No it does’t, but there was a time when I thought it’s not ok. Admitting’ to my husband that I don’t miss his daughter took me quite some time.
It all started when I moved in with him and start spending more time with his daughter. When he dropped her back home, he got ‘single daddy blue’. He got very quiet and after some time he shared with me how much he’s missing her already. I got nervous because I felt I should say ‘I miss her too’ but I didn’t miss her, and I still don’t these days, two years later.
Back then I felt terrible, I was asking myself why I don’t miss her, what’s wrong with me? Am I horrible person? Will that ever change? Can I tell him how I feel? If yes, will he break up with me? I put myself together and had a chat with him, I cried because I thought he’ll get upset and think that I don’t love or accept his daughter. Which is not true. I must say he was a bit surprised at first but when I told him everything he completely understood.
This is what I shared with him:
Pressure of feeling certain way as step-parent (to be)
This is a big one. The pressure is massive, everyone’s giving you their opinions ‘you should love his kid like she is yours’, ‘you know what you signed for’, ‘you must be very careful it’s HIS child!’, ‘you shouldn’t be so strict’, ‘be careful you don’t want to hurt her feelings’. You start questioning and doubt yourself very easily and quickly. It scared the s*** out of me and I blocked myself. It took some coaching to get the pressure under the control and not being actually scared of his daughter.
His child is a huge responsibility for me too
As a step-parent you have so many responsibilities and a very few rights (if any). Every time she is around, I’m responsible for her too. Especially when I’m alone with her, I played every possible scenario in my head, such as she hurts herself, she was kidnaped……. All finished with me divorced and in a prison. As a step-parent you’re freaking out more because the child is not yours and what if something happens on your watch. It’s like holding a baby, it’s great, cute, it’s head smell like nothing in the whole word but as soon it starts crying, you’re giving the baby back to the parents. And you’re glad is over and it’s not your responsibility anymore.
I need to be careful when she is here
Meaning no swearing, not watching films I want to during the day, being quiet in the bedroom, avoiding so many topics etc. So, when she goes back home, I feel like I’m free again! This might sound selfish, but you go from Falala to parent mode as soon she steps in. We don’t have our kids yet so we’re not in a parent mode 24/7. Do you remember Colin Firth swearing in The King’s Speech? Yes, that was me many times as soon as the door closed behind her.
Maybe someone would say I’m a terrible step mom because I don’t miss her. And I won’t be going to an argument with that person, why I should argue and justify myself and my feelings. For me, the most important thing is that I have an amazing relationship with my step daughter, we respect each other, we have lots of fun together, we created a loving family for her and mainly I helped my husband to have strong connection with his daughter that he didn’t have before.
P.S I don’t speak for all step-parents, this blog is about what I’ve been going through, and I’ll be happy if this post helps someone. I wish some step-parent told me that it’s ok not missing his child and was honest with me.