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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 81 Responses Jan 17, 2008

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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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You just might see her bloom over time in a way she never would have.<br />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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My specific advice, if you intend to make a lifetime commitment to this girl (and she deserves nothing less):<br />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
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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 />
<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!

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.