Best Stepmother Advice! Ever Been Tattled On? Do You Live with a Tattletaler?

Stepmother help and advice no gossip
Stepmothers! Ever Had Someone Tattle Tale On You?
Image from Anne Taintor

Ever been tattled on?  You know what I mean.  Someone tattle taled on you.  Remember tattletaling?  Let me refresh your memory.  According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a tattletale is an informer.  Here are the synonyms listed within the dictionary definition:

Synonyms: betrayer, canary [slang], deep throat, fink, informant, nark [British], rat, rat fink, snitch, snitcher, squealer, stoolie, stool   pigeon, talebearer, tattler, informer, telltale, whistle-blower.

For some unbeknownst reason, it is fair game to tattletale on stepmothers.  Let me know if any of this sounds familiar.

  • The children report back to their Mom about the terrible meal you made or whatever stupid comment we may have made.
  • You are at a child’s sporting/school event and you run into someone who knows Mom.  They can’t wait for the event to be over so they can grab their cell phones, call Mom and let her know how lovely (?) we looked or just that we were there.
  • You contact your stepchild while they are at a friend’s house.  You need to remind them about something they need to do.  The friend’s mom calls your husband/partner to report that they did not like what you were saying or doing.  (Oh, yes.  I’ve heard this one!)  Of course, the call to Mom completes the complaint.
  • All email communication is cc’d to the entire planetary system.  (I hate that!)

It is like it’s free reign!  Here comes the stepmother!  Grab your cell phone!

Why do people tattletale on stepmothers?  The answer is three-fold:

  1. It’s fun.  Yes, it is just good ole fashioned fun.  Gossiping usually results in laughter.  It is a sport like any other.  In this case, you get a free pass because everyone has heard the story about the bitchy stepmother, so it is okay.  In fact, you are probably doing the world a service as your call to the parents will probably save that child from a life of menial labor.
  2. You get rewarded and comforted.  Children are torn between their parents’ households.  Telling stepmother tales may get their Mom’s attention and positive reinforcement.  It may be as simple as just laughing or commiserating together.  The tattletales feels as if it brings you closer to your Mom.  It feels as if you are confirming your loyalty to her.  It is a soothing, comforting feeling.  Tattletaling can make a child feel safe.
  3. You become a good samaritan.  By adulthood, the Cinderella story  has etched a groove into our brains that cannot be denied.  The brain is convinced those fables are real. In our hearts, most people believe the powerful message within those stories.  “The stepmother is out for no good!”    Good samaritans want to protect our children from harm, especially from a well-known predator like the step parent.  So, they feel a responsibility to report the stepmother or stepfather’s behavior to the parents.

At the end of the day, the tattle taling evokes images of high school, which, in turn, is met with high school-like behavior:  from all family members.  The answer?  Try to not take it personally.  (Don’t you just hate advice like that?)  I know.  Seriously, the motivation to talk has much more to do with the tattle talers than it does with us.



18 Responses to Best Stepmother Advice! Ever Been Tattled On? Do You Live with a Tattletaler?

  1. Ignore it? Don’t take it personally? Seriously? I’m sorry but I think that’s crap advice! I get treated like dirt by the ex AND the step kids and “I” am supposed to ‘ignore it’. I’m supposed to continue going about my day, doing all the Mom things that are expected of me, along with going above and beyond those everyday things just to prove that I’m not favouring my bio kids over my step kids. I have to give and give and give just to keep the in-laws and the ex happy that her kids are being provided for, but still I get NO appreciation or respect for what I do. They trash talk about me constantly, make me out to be the wicked witch for just doing the things that would be expected of a responsible mother, but apparently “I” don’t deserve to be treated like a human being with feelings. I’m sorry but it’s darn near impossible to not carry anger and resentment towards the step kids each and every time they show up at our home, when I KNOW for fact that they have gone home and shared story after story about me, told blatant lies and manipulated situations…just so they will get sympathy and ‘stuff’ from their mother and extended family for supposedly having to endure hardship when they are with their father and I. Well I’m sorry….I for one will not tolerate that abuse. I wouldn’t let my bio kids get away with doing it without repercussions, and I certainly am not going to ‘let it go’ and pretend that I am not hurt and angry when I know the step kids are doing it. Being stabbed in the back hurts …. and I frankly don’t care if they are just doing it to bond with mommy-dearest, that doesn’t make it right, and it’s completely disrespectful at any age. End of rant.

    • I totally agree with you. I go through this all the time. You try and try so hard just to get crapped on in the end. Tears, stress, and everything else. I get the blame game all the time and so do my bio children. She treats her daughter better than she treats me. All that kind of stuff, which is not true in the least, and then the ex calls complaining that I am not giving enough attention to her child. Well my reply from now on after 15 years, because I have been told so many times, “You aren’t my mom”. When they call me complaining about it’s not fair how you treat so and so..I reply, “I’m not your mom, I don’t want to be your mom, if you want that treatment go talk to your mom.” I am tired of trying to make everything perfect just to be stabbed in the back. It hurts a lot to have to deal with this over and over, I know and it took a long time for me to realize that.

    • EXACTLY!!!! My issue is that my step kids have told me over and over that I mom to them. {bio mom out of picture for 4.5 years now because of abuse and alcohol. kids live with us now ages 21 and 19} I am tattled on to dad on a daily basis and it causes huge huge issues. Yeah I am about done with the crap. We can absolutely get mad and offended. Im with you on that one.

  2. I am raising my adult stepdaughters child.. Imagine the hell I am constantly put through by multiple people and I am the main caretaker of this child..I have had to even get protective orders… OMG.. I wonder if these things will ever be repairable.. seems like everytime I get up the energy to start believing in good.. it all hits the fan again.. So most days the best I can do is try to keep it from effecting this child that I love with all my heart..

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