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There’s Nothing Like A Mum — But A Great Stepmum Is Pretty Close

, , , , , , , | Related | January 2, 2023

My mother died when I was five. I was old enough to have very fond memories of the kindest woman to ever live, who loved me more than anything in the world, even after she got sick. When she died, my inconsolable dad didn’t even think about dating for several years.

He sat me down when I was eleven and told me that he had met someone. He had been seeing her secretly for several months, and he would like me to meet her before he moved any further. While I was a little bit terrified — my friends had stepmothers who HATED them, and they hated them right back — I agreed to do it for my dad, who had always put me first. I figured if this woman was special enough to get my dad to start dating again, then I should at least see what she was like.

Enter [Stepmum]. She showed up to our first meeting nervous as h*** with a puzzle in her hand. I LOVED puzzles, but my dad lacked the patience to do them with me and was always working. She tipped it out onto the table and sat down to help, answering every single one of my rapid-fire questions — even the ones that made my dad turn bright red. From that afternoon forward, we were best friends.

She was kind and funny, and she never tried to push me into anything. She came to every one of my hockey games and cheered louder than anyone else and always took me out for lunch afterward. I went to her when I got my first period, terrified because Dad had assumed that sex-ed had prepared me, and she handled it like a champ.

A year after I met [Stepmum], she moved in, and she and Dad got married. I was her maid of honor. She was an only child and her parents spoiled the HECK out of me — fancy electronics, new clothes, tonnes of “I saw this and thought of you!” presents. [Stepmum] couldn’t have kids of her own, so I was their one shot at grandchildren, and they took that opportunity and ran with it.

When I was fourteen, Dad sat me down again. He informed me that he was also sick.

Dad: “[Stepmum] would like to adopt you in case anything happens to me so that you can stay with her.”

I had a visceral reaction to this. Not only was my dad sick, but now the worst was happening: [Stepmum] was trying to replace MY mum. She appeared in the kitchen doorway.

Stepmum: “For God’s sake, [Dad], that was not what we discussed that you would say.”

Dad fumbled for a moment while I cried and sniffled and said, “No,” over and over again.

Stepmum: “That’s totally fine, honey. Our other option is signing some papers for legal guardianship so that I can keep you in case of the worst happening. Is that something you want?”

I nodded enthusiastically, even through my snot and hiccups. I didn’t want to ever be without [Stepmum]; I just couldn’t handle her replacing my mother. We signed those papers, and that was that.

My dad fought like h*** and recovered, even if he was now down a leg. [Stepmum] is now the world’s greatest grandma to my three little gremlins, and they love to go for rides on Poppy’s wheelchair. [Stepmum] is absolutely my mum in every sense of the word except on paper — and she never pushed for the paper, either.

No Jokes Here, Just An Important Lesson

, , , , , , | Related | December 17, 2022

I live with my mother, though we’re more like roommates. I pay the gas and electric bills while she pays the rest of the bills. My stepdad sleeps in a different house that we also own to keep it from seeming to be abandoned while we save up money to renovate it.

One morning in early December, I get up and am much more groggy than usual. I stumble out of my room to go to the bathroom, and I see my stepdad look up. He’s over by the stove and frantic.

Stepdad: “Are you okay?!”

Me: “I’m tired. I need to use the bathroom.”

Stepdad: “No, get your cat and go outside! Now!”

I am very confused, but I do what he says. I go back, grab my cat, and wander out of the house after slipping some shoes on. My stepdad comes back out a few minutes later with my groggy mother, the other cats, and the dog.

Stepdad: “The entire house was filled with gas! There was so much in there that you could see it! Are you both okay?!”

Now I begin to panic.

Me: “What?! How did that happen? Do we have a gas leak?”

Stepdad: “No, the stovetop was turned on, but it didn’t have a flame in it! The entire house was pumped with gas all night! Who left the stove on?!”

Mom: “Oh. I did that.”

Me: “…you did what?”

