I’ve always gotten a chuckle out of the evil stepmom references that are pretty much everywhere, even more so when I became one. Not exactly an evil stepmom, but a stepmom. Never in a million years did I picture myself marrying someone that already had a child, but I did. Luckily she’s a pretty cool kid and has been an easy one from day one of me being introduced.
We’ve faced many challenges as a blended family. When you have two sides that are not on the best of terms things can get a little interesting (trying to keep it on a positive note…). Luckily, we’ve weathered many storms dealing with her mother that have reduced as the years have gone on, we’ve learned from each one.
My step daughter has a mother and never have I wanted to assume that role. She’s always called me by my name, never mom. When we had the twinadoes there was definitely some jealousy, my kids were showered with gifts and money from people on my side. I have no doubt that my step daughter received many a gift when she was born and the years after, however, she didn’t remember that since she was an too young. There is a big difference in how the twinadoes are raised and how she is being raised, in fact she mentioned it to me this weekend. She said she told her mom that our parenting styles “are totally different”. And she is correct. There is also the fact that she is ten years older than the twinadoes. When she is at our house we give her space and privacy, something I feel a 14 year old girl deserves. Yes, she is included in our activities and we do require she comes out of her room to spend time with all of us, at least a little….
Now to the title of evil stepmother. Do I qualify for that? No. Plain and simply, no. I’m actually a freaking amazing stepmom. She tells me things she doesn’t tell anyone but her one best friend. Hours and hours are spent talking, telling me her worries, stresses, etc… Most recently she shared with me something that is extremely private, something she said she doesn’t feel comfortable telling her other family. My one rule is, I will keep a secret unless it involves her safety or health, then it will be shared to those that need to know. Obviously I’m doing something right if this young lady feels safe enough to share with me. How else do I know, she will text me on Mother’s Day even though she knows she would get in trouble from her mom if she found out.
I’m not her best friend, her father and I have sat down with her when we are not pleased with grades, behavior etc… What I am is her stepmom. Being a female I believe that she feels more comfortable talking to me about a few things than her father, and he gets that. I’ve known many women that are stepmoms that are not on good terms with their step children, it’s hard and that’s not lost on me.
Do I treat her the same as I do my own children, no. Of course that answer will ruffle a few feathers, but in my eyes she’s not my child. She has a mother that mothers her. My children have one mother, and that’s me, so I mother them in a way only a mother can. Would I deny my step daughter something due to her not being my own, absolutely not.
In my opinion there’s a fine line that I (and other stepmoms) need to walk. We are like a mother to them, but not. We must treat them like our children, but they are not. Yes, there are the situations where the step children are like their own due to circumstances, but I am talking about the kids that live only part-time. Her mother and I will never be friends, but I do try and have some respect for her being my step daughter’s mother. Maybe this will sound a tad bitchy, but oh well, I honestly think her mother should be happy that I am a good stepmother to her daughter. The reality could be a lot worse, and I’ve seen them.
I can’t speak on being a stepfather because I’m not one, but I would imagine that’s got to be pretty tough as well, with it’s own set of challenges. In a perfect world we would just put our differences aside, forget how we despise each other and come together to raise amazing children. We should appreciate the healthy differences of each home be thankful for the help and wisdom we can give each other.
So this evil stepmom is going to go give herself a pat on the back for being amazing then text her step daughter and ask how her dreaded road trip is going because I’m awesome like that.