Stepmother’s Guide on Dealing with Stepchildren
At long last, you’ve found the man of your dreams! He’s smart, funny, financially stable and a widower with kids! You say, “What the hell, I love him, that’s why I’m marrying him anyway, with or without his kids!” But after the ceremonies held in cloud nine, you went back to reality. To the marriage, the kids, the house, the memory of the former wife, the “witch” image commonly associated to stepmothers.
Just when you think that loving the man is enough; you discover the exact opposite and the hassles of marrying a widower with kids. There is the guilty feeling of taking him and the children away from their departed mom. The main problem would stem from the relationship of the new mom and the kids. “Kids may loom as a constant reminder of your husband’s physical and emotional bond with his first wife.” You also may be seen as one who will erase the kids’ memory of their mother. Or, in case where the kids have lost their mother when they were still small, you have to deal with the way they are used to having only one parent and their independence stemming from that kind of parenting. They may not take orders from you any more than they would from their neighbors.
It doesn’t stop there. There’s also jealousy and competition over the affection of their father, your husband. The father, in turn, is divided among his kids, you and his loyalty to his first wife, not to mention his job, the financial backup needed by the household… etc.
But more importantly, or even almost critically, the first hurdle to clear would be on how you would win over the kids without making it seem to them that you are throwing their mom’s memory to the dustbins and without hurting their relationship with their dad. There’s also the feeling that you are expected to find the kids adorable but you realize later that you don’t even like them.
Also, it is natural with newlyweds to give out a sexual aura on the first few weeks and children may not welcome the different, romantic atmosphere. Then, there is that feeling of isolation among the kids whenever you tend to be a bit show in your affection. They may feel isolated – an outsider in the love you share with your husband.
It’s not easy, but counselors, psychologists and people’s specializing in the field of second families provide some helpful ways to give you an initial push needed for the big hurdle.