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6 Tips to Get Along with the Step Mom

Updated on July 3, 2016

After you've divorced, and you and your ex start moving on, sometimes there tends to be some animosity between the bio mom and the new step mom. Sometimes this animosity has some valid roots: the step mom might have been an affair partner, or the two simply do not get along due to personality conflicts. But sometimes, it's something else.

Moms (and dads) should keep a few things in mind when their ex has a new partner.

She's not out to take over as your kids' mom

Granted, there are a few unstable folks who will try to usurp your role as parent, whether it's because they can't have kids of their own or some other reason. But in reality, most step moms are not out to steal your kids from you.

Your ex isn't trying to take the kids away from you

Unless you have an actual custody battle going on, or your ex has specifically told you they want custody, there's no reason for you to think that your ex is trying to take the kids from you and form a totally new family with the new partner.

He may have more children with his new partner, and naturally he will try to include your children as much as possible and make them feel like part of that new family. Would you rather he make them feel like they are on the outside, and not part of his family anymore? Of course not!

You cannot keep new partners out of your kids lives forever

Some moms get rather panicked at the idea that their ex has introduced a significant other to their children. Obviously, you don't want every person your ex dates being introduced to your kids, but once your partner has met someone with whom he's developing a serious relationship, introducing the kids is the next natural step. You can't stop that permanently.

Accept that, at some point, your ex will meet someone and fall in love with her. This will make her part of your children's lives. This is not the end of the world.

Letting her help him does NOT mean he cannot take care of his kids alone

She changed a diaper. She calmed your crying infant when he couldn't. She tucked your child in and read him a bedtime story. This does not translate to your ex being incapable of caring for the kids on his own. What these do translate to is a woman who is trying to get to know your kids, cares for your kids, and is trying to develop a relationship with them because of her relationship with their father.

When you're tempted to use these as proof that your ex cannot take care of the kids, ask yourself this: Have you ever asked someone else to change a diaper? Have you ever had to walk away and let a friend or relative calm your child because you tried and just couldn't do it? Of course! It's a normal part of parenting. At some point, you ask for and/or accept help from others because you need it. Just because he asked for her help, accepted her offer to help, or let her get involved so that she could get to know the kids, it doesn't mean he can't care for the kids.

Things might be done differently at their house, and it might not be her doing

It's tempting to blame his new wife when the kids tell you how they're allowed to have a snack right before dinner, or stay up well past their normal bedtime. But it might not be her idea. Your ex just might be the one deciding that these are things he's comfortable with in his home. Regardless of whose ideas they are, one thing is certain: unless what they do harms your children, or puts them at risk of being harmed, you can't do anything about it. The best thing to do here is take a deep breath, smile and let it go.

Keep it together

Whether you like his new wife or not doesn't matter. What does matter is that you remember that she is now a part of your life, and the lives of your children. For the sake of your children, and your sanity, the best thing to do is let go of those things you can't control, and remember one thing: she is not your enemy. She should do her part to keep things nice between you, but you have to meet her halfway.


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