7 Reasons Not to Hate Your Child’s Stepmom

BY: - 20 Sep '13 | Marriage

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When I found out my daughter’s dad moved on, I was devastated.  It felt like someone stabbed me in the back and the heart at the same time. I yearned to pick up the phone and call her—the other woman who later became the wife. I wasn’t sure what I would say, but I was sure that the sentences would be filled with four-letter words.

I didn’t dial a single digit. Although a blow up would blow off steam, it could be detrimental to my daughter. Did I want a woman who was mad at me to watch my child unsupervised? Did I want a woman to look at my princess as something other than an adorable, innocent bystander? Even if she didn’t become the evil stepmom portrayed on television, I didn’t want to give her a reason to not cherish my child. I admit—at first I didn’t want a woman I never met around my daughter. Then, I swallowed a very big pill—I’m pretty sure with a very big glass of wine. I cannot control who comes into my daughter’s life. I had to trust God. If this woman loved my ex, she would love his child, right? Fortunately, she has!

I shared my story with my friend Deesha Phillywaw, author of Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce. We talked about how to spin the stepmother story into a positive portrayal. I told her, that I think I may get along better with the wife than the ex. We laughed and came up with 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Hate Your Child’s Stepmother.

1. She gets a set of keys to the carpool.

Heather: I co-parent across state lines, so my daughter’s stepmother helps with the driving. It’s a long haul, so I no longer worry that my ex will fall asleep at the wheel.  I say a prayer, and they arrive safely!

Deesha: People sometimes ask me how I really feel about my kids’ stepmom. After I affirm that I don’t just like her, I embrace her as a family member, I add…‘And even if I didn’t like her, she’s another person to drive these kids around!’ Sometimes my co-parent can’t chauffeur our kids to school and to activities, so I welcome this additional driver with open arms!

2. She shuts the revolving door of women who come in and out of your child’s life.

Heather: I hear so many horror stories of men brining home women they wouldn’t introduce to their mother but would let babysit their children. I don’t think my ex would do that, but knowing my daughter won’t be opening and closing the revolving door at their home is a sigh of relief.

Deesha: My kids never met anyone their dad dated except the person he eventually married. I am so thankful that she has been a positive and a constant in their lives. Fewer women—or in this case, one woman, meant less chance for drama and less adjusting for our children. Also, my ex and I agreed that we would give each other the opportunity to meet any new partners before they met the kids.


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  • Missy

    What a breath of fresh air! I want to plaster this article all over the place to let people know that there is a mature manner of handling blended families. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Dr. Pamela Trotter

    I really loved this article. Coparenting really does require the stepparents to be intimately involved. I’m doing a study on single moms’ experiences with coparenting. Email me at singlemomstudy1@gmail.com if interested.

  • Sean Fletcher

    I want to give a shout out to my daughters stepdad Charles Branyley. He has been there for my daughter when I couldn’t be. I am so grateful that she has him in her life! Although, i wish it were me I am still glad that she has someone to look up to and protect her.

  • http://Www.stepwithlove.org Janice Love

    This is my life. So much so I have written a book about it and we have a stepfamily ministry that helps other stepfamilies. http://www.stepwithlove.org
    By the way, I adore my children’s stepmom. I called her my extra wife. Every divorced woman with children deserves to have someone in their children’s life who enhances what could be a horrible situation. Check out my book. “One Plus One Equals Ten: A First Lady’s Survival Guide for Stepmoms”. Available on amazon.
    Janice R Love

  • http://Wordpress Petronella

    How then do I handle the situation of a child born out of infidelity. I want to be a part of her life and other mom though its painful because my husband is her dad the other woman and family always calls him even in the middle of the night. I just want to be supportive and show that I love him despite everything else.

  • Chamira

    This article gives me hope. I am a step mom and love my step children and hope with time their mother will realize that I only have their best interest at heart.

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