Do you have to always think of the BM's feelings?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
Do you have to always think of the BM's feelings?
Thu, 02-07-2013 - 3:54pm

I thought this could be a fun debate topic.  I was watching the movie Stepmom; do you remember the scene where Julia Robert's character (the SM) wanted to take the daughter to a rock concert, Susan Sarandon (the BM) said no because it was a school night, and then ended up surprising the daughter with the tickets?  I think that when it comes to doing special things with the SKs it can be a little tricky when you don't want to step on the BMs toes.  On the other hand, should the SM even worry about the BM's feelings and just do what she feels is right to keep a good relationship going with the SKs?  In this case, it was pretty underhanded of the BM, but think it's one of those times you just have to keep your mouth shut.

Some other situations that came to mind were:

Getting your daughter's ears pierced?

Going to a father/daughter dance (from either the BD or SD's POV)?

Going on a mani/pedi girls' day out? 

And.. just so the boys aren't left out -  taking them to their first pro sports game?

I'm sure their our tons of other scenarios, feel free to add your own. 








Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999

I have think if you have good intentions, it shouldn't be a big deal.  If they are with you on your visitation time, and your DH, or SO has no issues with it, I think there shouldn't realy be a problem unless something is specifically said.  My DH and his ex have a very contentious relationship and there was a time I don't remember if it was that DH had specifically told his son they were going to see one of the harry potter movies when if first opened and he was just gettig here for a visit, well the son mentioned it to his mom and the movie came out the day before he left for his visitation with us, and his stepdad went ahead and took him to the movie.  Was it intentional, maybe, my DH was infuriated because that had become a tradition with them and they and his son knew they had planned on going.  So I guess it all depends. 

Now ear piercing with a stepmom without asking, if the mom is in the picture, I don't think that is appropriate unless the mom is asked specifically about it first.  That feels like more of a DH and ex decision that a step parent should not take upon themselves.  I would be extremely upset if my ODD was visiting with her dad and her SM took her to get her ears pierced without my permission, you never know what had already been decided either between the child and mom  or even if the mom had told the child she couldn't have her ears pieced and then the kid went around her mom by having her step mom do it.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002

I think a lot depends on the people involved, and the dynamics of the relationship. 

Ex is into hunting.  It would be incredibly craptastic for a stepdad to take the kids on their first hunting trip.  And more craptastic for me to allow it to happen.  UNLESS Ex specifically stated he wasn't interested.

Soccer is a huge shared interest that Daughter and I have.  It would be incredibly craptastic for a stepmom to take her to a World Cup game.  And it would be more craptastic for Ex to allow it to happen.

Bra shopping, I don't care.  In fact, Ex's sister took Daughter for her first.  Mani-Pedi day...don't give a darn.  Other things...HUGE issue.

And yes, I think both stepparents and parents should think about the other parent's feelings on those issues.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-2009

honestly no, you should not have to think about the BMs feelings. You should think about your SO/DH/Fiancee/BF's feelings. this is who you are emotionally involved in, not BM. IF your SK wants to do things with you and you want to do things with them, and your SO says he would like to see you do these things with them as bonding/ or whatnot it is none of BMs business, once the SK steps into SO's vehicle as long as there is no true harm being done to the child then it is none of their business

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2011

I think yes, BM's feelings should be considered always, just as the child(ren)'s father's feelings should be considered while the children are with BM, but mostly for permanent decisions. The examples posed are all rather mild. Surely, getting a kid's ear pierced isn't that big of a deal, right? Well, what about a 14 year old who desperately wants her nose pierced? Or a 16 year old who wants a tiny little barely-noticeable tattoo? 

If I want to take dsd out for a pedicure, and BM wants to too, I don't see it as anything other than a win/win for the child. If I were a BM I can't see myself getting worked up in a tizzy over someone else wanting to spend quality fun time with my kid.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
I agree that nose piercing and tattoos are more serious, but disagree that ear piercing isn't a big deal. People can have very differing views on what age is appropriate. What if BM said that her daughter couldn't get her ears pierced until she was 10 and SM took her when she was 8? That would bother me! I guess it depends on what you feel is important.
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
I have to disagree that it's none of BMs business. While you can't let the BM dictate what you do in your own home, there are times that you should be aware that the others have a say in parenting decisions. Would you be hurt if you had something special planned with your SK, just the two of you, and the BM preempted it by doing it with them before you could? That would hurt my feelings. What about something like getting ears pierced? If the child was told by BM she had to wait until 10, but she begged you to take her at 8 (and SO said he didn't care), would you? Even knowing that it would cause an argument between your SO and BM?