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LeAnn Rimes considers it an insult to refer to her place in husband Eddie Cibrian's sons' lives as "step" mom. The outspoken country star wrote on her own blog to share her feelings about the inadequacy of the term "step," and why she and Cibrian think of her as simply a second mom to his boys.
"Society will always call me a stepmom... but in our house, in our family, we remove the 'step.'" the 29-year-old singer wrote. "We really are all...simply family."
Rimes, who's on her second marriage but has yet to have children, reveals that using the word "step" is a personal pet peeve because she grew up the daughter of divorced parents.
"I have a very good understanding of being a child of a blended family because of my upbringing, and I'm now blindly but optimistically navigating my way through the blended family mom role," she explains. "A family is a family. In my eyes. There's no 'step' about it."
Rimes and Cibrian's relationship has been widely criticized because they were admittedly engaged in an adulterous affair before divorcing their respective spouses to be together. But Rimes in particular has taken heat for everything from her weight and eating habits to her decision to wish all "bonus moms" a happy Mother's Day.
Despite all the public negativity, Rimes' heartfelt post makes it clear that she and Cibrian are raising his children together, so he doesn't feel like a single parent. Rimes even refers to Cibrian's ex, Brandi Glanville, although she never addresses her by name.
"Eddie has always encouraged me to look at us as a family, and a part of our family are the two beautiful boys that we share with their mother and hopefully one day another wonderful man," she wrote.
And the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star apparently doesn't have to worry about Rimes trying to step on her toes -- no matter what the speculation suggests.
"One thing that I know is, I will never replace their mother," Rimes adds. "I would never try. I will however love them with all I have and do everything in my power to help raise them in a loving, safe and proper environment."