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Stepmother’s Bill of Rights

February 5, 2007

I found the following on The Wicked Stepmom’s blog and thought it was a good creed for all stepmothers out there.  Some pieces of it are obviously more delicate than others, but all in all, it’s a pretty good foundation.  If adhered to with love and respect on both sides, perhaps it could solve many of the problems we stepfamilies face.

Stepmother’s Bill of Rights  

  1. Our marriage is our first priority, and we will address all issues together.
  2. I will be part of the decision-making process in my marriage and family at all times.
  3. People outside the immediate family – including ex-wives, in-laws and adult children – cannot make plans that affect my life without my consent.
  4. I will not be responsible for the welfare of children for whom I can set no limits.
  5. I must be consulted about which children will live with us, when they can visit and how long they will stay.
  6. I will not be solely responsible for housework; chores will be distributed fairly.
  7. I will be consulted regarding all family financial matters.
  8. Others may not violate my private space at home, nor take or use my possessions without my permission.
  9. I will never be treated as an “outsider” in my own home.
  10. My husband and stepchildren must treat me with respect.

40 Comments leave one →
  1. July 28, 2007 5:13 pm

    I’ve seen this, too. It’s hilarious!

    great blog!


  2. July 28, 2007 5:20 pm

    Let me rephrase my last comment (assuming it went through which maybe it didn’t).

    The fact that that stepmoms or any stepparent for that matter should have to ask for this kind of treatment just seems beyond comprehension to the point of comical.

    I could not agree more with most of the rights; however, it’s like asking that another gender or race have its own bill of rights. If you parent, you’re a parent regardless of the biology of it.

    • sarah permalink
      May 8, 2011 12:50 pm

      “If you parent, you’re a parent regardless of the biology of it.”
      Not when the husband, the kids or the biological mom puts barriers in your way. Its a very dynamic situation. Its not the same when its your own child.

      • family memeber permalink
        November 10, 2011 5:52 am

        What about the wicked Step Mothers?

      • November 10, 2011 8:36 am

        Hi there – sounds like you have an ugly situation on your hands, too. I’m sorry you’ve had to deal with less than ideal behavior from the stepmother in your life. Hopefully you can find an outlet for your frustration, and support for the kiddos, until things improve.

  3. July 28, 2007 8:10 pm

    Erin – It’s true, isn’t it? It is beyond comprehension and, yet, stepparenting is some sort of second class for a lot of us out there. I completely agree on the “you’re a parent regardless of the biology of it,” but courts certainly don’t see it that way… not yet. And most bio-moms absolutely don’t see it that way and probably never will.

    It’s my goal to have folks see stepparenting for what it is… another person who loves these kids. I don’t want to be an interloper, or take away anyone else’s rights, but I certainly do want to be treated with respect in my own home. I don’t want to be treated like a second-class citizen, and I don’t want my life dictated by my husband’s ex-wife. We’re getting there. I think we have more understanding in my marriage than there are in many out there. It’s a journey.

    I hope this Bill of Rights helps other stepparents say, “Yeah, that’s how it should be.”

    Thanks for your comments.

  4. July 29, 2007 11:39 pm

    Those are interesting “bill of rights” Thank you for sharing!

  5. noosh permalink
    August 12, 2007 11:30 am

    i’m new here and don’t have that much information.Is this bill of rights something legal and real or is just something that we want to be?
    Thank you

  6. Nellie permalink
    August 17, 2007 7:22 am

    I like it…I’m in my first year of stepmotherhood, and even before this became ‘official’, I realized the need to make clear that my life would not be dictated by my husband’s ex-wife. Now I’m working on the private space, kids involved in housework, and feeling like I’m a fully integrated member of the household issues. It ain’t easy, but it’s certainly an opportunity for growth!

  7. Jeannette permalink
    September 8, 2007 1:57 pm

    I am so glad I found ya’ll! I’ve felt like I’ve been going cazy with reading all the bs out there about me having to be a secondary parent (not primary like the kids’ legalparents)or a babysitter,……. it all has made me felt trapped and doomed to be Mary Poppins or Cinderella and even question if I made the best decision.

