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Mom to Stepmom: 'Don't Dress My Kid'

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Stepbomb: Recently, my older stepdaughter asked if she could borrow my Gap sweatshirt, and I told her yes. She ended up wearing it over to her mom's later that night, and it vanished like a ship into the fog. A few days later, she borrowed my favorite Abercrombie & Fitch button-down. And then it was an old college T-shirt. It seemed that whenever the clothes were worn over to her mom's, they would disappear into some kind of suburban Bermuda Triangle.
Lending clothes
Then one day my stepdaughter came to me and said that her mom thought it was weird that she borrowed my clothes. I asked my stepdaughter if she thought it was weird, and she quickly said no, that she liked being able to wear my "old stuff." Without bringing up her mom, I asked my stepdaughter if she wanted to stop wearing my clothes. She said, "No way!" And then she asked me what I thought. I told her that if borrowing my clothes made her happy, then she could do so for as long as she liked. So we left it at that. I don't know if it was right or wrong, but in that moment, I made the decision to focus on what made my stepdaughter happy, instead of worrying about how I may or may not be upsetting her mom.

About a week later, a giant bag of clothes showed up on my doorstep. When I opened it, I discovered not only all of the many sweatshirts, T-shirts and button-downs that I had let my stepdaughter borrow, but also all of the clothing that I had purchased for her over the last twelve months (half of which she'd long since outgrown). Before my stepdaughter could see it, I stashed it in the closet. Her mom's message was loud and clear: "Back off putting clothes on my daughter's back."

So now my dilemma is this: Do I stop letting my stepdaughter borrow my clothes because her mom doesn't like it? Or do I ignore her mother's message and let my stepdaughter borrow away because it makes her happy?

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38 comments so far | Post a comment now
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whiterose August 22, 2010, 10:18 AM

When I posted my previous reply I didn’t realise ‘stepbomb’ had a weekly column. Having now read the other posts, I simply cannot understand why. All that oozes through is ‘poor me’. I assume ‘stepbomb’doesn’t have any children of her own. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and imagine yourself in ‘the ex’s’ shoes. If you did have children and someone, like you, came along, how exactly would you feel??? Oh then magnify that by 1000% and maybe you might have some idea!

real September 13, 2010, 9:54 AM

way to go leah, whiterose and many many more. Whatever the mom says goes, even if it’s childish or unreasonable or whatever. You undermind her when you do things you know she don’t like. And yes, “poor me” girl get a life. I say time and time again that you are over doing it. Do your man and not his kids. Sounds like you LOVE DRAMA. It makes for good writing. lol lol lol

Anonymous October 26, 2010, 10:21 PM

All that is doing is creating tension and drama in the child’s enviroment. I can see if you were dressing the child in inappropriate clothing or such. I know I would want my stepchildren to have a loving stepmother who buys them clothes and even lets them borrow her clothes. It shows me that they’re responsible and love my children, and like to take care of them. I have no problem leaving them at their dads with stepmom being there. I know they’re well taken care of. I wouldn’t want stepmom to always have apparently leave her house or not go anywhere with my ex and my child everytime my child is there. It seems like people think stepmoms have to leave their house everytime stepchild visits. If stepmom doesnt, then stepmom should ignore stepchidlren. I wouldn’t my kids stepmom to ignore them. I don’t understand why people are so jealous. My kids love and respect their stepmom. Stepmom loves and respects my kids. She has the right to discipline and parent them while they are in her home. That said, Major decisions are made between me and my ex. Stepmom can have an opinion, but solely those decision should be made up by the child’s biological parents. I am also a stepmom, I don’t make those major decisions for my stepson. I know that is my husband’s and his ex’s job. But I buy my stepson clothes all the time, sometimes with my husband there and sometimes not. It’s because I care about my stepson and like to do nice things for him like buy him a t-shirt every once in a while. That being said I know my bounderies as a stepmom and I don’t overstep them, as with my kids stepmom. This isn’t about clothing, it’s about mom being insecure. Why would you want to create such a negative enviroment for you child. If you have any negativity then you need to deal with it with the adults and not bring it down on the children. And I would never lay blame on myself because mom can’t get over it. I would tell my husband what’s going on and see if we can’t talk to the mom about this. If mom doesnt want to change her mind I would respect her, but she would have to man up and tell stepdaughter of why she can’t borrow my clothes and why I don’t buy her any clothes anymore.

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