How to be a step mom?

Are there any step mothers in here? I am feeling like the odd man out. My step kids are in their early 20s. It has been a challenge for me to build a relationship with them. No I am not trying to be a mom to them. They already have one of those. I am trying to be their friend in a way. My stepson is very short with me when I do try to talk to him. I get the impression that he rather not talk to me so our conversations don’t last lol. So my question is - do I just not trying to have a relationship with my step kids? The other one seems to just use me for things I can buy for him, he’s younger than the other one. He talks to me pretty often but it’s only when he needs something. What should I do? I have married to their dad for almost four years. I always wanted a close bond with all of my kids even step kids but I don’t think it’s going to happen. Any suggestions. Or advice.


Did you Marry someone old enough to be your dad? :joy: We need more details


Stop trying to be their friend youre not their friend. You are their step mom. Act like one.

Don’t try to push yourself on them. I never liked any of the women my dad dated no matter how long they were together lol they always tried to hard and it made me uncomfortable


are you closer in age to them than their dad? how long have their parents been split up versus how long you’ve been with their dad? … also boys dont tend to be super loving and open with their own parents, let alone a step mom… how often were/are they at your house

Just be there. You can let them know that you love their dad and would never try to replace their mom. Other than that it takes time

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I’m a stepmom and a stepdaughter. It’s so tricky. I would say that since they’re older you’re less likely to have a bond with them. Not completely impossible. I’m wondering though if the younger one who uses you is testing the boundaries and seeing how far you’ll go for them. Don’t be taken advantage of but I’d say be generous. I think it may keep their hearts softened to you. My other bit of advice would be to be fun. You’re not the mom so you get the privilege of being fun. I think being a stepmom can be a little bit like being a mom and a little bit like being an aunt. It’s the only way I can describe it. Of course that depends on the family though.

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My stepmother is a stepmonster- an absolute horrific nightmare. My advice would be to just be nice and try to be friends with them. Keep doors for communication open- if they want to come around, they will.

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  1. you can’t be a “friend” even if they’re older… you’re not in the friend position n realistically who in their early adult years is super close to their parent especially a step parent…2) you’re coming into their family at a prime age (teenage and early adulthood is hard) even though it’s been 4yrs it takes a long time to establish a relationship 3) don’t let yourself be “used” in time they may come around n then again they may not and that’s ok just be present even if it’s hard and sooner or later they may see you as not someone that married into the family (especially if you’re younger than their father)- they may be overly cautious…
    My previous marriage I was married with two teenage girls that my husband had custody of (very sticky situation) it took over 5yrs to establish a small relationship and I saw them everyday… currently we aren’t married now but I do still carry on a “relationship “ with the two Bc I was their through teenage into adulthood
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I have 3 step kids and my husband is step father to my 4. All the kids are 37-58. Their mom passed so I’m not replacing someone. And my husband was the house husband and I worked. If you don’t try to replace someone I think you’ll be ok

They are adults. You don’t have to be a role model, you don’t have to be a friend. Keep the doors of communication open, but don’t let them use you.


For some it works out great for others not so much. In my case I tried numerous times. I just put a stop to it.

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Hows their dads relationship with them? These behaviors could be a reflection of how they feel about their dad projected onto you.
If its ok- then maybe something their mothers said or they feel they have to hate you if theyre close to their mother. Only way to know is talk to them about

My steps are 39-32…yup 4 of them. Knew of them since children. Been with their dad since 19-13 but two speak to me…kinda. never invited to weddings, graduation or even told of a child’s birth. My biological child saw me holding one of the grandsons and said hey grandma…my stepson took child (age 1.5 yes) and never saw him again. My husband is asked to babysit but I am not to go. Good luck. It is what it is

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He is ten years older than me. My age isn’t a factor here though. Their parents have been divorced for over 15 years.

Just ignore the asshats .You owe them nothing

Make husband happy. Do not criticize his kids.Go do what you want to do band let Dad be with them alone.Be polite but distant.Stop buying the younger one gifts.

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Put it in God’s hands


My step daughters mother tells her to be rude to me and my daughter so I typically just do my own thing with my daughter when she is around.

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Stop being a doormat. If he needs something, he has a mom and dad. They need to handle that.
Leave the door open but don’t push. Don’t be overly eager to jump when they ask. They’re grown. Set boundaries and don’t forget, you can’t buy affection.


Just keep trying. I’m a step mom, but to a much younger child (6). I have a feeling like you might be close to his kids ages, if this is the case don’t worry. Just keep trying. :green_heart:

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At the ages you’re talking, I would just let Dad take the lead and you be open and supportive of a relationship.

And quit letting the younger one use you! It’s never going to make him love you, in fact it makes you less respectable. I don’t want anyone’s love that I have to buy - because it’s not love.


