15 things Stepmoms not so secretly want to say to Moms

(from a blog I read religiously – The Psycho Ex-Wife)

Adding in a note here, left in the comments by the author of the original post – he makes an excellent point. I did post it out of context.

As the author of that blog post, it’s presentation here is out of context. It was written as a direct reply to a post by a biological mother that was equally as ludicrous and was intended as such.

I believe it’s important to make that clarification. It was designed to be deliberately snarky to all of those entitled biological mothers who believe that the world revolves around them and everything that a biological father does (with or without a step-mother in the picture) – requires checking with her first.

The opening of the blog post in which that list exists explains precisely why it was written.


15. I’m happy to love your child.

As a stepmother I love your child as if they are my own. When they are in my home, I will do all the normal things a mother would do for them; like cook them meals, teach them how to ride a bike, take them to their sporting activities, and so much more. This is normal and your child should not be punished for enjoying time with me.  It doesn’t mean they love you less.  Really.  Not everything is about you because they “came from your body” – no matter how much you’ve been trained like a circus monkey to believe so.

14. I’m not trying to be their mother.

While I play the mother role in my home, I’m not trying to replace you, even if your child prefers to refer to me with the term “Mom.” I have my own children that I adore.  I didn’t form a relationship with your ex-husband to steal your children from you. If I want more children, I’m perfectly capable of becoming pregnant.

13. We can’t save all the fun for you.

While it’s nice to do new things with your child, we can’t save all the fun for you. Your child will experience new things and cross new milestones with us. If there is something important you want to do with your child, do it! I am not a mind reader, I don’t know if you want to be the one to give your daughter her first pedicure and I’m certainly not going to call you every time I want to do something with the family.  It’s unreasonable for you to expect that.  Remember, the experiences are for your child first and foremost, it’s not all about you.

12. My house my rules.

While it’s great to be on the same page as far as corporal punishment, I set the rules in my house. Every child that spends time under my roof will follow my rules whether it’s your child or a friend. It’s important we teach our children to respect the rules of the homes they visit, my home is no different.

11. Don’t tell kids my rules don’t count.

If you are upset about some punishment that was handed down in our home, telling your child that the rule is stupid, or worse – allowing them to then do whatever we said they couldn’t so you can be the cool parent – not only undermines my authority, it pits the child against both of us. Don’t be surprised when they start trying the same thing when they are mad at you in the future if you do this.

10. Don’t badmouth me and then expect respect.

Speaking poorly about me to the children and then expecting me to treat you with respect is simply not going to happen. I don’t make fun of you to your children.  Neither does anyone else in our household. The Golden Rule still stands – treat others the way you would like to be treated. If you treat me poorly, don’t expect the red carpet treatment from me.

9. Invitations to family events.

While I wish we could all celebrate events together, the fact is you are not part of our family and when you treat me with disrespect including screaming at me in front of the children, speaking poorly of their father in front of the children, and other such uncooperative endeavors, you will not be invited to attend our family events.

8. Please don’t spoil the kids.

Buying the kids everything they ask for so you can tell them how cheap I am only does a disservice to the children. They come to expect everything they ask for, which only causes you financial problems, and children with no concept of what it takes to actually earn things. Don’t forget, most of those gifts are paid for with your child support that comes from our home and our hard work.  You get paid well.  He gets paid better.  We have 50/50.  What we send isn’t really child support, it’s free money for you to do with what you please.  And if you’re one of those moms who doesn’t work – get a  job and start contributing more financially to your children’s upbringing.

7. Stop reminding your ex of all the times you made love when you want something.

It’s amusing to watch you say how happy you are to have finally gotten divorced and then see you send emails reminding your ex about all the times you made love under the Christmas tree when you want something from us. Believe it or not, he’s moved on, he isn’t still in love with you, and he’s not coming back, whether I’m still in the picture or not.

6. Stop acting like the victim.

Your ex didn’t leave you for me, you left him. It’s time to stop telling the stories about how awful he was and how much happier you are now, all while blaming me/us for everything that is wrong in your life.

5. You can have mother’s day, but don’t cancel.

I have no problem with you wanting to spend Mother’s Day with your children, but please remember two things. First, Fathers Day is reserved for my husband.  He is, after all, their Father. Second, if you suddenly have something better to do on Mother’s Day, don’t think you can just drop the kids in my lap to take care of so you can go to the beach with your latest boyfriend.

4. Your financial failures are not my emergencies.

We pay child support, we also pay for 100% of the children’s expenses in our home, without help from you, even though we have 50/50 child custody. Don’t call us to pay for something because you’ve mismanaged your money by shopping too much and neglecting things like your mortgage and car payment. Yes, the kids need a roof over their head.  You should think about that the next time you’re at the mall shopping for goodies for yourself.

