Dear Snarky – My Mom Thinks I Shouldn’t Trust My Stepmom

Dear Snarky,

I need your help with my mother who is being very irrational and it’s hurting me financially. I was forced to move back in with my mother and my two young daughters after my boyfriend and I broke up. I have lived with her for two years and my mother takes care of all my expenses. It hasn’t been a burden for my mom because she has a great job and her house is large so it’s not like we’re on top of each other.

The issue is after not working for those two years to be a stay-at-home mom I’ve decided to find a job which my mom has been urging me to do. The problem I’m having is that my stepmother has offered to provide free childcare and my mom is upset by that.

Backstory – my mom and dad went through a bad divorce ten years ago when he walked out on the family leaving my mom to do and pay for everything. He left my mom for a woman he had been having a long-term affair with and was pretty much leading a double life. Like, he had a kid with her while married to my mom. Things have stayed very tense with them, and my stepmom hasn’t helped matters because she has a habit of taking digs at my mom on social media. 

When I told my mom that my dad’s wife has offered to watch my kids she got very upset and warned me to be careful since my “stepmom” has had almost nothing to do with my life until now and has never met my daughters that she thinks there’s an “ulterior motive.” 

I told her that maybe my dad’s wife is extending an olive branch and I would be dumb not to take it. My mom doesn’t believe that and thinks that it’s just going to create drama for all of us and it’s not in my children’s best interest.

I don’t agree and it’s going to save me a lot of money to not have to pay for childcare so how do I tell my mom to chill out?

Signed, Free Childcare

Dear Free Childcare,

Nothing in life is really ever free and I can assure you that this offer of free childcare is going to come back and bite you in the butt. But I don’t think you really care about that. I think you’re trying to manipulate your mother. 

The reason I say that is for two years you and your daughters have had all of your expenses covered by your mother. You mentioned that you are a stay-at-home mom and the only way you’ve been able to pull that off is that your mom is paying for everything. You also mentioned that your mom has been “urging” you to get a job. My thoughts are that you don’t want to get a job because let’s be honest you have a pretty sweet set up with your mom still taking care of you and your kids.

I think that by telling your mom that your “stepmother” offered to take care of your daughters is an attempt to get your mother to back off on her “urging” you to seek employment. I believe your game plan is to agree to not let your stepmother provide childcare and then tell your mom you can’t work without childcare and since she doesn’t want your stepmom to do it then you should probably just continue to stay home with your kids.

Now, if this isn’t the case (which I doubt) the fact that your stepmother out of the blue and without ever being involved in your life wants to provide forty hours of free childcare a week to two children she hasn’t even met is insane and reeks of disaster. You have admitted that you have had no relationship with this woman which means you know nothing about her and now you’re okay leaving your kids with her? Never mind that this was the other woman in your parent’s marriage, and that she still enjoys getting on social media and insulting your mother. That alone should be a red flag.

You need to grow up, get a job and start being self-sufficient without the aid of your family. You also need to seek therapy because I think you have a long history of using people and it’s time to work on becoming a better human being.


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