So there’s this syrupy “letter to my daughter’s stepmom” making the internet rounds that I feel compelled to address. In it, the mom tells her ex-husband’s new wife how beautiful, loving and kind she is; how lucky “they” all are to have her in their lives. “You’ve accepted our daughter from the very start and have unconditionally loved both her and her daddy, that’s a true gift to all of us,” mom writes lovingly to stepmom. Don’t get me wrong; I’m thrilled that these two women have become unwitting besties, and I’m positive the child in question will reap a lifetime of rewards because of it. Lucky they all indeed are.
But what do you do when your children’s stepmother isn’t beautiful, loving or kind? When she screwed your husband when he was still very much married to you? When she habitually smack-talks you to your children, refuses to engage in anything resembling functional co-parenting, sends you scathing, nonsensical texts and seemingly tries her best, on a daily basis, to make your life living hell?
I’m not divorced, but I’ve watched too many friends be forced to entrust their children—their babies, the fruit of their wombs—to some psychotic bitch who’s incompetent, clueless or in a few cases, downright evil. And while somehow my friends consistently manage to endure their fates with grace and poise, I’m going to guess that they’d love to shred that virally sensational letter and go out and buy a birdcage for the sole purpose of lining it with the scraps.
Here’s the letter I’m pretty sure some of them would like to write instead:
I never wanted you here. I still don’t. But apparently I’m stuck with you, at least until he cheats on you and leaves you, too, so there are a few things I’d like you to know:
I don’t blame you for breaking up my marriage. It was my husband who promised to be true to me—not you. You were just a handy catalyst. But the very fact that you have no respect for the sanctity of marriage tells me everything I need to know about you. It breaks my heart every day to have to share my children with someone with such a colossal lack of morals, but I plan to use you as an example of everything I don’t want them to become.
Speaking of my children: These beautiful, bold, brave human beings you are so fortunate to have in your life are mine, not yours, and they always will be. They came out of my body and are a part of my soul. I would throw myself in front of a train for them and consider it a privilege of motherhood. If you ask them to call you mom, I will cut you.
I hated you with every fiber in my being before I even laid eyes on you, and then I somehow managed to hate you even more. You did nothing to deserve the pleasure of my children’s company, and if I knew I could get away with it, I would hunt you down in a dark alley, break all of your limbs and leave you there to rot.
Because you slept with my husband when he was married to me, you are a whore and always will be. I will be respectful to your face for my children’s sake, because they’ve been hurt enough already, but one day I will make sure they know this about you.
You were the scum of the earth already, but when you talk shit about me to my children behind my back (what a deplorable thing to do to them!) you are beyond disgraceful. As much as I despise you, and as much fodder as you’ve given me, I refuse to do this in return. One day my children will be old enough to understand which one of us was the admirable parent who had only their best interests at heart. I pine for that day and plan to savor it like a long, cool drink of water after a four-day hike in the desert.
My children do not like you. In fact, they wish you had never been born. They are kind to you because I raised them well and taught them to be respectful and obedient. But if they could rewind time and rewrite history, they would make sure you didn’t exist. Never forget that.
I don’t give a rat’s ass what you think about anything concerning my children’s lives. I truly, deeply don’t. If you have a parenting philosophy or even a simple opinion on something, keep it to yourself. I have zero interest in hearing it.
The only good thing I can say about you is that you did me a favor. Their daddy was a selfish, self-centered SOB and a complete asshole to be married to. And now he’s all yours.
Good luck with that.
Damn, that felt good.