    I am so glad to find other women who are approaching their family as THEIR FAMILY! 🙂 As I have expressed to their bio-mom (via email ofcourse, after she stated the she and my husband are “the parents” and that I am the “step-parent”): am I expected to care less, love less, think about them less, do less for and with them….. because I am not bioloically related to them and have no legal rights concernin them? It feels as though our culture (still! in 2007!) DOES expect this.

    Anyways, thank you again!

    Staying warm in Alaska~ Jeannette

  8. September 8, 2007 3:00 pm

    @Nellie, Noosh and Jeannette – I’m glad you all landed here, too. It’s a tough gig, this stepmom thing. Support is paramount. Hang in there, I’m sure you’re doing a great job, and the kids need you to be a loving and stable force in their lives. There is absolutely NO crime in caring for your family, regardless of how that family came to be. And Jeannette, I’m jealous. We absolutely adored Alaska. I can’t wait to go back!

  9. cryssy permalink
    October 11, 2007 11:02 am

    I think that this should also be added to the stepmom’s bill of rights.

    It does not matter who has been in the childs life longer we should be treated like equals.

  10. February 2, 2008 2:31 pm

    I have read this on your blog but wanted to add a comment, in particular about this one:

    “I will never be treated as an “outsider” in my own home.”

    I don’t believe I should be treated as, or act like, an outsider outside the home either. Whether everyone involved likes it or not, I am a part of my significant other’s life, and the children’s life; when the kids ask me to attend an event, when they want me to share something with them, I will not shrink back like my participation is only halfway. No, my whole heart is there, and therefore my person will be too. And why?

    Because the kids asked me to be. Enough said, for me.

  11. April 1, 2008 9:04 am

    Out of respect for the facts and the omnipotent & omnipresent force of human nature, our daughters had better be armed with the truth about the too high cost of step-mothering. A healthy dose of selfishness yields better returns for both the step-mom and the kids as well as the marriage. They are investing in something with an almost 100% guarantee of no return on their investment. Talk, Talk, Talk, -all of it. Keep it real. Step fathering takes the most honest and realistic approach: “those are your kids and they re your business, tend to it! My time, money, resources, emotions won’t be used for your agenda or your business. I will treat your kids with love and respect, but I wont’ be used.”

  12. SUZANA permalink
    June 16, 2008 7:04 am


    • mickey permalink
      May 16, 2012 8:04 am

      Suzana, your not marrying the ex-wife. Why do you need to spend 3 hours with her? It’s perfectly fine to have a relationship to the extent of the children involved, but beyond that, I would say if your future husband feels you need to be “interviewed” by this woman, then he obviously cares for her opinion a bit too much and mistrusts his own.

  13. Dennis Scheffer permalink
    March 20, 2009 3:17 pm

    Hi,my fiance has three children and I have custody of both my children we started seeing each other five years ago she owns her own house and everything inside as well she doesn’t make her kids do anything my kids I make do chores we moved in together and I always feel like I am on egg shells her oldest 2 sons were living down stairs in the two bedrooms with their girl friends which I didn’t agree on that they did but again it was here house
    I put alot of labor into the house,new kitchen,new floors throughout big addition on her shed,painting so on and so forth
    my oldest son I gave my furniture to as he got his own place my youngest one is slow and she is always on him she is quick to point out his faults but when I say something to her children her children run to her and she yells at me instead of backing me
    thus her kids show me no respect and she tells me I need to change I paid for two years her mortgage and lights every month while living there she then asked me to move out and get my own place which I did and had to start all over again then three days later she realized that when I told her”the kids win”it hit a nerve and now wants me to move back in but I have a years lease
    and I refuse to break the lease she also wants me to sign a prenup as she feels my children should have no rights to anything of hers I sit here and ponder her sons are 24 and 22 and her daughter is 17 and she allows her daughters boyfriend in her bedroom lights out all cuddled under the blankets watching TV
    I know she is not my daughter but if she was the boyfriend wouldn’t even know what her bedroom looked like am I wrong Ladies?I am a guy who went through a Divorce I didn’t want and fought for my two sons as they asked me to and quiet frankly I would of anyway I put this out there should I run?I am at witts end I am not perfect and never claimed to be,I told her along time ago I never wanted her house as it should be sold if a life together is what she wanted and we build our own foundation as equals…plz write

