I Don’t Want My Stepmother To Watch My Baby, Am I Wrong?
Dear Dr. Sherry,
My father is very excited because I’m eight months pregnant with his first grandchild, a baby girl. He’s already making plans to babysit and spend time with her. While I appreciate his enthusiasm, my issue is that I don’t have a relationship with my stepmother—it doesn’t go beyond pleasantries whenever were see each other. My dad cheated on my mom with her and subsequently married her years later when I was a teenager. My mom passed away last year. I know of many paternal relatives who would expect me to see my stepmother as my child’s grandmother, but I just don’t feel it’s right. After all, they always told me to accept her as my own mother even when my own was alive. I don’t trust her because she and my dad caused my family so much pain. My dad will always be my dad so I must strive to maintain a relationship with him. I’d prefer my dad to interact with my child in my territory because I don’t want a bond to form between my child and his wife. If anyone will be called “grandma” on my side, it will be my maternal aunts. I don’t know how to explain this to my dad, and my husband thinks I’m being too strict. If we happen to visit my dad, his wife may interact with the child some, but I’d never want to leave my daughter with both of them because knowing their dynamic, she would provide most of the care and have influence over her. If it’s just my dad, it’s a different case.
Am I overreacting?
Protective Mother, Cautious Daughter
Read Dr.Sherry’s response at Essence.com