5 Misconceptions About Stepmoms

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Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, and don’t judge a situation unless you have walked in those same shoes.  Those are two phrases we hear often.  Being a stepparent is hard.  We are not the biological parent, but are still very much so, still a parent.  Many who have never been in our shoes often have confused ideas of who we are, what we are here for, and why we are here.

I think the number one person in most blended family situations that is the most confused about us is the bio-parent.  They are often defensive and unwelcoming of another parent entering not only their children’s lives, but also theirs.  I have come to realize over the years, that while I know my stepson will be in my life forever, so will his mother.  So, for you, bio-mom.  Here are 5 ideas of me that you have in your mind that are far from true.

  1. “You are trying to take my role as Mom!”

I most definitely am not trying to take over your role.  You will always be Mom.  You grew him inside of your tummy, birthed him, and have spent the 50% of his life with him that he is not with his Father and I.  But I am “Stepmom.”  When I married your ex and became a wife, I also became a stepmom.  I take that role very serious.  I think about him and care about him whether he is in our home or not.  But when he is in our home, I do provide a motherly role to him.  I make sure he is fed healthy and nutritious meals.  I make sure he has a clean bed to sleep in and clean clothes to wear.  I schedule appointments for his health.  I help him with his homework.  I teach him manners and responsibility.  I am not saying that his Father does none of this.  We are a team in our home.  We share responsibilities.  But, I guess what I am trying to say is. When your son is in my home, he is loved, nurtured, and well taken care of.  Focus more on that and less on the competition.  I am trying to compete with no one.  I am happy in my role.  You should be too!

2. “Why does he like you better?”

Wrong.  He does not like me better.  He also does not like you better.  Why do you always have this idea in your mind that a child needs to choose who he likes better?  I am sure there are times he doesn’t like either of us.  That is part of parenting.  I am sure he isn’t happy with me when I have to take away video game time because he doesn’t do his homework.  And you know as well that he isn’t happy with you when he has to go to bed early because he talked back.  Parenting and discipline goes on in both homes.  As it should.  Once again, it comes down to the issue of competition.  I am in competition with no one.  We both love a child that in return also loves us both.

3. “Stop overstepping your boundaries!”

One of your all time favorite phrases is to let me know that I am overstepping my boundaries.  Then, I guess I should respectfully say, I can only be seen as “overstepping” is there is room to do so.  While I do not mean this to say that you are a bad mother, I do think that parenting is a huge job and that there is always room for help.  Also, let me remind you that he is only with you 50% of the time.  So, the other 50% of the time that he is with his Father and I, do you really expect me not to jump in and be a parent with my husband?  If I help with his homework, it is to benefit him.  If I check his planner, it is because I am supposed to (you would know this if you ever read his teacher’s notes.)  If I  make a doctors appointment, it is because he is sick.  Everything I do is in his best interest.  While I do realize that it must be hard to not have your child 100% of the time and to have someone else helping your child with these things, it does go both ways.  You seem to forget that my husband also only has his child 50% of the time.  And we both are supportive and happy that you have a stable man in your life who cares for him as a team with you while he is in your care.  Stop looking at it as overstepping boundaries.  It is just parenting and getting things done.  One day, I hope you can see that we are ALL a team.

4.“You took my life!”

Wrong again.  While I respect you as my stepson’s mother, I definitely do not aspire to be you.  Do we have some things in common?  Clearly, or I would not be the stepmother of your son.  We both have been in love with the same man.  We both love the same child.  But, I have not “taken over” the life you once lived.  I didn’t even know my husband when you two decided to end your relationship.  How can I in any way, shape, or form be the reason you do not have the life you always wanted?  Stop blaming me just because I am an easy target.  Do my husband and I work hard and enjoy traveling and dining out often?  Yes.  But we also work hard.  You could enjoy the same things with your new love as well.  It just takes hard work.  So when you think “this could of been me” when you are sending text messages upset that we travel too much or spend money that could be yours, remember it is not yours.  You receive child support to support your son the 50% of the time he is with you.  If you desire to have extras or the nicer things in life, you too can work hard for them.  I realize you have some envy over the life my husband and I have spent years building.  But for the love of God, please stop painting a false picture in your mind that I “took over your life” when you know well that is not true.

5. “He Isn’t Yours!”

I know.  For the billionth time.  I know.  If you are still having a hard time with this over a decade after me joining your stepsons life, I believe you should probably talk to someone.  It is not healthy to be so stuck on something.  Life is too short not to be happy.  I try my hardest to be happy and not to let any of this get to me (although for many years I did.)  I know I did not give birth to the child that you did give birth to.  I know.  But can we all do your son a favor and stop treating him as a possession?  He is not anybodies.  He belongs to no one.  Is he the son of you and my husband?  Absolutely.  Is he the stepson to myself and your new love.  Yes.  But claiming that he belongs to one of us is actually a pretty vile way to speak of a child. He grew in your belly, you gave birth, and have loved him since day one.  Although he did not grow in my belly, he did grow in my heart when i met him over a decade ago after falling in love with his Daddy and made the choice to love and care for a child I did not give birth to.  I think the common ground is that love is involved.  We all love him.  But if we can please stop treating him as though he is a “thing” that would be most beneficial to the child you birthed.

As stepparents, we tend to really get ripped apart by every little thing we do.  It often seems as though nothing we do is ever enough.  And if it is, it was never our place to do it anyways.  Often with the Bio-Mom we are in a lose-lose situation.  Our stepchildren benefit from the love and care we provide them.  Regardless of the things she will say to you, always keep that in mind.  They need us, just as much as we need them.

