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Woman Told To 'Learn Boundaries' For Getting Professional Photos Taken Of Her Stepchildren

Lex Gabrielle 6 Nov 2020

When it comes to families and dynamics, blended families can be a lot of hard work to ensure that everyone is comfortable. Blended families are families in which spouses have kids from previous marriages, blending their families together into one, big, happy home. Sometimes, things work seamlessly and stepkids and parents get along super well. Other times, exes and new spouses have a lot of problems and issues with each other.

As someone who is dating someone with a child from a previous marriage, I can attest that being in a stepmom role is a lot of hard work.

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No matter how much you love and care for your spouse's children, sometimes the dynamic can be a lot for one to handle. Whether it's complications from their ex, or their family, you have to learn to cope and just roll with all of the punches thrown.

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Many times, however, when a step-parent is in a child's life from a very young age, things work themselves out.

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When children grow up in blended families from a young age, they often times just feel comfortable and accepting of their "different family," growing to love their stepparents and siblings.

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Recently, one stepmom wrote into Reddit seeking some advice on how to deal with her stepkid's biological mother.

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The stepmom asked if she was wrong for taking pictures of her step children without asking their biological mother. She also shared some context into their blended family and dynamic to understand the situation fully.

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The stepmother's husband passed away four years ago, however, she still has rooms and places set up for her step-kids.

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"My husband passed away four years ago. Still, our home is just as much his kids (15 and 17) as it is ours. They still have keys to the house, their own bedrooms, and spend a ton of time over," she said.

She also added that she had been in the children's lives since they were toddlers.

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Now that the children are older and can drive themselves, the stepmother said she doesn't talk to their biological mother as much. She has invited their mother over, but she turned down the invite as the two were never really close.

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Recently, the stepmother had decided to have professional family photos taken.

"We hadn’t had family photos done since before my husband got sick so when I was ready to get new ones done, it seemed obvious that they would be in them.

Their mom dropped off the youngest a bit before then and I mentioned I was getting them. I didn’t mention specifically that both my kids and her kids would be in them because I assumed she would assume so," she wrote.

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After getting the prints back, she had asked for some copies to give her step-children's biological mother.

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"We get the photos done, I ask the photographer to get some shots of just my bonus kids for their mom. We get the photos back and I get prints for her. I texted asking if she’d like me to drop them off while I was out or if it’d be better to send them home with the kids," she wrote.

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She received a response from the mother the next day, and she was definitely not happy.

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"She didn’t respond until the next day and tells me I need to learn boundaries. We talked a bit, it wasn’t a fight necessarily but she said it made her uncomfortable. She said I wouldn’t get professional photos of any of my kids' other friends without asking and that it has weird. I was thrown off because although our kids don’t share DNA, they’ve always called each other brothers. They’ve been together since they were in diapers. She said she loves that I love them like my own but they aren’t my own and I overstepped," she wrote.

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The stepmother was confused because she had been in these children's lives for years and was married to their father.

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"I feel like I shouldn’t have had to ask. These weren’t my boyfriend's kids I saw every other weekend, these are kids that were at our house just as much as their own. If my husband was alive, there would be no question that they would be in the pictures. If they were family then, why not now?" she asked.

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The majority of the Reddit community not only said this woman has nothing to be sorry for, but they also commended her for still being a positive role model to her step children after losing their father.

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"This has nothing to do with pictures or boundaries. This has to do with her insecurity. There's another person they love like a mother because she was their second mother for over a decade. She wants to be their one and only. That's understandable but she can't control who her kids love. Next time ask the kids if they're OK with pictures, and don't offer the mom anything. In a couple of years she'll have no say about it anyway," one person wrote.

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Others said it was appropriate considering that the kids still see the stepmom regularly.

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"I think it’s wonderful that you and the children have been able to remain close. Not to mention, she is literally dropping them off at your house for time together. Of course, they would be in the pictures," another added.

What do you think? Was it inappropriate for this woman to include her stepchildren in the photos?

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