What I Wish I Could Say To My Stepkids

by Amanda Smythe
Originally Published: 
A man, sitting at a dining table eating breakfast with his wife and stepkids

Hey guys,

Trust me, I get it. I really do. As a child of divorce, I’ve walked in your shoes. I’ve been hurt, I’ve been scared, and I’ve been angry. I know that my arrival in your life means that “family” as you know it will never look the same — there will always be two of everything. Two homes. Two toothbrushes. Two full sets of holiday celebrations.

But I think it’s important that you understand the silver lining here: how lucky you are.

You have three parents who care about you. Three parents to make sure you have everything you need. To lend you an ear or a shoulder to cry on. You have three parents who will drive you all over God’s green earth to support your hobbies and make you feel included, because they want you to have the most normal childhood possible, given the circumstances.

You should also know that as someone not directly responsible for bringing you into this world, everything I do for you is out of the honest-to-goodness kindness of my heart — because I love and care about you. Maybe not the same way that your mom and dad do, but that’s okay too. And I am well aware that no matter what I say or do, it’s probably going to piss you off, because I’m not your “real mom.”

You already have two parents, and you don’t need another adult telling you what to do. Fair enough. Believe it or not, I really do my best to honor that, but the boundaries can be super fuzzy.

And honestly, sometimes I get tired of not having control over my own life and schedule, either — which means from time-to-time, you piss me off too (gasp!).

So next time you roll your eyes at me for asking you to wash your dish, or to put a fucking helmet on (okay, maybe I don’t swear at you — out loud), please know that this whole situation is terrifying, and I’m doing the best I can. I don’t expect you to love me back, or even like me for that matter.

All I ask is that you cut me a little slack, because this isn’t easy. Holy. Shit. This. Isn’t. Easy.

Trust me, I get it.


Your dear old Stepmom

This article was originally published on