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30 Things Stepmoms Would Say if we Could

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Here’s the deal. Being a stepmom is hard. Stepparenting is arguably the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. It’s not just getting over that you are your husband’s second wife. Or even just dealing with everyone that says “You knew what you were getting into.” There’s more to it than trying to get on the same page with your husband. On top of all of that, there’s the stepmom shaming.

There’s a royal societal stigma around stepparents. They need to be involved – but not too involved. Stepparents need to love the children as their own – but not overstep boundaries with Mom and Dad. Stepmom should act like mom – but not be called Mom.

Biological children and stepchildren should be treated equally – but stepchildren should be given time alone with Mom and Dad too without stepparents present. They should parent – but not discipline. And don’t get me started on the nonsense that you’re not an actual stepparent until you have a ring on your finger.

As you can probably imagine, there is quite a list of things stepmoms are dying to say. They’re itching to have their voices heard. To shout from the rooftops that we’re here, we’re not going anywhere, and we deserve to be acknowledged.

30 Things Stepmoms Would Say if we Could

I noticed a young woman’s post on Facebook discussing how she loved her biological children more than her stepchildren. She made no apologies or excuses. My first thought was, “Wow, good for her! You’re not supposed to actually voice that.” And it got me thinking… There are countless phrases we can’t think – or Heaven forbid, say – as stepmoms. We are expected to downplay our contributions, never question the children’s parents, and to sacrifice our own identities in the name of stepmotherhood.

So, I started a poll in one of my favorite Stepmom Facebook groups and asked the women what they wish they were allowed to say but can’t for fear of stepmom shaming. Not all stepmoms believe all 30 things, of course, but the majority of a large group agreed with the following sentiments. Here are the top 30 results, in random order:

1. Stepparenting is more difficult than parenting.

2. I have trouble liking my stepchildren.

3. I wish I could discipline my stepchildren without being seen as the “evil stepmother.”

4. I am jealous of my husband’s first wife.

5. I think I do a better job parenting than Dad does.

6. I am more invested in your child than you are.

7. I think I know your child better than you do.

8. Sometimes I need a break.

9. If I could go back, I’d make a different decision.

10. To friends/family: “Don’t date a man with children.”

11. I hate that another woman makes decision that affect me.

12. I don’t love my stepchildren as much as my biological children.

13. I miss having time alone with my biological children.

14. I sometimes wonder if life would be easier if Mom wasn’t alive.

15. I get jealous of my stepchildren.

16. I have completely lost myself.

17. If someone says “just a stepmom” one more time…

18. I love your child like my own.

19. I hate that I’m the one that has to compromise when Mom and Dad disagree.

20. I think I do a better job parenting than Mom does.

21. I like that I get a break from my stepchildren every week.

22. You don’t love your child more because you birthed them. My love is neither invalid nor inferior.

23. I am putting off having children because of our blended life complexities.

24. Sometimes stepfamily life really sucks.

25. I feel completely taken for granted.

26. I deserve better than this.

27. I wish I had been first.

28. My partner has a lot of baggage.

29. It’s not fair that my hard-earned money is sent to the ex-wife.

30. I should be valued as a parent in these kids’ lives.

30 Things We Would Say if we Could | Stop Stepmom Shaming | Stepmom Silencing | Stepmom Help | Stepmom Resources | Stepmomming Blog
30 Things We Would Say if we Could | Stop Stepmom Shaming | Stepmom Silencing | Stepmom Help | Stepmom Resources | Stepmomming Blog

Whether to avoid judgment or conflict, stepmoms avoid speaking their minds everyday. We suppress our own wants, needs, and opinions, and it’s time for that to stop.

Blended families are on the rise as divorce statistics continue to climb. We need to move past the archaic mentality that all stepmothers are “wicked” and open the lines of communication.

Solidarity, sister!

PS: Stuck in a stepmom rut? Give the Write Your Own Happily Ever After FREE 5-Day Email Course a try!

29 thoughts on “30 Things Stepmoms Would Say if we Could”

  1. Oh my goodness – all of this! I’ve been a stepmum for almost 2 years and I’ve only just started seeking out others like me so I can actually feel understood! This is what I needed. Thank you!