3. Please teach your kids to knock.

If Little Johnny saw me in my undies, it’s not because I was “prancing around” in them in the living room. Chances are he decided to barge into our bedroom instead of knocking.  This is likely because you’re still “co-sleeping” with him.  He’s 14-years old, not 3.  Such emotional incest is going to ruin all of his future relationships and it’s extremely creepy.  You might want to find a warm body to sleep with at the local bar.

2. I can discuss my children and how great they are.

I know you think your kids are great, and so do I, but that doesn’t mean I can’t discuss my children and their accomplishments. If this makes you feel inferior about your children, I highly suggest therapy.

1. There’s no need to ignore me.

I don’t need to be friends with you, but we are all adults. I get along with my ex-husband just fine. He’s even invited to family events like the Superbowl party we had. He treats me with respect.  He puts the kids first.  He doesn’t make your ex feel like they are in a competition to win the kids’ love. If you do the same, I guarantee this relationship will go a lot easier, faster, and better for the children.

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  1. le7 says:

    I actually find this super offensive. I know what my mother went through when my parents got divorced and what my step-mother thought about the way my mother does things.

    No. child-support is NOT free money. Children are just as much their father’s as their mother’s. While my mom was working full-time (not part-time) and we had to go to the food-pantry, my father flat out refused to pay child-support because as he said my mother just spent it on herself. Um, my mom used it to pay the electric bill and buy food. While we were going to the food pantry and didn’t have electricity half of the time my father also went to court to absolve him of all health-care related financial responsibility because somehow my mom was using his healthcare for us to help herself? I love my father, but his attitude towards child-support as just “extra-money for my mom to blow” made it very hard to believe that he cared about us. I knew way too much about my mom’s finances and I knew she only used the money for things that directly improved our lives.

    And you know what, I appreciate the fact that my mom tried to confront my step-mother and my father about their chain-smoking when I stayed for the weekend. I have had ASTHMA since I was a young child, but since they don’t believe that such medical conditions are real they didn’t think it prudent to limit smoking around me… but right, the mother’s are always totally out of line huh?

    • HSaboMilner says:

      I am sorry you find it offensive. I am a child of divorce, I am also a mother divorced from her kids’ father, and I am a step-mother. I have a mother, and I had a step-mother. There is so much in this post that I identified with on various different levels. There was some I did not identify with.

      • le7 says:

        I know you didn’t write it so I’m not directly offended by you. But I really find the post offensive. Yes I know this is one persons experience – but all single mothers are not evil leeches.

  2. Yehuda says:

    This blog post is full of vitriol, contradictions and to some degree hate filled. I hope that this situation does not apply to you (did you repost this from another blog – I certainly hope so).

  3. Rebecca D says:

    I must just comment on the free money issue.
    While i agree that no parent should spoil to spite the EX on the other hand I don’t agree with the free money issue. My mother recieved child support and worked not one job but two. Unfortunately you are right men do get paid better. My mother spent no money on herself, no entertainments. We had no rifrigerater for two years and my dad did pay. The sad fact is that statistacallly it is a proven fact that the poorest people in america are single moms. I know it I lived it.
    I am only assuming that both your husband and his Ex are in very good finances that you bring up it as ‘Free Money’ because for most families its not.

    • HSaboMilner says:

      Rebecca – I didn’t write this and I stated at the beginning of the post that it was reposted from a different blog.

      While I agree with many of the points raised, I do not agree with all of them. I am a mom and a step mom – many things DO resonate.

      • kisarita says:

        This thoroughly offensive letter will go a long way towards destroying any chance at the good relationship this step mom claims she wants.
        Hadassah I suggest you take it down immediately, especially as a you have just stated that it resonates with you, it could easily be interpreted as a dig at your counterpart.

  4. fille says:

    Sounds to me like both were crazy, stepmom and bio-mom, and like dad did not know how to handle things…

    What I find interesting about those stepmom-blogs is that they are so self-complacent. They do not stop badmouthing the biomoms in the worst ways, but when you tell them that they themselves and the daddies might not be as perfect as they think, they will lynch you.

    Anyway: this does not sound as if daddy and stepmom put children first, not an ounce more than biomom…

  5. Mister-M says:

    As the author of that blog post, it’s presentation here is out of context. It was written as a direct reply to a post by a biological mother that was equally as ludicrous and was intended as such.

    I believe it’s important to make that clarification. It was designed to be deliberately snarky to all of those entitled biological mothers who believe that the world revolves around them and everything that a biological father does (with or without a step-mother in the picture) – requires checking with her first.

    The opening of the blog post in which that list exists explains precisely why it was written.


