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Guess I can stop playing mommy now!

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Ever since SD can remember, I have been there for her the way that a mother should be. I bathed her, I wiped her butt, I cleaned up after her, I clipped her nails, I did her hair, I drove her around, I cooked for her, I took her to the doctor, I did everything!!! She wanted a mom so bad (her loser BM moved out of state when SD was a baby), so being as maternal as I am, I took on the role without hesitation. Fast forward several years later and I still do most of the work (she is heading towards the pre-teens). I still do so much for her despite the fact that she is growing up to be someone I don’t like very much. Her father doesn’t think that any of her issues are serious concerns (I disagree). He buys all of his sweetey petey’s crap and he doesn’t see through her constant acting and obvious fakeness. He says that he doesn’t like to make her feel like she’s “being picked on” and, you know, she will “grow out of” everything.

Her father grounded her recently because she did a bad job at looking after our pet’s area (each kid has their own assigned days on a chart and it is her only chore - once every three days)! She did a lame job today and I told her that she couldn’t be on her phone for the last two hours before bedtime. Her father got home and immediately told her that she could get on her phone (after she told him that I said she couldn’t).

I have done so much as a parental figure for his child - way more than he has for my kids! I am so irritated. How is it okay for me to do everything for YOUR daughter and then you go and undermine a simple decision that I made? This isn’t the first time and I’m fed up.

I guess this means that I can stop playing mommy now!



Aunt Agatha's picture

She’s is not your child.  DH has been very clear about that today.

So from now on she is his responsibility.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Yes, I know.

I tried to treat her like she was mine from the start. I am really starting to realize how stupid that was.

Chmmy's picture

Oh you are so done. He undermined you. At least my DH is more subtle about undermining my decisions he flat out gave you the middle finger. Disengage. It's not easy but it's liberating. Youll probably get sucked back in like I did but Im working on re-disengaging. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

The less that I can deal with her personality, the more he seems to kiss her @$$.

I would love to disengage. I just need to figure out exactly how to do that after so many years of being a full time “parent” to her and doing as much as I have done. Sad

Chmmy's picture

Dont cook for her, do her laundry or give her rides. Dont do anuthing. Find a hobby and be out of the house. He undermined you so tell him it's obvious he does not need your help. Go to the gym in the evening instead of cook amd clean. I soent 2 hours reading at Panera yesterday just to get away from the house.

Jcksjj's picture

Yep the more you get pissed off about the kid the more they try to pretend they arent that bad. Been there done that. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

It’s so stupid.

The excuses that are made for the dumbest things make me shake my head...

ndc's picture

Yup, stop playing mommy. No authority, no responsibility.  Of course, this is a DH problem. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Yes. Although I do think that she could have also respected me enough to follow my punishment regardless of what her father said.

A few weeks ago, he grounded his and my oldest. Her for lying and mine for fighting with my youngest. He dropped her punishment early so I told my kid that his punishment was dropped as well (that’s only fair - I will never allow my children to believe that she is any more special than they are - she already thinks she is anyway). Even after I dropped the punishment, my kid still stayed off of the computer and followed it!!! I thought that it was so mature and respectful.

Little Miss Center of the Universe (in her own mind) would never do that. She will always take advantage of whoever lets her have her way.

Curious Georgetta's picture

to be the real father   Perhaps, he thinks that  your  punishments are too harsh.

He should not have undermined you in front of the child, but parents can have disagreements  over ways and methods of correcting or modifying behaviors.   

ProbablyAlreadyInsane's picture


I don't care what his opinion on the punishment is. The second he starts second guessing punishments, or overriding her, is when she loses authority.  The kid will pit them against each other and cause even more issues.

This isn't about a parental disagreement, this is about the fact he is negating her authority, while still expecting her to "act" as a parent.  It's about a spouse not backing the other one up.

The proper way to handle something if the really issue is that he "thinks the punishments are too harsh" is to keep the punishment in place, and pull her aside later for a constructive adult converstaion, this way, he effectively backs her up, while also discussing his concerns, without taking any authority from her.

But sure. She just "plays mommy" and he's the "real dad" who wasn't even there. So f*** logic and stable supporting relationships.

shamds's picture

if you disagree on the punishment or consequences then do it in private. 

There is no such thing as playing mummy or daddy “curious georgetta”, parents enforce the rules as they are he authority to guide kids. 

