Stepmother Lament: When Will I Get Justice?

Stepmothers, Stepfamily, Remarriage, Ex-Wife, Stepchildren
When Will Stepmothers Get Their Justice?

When will I get justice?  Have you ever thought about justice?  I know that I have. Does any of this sound familiar?

“I do all of this work.  When will someone thank me?”

” I am always the one picking up the pieces.  Yet, I never get asked.  It’s just assumed I’ll watch the kids or cook the meals.”

“I am everyone’s doormat.”


Justice=Fairness, right? When you think about the concept of justice, it is very simple, yet complicated issue.  Justice is a cornerstone of the United States.  We want everyone to be treated the same.  This concept is illustrated by the blindfold worn by the lady holding the scales of justice.  We should all be treated the same, regardless of skin color, religion or origin.  You rarely hear justice for people of different marital orders, i.e. the first, second, third and fourth wives should all be treated the same.  One wife should not be given more power than another.  All wives and/or partners are created equal.  Therefore, one cannot impose on another.

Now, that we have included stepmoms and all moms into the justice system.  What are the rules?

  • Stepmothers are not required to cook for, clean or pick up after their stepchildren.
  • Stepmothers are considered a gift to the family…a welcomed addition.  You respect her, but expect nothing.
  • If bio parents would like the stepmother to help, they must make a formal, joint request, preferably, in writing.  In this way, there are no misunderstandings.
  • Stepmothers may choose to do the tasks noted above.  Any task must be followed by a ‘thank you’ by the recipient. Stepmothers reserve the right to refuse any request.  In these cases, understandings are clear that she is not obligated.  Her job is to love her partner and live her life as she sees fit.

What if justice is not served? What if the rules are not followed?  How should the predators be punished?  Here are some thoughts:

  • No one can ask the stepmother for any favors for one month.
  • If you break punishment #1 above, then the family members must wait on the stepmother for a month.
  • If all is lost, the last punishment is that the stepmother is sent to a retreat, at the partner/ex-wife expense.  (Retreat means spa)

Life is not fair.  Life may not be just.  As silly as the rules and requirements mentioned above may sound, there is a grain of truth in there.  Justice is one of those concepts that seems so easy to understand and we long for it. Somehow, we take it personally when we don’t get justice.  In our minds, justice=unworthy.  Herein goes the illogical belief.  Lack of justice is not a personal issue. Fairness is a moving target.  If justice exists, it comes over time.  There may be days where we feel tremendous insecurity and other days where we are joyous.  It is the nature of life.  The constant search for justice may not be the best way to spend your valuable time.  A good place to begin your search may be in your mirror.  You may get better results.







13 Responses to Stepmother Lament: When Will I Get Justice?

  1. wow! What good timing thank you!!! I really needed this today. what makes some of those rules hard are to follow especially when you are someone nice and the ex is wow! no words could describe her or what she does to her children, and we have custody of them!!! Anyway, think you for this post. After living together for 13 years having the kids for 12 I may just impose some of those rules! Thank you so much for everything. I can so relate and need it!

  2. I love your page. It’s so nice to hear someone else say that steppers are not required to do all the extra stuff for stepchildren. A lot of times when the stepparent does all the extra, people treat them like oh that’s you’re job anyways or your just doing it to kiss someone’s behind, instead of just saying thank you for doing that.

  3. I chose to act like the mother in the house and to do all the tasks for the stepkids, some days I do wish that the biological mother would say thanks once in a while, but I am not doing it for her, I am doing it to show my husband that I am a wife, a mother and a partner that stands by him through EVERYTHING. So when we have the kids, I carry the burden with him and I take care of them with him and love them with him there. I am the other mom, the kids see it that way too (most important). I get tired and miserable at times, but I can enjoy the same luxuries mentioned: I am never 100% obligated! So if you do it unconditionally, but once in a while retract from the duties, I can’t imagine a sweeter deal. I want to be a Biomom too one day, but until then, I can be a mother AND walk away when things get rough.

  4. I haven’t spoken about my role as a stepmom really at all where I write. But, for one of the first times, I just wrote a post that is almost exactly the opposite of yours. And I guess it just is a wake up about how differently people approach this particular job. Anyway, you write well, I mostly just appreciate anyone who will touch this subject, which seems the realm of green evil witches. Please.

