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Your Family's Relationship with Skids or Future Skids

Lemon65's picture

Hello all! I am new here, but have been lurking for about a month now.

I am in a long-term committed relationship and my SO has a 10 year old daughter. I have been a part of her life since she was 7. I get along with her okay, but we do not see her often and BM is pretty high-conflict which complicates things. I guess I should also mention that I do not have a maternal bone in my body and I am 99% sure that I do not want children of my own nor do I ever want to take on the role of Step Mother.

So back to the original question...for those of you with skids or even future skids, do they have a relationship with your family? My SO's daughter has not met any of my family, but my SO seems to think that she should at least meet my parents. I don't know how I feel about this since we are not married. We plan to marry, but not in the near future.

Any insight would be much appreciated and I will be happy to answer any questions.

hereiam's picture

I have never considered myself a step mother, so I completely understand! I am just a woman, married to a man who has a kid. I only refer to his daughter as SD on here, for simplicity. It's easier than "my husband's daughter".

We did not make any special arrangement or outing for my SD to meet my family. She met them because we had her on a weekend when we were doing something with them. It was not a big deal and not on a list of "things to do". I think a formal meet-and-greet, just for that purpose, would have felt weird for everybody.

Why does he feel that she should meet your parents?

Lemon65's picture

I honestly don't know why he feels that it is necessary.

We had a conversation about it last night and he said he feels like I'm ashamed that he has a daughter. I am not ashamed and I understand that she is important to him, but she really isn't a big part of our life together and I feel like I should still get to have some parts of my life to myself.

To me, my family is like a safe haven, away from the pressures of having an SO that has a child with another woman and away from BM's drama.

Iamwoman's picture

My parents are also a a safe Haven. I recommend keeping it that way.

I’m pretty sure my skids for the past several years have just been plotting on how to worm themselves into what they think will be an inheritance from my folks. At one point they were too young to realize that openly discussing how “rich” they think someone is, might be both uncouth and downright obvious as to the agenda at hand. My folks aren’t stupid though. They see right through it. After several failed outings with DH, DD, OSS, and YSS, I now try at all costs to avoid having the skids around my parents. They are a safe haven for DD too.

My folks still send the skids small gift cards for birthdays and Christmas’, but honestly I think my folks are saints just for that. Skids have been so horrible and ungrateful over the years that no one in my family feels love for them - just kindness as they would feel toward any child in general.

If I were you, I would wait until your parents actually ask to meet the skid. Your boyfriend is being pushy and insecure.

Lemon65's picture

Yes, I think you're right...his feelings probably do stem from insecurity. And ultimately, the decision should be up to my parents and I. To be honest, they have not expressed any desire to meet her.

Curious Georgetta's picture

Perhaps,this is the same feeling that step kids have about wanting to just have a relationship with dad and not his new SO/partner/spouse.

Maybe those feelings ate not tied to anything malicious, nefarious or mean. Maybe it is the same feeling of family is my personal safe space and I do not wish to add another personnel i that I do not view as a relative.

This is a feeling that we can easily understand when articulated by an SO/partner, but seem to find it offensive when step kids try to articulate the same feelings

I think many people young and old can happily and successfully compartmentalize their lives. They view the necessary slots as taken and feel no need to expand the circle.

That feeling is never justification for rudeness. Nothing excuses rude or impolite behavior. But it might explain the failure to embrace or acknowledge someone as family.

The OP seems quite comfortable with not involving or thinking of these kids as her family and she is probably comfortable with them considering her as dad's SO without being in anyway related to them.

Maybe this kind of healthy compartmentalization might lead to fewer unhappy relationships and more realistic expectations about relationship groupings

fairyo's picture

It never worked for us- the only time our families mixed was at a cosmetics party I ran when I was out of work a few years ago- you know the sort, you try the products and then order them. I felt obliged to invite my SDs but they didn't try the products, or order anything. In fact at one point they yelled 'dadddee' when it came to time to order, but I'm glad he didn't take the bait. I felt very embarrassed in front of my sisters.
The second time was The Ostrich's birthday party, to which he invited all my family and all his- a bit like a wedding I suppose. Again, I was so embarrassed by their obvious unwillingness to engage with anyone that I got extremely pissed.
My advice is to keep them separate at all costs- it won't work. SO will try but I feel it best to resist his attempts. Keep your family to yourself.

