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25 Year Old Step Mom

MrsRobinson's picture


I am a childless 25 year old woman. I recently (October) moved into my (divorced father of 3) boyfriends home. I’m fairly used to children, I was extremely active in my niece and nephews lives. I don’t mind kids at all. But, this is different. The children accept me well, and in the few months we’ve been together (part time) we have bonded and they fully accept me as a step mother. Questionably as their mother, considering their BM is a psycho. (What’s with that? Stay tuned for the blog about their BM, you WONT wanna miss this juice haha). However, I still feel all these things. Inadequacy, unappreciative, comparisons, among other things. 

Tonight I made the mistake of being so overly frustrated and overwhelmed, I told my boyfriend I had wished he didn’t have children. The way it came out was harsh and not what I truly intended to say or mean. But we all know it did not go well. I tend to say things that can be interpreted many ways. It became a pretty serious discussion, and now there’s a heavy tension and all I truly needed was another step mother to tell me, hey, this fucking shit is hard as hell and you’re not alone in feeling like this. I have no idea what to do, my boyfriend thinks I believe I deserve to marry someone without an ex and kids. Which everyone deserves this, but this doesn’t mean I don’t deserve him or I am settling. (My boyfriend treats me very well and loves me very deeply). 

Please help me find my sanity.


Harry's picture

In a spot.  He has his kids for the rest of his life, and you just told him you, you wish his kids were not there.  What is he going to do  now?  Dump his kids for you ?  Knowing it’s going to be stressful for all ?  You need a childless man !!!

Areyou's picture

This stuff is pretty hard. You needed to have that discussion. The air will clear. My suggestion is live together for at least a year before moving forward. And nothing is permanent. You can change your living situation if things become too tense. 

AshMar654's picture

I think it depends on how you meant it and what is your real feeling behind what you said. Do you really wish he never had kids because you wish the focus was all on you and your relationship? Was it a vent because you are annoyed with the BM and the skids? There is a third did you mean it like things would be easier and different, not so much a wish that he did not have them but a curious thing about what it would be like?

I can not say I ever wished my SO did not have his son or that he was a part of lives. I have expressed to him when we were first together that him having his son 24/7 makes things a different. We never really got to be silly and careless and just decided last minute hey we are going here, we are doing this, let's go out and have a few drinks with friends tonight. Him and I never got that much as we always had to plan it out.

We bought a house and have lived together for a year and I love my SS9 and I take care of him and treat him like he is my kid. I also know SO and I can not just walk around naked, we have to watch age appropriate stuff on tv till he goes to bed. I have to buy certain foods and have snacks in the house. I also have to watch what I say and have had to learn to control my temper.

If you feel you can not do this for the rest of your life or right now at the age of 25, you should not be in this relationship. Being with someone with a kid changes the whole dating game and being together and living together. You need to really evaluate what it is you want in a relationship. Understand you will not get everything you are looking for. He will always have these kids, they will always be a huge priority for him.

Best of luck

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

That discussion happens, it's hard... But even my DH honestly wishes he had waited. It's not that he doesn't love his kids, and both DH and I are at an understanding that we'll do everything possible for them. BUT, he realizes now that he had no clue what he was doing, and that he had no right to be doing what he had been. Sure she got pregnant on purpose, but it takes two to tango and he knows he shouldn't have been doing any of it. All it did was cause issues for him in the future, and more importantly causes some tremendous stress on the girls.

Even as a SM that loves her skids and is raising them full time and fighting like he!! to keep them away from that unsafe mess, I've wished he hadn't had kids before, though I more wish he didn't have a crazy ex... Why? Because life would be so much easier if he hadn't. Any kids we have would be ours, we wouldn't be stuck in this little area (hopefully not for too much longer), and we wouldn't have to watch two girls suffer so often (not to mention we wouldn't be paying up the wazoo for a lawyer and soon court...). But easier isn't always better, I do love the girls, they respect me, my DH respects me, and honestly, I can't know for sure what kind of a person he'd be if he hadn't experienced what he has. 

Point blank, being a SM is hard as s***, and you're going to have to have some of the super hard conversations with your bf for this to work. Build boundaries and expectations. What kind of a person would your bf be if he ditched his kids? Plenty of us on here have watched the affect that a parent ditching a child has, and it's not pretty, it hurts them. But that's why we have this site... Gives you a way to vent and work thorugh the chaos...

