Mothering is truly an art. Biomoms, bonusmoms, stepmoms, foster moms, adoptive moms, soon to be moms, all engage in the “art of mothering.”
According to Oxford Dictionaries, mother can be defined as:
1. To bring up a child with care and affection.
2. To look after kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so.
I recently received a comment on social media which got me thinking about “the art of mothering.”
To paraphrase, this person said:
I am not the bio-mom. (No kidding!)
Thanks for taking care of the kids, but Mother’s Day is for “real moms”. (That’s right we’re just the fake ones.)
A bond between mother and child cannot be duplicated. (No need to duplicate. We build bonds of our own.)
Less than 20% of stepchildren say they feel close to their stepmothers. (Not sure about the accuracy of that data but I know many stepchildren who are close with their stepmoms.)
This instigation is the epitome of why I chose to start a stepfamily coaching business in the first place. Getting into online battles and fueling people’s fire is the opposite of my purpose.
My mission is to support stepfamilies, spread awareness, educate, empower, and help to eliminate the stepparent stigma.
In stepfamilies, the biomom/stepmom relationship has always had a bad rap. These tumultuous relationships are often advertised and publicized. Gossip, anger, and pain from both sides can create more drama in these already volatile relationships. The dysfunction can ultimately seeps into our children’s lives.
The viewpoint that biomoms and stepmoms are in some type of competition is wrong. We are rooting for the same team.
“Blended family” is a term I’m not a fan of. There is no magical blending to create a fairytale divorce. Even though two separate families emerge post-divorce, I’d like to believe we all have the same goal…
To raise healthy, happy, and successful children. To give them a childhood filled with love that they won’t have to recover from. To provide them with encouragement, opportunities, memories, and experiences which will help shape them in their future.
Stepmoms work hard to create healthy relationships among all family members and to build a strong family unit. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. In my experience, I have seen many stepmoms, like myself, step up with love, grace, support, and honor to “mother” their children.
Stepmoms are willing to work hard in creating a healthy, loving family unit. We understand we’re not the bio-mom and we’re not trying to replace them. We create our own bonds and relationships with our stepchildren.
We can’t mend what’s already broken. We can’t undo the effects of divorce. We can’t rewind and repair all the damage done. We can’t take all the pain away.
But, we can commit to the mothering role and to marriage. We can create a united front as husband and wife. We can create a family unit who focuses on teamwork. We can model healthy communication and problem solving. We can give and receive love. We can show appreciation. We can learn together. We can look challenge in the eye and say as a family we will get through this. We can let faith guide us. We can honor ourselves, our marriage, and our family.
Kids didn’t ask for divorce and family failure. They deserve to have a fighting chance by having healthy relationships modeled to them, especially in their childhoods.
Stepmoms have stepped up and stepped in, to transform a family that was once given up on.
We are all on a “mothering” journey. Biomoms, bonusmoms, stepmoms, foster moms, adoptive moms, soon to be moms, all engage in the “art of mothering.” When raising a child, “the art of mothering” comes in many different shapes and forms. Although we walk different paths with different roles, we can respect our differences and value the role we play in “mothering” our children.
-The Mothering Stepmom
Sign up here for a Free Clarity Session with Certified Stepfamily Coach, Nicole, where she will help understand your situation and what would help you the most in your stepfamily life.