Hilaria Baldwin is opening up about her relationship with her stepdaughter, Ireland Baldwin.
The 35-year-old author, who has been married to actor Alec Baldwin since 2012, took to Instagram on Thursday to write a candid message about being a stepmom. Before tying the knot with Hilaria, Alec was married to actress Kim Basinger from 1993 to 2002, welcoming daughter Ireland together in 1995. In her post, Hilaria—who shares kids Carmen, 5, Rafael, 3, Leonardo, 2, and Romeo Baldwin, 11 months, with her husband Alec—writes about the "delicate matter" of having a stepchild.
"I rarely address being a stepmom, but it is part of our family," Hilaria's message begins. "I always want to deal with it with such care...so often you hear horror stories about evil stepparents and I wanted to make sure I did right by the family I was stepping into when I married Alec."
"I love my stepdaughter as much as I love my biological children and I become a mommy lioness when I see comments that insinuate otherwise," Hilaria continues. "Having a stepchild is a delicate matter. Especially one who is grown."
She goes on to praise Ireland's mom, Kim, who she has "tremendous respect" for.
"I think my relationship with [Ireland] has been so successful because I never tried to step in as her mommy," Hilaria says. "She has a good mother, who I have tremendous respect for...and I put myself in Kim's shoes: if my children ever had a stepmother, I'd want her to let me be number one."
"When I met Ireland, I said to Alec: if she is not ok with our relationship, I cannot go further. Family is first and she needed to be ok with me," Hilaria writes. "We have never had a fight or a bad moment. Nor have I with her mother. Ireland and I love each other and she knows that I am here for her...and I know that she is here for me."
Hilaria also says that she's "inspired" by Ireland and notes that the 23-year-old model gave her father away at their 2012 wedding. Additionally, Hilaria calls Ireland the "best big sister anyone could ask for."
"And I give her space," Hilaria adds. "I don't ever expect her to be anyone other than herself. As someone who loves her, my job was not to step in and take over...but rather respect what had been for the first 15 years of her life and then become a part of that, in a way that works for everyone. So yes, sometimes my language about my biological children does not include her. Because I did not birth her and I never want to disrespect the fact that she has a wonderful mother. But this will never take away from how much I love her, need her in my life, and think that she is one of the best things that has ever happened to me."
"Please don't look for trouble where there is none," Hilaria concludes her post. "Love you @irelandbasingerbaldwin ...ps after writing this and using the word 'step' so many times, I think I know why it is called a 'stepparent' now."