The Not So Wicked Stepmother

This is part information, part rant. I have worked for a family for three years. It wasn't until we got into the second year that I started meeting the (divorced) father's girlfriend.  He only introduced her to the children because they were serious and they have now been married for five months. The biological mother and father rotate custody of the children, one week here, one week there.

If you think you have it tough being taken seriously as the nanny, try being the stepmother. Let me paint a picture, tall, beautiful, great body and 28 years old where most moms are in their 40's and beyond. Trust me, I wanted t hate her when I met her. I wanted to believe she was dull, dumb, vain, in it for the money, hated children, etc. None of this is true.

The biological mother and she do not get along, but I expect over time that will change. I just feel so bad for this woman. People ask her if she's the nanny. When she says no, they say "au pair" and "oh housekeeper?" It doesn't seem accidental. It seems intentional. The teachers and activity directors and bitchy UWS moms are nicer to the me than they are her. They simply won't give her a shot.

She's taken over packing the children's lunches. A domestic chore, I used to do. She leaves funny notes or drawings in their bag.  She doesn't have to but tries to get out of work by 4 on the weeks that the children are here so she can be present. She helps with homework. She has more patience than I do, and I'm patient. She prepares healthy snacks. If a child asks to go the park, she asks the child if she can take them. I could be concerned that she was stealing my job, but she's only making my job easier for me.

Last week, one of the classroom moms and she had a confrontation. The stepmother stated that she had offered multiple times to help with a booth and no one had gotten back to her. The classroom mom said, "You don't expect us to take you seriously". I was right there. I heard it. It was humiliating.

So, if you're a mom or classmom or teacher or soccer coach and Dad has a new, younger wife. Don't assume that she's a non involved ditz. This woman is trying and the mixed signals the kids receive from teachers and people of power are making things very hard on her. I've seen her in tears. Don't be so judgmental. Be kind. Take time to get to know someone, whether it's a stepmom or a nanny.

Something on your mind? Email isynblog@gmail.com.


Nanny said...

I totally agree with you!

What comes to my head is - angry/jealous ex-wife spread her side of the story around in the school etc.

I am 29 years old, married to a man with 2 kids from a previous marriage. I'm the "younger" new wife. It's hard to be involved in the kids lives when there is a non cooperative mom in the background.

Anonymous said...

I suggest discussing this with the father. What needs to happen is a letter coming from the father and the mother needs to written to the teachers. This letter should contain information about acceptance but also what behavior is acceptable in front of the children. No one can tell an adult how to feel but they can certainly be demanded to act respectful towards the new wife and give positive energy to the new wife when their children is around.

Women, Im sure most of the culprit, in general can be so caddy! This is just one reason why I don't hang with most women. The women around me are open minded, respectful.

-Angi, nanny of 30 years

this_nick said...

Even as just the nanny I would've stepped in at the classroom mom's comment with a loud "Excuuuuse me?", but I get not everyone's the Molly Meddler type. I feel bad for the stepmom, but she also needs to find her backbone and stand up for herself. If the classroom moms are excluding her and won't bend, she needs to take it up with the school. Encourage her not to put up with this bullshit.

RBTC said...

you are a good person and professional to be aware of this and help with it - keep us posted

my father's new wife had it rough but - they built their own life - i value her, my brother not so much - but time will help probably