A Stepmother’s Bill of Rights
1. I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times. Between Rey and I, yes, this is true no one can have a say in our relationship but us. With the children we have together this is true, but it’s just not a reality with my step children because they are also apart of their mother’s family and she does have a say as well.
2. People outside the immediate family – including ex-wives, in-laws and adult children – cannot make plans that affect my life without my consent. If you believe this your panties will be in a bunch quite a bit! Because you partially share your family now, I am not on the phone with Rey and his ex when decisions need to be made, therefore he has to check with me before hand, rearrange our plans, or make another phone call.
3. I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits. In the beginning I was okay with this they were not my responsibility, but when we decided to move in together and become a family, then we were making a decision to parent together in our home and had to set some rules for the child whom lived in our home. Now they are both our responsibility 90% of the time and they have to follow our house rules.
4. I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay. If consulted mean told-yes, especially if you are going through the courts. If you’re not going through the courts and your hubby/ex do not have a great relationship than its going to be a nightmare. Thankfully we did get into the courts early and get it legally sorted out. It was not the outcome we wanted, but at least there were not anymore threats. Both children now live with us.
5. I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly. This is really up to how you and your husband describe fairly. Everyone in our home is responsible for some household tasks because it’s our home, and we are all responsible for it. 🙂
6. I will be consulted regarding all family financial matters. Two words-child support. In our case, its court ordered and we have the children and still pay child support because we have to hire a lawyer to undo the original court order and rewrite a new one.
7. Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission. We are talking about children here-right, and children do not do this…LOL Com’on Really!
8. I will never be treated as an “outsider” in my own home. As long as you are the one calling out the consequences, setting the boundaries, and enforcing the rules you will be treated as the bad guy/ememy/outsider by your children and your stepchildren (sometimes). As far as the word outsider goes…and what I think the person who wrote this meant was: they married a man whom had a family and she did not therefore coming into his family with his kids she felt like she was treated as an outsider. I would have to go back to when Rey and I were dating and the children’s mother hated me (in my opinion, I do not feel that way today)-it made it difficult to bond with the children in the beginning because they saw her display it and I felt like they were scared to like me. In my case only making time for bonding and building trust will fix this.
9. My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect. Of course, I completely agree-everyone should be treated with respect.
10. Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together. I completely agree again, but harder to do than said.
There is no doubt about it being a stepmother is HARD! But it is not only hard for the stepmother, its hard on the father, the ex, and especially hard on the children.
Please feel free to way in on this. 🙂