Blended Families

Support and advice on blended families including being a stepmom or stepdad, raising children from a previous relationship, and dealing with your ex.

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 18

Out of state custody

I am looking into moving to another state in order to get away from my daughter’s father- he is really not a safe person. I know I need to be in a new state for 182 days in order to gain jurisdiction there. Does anyone have experience in this type of situation that could offer me advice or pleasant stories (I’m terrified to do this). Much love! Thank you!

  • Anya levonavna
    May 20

    I was in a very similar situation I’m 2012 when I found myself in a toxic marriage with an abusive man. We lived in PA but I was from New York City and still had a lot of strong ties there. I took my two year old son and left in the middle of the night. My husband came several times to try to take our son back but as soon as he would show up I d call the police. I went to the precinct and I spo... More

  • Anonymous
    May 24

    Anya, thank you! How did you get jurisdiction? My biggest question now is what do I need to do right away so that I can prove that I have been there 6 months when the time comes?

Really struggling with 7 year old step daughter

Hubs and I each brought in a child from a previous relationship and then we have one together. My daughter (4years old) loves him tremendously and most of the time loves spending time with him unless she is tired or doesn’t feel good then it’s mommy time. My daughters father isn’t in the picture and hasn’t been there since she was about a year old. His daughter (7 year old) has never really wan... More

  • Anonymous
    May 15

    Honestly, the first thing I’d do is tell your husband he needs to but back his hours and help at home more. It sounds like all your kids could use some more attention and you are stretched way too thin.

  • Anonymous
    May 18

    From the perspective of a step daughter - my step dad came into my life when I was 2, my sister 4. I didn't remember times with my dad so I took him in and accepted him as dad immediately. My sister did not. She fought with him constantly, it continued until she moved out at 18. I know it's frustrating, but you have to try and understand how hard it is for that girl to watch her mom pop... More

Step dad struggling to be as loved as mommy.

My fiance has been struggling lately with my daughter. He feels like a terrible dad because my daughter says she doesn't want to spend tine with just him. This is his first time around a kid and he's been strict as of late. I try to tell him when he's going overboard but he doesn't always listen. They fight a lot and I'm at a loss as to what to do. She cries when I leave, or... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 07

My son is resentful of his siblings and his stepdad

My 12 year old son is resentful of his stepdad and his younger siblings. We have been together for 7 years and have 2 children together (3 & 1). Before that, it was just my older son and daughter (who are now 12 & 15). He feels that his stepdad and younger siblings have taken me away because they require much more attention. Any advise on how to get him through this?

  • Brian
    May 07

    As a dad and step dad, I’m just honest with the kids. I don’t know how this is suppose to work, but I have enough love for all of them and I try to make time for one on one with them individually. Sometimes it’s helping with homework and other times it’s ice cream or just cuddling and watching their favorite shows. Good luck.

  • Sam
    May 10

    I could have wrote this. Good luck mama! ❤️❤️

Anonymous posted in Blended Families May 05

When to introduce my significant other to my kid?

I’ve been talking to this guy for about a month now we’ve went on a couple dates and spent a few nights together we’ve talked about a lot of the serious topics and have the same views of what we want out of life and have the same values we click in that sense and in person things just feel right with him and I can see myself with him for the long haul and this is the first guy I’ve been with si... More

  • Anna
    May 13

    I’ve been debating this myself, similar situation. The previous poster made a good point about attachment; that’s been my concern. But a friend that’s been a single parent said that she benefited from introducing her kids early - if the kids didn’t connect with the guy, she took it as a sign and they ended up being true. That being said, I think for me it will boil down to timing, my comfort le... More

  • Anonymous
    May 21

    Not for a while. I wouldn't introduce a man to my kid until at least 6 months of dating if not more.


My SS will be 6 in a few weeks. He is bright, sweet, and loving, but also argumentative and defiant. All of this seems to be on point with his age. But when I moved in with him and his dad about a year ago, he was still throwing fits and his behavior was very much like a toddler, instead of an almost five year old. We have made major progress with his behavior, but a couple things are worrying ... More

  • Joanna
    May 04

    I don't think these behaviors are alarming. But if you think that his behaviors are delayed, his school should have resources to evaluate it. Trust your gut.

  • Elissa
    May 04

    He has been seeing a counselor for several months. This just occurred to me yesterday and wanted to ask. I did email his counselor as well

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Apr 26

How can I help my stepdaughter not feel torn?