Lemon65's picture

Thank you, I do want to keep my family to myself! I just don't know how to express to him why I feel this way. It has nothing to do with me being ashamed or disliking his daughter. I guess I've always liked compartmentalizing my life.

fairyo's picture

I really think men have a different perspective on family from women (although I know there are posters on here that would disprove this theory lol!). Recently I just could not explain to The Ostrich that he wouldn't understand the tensions between OSD and myself because he wasn't a woman, and women feel these things in a way that men don't. I couldn't really explain it in any other way. It seemed to satisfy him at the time!

Lemon65's picture

I agree! My SO thinks I have some kind of "mental block" and if I just "rip the band-aid off", it will all be fine. I tried to explain to him that that has nothing to do with it and I've had to deal with situations way more awkward than the prospect of his daughter meeting my parents. He should know that I am made of stronger stuff than that, haha.

Aniki's picture

I also do not consider myself a stepmother. I have not stepped in to replace their biomother - I am my DH's wife.

Four years ago, one SD met one of my sisters when my sister and I were out for dinner. We chatted for all of 3 minutes. Other than that: NO, the skids have not met my family. I did not invite them to my annual family picnic. The SSs were too bloody unruly and obnoxious and the SDs, well, they take after their mother and are beeyotches. I am not about to subject my family to their unpleasantness.

Lemon65's picture

Has your DH ever asked for them to meet your family?

I feel like my SO is pressuring me into it. His daughter is sweet and very well behaved, so I am not afraid that she will embarrass me. I simply don't think it is necessary to include her in every part of my life.

Aniki's picture

No, my DH has never asked. And it has nothing to do with them being skids. I was previously married and WAS a STEPmother to my 3 skids (mother disappeared with her drug-dealing BF and was drinking, doing drugs, and 'hoing for money for drugs). I was the only 'mother' they had. While I am no longer married to their father, I still have a good relationship with my former skids.

Anyhoo, my former skids were at ALL of my family functions and my family had a good relationship with them - they called my parents, Grandpa and Grandma and my siblings Aunt and Uncle.

I do not have that kind of relationship with the current skids, nor do I want one. If I cannot stand to be around them, I'm certainly not going to subject my family to them.

If you're not comfortable with her meeting your family, it is your decision to make. Not his.

Lemon65's picture

You're right, it is MY decision and I tried telling him that. I guess I just feel guilty because my feelings have nothing to do with his daughter's behavior. I simply just don't want her to be enmeshed in my life. And it is not like she is asking to meet my family nor are they asking to meet her.

lieutenant_dad's picture

This gets complicated in my family because they want to be more involved than I or DH really care for them to be. My family is very much the "there is no step or half, only family" types, so they want to include the SSs as grandkids and nephews. I generally don't mind, but it makes DH and the boys uncomfortable, so I try to keep my family's interactions to a minimum, like major holidays and birthdays.

As far as what I consider myself, I am a stepparent but not a stepmom. I am not here to replace BM. I don't feel an overwhelming sense of love and attachment to my SSs. However, I do want to see them succeed and I do act as a parental figure. I feel like I'm somewhere between an aunt/grandma and a mother. I'm there to support my DH in raising his kids, not raise them myself (hence the moniker "Lieutenant Dad"). I will refer to myself as a SM, though, for convenience, but I'm not going to be referring to the SSs as "bonus kids".

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

My parents and sister have met the children. I've even made comments about how welcoming they are. Their response is along the lines that they understand these will be their (step) grandchildren some day. The day of my SO's divorce my dad even commented "I guess we'll be getting two new grandchildren soon."

I've had one aunt meet them also and hope to introduce them to my grandparents one day in the near enough future.

One of the things that helps is that my mother lives so close to me so there really wasn't anything to them meeting. My mom has helped us by watching them a handful of times, even once over night. They love her it seems and she treats them the same as she does my sister's children. My mother is huge help to me and when I take the kids out she will come with me many times. We even have a major trip planned soon that my mother will be joining us for but that's my family and that's my relationship with the children.

