My Mom Wants Me to Exclude My Stepmom from Family Photos, But I Don't Feel Right About It: Advice?

QUESTION:

"I need advice. I’m 30, married for ten years, and we have a ten-year-old son. I want to start this by saying I’m very close to both my parents. My mom left my dad, and they have been divorced like 15 years.

My dad has been with my stepmom for 11 years, and I’m very close to her and love her like a second mom. My mom has been married a couple of times since my dad and has been with my stepdad now for five years. He’s a great guy, unlike the other one. I consider all four of them my parents, and I love them all.

The problem is my mom has always had some jealousy towards my stepmom. At my wedding, she made a big deal about family pictures and didn’t want my stepmom in them, and my stepmom backed down because it was my day and didn’t want to cause problems. I never even knew about that until now when this new situation came up.

My mom wants to get family pictures done. My brother and family also. She told me if I wanted to, I could invite my dad, stepmom, and step-sister (I’m very close to her also). I was like yeah! I’d love to have a huge picture of my dad and his family, my mom and her husband, and my family. A big blended family picture.

Well, fast forward to yesterday. My mom calls and tells me that my brother and she would like a picture of just my biological parents, him, and me. She told me not to say anything so they couldn’t back out. It makes me extremely uncomfortable because that is not my reality. My parents are not together and haven’t been for years.

I don’t think excluding my stepmom is right. She really is very sweet. I’ve never even heard her yell. I called my dad and told him, and that’s when he told me about the incident at my wedding. I talked with my husband, and he said he didn’t want any part of it. My kid has always known my dad to be with my stepmom.

I feel like my mom regrets what she did 15 years ago. I just feel like she should know it makes me uncomfortable. What do y’all think? If I’m ridiculous about it, please LMK I love all of them so much, and I just hate the thought of hurting any of their feelings."

RELATED QUESTION: Is it wrong for me to ask my child’s grandma to stop taking so many pictures/videos?

TOP ANSWERS (AS SELECTED BY MODERATOR):

“Your mom is being ridiculous and giving her what she wants will allow her to continue this awful behavior! I also have a blended family like yours and NO WAY would I allow my mother to act that way!!! You’re completely justified in your feelings!”

“Sucks you’re in this situation. If i were you, I’d then suggest a separate picture with both you and your brother with just the step-parents too.”

“I would feel the same as you! She is family and therefore should be included!!”

“As a step-parent who has experienced this… just tell her straight forward how you feel. My stepdaughter did on her senior night at high school. She said either all my parents go or none of my parents go. I was left out on the field without a corsage, but I still participated. Even at the oldest boy’s wedding, I was left in the hallway, because she pushed me to the side and the ceremony started with mothers lighting candles. I was supposed to be seated before that, it didn’t work as planned. After all, children grew up, I learned to distance myself from those situations. We do totally separate family events. It’s much easier for my heart that way. Being a step-parent is hard enough without the biological mother trying to make everything look like one big happy family. If they were no step-parent would be there. My husband and I have been married 22 years, if I hadn’t spoken up to our children, all above 30 now, about my feelings she would still be that way. They understand my situation and we adjust so we still have our happy family, 5 children, and 23 grandchildren.”

“Multiple pictures… One with everyone. One with mom’s side and step, one with dad’s side and step. Individuals can order what they want out of the proofs. Problem solved and all are happy.”

“Either compromise and do the pictures the way she wants AND the way you want or tell her to suck it up because your stepmom is your parent too. Tell her she shouldn’t be putting your family in that situation. She made her choice now she has to live with it. Especially after the wedding incident.”

“It’s hard for a blended family and sounds like your stepmother loves you. I don’t believe you should have to have a picture with just the birth parents. Kinda not fair to the stepmom and isn’t reality.”

“I’m happy you told your father. Being trucked like that would have caused even more tension. Your mother is being childish. He moved on and is happy. She shouldn’t have remarried if she couldn’t be the same and leave matters in a friendly and healthy manner. You are a huge blended family and from what it sounds, your stepmother had nothing to do with their divorce. In light of what happened at your wedding and how your stepmother felt obligated to step out and be excluded, I would personally call my mother out and refuse to do anything family-related until she stops trying to exclude my stepmother. It’s disrespectful and petty. I hope you find a solution that works for you.”