This op should not be left to tolerate a skid who is out of control and basically be told shut your mouth until hubby comes home. She has every right to open her mouth and set basic ground rules or expectations what is unacceptable to her and later mention to her partner. But then again i’m sure you’d say well the dad is the real parent who should enforce this except he’s likely not home to parent

shamds's picture

i’m very firm that we and all humans are entitled to live in pleasant peaceful homes. If skids cause an imbalance they are affecting the harmony. Don’t excuse it but you have every right as an adult authority in your home to say don’t slam the door, don’t shout and don’t ever answer back when i talk to you etc.

you get palmed off with the responsibility to care for skid but no authority to say school and daddy said homework must be done and you didn’t do it so sit in the corner or i’m confuscating your ipad or straightening iron etc and then you should tell your hubby and he back it up. 

Heck plenty of these bio parents are clueless and need basic guidance. Even my husband said he doesn’t know what to do at times and i had to remind him if he did the exact same thing as his kids to his parents then whaf would happen? That helped him alot more.

its nonsense that somehow in blended families that the bio and stepparent suddenly do not and are excused from providing a united front because of poor little skid.

1 thing that i hate is when a bio parent palms off the parenting to the stepparent so the stepparent is the baddy

GoingWicked's picture

Are you kidding me?  2 hours off of a phone is a slap on the wrist and most marriages would end if the couple were arguing over petty things like this.  My DH would have come home and asked ME why kid didn’t have screen time, and then even if he didn’t agree, he would have turned around told the kid tough luck.


lieutenant_dad's picture

If he thinks her punishments are too harsh, then why is he letting her take care of his kid when he isn't around? Does he also get to tell the teacher, day care worker, or other adult that their punishment is too much when the child misbehaves on their watch?

Either Dad allows people to punish the way they wish to punish (within reason) OR he finds someone to care for his child and punishes how he thinks they should be punished. Allowing someone to take on the responsibility of caring for his child WITHOUT allowing that person to correct behavior or levy consequences when their behavior is poor is unfair. It erodes the foundation of any relationship the parent, child, and caregiver has.

If Dad thinks the punishment is too much, then he talks to HIS WIFE and they come up with a solution. It's not like the kid was grounded for a week; it was 2 bloody hours with a phone. If either of my SSs did something to me to warrant punishment, my DH would ADD to it just for them being a pain to someone who doesn't have to put up with it.

There is a right way and a wrong way to handle this, and he took the wrong one.

Chmmy's picture

I had a parent tell me the punishment of taking a boy's sticker chart away was too harsh after he hit & hurt children every day to the point i was getting complaints from other parents. I finally had it and god forbid took his sticker chart away.

The mom went over my head and got the sticker chart reinstated lol. Parents are brutal. I will never go back to teaching because of these entitled assholes and their entitled parents.

shamds's picture

has initiated steps to addressing helicopter parenting they call it

you know those parents who go ape shit at teachers like how unfair their kid was treated and blame the tracher when their kid is disrespectful, a bully and abusive and refuses to do any homework etc. Our education dept said teachers have permission to ignore abusive emails from these idiot parents.

funny how the parent takes no responsibility for the abuse of her kid towards others oh but poor child had his friggin sticker chart taken away...

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Wow! THIS! Thank you!

That’s how I feel! If he trusts me enough to take care of her EVERY DAY, then he should trust my judgment when it comes to disciplining her.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

His punishments are usually way more harsh than mine (although he would actually need to stick to them, I suppose). Two hours off of her phone wasn’t harsh. That’s absurd.

Dontfeedthetrolls's picture

In our home I am the maternal parent even though the kids have a second home with their "real" mom. The thing is I'm only a second parent in our home if SO supports me like one. If my SO did this there would be some words for sure. I've told him that as long as he backs me they are my kids too but the second he starts to undermind me or allows them to disrespect me they because HIS kids and his alone.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

I’ve always considered all three kids “ours” since we have them all full time. But I am really starting to see that his is his (regardless of the work, effort, time and love I’ve put in since she was so small) and mine are mine!

Reality check complete.

Harry's picture

He only wants you playing mommy when he wants it. Doing the heavery work.  But not have a say in her behaver. Disengage from her, let DH go the hard work, not just the play time friend.  Let him get her up, and to school , clean up after her and any of her jobs.  DH is in charge of the pets, 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

I agree! He has no problem when I’m doing her hair super cute and packing her lunch for school and getting her to school and helping with homework and everything else!

Unfortunately, he goes to work hours before the kids get up for school, so there’s a lot that I have to keep doing.

SteppedOut's picture

Why can't he pack her lunch the night before and/or why doesn't she pack her lunch? She is plently old enough for that. Do you not have bus service? Her dad can help her with homework when he gets home. 

Seriously, you do NOT have to do all these extras. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

He can, and I think I might make him do that from now on.

As for bus service - no. We live too far from the school because I use my parents’ address for their schooling.

