Becoming a stepmom

Guest post by Debi Robarts – Confessions of an Evil Stepmother Blog.

Growing up I had a list of qualities I required in my future husband. Essentially, he had to be perfect: attractive, rich, always admit I am right, never have been married and not have any kids.

As I got older, certain items on the list fell off as I realized they weren’t important, as my priorities changed and I matured. One thing that remained true was that I was certain I didn’t want to be with someone who already had kids. I have always loved kids but the idea of being involved with raising someone else’s child seemed unappealing. Not to mention the permanent tie it creates to the child’s mother! I have never been the type to remain friends with an ex and I didn’t want to be involved with someone who maintained contact with theirs. If a child is involved, there’s no choice: the mother is part of their life forever.

I had this picture in my head of what my future family would be: me, my husband and our child. A child that I carried inside me for nine months. A child that had his father’s eyes and my nose. A child that probably had a longer second toe, just like I do, and hints of red in his hair.

When I met Lucas, I knew he had a daughter. At first I didn’t think about it; I wasn’t planning out or considering that we would get serious. But as our relationship developed, I had to start considering the pros and cons of dating someone with a child. I had to start evaluating my list, weighing the options and thinking what do I want from my life?

When I came down to it, Lucas having a daughter wasn’t a deal breaker. That didn’t mean that things were easy, it just meant that I was willing to give it a try.

Becoming a stepmom has been both the hardest and easiest thing of my life. Loving Molly has always been easy; being a part of raising her has not. Molly is an only child, and her mother is an only child. That can make things hard, especially considering I was raised as the fifth of eight children. Hand-me-downs, sharing a room, eating what you were given: these are all things that were Everyday Life to me. For Molly, everything is new, everything is her own and everything is centered around her.

Becoming a stepmom
Photo credit: Melanie Mages Photography

Juggling my experiences and trying to help raise Molly as an independent but obedient and respectful person has been hard. My views clash with Lucas’ at times. My ways seem harsh to him, especially when we only have Molly three days a week and we want our time to be good and enjoyable and fun. There have been many discussions, including tear-filled ones, between Lucas & I about what to do and how to do it. And the fact that I am not Molly’s mother makes it hard: yes I’m a part of raising her, a part of her life and an influence in it, but at the end of the day, I’m not a part of the decision-making process. Things aren’t up to me.

becoming a stepmom

Not having that control is hard for me. Sitting by and seeing decisions made that I don’t agree with is hard for me. Watching Lucas struggle at times is really hard for me. We are still figuring things out. We are still getting used to living together, being a family together. But the one thing that ties us together, the one thing that will keep us together is our love for each other. I love Lucas with all my heart, through the good and the bad. I love Molly as if she was my own daughter, and want the best for her. I love the family we created, even though it’s not the one I imagined ever having.

As the song says, “love is all you need,” so we’re all going to be okay.

You can get to know more about Debi on her blog: Confessions of an Evil Stepmother





Thank you for sharing your story with us Debi. You’re a strong woman.

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Hi, I’m Shan. I’m a wife, mom to 3 kids and a businesswoman who works from home and gets very little sleep at night. My days are filled with dirty diapers and toddler tantrums, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. I am in the Forbes 30 under 30 list for Forbes Africa 2019 and just recently launched my start-up – MomSays.

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  1. 2015-01-08 / 10:36

    Great post! It must be very difficult! That’s why I am always so grateful to my Hubby who has accepted and love my daughter as his own!

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:40

      Thank you Karen! It can be really difficult at times, but I try to see the positive and focus on doing what *I* can to make things work. 🙂

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:41

      Thank you. Yes it can be difficult but I try to focus on what I can do and what I can change to make things work out. 🙂

  2. Fi Ní Neachtáin
    2015-01-08 / 11:52

    Molly is absolutely adorable, I can see why you couldn’t help but love her. I’m always thankful for my stepdad taking on my brother and I and raising us as his own, although there were some hairy moments through the teenage years!

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:42

      I can only imagine the teenage years.. definitely enjoying the kid years and we’ll get to those when they come!

  3. 2015-01-08 / 12:37

    I have a step-son just like my kids have become my husband’s step children. There is always an adjustment, but if you work a little, it all ends up ok.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:43

      Robin, that’s the ticket – it takes work. Things don’t just happen, you have to make it worth it to you to MAKE it work. 🙂

  4. 2015-01-08 / 19:19

    It must be a very difficult thing to try to balance how you were raised with how your step daughter has been raised until now. It sounds like you’ve really got a handle on it though.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:44

      Thanks Krystal. Yeah, there are definitely times where it’s frustrating but I just remember that just because I was raised one way, doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY way or even the “right” way. Every family is different, every CHILD is different.

  5. 2015-01-08 / 22:13

    It sounds like you guys are great together! Parenting is a challenge no matter what family dynamic you have.

  6. getmuddie
    2015-01-08 / 23:13

    I’m not a parent or a step parent, but I watched my sister go through this and it angered me and broke my heart at the same time. It is a difficult situation to be in, you’re asked to be responsible, but have no authority. It’s like being a full time babysitter at times. I can’t offer advice, but it sounds like you have the right attitude!

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:45

      That sounds just about right! It’s a balancing act figuring out where I fit in and what’s in my range of responsibility. At the end of the day, the most important thing is that Molly has a lot of adults who love her, and that’s what REALLY matters.

  7. 2015-01-08 / 23:23

    Molly is gorgeous and you sound like a loving step mother. It’s hard agreeing on parenting your own children, let alone a step child – but you are right, love will see you through.