    • family memeber permalink
      November 8, 2011 10:00 am

      There are wicked Step Mothers out there. I know because my Grand Children have one. My wife also had a wicked Step Mother when she was growing up. No all Step Mothers are nice. Some thrive on causing problems with in the family!

  14. Ellie permalink
    May 11, 2009 4:04 pm

    I love this. I am a full custodial mom to a daughter and a stepmom to 3 boys as well as having a daughter with my husband. Being a stepmom has been so much harder than being a mom. As a mom I don’t get questioned as a step mom it’s a whole different story although I am not sure why. At MY house I am the only mom. However my step sons mother only works against us on that. It isn’t always easy, but it is getting better finally after 5 years.

  15. FrustratednTexas permalink
    August 7, 2009 12:27 pm

    I have been a stepmom for a little over a year.My step-daughter is 7 and we have a good relationship,however her mother hates me.She is angry because the child likes me, so she tries to poison her opinion of me.My husband is a financial dad only.When he and the mother lived together she would not allow him to be very involved in the childs activities or involved with her care.Note:they were both “OLDER” when they conceived this child.He is at the age where he does not have much patience for little children.Therefore when she comes to visit EVERY 1ST,3RD,& 5TH WEEKEND OF THE MONTH,all her time is basically spent with me.I have raised 3 children who are 25,20,&18.I was a young mother.It is my opinion that they both lack parenting skills. The child’s behavior has become so bad because of the mother’s influence, that I have started to back away and limit my involvement with her on the weekends.I provide her with what she needs but nothing extra. I feel guilty but I cant allow the mother and the child to treat me like dirt.

    • mickey permalink
      May 16, 2012 8:18 am

      I am the stepmother of 2 wonderful girls, well, women now, as they are 19 and 21. But still to this day, their mother doesnt like me because I have a good relationship with them. But I also think it goes a bit beyond that. Perhaps a resentment of sorts that he is happy and loved with me, where he wasn’t with her. She doesnt want him, but doesnt want him to have anyone either. And frankly, I think that is the case with many of the “bio-moms”. It’s as though to them it’s bad enough the kids like us, but the husbands acually do too! Oh my! This cant be! And to all the “step” haters out there, I would like for you to know as well, that while, yes, there are “evil” step-monsters out there, there are equally evil bio-moms as well. Not all of us deserve the stereotype. Some of us have bent over backwards to make these kids feel loved and have made sure they understand that the demise of their parents relationship was of no fault of their own. That they haven’t lost a parent, but rather gained more family and love. And while nobody gets married and has children acually thinks they will be divorced and remarried, it happens. We get that we will never be their mother, and most of us dont try to take that place. But we do deserve to be treated with respect and not as though we are mere outsiders that just happen to be married to dad.

      • Larry permalink
        May 16, 2012 9:07 am

        There are some wicked step-moms. My Daughter had to go to court to get custody and child support. My Daughter’s Ex and his new wife tried to prove my Daughter unfit to raise her children. They just made idiots out of themselves because it didn’t work. The Judge saw what they were doing. My Daughter only wanted help with the children and that’s all. The Step-Mom degraded my Daughter numerous times in front of my grand children and even called her a train wreck in the Court room.. The woman my Daughter’s Ex married got pregnant the first night they met at a bar. This is the second time she has trapped a man. My Daughter’s Ex’s mother still doesn’t believe it is his child.

