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Stepmother's Bill of Rights

Storm76's picture

I found a list of 10 points earlier today on Wednesday Martin's website:

Apparently it was first posted on the internet anonymously a few years back & it definitely got me thinking

1. Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together.
2. I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times.
3. People outside the immediate family - including ex-wives, in-laws and adult children - cannot make plans that affect my life without my consent.

Isn't it kinda bad that this stuff has to be written down? But so often I've already heard the old chestnut of 'the child has got to come first' There are plenty of 'issues' with SS10 that I don't currently get involved in, yet they do impact on my life. I'm thinking of BM announcing that she's booked to go to music festival, so we'll have to have SS10 for a long weekend even though it's not supposed to be our turn, I'm not included in discussions about bad behaviour at school, I was pretty much told that we were takign SS10 on holiday with us this past summer.

I seem to have backed myself into a corner really - when I first met SS10 me & OH were just dating, so it was laid back, there was no way I'd get involved in discussing 'issues'. However, we now live together, are planning on marriage for ourselves in the future, so why do I find it so hard to bring this stuff up with him?

4. I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits.

Love this one - i.e. I'm not going to do all the running around if I've no right to discipline - unfortunately I think this is what BM expects sometimes

5. I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay.

This is the one that I think I would have to push for hardest. I've let myself get in the situation where OH tells me when we're having SS10 - although we are meant to alternate weekends they do get swapped around sometimes. I hate the fact that BM calls him virtually every day with another request, or half the time just telling him he has to pick SS10 up from here, or have him a certain night as she's going out.

I can understand people getting up in arms about the stepmother's rights coming before the child(ren)'s. However, I think the key word here is 'consulted' - I wouldn't dream of inviting anyone to stay in OUR home without the OK from my OH, so why should it be different for him?

6. I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly.
7. I will be consulted regarding all family financial matters.
8. Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission.

Hell yeah!

9. I will never be treated as an “outsider” in my own home.

Ooo - I can't say this has been an issue for me, though probably more down to luck than judgement!

10. My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect.

I get respect from OH, and most of the time from SS10 - not looking forward to the teenage years though!


stepoff's picture

I love this list! Especially #10. DH and I just has that talk last night. Told him (and he agreed) that if SD20 can't show some respect while she's visiting, then I don't want her here anymore. He can meet her elsewhere to visit. And you're's a shame that this stuff has to be spelled out. Wouldn't common sense dictate these things????

hopeful_sm's picture

I really like this...although, I have a teenager and that's a whole other can of worms. My suggestion is to keep #1 "Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together." as your #1 and the rest will be easier if you and your OH stay on the same page.

Stand up strait, take a deep breath, exhale and smile

Marie09's picture

This was GREAT! And SO true! I'm NOT looking forward to the teenage yrs either...ugh!

confused_sm's picture

I love this! Just wish that it was accepted and uderstood my more than just SM's! Funny how we all seem to agree on so many facets, yet getting the others in our lives to see it is soooo difficult! Definately says something about walking in another's shoes.