Woman Tells Her Boyfriend’s Kids To Treat Her ‘Like A Roommate, Not A Stepmom’ And Asks If She’s A Jerk

Being in a relationship with someone who has kids is a whole other ballgame. I definitely have no experience with it and tip my hat to those who can manage that kind of relationship arrangement; it has to be hard.

u/New-Mushroom-9259 is one such — dare I say — semi-magical person who is not only in a relationship with her boyfriend, but is also developing a relationship with his kids.

So what could possibly be going awry in this recent post to Reddit’s AITA forum? Let’s check it out.

OP starts the story by explaining that her boyfriend has six (!) kids. The youngest splits custody and the teens just do what they want.

I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years and moved in 4 months ago. He has 6 kids. He has 2 adult sons, a 17 y.o son, 15 y.o daughter, 14 y.o son, and 7 y.o son. He has custody of his youngest son 2 days during the week and every other weekend. The teenage kids no longer follow any custody agreement and split time between parents how they choose.

OP generally has a good relationship with the kids, but they tend to eat OP’s food and use the master bathroom without picking up.

I would say I have a fairly good relationship with his kids, and I actually enjoy spending time with them.

One of the things that annoys me is they often eat food I specifically brought for myself, so when I go and grab a snack there’s nothing to eat. This happens frequently and even when I tell them something is for me, they eat it. My boyfriend’s daughter regularly uses the master bathroom as it’s the only one with a bath, but she never cleans up after herself and uses my products and when I mention it, she just shrugs me off.

Fairly innocuous kid stuff, but hey – that’s probably irksome after a while. Things seem to have come to a head when OP was alone with the kids.

A couple nights ago my boyfriend was out of town and the 3 teens still spent the night at his place. I kept to myself and let them do their own thing. I made myself some dinner and when I was almost done two of the kids and one of their friends came into the kitchen.

OP cooked for herself but not the kids, one of whom wanted to eat. OP said they were fine to sort themselves, which they did.

The daughter asked why I hadn’t asked them if they wanted anything, and I replied that they know how to sort themselves out and I’m not their chef. She ended up making dinner for her brothers and her friend. Afterwards she told me she had washed up from their dinner and had left mine. I told her that was fine and that I wouldn’t expect her too.

The kid seemed to have trouble with OP eating without them, but OP said that she wasn’t a stepmother. In fact, she should be seen as more of a roommate and her stuff should be respected.

She went on to again comment on me not asking about what everybody else was doing for dinner. I again told her that wasn’t my business. I elaborated with her and told her I wasn’t looking to be her stepmom and that she should treat me like a roommate. That means respecting my space, belongings, and privacy, as well as not expecting me to cook/clean for her, but also know that I won’t make her do chores for me. I brought up them eating my food, using my bathroom and products. I made it clear it goes both ways and that we can have a good relationship if the expectation of the relationship isn’t a mother/daughter dynamic.

OP said their relationship could be just fine, even if it isn’t a mom/daughter dynamic. The daughter told her dad what OP said and he did not like it.

At some point she told her dad what I said. When he confronted me, I told him that’s how I feel and that I thought we were on the same page about his kids.

The boyfriend told OP that this isn’t what he meant – he thought OP wanted to be part of the family. But OP just didn’t want to be a maid to six kids.

He claimed that him not wanting me to parent his kids is different to me treating them like a roommate. He points out his kids cook for themselves and for the family all the time and help each other with things they need (eg oldest giving rides, babysitting, reading/playing with the youngest). He thinks this makes it seem like I don’t want to be part of his family at all. I told him that isn’t true as I have a enjoy my time with his kids but that doesn’t mean I want to end up in a position where I’m their maid.

She’s also not against the idea of a growing relationship with the kids, but that this is right now how she feels comfortable. So: was she wrong?

I’m also not against the nature of my relationship with his kids changing as our relationship continues. Am I being the asshole?

Reddit users knew right away that OP was not an asshole. “NTA. So he wants you to take on the responsibility of a stepmom but none of the authority of a stepmom. Oh, hell no,” said one user.

Another person chimed in, “Lol so he doesn’t want you to parent his kids, but he wants you to cook for them and clean up after them… like a parent would… you are so NTA – we know who is here (and for the avoidance of doubt it’s not the kids either, they’re just kids/responding to their upbringing).”