stepmom fulltime, help - FamilyEducation
stepmom fulltime, help
12/29/2010 at 19:56 PM

I am a step mom to a 7 yr old boy. His bio mom was sporadically in his life until about 4, and by now he wouldn't even recognize her. She simply wants nothing to do with him. As this has been an evolving situation, I didn't 'sign up' to be the one and only mommy to this child, I haven't even had a chance to have my own child yet. But I have been married to my husband for a couple years and I am not sure how the family dynamics should keep progressing. While it is unfair to this boy not to have a mom, it's not my fault and I feel this huge weight of being his parent. I don't know where to draw the line between fair to this boy, and fair to myself. Am I supposed to carry on like a biological mother would, or start stepping back and letting his dad (my husband) handle more of the parenting.

I also don't know what is an appropriate age to tell him the truth. I do not want him to grow up not knowing the truth, but at the same time I don't think he will understand the truth right now, because his first question will be 'where is my real mom'. I am not about to tell a little child his mom doesn't want to be around, so I have let him believe I am his real mom.

I'm confused, and never saw myself being in this position. I would really like to take a step back and not take so much of this parenting on, but I don't want to harm the child either.

Suggestions and comments would be appreciated :)

It may be helpful to find a therapist who specializes in these issues.

Try to take a step back. See if you can understand how profoundly your choice--either to step up and be the mom, or to step away from this child--will affect his life, his community and the world he lives in. If you can be relied upon to put his interests before your own, as if he were your 'own', you will make a big difference in the world. I know that many of the people on this forum would regard you as a hero if you could make that sacrifice.

My step-son's mom is in his life but not like he thinks she is. His reality is quite off when it comes to both his parents and their relationship. My husband has yet to check him into reality. I think you should be honest but keep everything age appropriate. "Your mommy has a lot of other things in her life that she is working on and that's why she hasn't called in a while". It's not a lie. As far as stepping in as a to the dad. My husband expects me to be the full time mom yet doesn't seem to like how I parent but doesn't help. Find out how your husband sees everything going and what he expects of you. Just have a heart to heart before it gets too late.

I was in a similar situation growing up, except reverse. It was my father who was gone and my Step-father who I grew up looking toward as Dad. I think I was about 8 when my mom sat me down and talked it through with me. I think, while I did not fully comprehend the complex relationships going on, I still appreciated the honesty.