My awesome husband and I have been together going on 7 years. We have shared custody of our daughter. She was 4 when I met her and we took our time in getting to know one another before her father and I got married. Her parents did not have a healthy co- parenting relationship for year before I stepped onto the scene, but I have Since the beginning I have been respectful of her mom and don'... More

  • Anonymous
    Apr 28

    It sounds like family counseling is going to be your next step. I hope all of you can join. Also, I don’t mean to say this in an offense or rude way, just trying to understand. But do you call her your daughter?? I mean, I’m not trying to start anything and I think it’s great that you THINK of her as your daughter, but maybe that’s part of the ex wife’s problem. I know my husband and I love ... More

  • Kristin
    May 02

    Let me tell you my situation sounds EXACTLY like yours!!! Only my step daughter is now 10 and we’ve been doing this battle for so long with her mother that 6 months ago (since she’s older) she came to her Dad and I and told us she didn’t want to live with her Mom anymore and asked us to file for Primary custody. It’s difficult and painful because I don’t ever want to take another woman’s childr... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Mar 29

Do I step back or keep going

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year now, He has a beautiful little 6yo girl and I love her to pieces and I’ve grown to be very involved in her life. But recent events have reminded me that I am very much not her parent, one day I hope to be but currently I’m not. Sometimes I feel like a glorified babysitter and nothing more. Do I continue to try to be a maternal figure in her... More

  • Erin
    Apr 01

    If her mother is in her life, you will NEVER and nor should you want to be able to compete with that. Depending on the situation you could be more of a maternal figure eventually but you may have to accept that being a step parent is difficult and make the best of it. If you don’t try too hard it can be nice but don’t ignore your own needs or you will only end up resentful and that’s how you be... More

Xena posted in Behavior Mar 20

6 Year Old, that doesn’t wanna listen.

I’m needing help on this problem too. I’ve been with this little girl for 8 months now, moved in with her & her dad ( bf of mine ). She hasn’t been respectful or good at listening to me at all. She acts totally different when her dad gets home from work. Or when she’s around other people. She likes to ignore me Or throw tantrums. So I send her to timeout. But it seems like she isn’t learnin... More

  • Xena
    Mar 21

    Thank You all so much for the help! I will try things out, make some charts for chores & etc and see where it goes from there . Thank you so much y’all

  • John Maxwell
    Mar 22

    All you have to do is engage in all activities she loves doing, Make her see you and talk to you as a friend not someone trying to replace her mom.

Xena posted in Behavior Mar 20

How to make 6 year old clean up?

I need advice on how to make her understand that she needs to pick up her toys, clothes, shoes, & etc. when she’s done with them. I kept telling her if I see any toys on the ground they're going with me & I’ll take them or I’ll throw it away. Am I doing the right thing?

  • Jessie
    Mar 20

    I think positive reinforcement is almost always key, but IF the time calls for it, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with grabbing a trash bag for a little scare and saying, “well, I told you... If you can’t take care of your things by putting them back where they belong, then I’ll give them to someone who will.” ;) Good luck!

  • Elissa
    Apr 01

    I would tell her she has til such and such time to pick up her things. If she doesn’t, the item goes in time out, for like a day, or she gets an extra chore before it can come out again. We have a lego chore chart and my SS loves to complete everything so all the LEGOs are on it. You could try something like that as well

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Mar 17

New boyfriend

How long should I wait to bring my son around my new boyfriend? I've been good friends with my bf for almost 10 years now, but we didn't start being a couple until recently. When and how should I tell my child's father? My child's father and I have been broken up for almost 2 years, but still living together until about a month ago. My child's father and I had no issues no... More

  • Kerry
    Mar 18

    Did your child know your bf before you started dating? How old is your child? Imo if youve known him for that long and trust him have him around your son but as a friend to him not a “father/dad” figure. The father cant dictate who you have around your son unless it puts your son in danger or a bad situation. If you have good friends and family, then have them around your son. Specially if you ... More

Rissa posted in Adoption Mar 07

1st birthday

So I’m adopted and I’ve invited both my birth parents and adoptive parents to my l.o. 1st birthday. My adoptive mom is extremely jealous that I have my birth mom involved. Please tell me all things that could go wrong bc I’m super nervous.

  • Rody the donkey
    Mar 14

    You should be sensitive to your adoptive mom’s feelings. Maybe treat bio mom at the same importance as an aunt. Talk to adoptive mom about it. Adoptive mom would’ve love to birth you herself. She shouldn’t have to feel like someone else is taking the valuable title of grandma away from her. This stuff matters. Also, talk to other adopted kids and see how they handled this problem themselves and... More

  • Elle
    Mar 21

    Be sensitive to your adoptive mom's feelings. No one wants to feel replaced or replaceable. Reassure her that no one -- not even the woman who gave birth to you -- could replace her as your MOM and your child's GRANDMA. I like the above idea of giving the bio mom something like aunt-like status, similar to how friends are sometimes aunt-so-and-so. Suggest sitting down separately wit... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Feb 27

Remarried with two children

So I had my first child with my first husband and my second child with my current husband. My first child and my current husband have always butt heads since me and him got together. He has always been very respectful, compassionate and respectful of her feelings. But yet she treats him as second best even when he goes above and beyond to try to earn her love and respect. Any suggestions from a... More

  • Sammyjo
    Mar 14

    She's probably just feels he's trying to replace her real father since she barely sees him

  • Anonymous
    Apr 09

    Thank you Sammyjo for your advice!


