The Top Five Things No Step-Parent Wants to Hear

270 Comments
sleeping-little-boyImage via Shutterstock

A funny thing occurred to me as I was cleaning projectile vomit off of my step-son’s SpiderMan sheets, pajamas, and treasured stuffed animal at three o’clock in the morning – parenting is awesome! Okay, maybe not at three in the morning, but for the most part I love it.

For many people, the whole concept of loving being a step-parent is foreign and I’ve become the recipient of a variety of comments that have become quite irksome. Some have permeated my thoughts and occasionally made me question my very relationship with the Spider-Man loving, vomit-king. Here are my top five most disliked comments or questions:

5. Are you two planning on having children of your own? This is not only bothersome to me, but also insulting to my husband. It implies that just because he has joint custody of our child he doesn’t really have a child. Furthermore, it isn’t really a question that I am all that comfortable answering. I have certainly spoken about having children with my immediate family and close friends, but I don’t talk about my personal life with everyone on the street. Rather than “are you planning on having children of your own?” the question should be, “are you two planning on having more kids?” The answer is yes, and our son is so excited to be a big brother. He recognizes that we are a family and wants it to grow as much as we do.

4. Are you ready to be an instant mom? First off, there is nothing “instant” about parenthood. My step-son isn’t coffee or oatmeal. Fortunately for us both, I have been in his life since he was two and a half years old. It wasn’t like I began a relationship with his father and said “sure you’re great but, no, honey, I don’t want to be involved with your child until after we’re married.” Seriously? I recognize that every family is different, but as a step-parent I feel it is important to have a bond with your step-child. To nurture that relationship as much as possible and show the child that there is a true partnership between you and your spouse. This doesn’t take an instant; it takes time.

3. Are you a wicked stepmother? Oh, you. That’s clever! The stigma of the “wicked step-mother” seems to have permeated our culture. Look. Any parent will tell you that you cannot be a buddy one hundred percent of the time. Just being a step-parent doesn’t automatically make you evil. Life is not a Disney movie. And it is just as hard being a disciplinarian as a “real” parent as it is being a step-parent. My husband and I assert the rules of the house on the days we have our son and he is very good about doing what he is told. Sometimes, however, he screws up, and it is important for us as parents to correct his behavior. Other times, I’m on my own. If my husband is working or running an errand, it becomes my responsibility to discipline our child on my own. I truly hope a time-out from his Spider-Man action figures, even if to him at that moment I am the worst person in the world, doesn’t make me wicked.

2. You don’t have kids… well, not reallyThis usually comes during conversations with other “real” parents who are discussing everything from bed-time rituals and educational toys to discipline styles and food choices. I found myself actually shying away from contributing to conversations like these, mostly because whenever the discussion turned to parenting I found those “real” parents usually turned away to chat amongst themselves, leaving me looking as awkward as a middle-schooler at a dance while the DJ plays “Faithfully.” Slowly, however, I began to make an attempt at adding to parenting conversations, giving my opinion, identifying things that I do that I have had success with, and offering suggestions. But too often I’m met with the comment that I “don’t have children.” The thing is, I do. I may not have physically carried him and given birth to him, but he is mine. Are parents who adopt not allowed to call themselves mom or dad? I do the same things “real” parents do, which leads me to…

1. Just you wait. This usually goes hand-in-hand with those occasions when I put my two cents in regarding parenting but really? Wait until what? Wait until I have to change diapers? Wait until I have to feed or clothe a child? Wait until I’m woken up at 1:30 in the morning because someone wet the bed? Or puked all over Spider-Bear? Wait until I have to provide for someone else? I’m curious, what exactly do you think I do? Do you think that during our time together I set up my step-son with a season of Orange is the New Black and say “fend for yourself, kid, dad and I are going out”? No. Just, no.

