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How to be a perfect stepmother

strugglingSM's picture

I posted this as a comment on a forum posting and then decided I wanted to share my thoughts more broadly on "how to be a perfect stepmother". Would love to hear what others think...

TL;dr - The secret to being a perfect stepmom is to realize that you have no needs, you don't matter. You exist to make up for all the mistakes that DH and BM made. You also exist to be the scapegoat for all the mistakes DH and BM continue to make. 

1) Ingratiate yourself to BM. Do whatever she wants. Let her make decisions for your household. She's a "mother" after all and she "knows what's best." If she insults you or your DH or tries to have a secret relationship with your DH, just accept it all with a smile. Don't you know that she's the real victim here?!

2) Allow your Skids to do whatever they want. Family decisions to be made? Let the Skids make them. Chores needing to be done around the house? Don't think about asking the Skids. Make sure you cater to them, pick up after them, keep them entertained, provide food and shelter for them, regardless of their age (and especially if they are adults). Make sure you get the food they like and they have the best room in your home. SKids need money? Give it up without question. Don't expect anything in return. They are victims and their trauma makes it hard to appreciate others. 

3) Allow DH's family to meddle as much as they want. They are only looking out for the children after all and just like BM, "they know what's best." Also, you will never be considered part of the family. You are interloper and only trying to take attention away from the children. They have no choice, they have to protect those poor traumatized children (again, regardless of their age). They will always see BM as the "true wife" of  your DH. They will also feel that it's their job to "get involved" and "fix things" between your DH and BM and to "save" the poor children of divorce from the horrors of a broken home. They will constantly be on the lookout for evidence that you don't care enough or do enough for the children...and they will find that evidence, even if there is none. 

4) Now, on to DH. Don't expect him to be your husband all of the time. When SKids are around, he will likely be absent and unresponsive to you. You will be essentially single during that time. DH will likely forget to to important things for you (for example, DH once forgot to pick me up at the airport because he was with his kids) and who can blame him, his precious kids are around. He will feel guilty over getting divorced and allow his kids to do whatever they want whenever they are in your home. He will also want to lavish them with gifts and outings, even if a large portion of his income is already going into BM's pocket. He will expect you to make up the difference. Also, he will want you to "love his children as if they are your own", even if they are "unlovable". You are a bad person if you dislike his children...even if they would be deemed unlikeable by all accounts. DH is a victim, too...he's just stuck in the middle. You need to see that and make sure your needs don't weigh on him. 



Monkeysee's picture

Don’t expect to have boundaries for your home, or the same rights as a mother with no stepkids, especially if it’s an ‘ours baby’, and if BM wants to dictate your time to you she is always right and you must accommodate at all costs. 

Also, it’s reasonable to not like or get along with your inlaws, not like your inlaws kids, your friends kids, or even your siblings kids who are related to you by blood, but if you don’t like your partners kids you are EVIL. They are just KIDS! 

Questioning BM’s parenting makes you petty, expecting your partner to put you first makes you selfish. So be sure to avoid both activities at all costs, no matter how much it hurts you.

Iamwoman's picture

Love this!! Lol

Know your place, slave! Er, I mean SM...

missginger's picture

This is how I feel after our latest blowup. I'm just supposed to shut up not have any wants or needs or opinions or thoughts and have every single day of my life centered around SD.

Yes I do get a lot of time with my DH but it is only after he is done spending time withSD.  I'm just basically a big filler

Kes's picture

#4 is the one that presses my buttons.  I spent 10+ yrs when the SDs came EOW, basically on my own the whole weekend. The thing which rankles with me most really was DH booking to take them for a week in New York (we live in the UK) for when I had scheduled outpatient surgery.   

shamds's picture

you do not get paid but treated like shit for their lazy bums and your spouse will not step in until you lose your shit with them.

also, you must love skids like your own kids even when bio mum never wanted them in the first place and can’t be bothered to raise them

justmakingthebest's picture

Ladies, this is the stuff that makes me so thankful that I have my husband. If these were his expectations- I would be 3X DIVORCED.

Monkeysee's picture

These aren’t my husbands expectations, I’d never put up with that from him. It’s what I get when I try to talk about steplife with most other people in my life. Totally ridiculous.

Ratilal2016's picture

I´m starting to realize that the "evil SM" concept exists because it´s an anti natural role that bring bad emotions from everyone involved (BM,SK,DH,SP) the SM I don´t know why, is the one that ends up with more % of hate and tension and totally the opposite of what someone wants in life....I think maybe because she is the most loosen piece of all the mix.

I´m not saying that many people don´t end up being really happy and actually receiving and giving true love from a situation like this...but I think everyone (BM,SK,DH,SP) have to be very special people...but how many times this happens?

My exBF had a blended family...and althought his SF took care a lot of his daughter and took him back at his house when he left BM I could see many resentment from my exBF towards him, like he owed him something, like his SF had some kind of don´t tell me this is not real...SP is not a natural role....and it never stops!