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Mom Upset After Stepdaughter ‘Robs’ Her Of Mother/Daughter Prom Dress Shopping Experience

Beautiful woman shopping and choosing the right dress for luxury event. Young woman holding and trying on elegant gown and smiling at camera.

Being a stepparent isn’t always easy.

It can be especially tricky if the death of a birth parent is involved.

One side doesn’t want a replacement.

And the other just wants to fill a void.

Happy mediums in these scenarios can be hard to come by.

Redditor DareWorldly483 wanted to discuss her experience and get some feedback. So naturally, she came to visit the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit.

She asked:

“AITA for telling my stepmother she’s not my mom and I am not going to give her that mother/daughter experience?”

The Original Poster (OP) explained:

“My stepmother married my dad when I (17 F[emale]) was 10, and my mom died when I was 5.”

“My stepmother and my dad have 3 sons together and no daughters.”

“My stepmother always wanted a daughter though and when she married my dad she tried really hard to take over in the role of mom.”

“I never wanted her to be.”

“That’s not her specific thing.”

“I wouldn’t have allowed anyone else in to be my mom.”

“Still I liked my stepmother for the first couple of years and other than a couple of annoying things; she tried to give me a more girly nickname because my name is more unisex and her talk of being a new mom.”

“It got more strained, though, when my oldest half-brother was born just over a year after my dad and stepmother got married.”

“Once he was born, she asked me if she could adopt me and if I would like to be ‘her little girl’, and I said no.”

“My dad asked me to talk to him about it, and I told him nobody else could be my mom.”

“He mentioned legal stuff, and I said I didn’t want the legal protections from adoptions and wouldn’t choose my stepmother if he died anyway.”

“My dad understood and he told me as long as I treated her respectfully, he wouldn’t push the issue.”

“He talked to his wife about it and told her the adoption was off the table and that she wasn’t to bring it up again.”

“My stepmother went crazy after that.”

“She was always trying to sign us up for mother/daughter trips and tried to spend more and more time with me.”

“She would come up with random trips or experiences for us to do together and she started cutting my chores and responsibilities that I did before I knew her.”

“She admitted she wanted to show me how great having a mom again could be.”

“I told her I didn’t want her doing that stuff.”

“Then I started making excuses and getting out of spending any time with her.”

“She had my second half-brother and was growing so depressed that we never spent time together anymore.”

“After my third half-brother was born, she really got intense.”

“It didn’t help that she found out I had gone to my grandma over her with my first period, and I hadn’t mentioned getting periods to her at that point.”

“I had them for 3ish years at that point.”

“She had this whole talk planned and was upset that I had skipped it with her and went to someone else.”

“She was also upset that I didn’t experiment with makeup really or go to her for makeup/hair advice.”

“Last week, my stepmother told me she wanted to be the one I go prom dress shopping with.”

“She told me it’s a huge milestone for moms and daughters, and she refuses to let us miss out.”

“I told her I’d go with my friends when the time comes and she was upset and told me she wants this to be a nice mother/daughter experience.”

“I told her she was not my mom, and I was not going to give her this mother-daughter experience.”

“I told her she’s not going to get any of those because she’s not my mom, and I don’t want her to be.”

“She got really upset, and I heard her and my dad fight about it.”

“He told her she can’t force that on me.”

“She said I should be more willing to let her in.”

The OP was left to wonder:


Redditors shared their thoughts on this matter and weighed some options to the question AITA:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

Many Redditors declared OP was NOT the A**hole.

“NTA. This is a really tough situation for everyone.”

“It sounds like your stepmom wants to be close, but she can’t replace your mom, and that’s okay.”

“You need to grieve in your own way, and she needs to respect that.”

“It’s great that you’ve been able to talk to her about how you feel.” ~ NoraRainbow

“NTA OP. You have the right to choose what kind of relationship you have with her, and she should respect that.”

“I both have a stepmother, and I have been a stepmother.”

“I never really got along with my stepmother, to the point that for a LONG time, I called her ‘My father’s wife’ because I was grown-ish (19) when he married her and other reasons not getting into them now.”

“But that was almost 30 years ago, and well things change over time.”