What’s the worst thing about these comments? They often come from good friends, or even members of my family. But I’ve learned to take them in stride over the last three years. After all, the hugs and kisses that light up my day or the tears that wrench my heart are not imagined or someone else’s responsibility – they belong to me. For anyone else experiencing similar questions and comments, you aren’t alone! For anyone who may have uttered them, applying some deference and support is suggested and much appreciated. Step-parents everywhere thank you in advance.

Comments

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  1. 1

    Caryn says

    I am happy to hear a step parent talk positively about their step kids. Knowing there are people like you out there makes me feel better about my sons and their step mom!

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    • 2

      Melissa says

      I agree. We are expecting our 2nd but if you want to be “real” my husbands first and he and my in laws are nothing but “real family” to my first born. My step mother, however, had the audacity the other day to tell me that she is jealous of my father because he gets to enjoy his grand babies and she doesn’t because her son and his wife do not want children.(Mind you Im 30 weeks pregnant and a sensitive sally) Imagine the look on my face when those words came out of her mouth.. Ive seen how bad it can be and how good it can be and I really admire you voicing you positive step parenting. Thank you!!

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  2. 3

    Erin says

    As more marriages end in divorce and more families have to blend themselves, I’m almost shocked that we still have these presumptions about step parents and step children. But then again I suppose people make a lot of assumptions about others who chose to remain child-free or have only one child too.

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  3. 4

    Lisa says

    This! My husband has full custody of his 3 boys, and I still get #5 & 2 occasionally. Umm… no, I married a man with children so I wouldn’t have to pop them out myself…hello!?! And if I don’t have children then please explain why I have chicken nugget nightmares and went from gym workouts regularly to hopping off Legos/action figures as my main source of exercise?!

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      • 22

        Angie says

        I am both a Bonus Mom and Birth Mom. I understand your struggle with this if the ex’s new wife tries to take over. However, if she truly chooses to love them like her own then, yes, she does get to call the kids hers also.

        I took my husband’s birth children on willingly but know that they have another Mom. Just giving birth is not what makes me a Mom to all 4 of my kids, its my willingness to truly love and take care of all of them. My bonus daughter has now had 2 children and I am definitely their Nana.

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    • 23

      says

      As I have been the primary caretaker of my eldest son since he was 2 1/2 (he’s 10 now) and the only active mother for five years now, we don’t bother with ‘step’ unless it’s to explain to the school or doctors some of the emotional problems he still has from some heinous early childhood experiences courtesy of his ‘biomom’. I am happy to give credit where credit is due there.

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    • 24

      says

      I understand that one Amanda, i have been in mines life since he was 3 hes 10 now and the only time we explain who i am is to his doctors when they want to know history, his school and teachers call me mom, he don’t say any different, he lives with us 365 days a year, My family calls him there nephew, grandson, cousin and so on, none of ours are treated different,

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    • 25

      says

      Amber, I’m still actively my children’s mother, and the primary custodian. It doesn’t matter how long their father’s girlfriend is in their lives – I never put them up for adoption and I don’t believe she has a right to ever, ever refer to herself as their mother. She is not their mother. I am. I am not dead, absent, a deadbeat, or neglectful, and I did not abandon them.

