Step-Parenting: A Letter To Her Mother


To the mother of my partner’s daughter,

I wish we had a better relationship.
I wish we were able to work together for the good of your daughter.
I wish that discussing any issues and concerns with you wouldn’t be seen as a direct betrayal of my partner.
Were he to grant his permission for me to do this, I wish you would listen and acknowledge my concerns- you won’t.

I wish I didn’t have to put the below into a letter and hope you may chance upon it and read these words. I know you won’t.

I wish you paid attention to her daily routine.
I wish you realised that at 12.5 years old, washing your face and brushing your teeth should by now be routine.
I wish you were proactive enough to ensure she does this every day.
I wish you weren’t so oblivious that you allowed her to go 3 days at a time without doing this, resulting in hideously bad breath and a dirty, spotty face covered up with too much foundation.
I wish that being with her father and I wasn’t the only time we knew she did this.

I wish you cared about the state of her room.
I wish you were concerned about the disgusting state of her room at yours.
I wish you ensured she didn’t leave copious amounts of cups, plates and saucers lying around in her room for days on end to ferment and mould.
I wish you were worried about the large amounts of sweet and chocolate wrappers littering the floor and limit her intake of sugar.
I wish you were as worried as we are about the health of her teeth with all the confectionery she eats, especially when she isn’t brushing them.

I wish you would impose a bedtime routine.
It is nice that you afford her a certain level of autonomy concerning her bedtime routine (brushing of teeth and washing of face not withstanding) however I wish you wouldn’t allow her the freedom to stay up past 1.00 am every night watching YouTube videos after she has sneaked her phone up to bed, especially on a school night.
I wish you understood that it is neglectful when it gets to the point that she falls asleep in the car when we come to pick her up after school.
I wish your lack of parenting didn’t affect her to the point where it impacts on our time with her.

I wish you would be assertive and ensure she actually sleeps when she goes to bed.
I wish you cared enough about her and how you come across as a mother to give us more than a half arsed “well… she has had a few late nights” and casting a casual ‘haven’t you?‘ glance at her.

I wish you would put a stop to her having her phone at night.
I wish you cared enough to put a stop to her sneaking her phone up to her room.
I wish your lack of authority hadn’t encouraged her to twice attempt to sneak her phone upstairs after we sent her to bed- she knows that with us, her phone is to stay downstairs on charge once she goes to bed.
I wish I hadn’t had to worry about catching her in the act of sneaking it the first night.
I wish we hadn’t realised at 12:45 am on the next night- also a school night- that she had snuck downstairs and sneaked it up. She was still watching her YouTube channels when we went to retrieve it at this ungodly hour.
I wish it hadn’t encouraged her to lie about knowing where her phone was a few nights later resulting in us searching for it for half an hour (to no avail) before seeing her on Whatsapp an hour after she should have been asleep.
I wish you had raised her to understand that there are consequences for breaking rules.
I wish you would implement them like a parent should.

I wish her poor absence record wasn’t down to your lack of stoicism.
I wish you weren’t so lax about allowing her so much time off school for stupid reasons.
I wish that 1 time when she had Tonsillitis wasn’t the only real occasion she has had for not going to school.
I wish you and her father would take me seriously when I tell you that each time outside of that illness, she has admitted that her ‘headache’ and ‘leg pain’ wasn’t bad enough that she couldn’t go to school.
I wish you understood that she plays you to get time off because she knows you will let her.
I wish you would realise that in the 2 and a half years since I’ve been around, she has not once tried to get a day off school.
Not. Once.

I wish you saw the patterns of avoiding that German test on the Thursday, Friday and Monday, despite being with us over the weekend and being perfectly fine.
I wish you noticed how many last days of school before holidays she has pulled a sickie on.

I wish you realised that you are raising her to think that absence records don’t matter.
I wish you realised that you are raising her to be weak and give up too easily.

I also really wish you knew that as an asthmatic, you should not, ever, be giving her Ibupofen as a pain killer. It makes me sick to see how quickly she asks for it if she feels slightly off.

I wish you reminded her to take her inhaler everywhere.
I wish you knew she doesn’t bother taking it with her when she goes out with her friends from yours.
I wish you knew she had a minor asthma attack in town with her friends because she ‘forgot’.

I wish you would stop being lazy, thoughtless and callous when it comes to raising your pre-teen.
I wish you could see how detrimental your lack of parenting could potentially be to her development, not to mention her health.

I just wish you would stop being you and start being a fucking parent.


Kind regards,

The other woman that truly loves and nurtures your daughter (when you apparently can’t be bothered)




7 thoughts on “Step-Parenting: A Letter To Her Mother

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate that and it’s a relief to know that i’m not just being critical.
      You are right, it is very frustrating, but its more that despite helping to raise her, I am not included in any of the discussions.
      I feel I have a lot of value to contribute as my relationship with the daughter is different to that of a parent. Shes talks to me and trusts me in a way she doesn’t with her parents and it would be good to provide a united front.
      Instead i feel the mother does whatever she wants, my partner mentions any issues he has in a half arsed/ lame kind of way as hes too fearful of rocking the boat (therefore not getting it across) and there is the daughter in the middle getting conflicting messages and using their division as a way to do what she wants (not in a malicious way).

      As an aside, she came over again last night and shes been off school all week as it is half term. She hadn’t brushed her teeth since after dinner on Sunday before we dropped her back to her mums.

      Have to say i’m struggling with this limbo state of parenting. I care about her and want the best for her but all my efforts are wasted if her mother promotes the complete opposite and her father won’t start putting his foot down.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve no advice, not that you asked for any! Being a friend to talk to is different than being a parent. But her father should step up and be the parent, for sure. You can’t do anything about her mom. I know you wouldn’t but badmouthing her would be a mistake. I don’t get the teeth thing – what kid doesn’t want to be clean? Maybe some issue there she should discuss with you?


      2. I think its just that she has never had to deal with any responsibility or consequence. Everything has always been done for her so shes never had to organise herself, shes too used to being run around after. I’ve started to try and change that since I’ve been around but it’s difficult to do when there’s not enough support to help push it.
        Shes good with showers though. We just need to curb the time shes spends in there.
        You are right about the father stepping up but its not his style to go in guns blazing.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. That must be endlessly frustrating- not being a voice of authority but still in that role. And seemingly the only one looking to her future self. Of course you can’t expect her to do that, she needs taught to think that way.
        I have a family member in her late 20’s who also behaves like this day is the only one that matters. I have no idea what to do to help her.


      4. That is sad to hear but i think at some point you’ve got get to stop trying to help people. If they have reached adulthood and still like it I think nothing will work to change them unless it comes from within. When they are young they can be moulded and taught. It’s a different story when they’re adults.
        If your family member I happy to live day by day then I guess there isn’t much you can do to change that. Just lead by example and hope they take notice.

        Liked by 1 person

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