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Stepmom doesn't want stepdaughter's bio mom back in her life, 'She's MY DAUGHTER NOW.' AITA? UPDATED 4X

Stepmom doesn't want stepdaughter's bio mom back in her life, 'She's MY DAUGHTER NOW.' AITA? UPDATED 4X


When this stepmom doesn't want to let her stepdaughter's birth mom back into the picture, she asks the internet:

"The birth mom returns. AITA?"

AITAH for not convincing my step daughter to meet up with her birth mother? To give you a little bit of context, Im the step-mom (30y/o) taking care of my partner's daughter. I've known her since she was five and now she's turning 13. She calls me "mommy" and introduces me as her "mom" to her friends.

Now there's the birth-Mother. She's living overseas and barely communicates with the kid. There was even a point that they didn't speak for 2 years because she doesn't call.

Last time she went to see her daughter was 2019, she was here for 2 weeks but only spent 1week with the kid and the other 1 week was spent sight seeing with her friends. In short, she's an absentee.

My SD opened up to me saying that she doesn't want to communicate with her BM because she feels like she's a stranger to her. 3 months ago, I helped my SD to open up to her BM about what she feels and that it's going to help improve their relationship if the BM is aware of what's going on.

The BM was replying for a week or two then became dormant again for 3 months. The next chat my SD got was the BM asking to meet up with her because she's coming back to the country for a visit.

Now, we asked my SD what she feels about it and she said she doesn't want to meet her BM. She was bawling her eyes out because she doesn't want to go but she also feels bad about feeling that way.

I feel like I could still convince her to go if I wanted to and she'll listen to me but I also think that for so long she's the one that's always adjusting for the BM.

For those asking where's her dad in all of this: His POV is a bit different. He thinks that SD should give it a try at least once so that she could get her questions answered as to why her BM is like that and get closure.

But he also thinks that if SD doesn't really wanna do it, he won't force the issue and tell the BM what SD really wants.

She can't do anything if the BM doesn't communicate all these years and if she remembers to chat, SD is always expected to reply. I think it's unfair on her part since it's supposed to be the BM's obligation and responsibility to have a good communication with her daughter.

What should I do? AITA?

Before we give you OP's updates, let's take a look at some of the top responses:

grave writes:

NTA. I’d say kiddo is old enough to decide for herself. She’s having huge emotions about it and she’s only a kid so she doesn’t know how to handle that yet. All you can do is what you are doing, by supporting her decision and helping her with her distress.

There were times where my step mom had to stand up for me when I didn’t want to go home.

She always said “I won’t just let them leave knowing they’re miserable, if they want to stay, they can stay as long as they want” I didn’t live with my dads family, but when I really needed a break from my abuser, it was my step mom that made sure I knew I didn’t have to leave.

This situation is really difficult because what kid doesn’t want their mom to just BE their mom for once? She’s still young and this has to be really hard for her to understand. Just make sure she knows she’s safe with you and you’ll listen to her no matter what she needs to say. Poor kid, I feel so bad for her.

colowayyyfinder writes:

NTA - (although, if you are then we both are.) I went through this with my stepson, right around that same age. His mom disappeared when he was 10 and I don't think he even talked to her for a couple of years.

She called the house one evening and while his sister was talking to her I sat down with him. I told him his mom was on the phone and asked him if he wanted to talk to her. I told him it was his choice and I would respect that choice.

He decided not to talk to her. I admit, I was close to telling him he should talk to her because she is his mom and all. But then I stopped and thought about it, if she wanted to be a part of his life she should have done so. He is the child and she abandoned him.

Plus, what are we telling our children if we force them to have a relationship with someone when they don't want to? It's not like they have to have a relationship with this person in order to be safe or taken care of. Keep on being a supportive parent, you're on the right track here.

ebonyrespec writes:

You r already doing the right thing. U listened to what SD wanted, u gave her the tools and opportunity to voice that, BM did not continue contact that’s down to her. If u try talking SD into something and it doesn’t work out she may feel betrayed and not want to come to u next time.

My biological sperm donor as I call him has dipped in and out of my life since I was 2. My mum told me to talk to him and tell him what I wanted from him and it was then up to him as he was the adult, I did that he didn’t keep his end of the bargain.

When he saw me some years later at a family funeral he seemed shocked I wouldn’t hug him and was frosty with him (we hadn’t spoken or had any contact in over 5 years at that point)

I was never forced or convinced to do anything, it was my choice it still is, my mom and step dad r my parents he is a biological sperm donor, that’s what I call him to his family members cos I don’t care, I’m in my forties now and I’ve been done with him for a long time.

I’ve been that kid trust me, listen to what she wants, if she want to give one more chance fine, if she doesn’t that’s fine, she want u to accompany them fine, b led by ur step daughter, give her the tools and opportunity to do what she wants.