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      • 26

        says

        Amber and Cheryl……I do understand both of your positions. I became a step-mom when there were no books on how to do it, no computers yet, nothing to give me guidance on how to go about being a step-parent. My son (and yes he IS MY SON was 18 mos and his brother was 3 when their dad and I married) I had two older sons. Their mom didn’t exactly abandon them, just left them with a babysitter no one knew and left with another man. I can honestly say, I didn’t have a clue what to do. Suddenly without a clue I was pregnant, thinking I had horrid gastritis. So I did the only thing I knew how to. Love them as mine, teach them as mine and do the best I could to keep us all alive by the end of the day. The youngest had some issues from alcohol syndrome from his mom. I simply refused to let him go into special ed. Being an RN I knew what to do. so I took classes on teaching him and had counseling on how to train him. To catch him up. Their dad? I’m sure you wonder…..basically dumped it all on me and worked on his career. Oh he played with them for sure. So to them I was mom. That was it. I was there 365 days a yr. NO matter what. I took leave from work to help the youngest. Their mom would drop in like an old abusive bf once every 3 yrs (she was 6 minutes away) and say how she missed them, we took them from her and blah blah. But refused to see them when they needed to see her. I am my moms daughter….I became her friend. I didn’t want my sons to feel torn between the two of us. Because NO matter what anyone says……….no matter how bad a parent is? That child still loves them. She hurt them many times and many times as her friend I backed her to the wall. to help her. To this day I’m her only friend. But I loved my sons and I wanted them to understand they needed to love her, no matter what. I didn’t hire babysitters, I took my 5 kids with me everywhere. I spent my young adulthood with my butt on a bench. BUT my sons that were older? now had a NEW STEPMOTHER. I ddn’t know her at all. But during treatment for brain tumor she told my sons I didn’t love them or i’d be at their games. She told them so many lies it was unreal. Since he had 4 wives between us, why she hated I still do not know. MY younger sons, grew to teens…….and suddenly omg all hell became my life. No matter what they did I wasn’t backed by their dad. I was making them unhappy. The youngest had a teacher that told me and his dad, he can lie so well, he can almost convince me I didn’t see what I saw. Now you try to live with that as a teen…..and a dad who is determined to be the good guy. I would choose to do things based on what was the right thing to do and the best for their future. My older sons, stayed with their dad for a summer to go to a soccer camp, they came to me and told me their dad was getting a divorce. And what had been going on. I went to him and said….OK if you love her stay with her….yes I think she’s horrid but our sons have been torturing her because she is always bad mouthing me. They are graduating…..stay with her if you love her or you will be alone. They are still together and yes she is still horrid…….not just to me my younger sons……………I stayed until the youngest was graduating….then I left. Because no matter what…..no matter how long you have had the children…….TEENS WANT THEIR WAY. And they will do what they have to do to get it. But they called me mom and their bio mom they called moma lynn. I left their dad the day I found out I had cancer. The boys were grown and I took my daughter and left. so to all you steps out there….I TOO DESPISE THE WORD ATTACHED TO A CHILD STEP-KID. Whether they have a wonder other parent or not they are your children. TO STEP THEM IS TO PUT THEM ON THE OUTSIDE. REAL MOM? DO YOU REALLY WANT YOUR CHILD TO FEEL NOT PART OF THE FAMILY AT HIS DADS? Be thankful your child is guarded and loved by their other parent, whether you gave birth or not. JEALOUSY DOES NOT HELP A CHILD GROW TO A MATURE ADULT. They learn what they see and hear. So chill. love the kids. take part in their lives all of you. BE their parents. YESTERDAY we celebrated a graduation and new granbabies…………..present were my husband, me , my EX and the dad of my older sons. Also included were the gf’s and wives of said ex parents. So you see WE gather and surround them and support them so they know……….THEY ARE LOVED AND THOSE BABIES ARE BLESSED TO HAVE SO MANY GRAND PARENTS ADORE THEM

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    • 27

      says

      Cheryl, please, please, please don’t use the word “real mom”…my two oldest mother did that and it stuck with our kids for a while…it implies that “step-mommy” isn’t a “real” mom–which couldn’t be furthest from the truth.

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      • 28

        Sarah says

        Oh please, she’s right. Look, I get the whole step parent thing. My mother has been married 3 times. Calling her husband “Dad” is not in it for me. This whole “bonus kid” surge is fine, but that doesn’t work in every family. It just doesn’t, and telling another person what they can or can not call someone in their family unit is none of your business. What do you propose Mom does if step mom is a junkie? Or abusive? Or any other legit problem that would make that person a real danger? Who makes that distinction? Not you. So please, get off your high horse and stop telling ANY Mother what they can and cannot say to their children. Not all families at the same.

