What role should I be playing with my boyfriend’s son?
Hello! I’m messaging as someone who isn’t a mom… but I sure feel like one! My boyfriend has full custody of his 1.5-year-old son and has basically since birth.
The mother sees him once a week for a few hours, and she leaves early most of the time or falls asleep. (It’s a supervised visit that her mother supervises.) The mother is, of course, on the side of my boyfriend and tells him everything…
I’m moving in, and it’s a big struggle trying to I guess, learn my place… in my eyes, that’s my kid, ya know? I’m the one that changes his diapers. Fixes his lunches… holds him when he cries, gives him baths, and reads him stories.
I almost feel guilty, like I shouldn’t love him so much… I kind of feel alone. He’s started crying much more recently when we leave the room for even a second. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thank you so much."
RELATED QUESTION: Should I Stay in the Lives of My Stepkids After We Divorce?
TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):
“He’s still your child. My kids have a stepmom. I however have custody of them. So kind of a different situation. But nonetheless, she’s very much in their lives. Even they’re at their dad’s house, she’s the mom figure. She loves them just like they’re her own children. Which means, I feel perfectly safe knowing if their father isn’t there, they’ll be completely safe and taken well care of. Because she treats then like her own. Her place? Is being their stepmom. Even if they’re not legally married, that’s what she is. My oldest has cancer, and she’ll contact me herself to check up on him and see how he’s doing. And when she comes by to pick my youngest up, she’ll come in and see him too. Instead of just going through my ex. She’ll ask me directly about him. I love that they have so many people that love them. And they’ll proudly state they have 4 parents. 2 moms and 2 dads lol when they’re dad’s been out of town working, she’s taken them for a night still. Or come over to my place with her son and their daughter to visit them. Your place is in that little boy’s heart. Doesn’t mean to take his mom’s place. But be his second mom. Because he doesn’t wanna be around. That isn’t on you. All you can do is show him the love and care he so much deserves.”
“Keeping loving that baby… You already know the answer. It’s ok to be his mom just respect his birth mother also.”
“You play whatever role you, your boyfriend, and that baby are comfortable with. A child can NEVER have too many people loving them.”
“Sounds like you know your place. As long as the child is happy healthy and cared for I don’t see what the issue is. Your boyfriend is obviously okay and grateful for you stepping into that motherly role, giving his son that love he needs. Good for you for stepping in and being that mom figure for the child.”
“I was in the same situation but we got married pretty quickly. I guess it depends what his intentions are but yeah, definitely figure that out before moving in. Becoming a stepmom to my stepson was one of the best things in my life!”
“Be his parent but also don’t put his biological mother down and encourage the relationship as much as possible for his sake, not hers. Only because kids grow up and can see themselves negatively if what they see as half of them is (bad). Other than that, love him and care for him as a mother would.”
“Love him as you are. Let yourself feel that love. I had a true love from a stepfather and it was the best thing ever. If no one is stopping you from loving the child, I’d say do it.”
“Do not feel guilty. That child deserves all the love he is receiving from you. I raised a child that was not my own since she was 2, her father has full custody, and her father and I separated when she was 8. She is still my daughter as much as my own biological children are mine.”
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