Being a step-mom is challenging. Dating a person with kids heavily involves forming a relationship with the kids as well. On the one hand, it’s nearly impossible to fill a mother’s role, especially when the biological mom is still present in their lives. On the other, it’s important to make the step-children feel welcomed and loved. You are a part of their family now. But one step-mom took a different approach when it came to her pregnancy announcement. She wanted her post to only include her biological daughter, excluding her two step-daughters. 
After a disagreement about the announcement with her husband, she went to Reddit to ask, “Am I the a**hole?” And Reddit did not respond kindly.
“AITA for wanting separate pictures for pregnancy announcement?”
The woman started her post with some background information. She and her partner were in a relationship for five years. He has two daughters from a previous partner; one is nine, and the other is ten. About a year and a half ago, the step-mom and her partner had their first child together, a little girl.
A few months ago, she discovered that she was pregnant again and decided to make a pregnancy announcement. Although she thought her plan was innocent enough, her husband disagreed with its implications.
She bought a ‘big sister’ shirt for her biological daughter and took some photos for her extended family. She loved how the pictures looked, so she asked her husband if he was comfortable with her posting them on social media. “He said that not having the older girls in the picture made him feel like he has two separate families.
“I pointed out that, in a way, he does. All four of the girls are his daughters, but they aren’t all mine. The older girls are very close to their mom, and I explained to him that although they are part of our family, I am not their mom, and they will never view me as such, and being a step-mom is very different than being a mom.
“At the end of day, it’s not really a huge deal to me, I don’t post on social media frequently, but this whole situation has me feeling upset. I feel like he wants to pretend that we are not a blended family. I mean he does have two kids with one woman and two kids with another. And I feel like he doesn’t acknowledge that, or the fact that, although the girls are all equal, they are different because they don’t have the same moms. AITA?” 
Read: Moms Are Doing Their Makeup Before Giving Birth
Reddit Responds: YTA
Commenters shamed the step-mom for excluding her step-daughters. The mom ended up deleting her account, but it’s unclear whether that’s related to this incident or not.
Many comments took the husband’s side. They explained that he’s right to feel hurt for her excluding his daughters in the pregnancy announcement.
“He wants his older girls to be included with his younger girls. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. By keeping them separate, YOU’RE the one pretending you don’t have a blended family. You have to be together to blend,” says one user. “If it’s not a big deal to you, why can’t you include your stepchildren? I mean, it’s no a big deal, right?”
One commented how ironic it was that all this fuss was about one ‘big sister’ shirt.
“They’re ALL going to be the new baby’s big sisters, whether you’re their mom or not.”
Another user agreed with this sentiment and called out the mother for alienating the girls while all the kids are actually related.
“They are your daughter’s actual half-siblings. You’re the only one not blood-related to them, so if anything, maybe you should be left out of the family photo since you’re in the minority.”
Many commented on how unhealthy the situation sounded, for a step-mom to view the kids as “equal but different” without trying to forge a closer bond with them.
“Why marry a man who has children, if you don’t consider them to be part of your family? …Imagine being a child in a family when your new mom only wants photos of the children she has birthed from her body alone? I feel bad for those kids and your husband is right.”
One commenter summed up everyone’s thoughts about the pregnancy announcement.
“YTA… From the moment you didn’t order 3 big sister t-shirts.”
Creating a Healthy Blended Family
Among the kindest of replies came,
“It really sounds like it’s time for y’all to start seeing a family therapist who specializes in blended families. You guys need a safe space to talk this out and receive some guidance before it festers and becomes a huge problem later on.” 
Figuring out a role in a blended family can be confusing, but it’s imperative for everyone to communicate their expectations to avoid future confusion and conflict. A stepparent may begin as a sort of mentor for the step-kids, who often need time to warm up to the new adult in their lives. 
But most stepmoms have to face a truth before they join the family: They can’t separate their partners from their kids.
“Ask yourself: Can you handle not being the priority in the relationship and number one to that partner? … Are you OK with not being the priority because they have children?” said Kendall Rose, author of The Stepmoms’ Club: How to Be a Stepmom without Losing Your Money, Your Mind, and Your Marriage.
“Understand that your role is transitional. … Some days you’re going to be the leading lady. Some days you’re just going to be a stagehand. And some days you’re not going to be in the scene at all. The quicker you realize that, the better off you’ll be,” said Naja Hall, founder of the community “Blended & Black”. 
Hopefully, the mom took the negative replies to heart and began to reconsider her role in this relationship. For the sake of her husband and his daughters, we hope the family becomes more unified after this pregnancy announcement.
Keep Reading: Mom’s Friends ‘Disgusted’ After She Tells Husband To Save Her Life Over The Baby’s During Birth
- “Mum doesn’t want to include stepdaughters in her pregnancy announcement.” KidSpot. Claire Haiek. January 25, 2021
- “AITA for wanting separate pictures of kids/step kids for baby announcement?” Reddit. January 2021
- “Reddit Mom Says She Wants to Take Pregnancy Announcement Photos Without Stepdaughters.” Parents. Maressa Brown. January 27, 2021
- “Becoming a Stepparent.” Kids Health. Maia Noeder, PhD. July 2018
- “17 things I wish I knew before becoming a stepmom.” Today. Laura T. Coffey. May 10, 2019