        If God forbid, a spouse dies, you have no claim to those children. If you are divorced, you have no claim to those children. In the eyes of the law you are NOT the parent. You might have the heart of one, and the children may think of you as one, but that is not the case. There is a difference, whether you want to admit it or not and a lot of parents know their former mates, and know what kind of relationship skills they have, and choose to be cautious about the new girl/boyfriend lasting and the harm it would do to the child.

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        • 29

          Cathy says

          That’s actually untrue. My husband has nominated me as my stepdaughter’s guardian, on his behalf, so that should anything happen to him, I take over his role in her life. This protects both me and his daughter. I do have legal rights to her – and her mother would have to take me to court to have any of the parenting/custody arrangements changed, citing very compelling reasons for doing so.

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          • 30

            Sarah says

            That is not the norm. My point still stands. How another family unit addresses members of that unit is none of your business, and you have no right telling a parent what they can or can not call their ex’s new mate.

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      • 32

        Emily says

        Cheryl, I agree with you! I am a stepchild, and it would make me furious that my stepmother would try to pass off as my mother, or if we were out around strangers she’d tell me to “just pretend” and would introduce me as her daughter. She and I didn’t get along very well back then and I didn’t want anyone to think she was my mother. She’d tell me that step was a dirty word. Step is not a dirty word. It is a fact. And it was so insulting her trying to claim me as “hers” when I didn’t come into her life until i was a pre-teen, and only spent every other weekend there. How exactly was she a mother when I spent 4 days a month with her! My mother sacrificed as a single mom and my mother is the one that raised me. Stepmom and I get along okay now, but I still hate when she tries to play “nuclear family” and try to hide the truth. There is nothing wrong with being a stepfamily. I wish she didn’t see shame in the word step cause there’s nothing wrong with being related by step-relation. I will never stop using the words stepmother and stepsister, cause that is how I am related to those family members. Her insistence to pretend we were a nuclear family and take away the word step is actually a major reason we didn’t get along. Not every child wants or will accept 2 mothers, especially in circumstances like mine where I was already a preteen when she entered my life and had a very active mother who was raising me. Something my stepmother is super sensitive to is that she thinks of herself as my parent. I do not, not even now as a grown woman think of her as a parent even though she’s been my stepmother now for more than 20 years. We do not have a parent-child relationship despite the fact we are on friendly terms. She is family, but I have 1 mother and 1 father. Her insisting that she is a “parent” and trying to force me to feel that way is what has caused major arguments.

        And while many stepmothers find the word step insulting, I bet a lot of mothers find the term “biomom” and “birth mom” insulting. Especially in cases like mine where my mother was a full-time mother except for every other weekend. Biomom or birthmother to me is implying that a mother is a mother through only birth, and not the mom who is raising her children. Many divorced moms are very present in their children’s life and are the mothers who raise their children on a daily basis. Referring to them as a “birthmother” is insulting to those moms. When I hear “birthmother” I think of a teenage mother who placed her child up for adoption, not a divorced mom who is raising her children.

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    • 36

      says

      Um, that’s exactly the case, Rachel. I AM their “real” mom. Anyone their dad gets involved with is not. Not until and unless I abandon them.

      Amber, I’ve been a stepmom and I’m about to be stepmom again. I understand the difference from all angles. I was stepmom to a girl whose “real” mom was a total wreck of a person, and the furthest thing from “mom” in the world. I wound up “Mom” and took on all the responsibility and privilege of being her mom (yes, “real mom”) right up til her dad and I divorced and, just to spite me, he cut off all contact with her. Now I’m not “real mom” because “real moms” have rights.

      My current boyfriend’s son has a mother who is loving and caring. She’s “real” mom. I ain’t ever going to be that boy’s real mother. I will still care for him and make sure he feels loved and welcome. But no, I am most certainly not his real mom. Why? What’s the difference? Well, his mother didn’t give up her rights, that’s what. And neither did I. So try to be a liiiiitttttlle understanding of the other side here.

