A STEPMOM DILEMMA: Should a Stepmom Wear Their Stepson’s Jersey at Competitive Sports?


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Every stepfamily dynamic is unique, but there are a few common themes that I think ring true for every stepmom.

1. We tend to overthink & overanalyze
2. Sometimes we’re over sensitive
3. Many situations can be described by saying “you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.

I’ll back up.

A few weeks ago my stepson had a BIG hockey game. It was the final game of a “do or die” series

The day prior, a group message was sent out to the team saying that “all of the Moms” were to wear their sons hockey jersey to the game.


Cue awkwardness for any stepmom!

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to my stepson’s hockey teams, any time I hear the statement “all the moms” or “moms night out” I get this pit in my stomach!

As the only stepmom on the team, I don’t know where I fit in.

That day I was SO torn about whether or not it was appropriate for me, his stepmom, to wear his jersey to the game.

(NOTE: I knew that his mom had a jersey that she could wears to the game too)

All day long I hummed and haa-ed about what the right move would be.

If I didn’t wear the jersey I could be perceived as uninvolved and a bad parent. Plus I’d be the only “mother figure” there not wearing one


If I did wear the jersey I risked stepping on toes or perceived as trying to “take over” or “not knowing my place”

Like I said, damned if I do, damned if I don’t. 

I kid you not, I thought about this ALL DAY LONG.
I asked my best friend (twice) I asked my husband (like 5 times) and I even considered reaching out to his mom to see see if she was comfortable with me wearing it.

I was trying to be empthateic and consider how I would feel if my child’s (hypothetical) stepmom wore her jersey to a game.

Remember when I said that as stepmoms, we tend to overthink things? Yeah this is a prime example. This “dilemma” consumed my entire day!

Then all of a sudden one sentence from my stepson made it SO freaking clear!

stepkids and competitive sports

When he was walking out the door to go get ready for the game he said…
“Hey Jamie, don’t forget to wear my jersey”

When he said it,  my eyes filled with tears and my whole chest became warm. It was the best feeling ever. No it was hands down the best moment of my step-parenting career. 

That one sentence was such an eye opener.

It wasn’t about what other people think.
It wasn’t about stepping on toes (however I do always recommend considering that part of the equation)
It was about cheering on this 11 year-old boy! 

The “dilemma” was a much needed reminder that at the end of the day, this is about the kids, and shouldn’t be about the adults at all.

If the kid wants you to wear the Jersey – wear the damn jersey.
If the kid doesn’t feel comfortable with you wearing the jersey – don’t wear the jersey!

You have to do what feels right for you and your family dynamic.

Anyways, about three seconds after he said that, I put on the jersey, got out of my head and went to the arena to cheer on that little man (perhaps a little too loudly, but hey I am passionate stepmom)  

And I’m not going to lie … wearing that jersey felt so damn good… for no reason other than the fact that he wanted me wearing It!

The take home? Like I said above, we need to get out of our heads, and think about what’s it’s really all about… the kiddos!

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Comments +

  1. futarjudit@hotmail.com says:

    I was reading your story, and touched my heart, but I was thinking, why do you care so much, what others think about you, and why do you want to "fit" in so much, when in reality what matters is, that you consider yourself as his StepMom, and he feels the same way. And there should be these special bond between you. You make this stronger. And when you have conviction about what you do, and you communicate clearly about it, then the others will accept it. So it’s kind of work the other way around. I’m happy that it turned out so well at the end. God bless you for being such a supportive and loving StepMom!

  2. chasenamy1@yahoo.com says:

    I can completely relate to this story as a stepmom of a hockey kid for years. All the Mom’s get swag with their kids’ names on them plus ‘Mom’ and I never get it because it feels awkward. I just wear my own thing to all the games. After many years of hockey, he doesn’t play anymore so this is no longer a worry but it stressed me out for years. I wasn’t even on the email chain from the coaches to be included and then people would ask me where my ‘Connor’s Stepmom’ or Proud Hockey Mom hockey shirt was. I just never felt right about getting one. Thanks for addressing this random topic!

  3. nwchacon91@gmail.com says:

    I have totally been there. As long as your kids consider you one of their moms then you keep being yourself.

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