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READ ALL ANSWERS BELOW:

13 Likes

Don’t exclude her unless she wants to be excluded

Excluding people is very hurtful. As your step mom, she is part of the family.

I would feel the same as you! She is family and therefore should be included!!

7 Likes

Sucks your in this situation, if i were you I’d then suggest a separate picture with both you and your brother with just the step parents too.

9 Likes

Id say its whoever is paying for the photos decision. If it is not you you can always pay for your own to include your whole family as you wish.

Get photos of your biological parents and kids and have separate photos for the rest. They can be different photos. You can have one all together too but it doesn’t hurt to respect her wishes and take at least a couple with just your mom and dad in them. Most photographers take multiple types of photos as it is so just do them all. That way everyone wins

Have the family picture that you want and pay for it(if that’s an issue). Don’t give in to this nonsense.

2 Likes

Multiple pictures… One with everyone. One with moms side and step, one with dads side and step. Individuals can order which they want out of proofs.

Problem solved and all are happy

7 Likes

That shitty that shes putting you in that kind of situation. But if you want to avoid conflict I would just photos with your mom and brother. And then do a separate shoot for your dads side. I’m sorry you’re going through this.

Okay I’m going to give you two solutions to this one is you can do a family picture of your parents and your siblings, take picture with everyone step parents included that way everyone is happy. or two don’t have either step parent in the picture or step-siblings. I believe your mom is not over your dad which is where the jealousy for your step mom comes in. Your mom needs to grow up and stop being so immature, selfish, childish, Petty and put what is best for everyone ahead of her own jealousy feelings. your step Mom sounds like a very reasonable woman like a very good woman and honestly if I was her it would hurt me if I was not included in family pictures especially after years of being with your father. I would be very hurt I would be graceful, respectful and mature about it but I would be very hurt.

6 Likes

I would tell her she can have a picture of you, her and your brother however you will not partake in excluding anyone. I did a family picture of me, my husband and all 4 of our children together. Then I did one of just the kids, another of him with the 4 kids they all are his I asked my two step children if they wanted to do one with just me and their siblings or if they wanted me to do one with just me and the two bio kids. They said all of us cause even though you didn’t birth us we are still yours.

2 Likes

It’s not about what others feel, you gotta go with your feelings. I grew up with 4 parents, bios separated when I was 2. I’ve been through a lot of the emotions between my bio and steps. Drove me nuts! In the end, I’m 34, both have divorced their SO after 20 something years and I haven’t spoke to my ex stepmom in 7 years. Ex stepdad isn’t my “family” anymore either. They have all tried making me feel responsible for their emotions and when I have catered to them, I lost out. I ALWAYS lost out. Their negative emotions should not dictate your choices, especially when you have positive emotions towards all of them.

1 Like

Either compromise and do the pictures the way she wants AND the way you want or tell her to suck it up because your step mom is your parent too. Tell her she shouldn’t be putting your family in that situation. She made her choice now she has to live with it. Especially after the wedding incident.

4 Likes

Your mom is being ridiculous and giving her what she wants will allow her to continue this awful behavior! I also have a blended family like yours and NO WAY would I allow my mother to act that way!!! You’re completely justified in your feelings!:heart::heart::heart::heart: hope all works for you and yours!!:heart::heart:

13 Likes

Include your stepmon, tell your mom how you feel

1 Like

It’s hard for a blended family and sounds like your stepmother loves you. I don’t believe you should have to have a picture with just the birth parents. Kinda not fair to the stepmom and isn’t reality.

3 Likes

Put your foot down. You’re 30 years old and perfectly capable of saying that is not your reality and not what you want.

1 Like

Does she JUST want pictures of you 4? Or just ONE picture of you 4? If she would just like one of y’all, I see no issue in it. That IS your mom, dad and brother. But if that’s the ONLY pictures she wants, then yeah, no. But I don’t see a problem in taking a “family” picture like that.

Do a picture with the biological parents and do one including the step parents

1 Like