For some people, hearing the word stepmom makes them cringe. I don’t know why this happens. Some people blame it on Disney, some people say it’s from “personal experience,” some insinuate it’s because of religion and some people, I think, just fear the unknown.
Regardless of their reasons why, often times I’m seen as the enemy and not viewed as a parental figure in our kids’ lives. In fact, I’m willing to bet that some people reading this post will stop right now and think “oh here we go, some self-righteous stepmom overstepping her boundaries yet again”
*insert eye roll*
In the nearly six years that I’ve been a stepmom, the hardest part hasn’t been trying to figure out how I fit into this family, or how we navigate our way around the ups and downs of blended life. The toughest part has been the judgement and shame that’s been hurled at us, specifically me, from strangers, family and friends.
I must admit that I have been fortunate enough to find some people who are incredibly lovely and supportive in my step-parent journey. But if I’m being 100% honest, the majority of the time when people hear I am a stepmom, the conversation tends to shift one of two ways.
1) I am met by the Spanish Inquisition regarding the “ex wife”
2) I am subjected to the Judgey McJudgersons of the world
“why are you doing all that? they’re not your kids.”
“when you’re a mom, you’ll understand”
So let’s get this out of the way shall we?
First of all, it’s none of your fucking business what my relationship is like with the mother of my stepkids. Whatever bumps and successes we’ve had in our relationship will be kept private out of respect and love for my stepkids and also because SHE’S THEIR MOTHER!!!! On our wedding day I made a vow to my step kids that I would always honour, respect and support the relationship they have with both their Mom and their Dad. Do you honestly think I’m going to jeopardize that for the sake of fulfilling your gossiping needs?
Second of all, it’s 2017 asshats, the divorce rate is hovering around 50% and the majority of those divorcees remarry. Let’s get our shit together and recognize that blended families have become a norm.
While I’m at it, let’s address the following…
I am NOT:
- a home-wrecker
- a glorified babysitter
- a gold digger
- trying to/going to replace their Mom
- covered in warts and cackling at sinister schemes to ruin my stepkids’ lives.
I AM the following:
- madly in love with two kids I didn’t birth
And even though I’m not their Mom, I am still going to do things for them that my Mum taught me to do. I will always hold their hair when they puke. I will help to fulfill their dreams and will stand by them through thick and thin. I will be there for them when they need me or when they don’t need me. And yes, I will even call them out when they’re being dickheads.
I can go on, but I think you get the point.
I know my role in this family may seem messy, complex or confusing to some, but to the two kids who live in this house that aren’t biologically mine, I am ever so simply their Zo – and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.
So the next time you see a stepmom, I want you to try something new. Instead of passing judgement or looking for flaws in their lives, simply smile and try saying “isn’t it amazing having kids in your life?”
Because 9 times out of 10, you will see the love and joy that is being a stepmom and it will make your heart smile.