her step child. However your situation is different becasue your step chlild is coming to live with you. Being a mother is difficult. Especially if you want to be a good mother. I think you are doing the right thing by searching for help.

Your role will not be to replace their mother, but to be a most important person in their lives, one to whom they can turn to, receive unconditional love even when they are being awkward, guidance, freindship and stability. There is no guidebook for being a stepmother, you will learn as you go along, and the experience will bring you all great joy.

You would do great. Think you would be a great mother, do all you can as a great mother. I doubt any child who is sensible could reject one who is trying so hard to be a good mother. Happiness will come to you when you believe it will (:

Thank you - and when I said "benefits" these were the things to which I was referring - their love, the value of family, the fun of watching them develop and grow. Thank you so much....

I can tell you that it is very challenging. She is six years old and does know that you are not her mother but will be a dear friend to her and an example to her. I would recommend you read the book Boundaries in Marriage by Dr. Henry Cloud. When children grow older sometimes and almost most of the time will look to daddy especially girls since their daddy's little girl will look to manipulate daddy to get what ever they want and many of times he will feel out of guilt of her biological mom not doing the right thing by this child need to make up more so for this child and only rightfully so. I am a mother but sometimes dad's don't know how to balance and draw the line of the boundaries of manipulation as kids get older and the need to draw the line when it comes to there partners in showing the children the foundation of a unity of strong bond. Your Marriage should be put first and that's not to say that the child is second, NO. As parents we take care of our children first their health there physical needs and emotional needs 1st, but you need to show children that up to that point you need to show children that mom &amp; dad need time together and they need to see the unity and the strong bond because the marriage is what will teach children how to become good partners in the examples that they watch. You two need to be a team to raise this child. He will definitely will be treating his baby girl like a princess just as long as he treats you like a queen. Been there, walked that and it has many challenges. You &amp; your partner should read that book, it helps you to understand how children will try to manipulate parents and there needs to be a line of boundaries that you and your husband need to understand if you's are in this together for the win.
Lots of love and great advise for his girl and she will appreciate you regardless if mom tries to get back in her life to sabotage the relationship. Lots of luck

You hit it spot on. I am in a situation whereby my husband does not know how to draw the boundaries. Our marriage is under tremendous strain right now. I married by husband who was divorced with 2 girls. The girls were 14 and 9 when we got married. At those ages, they know what is going on. Everything was ok until the older girl came to live with us. That was the beginning of an uphill battle to get my husband to look things from my eyes. At six years old, you still have a chance to bond closely with her, give her lots of love and attention. In a nutshell a check and balance.

I have a biological child and two stepchildren-all three are grown. As with all parenting, you will give more than you will receive-it is the same with stepchildren and children-as parenting is not something you do to receive "benefits"(I am not trying to be mean here).....I wish that I did receive "benefits" for my sacrifices for all the children (and grandchildren now)......but all I have received is their love....but come to think of it, that is what this is all about, (as I have learned for me ) isn't it? Their love and now the love of the grandchildren. Yes, it was and is worth it as they will always remember me and hug me every time that they see me. Especially the grandchildren....they will always remember their "pawpaw". I hope that this may help you some. Welcome to the stepparent club.

Have the benefits outweighed the struggles? Thank you both so very much for sharing...

I am a step mother to a 3 year old girl and 5 year old boy, never had kids of my own. I will not try to sugar coat it, it is very trying at times, but truly all kids need is love. So if you have love to give, you will be fine. Just remember they need someone willing to teach them the rights and not the wrongs, love them unconditionally and just be supportive of them.

I can only speak as a stepfather....give lots of love and lots of praise and she will be yours for life. You will give more than you receive....but that is the same as with actual biological children.<br />
Good luck.....your are doing the right thing and one day the stepdaughter will realize it.