The Evil Stepmother

Picture your 10 year old kid upset because you (the stepmom) told her that she can’t flat iron her hair every day …. eye roll

“But mommy told me to brush it with this every day and I haven’t been … I let it heat up for 30 seconds and then I can use it “. No additional supplies or direction .. just a flat iron … a 10 year old and a task .

“No”without an explanation will never work for a child .

So, I’ve explained heat damage “…but mommy said”.

I explained how she can protect her hair from heat damage “but mommy said”.

What can be done to maintain the HEALTHY straight hair she wants ……….. “but mommy said”.

I’ll be honest ….being a stepmom is something that has challenged me more than anything I’ve ever faced in life . I can handle a room of 50 children, lead an orientation of 200  but I cringe each time I hear “but mommy said” . Why? because it has the potential to confuse even the sharpest child . Does she listen to me or does she follow “what mommy said”?

With this in mind what should you do?  You take a deep breath and start adulting .

-Explain the ground rules and set the tone for the conversation that will follow .

 “I’m completely open to talking to your mom about you flat ironing your hair so that we can compromise on how often you use it . Until then , you only use it with permission ” .

I can tell she’s not pleased with the outcome but sometimes children need to have more than a task . My explanation addresses the issue but it also sets the tone for the next instance of the flat iron (I’m sure it will come up tomorrow ).  When she’s older I’m sure she’ll look back and understand … but for now …..

Oh boy the world has ended … the evil step mother has spoken .


xoxo – Tilly


16 thoughts on “The Evil Stepmother

  1. Tilly it’s nice to know that I am not the only “evil” step mother on the face of the earth! I totally understand your struggle today it’s flat irons, tomorrow it’s lipstick and next up! BOYS! Kudos to you for respectfully standing your ground!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a job no one ever said in regards to becoming a stepmother, “hmmm, when I grow up I want to be an evil, unwanted, disrespected, unpaid nanny, maid and driving service.” Said no one. Ever. But I’ve learned in almost 10 years as an evil stepmother to two boys, one of whom lives with us 109% of the time, my words mean little when it comes to what the golden uterus, ahem, I mean, their mother says. And I honestly believe that’s how it should be, I understand that she never asked for or wanted another woman influencing her children regardless of how I came to be on the scene. It changes very little while the kids are young. It simply becomes easier to ignore as we get older and wiser. I’ve got stories that would make your hair fall out – at points in time it’s even come close to wrecking my relationship with my husband. But I’ve put my foot down on my boarders and it seems best to just stay clear in every way of her since friendship or even cordiality is out of the question in my case. So sadly unfortunate.
    Keep on keepin on…
    Sister in Stepmommying

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Tilly, I am not a step mommy but I understand the challenge. As a mother of two boys I can tell you – boundaries are everything. You are doing the right thing. You have to set the tone for your relationship or kids in general whether by blood or inherited will run right over you. Hopefully with time things will get better. Best of luck to you 🙂

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  4. I get a stomach ache as I read you because one of the hardest lines to hear is “but mommy said…” I have such a hard time every time I’m treated like I don’t know better or that my opinions or knowledge don’t make a difference (specially when it comes to things like…. psychology–I got two master degrees and still don’t know more than ‘mom’) but I got to the point were I tell them, “okay, this is what I know and I’m sharing it with you…is up to you if you want to use it or not” (I have two teenagers now so I can actually be a little more ‘adultish’ with my talks). Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks ! I agree , I’ve noticed that as long as i stand firm and make the attempt to communicate with her mom, I’m doing my part . We had a rocky start but the boundaries we set early on helped a ton ! I’m almost in the teen years – waiting for those 1 on 1 convos!!


  5. I don’t get “my mommy said,” instead of that I get the actions mommy told them to do. That they do not have to listen to me, that I am lying about having cancer so they should feel free to stress me out, that it’s okay to lie because they are rewarded for lying to us. My husband suffered from Parental Alienation Syndrome as does his 15 year old son. I love the boys, regardless, having been with them for 10 years of their lives. She had a daughter with the person she was cheating on my husband with but she blames him for all of it. I should think the 9 year old 1/2 sister would be a good enough reminder. But children need the love of their mothers or, biologically, there’s a tug within them that pulls them towards even a physically or mentally abusive mother. Without her love and approval, they will literally die inside – we just have not evolved enough to handle the wars of divorce as children. As a child of a divorced family I was raised by my mother – she moved us from New York to South Florida without telling my dad. We saw him rarely and she would punish him for leaving her by filling us with her hatred and sour words. I tell you it took years of therapy to heal myself to only the reminders and scars of the wars of something that’s not your fault, it’s not their fault, is the point. Some day they will realize it wasn’t yours either. For now – boundaries, truth, respect, and try not to put your significant other in the middle of two women who never wanted to know one another but circumstances have foisted together.


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