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      • 37

        Jenepher says

        I COMPLETELY agree with you, Cheryl. My son gained a step mom when his dad remarried, and I gained two stepchildren when I remarried. I am fully present in my son’s life, and my stepchildren’s mother is fully present in theirs. So I get what you’re saying.

        I think the big difference in points of view on this topic is when the biological mother has faded into the background for whatever reason, and the step mother has moved into primary caregiver role, that changes the dynamics of ‘step mom’, for sure. But in your situation, as in mine, I would never, ever, ever equate myself to my step children’s mother – SHE is their mom. I am their step mom. They know I love them, I care for them, I am a parenting partner in many ways, and we are ALL family – but I know my place with them, and it is on the rung directly beneath their own mom. She is an AMAZING mother, too! And she respects me because I respect who she is, and acknowledge who I am, to her children. They don’t call me mom because calling someone mom is a beautiful, bonding, sacred thing – and it’s special enough that I would never want to take that from her. Because I’m NOT equal to her in their lives.

        Like was previously mentioned though, had she not been that kind of mother, and had I taken the role as the primary mother figure in their lives, then that dynamic would be different, for sure. So I understand how it’s different in certain situations.

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        • 38

          mum in AU says

          I love your Comment. I think this is the best reply in this whole feed. I think you have totally nailed it on the head. There are two sides to every story and i think your comment got the balance just right.

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        • 39

          Julie says

          Amen! There is a difference in step-parent types and some people just don’t get it. If the “real” parent is absent, dead, deadbeat, etc, and the step-parent steps in, then yes, that person deserves to be called “Mom” or “Dad”. But like a few others said, my step-daughters have a mother who is perfectly fine. She is their mother, acts like their mothers, etc. In our situation, I am just the step-mother, their dad’s wife. We’ve been married 16 years and the kids were 9 and 1 when we got married, so this isn’t some new thing for us. And it’s true — unless the “real” parent is absent, dead, deadbeat, etc, — you DO need to wait until you’re a real mother in order to experience things. Sorry, but it’s true and you’ll figure that out once you have your own children. Once I had my own kids, things totally changed. I became a real mother at that point. Just my opinion, coming from someone who has a step-mom, step-dad, and step-children.

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    • 40

      says

      I can understand where Cheryl is coming from. She is not an absentee mother, where as an Ambers case she is the only mother figure her kids know. There are all different kinds of parents. All I would care is that my children were loved and taken care of by my ex’s significant other.

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    • 41

      says

      I also agree with Cheryl that I would not want my kids calling their step-mom, mom. That name is reserved for me and me alone. Again all situations are different, but I would have no problem if my kids wanted to give her a special pet name.

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    • 43

      says

      I don’t know why people get so bent out of shape about their child having two moms. They have two sets of grandparents (or more) so if the kid calls stepmom ‘mom’ what’s the big deal? People place too much importance on words. And frankly, when you start freaking out about another woman being called mom…you sound bitter. Be happy your child has multiple people in their life who loves them.

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    • 45

      says

      When the bio parent is not absentee, things can be tricky. You have to co-parent not only with your ex, but his new gf/wife etc. If I was in that situation, I would hope the gf/wife would love them and treat them like her own. I can be honest enough to say I wouldn’t want to relinquish my title of mom. I’ve earned it in midnight feedings, dirty diapers, dinners, doctor visits, etc. But I’m not opposed to another endearing term such as Mimi (insert name), Mommy (name), as long as she’s doing the work to earn it too :)

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    • 46

      says

      Tramequa, I’ll always be their mom. Stepmom might not be. After all, I am no longer my stepdaughter’s mother in any way. All it took was her dad refusing me contact. Her bio-mom did the same thing: had multiple Dads who just disappeared overnight.

      If your claim to motherhood can be relinquished overnight by divorce papers, you aren’t the mother. That was a tough thing for me to accept, too. Maybe I’m not bitter. Maybe I’m realistic.

