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How are you treated differently from BM?

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I saw this on another forum and it had some interesting responses-- thought I would pose it here:

How are you treated differently than either BM or BD? Either by family, society, spouse, etc?

I would say, before I had my own kids, I came into the marriage with DH as a childless stepmom, my DH's family were clearly still in camp "BM". They'd hoped he and her would work things out, and told him as much. DH's mom was the hardest one to come around, because she suffered from whatever term you'd assign to a grandmother that is heartbroken that her poor grandchild was growing up in a "broken home". She'd lay the guilt on DH pretty heavily about divorcing BM, and then when I entered the picture not long after-- she took a while to accept me.

But, now that DH and I have a child and another on the way-- magically society is more acceptable of me as the stepmom/mom role. Before that I was just the "new" or "second" wife. At school events I was just awkwardly the dads wife. Now that I'm rolling in with a baby and pregnant, I'm accepted into the mom club. Eyeroll. 

But the views of those around me have drastically changed the more "credentialed" I've become-- which is kind of horsepoop because if anything, I'm a less involved stepparent now than I was prior to my own biokid(s) because I am much busier and more distracted. And the line of patience I have for an older sibling that is being raised differently than my own is very, very thin. Yet-- somehow it's become more accepted that I'm allowed to make decisions and have authority.

As far as DH goes, he's always been 100% supportive of me, my role, how involved I've wanted or not wanted to be and never shirked responsibility on me for his kid. If anything, I've had to convince him over the years to let me take on more because I didn't mind and it made more sense for me to do certain things so he could relax a little. The man is in constant motion and never sits down, trying to make sure things are done around the house that need to be done, work done, kids taken care of, etc. He literally is the guy that when you walk in the door, he hands you a glass of wine and tells you to sit while he cooks. OK-- I'll stop bragging now, but all that to say this hasn't really come from him, the different treatment, because he has always been fair.

CLove's picture

One of the things us Steppers get told, when we are bio-free, is "you dont know nothin Clove Snow" because how could I possibly UNDERSTAND the complexities of parenthood, not having been a parent? How could I possibly understand child psychology without having been around children. While this argument might sound valid to parents, some things are pretty basic.

- If a kid is disrespectul, they must suffer consequences. Even if they have the excuse of being a teenager.

- Chores for kids is ok. They wont melt.

- If a kid lies and/or steals, there must be repercussions and punishments because they will continue.

I mean do you really need to give birth to know these things? I think not, but being credentialed by giving birth (like that term!) is societies way of marginalizing bio-free folks, and giving "birthers" free reign and overt control. Just because someone gave birt doesnt automatically mean they know whats best for their kids.

Im treated as less than in many ways, mostly by the BM, Toxic Troll. She is your typical Golden uterus, who thinks she will win MOTY every time she buys a  pack of underwear at wall mart for kiddo.


captjacksprrw's picture

So as the incoming SD with no children of my own here is what I experienced.  My two SS (at the time 14 and 19) lived almost exclusively with their mom and I and depended on us for most all needs.  Their mom did over fuction for them and such but they treated their BD with great respect while treating their mom rather like jerks.  That is still the case although BD did not do much in their day to day life for quite a while.  I was tolerated but always felt outside.  Over time it got worse and the day that I pushed back and expected them to help out around the house, not leave dishes sitting, expecting their mom and I to do most everything I was the devil. 

Fast forward.  They are now SS28 and SS23.  The youngest is married, gave us a grandchild, I have a good relationship and he treats his mom great.  Moving out and going through a great deal with his wife and the pregnancy shaped him into a fine young man.  Our SS28 is complicated.  He lives at home and does work full time and pay rent but between my wife overfunctioning and defending him still and his utter failure to launch it has been a marital strain.  There is now a decent relationship but he  still only occasionally does something to help out around the house. 

ESMOD's picture

I honestly didn't get treated too differently.  I mean.. my MIL told my DH that I didn't seem like "marriage material" shortly after I started dating him.. but it wasn't in comparison to BM.. that relationship was long gone..  But, she loves me and really never treated me poorly or anything... she just didn't think I seemed like a person who wanted to be "serious".. which was kind of true because I had just gotten out of a horrible prior relationship.

Now.. BM.. to HER.. I shouldn't matter (unless it was my money or convenient to  

But family.. friends.. never really made any judgements in any direction really.

My DH always, from the beginning, listened to my concerns and input.  We didn't always agree on everything.. and ultimately.. they WERE his kids.. not mine so he got the final say.. but for the most part, he was open to my input and usually agreed with me.

with the exception of BM.. no one ever tried to tell me the kids were none of my business... but neither did they tell me they were my responsibility.. 

strugglingSM's picture

I am also a child-free SM. MIL pretends as if she's glad that I joined the family, but doesn't hide the fact that she is still upset that DH got divorced from BM and also that DH doesn't so enough to honor BM as the sainted mother she is, when really, BM has always been abusive to DH and is not above putting the kids in the middle. Early on, MIL talked to BM and concluded that *I* am the only reason that BM and DH don't get along because I am not friendly enough to BM (totally ignoring the fact that BM and DH never really got along, not even when they were dating before marriage). From that time on, I've kept MIL at arms length, which I'm sure in her mind only solidifies her opinion that I am the problem. She has also told me that I'm not a mom, so I don't know about mothering, while also expecting me to "be the mom" when SSs are with us. 

