Stepmothering is loaded with social, cultural and historical factors which both directly and indirectly influence her role, wellbeing and sense of identity. It is no surprise that new stepmothers report on feeling overwhelmed, isolated, confused, lost, guilty and totally uncertain about who she is in the stepfamily.
So … let’s take a look at what she is up against.
There are two myths which influence the perception of stepmothering. The first myth is that of the wicked/evil stepmother who has been propagated through fairytales like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. These stories instill the subtle theme that only biological parents love and protect their children. This perpetuates the cultural norm that stepparents are less involved and responsible for having a positive role in the lives of their stepchildren.
The second myth is that of instant love where the stepmother is expected to immediately love her stepchildren as seen, for example, in the television series the Brady Bunch. In stepfamilies to love each other is not the realistic goal or outcome. The myth of instant love is confusing for stepmothers and can create a sense of guilt and shame for women who are struggling in their relationships with their stepchildren. These myths are both insidious and problematic.
Stepmotherhood is also heavily laden with the idealization of biological motherhood. The child’s relationship with their biological mother, whether decreased or not, is undoubtedly important to nurture and acknowledge for the child. However, what’s happened historically and continues today, is that biological mothers are portrayed as innately nurturing, all-loving, all-giving and completely devoted to their children. While, in contrast stepmothers are seen as selfish, vengeful, unloving and manipulative. Stepmothers are perceived more negatively than mothers in nuclear families. These views provide a difficult setting for stepmothers to construct their role within the stepfamily.
The role construction process is also greatly influenced by gender norms. In general society perceives stepparents as less responsible for stepchild care, though women are perceived as more responsible than men for household and childcare chores (i.e. cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, bedtime routines). Stepmothers are faced with the difficult task of forming an expanded identity with the influence of gender norms. Stepmothers are caught between the gender norms related to women as mothers and the expectations of stepparents.
Stepmothering is embedded in a complex world of deeply entrenched perceptions of women, mothering and stepparenting.
It’s time to rewrite the fairytales, scripts and societal norms.
Let me know what you think and leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you.
Some patients from all around the world who are facing numerous health problem, these americans can buy medicaments online without any problem. Medications like Viagra commonly is used to treat diseases such as ED. Viagra is a common therapy used to treat erectile disfunction. Many young people think about “vardenafil vs sildenafil“. How effective is Viagra? Our article focuses on the treatment of erectile malfunction and “http://rootinfonline.com/cialis-for-daily-use.html“. The very substantial thing you must look for is “cialis for daily use“. There are divers things that can result in erectile dysfunction. Fairly, with well-respected source you get confidence in knowing that your order is being handled by trustworthy health care providers and that your information is safe.