My Role as a Stepmother, as defined by the Golden Uterus

When I started to date DH and spend time with the skids, BM asked a million questions about me and pushed to meet me. She said it was so she would know who was spending time with her children, that seemed reasonable enough, although DH had never met a single one of the many men BM had in and out of the children’s life. That was private, that was her business, yet, who he dated, was a parenting issue. As we got more serious, she got more and more intrusive, going so far as to snoop through DH’s things during the drop-offs and reading personal correspondence between the two of us. I began to feel more and more violated as this woman grilled my boyfriend about our  relationship on a daily basis, and when he did not share information with her, she threatened to deny him access to the kids, stating that since DH was hiding things from her, it was clear that I was not the kind of person who should be around her kids. Once again she  ignored the fact that she had frequent overnight guests in her home, including a married man she was having an affair with.
My role as stepmother was to be a window in which to peer into DH’s private life.
BM began to communicate more and more how fun it was going to be to have me as the stepmother. She said she needed more female friends, she didn’t have many. She said she and  the kids could use a shopping buddy, she expected that she and I would become best friends. She had no idea how intrusive she was being. She had no clue that she was not the person who would define the relationship I would have with my step kids, the step kids and I would define that. At that time,  I had no idea how much of a role I even wanted to play in their lives, but I certainly did not want to sit around and braid BM’s hair while we swapped recipes and stories about boys. At no point could she see that I was not dating DH to be with her. She completely felt that I should be some sort of sister to her. A little sister at that, as she would dictate and control everything we did, and I was to look up to her and idolize her. She did give birth to DH’s children, after all and to love them, is to love and worship HER.
My role as a stepmother was to be her biggest fan and to idolize her.
It got old really fast and I never played along. I was friendly, but I avoided interacting with her, and DH started to work on saying “No” regularly and setting up boundaries with her.
 She began to call DH as often as 10 times a day, insist on face to face meetings with him “about the children” multiple times per week and make Internet posts about me at a website we both frequented.  She would to use me as her back-up free babysitter when DH was working out of town and at the same time,  post that I was using her children in order to trick DH into falling in love with me. She liked me, but wondered if it was okay to allow her children to spend time with me. She would often post this type of thing while I was babysitting.
My role as a stepmother was to work for her.
After DH and I married, BM’s insecurities took control of her mind and actions. She emailed both Dh and I many times during the course of any given day, continued to call DH until he told her she would cost him his job (and her child support) if she did not stop calling during business hours, she began to be snotty to me and make digs at me when she came to pick up the kids. She began to complain to me that she had lost her best friend in DH and she was struggling. She often tried to visit with me and use me as her dumping ground. She expressed that she had no issues with me being a mother figure, and she was my biggest support in that  and she needed my husband to be as supportive in HER role as the mother as he was in mine. She asked me to tell DH that he should be there for her in the ways he was there for me.
My role as the stepmother was to reunite BM and my husband.
As she got more frustrated with the situation, as she lost more and more control of my husband she would swing from depressed to irate. Her calls and emails became these long diatribes about what a good person she was, what a bad person DH was. She began to badmouth DH and I to the skids. She began to make strange rules for them to follow in our home. I  actually started interacting with her more, first attempting to calm her down, then to  set boundaries. I began to cut her off at the pass and DH and I made stricter rules as to how often we interacted with her as well as  the nauture of these interactions, as she was always abusive and combative. She was offended when I would set up a boundary, such as “please do not let yourself into my home.” She countered with a declaration that if the mother was not given an open door policy in our  home, then the children would suffer severe emotional consequences and that DH and I would ‘pay’ for such an abusive rule. The children would never forgive us, that was for sure. We’d be sorry.
My role as the stepmother was that of an enemy she had to conquer.
We come to today. BM despises me and despises DH. She blames us for everything wrong in her life, openly badmouths us to the kid, lies in every single interaction and communication and is hysterical all of the time. She has always acted this way, the difference is that now, she makes no effort to hide it. I honestly don’t think she CAN hide it as she has completely lost the ability to control her emotions and her mouth. She is in a bad marriage, broke and her children describe her as ‘angry all of the time.’ Gone are the days when she was the center of the world, when she could make DH listen to her talk about her sex life and her break-ups, gone are the days he would bail her out financially, give her a place to hang out and do everything she asked no matter how much he hated it, because it was “for the kids.” DH came to realize none of it was ever for the kids, none of anything she did and said then, and nothing she does now are for the kids. BM’s rage is so complete she is now blinded by it. She is furious at this reality and does not accept it. Either DH and I are to be her biggest fans and to live to love her, or we are devils from hell. BM no longer acknowledges I exist and goes out of her way to direct all communication to DH. If she cannot control me, I do not exist. When DH last spoke to her she screamed at him “SM is NOT to mother MY children! She is NOT part of their lives!”
My role as a stepmother is to be invisible.
Throughout this I have remained the same private, steady person I was in the beginning. I still avoid her, I still would rather see a proctologist with a hangnail than run into her, I still find her to be obnoxious, controlling and dishonest. My opinion of her has not changed and my treatment of her has not changed. There are a few more boundaries, and she has burned every bridge she ever had with me, she’s out of second chances, but I remain- me.
The role I play as a stepmother has also not changed in my home and in the lives of my stepchildren. I remain the person who cooks, cleans, fixes hair and helps them figure out some of the hard things in life– just like I did in the beginning.
In the mind of the Golden Uterus, my role changes and is defined by her. In spite of her beliefs– to my step kids, I am the same person I always was. To my husband, I am the same. To me, my role remains the same. 
I am sure in time, when the wind changes direction or her newest mood swing hits my role will change again in her mind.
The truth is,  I define my role as a stepmother, not BM. I decide what kind of mother or stepmother I will be based on what is truly in the best interest of our family.  My role never changed, in spite of BM’s trying to hold back the tide. She has no control over who I am and the kid of parent I am. She does not dictate my level of involvement, love or even heartache I endure based on her current life situation and her belief that because she gave birth to the kids, they are not individuals, but an extension of her.

1 Comment

  1. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Stacey Derbinshire

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