I have been struggling since last Friday – struggling with my role as a stepmom. I’m mulling this over in my mind. 

First, just trying to process it for my own sake and then wondering if I should write about it.  My fear in writing about it is that I might feel embarrassed or ashamed of these feelings, but I’m going to write so that I DON’T.  I know this is normal and maybe another stepmom can relate. As a side note, I talked with Avery and made sure it was ok to mention her in this.  She’s awesome.  

Last Friday evening, there was a situation between Avery and I – that in reality wasn’t a situation at all, but I made it one.  Following this, I shut her out…for a good 48 hours. I couldn’t look her in the eyes and I avoided any kind of conversation. Great stepmom, right?

The saddest part?  She hadn’t done ANYTHING wrong. I was just hurt. I won’t go into detail about what exactly happened but let me say this:

It is hard being a stepmom.  But not for the reasons you think I’m going to say. 

It isn’t hard because I have crappy stepkids. I have AMAZING stepkids.  I hate the word ‘step’ because, to me, they are just my kids. I wouldn’t trade them for the world and as much as I fought and resisted this role, I can no longer imagine my life without it. 

But it is hard because as a stepmom – you play the role of mom and you do everything a mom does:


You work to help support their life; you feed them, you listen to them, you comfort them,

You discipline them, you do special things with them, take them out on dates, you teach them to cook and clean, you get talked back at, you walk them to school, you help them with homework.

You pray your brains out for them, you worry about them, your heart breaks when their heart breaks, you wake up in the middle of the night for them, you lose sleep over them…all of these things I do, because I am the stepmom.

The hard part is that you play the role of mom, but you don’t get the rewards of mom. You are put in your ‘stepmom’ place.

I was hit with this on Friday.  I can love Avery to death and give her my all…but I will never be her #1 – and nor should I be!!!  Mom and Dad are number 1 and 2 and that is the correct way. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard.

Friday was a situation where I wasn’t chosen…where I was clearly in my #3 spot.  And again, I have told Avery that she did nothing wrong. It is my own heart. I sat there taking it all in realizing that Summer will be the only one who ever reserves her #1 spot for me.  

As a stepmom, you don’t get the school Mother’s Day craft, you don’t get to be with them on Mother’s Day.  You may give advice that they think is good…but then they talk to their mom and what she says is better.

You may want to set down certain boundaries because that is what you think is best, but if mom does it differently then that is the way it will be done.

You don’t even get to parent like you want.  You may give your input on decisions, but as a decision-maker you rank #3 – the stepmom’s ranking. And if you disagree with those decisions, or it isn’t the way you prefer, your life is still altered and you still have to go along with it even though you really had no say.

Sometimes it is hard to be humbled and reminded of my place, of my position.  You don’t get to go dress shopping for special occasions for her or be a part of the nail/hair process because that is mom’s lucky role. AS IT SHOULD BE. All of these things are as they should be. Avery has an AMAZING mom. It is just a tough pill to swallow.  


I could stop there.  I could leave it at that.  But that isn’t the whole picture of a stepmom and I need to remember that. 

As a stepmom, I had the opportunity to apologize to Avery, cry to her and have her hug me and forgive me and tell me she loves me.  On Tuesday, I still had the gift of comforting her and walking through a tough night with her. I got to teach Blake to shave her legs – where is time going??? 

I get to kiss them goodbye 3 times a week at the school gate. I get to pee my pants in stress at the arena watching Blake play in her hockey playoffs…just like all of the other parents.  EVERY SINGLE DAY that Jaden is with us, he is the first to greet me when I come home…to hug me…ask me how my day was and ask if I need help. And his sarcasm….as he lovingly makes fun of me and calls me ‘Nance’.  

So I could focus on the losses…on the rewards missed.  And I am sure some days – maybe a lot of days – I will choose to focus on that.  And my heart will be sad. 

But I hope I brush the tears away so that I can see that I still have my arms full of rewards as a stepmom…especially when they are wrapped around each of my 3 stepkids to say good night.


2 Responses

    1. oh my gosh…I just saw this. thank you for saying something. Sometimes I wonder why I write these things because they are embarrasing. Thanks for messaging me.

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