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Woman refuses to care for 'mouthy' stepdaughter; 'she doesn't deserve reward or respect.' AITA?

Woman refuses to care for 'mouthy' stepdaughter; 'she doesn't deserve reward or respect.' AITA?


"AITA for telling my husband I'm not caring for his daughter anymore?"


My step daughter Sally is 17 years old pretty crucial year for her academically because the grades she will get will affect her next year when she’s a senior. She been wanting the new iphone 15 and I told her if she upgrades her scores and gets at least two A+ we will buy her one.

Test results came around she didn’t meet the criteria her father and I set in any way and she ended up failing a subject so I told her no phone until makes up for what she failed and do better in her end of year finals.

She didn’t like that she isn’t getting her new phone now and hated that we had a new criteria for her till finals and began to be mouthy. I told her the position we have is very firm nothing will change until she does better.

Sally’s bio mum lives in another country and rarely gets involved with sally. Occasional phone calls and that’s it. Sally called her mum crying that she wants the new phone, her mother called me I explained the situation but she hung up without answering.

2 days after Sally came in so excited that her mother had booked her the new phone and it will be shipped in 2 weeks. I asked my husband about it and he said that he and her mother talked and decided to get her the phone now.

I was shocked I told him I thought we had an agreement he said yes but herb bio mother decided to get her the phone so I was like and why did you agree? He had no justification answer.

Then he told me that I should stop interfering with Sally’s business and that Im never being her mother. I was honestly at shock of what he said cause if I shouldn’t interfere why do I cook for sally?

Drive her to practices? Take care of her room and clothes? Take her out on dates? Buy her stuff with my own money? Attend all her important events? Attend the parents meeting at school every semester? And do everything her mother failed to do?

After that I told my husband fine I'm done, I'm not her mother and will never get involved with her. She’s nearly 18, so she will be on her own anyway. And if she needs a mother, she has her biological one. She could travel to her, or her mother could come to her too.

Here were the top rated comments from readers:


NTA. Unless a child has to get a job to help their family with finances, their ONLY job is to do as well as they can in school and set themselves up for success later in life. OP was simply trying to do that through the conditions imposed on the iPhone purchase.

The bio mother clearly doesn’t see the value in that, and it’s too bad because she is setting up Sally for failure. The dad seems to be putting his discomfort dealing with the bio mom ahead of Sally’s wellbeing as well. It’s highly likely, too, that a new iPhone will be more detrimental that helpful to improving Sally’s grades. Edit: NTA.


Nta. Her mom isn’t stepping up to raise her kid she’s letting you do the hard work and then undermining you. I’d be very clear from this point he and his kid are on his own. Let’s see how he likes running around after her.


NTA. Hubby is the biggest one. Stepdaughter and her mum are a-holes too. You are either fully in as a parent. Or you are not. Her bio mum didn't have to agree with your and your hubby's phone rule, but since you are the primary caregiver, you should have been involved in the discussion.

Hubby doesn't treat you as a full parent. The 17 year old doesn't treat you as a full parent. Your decision to not be involved going forward makes sense. Stick to it. Let the full parents and their daughter figure sh*t out. Sit this out and use that time and money to do things that bring you joy.


Well done!!!!


I mean, she’s not your kid. Yes you’ve cared for her and stepped into a situation where you are another adult who looks after her but you’re not her mom and whatever happens with her is up to her dad and her mom. 🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️🤷🏽‍♀️ it’s not personal so you shouldn’t take it personally, but that’s the truth about being a stepparent.


NTA. Bio mom is undermining the rules and relationship between Sally and stepmother. Then, what happens is stepmom has zero credibility with what she says in terms of consequences.

Teens from a split home know exactly what they can get away with with each parent. What would be nice is if all three of you can come together as a "united front" for Sally. Communicate and work together. You cannot control what Bio mom does.

You just have to let that part go. Instead, allow her to join your team with your husband. It's very beneficial knowing the rules are the same between all parents. Also, being a stepmother means you have to meet in the middle, too, sometimes.

BUT, you would be the ass*hole if you cut Sally out of your life like that. From what you describe in your post, it sounds like you really love her a lot. Just look at all the things you do together. In time, I believe you would 100% regret making that decision. Best wishes!!


NTA-Hubby needs to take over 100% all things Sally from now on. Literally. Stand your ground. I wouldn’t even put a plate on a table for her. She totally manipulated you and her father both to get her way. I would completely stop ALL personal efforts that benefit her.

My stepson did this very thing at that same exact age over a car and a cell phone. We had the same parameters that he had to follow to get those things plus he had to get a job and save up 6 months insurance before we would allow him to license.

His Bio took him down, bought him a car and then asked me for 50% of the money for it. Yeah, I told her to pound sand. Our son got angry and proceeded to call me a gold digger for marrying his father. lol I literally made $30,000 a year more than him and owned my own house before we bought our family home together and were married. I still own that house.

Anyway, I stopped every single bit of care for him. No laundry, no meal cooking (I cooked meals-just didn’t set a plate for him but he wasn’t denied the meal), no longer bought ANY of his toiletries or clothes, refused to drive him to any of his events(his father worked longer hours and was also unable to do that and his bio lived in a different city).

When holidays came I did ZERO shopping for him and left it up to my husband to do it which he didn’t do up like I always had. He even forgot our son’s birthday because he was used to me planning it and all.

Anyway, our son went to college the next year and by his second year, showed up at our home and spent quite some time apologizing for how he treated me growing up. Something clicked inside him-but we are now very very close and he has never disrespected me again.

In fact, he has stood up for me in any little argument his dad and I have or when his bio tries to say something derogatory about me. He is now 27 and this year I received a handwritten note in my birthday card telling me how thankful he was for me in his life. Priceless.

So, if you could give the OP any advice, what would you say?

Sources: Reddit
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