Dear Stepmoms

This is not going to be a popular post since most of the letter writers here so far are stepmothers, but I am a bio mom. And for all of us bio moms out there, I have to write this letter. Please, stepmoms, consider how difficult it must be for us to send our children off to be raised part time by someone we don’t know. Please remember that we carried our children in our bellies, were ill, went through the agony of childbirth, worried sick about them as they grew. Please remember that when we divorced, we felt horrible because we knew that our decisions would affect our children for the rest of their lives. Please understand the guilt…my God, the guilt, we feel that we have hurt our babies. If you don’t have kids you simply can’t understand the depth of the feelings. That’s not a slam it’s just the truth.

Please, please, please be kind to my children. I know they are just someone else’s children to you, but they are my heart. Every time I send them out the door to you, it breaks my heart just a little bit more.

Please. I beg you, be kind to them. Be understanding.



~ by Jacquelyn Fletcher on March 26, 2009.

23 Responses to “Dear Stepmoms”

  1. This is an interesting letter, I have to say.
    Sure, there are many biomoms that are caring and that are heartbroken to have their children cared for by “some random woman,” but many biomoms just aren’t that way. “Please understand the guilt…my God, the guilt, we feel that we have hurt our babies.” My stepdaughter’s mom may feel guilt over “hurting her baby,” but at the same time, I question if this is true. Why question? Because of the way she treats her daughter: like dirt. Her actions toward her daughter would surely express remorse if there was any.
    Not all biomoms are good; not all stepmoms are bad.

    “If you don’t have kids you simply can’t understand the depth of the feelings. That’s not a slam it’s just the truth.”
    I know that no offense was intended, but… I am offended. We’re people, too; we have feelings, too. We don’t feel any less emotion just because our uteri haven’t performed to “full capacity” yet.

  2. I dont think that was a bad letter at all as long as you respect that the step-mom is helping raising your daughter. Without having to give birth, we are expected to love them, feed them ,care for them, just like a “mom”. You send your child to school for most of their waking hours during the week, and their teacher is in charge of them. When they go to their fathers house, hopefully there will be a step-mother that loves them. We are not trying to replace you, just making a family on this side. I understand your feelings but our Bio Mom does not give me the chance and has teaches the children to disrespect this side of the family.

  3. I am a bio-dad. My kids live mainly with my ex and “the other man” she left me for.

    So in a small way, as a bioparent, I can relate. I believe that men and women tend to feel the connection to children in slightly different ways. However, as a parent, I am can relate to the concern over how our kids are treated.

    Especially when they are being raised under influence of someone we don’t like or dont agree with.

    In any case…. just wanted to say I relate.



  4. Your child(ren)’s stepmother is lucky to have a mom on the “other side” who gives a hoot about her children. Too bad not all of us do. I feel lucky my stepchildren’s mother isn’t as bad as she was, or could be. Makes things easier.

  5. Why don’t you get to know your kids’ stepmom so you don’t feel that your kids are being raised by someone you “don’t know”? Why don’t you get therapy to help you over the guilt so that your kids don’t have to live with a self-deprecating mom anymore? Realize that by getting divorced you are not harming your children so much as giving them the gifts of love and honesty.
    Except in the case of an affair breaking up a marriage, the decision to marry and divorce are made before a stepmom even enters the picture. She is not responsible for the consequences of those decisions.

  6. “I know they are just someone else’s children to you, but they are my heart.”

    They are not just “someone else’s children” they are the children of the man we love. You love your children because they are your children and you gave them life-we love your children because we love their father and they are part of him.

    I have my own children and have had to deal with another woman caring for them. I know it can be hard, but I cannot say how grateful I am that they loved her and she took care of them.

    There is not a place in motherhood for jealousy.

  7. It must be hard for you, surely, but PLEASE don’t be one of those biomoms who makes their children feel horrible about leaving them to see their father and stepmother, my stepkids’ BM will fly into a rage or burst into tears if they show any positive emotion relating to us. She forgets that these are his children too and that he has to live with them being with another step-parent everyday and remember that that man (just like the others) won’t be there for those kids very long.

  8. To say that Stepmoms cannot understand that depth of love and feeling is absurd. To love and care for someone else’s child as if they are you own takes an enormous amount of love, understanding, strength, commitment, and unselfishness.

  9. But what happens when the step-parent is loving, caring, treating your children with respect, teaching them respect…do you as a biological parent recognize this? Often the answer is in, in my case as a stepmom the answer is no, I love her children, I make the best decisions possible for her children, I tuck them in at night, I read to them, I shop with them and I make sure they’re safe and I’m often met with the challenge of ‘you’re not my mom’ and I’m not trying to be their mom, I’m already a mom to my own son but I love my step kids with all my heart…why can’t that be recognized?

