It depends on who's point of view. From the point of view of my oldest SD I'm the interloper/evil stepmother. From SS's point of view: good friend/mediator. From youngest SD, mediator/civil and polite. From their BM's point of view: evil SM. From DH's point of view: a good mom role model. From my kids point of view (all 5 kids lived in our home) I was good to the skids. From my point of view? I tried, but sometimes you just can't "win" against the alienation process the BM starts. The only hope is that as kids get older they begin to put 2 and 2 together. Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn't.
I did my best, my DH and my kids know this, so does SS. That's all that's important.
For my kids, they view their SM as mediator/civil and polite, with friendliness. Most of the issues they have with her are really rooted in the attitude and behavior of their dad. I don't think it's a "bad" relationship with her, I think the changes are due to my kids getting older and understanding alot more now than 10-12 year ago.
I voted #1, but oscillate between that and #4, if that makes sense. I am very sensitive to their moods and how into mommy they are at the time, or how into me they are. And I adjust to what they need accordingly. Sometimes i don't see them at all due to my work schedule. They don't seem to suffer. They do ask about me though. But they are there for their father, not me.
SM has been in the lives of my daughters since they were born. She has been their official SM for 9 years. They were very small when she became their SM and they love her very much and view her as their 2nd mother -- I have heard them say this. So based on the wording in your poll, it was the only one I could choose. :)
*I* don't necessarily view her as a 2nd mother. She's NCSM and doesn't function in the role of a parent MOST of the time....but I still view her as parental (instead of motherly), if that makes any sense.
Wow, this surpises me, since you are CP and a very involved mother.
I voted almost mom to describe the relationship between my daughters and their SM since I am not a SM.
To my SD I am almost a mom, good friend and mediator.
To my SS I am the bottom 3. And sometimes the mediator.
This is how they view me. My SD and I are very close. We have a great bond. She appreciates my presence. Respects my place in the home and family. My SS however dislikes me very much. He has no respect for me and looks at me woth deep hate in his eyes sometimes. They have the same mother. Sd is 11 and SS is 8. I have my theories on why he feels this way about me.