  8. 2015-01-09 / 00:12

    That would be difficult to go through. Sounds like your heart and mind is right were it needs to be and she will love your for it. She is lucky to have you!

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:46

      Thank you! 🙂 Although I truly feel like I am the lucky one.

  9. Kathy
    2015-01-09 / 01:21

    What a wonderful post! Sounds like you guys are so great together! Molly is very beautiful and you guys are all lucky to have each other. I’m a mother myself so I know it can be difficult at times but when you’re a step mother I’m sure it can get tougher. Sounds like you’re doing great!

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:46

      Thank you Kathy. Motherhood – in ANY form – can be rough, but it is also rewarding. 🙂 We are all in this together, raising the future!

  10. 2015-01-09 / 02:42

    Parenting can be so hard, step or not. 😉 You seem to have your situation grounded in a solid foundation. That will make the difference for everyone, I think, in the long run. 🙂

  11. What a heartfelt honest post. It cannot be easy being a step mom. I know I would struggle but it seems like you are making the best of a difficult situation. I wish you luck. That picture of the two of you together shows how much she loves you and at the end of the day, that is what is important.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:47

      Thank you Margarita! It has been a struggle at times but yes, when a child shows love in their little ways, your heart melts and you realize every minute is worth it.

  12. 2015-01-09 / 03:02

    Great post! My husband has been a great step dad to y oldest daughter. My ex remarried and my daughter got a step mom at the same time. She got a two-fer deal lol

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:48

      Thanks Kelly. As difficult as divorce can be, I think that if the parents are happier apart, then that is what matters, because kids can sense that. Even better when they get additional parents to love them. 🙂 You have a great attitude about your ex and his new wife!

  13. 2015-01-09 / 06:19

    It must be difficult at times, but I am sure it’s worth it. I don’t have any step children but if I did I would love them the same.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:49

      Thanks Michele. It’s really amazing how fast you can fall in love with a child, and it’s like they are your own so quickly.

  14. 2015-01-09 / 06:52

    Coming from a family with step parents, I think this is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us.

  15. 2015-01-09 / 08:45

    Molly is so cute, you’re going to make a fantastic step mother!

  16. 2015-01-09 / 16:06

    My s/o and I both brought two children in (and with our youngest, we have 5 all together in our blended family). It wasn’t always easy at first, but I think one of the key things is that adults act like adults.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:51

      Yes, great advice. The adults need to act like the grown ups and let the kids see that. Nothing is worse than people fighting over their kids and creating negative situations. The children should know that everyone loves them, no matter WHAT else is going on.

  17. 2015-01-09 / 20:55

    Oh gosh, I can related to this! When my ex and I divorced I knew that I did not really want to get involved with someone who had kids. I dated one fellow who had a child, but he and the mom were way on the outs and he did not see the child often. Then, I met my now husband.
    Kiddo was 3 when we met. She is going to be 10 at the end of the month. It has been a roller coaster for sure. Everyone says I need to be a mom, but then I can’t really do much. My husband is always in the middle of his ex and his mom and they treat him like crap. But, when he tries to speak his mind, he just gets frustrated. It’s hard to just sit here and watch it. It’s hard to be the one that feels like you are needed only to pick up the pieces.

    I have been through some terrible things in life. Things that I would not wish on my worst enemy or that no person should have to go through. I survived. I am living and working through my past. But, I tell you, nothing can prepare you for being a step parent. It is by far one of the hardest things I have had to go through to date. Even now, it’s still a battle.

    I just do the best I can when kiddo is around. I know I will never be her mother, but we will always be bonded through love and friendship.

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:52

      Thank you for sharing! It is such a struggle at times, I hear you! Keep it up though, if you show her love and support, she will know you are there for her no matter what. 🙂 That’s what matters.

  18. Eliz Frank
    2015-01-09 / 23:58

    Being a step-mom is not easy, but with a good heart and patience on both sides, it can work… You’ll be great.

  19. 2015-01-10 / 04:39

    I love hearing successful step mom stories!!! I had a step mom who…. Idk really didn’t like me at first because I was “too old”….so she ignored me….. She was awesome to my brother and sister who were younger, so to her they would take to her “easier”…. Strange thing is all these years later we get along now and she probably feels silly for not giving me a chance when I was younger 😉

    • 2015-01-12 / 19:57

      Thank you. 🙂 People can be funny and make mistakes, and I’m glad that now you get along and have moved past it. She probably does feel quite silly for her behavior before!

  20. 2015-01-10 / 04:44

    Sounds great! You guys looks awesome together. Molly looks so pretty. I think family bonding is the most important thing. If it is perfect we don’t want to worry about any other dynamics. You are doing a great job indeed.

    • 2015-01-12 / 20:01

      Thank you! Yes, bonding as a family, just spending time together.. that’s what matters more than titles or who is actually related to who!

    • 2015-01-12 / 20:07

      Thank you! Yes, family bonding – just spending time together – is more important than titles or blood relation!

  21. 2015-01-10 / 05:26

    I have never been a stepparent, but I have heard that sometimes it isn’t the easiest role in the world. However, the same applies with being a parent, too. 🙂

    • 2015-01-12 / 20:02

      Oh yes, all parenting can be a challenge! But it’s worth it. 🙂

  22. 2015-01-15 / 00:39

    I’ve never been a stepmother but I’m sure it’s difficult. Reading your post makes me think you are such a wonderful stepmother and is raising Molly very well.

    • 2015-01-16 / 23:21

      Thank you Peachy! 🙂 I am not perfect but I do my best, and I think that’s what matters. 🙂

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