From moment one I understood the goal was for these to be my kids. I want to be a maternal figure to them to some degree. I consider them my family. That being said why wouldn't my family meet them.

Entering this family I realized recently my family is also no stranger to this sort of stuff. My mother is one of 5 and had a stepfather. My dad's side of the family has adopted before. There are all sorts of other confusing blends of families when it comes to my extended family and my cousins just got a stepdad a few weeks ago.

My direct family took in a friend of mine for over a year and my best friend was ALMOST sent to my grandmother to finish his schooling due to his families instability. I was almost sent to a privet school that just happened to be where one of my aunts lived and she was ready to take me in on the weekends and did pretty much move into my aunts for work during 3 summers after graduating high school. We just kind of take children under our wings as if they were our own easily. I loved growing up in a house like that where my friends could come stay the night when their home wasn't exactly habitable due to storms. Where dinner could always be stretched and the heart could too.

Remembering all this it's no wonder they welcomed the children in so fully, easily, and quickly.

Rags's picture

Our experience is probably different than most. My SS is my parents eldest GKid. My bride and I met and started dating when SS was 15mos old and they both met my parents a few months after we started dating (Nov to Feb).

It wasn't a formal introduction thing. In fact my DW is the first woman I introduced to my parents in the 3+ years following my divorce. Much to my mom's irritation. She used to give me crap about not introducing them to the series of women I dated up until I met my bride. Mom even accused me of being ashamed of my parents.... Lol! I had to clearly tell her that it was not a being ashamed thing. It was a thing where these were not women who would be in my life for the long term and as such I had no intention of sharing my family with them.

With my bride, and by association SS, I naturally and comfortably shared my family with them and them with my family. It just felt right.

Now... I cringe to thing what either of my parents would do with anyone who tried to tell them that SS-25 is not their grandson.

I also haven't ever considered myself to be a StepFather. I am and have always just Dad to my Skid.

ndc's picture

My SO's kids have met my parents, all of my siblings, and a few aunts, uncles and cousins. They've been to my parents' house several times and they've vacationed with my parents and my siblings (with SO and I along, of course). I think the big difference from your situation is that SO has 50/50 custody, so I am with these kids a lot. SO never asked for my parents to meet his kids. The first time my parents met them, they had invited SO and me to their house for dinner, and it was a skid weekend, so they said to bring them along. I think it would be odd for me not to introduce someone who is a big part of my life to my family. In your case, though, the skid is not a big part of your life, as you said you don't see her often.

twopines's picture

I know SD32 has met my mother, but I don't remember if SS35 met her. No one else in my family except DD has met them.

Acratopotes's picture

My parents only met Aergia twice in the 15 years being with SO, they don't like her but they still treat her with respect.

They are not involved with her in any way or form, they never buy her anything.

SO's family knows Deigma they love him to bits and always ask why is Aergia different then Deigma, SO replies she's just a girl, yeah best excuse ever, In-laws never buy any gifts or anything for either child, BIL usually gets Deigma something small and Deigma gets BIL something small, it's between them in their money I do not get involved, SO was unhappy about it and I explained, it's between BIL and Deigma no one else.

Deigma get SO every year for Christmas and his birthday something small, SO only bought Deigma 2 gifts in the whole 15 years, but Deigma does not care, Aergia never bought SO or myself for that matter anything but yet she demands to get something, I ignore her...

My stance on this... Aergia is not my family, I don't own her anything, nor does my family owe her anything, heck they do not owe SO anything either cause he's not family, even if we where married, still not family, it's between me and SO not him and my family. Same counts the other way round, I will get In-laws small gifts but that's just the way I was brought up.... always give the host and hostess a small token of appreciation, never arrive with empty hands.

You can simply tell your SO, leave it be, we are dating each other, not each other's family, my parents are not involved, when we visit them I simply expect mutual respect from both parties, and that's that

oneoffour's picture

My question to SO would be "OK, you want her to meet them but does she want to meet them?"
She probably has enough grandparents to sink a ship and adding more older people into her life would be annoying. SO may feel she needs to meet your parents but as you are not living together or engaged, why? Are your embarrassed of her? Not at all. But pushing a 10 yr old to meet your parents may be difficult for her as she is unlikely to see them very often.