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    • 47

      says

      Cheryl just because one of your ex husbands did that to you don’t mean all men are they same, just saying like i said before you don’t know our situation, you’re only going based on yours… And HE IS MINE….

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    • 48

      says

      Cheryl do you realize how greedy and selfish you sound?
      It is GOOD for children to have as many people in their lives that love them as possible! The more, the better and a child can never have too much love.
      Honestly, it is not YOUR choice what your children call their other Mom. But I have a feeling you are the type of parent that will pressure your children to call their new Mom exactly what you want them to. Because you cannot accept your children loving another woman but you.

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    • 49

      says

      I didn’t say all men are the same, Amber. I’m sure your husband is simply lovely and always will be. But the fact remains, if your parental rights can be terminated overnight by a divorce, then you’re not the kid’s “real mom.” If the real mother is absent, then get her rights terminated (’cause she’s certainly not the “real mom” anymore) and get yours instated.

      “Greedy and selfish” is demanding that a child who isn’t yours call you “Mom”, Laura, just to make you feel important. I will never ask a child to call me “Mom” just because I have some kind of warped need to be “Mom” to every kid under my care.

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    • 50

      says

      You are demanding that your child not call another person “Mom” even if she acts as a Mom. If your child wants to call another woman Mom who is that damaging? Nobody! But trying to diminish the capacity of another parent is damaging. It is also very greedy and selfish.

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    • 52

      says

      My parental rights can’t be terminated over night thanks to the state i live in, and if your calling me greedy because he calls me mom I DON’T make him he does it on his own, and thats all i have left to explain to you, whatever you type means nothing to me, i don’t feel bad about being his mom, or anything else i do for him, your bitter and as long as you have an attitude i like you do you will find yourself divorced again,

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    • 53

      says

      Well, Laura, she doesn’t act like a mom, but that’s beside the point. Look, my kid was in daycare, and there was a woman there that he quite liked, who comforted him when he was hurt, fed him, changed him when he spilled stuff on himself… was she “Mom”? Hell no. So explain to me why I would suddenly accept someone else being “Mom” just because she wipes his nose sometimes? Was I “diminishing her capacity” as a caregiver to my kid by not having her called “Mom”?

      I didn’t demand anything, by the way, just pointed out that not every stepparent is working in a vacuum of parenthood here.

      Sounds to me like some of y’all are a bit oversensitive about whether or not you’re the biological parent of some kids you care about. Newsflash: You can care about them without being called “Mom.”

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    • 55

      says

      Im not oversensitive, we all can tell you have a problem with someone else being called mom, and im not sure why you care so much as my family is not your family THANK GOD, and after reading everything you have said i see why one of your ex husbands decided not to let you have anything else to do with his daughter, your a very negative person, and they type that if its not your way its no way and you sound very controlling,

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    • 56

      says

      He decided not to because MY daughter decided not to have anything to do with him after the divorce… he was emotionally and mentally abusive and she also said he molested her. And because MY daughter chose to do that, he decided to refuse access to HIS daughter to punish me. See how that works? I was married to someone who was abusive. But I’m sure you feel super good about yourself, scoring points off of someone who was in an abusive relationship. No, that’s cool, Amber. I hope you feel better. Does that feel better? To imply that I’m just a shitty person instead of one who was taken advantage of and abused? Does it? Good for you.

      So yeah. If he starts encouraging my kids to call some other woman “Mom” after years of being abusive to me and my daughter, then yeah, I’m gonna have a fucking problem. There. Was that what you wanted to hear? Feel better? Feel superior now?

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    • 57

      says

      Some of you guys are shitheads. I was disagreeing with you, not insulting your entire existence. I’m very fucking sorry that not everyone agrees that every single stepparent should be called “Mommy” by default. Get the fuck over yourselves, you judgmental twats.

