Kailyn and I sat for coffee and discussed her new engagement and my recent marriage. We both agreed that blending our families has been a difficult task, but we both remain hopeful for the love of our partners, and our children (biological and step). In my situation, I never directly deal with the mothers of my husband’s children. Unfortunately for Kailyn, her situation is different. After our coffee talk, I felt the need to write this for my Love & Relationship category at missmjxoxo.com with the hopes that I can encourage bio moms and stepmoms to unify for the sake of the children.
If a woman welcomes your children into her home and loves them and treats them as her own children, how could you not respect that woman? How can you not encourage your children to appreciate and respect that woman? As a parent, I appreciate anyone who cares for my child. I will be forever grateful. My child is an extension of me. For anyone to be kind and loving to my child is also being kind and loving to me. It is a blessing from God for anyone to treat my child well. We hear so many grave stories of children being mistreated and even killed by their parent’s new partner because of emotions like jealousy and resentment. I would feel at peace knowing that my child is around someone who will be just as caring and loving to my child as I, a biological mother would be to my own child.
There is something to be said about a mother who would sit with her children and ridicule the very woman who has welcomed her children with the warmest levels of compassion and love. It disgusts me to think that a bio mom would sit with her children and gossip negatively about people who genuinely care for her children. What is the benefit of a bio mom putting her children up to play spies and have them report to her unnecessary, undamaging, and unbeneficial information about the father’s new life?
What is the true threat of a stepmother? Let’s face it, in most instances, no other woman could replace the love, history, or connection a biological mother has for and with her children, but why deprive another woman or your children from experiencing an abundance of love from various sources. It may or may not be the same levels or quality of love, but a mother who truly loves her children and is not self-absorbed or insecure about the role she plays as a biological mom would genuinely, whole-heartedly allow the love to flow and encourage the relationship to blossom for the sake of the children. Why turn the new woman into a joker or enemy when one day, she just may become the caretaker of your children? Allow an easy transition by being supportive and encouraging.
Stepmoms already know we’re not the mother of your children, we already know that we would never be the mother of your children. We are aware that bio moms already hold that title and we respect your position, but we won’t accept a bio mom devaluing the role we play as stepmothers. I’ve gone to baseball games, and talent shows. I’ve done family outings and slumber parties with my stepchildren. I’ve found myself in places where I felt bio mom should have been, but wasn’t. And I am only there to represent my stepchildren. I’m only filling in. I’m not taking over. I’m an added support, so please don’t subtract my actions to make you feel like the best mom ever. Your children already know you are the best mom ever. You’ve proved that to them by the years you have already invested in their lives.
Instead of being caught up in the details of another woman’s wedding dress or wedding plans to your ex lover, be the adult and help bring the families together. If a woman is happy in her current relationship, she would not concern herself with her past love’s new life. What happened between you and your ex in the past should not perpetuate present malice towards your ex or his new love. If a bio mom would allow multiple men to play the role of step dad in a child’s life, then why would that same bio mom not feel comfortable having one amazing stepmom in her children’s life? The main focus should be: Are my children safe? Are my children happy? And are my children being well taken care of? If you can honestly answer yes to the three questions posed, then what is the problem? Or should I ask WHO is the problem?
I had a discussion with my counselor on this topic and she advised that it is the father’s duty to keep things positively flowing between all parties. In most cases, stepchildren want to feel a deeper connection with their father. A lot of the times children from divorced or separated parents don’t properly heal from the separation. Children are affected by seeing their father establish a family with another woman. The children crave both bio mom and bio dad in their lives under one roof. Add the bitterness converted to toxic words from a bio mom to her children and the children suddenly become pawns and feel forced to choose a side. More often than not, it is never the side that stepmom is on. Stepmoms are often viewed as the wedge that separates bio mom from bio dad. A lot of the issues we as stepmoms deal with are beyond us. The best thing my counselor advised me to do is to not internalize it. It is not my problem. It is not my fault. We as stepmoms should continue being welcoming and loving to our stepchildren. We should be there as support to our husbands. We should not play the role of problem solver because once again, it is not our (stepmoms) problem to solve.