May 16, 2024

The Mother versus Stepmother Divide

Last week Sunday was Mother's Day (in the US, Canada and a few other countries). 

This coming Sunday is Stepmother's Day. Stepmother's Day was started in 2000 by a 9-year old girl in the US, who wanted to celebrate her stepmother. 

With the increase of divorces and blended families, it only makes sense that there are more and more stepparents in children's lives. In my very short research, I noticed there isn't a Stepfather's Day, which leads me to acknowledge how divisive the topic of motherhood can be. It seems like Father's and Stepfathers alike are celebrated on the same day and nobody bats an eyelid. On the other hand, there seems to be a divide between Mothers and Stepmothers, making it almost necessary to distinguish between celebrating them. Hmm. Interesting.

That aside, I think I've mentioned that my youngest sister started a brand catering to Stepmoms, called The Good Stepmother. She has just launched her website and I'm proud of the community that she's building as well. I asked her to be on the Mommy Oyoyo Podcast last year (listen to the episode here) to talk about what life is like for her as a stepmom.

Truth be told, we don't always see eye-to-eye. Whereas she speaks from the Stepmother's point of view, I speak from the Biological mom's experience. That being said, I am more aware of inherent biases I have had towards stepmoms. It doesn't help that the general societal stepmom stereotype is that of the wicked, evil witch who swooped in to steal someone's husband and is mean to the children (it happens sha, let's not lie - but also, the men who do that are to blame too). On the other side, there's the Baby Mama drama cliche that follows biological mothers as well - women who live to cause drama for their exes and the new partners. 

You know what's funny? Apart from deadbeat dads, you hardly see men being identified in the divide between moms and stepmoms. It's as if only women have or are the issue. It doesn't seem to matter if the man in between has lied to one or more parties, whether he approached the transition with respect of all parties involved, etc. Please note, I'm not saying some women aren't the problem because I've seen and heard stories of both Biological and Stepmoms that have had me shaking my head very vigorously. 

I've wanted to write about this topic for a while, but resisted because I didn't know what angle I wanted to approach it from. I recently suggested to my sister that maybe we should collaborate on an event to bridge the divide - but it's almost laughable because I have zero relationship with my child's stepmother (due to extenuating circumstances - that's a story not for the blog, but for a therapist and God to help me fully work through). However just because that relationship does not exist, does not mean I still can't help in bringing such an event to life. As a matter of fact, my own personal experience can lend insight on what not to do.

I may be a stepmom one day, if God allows me to marry a man with children. Going by my own experiences, I know what I would do to try and foster a positive relationship with my stepchild(ren)'s mother. So there's that.

Well I'm done rambling. Have a pretty day!

Oh, fun fact: there may not be Stepfather's Day but National Stepfamily Day is on September 16th!

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