When there’s a child…Am I doing this right??

I’ve never been in a relationship with anyone that has young children before; most men that I’ve dealt with had children of a teenage or adult age if any at all. So having a young one around alot of the time, I have to say, is an exciting new experience.

Having always wanted children myself, I love having a 2 (soon to be 3) year old around. She’s fun to play with, read stories to, watch movies with, and I can’t even tell you what all “pretending games” we play (I’ve played numerous characters, explored many places, and eaten the most interesting things). Without going through pregnancy myself; I have still gotten to reap the benefits of a squealing child jumping with excitement to see me after having been away on a trip, the mimicking of my movements and mannerisms, the cuddling and falling asleep during movies, and the crawling into my arms only wanting to be comforted by me when hurt or scared. Life is blissful with a child in it, even though not my own.

Then there’s that…. She’s not mine….I treat her like my own, in that I love her, would give her anything she needs and her safety and wellbeing is my number one priority. But she’s not my own, and there’s a boundary that I try to work hard at as to not blur. I am not her father’s wife, I guess I would be just called the “girlfriend”; so I’m not sure that I’m exactly what you would call a “stepmother”, I really don’t know? All I can attest to being is someone else in her life that loves her.

Things like disciplining I hand over (gladly I might add, as she’s developing the wonderfully tyrant personality of a toddler only child) to her father; and also defer to him on most decisions that begin with her asking “can I have…”… Though being a wonderfully bright child, after hearing “no” from her father she most certainly will come to me in hopes of a different answering; which is the same as her father’s ———it’s best to relay this united front/parenting/whatever it is while she’s young, hopefully that sticks with her as she becomes older.

I am also very clear to maintain the not sleeping with me boundary. As a little girl that started off life with alot of attachment parenting values being used in her upbringing, she still co-sleeps at the moment. So at night, if I happen to spending the night at her father’s while she is there, she is in Daddy’s room and me, I’m in a spare room. Which I get, co-sleeping is to be with a parent, I am not her parent. Though it’s heartbreaking to tell a child “no” when they say goodnight to you and pout or cry “but can’t I sleep with you?” To avoid this though, I’m more often not there when there is overnights with the wee one.

I feel as if I’m fumbling through new territory, as I’ve never done (or had to do) any of this before. Each day with her is a new experience, which I absolutely love and adore, but am nervous at the same time! I hope I’m doing this right.

What are some others’ experiences out there? Stepmoms? Girlfriends? Loving and caring adult figures? I’d love to hear thoughts and opinions based on your experiences.

Hoping I’m the best that I can be for this little girl..

Still learning….


8 comments on “When there’s a child…Am I doing this right??

  1. zombiedrew2 says:

    Welcome back. I’m neither a girlfriend or a stepmom, so I’m not really sure what I can add. But from your description, and my own experiences as a dad it sounds like you are doing what you can.

    2-3 is a great age – enjoy it.

    • Thank you, I realize it’s been a while since I’ve been on here but I’m trying to get back to writing more.
      I’m sorry Drew, I should’ve added Dads in there too, as I welcome opinion/thought from any parent/step parent.
      And yes, I’m having a blast with this wee one, it’s certainly a fun age bracket!
      Thank you for your comment, that means alot. Hope you are well.

  2. notacrazyexwife says:

    As the bio-mom I actually have lots of opinions and advice on how to approach this and how to “behave” as the potential step parent and I would be happy to discuss it with you! Please let me know and I’d be happy to give you my email address.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment 🙂
      If you actually wouldn’t mind, if you could share any opinions/comments here, as I like to keep this in public forum to generate discussion and perhaps learning opportunity for not only myself, but my readers.
      I greatly appreciate anything offered. Thanks again.

      • notacrazyexwife says:

        Of course! I was going to ask some questions about your interaction with bio-mom and some more personal questions that’s why I suggested email. But if you don’t mind sharing here that’s perfectly alright! Please don’t answer any questions you don’t want to.

        How long have you and bio-dad been dating? How old is the little lady?

        Have you met bio-mom and do you have any interaction with her at all? How is the co-parenting relationship? A lot of your relationship with the little girl will be directly dependent on your relationship with bio-mom.

        As bio-mom, I would appreciate bio-dad not introducing our small kiddo to his new girlfriend until he knew if she was going to stick around. Obviously there is never a guarantee as the parents were in a relationship once and it ended. Also as a bio-mom I would appreciate being introduced to the girlfriend so I know who my kiddo is spending her time with. You don’t have to like me being I am the ex to your beau, but you do have to respect me as the mother of his child.

        Which is something I never got from the one girlfriend my ex had. She went out of her way to be nasty about me via social media, stalk me on social media and even message me. I never met her and she was the cause of a lot of fights. She was a single mom herself, so I expected better behavior from an adult. As you can imagine I didn’t trust her and I didn’t want her to have any interaction with the kid. As much as bio-mom might drive you nuts, try to respect her.

        If the co-parenting relationship is working between the bio-parents and you are in a position where it is clear you are in this relationship for the long haul ask bio-mom if you can speak to her one on one. Ask her how she would like you to interact with her child, ask her how you should handle it when the child throws fits about not being able to cuddle with you & ask her for permission to love her child like you would her own. If my ex husband’s girlfriend (any new one) would do any of these things with me she would gain my respect and trust. If she made a point to let me know she doesn’t want to replace me as a mom, but he’ll be a great role model for my kid, I wouldn’t have a problem with my kid and her becoming close.

        Lastly, just keep loving her like you are, being aware of the boundaries you’ve seem to already set for yourself and keep an open mind that being the girlfriend in this situation is always going to be complicated even when it’s on the best terms. Good luck and I would love to discuss this further.

        Not to mention you’ve given me blog inspiration!

      • Bio-Dad and I have been dating since the beginning of this year, though we were friends beforehand so that’s probably how things became of a serious nature even though under a year… And little miss is just about three 🙂
        Bio-Mom and I are just starting to interact during pick up/drop offs, and we are doing so civily and friendly. Though we are a unique situation, we are known to eachother, see previous blog entry here. We were on a non-speaking/non interacting basis, but have just recently gotten past though, see information on that here.
        As for their co-parenting relationship, I think they are working out the “hiccups” so to speak and trying to find a way of communicating that works between them.
        I have the utmost respect for Bio-Mom though, she is this darling little girl’s mother, and this little one is amazing and I love her dearly. Therefore, I do try to be considerate and sensitive to Bio-Mom. As for how Bio-Mom feels about my interactions with wee one, I haven’t heard anything negative yet, and as she does know me and has seen me interact with her child before I would hope (and assume) that she knows I treat her little one well. Maybe some day I will attempt that one on one conversation you suggested.
        Thank you so much for your input. Also, glad to have inspired for some of your writing 🙂

      • notacrazyexwife says:

        Okay, I read up on your past post and I think you have a very logical and level head to the whole thing and are doing just fine. All these things take time. Patience will be your best friend at this time 🙂

  3. faithrivada says:

    I love your balance of admittance and wisdom for the situation. Keep it up.

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