Happy Other’s Day
No, that’s not a typo. Some of you who read my blog are mothers who also have stepchildren. Some of you are straight up stepmothers, and today is likely more complicated for you than it is for those stepmothers who also have kids of their own.
Yes, I just said that, “kids of their own.” Because as anyone who reads my blog knows, I am not one of those people who urges you to think of yourself as their “other mother” or a mom figure or like a mom in any way. Unless you want a whole world of trouble, loyalty binds, and resentment heaped upon you. Instead, women with stepkids can feel free to consider the whole range of options available to us–from very involved, if kids and their mom are okay with that, to not very involved at all, just a welcoming presence. There’s a whole stepmothering spectrum, and sentimentalizing and romanticizing how the “bond” between women and their stepkids of any age “should” be only sets us up for hurt and disappointment.
If your husband’s kids didn’t call you for Mother’s Day, that might just be the very best development ever. Most likely, they have a mom, and being in touch with you today could make them feel disloyal to her. It’s not about your efforts, which have been wonderful, or your personality, which I know is far from wicked. It’s just that, since parents and stepparents are not the same, it’s different. Happy Other’s Day to you. Because you’re more than “another mother”–you’re a person with the freedom to live this relationship with his kids that way that feels authentic to you.
Tags: adult stepchildren, blended family, divorce, family, remarriage, remarriage with children, step mother, stepchildren, stepfamily, stepmonster, stepmother, stepmother advice, stepmother support, wednesday martin