When I was a step-mother, I was encouraged to bond with the children. And when it seemed like I had bonded, everybody was happy. I made decisions about my future and my marriage partially based on what was in the best interests of kids. Right up until the end, I can’t remember anyone complaining about how I treated the children.
During the dissolution of my marriage, I suddenly started hearing from people that I shouldn’t be taking the best interests of the children into account when I made the settlement agreement. In fact, since the kids weren’t mine, I should not be seeing them at all. It wasn’t in my best interests or theirs to continue the bond.
More recently, I spoke to a man with a small son that was considering dating me. During the week or so that we have been talking he has come back to the topic of me continuing to see the kids multiple times. He believes that I should have walked away from the kids and that continuing the relationship is bad for the kids.
It is interesting that as a step-mother, it is considered wrong for me to continue my relationship with the kids even if they think of me as their mother and want to see me. If I was their natural mother, everybody would be encouraging me to continue the relationship even if the father was awarded custody. Not one person would be telling me to walk away.
What I found most interesting was this man with the son. Of all the people who disagree I would have thought he wouldn’t be one of them. Isn’t that the kind of partner you want? One who will care for your child as if they are your own? One who will take that child into consideration when making decisions? But no… apparently, he would want someone who was capable of walking away without a second glance.
I don’t get it…