    • fille says:

      Well you might have point on some things, like my house my rules… and avoiding that children manipulate the adults against each other… Or don’t cancel when you said you wanted mother’s day… or if you want to get invited, you’d better behave…

      By the way: if it is your house your rules, you might as well teach them to knock before they enter, regardless of what biomom does..

    • HSaboMilner says:

      point taken – and I updated my post to include your comment. Big fan of your blog, by the way!

  6. ERICA says:

    Desperate times gve rise to desperate acts. I’m not condoning the behavior described in the orignal blog post, but I know only too well the financial and emotional conditions that cause women to act out like that. That’s whre the “vitriol: comes from. Don’t condemn unless you’ve been in her shoes…for at least 10 years.Not everyone has the internal resilence and grace to hold it together in the face of financial hardship and endless lonliness. For woman over 50 and over size 14, it’s largely a seller’s (guy’s) market out there. You’re unlikely to be selected, even from frum websites, when there are loads of younger, thinner options out there. And as has been pointed out, payment of child support does not correspond with financial solvency. Alimony and child support, maybe, but not everyone has the funds to pursue alimony if the ex-spouse is unwilling. Obviously, I speak from personal experience on all these matters. I’m retraining as a nurse at age 60 in an attempt to avoid poverty.

  7. Pam Siegel Zarte says:

    “and if you’re one of those moms who doesn’t work” All mothers work! I am not in this step-parenting situation, but I have been a single mother (who got no help whatsoever from my ex). I did agree with everything in the post that had nothing to do with money.

  8. tikunolam says:

    Agree or disagree with every point, whatever. It was thought provoking and points to the issues that come up for all too many trying to coparent children when the “co” part is a struggle.

  9. Batya says:

    I think it’s full of common sense.

  10. Mister-M says:

    Another point worth making is that some of the content is rooted in our actual experiences. So “the money” issue goes straight to the heart of our matter. PEW and I (at one point) both made very good money. Good enough money that if one side or the other vanished off the face of the earth, we would have no problem taking care of the children on our own.

    In a 50/50 custody arrangement where both parents are gainfully employed and making good wages – it isn’t “child support” – it’s supplementing the lesser-earning ex’s income (aka alimony disguised as child support). That’s what was meant by “free money.”

    Obviously, we know that doesn’t apply to every situation. However, it applies in more situations than many are willing to admit and/or acknowledge.


    • le7 says:

      So if both parents are employed, but the mother has full custody and has to pay all of the children’s expenses, the father shouldn’t have to contribute financially? I get that the father didn’t give birth to the child but when a couple that used to be married has a child aren’t they more or less agreeing to both contribute to their upbringing by having the child together?

  11. fille says:

    “In a 50/50 custody arrangement where both parents are gainfully employed and making good wages – it isn’t “child support” – it’s supplementing the lesser-earning ex’s income (aka alimony disguised as child support). That’s what was meant by “free money.”

    In our country, they are about to change and to make joint custody the “default solution”. Many women and social workers are opposed to this exactely for this reason: the man will want to take a 50/50 custody arrangement and refuse to pay child support.

    So this perception (“child support is extra”) seems to be a real problem.

    • Mister-M says:

      Maybe dad simply wants meaningful child custody time with the children. Also, if mom opposes a shared-parenting arrangement, is it just because “she wants to collect child support?”

      You can’t argue only one side of that equation as applicable. If one wants it solely to “avoid paying child support” – then it’s equally as plausible that the other doesn’t want it solely to “collect the maximum amount of child support possible.”

      While everyone focuses on the financial aspect of the situation, most overlook the most important issue – the many decidedly negative outcomes for children with limited or no meaningful interaction with their fathers. And that’s precisely what is wrong with the entire system.

      Regardless of the financial circumstances of ANY party – the reality for young boys and girls without meaningful father interaction have a far greater likelihood of any number of decidedly negative future problems. Remove the financial incentive for getting the lion’s share of child custody – and I would be willing to almost guarantee that you will see a lot of people stop wasting their money litigating it.

  12. Sarah says:

    I have to say that I do like the post. True not all mothers are filled with venom, pettiness and are money grasping but on the other hand there are some women out there that are. I am not a step mother yet… I truly look forward to that day, should it come. The personal experiences that I have already witnessed and been drawn into being part of with my boyfriend’s ex-wife does strike a cord with me with the posting.Not all relates to what I’ve experienced and have wished to say to his ex. My main concern isn’t just for my boyfriend (he is a grown man and can take care of himself without me coming to his defense) for me it’s the children and the hate-filled things she says to them and in front of them. The language she uses is that akin to a sailor.It’s sad really that she is so wrapped up in her own nastiness that she is blinded of what she is doing to her own flesh and blood that she claims to care for so much.

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