Woman Refuses to Give Up on Career to Raise Stepdaughter’s Baby: “I Never Wanted Kids, Why Should I Care for Hers?” Is She Being Selfish?

When boundaries blur, family dynamics can get incredibly complicated. In this story, a stepmother faces a challenging dilemma as her stepdaughter, Leah, struggles with motherhood and career aspirations.

BACKGROUND

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Five years ago, OP (F38)  married Sam (M47), who had a daughter named Leah (F25). Sam knew she didn’t want children of her own from the start, and he was okay with it. Her relationship with Leah was positive, and they all got along well.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

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Leah got pregnant last year. Her boyfriend did not want to keep the baby, but she wanted to keep it. He broke up with her. Leah moved back in with us cause she could not afford her lifestyle without him. She worked as a teacher, and he was the breadwinner.

OP IS CONCERNED ABOUT LEAH’S FUTURE

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OP had concerns about how she would raise a child on a teacher’s salary by herself. She suggested getting him to pay child support. Leah did not want that. OP’s Husband, Sam, thought I should stay out of it.

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THE BABY WAS BORN?

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She had the baby around four months back; Leah seemed to realize having a baby is not the sunshine and rainbows she thought it was. She barely got any sleep during the last four months. All the while, Sam was helping her with the baby while OP did almost all the chores herself.

Now Leah’s leave is ending. She did not want to leave the baby at daycare or with a nanny. Sam and OP both work as well.

WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?

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OP said, “Leah asked if I could stay home with the baby. I said no. First, it is not my baby, and I never wanted to raise a child. Second, I have work.”

“She asked Sam, who asked me to do it instead. I refused stating the reasons again. Sam couldn’t stay home because he earned more than me and covered more bills,” OP added.

OP ASKED WHY LEAH CAN’T STAY AT HOME

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OP asked why Leah couldn’t stay home with the baby herself. She said how she was young and had to build a career. OP said, “Many people take breaks to raise kids, and she broke down crying about how she was so tired all the time being a mom and she needed something else in her life too.”

WHAT IS OP HUSBAND SAYING?

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Sam feels terrible for her and thinks they should help her. OP suggested, “Leah pays for a nanny with her income, but Leah doesn’t want strangers looking after her baby.”

LEAH AND OP’S HUSBAND ARE UPSET WITH HER

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“Both are pressuring me to stay home with the baby so she can go to work. I am standing firm on my decision,” says OP.

Leah said, “She wished her mom was alive since she would have had her back. She said I didn’t love her, and my husband is also mad at me.”

Upset with the whole situation, OP asked on a forum, “Is she wrong in refusing to help her stepdaughter?”

Here are a few of the responses she got.

NO OBLIGATION TO BABYSIT, EVEN FOR YOUR BIOLOGICAL DAUGHTER

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“Your stepdaughter may believe you’re in the wrong, but even if she were your biological daughter, you wouldn’t be obligated to care for the baby.”

YOUR DECISION DESERVES RESPECT

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“It’s clear that you’re not in the wrong here. On the one hand, suggesting child support from the father was met with resistance, but now you’re expected to stay home and care for a child you never wanted. That’s unfair. Stand your ground; your decision is well-founded. Both of them should explore alternative solutions.”

RECONSIDER YOUR RELATIONSHIP DYNAMICS

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“It’s worth conversing about respecting boundaries with your partner and stepdaughter. Your stepdaughter’s request, considering your stance on kids, seems unfair, and addressing her entitlement is crucial. Your husband’s support of her actions should be discussed for a healthier family dynamic.”

LEAH CAN CHOOSE OTHER OPTIONS

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“It’s not your role or responsibility to raise her child; Leah can consider daycare or involving the father’s family.”