Cover1W's picture

You can disengage. You don't have to do it all at once. Start small; no rides, no cooking special meals, no doing her laundry, no cleaning her room, no making sure she's bathed, etc. She IS old enough. Once you've mastered one disengaged itrm, add another. This worked for me. 

But I'm afraid you are worried about how it will look to your DH. Well TOO BAD. I lost all caring about DHs feelings when I realized my primary problem was 'responsibility without authority'. It's impossible. Put it back on your DH.

I never discussed my disengagement with him per se and we only had one huge argument when he lost it (because HE was doing everything for the SDs and I clearly was not). But that sorted us out pretty darn well and he's fairly good at respecting my boundaries now. And we can discuss things around SDs without much arguing. 

Read 'Stepmonster'

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Eliminating one thing at a time sounds like an easier way of going about it. I am glad that your DH got to the point that he’s at. Mine is so convinced that we can be this big, happy family. Disengagement isn’t something that he would ever be okay with. But I’m starting not to care.

Chmmy's picture

I didnt think DH would agree with disengaging either but he was fine with it after he understood it... with the hopes that I would come around eventually. After I disengaged SD17(16 at the time) said I was lazy and never did anything. DH stuck up for me and told her that I did everything for the brats to be treated like crap so I disengaged. She said what is disengaged. I told her to google it. 

When my DH didnt understand why suddenly i wasnt cooking dinner, doing laundry, making sure homework was done etc i told him im disengaged and he looked it up himself, read some articles amd got a feel for step mother hood.  I was coming home at 9pm(i know im a wild woman) and going to bed. I know it is different for you having kids. My kids are grown.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Yes, it is more difficult to disengage when I have my own children around. I feel like if I do things for my own and not her, then I just look like an evil b*tch.

I just can’t win. Sad

thinkthrice's picture

When the men went out to work and the women stayed home taking care of the children the men always, always, ALWAYS believed the reports that the women gave them regarding the children's behavior and reinforced everything she did as far as parenting.

Never once did the man say "well I didn't personally see Junior hang off the light fixture so he must not have done it... stop being so hard on Junior!"

If there is no united front, then there is no absorbing responsibility without authority.  There is a terrible trend of so-called modern parenting that gives stepmom 0% Authority and 100% percent responsibility while, at the same time, giving Junior 100% Authority and 0% responsibility.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Yes, yes, yes!

Her father also says, “Well, SHE said that she didn’t.”

Okay, believe HER then. And go sleep in her room while you’re at it.

Doublehelix's picture

Props to those who find parenting another's kid rewarding. In our household it has definitely worked better for me to be more of a aunt than a mom. I'm sorry you're not being appreciated!!

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Thanks. It was actually a little rewarding when she was younger. It’s not at all rewarding now.

theoldredhen's picture

Damn, NotSoStep!

I was succeeding in reining in my wrath until I read the following:

~ Her father also says, “Well, SHE said that she didn’t.” ~

Why do you stay with this jerk who puts his child in ascendancy over his wife?! Clearly, your SD holds the whip hand in the family. 

Hon, I believe that it's time for us SMs to unite and pay a visit to your husband. Aniki, are you ready for a flying, five-fisted, monkey nut punch? Who else is on board?  Grrrrr! Aggressive


NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Hahaha! Thanks for the smile, theoldredhen!

Her father usually has my back, but I’ve noticed that the more distant I feel towards her, the more he seems to kiss her butt and be the hero? I’m not sure why... but it’s probably a good thing for their relationship... definitely not a good thing for ours though.

SteppedOut's picture

No. It is not good for their relationship. If you see it, so does skid and it will cause her to start using more manipulative tactics to get more of that "attention". And that's probably another reason you are steadily getting more irritated. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

That’s true... but SD likes being the center of the world so him behaving like that is only going to make her like daddy even more. Eye roll.

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Hahaha! Lol

somethingwicked's picture

TRIPLE!! I'm coming along ,too..

And I got my Louiville Slugger baseball bat all nice and rewrapped with fresh barbwire .

And snacks..


notasm3's picture

You can also just tell the SD that her actions negate your willingness to go the extra mile for her. I do not think you should ever say to her that she is not your child and you are only going to do things for your real kids. At least not at this age. At 25 you can tell her to go eff herself if that’s what she deserves.  

At 10 or however old she is you can tell her if she is going to ignore your wishes you will also ignore hers.  My bio mother did that to me when I wasn’t drying the dishes like I was supposed to. She told me she wasn’t going to pack my lunch. I learned a lesson. 

Your husband on the other hand deserves a throat punch. 

NotSoStepStepmom's picture

Thank you for the good advice. I fear that I will be telling her that way before 25! But yeah, not now. Sad