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Teen Called Out By Stepmom For Excluding Half-Siblings From Scrapbook Honoring Late Mother

Teen scrapbooking
Olga_Z/Getty Images

It’s always hard for children when one or both of their parents remarry, no matter how old they are.

Be they children of widowed parents or children of divorce, it’s always difficult to accept that there is a new person in their parent’s life, ostensibly taking the place of their mother or father.

Most of the time, all hesitation goes away after a year or so, and they grow to love their stepparents as if they were their own mother or father.

Sadly, not all families are so lucky.

Redditor Some-Year-8211 and his siblings did not take their father’s re-marriage in stride, feeling that they were losing part of their mother by his doing so.

In order to keep her memory alive, the original poster (OP) and his siblings found a special way for the three of them to hold on to her.

However, when the OP’s father, stepmother, and stepsister found out about this, they were not pleased at all and scolded the OP and his siblings for excluding the rest of their family.

Wondering if they had, in fact, done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for making a family memory book with just my full siblings and not including my stepsister or half siblings?”

The OP explained why their stepmother and stepsister took offense at the way they commemorated their late mother.

‘My mom and dad had me (17 M[ale]), my sister (14 F), and brother (13 M) together.

“Mom died eight years ago.”

“Dad remarried six years ago, and it was not easy for the three of us.”

“Dad’s wife, Rose, has a daughter who’s like 11 now.”

“They also have a 4 and 2-year-old together.”

“About a week after their wedding, my siblings snuck into my room in the middle of the night, sad about dad being married and the changes that had happened.”

“They asked if I felt like mom really gone now and I said yeah.”

“I asked them if they’d like for us to have something just for us, no new family involved, where we could remember mom and talk about that stuff.”

“They said yes.”

“So I raised the money to buy a pretty nice scrapbook, and about once a month, my siblings would sneak into my room at night, and we’d put photos in and write memories we had, and I’d share the stories I remembered of mom since as the oldest I remembered her best and remembered the stories about her I’d heard.”

“We never added Rose, our stepsister, or our half-siblings when they were born.”

“We also didn’t talk about it to dad or anyone else.”

“I knew he wouldn’t love that we were doing it.”

“I kept it hidden in my room.”

“Three weeks ago, my Rose went through my stuff and found it.”

“She claims she was cleaning up in my room, but I know she was snooping because I had it hidden in a place that she wouldn’t be cleaning.”

“She went through it, showed my dad, and they sat my siblings and me down and told us that was a really unfair thing to have in the house and how mean it was to do something like that without all the siblings involved.”

“My brother said it was just for the three of us as real siblings.”

“Dad told him that was a sh*tty attitude and what are our stepsister and half-siblings if not real siblings.”

“My sister said it would always be different.”

“Rose said we should never have made something in the home we all shared when it excluded three of our siblings and would hurt feelings.”

“She said we should have done something to bring us all together.”

“My sister said that wasn’t what she wanted.”

“My dad sent them out of the room, and he and Rose told me I never should have gone along with it and how much it hurt my stepsister when she saw the book and heard what we’d been doing.”

“Rose said it hurt her too.”

“That she tried to make us all one family, and we made sure never to close that divide in the last six years.”

“Dad told me he expected better from me.”


Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

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

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for leaving their stepsister and half-siblings out of the scrapbook.

Everyone agreed that as the scrapbook was meant to be a memorial to their late mother, there was no reason their stepsister and half-siblings needed to be included.

Many wondered if Rose simply wanted to cause drama as she was snooping where she wasn’t supposed to anyway.

“The only reason your father’s wife has hurt feelings is that she snooped through your private belongings.”

“The only reason her daughter is hurt is that she showed her your private belongings.”

“This hurt was created by your father’s wife, who is older and should know better.”

“There is nothing wrong with trying to keep your mother’s memory alive in a scrapbook.”

“Your father and his wife chose to blend their families.”

“You did not, and you have every right to hold onto the memories of your life before your mother died.”

“NTA.”- type1error

“’Dad, I understand you and Rose want us to include step and half siblings.'”

“‘But you need to know that we three are remembering our mother, a person that neither Rose, the steps, and the half-siblings never knew.'”

“‘She was and still is our mother.'”

“‘This scrapbook is a way for us to bond and grieve and has nothing to do with anyone else.'”

”You said you expected better of me’.”

“‘I’m still a teenager and doing my best for me and my siblings.'”

“‘I am, as are my siblings, very hurt you and Rose are trying to erase our mom.'”

“‘Pushing us to include them in some that has nothing to do with them is hurtful and shortsighted.'”

“‘We lost our mom, and we cannot replace her.'”

“‘Please respect that this activity hurts no one.'”

“‘But taking it away will cause you to hurt your relationship with us.'”

“‘Kindly, you need to stop.'”

“‘We’re hurting no one.”

”You’re hurting us.’”

“NTA.”- Beck2010


“It sounds like that is a vital way you all grieved your mom’s death, to re-affirm what you had with her.”

“You were all more than old enough that losing her left an irreplaceable hole in your life.”

“People all grieve in different ways.”

“None are more right than others.”

“And there’s no specific timeline for it.”

“Your stepmom was a total AH for snooping through your stuff.”

“And your dad was an AH for not understanding this is how you all grieve your mom’s death.”

“It sounds like your dad and stepmom just want The Happy Blended Family, no matter how you all feel about it.”

“And they want you to ignore any feelings otherwise.”

“This firmly makes them the AHs.”

“I’d advise you talk to a grief counselor about this WITH YOUR DAD AND ROSE PRESENT, so they may understand your feelings are valid.”- bmyst70


“There is nothing wrong with making something special to remember your mother.”- Super-Breath6350


“It sounds like this wasn’t about excluding your step- and half-siblings. It was about trying to keep your mum’s memories alive.”

“Perhaps if you had been open about it, there could have been a scrapbook for memories of your mum and a second book started for your blended family as it came together and grew, but you were just a kid (11 if I’ve worked it out correctly) when you started the scrapbook.”

“You were just trying to be a good big brother and muddle through your feelings as best you could.”

“It might not be too late for that second scrapbook but, either way, I don’t think you need to apologize for the first one.”- geordiehippo

The OP later returned with an update, revealing that after her stepmother learned of his post, things went from bad to worse.

“They were going to destroy the book because Rose found this post, but I was able to save it.”

“I can’t speak for my siblings, but I am done with dad after this.”

“I only have a few months left, and I won’t be sticking around, won’t be trying any kind of therapy with them.”

“I’m just done.”

“I’ll be grounded or something for a while, but I don’t care anymore.”

“At least it will just be me.”

“My sister called our grandparents after everything went off, and now they know.”

“They want to try and help, but I don’t see that working.”

“Thanks for all the comments.”

It’s heartbreaking to think that the OP’s father’s impatience with his grief was so strong that it led the OP to want to leave home and never return.

Hopefully, the OP might reconsider this decision should his father and Rose change their ways, however.

So that he might be there for his two younger siblings in a way his own father wasn’t there for him.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.