  10. A loving step parent is a wonderful thing. My wife is one and my kids think she is wonderful.

    I guess the point is that step-parent relationships are complex because they potentially compete or interfere with the biological parent relationship which is one of the most primal relationships in all of history.

    The groundwork for misunderstanding, jealousy, over-reaction and many other complex emotions is set automatically in most cases where there is a step parent involvement. It is simply a role that exists amidst or on the heels of turmoil and upheaval most often. It is kinda like being a MASH surgeon…. it simply goes with being close to the battle and run the risk of getting hit by stray bullets and mortar shells.

    The battle being the dissolution of the formerly intact family. Which may have included complex, painful, and ongoing issues of the dissovled family that now exists in.

    The step parent is probably a frequently easy target for blame if things go wrong or if blame has to land on someoen. This scapegoat role is simply bound to happen.

    So it is not an easy role to step into. Gratitude and recognition are probably in short supply. I think step parents would be wise to realize that they are signing up for a potentially thankless job.



  11. You say “Please, please, please be kind to my children.” Why wouldn’t we be anything but kind? We love their father and want the best for his children. The question is, will you, can you, be kind to us?

  12. I im a step mom of three girls ages 7,6,and 4 i dont yet have any of my own

    and I can totally feel the pan that a bio mom must feel the insacuaty she must feel having a broken family, sending her heart and soul of to make memoreis with onother woman, its hard and not the way it should be, but now a days it is, and i know I would never ever want to have my bio kids have a step mom I want my kids dad to be my husband,
    I make sure that when my step kids come over they feel at home, they can talk and they do talk all day long about thier mom (in a good way), they make her cards and when they play barbies they always name one of their barbies after her and that great.thats their momy and no one can ever replace her ever,
    now as far as love go’s its diferent in every case. but wither or not i love my step kids as much as their bio mom does it really matter do we need to masure that, but what I can say is i love my step kids with as much depth as i do myself my husband my mom my dad, and I now my biokids when i have some, I love them like they were my own because their a part of my heart and soul (my husband) i see so very much of that wonderful man in them, when me and him die all of are kids (my step and biokids) will get the same portion.

    and no to adreas they gult you are felling, now that your kids will be fine if you make it fine, my mom and dad divorced when i was 2 and it never hurt or even buged me to me that was normal, so if you dont make it a big deal around your kids about it, thell just asume its normal to.

  13. No it is not popular, and yes I am offended

    I mean by your logic adoptive parents or belnded families cannot have the same capacity for love as “real” families.

    My heart bleeds because know that they are able to be with their father and sometimes the Birth Mother uses that for control and to hold on, not being able to MOVE on, we have room for so much love and want to love to the fullest depths his children, a piece of our husbands. We want to work with her to make the situation successful and one day be able to get togethor and laugh at the memories of the children and all that we shared in our bonus family. We carry them in our hearts and souls and pray for them every day, from one woman to another, I understand your pain, we feel it every time something happens or the fact we have smaller room for error, or anything we say or do goes unappreciated, we may not carry them (and BTW, my BM ignored her baby for 9 months in the womb and chained smoked the entire time) but we carry them in our hearts…we strive to make them feel safe in BOTH houses…these children will be the brothers and sisters of our future children (If we choose to do so) and thus a STRONG part of my family…Keep that in mind and be glad that the Stepmother is a big part of your children’s lives..they are not “Someone Else’s” children, they are my family and my heart as well…Accusations and anger does nobody any good.


    A Bonus Mom

  14. I must say that I too am offended. The bio-mom in my situation has always tried her best to manipulate, control and silently sabotage any “closeness”, any time we have. We have chosen to remain calm, not to feed into it, and to not “blast” her. We tried twice and it backfired. My stepdaughter in the end is confused and of course compelled to loyalty with her mom. I love her as my own…I love her not only because of who her dad is, and not because of her siblings on this sides sake. I am hurt and angry that after so much time the bio-mom uses language like the original post “her heart, her feelings, her fear” — I agree with the post that why is it that stepparents or adoptive parents are not viewed as “real”. That is insane — I wait perhaps for the bio-mom to stop — but it never will — the selfish elaborate schemes she goes through to control my stepdaughter. And I mean elaborate. I do not call that trying to be protective, or because of a “certain love that only a bio-mom feels” — I call that down right cruel and malicious and unfortunately — the one who will pay for it all — the confusion the guilt the having “take sides” will be my stepdaughter.



