Have you heard the quote, “Stepmoms are like Spanx. They are expected to keep everything smooth and under control, without anyone knowing that they are there”? It is a harsh reality that stepmothers have to face. We are the backbone of the family, and we go unnoticed, while the bio mother gets all of the praise. Sounds familiar, right?
As a stepmother, we deal with alot of… shit. Let’s just be real. We have to. I never thought in a million years that I would be a stepmother, buttttt here I am! Being a mother before a stepmother helped quite a bit. I had the understanding of motherhood, and I knew how children worked. I honestly do not think that I could be a stepmother before I was a mother. At least, I wouldn’t set a goal to be a stepmother.
I met my now-fiance and knew he had four children of his own. I knew the bio mothers were involved, and one was high-conflict. Now, I was not aware of the crap that I would have to take for just loving the children! I became stepmom the moment I met them. The bond was there. I will stop the people who say “you are not a stepmother before marriage”, because that is a bull-face lie. Regardless of the critics, we are mothers from the get go. And here is why:
We are the mediators.
We have to deal with the children’s mothers.
We have to take the wrath from the bio family.
We do all of the behind-the-scenes stuff.
We take the beating.
In our family, there is alot of drama when it comes to the children. We get the wah-wah-wah crap for when my fiance has to cancel a day due to meeting with his lawyer, doctors, you name it. We get the tisk-tisk when one acts up, then it becomes our fault. We get why-did-you-do-that when my fiance tells bio mom off for something she has done. Does this sound accurate in your life? And guess what, us stepmothers always get the blame! But in all reality, we are the ones telling our spouse to NOT cancel, we are trying to calm the child, and we are trying to support our spouse when the bio mom blows up. We are the mediators. We try to tame tantrums, we calm a tender heart when the child is upset, and we are the shoulder to cry on. A little back story, our oldest stated to his mother that he no longer wants to live with her for (more in depth issues). For a month now, he has stated that she does not want to speak to him, and doesn’t show the affection that he is yearning for. The other day while my fiance was picking up the children, she did not give our oldest (eleven) a hug or kiss goodbye as he was asking for one. Later that evening he has stated that his mother ignores him, unless others are around. Messed up right? So I make sure to hug and kiss him, so that he is aware that I love him, genuinely. This is a mother, not a stepmother. At this point, mother instincts kick in, and my heart ached for him. When we show the love and affection the children need, the bond between child and mother blossoms.
I wish we lived in a world where we do not have to deal with the bio mothers, but we do. Our youngest’s (two) mother is great to work with, so there is no complaint there. Co-parenting is a breeze with her, although there are hiccups along the way. But the cool thing is, we all get past the hiccups. We are in this for the children. We cannot say so much with the first bio mother. She is so hard to work with. Have you ever dealt with a boss who was my-way-or-the-highway? That is a high-conflict bio. Never in a million years would I wish that upon anyone. It takes a strong, ass woman to put up with such a vile person. My sanity as a person would be restored if I did not have to deal with this bio, or the lack there-of. So why do we have to put up with the shit? For the children’s sake. Although my fiance and I may have had a rough argument with a bio, put a smile on for those kids and love them dearly. A bio mother will try to tear you down. She will try to make you feel like you are not important, but in reality, you are SO important. Not only to your spouse, but to your kids! Do not let her words tear you down, as those words come from jealousy, anger, and bitterness. It may be because your spouse has a new woman (you), it may be because she does NOT like when the kids are bonding with you, or it may simply be because she is so controlling; that she does not want another woman in the picture making the rules. Sound about right? Momma, do not take her shit.
Not only do we have to put up with bio mother’s b.s., we have to put up with the bio family. This can include your spouse’s family, the bio’s family, or some stranger who thinks they are family. What ever the case may be, do not take their shit! Being the stepmother, the bio family does not take into consideration what you are doing for the kids. They think that you HAVE to do all of these things because you are the “maid” in the picture. Trust me, I have been called that. They think that since the children are THEIR blood, you are just a servant to their family. WRONG. You are momma, or stepmomma (whatever you like to be called). I bet they do not know that you provide for them, that you dry their tears, that you try to mend the broken pieces. Or they may know, but do not give you the appreciation that you deserve. In our case, I bend over backwards for those kids and honestly, sometimes let some drama get involved, which should not be allowed in my home. Some like to put their two cents into the situation and try to play parent, although my fiance and I are taking care of it. I bust my ass off to make sure these kids are well taken care of. I make sure the kids know that they are well loved. When you let toxicity and negative vibes enter into your life, you become a mirror of it. Do not take the crap that your spouse’s, bio mom’s, or strangers family may throw at you. They may not be used to a stepmother who is actually doing the duties of a mother, and it is an intimidation to them.
As a stepmother, we do behind-the-scenes things. We make sure schedules are planned out. We make sure laundry is done and sorted to go back home. We make sure meals are planned. We make sure that sibling rivalry is to a low. We make sure that we say hello and goodbye. We do everything! Some times, we do a little too much. It is okay to take a step back because the bio father, your spouse, needs to know that it is not all of your job. So when you feel like you are becoming overwhelmed with being everyone’s… well… bitch, take a step back. This is for your own good. There is a method called “Nacho Kid” method. It is literally nacho kid, nacho problem. Sounds harsh right? Alot of stepmothers follow this golden rule to protect their own soul. When a child acts up so bad that you cannot control it, let bio dad step in. Recently our oldest daughter became aggressive and harsh with her words. It became so bad that she told the two youngest girls to burn in hell, that she wanted to kill her siblings, and that she hated us; that I had to step back. I put all of my effort into calming a child who could not be tamed down. That is when bio dad had to step in and take the reigns. Since, she has been calming down and we are so proud of her. Like I said, we do everything. We buy clothes for the hell of it, toys for the hell of it, and books! We do it all. We make sure their needs are put before ours, but yet, stepmothers are the problem?? Hell to the no.
Lastly, we take all of the beating. This one will be raw. This will be a real one-on-one with you and I. Us stepmothers take the beating, and yet we keep firing back. We keep strong. I have seen many stepmothers get a divorce because the drama, and the shit is too deep. They loved their spouse dearly, but the family or the children were too much. Honestly, I did not think I would be this strong but I am coming out like a warrior in this thing called stepmomhood. I thought motherhood was rough, but stepmomhood is a whole new realm. I have to deal with some crazy ass things. I have to deal with children relying on me when their mother cannot support their dreams. I have to deal with bio family that think they know what exactly ALL goes on, wrong. They do not see the fine details that the mother has to cover up.. Yall been there? I have to deal with the tantrums. I have to pick up the pieces of the children… and my fiance. I have to support my fiance. I have to support his decisions, and I correct him at times. I get told that my fiance and I’s relationship needs to be strong, but once we go on a date (very seldom), we get bashed and told that the kids come first. It is a never-ending cycle. In my eyes, without strong parents, the children will not be strong. Right? I could write a book on all of the bullshit that us stepmothers go through, but honestly, I think you get the jist.
So why are stepmothers like Spanx? They are expected to keep everything smooth and under control, without anyone knowing that they are there. Does this sound logical now? I hope whoever is reading this understands the struggle of us stepmothers. We bust our asses off and we go unnoticed. With that, we mend everything together. We fix most of the imperfections. We hold it all in.
Stepmothers, you are doing a damn good job, and I see you. I see your struggle, I see your worry. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and I hope you know that. One day, the bullcrap will stop. One day it will be all worth it.
In the meantime, hang in there.