How many of you are custodial step parents?

doodlebooSeptember 9, 2008

It came up in another post and to be honest I can't remember who is and isn't. Everyone here knows my situation. I want to say IMA, Psuedo and MOM2EMALL also. Am I right and is there anyone else?

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I was a custodial step parent for 13 years during my first marriage....then a single mom of 2 for 12 years and now a custodial step parent again. DH and I have been married for 3 years. SD's bm died of cancer when sd was 6, she is now 10. Although I don't have to deal with the bm this time around I certainly had a doozy of one during my first marriage. I also would like to state that I don't refer to my sd as such in day to day life. She is my daughter. I also didn't refer to my sd in my first marriage as such. She is my daughter. It is only for clarification purposes here that I do so.

My 10 year old sd is from Ca. and all of her family is there.My dh has another daughter, 30, in Ca. and she is married with 2 kids. My 10 year olds bio moms family is very involved in her life and she spends summers in Ca.....That's my short bio. I also have a 20 year old daughter at home going to Cosmo. school and 16 son who is a Junior in high school. Their dad is not involved. My son refuses to see him........Thats quite a family isn't it!!!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 4:00PM
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I am a custodial SM without the paperwork. According to the divorce decree DH has unlimited visitation with a min of eow and one night a week. Since the beginning this was not how it was. Infact, for a long time we had to fight with bm to get her to see her own kids. That is, with the exception of part of last year where BM decided she wanted to try and keep the kids away from us ((mostly due to her BF's influence and wanting CS)) Things are back to us having the kids most of the time and her wafting in and out for one reason or another... her and bf are breaking up keep the kids... she has to babysit keep the kids... she doesnt have the gas keep the kids... she has school keep the kids... well at least we know we are on top of things when they are with us and arent being deprived of them like she tried to do last year... :-)

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 5:01PM
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Yes, I'm a custodial step mom of a 9 yr. old girl. Her mom is supposed to have her the first three weekends each month.

In a former life, I was also a custodial live in girlfriend/mom to mine & his for over seven years. His kids were 1, 4 & 6 when I arrived and 9, 12, & 14 when I left. Their mom came around once or twice a year for a few hours. I still keep in contact with the youngest (girl), the older ones (boys) well, one moved away with his girlfriend. The other has had more than a few problems. He's chosen a life of drugs and partying. From what I hear, their mother re-entered their lives when they were grown. They are 18, 21, & 23 now.

I'm also custodial mom to my three, now ages 18, 19,& 21. My 21 year old used to visit his dad & step mom. (so I have that angle covered) My younger kids never had a relationship with their father's and didn't start talking to them until they were over 18. Both have step mom's but don't see them at all. Both also have half siblings they don't know yet.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:30PM
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DH's two DD's are adults, so technically no custody. They both chose to live w/DH when they were thirteen (now 20/24). The younger one is very immature/needy at times and she acts like 14 or 15 and it drives her dad nuts.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:06PM
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I am - DH received emergency custody of SD when she was 5, and full after a year of a very nasty battle. She is 13 now, and refers to me as her 'real' mom. We're very close, and she does call me mom. She sees her biomom EOW.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 11:57PM
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We have shared custody...Wed-Sun we have DH's two sons.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 9:37AM
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I am a full time custodial SM too....
DH has full legal and physical custody has since SD was an infant....I have raised her fulltime since she was three (10 now) BM has visitation but has not used it in almost a year....... I have been to every doctors appointment,parent teacher conference,been there for all the sick days,scraped knees and held her while she cried because BM didnt show up again....
I am the mom who raises/takes care of her and she also has a Bio mom who she visits (well is supposed to be able to visit..)
It is hard to find other custodial SMs to relate to because it is so rare...this is the only place I have found w/ other full time SMs......
It definately changes thing up a bit being a FTSM versus a EOW do everything a mom does every single day yet have no rights to your Step child (to enroll in school,in the event of your spouses death/divorce etc...) I would so love to see some laws changed when it comes to Full time Step parents..sorry enough of my rant!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:05AM
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WOW....there are more of us on here than I thought. DOes Ceph have A_____ full time as well or was I wrong about that?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:26AM
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Hi Doodleboo,

My wife was the custodial parent when my stepkids were under 18. So, I guess that I would qualify.

