Several issues came through to me in your comments, including:
- The importance of not showing favoritism towards your own children as opposed to your spouse's children.
- Equally importantly, the need to not swing too far the other way, neglecting your own child while trying to build a relationship with the step-children.
- Recognizing that children can blame themselves when their parents are no longer together, and help the kids understand it's not their fault.
I found it almost impossible to pick a favorite among the comments -- how could I possibly consider one person's step-parenting experience as more valid or interesting than another's? Still, I did promise to pick one and a few of the things that Walker had to say resonated with me. He wrote: "I think what matters the most here is respect and trust by all those involved. If the relationship with your partner is a loving one it only filters down to the whole household and step kids." That sounds like good advice to me.
Thanks again, everyone!