One Stepmom's Point of View

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Registered: 11-13-2008
One Stepmom's Point of View
1
Mon, 10-28-2013 - 4:43pm

I thought this was an interesting perspective from an older stepmother who had no children of her own, and married a man with teenage daughters.  She talks about how sometimes she feels like the outsider, and it hits home what she missed out on by not having children of her own.  She realizes that at this stage in their lives they really don't need her, but she's not resentful of that:

Being a good stepparent is about the future. It's like a bank account where a lifetime of little deposits may one day return as a great gift of appreciation. At least that is what I am banking on. My hope is that one day, after years of my consistent generosity, they will love me. And this love will be different than the love they feel for their teachers or their aunts because I will see them through all that is yet to come.

When they graduate, I will be there. When they fail, I will be there. If they marry, if they are heartbroken, if they have children, when they get promoted or fired, I will be there. And even if they are never able to meet my expectations, I know that love endures and is well worth all the tiny griefs along the way.

Loving someone with no promise of any return is a sacred kind of love. Because of its unconditional nature, a true stepmother who loves mightily from the background is maybe one of the truest forms of parenting. While I am not a birth mother, I now know that I am a universal mother. For me, that is more than enough.

Read her complete article at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenifer-fox/being-a-stepmother-is-nothing-like-i-thought-it-would-be_b_4160092.html?utm_hp_ref=parents&ir=Parents

What did you think about her opinion that you have to look to the future and hope that one day they'll learn to appreciate you?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 11-07-2013 - 10:46am

I think that people should read the whole article because I find her expectations totally unrealistic.  I have been both a stepmother (first met DSD when she was 10--we got married 3 yrs later and he mother had died so there was no competition there) and my kids also have a stepmother who they get along with fine, but they do not regard her as their mother.  I think the problem was compounded by the fact that the author didn't have children of her own so she was reallty expecting the stepchildren to act like her own children would.  There are also a few clues in this article.  She says the dad "seldom" sees his own kids, yet she talks about driving past their mom on the street & she doesn't wave, which would indicate they live close by.  I wonder why the dad doesn't see his kids often.  My ex has seen his kids about 3x a week since we got divorced.  Even though our youngest (18 yr old son) is very busy with school, part time job and friends, he still sees his dad at least 1-2 times a week.  And although my ex's DW and I aren't friends, like we wouldn't call each other up to go out for lunch, we are certainly friendly.  if I unexpectedly ran into her in the mall, I'd stop & chat.  So I'd bet there is some kind of bad feeling there--is it any wonder the kids don't want to be that close to the stepmother?  Not to mention the fact that if they didn't get together until the teenage years--well teenage kids aren't that close to their own parents.  It's a time for them to break away from their parents & be independent.  It's a lot easier to get married to someone who has young kids.  I noticed a big difference when I got married the 2nd time.  My 13 yr old DD was hostile.  My 6 yr old son was like, hey this is fun, I get another older sister to play with.  I just think she should be happy that the kids like & respect her.  I do think that when they are adults, they will probably have a better relationship, but they are never going to look at her like their mom.