  16. FrustratedNTexas permalink
    August 15, 2009 3:13 pm

    On our last visitation,my stepdaughter cried and screamed all night.her father was not home because he works shift work.She said over and over.I want my mommy and she proceded to get louder and louder.I ignored it at first thinking that if I didnt give her an audience she would stop.Eventually I had to address it if I was going to get any sleep.I explained to her that I would not allow her to scream all night and if she didnt like visiting or if she was unable to sleep alone,perhaps she should let her mother know and maybe she would let her stay at home.You see her mother allows her at the age of 7 to sleep in the bed with her even though, She has her own room.So when she comes to our home, she expects to sleep in between me and my husband. I think that is highly inappropriate. She says and does inappropriate things (for a 7 year old)because she is allowed to sit in the company of adults and listen to adult conversations.I am trying my best to teach the child social skills, it is just very difficult when her bio mom does not set any rules for her to follow. I love my stepdaughter very much and pray for a solution to his problem.

  17. August 31, 2009 11:47 pm

    Hiya, just found your blog through a link from dragonflymama’s blog. Loving the Bill of Rights! I’m a stepmum blogger from the UK, have one SD10 and seriously nutty BM so I’m soooo happy to discover all the stepmum bloggers out here in cyberspace! Would love to read the rest of your blog.
    WickedSteppie x

  18. Violette permalink
    November 11, 2009 4:11 pm

    I gave up finally on trying to get any respect from the kids, their mother, grandmother, the step dad, ect. I am anxiously awaiting the end of child support so that my husband and I can buy a house. This sounds callous I know…..but if I told you what I had been through you would understand.

    I go on without guilt, knowing that I did not create this mess, and that even though I tried to help, noone appreciated my efforts (except my husband) and that some messes will always be just that.

  19. Liz permalink
    December 29, 2009 6:48 pm

    Hello all! I just walked into being a stepmom of a sweet innocent 2 year old whos mom is a mess! She violates court orders regarding my husbands visitations, accuses us of having somethng going on at our house to make my step daughter not want to come over, cancels visitations for two weeks in a row, etc… It is ridiculous! Just tonight we had to have the cops come and let her know she is violating the court order by not letting the little girl go with us and she said “my attorney is on top of it” and when I said the little girl is upset and won’t go with us because we havent seen her in two weeks the mom told me “it’s none of your business” but the mom had no problem before telling me what my step daughter likes to eat and other helpful info. I do not get it. Why do moms feel it is ok to put their children through this mess?

    • Liz permalink
      January 27, 2010 11:06 am

      Your story is about as close as I’ve read to mine. I don’t understand why the Bio Mom puts the kids (2 boys) thru the mess. I was a single parent for 15 years, and my daughters dad remarried many times. I got to know evey new wife and extended friendship because they would be spending time with my daughter. I didn’t want my daughter to suffer. I wanted her to feel loved,and I wanted the current step mom to call me first if anything happened to my child. I finally re-married and my husband’s X weilds her boys like weapons, I’ve seen them lie on the floor and cry when she is screaming at them over the phone to tell me to leave our home. It’s heart wrenching. How can a mother do that to her kids? It’s been over 5 years now and I’ve tried to be-freind her for the kids sake… there’s just no possibility of peace. I figure she must be very scared, and insecure… why else would she do these things. I just want to assure her that I’m not a threat, but she won’t even talk to me. She calls me names when no one is around and sends me ugly things at Christmas, like used oven mits and torn pillows and notes that say “I hope you learn the reson for the season”. To me that’s a very sad, lonely and scared person. She knows nothing about me, but attacks me… fear of the unknown…. very sad. I keep praying for her that one day she’ll find peace.

  20. Jeanette Roscoe permalink
    February 23, 2011 5:49 pm

    OMG Where do I begin. My husband & I won partial custudy of his son. The bio-mom filed nonetheless & lost last year. Now she has been a toatl horror, especpecially where my step son’s (son) education concerned. I have been with this boy since he has been 6mths old. He is now 7. She states I did not “pop” him out, I have no rights, between her & my husband,ect ect.ect….yet like many others I am the one bathing, feeding, clothing supporting, homework, lunches, parent conferences….the bio mom gets him every other weekend, when he gets back he is angry, & has an attitude with me….my gosh, why do we step moms go through so much with our “children” the bio moms shoukld be happy the children are well provided for, happy, safe,loved,well cared for & consistant. What more could a mother ask for for her child…buuuuttt ooohhhh noooo not these bio moms…..what can I do??????????