DH's brother and sister-in-law have not gotten over DH's divorce. I've asked DH if they were best friends with BM when he was married to her and he's said no, but they go out of their way to interact with her. BIL even helped BM with her mediation claims against DH, after telling DH he wouldn't help him (BIL is an attorney). SIL ignores both me and DH whenever we are in the same place, which fortunately is not often. 

So, basically, because I don't have a child with DH, I will never be a person in the eyes of his family. Despite this treatment, they still take offense if I don't pander to them and respond to their needs. It's pretty miserable. 

Aniki's picture

I don't have bios (not for lack of desire or trying). BUT I raised 3 skids from my previous marriage who are all successful, productive adults. Since their BM was an absentee crack wh0re and their father was an abusive alcoholic, I was the only 'present' parent those kids had. I consider myself qualified to give advice on raising children (others do, as well).


I couldn't care less what most people think about me because their opinion means absolutely nothing.


You do YOU. Opinions only matter if you let them. So don't let them.

ESMOD's picture

I don't think that not having a bio child means you can't have an opinion on how to raise or help raise a child.  We can get that experience and perspective from a number of places.. how we were raised.. how we see others doing things with kids that do and don't work etc..

I do step back on giving advice on issues that I don't have much knowledge on.  I am not gonna tell you how to potty train your child.. no experience.. and haven't read up on THAT  I can't speak with much authority on having a special needs kid either.. 

But it isn't rocket science to understand that most people thrive under a consistent set of boundaries.. and that people will be more successful if they are raised to have high standards of behavior/hygiene and education.  Raising a kid that is honest and hardworking.. and doing things to encourage those goals is going to be better than letting the kids raise  

My 2 SD's are not perfect.. but they are both fairly successful.. and are living lives independent of me and their father.  Sure.. they ask for advice.. but don't ask us to financially support them.

So.. yeah.. having a kid doesn't mean you can't logically think through solutions and strategies for raising one.. it may mean I don't know what to do about nipple leakage.. or the down and dirty details of child birth.. and I can be a bit more objective about a child's behavior than.. say.. a bio love blinded bio parent.. but opinions ...sure.. and from my experience.. most of what I suggested were positive and had good results... (we shall overlook "beetgate" that did NOT work out haha).

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

You hit on an important and oft overlooked point-- as stepparents, we're able to step back and take a more objective approach to parenting. I mean, parents have HUGE blind spots when it comes to their kids! I'm guilty of it, too-- so I can say with confidence that many parents, especially those parenting out of guilt, have this problem. But as a less invested or perhaps non invested live in observer, we can give an alternate perspective from the bioparents or grand parents.

Now, getting them to LISTEN is well, another kettle of fish Smile


Aniki's picture

I don't think that not having a bio child means you can't have an opinion on how to raise or help raise a child

I agree with you, ESMOD, but there are plenty of people who do NOT believe that is true. No way I would give advice in an area where I have zero experience. Although there certainly are those who find it necessary to do just that!

I have actually heard people tell women who had C-sections that they know nothing about childbirth. Not everyone plans a c-section. Were those labor pains and everything leading up to the moment the doctor says, "sorry, Mom, we have to change course" imaginary?? I suppose it could be said *I* experienced childbirth when I miscarried my daughter at 5 months since I went through all of the labor pains and vaginal birth...

No, it's not rocket science. Frankly, I don't understand why parents don't hold their children to the same standards they have for themselves. From what I've seen, the majority of parents WANT their children to launch. Well, except for BioHo. She wishes all of hers still lived at home. 

My former skids are not perfect, either. Is anyone?? LOL! Like yours, they live their lives independently. Since their father in in jail and crack ho mother is who-knows-where, I'm the only parent left. They ask for advice, but have never asked me for a dime. I'm very proud of them. Smile

Pregnantwithquestions's picture

I totally agree, opinions only go as far as you let them in terms of the headspace you give them! I think when I first started out in steplife, I cared about others' opinions too much. The more seasoned I've become and matured more, gotten older and just gave less thought to anyone's opinion of how I'm doing outside of my DH, I've been happier.

Aniki's picture

Good! Opinions are like... noses. Everyone has one, but they often don't matter to YOU. 

Don't let those with dissenting opinions rent space in your head. Most are not worth it.

