The bonds stepparents form with their lawful progeny can be delicate. Not all stand-in authority figures are as wicked as the parents on TV, but even earnest stepmoms and dads struggle to relate to their significant others' children.
Redditors talked about the ongoing adventure that is raising someone else's child. Some love their stepkids wholeheartedly; others wish they'd never joined the blended family. However, even in the darkest of situations, it's hardly possible to blame the users for their complicated emotions.
From Redditor /u/_Ninnie:
SS is 17. His dad and I have been together for 12 years, married for 7. I love this kid. He is my fishing buddy, my video game buddy. Nowadays he’s my chauffeur. He is honestly one of my favorite people on Earth. He lived with his mom up until last year when he finally made the decision on his own to live with us. His mom fought it tooth and nail. She wasted so much time and money, but most of all, her relationship with her son. His stepdad was/is verbally [aggressive] and it only got worse when we filed for custody of him. It was a rough time for all of us, but I’d do it all over again so we could see him come out of his shell and gain some self esteem.
That being said. He’s a teenager. He’s messy, mouthy and a know it all. There are many days I don’t like him. And my husband isn’t always behind me when I feel like discipline is necessary. My husband feels like he’s been through a lot at his mom’s, so he over compensates. It causes a lot of tension in our home and marriage.
But man, I couldn’t love that kid more if he was my own.
From Redditor /u/RealTalkSM:
I resent my SS (eight) and my SD (six) (and my SO even more) every day that they're with us. He has half custody. They're the most messy kids I've ever met. They have hardly any supervision at either house by their bio parents. I'll serve them dinner and they'll just complain about it the entire time they eat- even something as kid friendly as spaghetti or Mac n Cheese. They don't say please or thank you, they just expect things to be done for them on command. They sit there at the table repeating "I want water" until they get a reaction.
If I tell them to go get a glass of water, they throw a fit because they apparently don't know where the cups are, don't know where the water is (how????), and god forbid they don't have ice. Then when dinner is done they leave everything on the table, with food covering the table, chairs, and floor. They leave their trash everywhere. They have no manners. They showered for the first time in six days last night because I basically dragged them into the bathroom. Neither of their parents enforce them brushing their teeth. I assure you SD didn't brush her hair today before SO took her to school.
From Redditor /u/Yiskra:
She drives me up the flipping wall. Right up it. Every visit.
Good thing she's cute.
From Redditor /u/starla_dear:
SD is 13, I’ve been in her life since she was three.
She is a lovely person, though a bit of a know-it-all, but she gets it honest (her dad’s genes + being a teenager). I adore her relationship with her two-year-old sister, my bio daughter. She respects me, but frankly I’m tired of being the least-favorite parent out of four, when I’m the one who makes sure she has her homework done, is clean, eating healthy food, is where she needs to be and on time. But I’m not the cool parent, so I get the eye rolls and I am OVER THAT SH*T.
Love her like my own. I’m sure I will be getting the most eye rolls when my toddler is a teen, too.