“Still not super close to her.”

“Still not sure I like her all that much, but she was good to my father and loved him very much.”

“His passing has hit her VERY hard, and I’m trying to be there for her.”

“But I would never call her my mother.”

“I had one and she passed when I was 18.”

“As a stepmother, I did my best not to do the things she did that I saw as mistakes or hurtful to my daughter.”

“Now, I call her my daughter, not stepdaughter, because SHE chose to claim me as her mother.”

“It was never my decision.”

“My job was to be there the best I could be for her, even when she was being less than pleasant.”

“I’ve been in her life for over twenty years, and she has decided to claim me as her mother, too.”

“But it took a lot of time and work on both our parts to make that happen.”

“While I feel bad for your stepmum, she really needs to let go of this whole mother/daughter fantasy in her head.”

“She should have let it go as soon as you made it clear you weren’t interested in having her take that role in your life.”

“And even if she had managed to have a daughter of her own, there’s no guarantee she’d get those cutesy moments she desires with them either.”

“What if that little girl grew up to be a tomboy (and with older brothers, very likely)?”

“What if she had no desire to do the whole hair/makeup thing?”

“Yeah, your stepmum needs therapy to deal with her disappointment that she didn’t get a girl, and she also needs to step up and be a damn parent to her boys.” ~ chitheinsanechibi

“NTA – your stepmother keeps pushing when you’ve made it clear you don’t see her the way she wants to be seen.”

“Her lack of respect towards you wanting to honor the memory of your mother is really not a great thing.”

“You feel how you feel, if she really wants to be a ‘mother’ figure – she should respect how you feel.”

“Besides, from what you’ve said, this isn’t about you more than it’s about her just wanting a daughter and having had 3 sons instead.”

“You can’t escape it I guess until you can move out but definitely you’re fine here.” ~ OxnardJEM

OP responded…

“Yes, she always had this idea that she would have at least one little girl, and she tried to make me that before she had kids, but it got so much worse when she couldn’t have her own.”

“This was about fulfilling a wish of hers.”

“Makes me feel bad for my half-brothers because she has put a lot more effort into me than into them.”

Reddit continued…

“She is a miserable person.”

“I can feel bad for her.”

“That doesn’t mean what she does is reasonable or an excuse that she’s apparently not being a good mother to her sons.”

“Feeling bad for her doesn’t mean that I think OP should give her a break.”

“My heart breaks a little for OP, but OP seems to have her s**t together remarkably well and a healthy support system so I feel hopeful that OP will come out of this alright.”

“In contrast to that, I fear that the stepmother will just spiral.”

“It’s not on OP to fix that but it’s still sad, especially considering that the sons will be those to suffer.” ~ KToff

“Exactly. Someone who wants to parent needs to be willing to happily parent, regardless of the kid’s age/gender/appearance/etc.”

“An adult who can only be happy if the child is specific gender, should NOT be parenting.”

“The stepmum needs therapy.”

“Not our sympathy.” ~ milly_nz

“Stepmom here. You’re NTA.”

“These step relations take effort and patience on the step-parent’s part.”

“The only thing a stepchild is responsible for is being respectful and kind if the step-parent treats you well.”

“As for the prom dress shopping… my daughter went with her friends, so there’s that.”

“And we are blood and close.” ~ workingmama020411

“The irony is the harder stepmother pushes, the less the stepkids are likely to want anything to do with her, much less see her as a mother figure.”

“It’s sad the woman can’t see that.”

“I feel bad for you OP because she’s been intruding into your space for so many years, ruining any relationship you could have had and making you out to be the bad guy.

“Sincere good luck, OP.” ~ ashburnmom

“NTA. It’s one thing not to give each other a chance for a relationship to grow.”

“It’s another to force it.”

“I’m a stepmother and yours is dead wrong in her actions.”

“Y’all could have had a good relationship if she didn’t try to replace your mother.”

“If she let it naturally develop.”

“She didn’t. That’s on her.” ~ Notdoingitanymore

Well, OP, Reddit is with you.

You’re not trying to be malicious.

It sounds like some family therapy may be a good idea.

And have fun at prom.