What to Expect When You’re A Step Mom

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.

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.

step mom

Comments (34)

  • Great post and although I am not a stepmom, I am re-married and he is a stepdad and all of the things you posted still apply to him as well. All of my kids have been really great at making an extra “Father’s Day” gift for him as they really do look to him as a second “daddy” and he loves them as much as their biological dad does. Thanks for sharing!

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  • I am a step mom, so I am very familiar with the concept, but I have my own also. That makes us blended 🙂

    Robin (Masshole Mommy)
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  • Great post i have both a stepmom and stepdad. For me my stepmom never wanted us around however my stepdad was so awesome we just call him dad and never tell people he’s out stepdad he is just dad.

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  • These are some really great thoughts! Thanks for sharing on what can be a sensitive topic. I love to see families that have made the best of couples splitting up and where the children are able to have a good relationship with both parents and any step parents.

  • I am step Mom to four and I have a stepfather. Blended families are just more to love!

    Cyndie
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  • I wish my stepmom(s) were as caring and careful as you. It never went so well in my house! Great tips!!

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  • Beautifully said! I’m not a stepmom, but I love when my friends who are refer to the kids s ‘their’ kids.

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  • Wow! Hats off to you. It sounds as if you embody what it means to be Mom. Your children are lucky to have you. S/N: I never thought about the making of school gifts for the other parent-you are so right!

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  • I’m not a step mom nor do I have one. I can’t imagine the challenges that come along with being a step-mother. It sounds like you are doing a great job!

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  • You have a beautiful family. Luckily not every step parent has the same experiences you do, I have known many who are quite the opposite and all the parents work together to make sure the children adjust well and that they always have someone there for them. They also do not get jealous of the time and activities together. I am not sure how they do it but they do.

    Jennifer Williams
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    • I think those families are wonderful! We had our struggles but actually survived.

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  • What an inspiring post. I am not a step mother myself, but I do have a nice with a step mother and I could see some of these struggles unfolding!

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  • Such a great post Aimee! I have a step dad and he always made me feel like I was his very own. I actually didn’t know he wasn’t my father until I was like 11 years old. He cam into my left when I was a baby. He loved me unconditionally and I’m so happy to have him as my dad.

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    • that is wonderful! My bio kids just found out that I am not my step kids bio mom.. This entire time they thought I physically had 6 kids. After we told them.. cause we were kind of forced to.. a light bulb went off in their heads.. it was interesting.

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  • Great post! You are lucky to have the opportunity to parent the children as your own. I have 2 sets of stepchildren, 3 from my ex husband and 2 from my current and the experience with the current is insane. The drama and nonsense about everyday little things is childish and ridiculous to say the least.

    • Good luck! Holler if you need advice. We’ve had our issues as the kids grew up.. so many and not fun.

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  • Great post! I’ve never been in this situation, but I can imagine this post would be very useful for those who have!

    Pam
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  • You have a beautiful family! Great advice and insight for blended families.

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  • What a beautiful family you have! And you give some wonderful advice in this post, thank you!

  • Good wisdom here!

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  • Went great tips you have for being a stepmom. I’m a stepmom too and really need advice. Lol

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  • I love that you made it work so wonderfully. And hurrah for family just being family. 🙂

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  • This is such a cool perspective Aimee! I love the lessons you have learned and the love you have grown with your kids 🙂

    • Good luck! Holler if you need advice. We’ve had our issues as the kids grew up.. so many and not fun.

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  • It is never an easy thing blending families, but the important thing is to let love be your guide. Treat them as you would your own

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  • I am so glad that everything worked out for you guys & that you are all a happy family. Never easy being a stepmom, but rewarding to go through all the struggles for the happy times 🙂

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  • Those are definitely some great tips for those entering that role.

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  • Great post. It is interesting to read this and to think about all the obstacles that blended families have to overcome. I know some do it well and some don’t. It sounds like that although it was never easy, you were a family that did it well. Congrats!

    Pam
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  • I love the family photo at the end! I’m so glad you have a good relationship with your step-kids, b/c it seems like so many other people do not.

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  • Thank you for sharing your experience,Well done to you for being so young but doing the right things.I am sure this will help anyone that is going to be a step parent.

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  • This was such an inspiring post. Moms can come in all ages, backgrounds, histories. You don’t have to be a biological parent to be a MOM. 🙂

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  • Awwwwwe. Such a heartwarming story. I love how you capsulised it into one post for all other stepmoms to see!

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