I am a Mom. I am also a Stepmom. Both parenting roles are real.
When my husband and I take my stepdaughter to public places, for an example a playground; the people who don’t know our story treat me like I am her mom. However, I know that I am her stepmom. If we are out in public and if I am asked if I am her mom, I try to correct those asking and say I was her stepmom. Why? Because I know she already has a mom.
Do I wish that my story was different and I was able to claim her as my own? Absolutely. Do I feel as though she was my own, since I was helping raise her? Absolutely.
If you know a mom, you don’t blink twice and think anything more of it.
When you tell people that you are a “stepmom,” they tend to get uncomfortable. They don’t know how to act around you. They don’t know what to say. They sometimes look at you with a blank face. They seem to feel insecure around you because of your unknown story. They may also seem to look at you as though you aren’t a real parent.
If you want to know about a stepmom’s journey, ask her. Most stepmoms are more than happy to tell you about their parenting role.
The parenting I do as a mom and a stepmom is real. I wake up early everyday and make breakfast for all of my family. I do their laundry, take them to school and pick them up from school, take them to activities and friends’ houses. I take care of them when they are sick. I see their bad days. I pray with them. I help them through their daily issues. I hug and give them kisses. I help them with their homework. I give them advice and support their life decisions. I love them.
My parenting role is the same for all of my children, even when my stepdaughter is home. I am not a different person to any of them. I am their parent. We are family.
When you tell a stepmom that her role isn’t real, she feels the pain because she knows the truth. We know how much we do for our stepchildren on a day-to-day basis.
A stepmom is not made, she is built.
She is built by the unknowns of parenting, not knowing whether to step up or step back. The lessons stepmoms learn are by trial and error. Just like any other parenting role, stepmoms can also make mistakes.
A quote I love to live by is: Forget the mistake. Remember the lesson.
You can be a good stepmom and still struggle with parenting. Most parents struggle with the challenges of parenting, not knowing what to do, or whether or not they are making a good decision.
If you are worrying whether you are a good stepmother or not, it means that you already care. Stop feeling guilty and enjoy the moment. Give yourself some credit.
Stepmoms are real. Moms are real. Stepmoms work hard. Moms work hard. Both parenting roles do matter. We are all parents.