I've been in a "stepmom" role for about four years now. Does it make me a veteran? Hell no! But I think I have a pretty good grasp on things (most days anyway)
As time goes on, less and less surprises me. Empathy and the ability to put myself in someone else's shoes has helped me to better understand Stepfamily Dynamics, and why every once and a while our life turns into a complete and utter sh*t show.
That being said, there are some things that still do surprise me. Sometimes they surprise me so much that I feel like I've been punched in the stomach and other times they surprise me so much that I am left asking myself "Did that really just happen?"
I find whenever I am driving, blog post ideas just start flowing. (Which is very inconvenient because unless I have time to pull over, I am not able to write down all the juicy goodness)
Today as I drove my daughter to her "Little School", as she called out her brother's and sister's names while listening to "Wheels on the Bus", I started to think about all the ludicrous and insensitive things that people have said to me as a stepmom.
Because I'm feeling a little frisky today, I thought I'd share a few with you!
1. Are you just waiting for your stepkids to tell you to "go to hell" and that they don't have to listen to you because you're not their Mom?
No actually, I'm not!! For several reasons.
A. Even though I am not their REAL mom, I am a parental figure in their life and have been left in a caregiving role by both of their parents
B. Their Mom and Dad have done a phenomenal job at teaching them to respect adults
C. Believe it or not, I actually have a great relationship with my stepchildren.
D. FYI There is a great chance that any child (particularly in the dicey tween and teenager years) will end up telling their parent to "go to hell" and that they don't have to listen to them, so it really has nothing to do with me being a stepmom... but thank-you for your bode of confidence in my relationship with these kids
2. "As a real mom, when making lunches... "
ThIs happened while I was chit-chatting with a "real mom" about what we put in the kids lunches. After I told her some of my tips & strategies, she responded "Well... as a real mom, when making lunches blah blah blah"
I'd love to tell you what she said at the end of the sentence, but I didn't get that far! I was too busy saying "WTF! WTF! WTF" over and over again in my head to listen.
Apparently there is some monumental difference in lunch making strategies for "real mom" and us "evil stepmoms".
The thing is, I am a "real mom" now... and my lunch making strategies still haven't changed! So maybe I've missed something?
"Well you and [insert stepdaughter's name here] are pretty much the same age
Well... actually she's 13 and I am 30. So no. Not really.
But let me know if you ever want to talk about the REAL issue that motivated that statement... like your insecurity with your own age to start. It may be something you want to work though.
Why do you do all those things for the kids? They aren't your responsibility.
This comment was in response to me telling someone that I had a crazy night with the kids ahead of me...
I guess legally they aren't my responsibility, however I am married to my husband, which in turn makes us a team. How fair would it be for me to sit on the couch sipping wine watching Prime Time TV while we runs around making dinner, lunches, doing homework and making trips back and forth to the arena.
Imagine the snide remarks I would get then! (You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't)
Not to mention the fact that I love the kids and want to be apart of their lives.
I could go on and on... but I'll save some of my rant for another day!
The thing is, these comments and the slue of other comments that I could tell you about are a great reminder that those "evil stepmom" stereotypes are still prominent in our society, and the general population really doesn't understand stepfamily dynamics.
But hey, I guess we have to start somewhere!