Do stepmoms get a bad rep?

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Do stepmoms get a bad rep?
3
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 2:01pm

The Huffington Post has an article that I think some of you can relate to, talking about how stepmoms try very hard to adjust to their new family, but are often met with obstacles they didn't anticipate.  It also discusses how their husbands usually don't understand what they are going through and tend to invalidate their feelings: 

The unfortunate truth is that many stepmothers actually bend over backwards in their efforts to woo the affections of their new families, and are discouraged by the cool civility or blatant hostility. Acutely sensitive to slights, they're likely to respond emotionally to landmines along the way.

Their husbands and confidantes may reassure them that things should ultimately improve and urge them to not take it personally. But of course they'll take it personally! They may blame themselves for not trying hard enough or doing things all wrong, when, in fact, they did the best they knew how.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/linda-lipshutz/do-stepmothers-get-a-bum-_b_1641673.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl30%7Csec3_lnk1%26pLid%3D184665

Could you relate to the article?  

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2012
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 11:44am

I agreed with you melissa,fact you shared is so much true in case of stepmpms.Don't know people will start behaving like they are also a part of family.They should not discard them.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 12:44pm
Hi swati88, welcome to the Stepmothers board! Very true that you don't know what's going to happen until you become a family. Have you found yourself with the claim of bad stepmom?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-06-2012
Sat, 10-13-2012 - 7:01pm

Hi~
New here, have been reading but haven't sat down to post, I think partially in fear that I would start writing and never stop.

As I've come to learn, "stepmother" is a dirty, dirty word! But not in the way that I had once thought.

I don't have my own biological children and am the stepmother with half time custody (15 days a month) of two preteens...as I often put it to my husband" you've had a 12 year head start on me" and a lot of the time I simply feel like I'm catching up on "parenting" be it step or otherwise...Our issues at home don't seem outside of the realm of anyone else with two preteens...no, it's not all sunshine and flowers over here, but I think, Thiiiiink....things are pretty normal. Yes, I'm called "mean" when I enforce a household rule, and do I think the two kids have fully accept me as a "parent"? Well, I don't know, but we're all here doing the best we can....as for the bad rep...I find it to be absolutely true...it's harsh but here's how I put it...

As a stepparent you are expected to love, care for, and treat these children as they are your own, but at every turn someone (at times even the children) will make you clearly aware that they are not. I find step parents to be under a microscope way more so than a biological parent, if you reprimand the children you're "mean"...if you're affectionate your "trying too hard".etc etc....in many cases (as it is with mine) the children's biological mother is completely unwilling to accept the new step parent, I find this breeds guilt in the children because they are constantly aware that showing any acceptance or affection for the stepparent is "going against" their mother.

However, the one thing that took my husband and I a while to figure out is the derision you will face from other families....families that are blended or include step chilren seem to "get it", but it took us some time to realize that "married one time" couples are not all that comfortable with us...I have heard from three married women with children..."you are my worst nightmare" and I swear at first I think they mean it as a compliment....I think the threat of a stepfamily that is for the most part working and fairly happy is threatening. We have made and lost friends very quickly with no explanation (but always after the "you're my worst nightmare" conversation). I could keep going here, but I need to feed said stepchildren so in summation I will leave this post with the idea...that maybe the "evil stepmother" exists, not because children are so afraid of their step parents, but because other adults who do not have the "step" title are more comfortable beliving "evil" to be true.