New and Confused

freshstart10December 7, 2009

Hi,

I was searching for some information about step-parenting and stumbled across this forum. I'm not sure how it works but I'm going to post anyway and see what happens.

My boyfriend and I have dated since we were in high school. On and off, of course, but that's what most high school relationships are like.

We dated again a few years ago in University after I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship. We agreed to keep things casual until I could figure things out so we dated other people. In that time he had a child with a woman he wasn't in a relationship with and is now the father of a 2 and and a half year old boy. He has full custody of his son.

We have finally come to the conclusion that we want to be together forever and he's even gone so far as to say that he wants to marry me.

I really had no issues coming into the role as step-mother but after reading a few posts here I'm really apprehensive.

Does anyone have any happily ever after stories or should I just expect doom and gloom? lol

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juba_mom

Every relationship has its ups and downs, whether it be husband and wife, mom and kid, or stepmom and stepson. I love my stepdaughter very much and even with all the drama and hardships that we have had, because of being a stepfamily. I wouldnt trade it for anything in the world. With that being said, everybody is different. I fell in love with my stepdaughter as I was falling in love with my husband. I couldn't imagine life without either one of them. So my advice is to get to know your boyfriend's son really good because if you dont love that little boy with all your heart it will never work.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 8:24PM
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sweeby

And don't forget BioMom -- because she will also be a permanent part of your life if you marry Dad. If she's a reasonable person, then you can have a reasonably happy family that includes her child. If she's a psycho, she'll be in your life and messing up your family for years.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:30PM
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fiveinall

I wouldn't trade being a SM for the whole world.......We have my Sd full time, and have had her full time since a toddler......
IMO the best way to gauge is if you fall just as much in love with his son as you fall in love w/ your BF.....you will know!
There will definately be challenges, this lifestyle doesn't come easy so it is good that you are taking time to think things through.....
Why does he have full custody?

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 9:59PM
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mom2emall

It is not all doom and gloom. But being a stepparent is harder than being a parent to your own biological child. I would not trade my husband and stepkids in for anything. But their mother has added quite a bit of drama and heartache to all our lives. What I can say though is that since you will be with the child full-time from a young age that will be a lot easier than being an every other weekend stepparent to an older child. You will have a lot more time to bond with that child in your situation.

All I can say is be a loving adult to that child and let your boyfriend deal with his ex and any drama she may cause. Do not accept bull early on from bm because you will set the tone for misery! And always talk to your boyfriend about child rearing issues and provide a united front to the child.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 10:45PM
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yabber

We get a lot of drama from BM, but I'm very happy with my partner and he has wonderful kids. It's not always easy and we do have ups and downs, but overall my skids and I have a good bond so I would do it all again if I got the choice.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 11:42PM
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catlettuce

What Sweeby said. Not just BM but extended family.

Take your time and be sure they are all folks you can deal with for a looooong time.

It's very easy to fall in love with a darling little 2 yr old boy. It's also easy to get your heart ripped out if BM or her family decides to make your life a misery. Go in with your eyes wide open is all I can say.

~Cat

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 3:13AM
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freshstart10

Thank you all for your responses.

He has full custody because he has a more stable environment to raise a child. She sees their son everyday as she picks him up from school and has him until my boyfriend is done work.

She's known about me for quite some time so I'm not sure how hairy the situation is going to get. I'm bracing for the worst and hoping for the best.

mom2emall - your advice was especially helpful. I will definitely leave issues pertaining to BM with him to deal with. My first priority is making sure this beautiful little boy feels safe and loved by all parents.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 4:52PM
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lovehadley

It sounds like the situation is a fairly good one. Do BM and your BF get along?

I am somewhat surprised that BM never (?) has her son overnight. Is this true? I guess one question I would ask if how would you feel if their custody situation changed? How would you feel if this little boy whom you love was spending more time with his mother? Would you feel displaced? How would you handle it if your bond with this little boy weakened because his mom began playing a more active role in his life?

For me, being a SM has been challenging in that I feel I have a lot of the responsibility of parenting without the benefits. I am the first in line if SS is sick or needs to be picked up early, needs a ride to soccer practice, needs a forgotten lunch taken to school, etc. But I'm not the one he runs to when he's hurt, not the one he calls Mom, etc. It makes for a strange feeling sometimes. I often feel like a babysitter in a sense. I think, for me, this is exacerbated because a) BM is psycho and b) my DD is the SAME AGE as SS. This can cause a lot of jealousy/competetion in our home.

I think the most important thing is to take it slow, and never, ever have expectations. An expectation is a planned resentment.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 1:56PM
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poppingrays

Well, several upsides to your story. Since your boyfriend never really had a relationship (other than physical) with BM, that will most likely make things easier. My situation is similar, although I've always had custody of my son, but his Dad and I were basically just two young people having a "good time", then along came my DS (a true blessing!). His Dad and I have always been civil to eachother, no reason not to be... And I've always been more than gracious to and grateful for my son's "step moms" because they were, or are, a part of DS's life. Makes for a much nicer situation.

You are also seeking advice and looking for knowledge... That shows that you are serious about making this work. Good girl!!!! That will help things immensely.

I have two step daughters, and I love them both dearly. That's not to say they haven't been a challenge for me. Their BM did not make things easy, either. My DH was married to her for 6 years... It got ugly at times. My life is much richer from having the experience of helping raise my Hubbys' daughters.

I have to agree with some of the posts above... Let yourself fall in love with that little boy. He will bring you joy and laughter. It will really make a difference in your relationship with your boyfriend, too. Best wishes to you, and please don't be afraid to come back here for advice.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2009 at 2:58PM
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