10 Things Never to Say to Stepmoms

Say What!? 63

stepmotherHow's this for a crazy statistic? Approximately 1,300 new stepfamilies are formed every day in America. We've come a long, long way from the days when Ward and June Cleaver were "average" Americans.

But you wouldn't know to hear some stepmothers and stepfathers talk. Stepparents hear some real head-scratchers. And then there are the truly infuriating comments from folks who really should know better.

Afraid you might have foot in mouth disease when you talk to your friends who have stepkids? The Stir polled parents from blended families to find out what they're really sick and tired of hearing:

1. "Thank God they're not your real kids." I've been raising them since they were 1, that makes them "real" to me!

2. I told my mom that my stepkids are my kids and she dismissed me. I pointed out that my dad's parents included my older sisters (my dad's stepkids) in everything and she said "that's different."

3. Someone asked me if I had broken up my husband's marriage.

4. You wouldn't believe how many people will criticize my husband's ex in front of the kids. She's not my favorite person, but I try very hard NOT to criticize her in front of her kids!

5. People ask, "Aren't you glad he doesn't live closer to you?" It's so not the case!

6. People say, "So, you have two kids and your husband has three?" No, idiot. We have three children.

7. "You have no right to discipline that child. He/she isn't yours." So the child should run rampant (tearing my house apart, making messes, hitting their siblings, burning the house down) for the 24 hours he/she is alone with me and I am the supervising adult?

8. When are you going to have your own kids?

9. You must be glad when they go home.

10. I have a friend who seems really inconvenienced when I say we have the kids for the weekend. She is always asking me why I can't just change weekends so I can do something with her. Maybe because I don't want to?

Have you ever said anything on this list? What are the worst ones you've heard?


Image via Jeanne Sager

child custody, family, exes


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Julia Todd

Such a breath of fresh air to read an article that addresses how us "stepmommies" feel.  Sad part is, too many people feel like they have the right to even say some of these things.  My stepdaughter is just another one of my kids.  She gets loved the same, disciplined the same and included the same as my bio's.  I joke with my husband all the time that my bio daughter acts more like him and his bio daughter acts more like me!

nonmember avatar MammaMel

Amen to #4 - that's a good step-parents. The heck to #7??? No, it's the bio-parents job, and if they aren't around then the child should be with their other bio-parent. As a step-mother myself I get that you love your step-kids...but as a mother with a child who has a step-mother, just no. Honestly, step-parents don't realize how wrong they are until they are in the position of their child having a step-parent, then they feel terrible for the way they acted. It's ok to love the child, but unless the other parent (not your significant other) is a dead-beat it is NOT ok to be their parent. There is a difference, you won't understand until you have been on both sides. My first step-kids I did what many step-mothers do-acted like they were mine...then I had my own and childs father and I got a divorce, now my son has a step-mom and I would not be happy if she acted the way I did before...I am now a step-mother again and can say that I love the kids but recognize that I am not their mother. The kids are happy, the hubby is happy, and his ex-wife is VERY happy. I keep my nose out of their buisness (anything to do with custody/the kids) unless SHE asks my opinion. THAT is the best way to be a step-mom, to respect the bio-mom...no drama, just love and peace in the family (and if she tells you to mind your own business to apologize to her for over-stepping your bounds-they are forever and always her kids...nothing is for sure with you!)

Todd Vrancic

The not disciplining kids that aren't biologically related to you is for early in the relationship, like when you are first dating and are a relative stranger to the child.  Once you're married and have blended the family, you had better discipline all the children in the family or you will get "You love him/her better than you do me, because you never make him/her do (X)!"

nonmember avatar Nina

Some of the most ridiculous comments I get are things such as:
1. Aren't you glad when they leave? (NO!)
2. They aren't your kid, you don't need to worry/be responsible. (in my situation the bio mom is practically deadbeat. Yes, yes I DO need to worry about them. I made the choice to be a step parent- sticking with it!)

Rootbear Rootbear

Oh my step kid gets this from her mother. "You dont have to listen to her when you're with your dad because she isn't your mom, and NEVER will be"

Yeah, thats awesome to have to deal with. Shes a pretty good kid most of the time otherwise, but coddled to holy hell and spoiled rotten by her mother. Her dad and I make her do chores and pick her stuff up and whatever else and that its not the end of the world when she falls off the monkey bars. But having a bio-mother that absolutely despises both me and her ex/kids dad is just the most irritating thing ever.

Lasha... LashaTumbai

Considering I'm the main caregiver for my stepson and am the one who signs all of his school papers, yes I absolutely do get to discipline him. I hate that one. Every situation is different, and blanket statements don't apply to many blended families.

Dale Cleveland

as a stepfather who has been raising "my kids" since they were in diapers, i think mammamel needs a reality check. I and I alone, not their sperm donor dead beat, feed/clothe/house/support/discipline/love/raise them. 24/7/365. period. end of story. if you were a step-parent and not an ex wife you would get it.

Beth Rice

I HAVE 6 AMAZING children  (2 bio   4  from other  relationships)  18,12,9,5,4,3  THAT being said....  my  husband has  full custody  of  3  of these  children  because his  ex wife up and  left the state ( 9,5,4).   i have got  involved in  every  aspect  of their  care as they  are  special needs  children and  YES   I AM   the disciplinary person.... I am a stay  at home  mom  because of   the different  services  that have to  come into the  house.   Do i  get  to  sign  any paperwork   NO :(   because i am  not  legally their parent. But  the  services  see me as  MOM  and  refer to me as  MOM.    The  school  refer to me as  step mom and  I am the  first  person they  call when they have  questions.    MY family  thinks  of them as  their  family.    Even  my  son"s  bio  father's  family   sees  these  4  other  kdis as  their  family.   I have  been  called  ridiculous for  calling all  4   of his  kids  MY  KIDS  but they are.. they  may not have  lived in my body  but they are my  kids and  i  will do  everything in my  power  to  make  their  life  easier,..,,,,,,,


SaphireH SaphireH

i thinks its bull when others can be such butt nuggets to the step kids, my husbands step grandparents always treated him like hell because he wasnt their son's child but treated my sil an bil great cause they were blood and they also do it to my eldest son because he isnt my husband's but treat the 2 children we had together like royalty. it pisses me and my husband off to no end because he has been the one to raise my son with me for over 4 years and he is daddy because my son's bio dad is worthless.

nonmember avatar Candi

As a former step mother, I adopted the child. Any child that comes into my home and that I or my husband are responsible for I will discipline. And if I child is being disrespectful to me on purpose, you better believe I am going to do something about it.

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