    • in some cases I think in most cases, pepole have kids with pepole they werent Married to, and thus you will inavatably have a blinded family, like mine, and just to note I dont think its real constructive to ripe on her now after the fact

  16. This is by far the most appropriate/helpful/honest post INCLUDING comments on the site. As a Mom and Stepmom, all of the above struck deep chords with me. It’s great that the Mom who wrote the original post cares so deeply for her kid(s). Not all Moms are like that, though. Maybe this Mom fought for custody, but there are Moms who don’t!? The single most aggravating aspect of my “relationship” with my Stepson’s Mom is her having spent his ENTIRE life throwing him away to chase after a man (actually men) that so publicly (and consistently) cared so little for her (while also making a complete fool of her). Even more frustrating is that man being the guy (and former friend?) that she left her ex (my husband) for. What’s worse is that she has obviously always had a much harder time accepting me into her ex’s life, as opposed to the life of her OWN CHILD and her constant stalking/chasing/throwing herself at my husband (the one she left, after cheating on several times, for his friend).What bothers me most is not some fear or jealousy about her, but how sad it is for her children. How can she not realize that acting in such a way will hurt her and her children more than anyone else?

  17. FINALLY! A letter about what the MOM goes through and the pain of having to share her children with another woman. I am so sick of all the boohooing of all these stepmothers. You married a man with children. What did you expect??? You were forced upon the MOM and her kids. We didn’t ask for or want this. We don’t know you, what your morals are, what you will be teaching our kids. Our world has completely been turned upside down and you cry about how unappreciated and difficult your life is?!?!?!?!? Now you push your way into my kids lives and I have no choice but to let a stranger partially raise my kids. Where is the outrage, support, help for us MOMs?

  18. Excuse You?

    Mothers get support all the time…this is support FOR THE OVERALL FAMILY UNIT….No you MAY not have asked for it (then again you may be one of those selfish women who boo-hooed about what a drag your lifestyle was…”I am woman hear me whine”) but you KNOW WHAT???????????? SOME Stepmoms DO NOT DESERVE THE ABUSE AND DISRESPECT WE GET EITHER….. (Just like some Bio Moms do not deserve the disrespect and abuse)

    We all have different mothering styles…we all have different things to teach the kids and in the end it will be the CHILDREN that prosper from love from ALL…….

    Read “Nobody’s The Bitch”

    Get off the cross


    • Janice- you havin proven what 99% of bio moms out there are like. Thank you. It is just that with which us step parents have to deal with. Please find some joy in your life.

  19. First let me say I am a step-mom of 3 children that live with myself and my husband 50% of the time.
    Secondly, I think that there has to be room for both Bio and Step Mom’s feelings and fears.
    As stepmoms we are in a strange situation; we are essentially helping to raise another woman’s children. We (well the good ones) do all of the “Mothering” while the children live in our home. Yet instead of being praised or thanked for all the hard work and emotional turmoil we are just expected to do it or are hated and put-down by the Bio-mom for doing our best for her children.
    On the flip side I am certain that no woman has children expecting to partner with a ‘stranger’ to raise them. Different than a teacher in the sense that this woman does everything you do for your child. How uncomfortable this must make you.

    Both of these instances are sure to raise some insecurity and fear.
    The gift that we owe each other as the women who are influencing these children is that of understanding. Understanding of the feelings these invoke in ourselves and the other woman.
    Now let me be the first to say that this is not easy and I unfortunately do not have a positive relationship with the Bio-mom, although I have tried. I am just saying if we all try to have a little bit of understanding of the others feelings perhaps we could start working together for the sake of the kids instead of working against each other for the sake of ourselves.

  20. I am in both places, Bio Mom and Stepmom. Janice’s comment seems to stem from insecurity and jealousy – issues she needs to work on herself in order to be healthy for herself and her children. Events like divorce and remarriage present tough challenges and character tests for people like Janice.
    Look at it this way – be the best parent you can to your children and you wont have to worry about the insecurity of another woman or man in their lives because noone can replace you as their mom/dad – expect the stepparent to respect your role as the biological parent and be good to your children – and be thankful when they do..its all we can legitimately ask for – our ex’s are going to move on, can you really expect them not to? should they expect you not to? no, thats ridiculous – so be glad when they’ve moved on with someone who’s good to your children, as opposed to someone who will mistreat them. Think about the children first, and a huge weight will be lifted from you.

  21. My grandaughters dad and his new wife tried to take custody of my grandaughter. My daughter however is a wonderful mother, but had to fight the numerous lies told by dad, due to his vindictiveness, and not accepting his infidelity issues. New step mom and her family have made my daughter feel like she is a villain when around her and the child, new step mom has no children, we however would like a good relationship for the child’s benefit, but refuse to be treated as such.

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