While we were having a graduation party for my daughter at our house, I had a "guest" say right to my partner that my children were not his children. Right to his face; right in my house. "Those aren't your kids!" Bam.
The relationship between stepparent and stepchild will take years to develop and forcing it may actually delay things, or prevent it from ever happening, as negative feelings and resentments build.
Step mothers have the worst reputations ever. Even our fairytale stories are wrapped up in the "evil step-mother" prototype. We are the women who are portrayed as coming in and taking over the lives of children who are not ours and we are viewed as the women who steal the dad away.
Let the kids have plenty of alone time with their dad. They need to talk to him and no matter how long you've been in the picture, you are still not part of the child-father equation.
One of the hardest jobs to take on is becoming a step-parent. The job becomes even more difficult if this is your first foray into parenthood. If you've never had the responsibility of being a mom or dad, the prospect of becoming one as a step-parent can be a frightening one.
It eventually came to me the beauty of the titles Julian was given at birth. Julian is actually "our" child; he is our family's child that created the force to celebrate the time we get to all be together, even if it is only "half" the time.
I'd always had an easy and cordial relationship with Tristan's mom, Lin. But when I got sick, this woman stepped up in the most extraordinary way.
If there is one thing I've learned since becoming a stepparent, it's that people love to give you advice. Most of the time, these people are not stepparents themselves.