  5. I’ve been in my # stepchildren’s lives going on 8 years. We are now a blended family, his, mine & ours. My stepchildren have been told terrible lies about me over the years, along with disparaging, undermining comments. Our family dynamics have become more challenging as the years have passed by. Their biomom has always taken the good guy/friend approach. I am the only stay at home parent they’ve ever known and have consistently provided structure and discipline. It I find this web page to be beneficial and will help to put things into perspective.

  6. I am in a blended family and feel like I have a very difficult path ahead of me and not sure if I see the light at the end of this blended family tunnel. The stepdaughter lives across the country with her mother. Its a very weird and complicated situation (as I guess most blended families are) but I never met his stepdaughter. This is going on 5 years and now I have to go on a trip with the the teenage girl. I feel very uncomfortable and insecure. I am trying to be understanding but I am so tired of having my feelings pushed aside and not thought of. I do want to meet her but I don’t think a trip is a place where I should be introduced to someone I never met. I am scared I will be pushed to the side, I am scared I will make her uncomfortable, I am scared my husband will get angry that I am not making a big enough effort, my head is spinning. I thank you for your site, I find strength in your blog.

    • Marie, I have found the best approach at first is to act like a aunt to the child. Do your best to let the hurtful words and actions to roll off your back and realize that the child has the same fears that you have. Do not let the other people in your family make you(or her) feel forced to bond. Fostering a strong connection takes time. My (s)daughter lives with me and we are penpals. We write notes to each other and send them under our bedroom doors. Sometimes it is easier to speak through written word. REMEMBER THIS: You care. That is the biggest step. Just have your actions in line with your feelings and stay strong. You are STRONG.

  7. I can’t tell if this was written in sarcasm or if I just live in my own little world. Are any of those rules “real”?
    My stepkids live with us and only visit their mom.
    I am in charge of EVERYTHING down to their fingernails, and not once in 5 years has their mom even bothered to be the one to make the schedule. I don’t know if I do it to myself or if this is the situation I have been dealt. I don’t even know what I want to change. But it would be nice to hear I’m not totally alone.

    • Paige,
      I can understand what you are feeling. I am also a full-time step-mom. My kids are with me more than they are with their bio-mom.

      She’s never been very helpful with raising them. She picks them up on her days and after she drops them off they are someone else’s problem in her eyes.

      Everyone’s story and situation is different. Just wanted you to hear that you are not alone.

      • Stephanie & Paige,

        Your situations are similar to mine. It is draining at time and overwhelming – it is at times a thankless role. I

        I am struggling right now and ready your stories made me feel less alone.

  8. I guess I am a fortunate step mother in that there is not bio mom around. I love my step son, he is the same age as my so, I do everything for the kids. I don’t mind doing it at all and my husband expects whatever I do for one I do for the other…which is fine with me. The problem comes in that the boys are with me most of the time, so I make a lot of decisions, which again is fine….then enters hubby, he is home from work and wants to be involved, and make decaions, but only for his kid and my son is left out in the cold. I don’t have the luxury for only doing for one kids….I try to point this out to him, but he just does not get it. He gets mad and says “if you don’t want to do for (insert name here) then don’t…..well of course that is not an option when the 2 boys are my responsibility 90% of the time. I am not about to leave one of the boys out of something weather it is a fun outing or chores to do, I strive to treat them equally, but the husband, while he expects it from me, does not play by the same rules.

    • We have had a similar situation, but it is with bio-mom doing for our youngest daughter and not the older 2 boys. In my own experience with this it just leads to a lot of arguing between siblings.

      You might explain to your husband that the kids will notice not being treated equally and it will cause bitterness and resentment between the children. My kids bio-mom takes extra time with our daughter, gives her extra treats, they even have their own private restaurant they eat at every other weekend while she leaves the boys at home.

      Our boys, 10 and 12, noticed this trend about 3 yrs ago. At first they just wondered why they couldn’t go with, but now they are openly upset that the little one gets “special” treatment. Just my .02 on this.

Leave a reply