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Top 5 Lessons of an Evil Stepmom

Here’s the truth about being a stepmom: birthing a baby does NOT mean you’re a good parent, and caring for a child you DIDN’T birth doesn't mean you’re evil. 

son and stepmom dressed as Star Wars characters

Sounds silly to even say that, right?

But we all grew up with the same fairytales. The go-to villain? The Evil Stepmom. 

If you ask ANY child what they want to be when they grow up, not one will say a stepmom. (Disclaimer: I haven’t actually conducted this study, but I feel certain of the results). 

It’s not a goal or a badge of honor. It’s a gauntlet of tricky, hard, and awkward. It is also humbling. To the core. 

But I’m HERE for the stepmoms. I’m claiming this title. I’m owning it. I’m taking it back. This is my rally cry!

I didn’t expect or aim to be a stepmom. Yet here I am. Amazingly lucky to be one. And learning things I know many never will. 

stepmom with son walking to baseball pratice

Top 5 Things I’ve Learned as a Stepmom:

  1. It’s a lonely land. People are really well-meaning. But they don’t know the circumstances that resulted in a stepmom. And instead of learning or attempting the awkward friendships parents normally do on behalf of their kids, people just skip it. Which I understand. It’s easier not to. When a family doesn’t present itself in the standard cookie-cutter form, it confuses people. And so a lot of folks just don’t try to connect with stepmoms. Which is hard because it’s so dang lonely as a stepmom. But the worst is that it affects everyone, because the social circle doesn’t fold children in as well without parent friendships. Which brings me to a related social handicap...
  2. Dads are invisible. Dads are almost entirely omitted from social planning and extracurricular scheduling. Which means many times a stepmom in a traditional split-house setup is omitted from social plans by default. Which is problematic because then the plans don't happen. Most critically, it means a child is accidentally being left out. Because we haven’t learned to fold dads into planning and socializing for kids. Which means ...
  3. Stepmoms gotta just get over it. Unless a stepmom leaps over massive discomfort and initiates planning and connections for her family and stepchild, her child is going to suffer a loss of friendships, connection, and a strong social network. Which is arguably one of the most important ingredients in raising a confident, capable children. It’s critical to stop focusing on what others do or may think. You gotta block out the haters. And instead ...
  4. Focus on what’s important. Thankfully stepmoms have one of the BEST motivators ever to move past social judgments and awkwardness: their kids. As a child it’s hard not being invited to sit at lunch table or to get involved when no one’s picking you for their team. It’s hard to advocate for yourself as a child. As a parent, as a stepmom, it’s NOT hard at all to focus on what’s really important and to do uncomfortable hard things. For your child. There’s never been a better reason to get over or just ignore what anybody else thinks. Because …
  5. Love IS selfless. Being a mom is often thankless and hard, without any credit. Being a stepmom takes this to another level. And that’s ok. Love really isn’t about appreciation or credit. Or even being loved in return. It’s almost always the opposite. I’m NOT advocating for martyrdom. Just recognizing that being a stepmom is a more selfless love set up than almost any other. It's loving and caring for a child, minus the same expectations or validation that come with traditional parenthood. Bonding takes time. That said, I have been known to splurge on special Pringles and Izzy sodas and stay up late playing Mario Kart together.

drinking icees

Pro Tip: If you’re a stepmom, do yourself a solid and get you a nickname. Just like grandmas and aunts. Nicknames are sooo much better than being called by your first name at home. Mine is Llama (get it? “La-Ma?”) And I love it. 💗 I love being a stepmom. So do a lot of other women who've learned a thing or two!

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