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Poll: do you use the f-word (family) with steps?

GrudgingSM's picture

Im just wondering who sees their skids as family.

I know there are legal and genetic ties that make people a legal or blood-related family member, but I mean more of an emotional definition about family. I've just noticed there's a lot of skids who say step parents are their parents or step parents say kids don't treat them like they're part of the family, but aside from legality, are skids part of your heart's definition of family? No bad or wrong answers; I'm just curious!

I'm 100% not a blood is thicker than water family person. I don't consider skids my family, but I'm also not unkind and don't exclude them. I just don't feel a closeness to them.


CastleJJ's picture

My SS is part of our "family unit," but I do not call him "my child" or "our child." He is my stepson and I am his stepmom and DH is his Dad. That is how we refer to each other. SS calls me by my first name. I treat him well and he treats me fine, but I still keep some distance there, especially as he has gotten older. I'm due with DD next month and I know that relationship will be significantly different from my relationship with SS. 

I know that SS9 refers to BM and GF as "his parents," which is what BM and GF encourage. SS9 calls both BM and GF "Mom." GF views SS as her son and she gets defensive when people acknowledge that SS is actually DH and BM's child. There are some mental/emotional health issues there. I don't know how SS refers to us, meaning DH and I, when he is at BM's house or with his friends. 

caninelover's picture

I don't consider Bratty family.  She is SO's family and I respect that but she is not mine.

I'm not a strict blood is thicker than water person though.

My family is my chosen partner (SO), my parents and sister and her kids, my cousin's, my close friends (yes I consider them family), and my furbabies.

CLove's picture

I call her "family". I am her stepmother.

SD22 Feral Forger - I am Dads wife and she is my hy ands daughter.

shellpell's picture

I don't see ss13 as family. He is dHs son and his family. He is our kids' biological half-sib but not part of our household and has no real relationship with them, which both dh and I are fine with.

lieutenant_dad's picture

As a SM, I call my SSs "family". I see them as "the kids" but not "my kids". I'd equate it to somewhere between niece/nephew level and bio-kid level. I'm more invested in their rearing and care than I am my nieces, but DH is the one who leads parenting priorities. 

As a SK, I often refer to my mom and SF as "my parents" due to having lived with the two of them FT as a teenager. I do view my dad as my parent, but since he didn't get remarried, it was easier to refer to him separately if I needed to. However, I view my mom, dad, SF, and my dad's GF as "my family". Same with my SBro. Really, the only person I don't claim is SSis. I acknowledge her existence if I see her, and that's just because I can't bring myself to be a cold b*tch to her since I usually only see her if she is at my mom and SF's house.

ETA: If someone refers to the SSs as "my kids" or me as their mom, unless they are friends or family, I don't correct them. It's not worth the hassle of "oh, I'm their SM" because I either 1) get a rude look because I used the devilish term "stepmother" instead of "bonus mom" or just accepting the "mok" title, or 2) get someone trying to convince me to think "more highly" of myself as the SSs' "other mom". 

Felicity0224's picture

I consider SDs part of my family, particularly since DD was born because they are actually her family in the technical sense. But I've never thought of them as "my kids" if that makes sense. I do feel like I'm a person fulfilling a parental role in their lives, but I can also acknowledge that I don't love them in the same way I love DD (not do they love me in the same way they love their mom). It's weirdly somewhere between how I feel about DD and how I feel about my sister's kids. I also feel as if DD, H and I have a family unit that is separate from them (not in a malicious way, just a result of the circumstances), and also DD and I have a unit independently of everyone else (again, not in a negative way, but she and I have been on our own at least 70% of the time for the last two years).

As for what I *say* I collectively refer to "our kids" when talking in general, but will clarify that they're my stepdaughters if I'm talking about them individually to someone who needs to know that for whatever reason.

Harry's picture

Not one answer is wright or wrong.   It's the way you feel,  it may change over time or not.   You are an individual, your feelings are yours.  

