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Here you will find information about our on-line community of step-parents:
past, present and future -

The Stepping Stones Club at Yahoo!

Our Mission

This club was created for all people involved with someone who has kids through another relationship. Share your trials and your triumphs, get or give advice, or just vent. Get support from others in positions like yours.

How to Join

Click HERE to check out the Club. If you'd like to join, click on the "Join This Club" link at the top right of the screen. Also, drop me an e-mail giving some basic background to your situation that we can post as an introduction. This is required for membership. Everyone is welcome to join, as long as you're going to play by the rules. If you need support, we might be able to help.

Club Rules

This is NOT a private club. Your posts may be viewed by members and non-members alike. Please remember that before posting something extremely personal. You may feel more comfortable using initials instead of names to keep it more anonymous.

We do not tolerate any "hate" messages. All people are welcome, regardless of age, race, religion, sexual orientation, which hand they write with, etc., etc., etc. Any message deemed as being offensive to a group of people will be deleted and the member will be deleted from the club as well.

If a club founder announces that a topic is closed, do not comment on it in the forum. Feel free to take up a debate via e-mail if the other participant(s) are willing to do so. If you continue to post on the closed topic, your posts will be deleted. Founders will give one warning and if there continue to be posts on the subject, members will be deleted from the club.

As in any club, advice may be given that you disagree with. Feel free to disagree, but keep it to one post. Belittling a member for giving advice contrary to your beliefs is not acceptable. If something bothers you, comment once, then move on.

Language: The members of this group occasionally use strong language. We ask that you denote this in the title of your post with a *L* , and refrain from using the language until several lines into your post. Remember that part of every post shows on the home page and many people access this page from work or at home around kids. This will allow people to choose whether or not to read the post, instead of being surprised by the language in it.

Please take a moment to preview, proofread and edit your comments before posting. Simple typing errors can make your posts nearly impossible to read.

Be aware that the club has some very passionate people and certain topics may bring about a debate. It is OK to be opinionated and express your views. It is OK to disagree with each other. Knowing when to end the debate and agreeing to disagree is the key.

The club is meant to be a source of support, a coming together of different people in different situations with one major thing in common: step children. It is NOT a place to wage a personal war. It is NOT a place to air dirty laundry about other members.

Feel free to post photos of your family and yourself. Please be aware that ANYONE can join the club, and view pictures. There have been reports of people targeting parenting clubs to view pictures of children. Keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to post.


Our Members

As of March, 2002 we have relocated to a new group. The old one was giving us such trouble! We currently have about 45 members in our club. Most of these members are not active posters, but we still consider them part of our family. Below you will find the names of some of our more active posters, a little bit about them, and maybe even a photo or two. If you are a member of the club and would like to be included, please be sure to e-mail your information and a picture if you'd like one posted!

Allycatzoo

My name is Allison and I'm a newlywed as of 4/21/01. My SD is 8 yrs. old and lives with us 50%. She is with her BM Mondays and Tuesdays, with us Wednesdays and Thursdays, and alternates weekends (Fri-Sun) between the 2 houses. We have had this arrangement for about 1 year now and it's great for everyone. Much easier to plan regular activities for SD plus less confusion for teachers, daycare providers, etc. We had to have a full blown custody trial to get where we are now. It lasted 2 years, since SD was just 5. At the time of the divorce BM insisted on having the title of sole custody put on the papers, but there was an attached parenting plan that gives my husband a say in all major decisions that affect SD. BM thinks she has sole custody but it's joint because we share physical access and she cannot just do whatever she wants with SD and get away with it. My husband has proven that by taking her to court because she was not allowing him input in important decisions regarding SD's upbringing. We now have a family court advisor (FCA) that mediates disputes between the parents and makes recommendations about what course of action should be taken. It's much more efficient than going all the way to court every time BM tries to pull some stunt. She is forced to be much more reasonable because we can have the FCA make a decision almost immediately, instead of having it dragged out for 2 years like the original custody battle was. Relations with the BM have never been good and were especially soured by the recent custody situation where all communication was done via lawyers for fear of one person using something against the other, plus anger and all that good stuff. It was hurting SD because her parents were all stressed out and blaming stuff on the other parent (though not in front of her, it was underlying hostility that she could sense). Now they are on speaking terms but not really friendly ones. She has been involved with quite a few partners since the divorce (finalized 8/96, before I met my husband), some women and some men. She currently owns a house with one guy, but broke up with him right after the custody trial because she was sleeping with her neighbor. She is now pregnant with the neighbor's baby. BM is currently gloating about the pregnancy which is making me crazy, but it's not the right time right now for us to have a baby. We want to enjoy being married first. :) I am a black belt in taekwondo and plan to test for my 4th degree in June 2002. After the physical demands of that test are over, we plan on trying to have a child of our own.