If/When you do marry it would be prudent to introduce your SD to future family members. After all, she nay be required to communicate with them in the future over some event.

Your role as a stepmother is definable by you and not by society. I consider myself a stepmother but I NEVER ran around after my stepsons. I think I picked them up from school 1 time in 7 years because my DH was running late. I did not manage their lives at all. I can talk to them but we are not one big love hug group. We seldom see them both at the same time.
I am more the aunt-type than bonus-mum type. Something to think about.

Gimlet's picture

I think it's whatever works for you, lemon.

My DH's family, including the skids, has never met my family and they likely never will. I have different circumstances than most, though, because really it's to protect DH and his kids from my family. My DH has just told them that "Gimlet's family doesn't really socialize, so she sees them separately" (when I was still seeing them) and left it at that.

But, to answer your normal people question, I think the degree of interaction between families is up to you and whether you think it will be a positive addition to everyone's lives. It's your choice how you want to handle the role of "stepmother" or not and how involved you want your family to be with your SO's family.

Different choices for different families. I am also not in any sort of mothering role for my DH's kids. I am their dad's wife. They have a mom and I'm not it and I'm perfectly content with that.

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture

I never wanted kids, still not sure I super want one of my own. We're raising the Skids full time, and I admit I have moments where I just have to walk away for a bit and just tell DH to handle it.

That being said, the Skids have adjusted, I mostly have, and they DO have a relationship with my family. They LOVE them. My parents have embraced a grandparent role and the girls FaceTime with them frequently. I honestly think they get to talk to my family more than I do. LMAO

The truth to me is, the skids are part of my life (even on the bad days). And so is my family. If I'm raising the skids, I don't see why I wouldn't want them to have a relationship with my family.

This is all a matter of opinion though. you have to find what's best for you Smile

marblefawn's picture

SD accepted several invitations to family dinners, her place was set at the table, and she never showed. I was so embarrassed and I hated SD for disrespecting my entire family the way she does me. The last time it happened, my husband got her on the phone and demanded she appear (a RARE show of backbone that I haven't seen since). She showed up a few hours later for dinner at 10 p.m. - as we were clearing the dishes. I told my mother right then: "There will be no more invitations. It's done. Do not invite her again." And she has not seen them since.

Like you, I am not maternal. I agree, it's nice to keep something for yourself. At the same time, your SD is only 10. It would be normal for a 10-year-old to be around for different events/holidays, so at some point, you might have to bite the bullet. If the thought isn't comfortable for you, maybe make it a really long engagement! Maybe you're just not ready to "merge" with someone a SO. It sounds as if you're taking things nice and slow and that's good.

Blue Moon's picture

I don't consider myself a stepmother, I won't live with my SO until SD17 is launched, but she has still met my family.

Whenever we have a family dinner (on holidays or for someone's birthday), if SO has her that week, she will be invited. Everything has gone well as she is lovely and very pleasant to be around.

She can't always come because she sometimes works or has other plans on that day, but I wouldn't see myself excluding her if my SO is invited and she is with him that week.

thinkthrice's picture

Hell Chef hasn't met my family other than my DS and DD and their spouses. My family aren't the smoochey smoochey type and anyways I'm being shunned by my elderly parents due to religious differences.

My younger sister and I have NEVER gotten along since day one. Both our Chinese AND "Western" zodiac signs are complete opposites and pretty much sworn enemies! We haven't spoken to each other for 17 years now. The last time she said anything to me was at my daughter's reception and she made some snarky comment about how I was a "size 2" or something.

She never had any children and she is OVERLY concerned about aging, her figure and the accolades of many, many different men despite being married to husband II who is a sugar daddy. Apparently the sugar has run out.

She has never worked longer at one job than a year and now she is a part time school bus driver despite getting a bachelor's degree in, of all things, psychiatry! She lives about 35 minutes away from me.

The school bus driver gig is probably the worst possible job she could be in because she is the sort that would have an affair with an 17 year old student should said student give her enough compliments.

DS and DIL were appalled by her narcissism when they offered to drive her up to visit my aging parents. She wouldn't commit to going with them until the VERY last moment and my DIL is a PLANNER!

-end rant-