The subject of Stepmoms is never an easy one. Usually, I delve into myself for personal experiences but this is not one of those times, as I am not a stepmom, I am not equipped to speak knowledgeably. As strong as I am, it takes a certain kind of strong “special” to be a stepmom. Each situation is different, all highly fraught with emotion and yes, there are different kinds of stepmoms, Cinderella’s stepmom included. Yes, there are horror stories out there, I will not deny it. There are also beautiful worthy souls out there, deserving of being a wife, mom and mother.
A brief foray online revealed various support groups and movies about stepmoms. Had I been asked six months ago about stepmoms, I would recalled the tearjerker Julia Roberts movie Stepmom. My heart went out to Susan Sarandon who portrayed a dying mom with sensitivity and depth. I watched Julia Roberts, the stepmom with a degree of reserve and admired the mother’s capitulation, her act of understanding kindness was an eye-opener to me.
Like other women, I too, have wondered about my demise and the reaction of my family. A little close knit family of four and five pets, the kids would be devastated, my daughter stoic and my sensitive son devastated. My husband would move on. Yes, I know that. I may not be fine with it but I would understand it. Certainly he would receive from me, many slaps upside his head in his softer moments with someone new, and he will know it too, but yes, I will allow it. If he stuffed up with a lack of understanding towards her, I would slap him for that too. That too, he would know and feel.
Admittedly our lives are not as before. Sickness, death and divorce have crept in. We have had to deal with great pain, bid sudden farewells or languishing farewells to our beloved mothers and wives. This precious gift called life, has impacted heavily on most and not always in the best ways. The time we have needs to be embraced, enjoyed, enhanced and celebrated. If that includes another partner, why not? Should we not seize that chance to live life fully?
No one would be able to replace a loved one, not a wife and certainly not a mother. A stepmom could try and given her precarious new footing, flounder and fail. Certainly, the knowledge that she has big shoes to fill or even a new footprint to carve will result in anxious moments.
My point is, give her a chance.
Why I say this? My relative is the kindest, gentlest soul who married late in life. His wife, a shy, loving young woman, pregnant with their child, sadly passed after a few years of marriage. Prior to that, this relative had lost both his parents within months of each other. His world as he knew it, had crumbled. With some struggle, which involved a nasty mugging incident where he was shot and hospitalized, he summoned a quiet strength and made his son his universe. As fate would have it, he found himself drawn to the company of a woman.
This was not received well by his in-laws who understandably face uncertainty in the wake of any new decisions that may be made with regard to their grandson’s and son-on-law’s future. Sadly, the child has taken a dislike to the situation and the new introduction but only on the heresay of “well meaning” people. As heavily burdened as we are over the loss of our dear sister-in-law, the selfishness needs to be ousted. The relative’s actions have come at great cost to his mental self, worry over his young son and attempt to rebuild yet another solid loving foundation for his son and himself, in-laws included. What should have been a welcome joy has been tainted with unkindness and upset.
Who knows what the future entails? Suffice to say, every day ought to be cherished and accepted as the gift it is. Today someone else’s daughter may be a stepmom. Tomorrow, your daughter, may be a stepmom. Mindsets have to be changed. Let us try to understand and support stepmoms.
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