I personally love mine like she's my own. She doesn't have too much of a bond with her own mother so I don't think it's belittling to them. She knows I'm not her mother but that I'm still a parent/friend to her. I think that you're always going to prefer your own blood to someone else's but that's just me.
I think it depends on the situation. Like, whether or not you love your stepkid(s) as if they were your own kid(s) the important thing is that the stepkids are not treated worse than biological kids, or that the step parent doesn't go out of their way to spoil their bio kids in front of the step kids, y'know? As long as everyone involved is happy and healthy and not feeling left out, then that's all that matters imo.
I don't think that makes you a bad step mom, but I would caution you about expressing that feeling out loud. There are many "true" parents out there who have not physically given birth to their children, e.g. those who have adopted, those who really do love their SKs like their own, who could be offended by this. Love and bonding are.very personal issues, about which women feel very strongly. You never know if a woman is "childless" by choice, so please tread lightly here outside of our forum.
I agree with you OP, in most situations. I think most SMs who say they love them like their own, really don't. Now I'm not doubting that some do. But the childless SM who has been married for 6 months whose DH has EOWE, when she says she loves them like her own, I think she is just using a rhetorical phrase and I don't believe it is true.
(not saying that is your particular sitch).
I have been a CSM for 10 years and I would say that I have a very strong bond with my stepkids, but I know the difference. I hope to have a long, successful run as an important family member. I hope they come to see me in the nursing home and put flowers on my grave every year. I hope they tell stories to their children about me. All that stuff. I lose sleep over them, I worry, I hurt when they hurt, again - all that stuff. But still I know the difference between what i feel for them, which is a lot, and what I feel for my biokids.
And similiarly, even though their mother didn't raise them, they have a certain type of love for her that they will never duplicate with me. It's not a function of how good a SM I was (or will be), but a function of biology and the early bond that formed while they were babies, in her care.
but all that said, I do tend to agree that when the phrase is used most of the time, it downplays the significance of the mother/child bond.
I dont think it belittles the bp at all.
Doesnt make you a bad sp if you dont.
I really dont think that a lot of sps do love love their sks like their own. More so if you dont have bks of your own because then you really dont know what its like to love your own flesh and blood bk. Many may also WANT to love the sks like their own. Jmo