I See You, Stepmoms
No matter what situation you’re in. No matter how often you see your stepchildren. No matter how you parent. No matter how much you like or dislike your role.
I see you.
Maybe you really don’t know what you’re doing. Maybe you’re on the verge of giving up. Maybe you've made some colossal mistakes. Maybe I wouldn’t even agree with your decisions.
But I still see you and I still support you. Your role is hard and filled with confusion. Your role is still not fully accepted by society. Your role can be an enigma to figure out.
The world of mothering can frequently be filled with judgment and angst. Biological mothers don’t always support one another because of insecurities, fear, and isolation. Biological mothers often get caught up in a strange competition as to who’s ‘doing it best’.
But stepmoms are a whole different animal. Stepmoms tend to support one another in a more benevolent manner — in the online world especially. The forums, the communities, the camaraderie — it’s a growing tribe of women who are there for one another in a unique and loyal way.
Perhaps it’s because in the real world we don’t often find one another easily.
Though we may see mothers out on the street with their children, in a store pushing strollers, or holding their child’s hand, the stepmom is often invisible to the naked eye. She is elusive out in the wild world where we can’t readily find her. She could be that woman holding a child’s hand, pushing a stroller, or passing us by on the street — but we often don’t see her.
We take her for granted. We assume she’s not there.
But she IS there.
It’s a habit, it’s human nature. It’s still a new world where stepparents are slowly but surely becoming more prevalent within our society. It’s okay that the recognition for stepmoms and stepdads is still not ‘normal’ yet. Change takes time. But we’re getting closer.
I love the way stepmoms, in particular, support one another’s parenting journey’s. It makes me wish biological mothers did the same for one another more often — including myself. We get so caught up in the judgments.
Perhaps we who are also biological mothers could take a cue from the intense support stepmoms give one another. Perhaps we could learn from these ‘other mothers’ who have formed this extraordinary tribe out of a need to be seen, heard, and not judged.
Perhaps instead of stepmothers constantly being compared to biological mothers, biological mothers could learn something from those stepmoms who are dedicated, passionate, and present.
Of course, not all stepmothers are decent, and some biological mothers are not decent, either. No one is perfect, as we all know.
However, let’s support those stepmoms who are out there trying, perhaps not clearly visible to us — but there nonetheless. They make mistakes, they fail, and they are in the parenting trenches with everyone else.
Let’s see them. Let’s hear them. And let’s learn from them.
I see you, stepmoms — and you’re a stellar tribe of women.
More from Michelle: 3 Things Every Stepparent Should Remember About Their Stepchildren