For the determined stepmom who is in the trenches, I feel you.
For the new stepmom who cried this morning, I’ve been there.
For the seasoned stepmom who still battles resentment, I’m with you.
This road can feel long. It can be treacherous, and it can be confusing. Knowing which path to take at any given time can feel impossible.
There are so many forks in the winding and steep roads of step-parenting.
There are moments when you must bite your tongue and there are moments when you must use your voice. Figuring out which moments require action or non-action is always difficult. But, ultimately you will make a choice and you will battle through those fields of uncertainty.
As the generations go by, the role of a stepmother is becoming more and more significant in our society. Not only are the numbers of stepmothers rising steadily but so are the numbers of children in their care full-time.
The role of a stepmother is no longer some obscure idea of a potentially wicked woman who has married into a family that has already been established.
The idea of the wicked stepmother has become like fairy dust blowing away in the winds of outdated fairy tales glorifying some concept of an evil woman.
In truth, biological mothers can be just as wicked as stepmothers or any other person at any given time. It is not the role of step-mothering itself that makes a woman wicked. It’s just society’s perception of how and what a woman in a “mothering” position should be and act like.
It’s simply easier for society to vilify a woman entering into a domestic situation that she herself has not given birth to.
In fact, more stepmoms than ever are raising children from the infant or toddler years. Many stepmoms are not just doing this job part-time, some of the time, or just every other weekend. They are in it 24/7, 7 days a week.
A growing number of stepmoms today are engaged in their stepchildren’s lives in every way possible, participating in every imaginable task that a biological mother would do.
The ever-growing community of stepmoms on social media, help forums, and online publications has created an environment where stepmoms from all different walks of life can network with one another and grasp on to some semblance of comfort and guidance.
Once you delve into these online communities of stepmothers it becomes staggeringly clear that this community of women is huge. And not only is the community significant, but these women are desperate for help, desperate to do the right thing, and desperate to be a good influence in their stepchildren’s lives.
So, let’s step into this modern world where blended families are becoming a majority. The role of a stepmother has evolved into something new, something dynamic, and something undeniably important.
So, to the stepmoms in the trenches — you are the women who are helping to raise our children for the future.
You are not wicked. You are not perfect. But you are present.
You are simply doing the best work you can with the pieces you have been left to use.
Michelle Zunter is a Canadian-turned-American living, loving, & writing in California. You can read Michelle’s lifestyle blogs about love, sex, relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting & much more at The Pondering Nook. You can also listen to Michelle co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast discussing similar topics.