MissK03's picture

I do consider them (skids) family. I still will refer to SOs family as "His" family. SOs family is great and treat me well but, it's stil his family. 

I've been with SO over 6 years now, skids live full time never go to BMs... 4 years and counting prior was EOWE. SS18 will say Dad and stepmom, SS17 will say parents (referring to SO and I) SD14 will say Dad and MissK. 

I never refer to skids as skids IRL. They are my boyfriend's kids. I never use the word step when talking about them. We aren't married so they aren't my step kids lol. And I would never use the terms "my kids" or any of that. 

Mominit's picture

I'm lucky enough that our family blended hard.  Each other's kids are our family.  My SKs are my kids as much as my bio kids.  And they all think of themselves as siblings.  Part of it is because we got together as a family unit when they were all very very young.  Part of it is because my DH and I have such similar values, family being a strong one, that they were all rasied together, the same  - with the same opportunities and the same responsibilities.  Eventually the lines all just blurred.  They are all treated equally by the grandparents, aunt, uncles.

And a good measure of this  is something I heard years ago - if anything happened to my DH would we still have the same relationship?  Would we see each other as much?  Would I continue to support them financially (even if there is no legal requirement).  And I have to say nothing would change.  I'd still help them with tuition, buy presents for them at Christmas, and expect them and their other halves over for dinners as often as their busy schedules allow.

It doesn't happen for everyone, but I'm really glad it happened for us.

Mamabearof3's picture

I've always seen my SD as family. Even before I had my own children with DH. Probably why disengaging has been so difficult for me. 

CajunMom's picture

DHs kids are not my family. I, too, am a person who has "built" my family. It consists of DH, my kids, friends and a few family relatives. These people are family because we care for each other. Dh's kids don't consider me family. I'm DH's wife and referenced as such. They don't care about me nor do good things for me. So, I followed their lead. 

PetSpoiler's picture

But not anymore.  I helped raise SS, loved him, he called me mom.  Then he started treating me like a polite stranger, lied, pretending that he thought of me as his mother, but his lack of effort told me otherwise.  He's the type who will lie to get out of a situation or a conversation.  He justified his wife's lying, his lying, their behavior.  So I gave him space.  Lots and lots of space.  He and his lying two faced she devil are not welcome in my home, my life, or around my kids.  My husband doesn't speak to them either.  If he decides to resume a relationship with them, that's his choice, but my kids and I will not be involved.  He will have to see them outside of our home.  

Ashleytenorio17's picture

I do not consider my SD family. She is DH daughter but as hard as i try to include her and make her feel like she is part of our family unit, I found out she thinks of me and my kids as "them" and not her family. I would like to maybe one day be close enough to consider her part of my Family but as of now, no. 

Elea's picture

I went into this fully intending to treat SDiablas as family like my own SM treated me as her own child but SDiablas fell too close to the BM tree. They are snotty, have no class and very little ability to adapt. They get all pissy when I refer to meals (that I went to the store to buy, prepare & cook, then clean-up) as "family dinner." I guess maybe I should just call it MY (and my husband's) dinner since I did every f'n thing for them. DH is always grateful and gracious about my contributions. The more SDiablas stay with their low life BM the better. BM is an idiot that has a knack for offending and irritating people. Strangers have come up to me and said, "BM is SUCH a b*tch." SD's fight with her nonstop but yet she's still the parent they represent. They deserve her. If it weren't for DH I'd never see them again.

thiscantbenormal's picture

Other than the technical label, I do not feel the warm and fuzzies using that word for DH, our daughter, and I. Nor for my relatives. I guess I'm jaded and guarded so I don't really let anyone in anymore. DH is not loyal to me in a family sense. He may say he his but his actions don't say it. 

To answer your question about his kids, absolutely not. Their mother has mentally damaged them and I don't want to be around people who think lieing about abuse to get back at someone is okay.

1dad4kids's picture

I call SS12 my son, unless the conversation calls for clarification as a non bio. 

He is very much a part of my family, and before we had BD5 he was our only child for 6 years.