We had the kids 5 days a week, and sometimes more.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 12:59PM
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Nope, A__ is with us somewhere between a quarter and half the time.
We have had him for as long as three weeks straight, and gone as long as two weeks without him... It's widely variable, which I think is very hard on him.
Lately we have had him between 2 and 4 nights a week.

I wish our system was a bit more regular, but what we have worked out lately is that we have him when BM works doubles. This is good because then he can be with his mom when she is available, and with us when she is not. This maximizes time with both parents and minimizes time with Grandma.
Grandma has no rules, lets him eat microwave popcorn for breakfast, doesn't require him to bathe or do his homework, and so on. So it's not good for him to be there very much.

BM and I have talked about the times when FDH is on evening shifts and she works doubles. I said I am still happy to have A__ with me, even though FDH is at work, but if she would prefer he was with GM, I wouldn't be offended. She said that she would rather he was with me, because I do things with him and he has to behave himself. So, I sometimes have A__ just on my own; we have a good time and he is (usually) VERY well behaved for me.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:18PM
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I'm a full-time custodial stepmom to two teenage girls and I will soon be a first-time bio mother as well.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:25PM
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I have no idea why I thought you and DH had A---- full time. Now that I actually think about it I do remember you talking about Mom and how there is a pretty good working relationship going on between the two of you. Who knows why it slipped my mind brain maybe:)


I have two live in step daughters and I am also expecting my first Bio child:) Congrats on the baby!!!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:38PM
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Congrats to you also. I feel like I'm working backwards though - I'm good to go with teenage girls but I have no clue about babies!

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 1:49PM
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Doodle and Lone,

Congratulations to both of you.

My wife and I have an 8 year old bio daughter, so I learned how to take care of a baby from my wife. Hopefully, your husbands will be a great help here.


    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 2:05PM
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Well, we had 'custody' of DH's adult son for a year and change when he didn't want to live with Mommy anymore but couldn't pay his own bills either... Guess that doesn't really count, though ;-)

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 3:40PM
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Sweeby- Oh god, don't start the adult children issue...hahaha. It is SUCH a pet peeve. Get a job Jr.

Thanks Athlete_- J has been uber supportive. He is fnatastic!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 9:58AM
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I am also a custodial stepparent of a pre-teen girl. I am a custodial bio parent of another pre-teen girl. I do refer to them both as my daughters though. Only on here do I use the term sd.

We have sd full-time and bm pops in and out every so often. When she is in-between relationships she likes to play mommy for a few days. And when she is in a new relationship she tries to act like she is a good mom and calls. Other than that she pretty much stays away. She likes to party and have no responsibilities.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 10:06AM
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My husband has been the custodial parent for the past 6 years, they are now 22, 18 and 15. 22 Lives on her own, 18 has just left for college and 15 is home with us. They are all great girls, we have had our issues as I tried to find my balance between stepparent and custodial parent. The girls see their mom and have a pretty good relationship with her although the older two went thru a phase of not much communication but that has passed. 15 very close to her mom.

Bio mom and I do not have a good relationship, I am mature enough to admit/apologize to the mistakes I have made but she will never so we avoid each other at all costs.

And I resent that she has skirted her finanicial reponsibilities for years so I have paid for many things that she should have helped with.

I have always said that being a stepparent to custodial children is a very difficult balance... more difficult then being a bioparent as you have so many gray areas.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 9:00AM
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I am CSM, too. SD15 FINALLY got her wish! She now lives with us full-time. She will visit her mom every 4-8 weeks during the school year (long distance travel--several states away) and spend most of the summer with her. I was also CSM to her brother for 4 years. He, too moved here for high school, and just started college about an hour away. I am also bio mom to DS21, who is in college here, and DD5 who just started Kindy.

