10 Things A Stepmother Deals With
10 Things a Stepmother Has to Deal With
Being a stepmother is not an easy task. When you become a stepmother, you are signing on do deal with these ten things. There are a variety of situations, and these are a few examples.
- A stepmother cannot make decisions about her stepchildren that she could normally make with her children. She must consider the mother's perspective. For example, simple things like cutting the children's hair or more serious things like taking care of medical needs are often decisions made by a birth mother. The father often times over looks this one because he may feel the birth mother has been a controlling factor before the stepmother was even in the family. It may not be on purpose.
2. You are NOT my mother!!
- Often a stepmother will hear " you are not my mom!" It is difficult to here, but it is usually said out of anger and dissatisfaction. It hurts as if the children have said "I Hate you!" Oddly enough some stepmothers love the children as their own, but do not wish to replace the mom. Her only desire is to be a positive and supporting influence in the children's life.
3. You are an "EVIL" stepmother!
- Like Fairy Tales, child often see the negative image of a stepmother from stories, such as Cinderella and Snow White. Unfortunately the parents may not get along so negative bashing on both sides may occur. Sadly, it is the children who are truly effected. It is rear, but in small instances the birth mother may actually like the stepmother but fears she is trying to take her daughter away.
4. He is "MY" daddy!
- No matter the age a stepmother enters this new family dynamic, the children have their bond with the father. They may see it as the stepmother is taking their attention. Even in older years this can be so. Children become possessive or jealous, causing friction in the relationship.
Being a stepmother often means she cannot be selfish. The children need their father as does she, but each need their one on one. Doing multiple activities together may help bring the family together, and allows the attention to be shared evenly.
5. Mother's Day
- Mother's day is about celebrating mothers, which is often over looks the stepmother. No matter the relationship with their mother, she is awesome on this day. Even though a stepmother helps with homework, puts food on the table, and fulfills most of the same responsibilities, the mother has the "glass slipper."
- Discipline is another sensitive subject. In today's society parents cannot "spank" or reprimand their child as their parents did them. This becomes more of a challenge for a step mother because the discipline is often carried out by the father. A stepmother can talk and take away phones, car keys, or even the TV, but it remains the father's responsibility to handle the serious punishment. They are his kids. Even if the stepmother is told she can discipline, she may be fearful of over stepping her role.
- Patience is not always easy, but especially for a stepmother. Children often will play parents against each other. Some children will lose respect her the step mother if she talks negatively about their birth mother. They might even put down the stepmother's profession, the money she earns, or even how often she works. The children can nitpick anything from how she cooks, what she does not do that their mother does, or how uncool she is compared to their mother. This of course, she would be taking with a grain of sand, but the stepmother's feelings are usually hurt.
- Sometimes a father may feel guilty or have the need to overcompensate. The stepmother is often looked at as the one always saying no, or viewed as the "uncool mom." Being a stepmother mean realizing a large amount of money will be taken out for child support. It also means knowing he will still spend more money when the children are with him. Be prepared to be put second as it should be. Children should always come first even if they are not by blood.
- The father and birth mother have had time to grow with their child. Whether or not the stepmother has had kids are not, she must be aloud time to bond and grow with the child. The parents know their children's weaknesses, what works when they are sick, and how to calm them when they are stressed. It may take a one stepmother longer to deal with sickness while another may struggle with handling stressful situations. A stepmother my not step right in to "mother mode" right away. It is often times this very list that delay this mode.
- Perspective is important when being a stepmother. It may be a big change for you, but it is an even bigger change for the children. Sometimes as an adult stepmothers can forget what and why kids do what they do. For example, children are often torn between two homes, two sets of rules, and two different parenting styles. This can be very hard on them. Understanding is necessary, but it does not give the stepmother permission to allow the children to walk all over her.
It is ultimately still a relationship between the parents. They have children together and the stepmother is trying to find her role and where she can best fit in. It is not nor does it require less work. Being a stepmother is a commitment, not to be taking lightly but with appreciation. Because of the stepchildren the step mother's life will be changed forever. Children are hard not to love and are blessing no matter the packaging.