Also just so you know, I'm close to your age and childless too, I've had to mature a LOT for this, I was already pretty mature, but handling a lot of the emotional games your mind plays is a whole different ballgame. lol

MrsRobinson's picture

I definitely don’t want him to ditch the kids. Honestly deep down I wish they were mine. I wish so badly I could take away this life they have, living two homes, living with this mentally abusing BM, if they were mine...that’s what I truly wished. We both want another baby, I’d like a little girl, the boys want a baby sister. I guess it’s just the stress the BM brings and having to retrain them rules at our house every time they come over. I’m happy to have found this site, it’s so fucking relieving to hear other people have these thoughts.

hereiam's picture

I'm pretty sure, at some point in the past 21 years, I have told my husband that I wished he didn't have kids. Probably said it more than once. He's never taken it personally.

Putting up with someone elses past, when it's always right there in your face, is hard and can be very frustrating. In my case, it was mostly BM that was the problem, hence, no kid, no dealing with BM (actually, 2 BMs).

It is hard, even if you like the kids and they like you. You will never be their mom, and they will always be loyal to her. The things that you do for them, will mostly go unappreciated, the sacrifices that you make for them, will mostly go unknown.

I don't know one step mother who hasn't had a small breakdown here or there and said things that they didn't truly mean. It can be a stressful situation, even in the best of circumstances, just like parenthood can be. The difference being, we don't necessarily love our step kids unconditionally so the frustration is magnified.

Let your BF know what frustrates and overwhelms you so that the two of you can work it out together. Just as he needs your support, and you are there for him and his kids, he needs to be there for you and whatever you are going through in this new role.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

You said it all much better than I did. Hit it spot on, especially with the breakdowns here or there and how hard it is to deal with someone else's past.

AshMar654's picture

I never dealt with a BM, most know that here. Man I have had my break downs in this past year. It is hard raising a child 24/7 that was raised completely different than how you do things. It is hard to break bad habits that were created because the previous environment while not bad at all but was very relaxed on rules.

I love my SS with all my heart and him and I have a great bond and relationship. Still it is hard really hard to go from being a single person with all your own space and freedom to being around a kid and father day in and day out. Yes you choose it and you understand what it is happening but boy are you not ready for all the emotional stuff that comes along with it.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

Exactly! Raising kids when choices have been made differently from what you would have wanted can be a stressful endeavor in and of itself! You're doing great though!!!

Maxwell09's picture

I was a 25 year old stepmom...when I was first here I was 22 and people told me to run for the hills because of my age. I’m glad I don’t see so much of that now.  It’s rough. I’ve said it to my husband and the truth is he agreed with me. He loves his children but he is realistic enough to know our relationship would have been a thousand times easier, less complicated, whatever without his crazy Ex to consider at every turn. There are no sponetanious beach trips with having to first letting the BM know, there is no “oh let’s just go have this checked out” at the dr’s without a whole debate happening with the Ex. There is no dating period without some sort of guilt or backlash or conversation derailment to his kids at this age. He is probably feeling guilty y’all can’t date as a single guy and girl because of his past choices and obligations. He doesn’t understand how you feel because as of now he just knows unconditional love for his kids so when they aren’t saying “thank you” to him, it’s not big deal and doesn’t think how it’s different to you. In some ways, Stepparentinf is like a wine, it needs to age a bit to get smoother.

I’ve beem with DH since I was 22, dated for months, together for a couple years then married now for four. My best advice is rooting out BM with boundaries. Don’t contaminate your time together mentioning her, change the subject. Don’t let the kids be the hitch in your relationship in a good or bad way. They can’t be your world and they can’t be the problems. 

TwoOfUs's picture

Does he plan to have kids with you? Do you want children of your own? 

You are so young. I was your age when I met my DH. I love him, but if I had it to do over again...I wouldn't. He has three kids, and we've been unable to have our own. I make more than him and have done A LOT to support children who aren't mine. I know they love me, and DH loves me and treats me really well...none of that changes the resentment I feel about putting time, money, and other resources toward some other woman's household...some other woman's kids...while not being able to have my own. Just want you to have fair warning here...

ESMOD's picture

When I met my DH, I asked him several times if he had kids.  He finally asked me why I kept asking a question he had already answered... and I said.. "hoping the answer would change???" lol.  In a way, I meant it and in a way I was kidding.

Look, I was in my late 30's when I met my DH and he had two girls 5 and 9 yo... He was NCP at the time, but saw the girls often.  I had no kids of my own and honestly was on the fence of whether I wanted them or not (spoiler alert.. never ended up having a kid and now am in my early 50's with a boat that has sailed).  I wasn't used to kids, I had no family or friends with children so that was a very foreign situation for me.  And yes.. the Ex was Psycho.  (Are they all really certifiably crazy or does something happen that makes them that way? insane jealousy over another woman being with their Ex and kids? bitterness at life that didn't work out?).