What things do you wish you could correct the Bio-Mom in your life on?  Have you ever actually had a conversation regarding any of it?  I would love to hear what was said and how it was handled.  Please leave a comment!  Also, if you have anything you would like me to blog about, please leave it in the comments as well.

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11 thoughts on “5 Misconceptions About Stepmoms

  1. PohaiKapena says:

    Nice open letter! I can agree on 98% of everything you have written. I too have recurring issues with BM that are definitely not beneficial to the children. It’s taken years to get on the same page and yet when you get there, it seems to only last so long till things revert back to the way it was.

    One of the hardest things I go through is knowing that I really care to have a good relationship with her so that our children don’t have to stress. I’m constantly trying to put myself in her shoes, second guessing myself all the time and yet in reality, I’m not like that. I’m very compassionate but I couldn’t give a shit who you are, I speak my mind and never second guess myself. Yet here I am, always emotionally bending over backwards to make sure I emphasize with how she may feel. Then of course, I’m only hurting myself because she never sees what I do to make things easier.

    Like here’s this…. I have been in my role for… This year makes 14 years… And of all those years I had soooo many opportunities to be the “evil stepmother” who brainwashes her children/talks shit about BM/put BM down/agree with children when they’re mad at her and say hurtful things about her, I mean I could have totally planted that negative seed and encouraged them to think terrible thoughts of their mother and harbor hate on their hearts but I have NEVER done so and she never sees that. She loves to say random shit to me via text about how the kids talk shit about their father and I and that she has all this proof but honestly I don’t care. I know when the children are mad at decisions we make , they do tell their mother things because they tell me after they’ve calmed down and that’s fine, we all need to vent and we’re all emotional but when they go to her in confidence, she should just focus on trying to help them, not using their angered words as ammunition. She doesn’t know the things the children tell us about her, when she does hear something they’ve said to us, it becomes very dramatic. As in, telling the children don’t talk to her anymore and crap. I don’t like mind games at all and I can’t stand pitting the children against anyone. I don’t condone when the children speak ill of their mother, I let them express themselves and get it out then I try to speak positive about her and find something they can understand to alter their anger into understanding. Like I said, I have many opportunities to be the evil stepmom but I choose not to!

    I wish we really could stay on the same page but it seems as if its never ending. I never wish her ill. I wish her peace and hope that one day she will understand that I’m not here to take her place, I have my own place in this life of ours and I know my role. Why can’t we just live our lives and be civil, work through issues the kids have and co-parent? I love all our children and honestly, I could care less if BM thinks otherwise of me, they only reason I care much about her is because I care a hell of a lot for the children!

    I finally came to the state of mind where what she says does not bother me as much emotionally and mentally because our children have gotten older and can think for themselves. I didn’t want them to have a distorted perception of who I am and how I feel towards them and they did for the major part of the earlier years (they are now 19, 16 and 15) but yet, they’ve grown into their own and can see the world through their own eyes, make decisions for themselves and it’s better when we can communicate with them on a one on one basis.

    Thank you for your blog, it’s nice to see different views from other stepmoms out there. Mahalo😘💕

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    • loveandlattesblog says:

      Thank you so much for your comment… AMEN! You are doing s great job. Being the bigger person is the best thing we can do as a stepparent. It is hard some (most) of the time, but it is what is best for our families and the right thing to do. I really enjoyed reading your comment and I commend you for your role in your stepchildren’s lives. They are lucky to have you!

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  2. Rachel says:

    Thank you for giving voice to so many thoughts and feelings that have overwhelmed me for years.Its helpful to know that other people are having similar experiences with the “bio-parents”.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Debbie says:

    I, too, am glad to read a lot of the raw emotions here. Before I decided to divorce my husband I earned my way out of our marriage (7 marriage counselors later, I finally received the validation I needed to file). I read books about Blended Families. Our kids were 2 & 4 (now 10 & 11), both with special needs. I prayed hard for God to send my ex a woman that would love him the way he needed to be loved, because our definition of marriage & family were drastically different. He was so angry and bitter for many years….even though he started dating her 3 months after I filed. I was served papers in front of our kids on Christmas, at church, and their sporting events. (I was never in contempt) They filed false police reports against me. All the while I stayed true to my mothering skills. They kids and I continued to pray for peace. I refused to play the victim. I stood strong in my truth. They were meant for each other. We were not. Our kids were the victims. I took Blended Family Classes at church, helped teach Divorce Care to adults and went on to lead the Divorce Care for Kids ministry. God answers prayers in his time, not ours. This is their journey. He has a plan. Always have integrity. Be the example the kids need you to be. Let them know that everything will be okay. Be honest with them. They are smarter than most adults give them credit for. My ex is marrying her this summer. And I am thrilled for both of them. It took our daughter ending up in surgery for his gf to come up and apologize. As much as I wanted to yell at her, I gave her grace. Forgiveness is always the answer. We can’t change the past. Only their future.

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  4. Tee says:

    It’s so great to read your words. I am the only Stepmum that I know (surprisingly!) and it can often be a very lonely place. I have really longed for a community to talk to and know that I’m not alone in my feelings – good, bad and weird! It’s also great to see so much that is positive about your experience. Some forums that I have logged onto for support are so negative and make you wonder if you can keep going! I am just glad to take so much comfort from yours. Looking forward to your next posts! X

    Liked by 1 person

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