  21. katy permalink
    May 23, 2011 9:01 pm

    I am a stepmom to a 7 and 5 year old and then a bio mom to a 6 yr old.My Step kids let me know they hate me and i treat them like dirt. Yet I am the one who takes them to doctors stay home with them when they are sick. Make every sports event and show at every school event. I have yet to see their mom there at any of these places. Also they live in another town where I go and get them all the time. My husband is on my side with me parenting “mom style” when they are with us but they go home and lie excessively about what happens when they are here. I hate that my husband has to deal with her yelling because the kids lie. We have them every weekend but come monday we have to deal with the stress of the ex-wife calling and yelling. What should I do? I love these kids like my own and would do anything for them and have.

    Stressed in Oklahoma

  22. tamathaa permalink
    June 10, 2011 5:30 am

    Love it!!! Agreed!

  23. family memeber permalink
    November 8, 2011 9:32 am

    My Grand Children do have a wicked Stepmother!

  24. family memeber permalink
    November 8, 2011 9:42 am

    Let me tell you a story. My Grand Daughter’s Stepmother tells them that their Mother and our family including their Dad’s Mother do not teach them Morals. She has posted comments that our family is liars, losers and trash. My Daughter doesn’t date or go to bars. She is with her children 24/7 unless she is at work and they are in school. My Daughter works for the School system so she is off when the children are.
    This Step Mother claims she can teach my Grand Children better morals. Ok. She met their Dad at a bar went home with him, slept with him and got pregnant. She and their Dad bragged to my Grand Children about her being pregnant. My Grand Children aren’t stupid. They knew she and their Dad weren’t married. This woman lives in a fantasy world. She thinks her life is perfect. She has made this comment before. Nobody’s life is perfect. Only God is perfect.

  25. Barbara holland permalink
    May 4, 2012 5:10 am

    i too am a stepmom of a 24 year old only son,but dad and mom told him he never would have a stepmom or stepdad, i too have kids i taught them to have respect, for other ,my kids call their stepdad by his name , thats fine with me, but his son, does not have any respect, at all, an so spoiled, he does work with his mommy, and stepdad,pays his bills, but will not go out , he is always up our ass,,,i think he should pay something to stay here, but he knows dad is leaving all to him,,, so i out or stay an be a maid,,,,, i do not think so, my sweat an blood is in this place,, should i leave or stand my ground

  26. October 12, 2012 7:23 am

    Will recommend to all my friends!good work!

  27. Missy permalink
    May 4, 2013 12:49 pm

    I am in a situation where the bio mother will not let me the step mom have anything to do with my step son. Is there anything I can do? I have a husband that will not stand up to the bio mother & I don’t know why.
    Thanks, Missy in Kentucky.

  28. August 8, 2013 11:31 pm

    The Beeb commissioned Steve Whittamore, who had been arrested and released but didn’t identify him. A bo dietl giving them a free ride because they feel disabled by fear. This reminds me of Bill Stanton coming to town back in October and calling himself a bo dietl which some reporters are still giving him that title even after we know he is not. Today, I received a private message on one of the HLN shows that I’m not his cousin.

  29. jamie permalink
    April 5, 2014 11:42 pm

    All that sounds relieving but then reality kicks in. Truth of the matter is we are the outsider and when it comes down to it no matter what the outsider (us) is to blame. Ppl don’t communicate anymore and sadly enuf with the way things are today children have learned to !manipulate the situation and somehow use it to benefit them

  30. August 2, 2021 11:31 am

    This would also make for a great “Daughter-in-Law’s Bill of Rights”. I helped take care of my in-laws for about a year and a half, and while it was very rewarding, it was also extremely difficult, especially when it came to making decisions, I was “just the daughter-in-law”.


  1. » Blog Archive » The Stepmother’s Bill of Rights
  2. Blended Family Bill of Rights « In this house, I’m the Mama…

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