Tell her she can talk to u about this at any point and then let it go. Ur doing a great job, just keep going, ur job is to b the safe sounding board who listens and lets ur step daughter come to her own decisions ur her safe place/person keep being that.

She has been abandoned by her own mother she obviously trusts u, keep reminding her that u chose to b her mom, that’s incredible to feel chosen by someone who doesn’t have to love u when the person who should obviously doesn’t.

bonbon0 writes:

NTA but you really should try to get her to meet her. Mostly it will be uncomfortable but she might regret ending the relationship now forever which she might be doing.

Maybe offer alternatives, like last time maybe they went from 0-100 too fast, like no contact for years then spending 8 hours with someone you have extremely mixed emotions about.

Maybe ask her if she'd maybe want to meet her but only for shorter activities, like simply get coffee for an hour the first day, a couple days later you can meet up for a meal, or a movie or something, etc, maybe go to a museum or whatever for a few hours another day.

Lots of shorter days, no staying over. Option to end early with you willing to pick her up immediatley if she feels overwhelmed, etc.

I suspect that when BM comes into town after so long and sees her for a week they end up spending longer hours together and it getting just emotionally draining and uncomfortable for your daughter.

If she really doesn't want to see her you should support that. For the same reason, maybe she simply finds every visit too emotionally hard to deal with, she's a 13yr old kid with limits.

Maybe when she's 18 she'll be more ready to speak to her mother on a more even standing and able to put her foot down, decide to leave on her own, etc.

croaa writes:

This is such a hard situation - you’re doing a great job looking out for your SD. We are on the other side of this as our combined children are all now technically adults. The best I can offer is that there may be some benefit to the suggesting shorter more limited interaction - I know from experience probably nothing will change how BM is behaving, it changed nothing in our situation.

It will have the added benefit of showing her that she can maintain a relationship of some sort on her own terms. Give her back the control a bit.

I know that seems counterintuitive, but no contact at all doesn’t always make them feel in control in the end. It eases their feelings of guilt but (which they can’t help and feel anyways regardless of what’s going on) and it leaves a door open which eases their mind a bit.

I have 3 of our 5 are my “steps” and in the end the ones doing the best right now are the ones who have come to terms with the thought that while they may not get the relationship they want with their mother, they have a large group of people supporting their choices and feelings.

There are a lot of things I wish we had done a little different, but offering alternatives in situations like this is one I think we handled pretty well.

Update 1:

Everyone in the family keeps on telling me to convince her otherwise because "she's still her mother after all". And I don't agree with that. This reaction the result of all the years of neglect she's done to my SD and I won't force her to do anything she wouldn't want to do. She was crying last night and my heart is like crushed a million times seeing her like that.

Update 2:

As far as I'm aware of, the BM doesn't have any mental issues and there has NEVER been a violence between my husband and her when they were together. They parted ways when my SD was just 2y/o. If I could adopt her I would but it would be a stretch too far and I want her to decide that for herself if that's what she wants. In my country, adoption is a bit of a difficult process.

This is an update with a little bit of a rant. So my SD has made up her mind that she wouldn't go. We asked her to at least message the BM that she can't go and the reason behind it. This is what she said:

"Hello... I just wanna let you know that I won't be able to meet you because I don't want to go. I mean, Papa and Mommy already told me that it's better if I go and talk to you but I feel that I'm not ready to see you yet."

She was nervous to send that and wanted to say sorry for not going but I told her that she shouldn't apologize for saying no and that it's okay.

Then after a few hours, the BM responds: ""I understand, it's like we haven't seen each other for so long and then I'll show up out of the blue. I know it's going to be a little awkward and there's mixed emotions.

But I want you to know, no matter what happens, you're still my baby girl. You don't have much memories about me because I was already working while you were still a baby. We didn't have a choice back then because we have no money and I can't work in your country because of the visa.

I didn't want to be apart from you too. I didn't expect us to be like this. This is not what I want for you and I'm sorry.

I'm in your city this Saturday and Sunday, so in case you wanna meet me even just for a brief moment, just message me. I will go to you. Just 10 to 30mins of your time would be enough, I just want to see and hug you."

It's a decent reply, right? But for me? All I see is a little bit of gaslighting that she had to work for my SD and no accountability that she didn't communicate with her daughter as she should.

She's saying that my SD has no memories of her, well duh? In this generation of modern technology where video calling is now possible, she's managed to not exist in her child's life.

Also, she said that 10 to 30 mins would be enough, I feel like she's just thinking about herself and what she would feel in that brief encounter but she didn't consider how hurt my daughter would be.

My husband however sees her reply as "humble response" and I don't. AITAH for not being satisfied with her response on this?