Mom: “I turned the flame on low to add some heat to the house last night. Something must have blown it out.”

I can’t tell who is angrier at this: me or my stepdad.

Me: “What the h***? Why would you do that?!”

Mom: “Well, it was cold, and the heater has been acting weird, so I didn’t want to turn it on.”

Me: “If [Stepdad] hadn’t gotten here in time, we could have died! No, listen to me. I pay the gas bill, and I say no more turning a burner on at night! Ever!

Mom: “Well, what am I supposed to do when it gets cold?”

Me: “Put on a pair of socks! Wear an extra pair of PJ bottoms! Wear something with sleeves! Throw another blanket on your bed! You have a large, warm dog who sleeps with you; snuggle her!

We later figured out that the reason we both made it through okay was that I sleep with my head next to the window that I keep cracked open in the winter, because I need a VERY cold room to be able to sleep well, and one of the windows in mom’s room has a chunk of glass missing. We both had a good supply of fresh air, as did the animals who sleep with us.

Mom doesn’t pull this anymore.

Step-Mom’s Not Exactly A Breath Of Fresh Air

, , , | Related | November 11, 2022

CONTENT WARNING: This story contains content of a medical nature. It is not intended as medical advice.

I am the author of this story. I was an intern at the time of the first story, but at the end of the year, I realised that I would never be happy as a nurse — too much suffering — and left the school.

Months later, I am at a burger joint with my father, his wife — whom I don’t get along with — my brother, and my sister-in-law. We are making small talk over a burger when my father’s wife starts choking on her burger.

Since I trained to be a nurse, I learned first-aid, so I do the first thing to do when somebody is choking: big slaps on the back. One, two, and she moves away. Someone else, closer, does the Heimlich maneuver, and the burger bite is out. My father’s wife breathes a bit and then turns to me.

Father’s Wife: *Harshly* “Thank God you didn’t become a nurse! That hurt!”

I tried to explain to her that it was what my nurse training told me to do, but she left to go to the toilets. I’m not sorry to say that the imprint of my hand stayed on her back for some time, according to my father.

For unrelated reasons, I cut ties with her. Good riddance.

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Y’all Ever Hear Of Benefits?

, , , , , | Related | October 21, 2022

My fourteen-year-old step-brother is looking to make some extra cash. His mother (my stepmother) asks if there is anything I can have him do, so I offer him $50 to mow my half-acre lawn.

The next day, my stepmother calls.

Stepmother: “You owe [Step-Brother] more money.”

Me: “Why?”

Stepmother: “He was at your house all day for $50! That’s child labor abuse!”

Me: “I picked him up, fueled the lawn mower, and dropped him off at your house. That’s all gas paid out of my pocket.”

Stepmother: “Yes, but—”

Me: “I also fed him before and after he mowed.”

Stepmother: “Well—”

Me: “He also took a shower here, which is water and electricity on my bill. So, yes, I do think $50 is more than fair for a fourteen-year-old working one hour when I provide everything else that day.”

Stepmother: “You could have given him a little extra. He was helping you.”

Me: “I am capable of mowing my own lawn, but you insisted that I should help him earn money.”

She hung up.

My step-brother called later to apologize and thank me for the cash. He told her all the extra things I did for him, but she still only heard that he made $50 for spending about five hours at my house and decided I was taking advantage of him.

If You Can’t Act Like An Adult About It, Make Your Own Food

, , , , , | Related | August 7, 2022

My stepfather has a bit of a temper. He gets extremely peeved if fast food places get his food wrong. My family went through the drive-thru of a certain fast food place. They got our food wrong and my stepfather asked for a remake. They remade the food.

It was wrong again and my stepfather got angry. Remake. Wrong again. My stepfather went nuclear — screaming, cussing, demanding people be fired, the works.

The next day in class, I happened to overhear two classmates talking.

Classmate: “Some son of a b**** came in screaming and got half the staff fired. Including me. I’m officially out of the job.”

Cue me sinking down in my seat and mentally screaming.