As a blogger, one of my favourite things to do is sip on my morning coffee and scroll through the latest blog posts from my favourite Blogging Websites.
Facebook, being the creepily perceptive beast that it is, has tuned into this favourite pastime of mine, and tailored my newsfeed accordingly.
However, as I scroll through my newsfeed, sipping on my java, I notice a very clear pattern in the parenting blogging world.
As I am sure you’ve noticed, social media, bloggers and parenting experts have done a phenomenal (and I use that term loosely) job at categorizing the different types of parents.
Moms of Girls
Moms of Twins
Moms of Boys
Moms of Only Children
Stay at Home Moms
Working At Home Moms
Bottle Feeding Moms
The list goes on and on….
Apparently there are some monumental differences in the type of (and quality of) mother that you are given the birth order of your children, how many kids you have, your perspective on discipline, your career choice, and what/how you choose to feed you kids (to name a few…) **serious sarcasm intended**
After I finish checking out the parenting blogs, I take a peak at my favourite stepmom bloggers. The number step-parenting bloggers is significantly less… because like I often say, the subject still seems to be somewhat taboo...
Now when I scroll through these posts I don’t see any categories. I don’t see any discrepancies. I don’t see any labels.
Just the word Stepmom.
What Not To Say To A Stepmom
What a Stepmom Should & Should Not Do
What the Ex-Wife Wants the Stepmom to Know
What the Stepmom Wants You to Know…
The Hardest Thing About Being A Stepmom
Now although I find it a bit refreshing that the “experts” haven’t taking the time to categories every single detail of step-parenting (yet), it does grind my gears a bit.
Why? Well, because I think that the lack of differentiation between the roles that stepmoms have in a stepfamily, plays a HUGE role in the stereotypes people think of when they hear that dreaded word.
The truth is, all stepmoms are not created equal.
Well, maybe that’s not the right way to put it (or maybe it is…)
What I mean is that there are many different kinds of stepmoms… women who can’t be grouped into the stereotypical evil/home wrecking/overstepping role that has been portrayed in the media for so many years.
There is the Weekend Stepmom. The woman who has her stepchildren in her house every other weekend, and has little to no involvement in the actual parenting of the children.
There is the Disney Stepmom (similar to the Disney Dad) who when she has the kids, spoils them and provides them with a luxurious life and then sends them back to their Mom for the nitty-gritty parenting duties!
There is the Full-Time Stepmom – the woman who has stepped up and raised the children as their own, because for any combination of reasons, the mother is no longer in the picture.
There is the 50/50 Stepmom. The one who for 50% percent of the time ensures that the children’s basic needs are met and has just as much involvement in the children’s life as their own mom.
There is the Uninvolved Stepmom, who really doesn’t have any involvement in the children’s life what so ever.
There is the stepmom who has developed a mature friendship with her husband’s ex-wife. Who communicates and co-parents extremely well. (Props goes out to these ladies!)
And yes, there is the Evil Stepmom who doesn’t treat the kids well, oversteps, causes conflict and is quite worthy of the negative stereotypes that society places on this role.
* Note: I have not even come close to the categorizing all the different types… but I think I’ve made the point *
I am on mission to debunk the stigmas that people think when they hear the word stepmom, and to open up the conversation about “modern” families who don’t just have a mom, dad and kids living under one roof!
In doing so, I think it’s important to start to categorize!
I think it’s important to say that the term Stepmom refers to women who have varying characteristics and varying degrees of involvement in their step-children’s lives.
Because honestly, over the past four years I’ve learned (first hand) that people have many assumptions when they hear a stepmom is involved.
They assume there is this ongoing turf way with the ex-wife, that there was an affair, that the children are rebelling and actually hate the new woman in their father’s life, that the Mom does all the work, and that a stepmom has no business in any type of “parenting role”. And trust me, that’s not always the case.
Families have been changing for years now.
Diversity among families is the new reality!
It’s time we start to acknowledge it!
So please, I’m begging you. Categorize away!