Psychologist and author Patricia Papernow called the role “intimate outsider,” in which you are close and part of the family, but you are also just a bit outside so you have a more objective viewpoint. Your role is also going to depend on what ages the kids are when you marry their dad. Children’s behavior changes as they move from one developmental stage to the next.
As you’ve begun the work of identifying what everyone in your stepfamily unit feels and wants from their family experience, you can begin to solidify what your role will be with your family members. “I didn’t always know what I was doing,” admits former family law attorney Heidi. “What is my role? What are my boundaries?