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      • 58

        Mandy says

        Bless your heart. I am with the other girl that commented she didn’t understand why people got mad. It WAS weird. Just know, some of us understand you. I have not had to deal with said issue, but I am not sure how I would feel if my kids called another mother. I suppose it would depend on her. The day I married my husband, my children started calling him dad. Their bio father wasn’t thrilled at first and it took some getting used to for him, but he was hardly ever around due to a meth addiction so he didn’t really have a solid argument as to why it shouldn’t be done. It wasn’t my idea. It wasn’t my husband’s idea. It was the children’s idea. My daughter was soooo excited the day she got to start calling him dad. He is their dad. HE takes care of us. HE is there for us. Bio dad has been sober for a year and is doing wellish, but he still doesn’t take responsibility for his part. He sees them MAYBE once a month when I call and say the children want to see him. His newest fiance actually called to set something up without me calling first and I was flabbergasted. But that happened once. I sometimes wonder how long he would go without seeing them if they didn’t ask for him. Anywho, I digress…… I don’t blame you for wanting to see if she is going to act like a mom before she gets the title. I also have a bit of a MINE complex with my children. Yes, more people to love and be loved by, but I am the only mom they have ever known or had. It is a title that must be earned and not thrown around. To get a parental title, you should have to say No 1,000,000 times per day for one week straight. Wipe 24 poop butts in 12 days. Feed them 3 meals and 5 snacks a day for, oh, EVER. Wipe tears, calm hearts, and get another animal you really don’t want. Homework. Ugh. Shouldn’t they have homework duty for 60 days first? Laundry. Pick up their toy off the floor for the millionth time. Don’t get me started there. Pitch. IN. If they don’t actually help in the raising of the child…… then NO. They DON’T get to call her mom. I’M MOM. I’M the one that does it. Until she is putting in 1/4 of the work……… No. Just NO.

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      • 61

        Sarah says

        I understood perfectly what you were saying throughout this thread, Cheryl. And I’m not really sure why people felt defensive but the barrage of comments toward you with increasing defensiveness was weird (but maybe this is because I am also a bio parent and not a step/bonus parent). Maybe we need a list of things not to say to biological parents about/from step parents. They also need to realize there is a certain amount of sensitivity there now and respect that. Not only do they have a hand in raising our bio children but they also have our bio child’s father, which completes a family and may make bio parents feels left out of their own child’s life. I don’t believe that the step-parent always understands the nightmare that it is if your child picks their other family over you. It’s heartbreaking. Although, some step parents, like Amber, would probably understand that feeling. It really is a case by case basis.

        There needs to be a respect between the two families out of love for the child.

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  4. 63

    says

    My husband is amazing about this. Not only did he create a natural unforced relationship with my oldest daughter, he also respects her father and has never made him feel uncomfortable. This was from his own mouth that he said about my husband. I would be nice though if it was the same way with his spouse.

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  5. 65

    says

    Blended family’s are hard !! She forgot one saying this is not your house ……. I would rather hear your not my mom because technically I am not. I got a lot of good stuff for that one but the house I have live in longer than you and that makes me sad not my fault. That makes my blood boil . I wish I could find out more stuff on blended family’s and the crap that goes along with it ! God I love my husband !!!!!!!

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  6. 66

    Sharon says

    Amen. I do not have children of my own and my three step-kids are my children. I have stepped in literally when their mother’s have failed them. There are so many things that people don’t understand about being a step-parent. It is the hardest job that anyone can ever have. If you do it right. Just like being a ‘real’ parent. PS: I am also adopted and my parents are my parents.

    We have to stop the negative stereotyping of step-parents.

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  7. 67

    Carly says

    In my house we don’t use the word “step”. My husband may not have contributed to the gene pool, but our son is his. Our son is more his then the gene pool contributors. In my house growing up, when we heard the word step child, we knew it was a bad thing. It was a choice he made so he could be with our mom. Not us.
    Husband was the one who got vomited on in the middle of the movie store. The one who gets woke up when bad dreams happen. The one who gets the fathers day cards and gifts made at school. He is the father and my son will never know he is a step anything. Oh wait, he will know he was the step in the right direction!!!

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