Thisisnotus's picture

Everyone walks on egg shells to BM and is kind and as nice as possible to her ...BM is a mean and nasty alcoholic who is mean to her kids and mean to everyone....but all these people around here just feel bad for her and treat her like gold. Drive drunk with the kids and drive off the road? No problem....get drunk and push your kid in the back as they walk anything at all that is god awful and horrible?? No problem...everyone will just look the other way and act like it didn’t happen.

me? If I even have a bad attitude ever....someone is calling me out and getting offended (DH and MIL)

me? If I buy SD the wrong color markers.....MIL wants to have a heart attack and cry.

shamds's picture

And friends 100% accepted me. They are all anti exwife because she and her family are a bunch of psychotic effed up nutters that hubby’s 3 kids with her have inherited her family traits to various degrees. 

Hubbys sisters had tried hooking him up after the divorce but so many women in his country are gold digging whores and cheated on him that he refused to be set up.

his sisters found out hubby was dating someone from overseas and were all excited to meet me. I was just myself and we talked just like friends. When hubby’s 2 sisters approved of me as genuinely in love with hubby and a good supportive partner, that was it, whole family followed in tow.

my fil cried at our wedding ceremony, my fil had told hubby he needed to divorce his exwife as she wasn’t a mum or wife and was destroying his career by abusing him and using their kids to do the abuse well.

Any family events we aren’t at, my fil is asking his kids where am i, where is my hubby and our kids. Fil can’t care less about my husbands kids from exwife, yhey’re exact replicas of her...

my hubbys niece and nephews always confront ss how he treats me and our kids (his half siblings) and give him so much grief about it. Hubby’s 3 kids are the laughing stock of hubbys family...

stupidity gets more stupid with them. My 2 kids with hubby are like the saving grace that hubbys family actually see some of hubbys kids are actually bright, considerate people to have around and see hubby’s personality in them...

Iamwoman's picture

I don't really compare how anyone treated BM to how they treat me.

From what I understand, BM and MIL had a closer relationship than I've ever had with MIL, but at the same time, MIL knows and verbalizes what a piece of garbage BM is. I don't really want a close relationship with MIL, as she is a user. So, I attribute her lack of closeness with me as my choice.

Here's how I view the world:

If someone doesn't like me, or treats me poorly, I see that as a personal problem that person has within themselves. I don't deserve to be treated poorly, so I don't take it personally. I'm not the problem. Nor do I seek approval from others.

That's not to say I have never been wrong. I have flaws and make mistakes, and am always ready to listen to logic and reason and admit I'm wrong.

What I'm referring to is when I have done nothing wrong and someone decides they have a problem with me. In that case, I'm not the problem... it's a personal issue belonging to that other person, and if they want to affect my life negatively in any way whatsoever with their own personal issues, then they need to be ready to accept what comes along with that, because I don't lie down for anyone.

With people who decide they don't like me and want to affect my life negatively, one or more of the following occurs:

1. I put them in their place

2. I cut them out of my life

3. I remain as cold and distant as is humanly possible until they decide they are done playing their social games

4. For people dumb enough to try to cause major trouble in my life, I retaliate smartly. This means that I will affect their lives somewhere between slightly more to exponentially more than they chose to affect mine, and so in a way that only makes me look good. Game over.

Life is too short to allow others to ruin even one day of it.

Rags's picture

I am not treated any way other than how I dictate that I will be treated because I will tolerate nothing less.

I'm a bio free dad.  I met my wife when SS-27 was 15mos old.  We marred the week before he turned 2.  I am his dad.  Period.   His mom made me his dad.  I was never his StepDad.  We never used that term in our family other than when SoermGrandHag would play the "He's not your real dad" card when SS was on SpermLand visitation and we would discuss it upon his return from visitation.

My ILs have always detested the SpermIdiot so they were never an issue.  How else does one consider the   POS that perpetrated statutory rape on a 16yo?  (SpermDad was 23 when SS was born.  My wife was 16)

I never had anyone question me regarding my Skid.  Most assumed that I was dad and that my DW was StepMom.  She has never looked old enough to have a child SS's age.

The SpermClan were the only people who ever said a word.  And they never much mattered.   They were always too broke supporting the SpermIdiot's three younger also out of wedlock kids  by two other baby mamas and covering his CS obligation to my SS to be effective in any of their protests or legal efforts.  SS always had visitation and knew the family relationship dynamics but never had much of a problem with it all.  We did not allow SpermClan drama to destabilize our hone and family.

I raised him as my own  and his mom and I kept him abreast of the facts regarding the blended family history in an age appropriate manner.  It worked well for us and put me in a position to manage my role as I saw fit.  

22 years after I became his dad he asked me to adopt him.  We made that happen.  Nothing changed other then he took the family name.  I have always been his dad.  He has always been my son.

Anyone who would question that wouldn't matter.  And no one ever did.  At least no one who mattered and they were all in the SpermClan. No teacher, school administrator, Doctor, etc.... ever said a word.  I was always just his dad.