 

 

 

Ceara

I am 32 years old and have a 3 year old son from my previous marriage. I have joint physical custody which means that my son alternates weeks with me and his BF. I am currently in a relationship with my high school sweetheart which is getting pretty serious. We are just now starting to build the relationship between him and my son by having him come over 2x per week during Justin's week with me. We're taking things slowly which is why I'm here. I want to learn as much as I can about becoming a step-family and learn how I can make this transition as easy as possible on all of us.




Ann

I am married with one daughter and two step daughters who live with their BM most of the time and are with us every other weekend and one night during the week. I would like to say that I get along with the girls' BM, but since I am constantly reminded by her of what I am in their life - it's tough to say that. That's my biggest issue really. I feel bad for the girls who receive such mixed messages about what I am to them. I am foremost their friend but on frequent occasions, I mother them and discipline them somewhat. So, I struggle most days to figure out my place with them. Other days, I give it up and just enjoy life.


Jada Riab

Well, let's see. First off, I'm 30-years-old and the founder of the Stepping Stones Club. I have been in my step-son's life since February, 1998 when he was only 3 years old. I married my husband August 18, 2000, so have only had the official title of "Stepmom" since then, but took on the role right after I moved in. My stepson and I get along very well. We laugh together, we play together. He actually listens when I give him a task. I am able to use time outs with him, though it doesn't always curb the naughty behavior. I'm not comfortable doing much other discipline than either a time out or sending him to his room until Dad is home. I'm not a yeller, and I think yelling at him would ruin our relationship. My husband is a wonderful father and does all he can. I have some basic issues with biomom, but its nothing I can't get past. We're civil and occasionally friendly to each other when we need to be and I prefer it that way. It's just the whole "what is that child support being spent on" issue that so many of us have. I'm baffled by it, though I choose not to make it a huge issue right now. At least not until I have a child of my own some day, as a lot of things will have to change if we're going to be able to give both children an equally fulfilling life. The issues I struggle with are mostly feelings that I have about my situation, along with typical problems of any parent. I'm often left out of discussions and problem-solving sessions because I am "just the step-mom" and I have a hard time with that. I've said it many times and if you get to know me, you'll probably get sick of hearing it, BUT: I see my role as being defined by others (except for my stepson and I) as a glorified nanny. I can do a couple of things a nanny can't, but if it's any kind of major issue, I'm supposed to keep out of it. THAT is my toughest challenge...breaking through to the adults in this situation that treating me like an outsider will eventually wear away the relationship with my stepson I have worked so hard to build. I will become nothing more than a weekend babysitter and I never want that to happen. But it will if I don't get to participate more actively. I don't want to make major decisions, but I'd like to be able to go to a teacher conference if I think I might be of some help. Enough about me. You'll find I spend a lot of time offering advice, not asking for it much. That's just the way I am. I tend to worry about others first, myself later. Don't get me wrong...when I'm angry, everyone will know it. It's those times when I need the support the most! So, hop on over to our club and join the extended family we've created. We'd love to have you! :)