It's a wild and crazy life here!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:32PM
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At the time of our marriage DH had sole custody of 3 boys from when they were very young. They were young/teens when we married the eldest in college.

So yes I am a CSM to 2 boys, the eldest was already in college and on his own but we are close friends, I don't really "mother" him but we are close and I could talk with him about anything. The other two are living with us as adults.

I have one BS in college down south. Kids all get along fine. I had no issues with BM in parenting the boys as she didn't want to deal with parenting stuff. I took care of the broken arms, teaching to drive, school functions etc. Always made sure the boys took their dates over to take pictures with BM before proms and sent her photos am very lucky we had a cordial/very limited relationship.

I guess yes I am a CSM of grown ups! Lol.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2008 at 3:52PM
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Hi, This is my first time visiting this forum, and I am so happy to see so many others in great situations. My long term boyfriend and I are raising his two, teenage daughters, 13 and 17. We have all lived together in our house since July 2005 they were 9 and 12, the same year in Oct., their mother died from cervical cancer. I have always thought of his two daughters as my own, since I have never had bio-children. They are my kids, but they call me by my first name. My BF and his youngest daughter have not ever seen eye to eye, and hit a crescendo her 6th grade year when she FALSELY accused him of child abuse to school authorities. She has sooo many problems... pathological lier seems to rule. She and he have never been close, and her mother let her do ANYTHING she wanted from a very early age, due to behavioral problems. For the last two years, I have been basically the one who cares for her concerning 90% of parenting. The good thing is that she and I get along great. But, it feels like she does it to see what she can get out of me. I purchase all of their clothing, encourage them to try new things, to be their best. My BF has been a hands off dad now, afraid she will accuse him of other, more terrible things. CPS can RUIN your life. He and I are in the position of mandatory reporters and her false accusations have had far reaching ramifications, even if they do not have substantial evidence, you are GUILTY and go on the US list of child abusers and your name does NOT come off. We tried to fight it legally, $10,000 later, she went back to the school officials and said it was not true, which appeared to them, we coherst her to resending her accusation. Anyway....I'm sure the amount of care I am involved with my SDs day to day is evident-we talk about everything from how they feel about losing their Mom, to boys and friend problems. The youngest SD will, on big events in her life conveniently leaves me out. Not that she doesn't want me there, and I am. She blanks me out of being there in her mind. Her dad, her sisters, her Godparents-everyone will be included in her thank you, everyone, but me, because in her mind I wasn't there. I threw her a surprise Hawaiian birthday -pool party-sleep over. Got her the electric guitar she wanted, etc... I did not do this for her to feel in- debited to me. I wanted her to have fun and have something to remember, look back with fond memories. She thanked her 14 year old sister for doing everything. Examples as such fill my last three years with her. My mom tells me she will look back and realize. Her dad spoke to her once about how I seem to be invisible to her and she had no good answer. She just clammed up. I feel like I am being taken advantage of, but on the other hand, I really enjoy seeing their faces light up, no matter who does what. I just would like a thank you and know they appreciate what I do for them. How to approach/deal with these issues?? Help.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 5:46PM
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What *I* would do is quit doing anything but the necessities until she starts appreciating what you do. I don't have much patience with kids that think they are "entitled" to everything.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 8:54PM
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I am a custodial SP. DH has 3 children, BM takes kids every other week for a few evenings. She's a real pain! She continues to try and ask kids questions about the baby DH and I are having together- DH told her to buzz off about it!

    Bookmark   December 1, 2008 at 9:46PM
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I am too. I have had my 17 y/o SS living with me and my husband since he was 13. Though his mother, who lives 2 hours away, will be quick to tell you that they "have joint custody" (legally, but that's about it......).

It is tough.......especially with a difficult BM.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2008 at 12:32PM
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