  2. Been a stepmom for four years and their bio mom has turned them against me when I thought myself and my step kids were close. This is a great site!!!! Love to all step parents.

  3. Step mom for 3years. And I can relate to a lot on that list. I was a step mom before having a child. Raising my son has been way easier because I have no one telling me how I should be with him. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one.

  4. Im the evil step mom. Ive been accused, Mentally, emotionally, and physically abused by my step kids and the Bio mother accuses me being rude to her kids when i tell the father what happenes. List is accurate.

  5. Every time bio mom doesn’t have a boyfriend I’m evil and he is told that he puts my kids before his because I have my kids every other week so he sees them more. She always tells me how awful my kids are to “her” kids because they aren’t mine she has told me that. Yes I wish I could say a lot of that list and not hurt my boyfriend

  6. Been a step mom for a little over four years and just recently – a week ago – bio mom FINALLY got it into her head that I’m not trying to replace her. This list is so accurate.

  7. I can honestly say step parenting is the hardest thing I have ever done. I have 2 step daughters by 3 different moms. Yeah you read it right 3. We have custody of both girls and my husband has had the oldest since she was a baby. I can say I totally relate to almost everything on the list. I do let my voice be heard on most of the things I am thinking, which can be a bad thing at times. I just wish the husbands that don’t have stepchildren could be more understanding of how hard it really is on us.

    • It can be so challenging! I definitely encourage you to pick your battles – you don’t want to dwell on the negative all of the time. Hang in there, mama!

  8. i have been a step mom since i was 28 years old and am now 70. I too have felt many, but not all, of things discussed in this article. i understand and cannot tell you how many times i left, went for a ride, went to the beach, library, church, exercise just to find a place for me. All of you need to take care of yourselves first so you can handle this challenge. You have married someone who loves his/her kids and that is admirable and one of the reasons i loved my husband…he was a great Dad! And, his kids always came first and I knew that going into the marriage. So, sit down and talk to your spouse and his ex about how you feel and why you feel the way you do. Communication between partners is absolutely necessary! it’s not about you, it’s about the kids and helping them become the best they can be. Remember, how they feel and recognize it and then address it. No shame involved just love.

  9. Man I feel so many of the things on this list! Sometimes I’m not even sure I can keep going in this situation, but I love my husband and kids so much. I just loathe having to deal with their mom.

  10. Wow where were you and this blog when my step kids were young! I have felt and said every single word in this post. I’ve always called myself 4th one out, with really no input at all. Damned if I did and damned if I didn’t. It can be the lonely place in the family as well. My adult stepdaughter is the one who follow you and sends me your posts, which in a way means so much more to me when I read them. I applaud you for your words and for talking about such a sensitive topic to so many women in the world. You are providing an excellent outlet for so many. Since both of my Step kids are both young adults now, I’m afraid the hardest times may lay ahead; weddings and grand babies. I know it’s going to be major heartache for my stepdaughter and I won’t be able to fix it for her. So the role of stepmom is real and it never stops. But I’m thankful for the awesome young adults I get to call “my kids” and whom I’ve had a hand in shaping. #stepmomlifeisreal #mystepkidsareawesome

  11. Thank you for writing this article. I joined a FB support group for step-moms recently and was completely crushed by the negative comments and judgements some members left me when I opened up about how I’ve been feeling. It’s hard as it is adjusting to being a parental figure while not having children of my own, those other step-moms left me feeling inadequate for both my SO and SS. Your insight on being a step-mom and the common sentiments listed reassured me.

  12. This is amazingly accurate! I’ve been a step mom for 7 years now. My stepson was 2 when I came into the picture. His mom has ridiculed everything I’ve done. I had to actually teach him basic life skills. She was too worried about turning him against me to see the progress and positive changes for what it was. For 7 years now I’ve sat back and listened to her tell my husband how horrible I am and how he’s blind and should always choose his son over his wife. My husband and I have a child together which also adds to the fire. It’s hard. I feel most all of these listed on a deep personal level!! Thank you for sharing!!

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