The rules for stepmoms are often unclear and contradictory. Here are 5 things we tell stepmothers (and why you shouldn’t believe any of them!)
Stepmoms: Tell us what you think about these big fat lies! Do you have any to add to the list? Are there any stepmom misconceptions or stereotypes that really irritate you?
5 Big Fat Lies About Being A Stepmom | Video Transcript
Hi there. I’m Brenda Ockun with StepMom Magazine and you’re watching StepMom-TV
…because even when it’s good, it’s complicated!
Has anyone ever told you that to be a good stepmom you should love your stepkids as your own? But, have you also been told that you should never forget that your stepkids already have a mom?
Or, have you been told that the kids should always come first? After all, they’re kids, right? But, have you also been told that your relationship with your partner should be your priority?
Confusing advice? You bet!
The reason being a stepmom is no walk in the park is because of something called role ambiguity. Role Ambiguity basically means that the rules for being a stepmom are really unclear and often contradictory. On top of that, a lot of the information and advice directed toward us is simply not accurate.
So, today I’m going to set the record straight by sharing five big fat lies about being a stepmom and why you shouldn’t believe any of them!
Big Fat Stepmom Lie #1
You should love your stepchildren like they’re your own. Listen, anyone who makes you feel bad or guilty for not loving your stepkids as your own needs a lesson in stepfamily dynamics, ASAP!
Love between anyone takes time to grow and develop and falling in love with someone is not an automatic guarantee that you’re going to love their kids too. In fact, unconditional, maternal love between a woman and her stepkids is extremely rare. The bottom line? Smart stepmoms strive for kindness and respect and if love develops? Great. It’s a bonus. They don’t let anyone else’s expectations define the course of their family’s natural progression.
Big Fat Stepmom Lie #2
If you are nice enough to them, your stepkids will love you. Ladies, sometimes, no matter how wonderful we are. No matter how hard we try or no matter how much we give, our stepkids might not love us, or even like us, or even want to acknowledge us. Ouch!
The truth is, that when mom and dad divorce, or if mom has passed away or even if mom has walked out and isn’t present, accepting dad’s partner can feel like a betrayal to mom. This is especially true if mom hasn’t moved on yet or has made it very clear to her kids that she does not approve of you.
It’s called a loyalty bind and it’s no reflection of you as a person. Ironically, many stepmoms report that stepping back and doing less for kids in these situations actually helps ease the pressure and improves their relationship.
Big Fat Stepmom Lie #3
Becoming a stepmom automatically makes you a parent. Woo-hoo! Now I know this one is going to ruffle a lot of few feathers. But hear me out. If your stepkids have an active mom and dad who are both ready, willing and able to participate in their lives, your stepkids likely don’t want and may even resent your parenting efforts.
Now, when I say parenting, I’m not talking about being a responsible adult within your own home. I’m talking about decisions like:
Should sally be allowed to pierce her belly button?
Will the kids be raised vegetarian? Will they attend church?
Should Johnny be grounded for failing math?
These are decisions that can be left to mom and dad. Remember, just because the word “stepmom” has the letters m-o-m in it, doesn’t mean you have to assume the same responsibilities. The best part? Leaving the parenting dirty work to mom and dad allows you to be a neutral third party in your home. Something stepkids, especially teenagers, can come to really appreciate and depend on.
Big Fat Stepmom Lie #4
You should always put the kids first. This one is simple. But sometimes we need a little reminder. If you repeatedly put the kids first and yourself last, you’re teaching those around you that your needs are less important than everyone else’s. And this isn’t healthy for any family. If you feel angry, burned out or resentful, there’s a pretty good chance it’s time for you to stop putting everyone else (including the kids) first.
Big Fat Stepmom Lie #5
Stepmothers are wicked. I know I don’t need to tell you this one is a lie. It’s the worst one of all! It’s a tired old stereotype, reinforced in books, movies and hundreds of fairy tales that date way, way back. The best way to combat this lie is to stop letting it influence how you feel.
If you’re embarrassed to admit that you’re a stepmom, if you can’t even say the word stepmom or if you insist on only using euphemisms like bonus and blended instead of step – it’s influencing you. Wear your stepmom label like a badge of honor because lets face it, only the strongest, smartest and most amazing women are able to do what you do!
Now, I’d love to hear what you think about these big fat lies. Did I leave any out? Join our conversation by leaving a comment below and don’t forget to LIKE and SHARE this video, too. And remember, you’ll find great tips and advice inside our monthly, online magazine when you subscribe. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you, next time, here on StepMom-TV.
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