I Ruined Christmas Day by Making My Stepmom Cry in Front of Everyone
Losing your mom is one of the toughest pains you can go through, and growing up without her is really hard. But even in sadness, we can find a way to rebuild and come back stronger. Blended families can be a big help in getting through tough times. Sometimes they click and help everyone cope, but other times it’s hard to build that bond, and kids might not be able to accept the new setup. The reasons can be different, and in this story, things got worse because of problems that had been brewing in the family for a long time.
She found herself in a situation where she was unsure of how to act.
“The background starts with my mom dying. I (17F) was 11 and my sisters were 16 and 18. Our dad met his second wife a couple of years later (when I was 13).
The expectations for my relationship with her and my sisters were very different. My sisters were expected to be civil, but if they weren’t close, it was no big deal. But almost everyone (minus my sisters and minus my mom’s family) expected me to see my dad’s wife as some second mother or maternal/parental figure.
They got married when I was 14. My dad’s wife wanted me to divide Mother’s Day between my sisters and maternal side with her. My sisters were not expected to do the same. But she would say she wanted to celebrate the day with her kid.”
“She signed us up for mother-daughter things. She would get hurt when I didn’t want to go and would never ask my sisters. I asked her before why she expected me to do these things with her, but she never invited my sisters. She said she was raising me and wanted to be a motherly presence in my life, but they were grown. I told her (and my dad on separate occasions) that I didn’t want or need and wouldn’t accept someone else into that kind of figure. I was ignored.
I had a small run-in with my sisters when dad was getting married because I said he shouldn’t, and they said he should be allowed to move on and mom would want him happy. When I explained what was going on, they realized why I was feeling that way. They tried talking to dad, but it did no good.
My dad’s side of the family would all make comments that I was lucky to have another mother figure, or that I didn’t seem to give her the care and consideration she deserved. They would ask why I seemed to spend no time with her of my own free will. Or why I was never loving toward her.”
“My dad told me I should show her more love and affection, and he told me I made her feel left out when I didn’t tell her stuff or when I made plans with others but not her. I know some people would love to have someone like this in their lives. But I want the same relationship my sisters have with her. But more is expected.
So Christmas Day came, and everyone was at our house for Christmas (minus my mom’s family). My dad and his wife gave me a card ‘from my parents,’ and my sisters got it with ‘dad and his wife.’ Then, when it became time for family photos, we got one with the three of us and dad, but then my grandparents wanted me in the family, one with my dad and his wife, but my sisters weren’t expected to be in it. I tried to step out, and my dad’s wife said it wasn’t a family photo without their kid.
This was the point where I lost it, and I told her I was not her kid, she was not my mother figure, that she was my dad’s wife just like she is to my sisters, and I want it to be that way. I said I did not love her and hated how they all treated her, like she suddenly became a parent to me. My sisters were on my side, but my dad was furious, and his wife cried and cried harder as I continued.”
People held strong and passionate opinions about it
- It’s so hard for children... Your mother died, and they act like she was just someone easy to replace. You spent 11 years of your life with her love, her presence, her education... She can’t be replaced! Your stepmother should have given you time to appreciate her.
Most people don’t understand that being a mother is not just being a woman with a child in her life. It’s a process: time, joy, bad moments... Children and parents make that relationship grow with lots of moments, and we do become parents with our children, and we learn from them as much as they learn from us. I don’t know if this woman is a good mother, but she can’t force you to be her daughter as long as you remember your mother.
And the worst for me is the way they get rid of your sisters for not being part of the family!! Wait, what? They are part of your father’s family! More than your stepmother, of course! They are his blood! How can he get rid of them for a family photo?? This part disgusts me so much!! Lyzab77/Reddit
- Your dad and SM are being hugely unfair to you. Both of them need to hear and absorb this. You knew and remember your mother; you don’t need or want to have another forced on you. Comfortable-Sea-2454 / Reddit
- Is there any way you can move in with your sisters or other relatives? You will be 18 soon; try to be civil before a separate living arrangement is made. Good-Tangerine-988 / Reddit
- Maybe if they hadn’t pushed you, you might have had a better relationship. Like they excluded your sisters from this ’new family’ not just in expectations but in life and photos too. At 13, when you originally met, you were old enough to decide if you wanted that type of relationship with her. They’re marrying a year later doesn’t mean you automatically view her or that she becomes someone she’s not. You have sisters and a maternal side of the family, too, so it’s not like you are lacking support, influence, or whatever a motherly figure is to you.
They most likely seized on you being ’their’ child because your sisters were out of the house. If they had listened to you and your sisters the multiple times you have told them about their expectations, then no one would have blown up or ended up in tears. This isn’t just their fault, though; it’s on your dad’s side, too. They’ve gone along with it for the past 4 years, too. Adorable-Reaction887 / Reddit
- She just waltzed in and decided you belonged to her as some sort of accessory without a mind of your own at 11 years old. Never mind letting a child grieve or come to terms with everything. You’ll be able to move out soon and start your own life, and then decide if it’s worth it to have these people around who decided to steamroll right over your emotions and guilt you for not playing the part they assigned you. I hope you’re able to access some therapy soon, OP, and I’m sorry for everything you went through. Brittaya / Reddit
Stories like this often lead to family divisions, but being a step-mom is not always an easy role to fulfill.