When I met my ‘to be’ husband I was 19 years old and he was 28 years old. At that time he already had 3 kids ages 4, 4, and 5 under his belt and an ex- wife that he split custody of the kids with. 2 1/2 years later we married and I officially became a step mom. I learned a lot being a step mom, especially a young step mom, so I thought I would share a few of what I learned with you. I hope this helps you and if you know of a future or current step mom, please share this with them. I wish someone had shared with me what to expect when you’re a step mom.
- When I was a young step mom I would often be asked, ‘Are these your kids?’ Knowing they were really not my kids I would say they were my husbands. I soon realized that even though I was not their biological mother, I was still a mother to them, so I began to simply say ‘yes’ when that question was asked. Then I would get that funny look since I was so young. It was as if they were doing the math in their head. Lesson Learned: A step mom is a mom and there is no reason to correct someone if they call your step kids your kids because ultimately they are your kids.
- During Mother’s Day most schools create a sweet craft for the kids to make so they can give something to their mom; unfortunately the schools don’t offer the kids to make more than one project just in case they have a step mom. Lesson Learned: Yes, it sucks but it is what it is. If you are a good and caring step mom, you don’t need a present, you will know your step kids love you by how they treat you when they walk through the door.
- When we had the kids at our house we would all have such a wonderful time together. Often times we would play games from when I was a child and watch movies, but to my surprise there were times when the kids would go to their mom’s house and tell her quite the opposite of what happened and make it look like our times together were not fun but miserable. Lesson Learned: Don’t take this too seriously. Realize that sadly the biological parents may still have issues that they have not worked out and are looking to try and win the love and affection from their kids. This is not fun, but it is really not fun for the kids involved; so with that said, keep making the kids happy while they are in your care and love them unconditionally and continue to make positive memories.
- At some point in your step child’s life, especially if you have a girl, they will most likely yell at you, ‘You’re not MY MOM!’. Lesson Learned: As much as this hurts, you know they don’t really mean those words. Yes, you are not their ‘biological mom’ but you are their mom. When you married their dad, you took on the role of a mom. Try not to take it personally and simply look at your child and say, ‘When you have calmed down we will talk.’ and then once they have calmed down, explain to them how those words made you feel.
- Many households run differently in regards to every day actions such as meal times, bed times, schooling and discipline. When your step kid are at your house you will be faced with many challenges because ‘your way’ is not their ‘mom’s way’. Lesson Learned: Do what works, but take the time to listen to the kids and see how things are run at their mom’s house. You never know it might be worth trying but then again, it might not work in your house. You may need to discuss with the kids that each household is run differently therefore certain rules are set in to place to make them home run smoothly.
I have been a step mom for over 19 years so I have learned quite a bit. Even though I was not taught or given a book that told me what to expect when you’re a step mom, in the end it was worth it. My step kids are now 25, 23 and 23. One is married with a daughter and the other two are officers in the United States Navy. After raising these kids for over 19 years, I am proud to call them my kids, not my step kids, and often times they call me their ‘mom’. They know they have 2 moms and 1 dad, but as a family we have recognized that the word ‘step’ is not necessary.