The Stepmother: What Do You Really Know About Her?

Have I ever mentioned the Co-Parenting Matters BlogTalk Radio show?  Shame on me if I haven’t.  Co-Parenting Matters is hosted by Deesha and Mike from Co-Parenting 101 as well as Talibah Mbonisi of WeParent.  On Sunday nights, they feature appropriate guests to discuss issues related to co-parenting.

Last night’s show put the spotlight on Stepmothers.  Earlier in the week, Deesha interviewed Wednesday Martin, PhD, author of the book Stepmoster: A New Look At Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We Do.  During the show, the hosts were joined by Sherry Thomas, Heather Hetchler (Café Smom) and Brigette Lemos-Norman (In the Blender).  The panel tackled myths, expectations and struggles.

In the cast of Post-Divorce, “The Stepmother” is the character I can most relate to at this time.  I stumble blindly down her path. I endure her loneliness and feel the pain that results from others’ animosity.  I experience her genuine concern and I appreciate the meddling ways in which she attempts to “help”.  I am cleansed by the light in her laughter.  Silently, I choke back her tears.  Not-so-silently, I lash out in her defense.

“The Stepmother” title was tainted by fairy tales and the negativity has been propagated by angry children and bitter exes for generations.  However, she’s not monstrous nor murderous (in most cases anyway).  She’s just a person.  Just like the rest of us.  It behooves the entire Post-Divorce cast to get to know her because understanding can foster more productive relationships.  I urge stepmoms, biomoms, dads, grandparents, girlfriends and children to take a closer look at this woman.

If you missed the show, you can check out the podcast here.  It’s an hour and a half long (and they didn’t even get through all the questions).  I know that sounds like a huge commitment when your time is precious.  But the information is precious too.  Precious and priceless.

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
– spoken by Atticus Finch, by Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

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  1. Thank you for this post. As both a mom and a stepmom I can see things both ways. I have a great co-parenting relationship with my ex-husband and only wish the best for any woman who would choose to marry him. I would encourage my kids to respect her and treat her with kindness and I would be appreciative for her to welcome my children into her heart. Because I know that children will always love their mom and dad and no one can ever take their place no matter how good the stepparent is or how bad the parent is.And I also know it is the children who suffer if they are forced to play the loyalty game. Kids have enough losses through divorce, making them choose isn’t fair.

    On the other side, my stepkids have a mom who while doesn’t live near us can stir up trouble with one phone call.

    Not all “bio moms” are out to get the stepmom and stepmoms have gotten a real bad wrap through media outlets. We are not evil and we don’t carry poison apples. We choose to marry a man with children and we don’t want to replace their mom but rather be a support network for our new family.

    Everyone in a stepfamily is navigating their way and finding their place. Patience and trying to see things from another’s perspective is vital.

    xoxo Heather

  2. You had me at “Atticus” (ok, before then, but I LOVE me some Atticus!). I can’t imagine how difficult the stepmom role is. Kids can be exhausting and frustrating enough when they’re yours, much less when they’re someone else’s, and when you have the additional divorce/blended family issues to cope with, and when the co-parenting situation isn’t a great one, etc. etc. etc. Kudos to all the ones who do it well. I won’t lie and say I don’t still feel threatened by a stepmom–I’m hoping that goes away in time. But really, kids who have a good one are lucky kids indeed. Thanks for the perspective.

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