Sometimes you marry a guy and his ex-wife hates you but is secretly battling a terminal illness, meaning that you will eventually become the main maternal presence in their children’s lives. At Christmas, she is close to death, but you guys have worked out your issues, and everyone is sad but also happy that there is no more tension. That’s at least how it goes in Stepmom, a movie that Selling Sunset star Heather Rae Young clearly hasn’t seen.
Young, who is married to HGTV star Tarek El Moussa and loudly considers herself a “bonus mom” to his two children, apparently didn’t realize that if you marry a guy with kids, their mom doesn’t just disappear. On a Today Show series called “New Rules” — where people discuss the “new rules” of various topics, in this case stepparenting — Young described feeling “second” to El Moussa’s ex-wife Christina Hall, who is, let’s not forget, the actual mom to his children.
“I always felt that I was second,” Young said. “No one ever made me feel that way, but I think when your significant other had such a long relationship with the previous spouse, and a lot of love, and it was very public divorce, you’re coming into it, and you fall in love with each other, but you always kind of think of the ex.”
Young has never been the smartest person in the Oppenheim Group’s open-plan office. What she is describing is literally what being a stepmom is. She is his second wife, she is the kids’ second maternal figure, she is lower on the totem pole when it comes to making decisions about the kids — these “new rules” actually seem very similar to the old ones. Big First Wife has peddled a very successful media campaign to make us believe that all stepmoms are evil, but in Young’s case, it doesn’t appear to be malice so much as just lacking the facilities to understand that she is not those kids’ one and only mom just because she married their dad.
Luckily for Young, she is currently pregnant, meaning that she will soon have a parental role about which there is no confusion. That is, until she and El Moussa eventually get divorced and then he shacks up with a new blonde and suddenly there are three women being bonus moms to three children. A good reality show would be putting them all on a compound together, maybe in Arizona, and seeing how they all function as a group. Oh god, that’s just Sister Wives.