My 7 year old stepdaughter has been giving us attitude at home and is now acting up at school, not listening to her teachers and flat out telling them no. We talked to her about it but it's not helping! Any advice?

  • Scarlett
    Feb 10

    I walked her to class and talked to the teacher. She has been not doing her work and standing in her chair during class which made the other kids laugh which in turn made her want to do it more. I had her apologize to the teacher and we had a much better end of the week!

  • Angie
    May 26

    Have you gotten your daughter into therapy yet. Ive seen some of your other posts about daughter and bowel control and u also said she hadnt seen her mom i awhile....wanted to know if you finally sought treatment. The absence of her bio mom could be affecting her really bad....despite u being a great stepmom, she needs to talk about it with a professional asap

Anonymous posted in Behavior Jan 15

3 year old regressing

My 3 year old step-daughter lives with me and her father and has been for 2.5 years now. Her mother has been in and out of her life off and on but she now sees her every other weekend and since this started consistently about 5 months ago my step-daughter has regressed in potty training, talking, and maturity. She has a lot of anxiety and anger since our time sharing of every other weekend with... More

Anonymous posted in Blended Families Jan 15

Mother in Law drama. Trying to parent over us?? PLEASE HELP!

WARNING: LONG POST BUT I'M DESPERATE Hey Mommies! (& Daddies) My hubby and I have 3 kiddos, 1 baby boy in common (6mo.) & He has 2 children from a previous marriage 8 yr old boy and 10yr old girl. My stepkids mother would never let the kids go to their Gmas house and they never got alone time with her. Which I honestly think is ridiculous. When I became pregnant I told my MIL that ... More

  • Anonymous
    Jan 24

    Thank you all so much! I appreciate all the input and advice. I really thought I was just being ridiculous but I’m so happy to hear that other women feel the same way.

  • Steph
    Apr 27

    I like my MIL a lot but she’s too nosy and involved and it’s all because of my husband. He has to call home everyday to tell them what he’s eaten, how his day was... like a baby that’s never stopped nursing. But there were a few comments I agree with- your husband is the one who needs to talk to his mother. If it was my mother- she’d want to hear from me and not my husband. It’s more respectful... More

Step daughter and her mother... help!

I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years. He has a 9 year old daughter, and I have a 10 year old son and a 7 year old daughter. Her father had custody of her for most of our relationship, she returned back to her mother’s care 4 months ago. We did have a good relationship at first, but over time it has become very difficult. I treat all 3 children the same when it comes to time, attention, disci... More

  • Traci
    Feb 03

    Wow. You’re in a difficult spot. I honestly don’t have any suggestions other then to just keep doing what you already have been doing by continuing to try to communicate with the mother. Also maybe try to have some one on one time with your step daughter and take her somewhere that you know she loves and try to bond with her.

Anonymous posted in Behavior Jan 06

Temper Tantrums

So I have an almost-four yo step-kid who was been generally well-behaved their entire life. They threw fits and pouted every now and then like any other kid, but recently... I don’t know. It’s so different. They throw a huge fit about every 15 minutes on average. They’ve started throwing things, screaming at us, and (our least favorite) just ignoring us. We will literally pick them up and move ... More

  • Lynn
    Jan 06

    Welcome to life with 4 year olds.

  • Lynn
    Jan 06

    Okay. Abuse does happen and it causes major shifts in behavior. And turning 4 also can cause major shifts in behavior and lying starts around now too. They are going through another leap and are experiencing the world in another way. It’s huge. I’m in an neighborhood playgroup organization and nearly all our kids are turning 4 or just turned 4 and most of them are exhibiting this behavior.

“The talk”

So, my oldest is turning 15 this year, she is having a quinceañera party which, in Latino culture, signifies her transitioning into a woman. Now, she is not a woman and will never be a woman in my eyes, still my baby girl. But I do understand she is getting older and the fact that she doesn’t live with me, due to a divorce from my first wife, makes things a bit more challenging. I want to have ... More

  • Michelle
    Jan 27

    You may want to have the talk with her, but make sure she wants to have the talk with you first. The best thing you can do for your relationship and her self-esteem is respect her boundaries. I’m sure she’s watching tv shows with mature themes. Find out what she’s watching, then watch them on your own, and start a conversation with her about the characters. You can pass along your wisdom to ... More

  • Elle
    Jan 28

    Want to upvote Michelle's comment about 100 times. Best comment thus far.


My five year old stepson Andrew is with us 5 days/wk. with his mother on weekends. She got a new bf (Matt, who lives two hours away) and because the courts gave her all thanksgiving day, she took him to his house and they stayed the whole thanksgiving weekend. She has made him call the new bf - second one since September - MattyDaddy right from the start. She’s trying to replace his dad and get... More

  • Erin
    Apr 01

    It sounds like she is toxic and emotionally abusive. If you can’t get her out of his life I would suggest your only other chance at peace would be consulting a professional on this one. Find a child psychologist who isn’t also a lunatic. They are flawed humans too like everyone else so do your homework. This is a super difficult situation to be in and you need all the help you can get.

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