Thu 24 Jun 2010
Had to borrow that famous one liner. Sorry couldn’t help myself. Also had to write a post in response to the sassysinglemama’s piece. Her comments caused quite a stir and prompted many stepmoms to weigh in. Many diverse opinions were shared. Love the honesty and variety of our community. Makes us so interesting….
One lesson that jumped out while reading her guest blog and all the comments is this:
there is no one way to be a stepmom and there is no one way to define a mom and stepmom relationship.
What works for the sassysinglemamma doesn’t work for others. And that is OK! We can determine that what might work for her might not work for us. However, judging another person or their motivation isn’t our place. We are all in this together and we need to encourage and support one another but we don’t have to agree. The latter is actually impossible!
The important thing is having a relationship with your stepkids and their mom that works for you and your family.
I know that many smoms took issue with #12 which spoke to the stepmom’s husband helping his ex-wife. This one is a tricky one. One thing this magnifies is that we, as stepmoms, are protective of our husbands and rightfully so. We are his wife. We love him and his first priority is with us. That is all so true.
I try to never use the ex-wife label. Personally, I prefer to refer to her as my stepchild’s mom or by her first name. Every time we say ex-wife, we are verbally connecting our husband with this woman. They are no longer a couple. Period. However, they are the mother of our husband’s children and sometimes on occasion it may make sense for him to help his kids out (which on the surface may appear that he is helping their mom out).
Let me share a personal situation that I had in this regard. One night I was driving home with all six kids in tow at 8:30pm and my husband was out of town on business. I was at an intersection and my van just died. We happened to be on a corner with businesses and a nice guy helped me push my car into the parking lot. It was getting late and all my kids were young and tired. I called my husband and told him what happened. He actually suggested calling my ex to see if he would come and jump my van so I could drive the short distance home. He said it would take to long for AAA to come and he didn’t want me and the kids sitting there alone. He even said, “his kids are in the van. I hope he will come and help you out.”
In my situation, my ex did come and help. But he was helping out for the kids, not for me and I had discussed it first with my husband. We’ve had other things come up where my ex has helped out for the kids sake but I always ask my husband first out of respect for him and for our marriage.
I think if our husband consults with us first before doing something that might be helping out his kids’ mom is vital and also gives us more power and say in the situation. And let’s face it as stepmoms, we often feel that we yield little control over things. At least that’s how I feel a lot of the time.
What is important to remember is that our stepkids’ mom and our husband will always have their children as common ground. There is no denying it. Nor should there be any denying it.
But that commonality or connection, if you will, is a working relationship not a romantic one. A positive working relationship between two parents whether they are married, divorced, or never married benefits the kids. When I work with my kids’ dad it is not because I want to or because I enjoy it but rather because it’s important and vital for our kids to see us get along.
Kids never ask for divorce yet they bear the brunt of the impact of divorce. They shouldn’t have to carry the burden of two parents who don’t work together.
Whatever type of relationship you have with your stepkids’ mom, I hope it is one that brings you peace and not pain. I hope that it is one that is beneficial for your family and all your kids.
In the end, I will always support open, healthy and honest dialogue. It is my hope that by feeling comfortable to share our true feelings as stepmoms, we can connect with one another and feel the support of our wonderful stepmom community. We each come from different places, different life experiences, different backgrounds yet we have one common thread – to love our husbands and nurture and care for his children. Love that we are all so diverse yet all so committed to our husbands and our families. Let’s disagree on issues but not on the character of someone. I never want someone afraid to share their true heart out of fear of being judged.
We are all compassionate women and moms/smoms and I am so proud to be a part of this community.
Now, what say you???? I really want to know what’s on your mind:)