Even now... after 15 years do I wish he hadn't had kids and another life before ours?  Well, sure.  I guess it's hard to not be jealous that you didn't get to spend all that time with your SO the time he was married to someone else before you.  That the EX got experiences and had kids with him that you don't.  That his kids are going to tie him to an EX for a very long time if not a lifetime? (we have seen BM one time in the last 2 years since the younger daughter turned 18 yay).  Would if have been nice if he hadn't had that financial obligation to his EX for kids he had with her?  If the kids themselves hadn't taken financial resources that I would have preferred to spend otherwise?  The time lost driving back and forth to get the girls or drop them off (2-3 hours each way).  Kids are their own unique persons and they have their quirks and issues and problems and yes.... my life would have been simpler if they had simply not existed and I would have preferred to have met my DH before he married and had kids with the BM.

But, I have a good relationship with the girls.  The younger one and I are pretty close.  Even then, I can logically say that while I don't want them to DIE...if they had never existed... I wouldn't have know what I was missing right?... so that would be ok.  But they do exist and they are good kids for the most part and they are both on their own now and living good lives... so I couldn't really ask for a better result. 

So, it's possible to wish you didn't have the mess and complication of kids.  But, that doesn't mean that the relationship with your SO isn't worth the extra work. 

I think your SO needs to understand that it's completely possible to get frustrated at the responsibility and lack of control we have as Step parents... yet still want to be with the SO... and in fact you don't literally wish the kids dead.. but wish for a different situation with them.

But, you are young... only 25.  3 kids is a pretty big load for you to accept.  If you want children of your own, that is a big financial burden for you and your DH to carry.  You really have to go into this with your eyes open and you must have an ability to adapt and live your life knowing that some things may be dictated to you due to their circumstances that you may not be able to change.  Can you live with that?  It will take some soul searching because unlike what we see in the movies... LOVE cannot always make things work out in the end.. it's not enough.


saruhhh_04's picture

I am also a young SM. I was only 19 when I met my SO and 20 when I met his son. I will be 23 in a few months. And like others  have experienced, when people first heard that he had a child, they warned me to get out since I was so young. My SO is a few years older than me, and he and BM were basically fresh out of high school when they had SS (he was a surprise). My SO does not regret his son, but he regrets who he had his son with. Their relationship had problems from the beginning - but they were young and things happen. I'll be honest, he was not a good guy before his son was born. He was known by a lot of people for partying, being a jerk and not caring about his reputation or future (BM was the same way, and doesn't seem to have changed much). But once SS was born, he completely transformed. He is one of the most loving people I know. And he loves his son more than anything.

SO and I probably had it simpler in the beginning than some other's on this site. Although it was hard on my SO, the first full year that he and I were together, SS lived almost 2 hours away and his mom rarely allowed him to visit his father (he probably only came down three times, and only for two days at a time). So he and I did get the chance to experience being in that brand new spontaneous relationship. And we were able to get to know eachother without having a child around often. Now, things are different. SS currently lives 5 minutes away, and we see him every other weekend. It was a big adjustment.

I would be lying if I said I didn't have moments where I wish that he had never been in a relationship with BM, as our lives would be easier. We would still be able to do whatever, whenever. And whenever we start a family, it would be solely ours. But things are the way they are. I'm someone who believes that everything happens for a reason. Like I said before, SO  was shaped into the man I love after the birth of his son. And I have to feel very lucky that I get to experience this side of him. SO warned me from the beginning that his son was going to take priority, and I understand that. I wouldn't want to put him in a position where he had to choose between his son or me. I know whenever we move, SS will have a room at our place. And if we get married, SS will have a role in our wedding (pending that his BM allows this, of course).

I understand where you are coming from. It can be difficult and frustrating - and there are times where I'm sure we all feel overwhelmed and wish that circumstances were somehow different. And I am still learning as I go, just like you. I look at it this way: I love my SO and I know he loves me. And his son, is simply a bonus in my life.

GoingWicked's picture

I think every new stepmother should read the disengagement essay, just google it, or read a book about boundaries (which is what disengagement essentially is), it’s not the only way to go, but it’s worth looking into.  It just helps you decide where areas of responsibility in the home start and where they end, so you don’t feel overwhelmed and take things out on your DH. It worked miracles for my marriage, DH and I used to have knock down drag out fights about SD constantly.   And now, I think it’s been years since we had an argument that lasted longer than an hour.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

^ I didn't even disengage (obviously, lol) but reading about it really does help you figure out exactly what boundaries you need and what you see an acceptable vs. unacceptable, it's definitley something worth looking at!

Boundaries are honestly what saved my sanity (and probably my marriage). When BM was walking all over them DH and I fought a LOT. With boundaries we don't fight as much.