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Author Topic: Roles of step parents  (Read 9405 times)

gemini3

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Re: Roles of step parents
« Reply #10 on: Feb 22, 2011, 04:14:21 AM »
Ok, normally I try not to go off topic on a thread, but I just want to address a couple of things that Davy brought up.   

First, the term "step parent" was not coined by the feminists or by our current pro-mother legal system.  It's been used since around the 8th century.  It can be found in old english texts, and equivalents of the term have been found in Latin, German, Norse Chinese and Japanese languages.  There are plenty of uses of the term that can be found in 18th century literature that we're all familiar with - like Grimm's Fairy Tales.   

Also, I take issue with your statement that we should have a mindset that "excludes elevating a spouse to the special class of a parent".  Because, while I may not have physically given birth to my step-children, I am just as much of a parent as someone who adopts a child.  I do all of the "parent things" when the children are here 50-60% of the year.  I get them up for and take them to school, I help them with their homework when my husband has to work late.  I cook for them and clean up after them.  I am the only person who's EVER taken them to get haircuts.  I teach them manners, I help them negotiate problems they have with each other, with their mom, with their friends.  I support their relationship with their father.  I have taught them how to take care of "female" things, and how to wash their hair, how to shave their legs, even how to wipe properly.  I comfort them when they wake up in the middle of the night from a nightmare or growing pains.    I put them to bed at night.  My father put money in an educational trust for them when they go to college, just as he did for his biological grandchildren.  I could go on, but I think you get the point.

I do all of the same things a parent does.  I worry about them as though they were my own, and I love them as though they were my own.  And, a lot of what I do, is because their biological mother does not.  And the kids know who does all of these things for them - there's no confusion there, or conflict coming from the kids.  The conflict comes in when the biological mother gets territorial.  I have never tried to take over for her.  I take care of the kids the best way I know how, when they are with us.  She does not take care of them when they are with her, and then gets pissed when I do it.   

Case in point...  when SD1 was around 12 years old she started asking for deoderant.  I knew this was going to be a "hot button issue" with their mom, so I told her to tell her mom.  For a month, every time I saw them she would ask.  I would tell her to ask her mom, and she would say that she had asked her, but she won't buy it for her.  So I finally bought her some.  The minute I did that, we started getting the nasty e-mails - seven of them, to be exact - accusing me of having "empty womb syndrome" and trying to "steal the kids" from her, and saying that SD1 never asked for it, that I was "forcing her to wear it against SD1's wishes" and "demanding" that I stop trying to "force her" to wear deoderant.  This is totally typical of the way things go with her.  She doesn't do stuff, doesn't do stuff, doesn't do stuff... then when I finally do it, I'm a horrible person who's trying to steal the kids.


fight4him

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Re: Roles of step parents
« Reply #11 on: Feb 22, 2011, 09:02:08 AM »
I agree with Gemini. I am the step-parent. Technically we aren't married yet but are planning it in the next year or two. I have been in my SS life since he was born. They were never together as a couple, just a 2 week relationship that ended in a pregnancy. But he is such a blessing and as much stress as BM has caused us, we couldn't imagine life without him. His father loves him so much but he's not as "hand's on" as I am. I am the one who cleans him up, bathes him, teaches him to brush his teeth, how to shower, what manners are, etc. Sure, dad does these things when asked or when needed but mostly it falls on me and I gladly accept responsibility. I read him his bedtime story and put him to bed. I cherish these times with him. My mother calls him her grandson. My sister calls him her nephew. There is no difference in him and my real son. I know he's not my "son" but to me, he is just as much mine as he could be. I do not, and will not, ever try to take BM's place. But I do have a place in his life. We get along and speak but we aren't friends. She blew that herself. I was willing but I can't forgive now. I haven't had to take him to a doctor appointment yet but if need be, I would. I would have dad give her a call afterwards, not me.

Now BM is very threatened by me. Always has been, although it has gotten better since she got a bf. I just cant' imagine though, that he doesn't help her. We aren't threatened by him helping or watching him or taking him to the doctor or whatever he felt he needed to do. But she doesn't look at it like this. I guess she is "territorial" about it. She even had her attorney send ours a letter stating she didn't want me to bring him out to her and that dad needed reminding that the visitation is for HIM and not me. lol Does she seriously think I just sit around and ignore the baby and stay our of his life or something? How could anyone do that?

I don't know....no point to my rambling I guess....just wanted to chime in. I think many times the step-parent is made to feel like they are nothing when in fact they play such a huge role, as seen on this message board.

MixedBag

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Re: Roles of step parents
« Reply #12 on: Feb 22, 2011, 09:17:31 AM »
I've been a step parent too -- and sorta STILL am even though I fired EX#3.
 
In this case, in this PARTICULAR case, I fell that the new step-parent is stepping ON the BM.
 
For the two reasons I listed above.
 
IN THIS CASE.

gemini3

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Re: Roles of step parents
« Reply #13 on: Feb 22, 2011, 09:41:34 AM »
I always say being a step-parent is all guts, no glory.

 

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