Update 3:

A few months ago, I have helped and urged my SD to open up to her BM about SD feeling like BM is a stranger. SD also said that she hopes they could slowly chat more often to get to know each other more.

The BM was responding for a week or so and then became dormant again for 3 months. The next chat she sent was asking my SD to meet up because she'll be in the country/in our area FOR TWO DAYS!

They haven't seen each other since 2019 and all she can alot for her child are those 2 days?! This makes my blood boil tbh.

Update 4:

I had to calm down before I could post this one. After the last update, my husband and I agreed that we will honor whatever my SD wants. I also asked him to relay my SD's reasons as to why she doesn't want to meet her BM. This is what we sent her:

"Hi! Just spoke with SD about you going here. Looks like she's having trouble expressing herself to you. I just want to relay what she said when we spoke with her.

SD is in pain. She's angry and sad at the same time because she doesn't feel the motherly love from you. She feels like the reason why you don't communicate much is because you don't want to deal with her. She wants you to communicate at least once a day. That's already enough for her.

She's also tired of trying to fix the bridge between you two because you'll only respond for a bit and then become a ghost for a while. She thinks the relationship is beyond saving because you don't put in effort to be close with her too.

She's mad of all those broken promises you've made that you don't fulfill. She's mad about all those special occasions that you never remembered to message her about. She's tired of feeling guilty because she's questioning herself why she feels this way. She's tired of being neglected.

I'm recommending her to go and meet you so that those questions could be addressed but if she doesn't really want to, I can't force her to do anything. Maybe try to address those above when you guys meet or try to chat her again. I hope you both can fix this."

We sent that to her 3 days before she gets here. She's seen the chat but didn't reply to my hubby. She also didn't chat SD again after that.

Now here comes sunday, she said she just wants to drop a package off for SD. But SD said she doesn't want to pick it up herself so I told her dad to go outside and deal with it.

After a few minutes, he went back and called SD to go outside with him and when I checked the CCTV, SD was already being hugged by BM and was bawling her eyes out. I was furious! We already had an agreement that we will follow what SD wants and despite that he still forced her to do it.

To make the matters worse, while SD and BM was hugging, in my daughter's most vulnerable state, BM's friend, snapped pictures with flash on as if to capture the supposed intimate moment for both.

To me it looked like they were just there for photo op and not really caring about what my SD would feel. After a few minutes, BM waved off saying goodbye as if she's just saying goodbye to a friend.

After this, I went to see my SD outside and she said she's fine. She didn't realize how much she missed her BM and said she wants to spend more time with her. I felt relieved seeing that at least this encounter made her happy.

The BM came back after a few minutes and they walked around the area while chatting. Now this is where it gets juicy. Take note that my daughter told me all of this and I'm not making anything up. Again she's pretty open to me and most of the time we talk like bestfriends.

SD said that BM explained that the reason why she was not communicating that much is because she's "busy" With work. Although, SD said that "I just didn't ask her why she can't take at least 5 mins to chat me. Still don't understand that part".

SD also said that during their talk, a lot of negativity and blame was shifted to her dad. BM said that the dad was always leaving her alone and not helping her. SD's thought's about this was "this doesn't sound like the father I grew up with. Papa is caring and loving and thoughtful. He was never neglectful when I was growing up."

Aaaaandddd, BM also said that the reason for their breakup was ME! This is where she's literally digging her own grave.

BM said, that I was the 3rd party in their relationship and that she was so "heartbroken" that she had to move forward instead of continuing the relationship.

What BM doesn't know is that I'm very honest with SD. Months prior, I told her about my previous relationship and what happened. So she knows that I didn't break anything. Hubby and BM already broken up 3 years before I came to the scene.

Since BM already opened that door, I'm more than allowed to defend myself. I explained to SD that it didn't make sense that hubby and I got into a relationship July, and after 3 months, BM also got in a relationship with someone. If she was so "heartbroken", why is it that fast?

BM also claims that I'm not being nice to her. We barely had any interaction! And she blocked me after I tried to reach out to her about communicating with SD. SD said she's disappointed that her BM lied to her face. She's old enough to know which is the truth and which is the lie.

I told SD to just enjoy the time while BM is still here in the country, to cherish the moment and to just get anything positive or good out of their conversations. I also added to not follow the bad examples she's seeing and if her BM still talks bad about her dad and she's not comfortable about it, she can speak up and call BM out.

My hubby and I talked about this and if she keeps on insidously spewing out negativity to our daughter, we might limit their interactions because of how she's talking to SD goes against all that we're teaching our daughter.

Hubby apologized that he deviated from our agreement but he said that it was a gamble paid off since it made our daughter happy that she get to see her BM and that she might've regretted it if she didn't. BM is an AH.

What do YOU make of OP's story? Any advice for her?

Sources: Reddit
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