Stepchildren can be a difficult subject to discuss. So much hope and fear and potential for resentment, on the child’s side as well as yours. It can sometimes feel like you’re negotiating your way through a field that’s been loaded with landmines, and no map to refer to. Or maybe that’s just me. But I don't think it is. I think that is, in fact, simply the nature of navigating a step-parent relationship.
Speaking as a stepmom myself, I have to say I’ve actually been very lucky: My stepdaughter bonded well with me right from the beginning, and never questioned my place in our family. She has always considered me a secondary mother, which I believe is as much as any stepmother can hope for. That’s not to say that our relationship is without challenges. Now that she’s a teenager, it’s a whole new dynamic for us. But we’re good. In general, we've always been really good—which is not to say that our journey hasn't had its share of... doubts, fears, and major insecurities.
If you have found yourself in a relationship with a single parent, and are wondering how you move from being scared of their child to loving them, fear not. There is a process that you will likely go through, as your new stepchild finds his or her way into your heart. It’s not always easy, and it’s not always quick, but if your partner loves them, then you will too.