If you're a stepmom, you know the stigma that comes with it. The "evil stepmother" who can't wait for the dreaded stepkids to leave, or worse: the stepmother trying to take place of her stepkids' mom. Popular blogger Jamie Scrimgeour (a mom of one and stepmom of three) frequently writes about the assumptions that come with stepmom life. The following is a post written by Jamie about an experience she had on Instagram after a commenter suggested she was trying to replace her stepchildren's mother.
First of all, I want to thank you. When I wrote this Instagram post, I only expected to receive comments from other stepmoms who feel the same way about their stepchildren.
Your comment, accusing me of trying to replace their mother, was a wonderful reminder of why I have chosen to be so open about life as a stepmom in the first place. It’s to debunk the b*llshit stereotypes that go hand-in-hand with the comment you left. Specifically, that stepmoms who treat their stepchildren the same as they treat their own children, are on a mission to try and replace the “real mom.”
I often say that when you’re a stepmom you’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t... and your comment reinforced that.
Here’s the deal. When I decided to commit myself to my husband, I committed myself to loving his three children as well. They were a package deal, no matter what. I have unconditional love for him and I have unconditional love for them. They are my family.
Saying that out loud doesn’t mean that I am trying to devalue the relationship they have with their mom, trying to step on her toes, or how did you put it again ... “make these children mine”?
In fact, having an involved stepmom who loves them to the moon and back doesn’t have anything to do with their relationship with their mom at all. That relationship is still as important and strong as ever. It only means that they get to have an extra adult in their life who loves them and looks out for their well-being. Why is that such a bad thing?
You asked me to think about how hard it would be to have another woman look after my kid every-other-week or every-other-weekend. I agree with you. I think it would be extremely hard.
But as an adult I am confident that I would look at the bigger picture and accept that this is the reality that comes with a divorce or separation. In fact, if I were in this scenario, I would pray to god that my daughter’s stepmom would love her and treat her the same as she would her own children, whether she was a “real mom” or not.
Not only because I am an adult and believe in putting the best interests of my child ahead of my own insecurities, but because I am a child of divorce myself, and I know first hand how upsetting it can be to be treated second rate to a stepmom’s “own” child. Trust me, it’s a great way to set up a child to be resentful of their blended family situation.
Despite how gut-wrenching it would be for another woman to have “special moments” with my child, knowing that my child is loved, cared for, and feeling secure would by far outweigh the importance of knowing that I was doing 100 percent of the “Mom Jobs.”
To read the rest of Jamie's thoughts, click here to see her original post on her blog!