One that’s using you for things if you refused him I bet he’d turn on you, the older one is short with you probably thinks you married their dad cause you’re a gold digger. Best thing is just back off, be courteous to them, when one of them come to visit their dad, greet them than leave and go about your business.

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I never had a relationship with my step dad’s. I never liked them. Always felt like they tried to hard… They turned out to be shitty people :person_shrugging:
I’m not saying that your a shitty person, but maybe they just get a vibe from you that they don’t like. I guess it depends on how they view relationships also because I don’t call or speak to my own family on a regular basis so I’m definitely not going to call or vist a step mom on a regular basis.

First of all loose the word step. You make them right away feel like a second class person. You have a name let him call you by your name. Teens in spots like this thinks if they like you their being disrespectful to their mom. When their ready to talk they will. Don’t push. If they don’t want to eat so be it. Their teenagers and are in a very difficult spot. Remember your not their mom they have one already. Try to be a friend and don’try to be a boss they have two of them already. Do not put his dad in the middle of you not getting along with his children. Move slow all things work out in time. Find out what he likes or dislikes. Baby steps once again. Good luck.


Dont try so hard. You cant make it happen. Just show love and concern when needed. Its all u can do.


Yup!!! My step son is going to be 21 and we get along much better now that he decided to live with my mother in law but we also have a love hate relationship

I feel so bad for all of the step-parents that are treated this way!!! My step-dad is my dad. Period. And I encourage my kids to have. Good relationship with their step- mom and step-dad. This crap would not fly with me.

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A gold digger is someone who is married to someone for their money or someone whom married a super older dude. Lol. Not the case here.

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Relationship take time do they stay with you?

Considering their age just continue to do what you’re doing and stop forcing it if they don’t want a relationship with you I don’t think that’s nothing wrong. My mom has been with her husband since I was 13-14… I’m 27 yrs, and I don’t have a relationship with him. However, I respect him and I’m not rude towards him. At the same time I feel it depends on them how they feel because in all honesty I don’t call her husband my stepdad even when speaking with other people I refer to him as “my moms husband”. I have 2 kids going on my 3rd and they don’t call him grandpa or anything they call him by his name. Again, I don’t think nothing bad about it.

Well first I’m gonna say that boys love their mamas! Like most boys will do anything to protect their mamas! So I have a feeling even though there may not be an issue with their mom (and your husbands ex) they probably just don’t like it because they feel like they are taking up for there mom. Also they are older and grown I wouldn’t kiss there butt at all. I would focus on making my husband happy and hope and pray that they would come around but by no means would I kiss there butt. Don’t worry about it. Do your thing and be a good wife. Either they will come around or not.

I really wouldnt stop trying, keep things the way they are. You dont want your husband resenting you for not trying. At least you are trying. When we get older, we all become short with people we dont really have to much in common with. It’ll be hard, but dont stop trying.

I have 3 step kids that are still pretty young and i even struggle to have a relationship with them due to their mother and dad too actually. They make me feel like i have no right to get close to them and try and be “mom” when thats the last thing that i am trying to do. Mothers day for example my husbands aunt posted a happy mothers day post and tagged me and not her and she absolutely flew off the handle with my husband saying that no one should tell me happy mothers day at all cuz i am not a mother. I have just gotten to the point i dont care or try anymore. Theres no point.

For you to say your age doesn’t matter but he’s 10 years older than you maybe it does it the kids.

Let it go! I have a 24 year old step daughter that hates me. I’ve tried to build with her, but I won’t put up with her talking behind my back with her mother. Her 15 year old sister loves me to death. We have a great relationship. I’ve raised her for 6 years so far. I find it harder with the older kids. I just don’t try anymore. She actually told me before that I should be trying to impress her. :joy: It doesn’t work that way in my world. Good luck!

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Well let’s see the one that just rude stay away when you are around try to just be nice an the other stop get him so much stuff you can’t buy love just get him the things he needs they are older guys so try to just be nice an don’t let them walk on you

I’ve been in your situation. Give it up. It is never going to happen. Don’t try to engage in conversations. If they do want to have a respectable conversion with you ok. If they get sarcastic, just walk away from them and let them talk to their self. They are supposed to be adults, start acting like it. Why, if you know they only talk to you when they want something, do you buy it for them? They don’t deserve it and you are not their mommy bank.
Stop catering to them because apparently it hasn’t changed their attitude towards you. And you know that they are just using you. You are not their doormat.
When they start showing some respect for you, then you can starting building an adult relationship.
Don’t expect this to happen. If it does great, if not, oh well :pensive:

Made a lunch date with my daughter (step) and I told her that I am not her mom because she has one but I am also not her enemy what I can be is a friend she now knows that she can talk to me about anything and she has we have a good relationship but don’t push let them lead

Be happy ,do you . Give some space to them and their father when they are around .
Don’t let people use you , no matter what . It could still run deep with them . They see their mother hurting , they also might be hurting . . . It’s not uncommon for kids to want their parents to be together …
just do you .