A while back, I wrote a post on Instagram with THIS caption.
Okay listen up. Here’s what the stepmoms want you to know…
We aren’t evil.
We aren’t trying to replace our stepchildren’s mom.
We don’t resent our stepkids being around.
We aren’t trying to overstep, or take over, or cause conflict….
We aren’t home wreckers.
We simply fell in love with a man with kids, and are doing the best we can navigating this role…
We just want the best for our family and it’s not an easy task.
(and yes they’re our family too)
We’re expected to be involved but not too involved …
Parent them like they’re our own, while not acting like they’re our own (that would be over-stepping)….
We’re good enough for the appointments, the homework, the running around but better step aside for those milestone moments, because we need to know our place.
All while living a life dictated by custody schedules, separation agreements, and co-parenting arrangements and the “I don’t have to listen to you because you’re not my mom” mentality of our Society.
I’m not complaining. I love being a stepmom… my stepkids happen to be three of the best people I know…
But either way, when you’re a stepmom you’re damned if you do, you’re damned if you don’t.
The message? Lose the stereotype. Screw the stigma. Forget about what Cinderella told you…. .
Give the stepmoms the benefit of the doubt, and look at it this way. There more people who can WORK TOGETHER to raise these kids into kind, successful, happy, well-adjusted adults… the better! You can NEVER have too many people love you. IT’S NOT A COMPETITION.
The response was phenomenal, when I shared it on my Facebook Page, the comment thread was full of AMEN’s and “you read my minds…”
A few days later I received a note from a Mom… who is dealing with an ex spouse and a new stepmom. Her message left me with tears rolling down my face.
She told me that she follows me to try and understand the perspective of a stepmom, and that she felt compelled to share another perspective, from a mom who also feels stigmatized!
Here’s What She Said Back
The big one for me was “you’re jealous of me/us” and that’s true in a way but not how she/her friends/everyone thought.
I’m not jealous because you’re with him, I’m jealous because you’re living the life I was supposed to be living. You’re doing family activities I was supposed to be doing. You’re actually doing activities I begged him to do with me/us that he had no interest in doing because it was me.
I don’t want to be with him but every time I miss a memory, it’s hard because if we had been a better couple, it would have been me making those memories with my kids. And there’s a loss there..I love that they have a great relationship with their dad and that they have so much fun with them but they’re still my kids and I’m missing out on their joy.
Something you said once in a video has stuck with me, that your husband is a better person/better version now after his divorce and I totally find that true. And that I’m jealous of too.
She got a better version of him than I did. Hands down. He’s a much better dad and by the sounds of it, partner and it took moving on from our relationship for him to become that person and sometimes that’s a hard pill to swallow…..
So jealous, yes, but not in the I want him variety that is assumed. She can have him, and to be honest if she had what I had, she probably wouldn’t want him either!
As a stepmom, a mom and an “expert in stepfamily dynamics” (whatever that means)…. this message, it changed me. It’s so important to remember, we all see and experience the very same situation with a very different lens. Empathy guys. It’s all about empathy.
I’m sharing this message on here, in hopes that it may do the same for you!