Recently on my facebook page I went on a bit of a rave. I felt compelled to bring a taboo out into the open. I am going to start calling myself #raveonsally. This rave saw me share that stepmums often feel ashamed when speaking truthfully and honestly about their stepchildren. I am not normally a raver however this has been stewing away in the pot for sometime.
When biological mothers speak about the challenges related to their children it is considered normal and part of the course. No one really blinks an eye. If a stepmum starts to speak openly about her stepchild’s behaviour/personality/mood you get very little response and support from people outside of a stepfamily experience. There is awkward silent. I mean no disrespect towards biological mothers as I am simply sharing a common experience shared by most stepmums I have met through my coaching business.
Let Me Take A Moment To Clarify The Type Of Talk I Am Referring To And What I Am Not Referring To:
I AM NOT REFERRING TO COMMUNICATION WHICH IS: abusive, harmful and humiliating. This type of communicate demonstrates a great lack of disrespect towards anyone.
I AM REFERRING TO EXAMPLES LIKE THIS: ‘My stepson will not eat any green vegetables,’ ‘My stepdaughter is constantly asking me why questions and I am struggling to keep up,’ ‘My stepson always forgets to take his soccer boots off before coming inside our house,’ ‘My youngest stepdaughter talks so much all the time it drives me crazy,’ ‘I care for my stepson deeply but I really want time with my partner.’
Expression of your day to day frustrations, adjustments to developmental changes, struggles with meeting needs, feelings of guilt and failure are all part of parenthood step or otherwise. When adult’s care for the young ones they are guiding and providing for in life, they will reach points of exhaustion, overwhelm and bewilderment. From this very natural place all parents, this includes step, need to have the space and the support to speak up. Stepmums, the ones I have had the privilege of meeting through my work care so deeply for their stepchildren and want the best for them.
Family structure has changed so much over recent decades and there are more stepfamilies today than any other time in history. This means there are thousands, if not millions, of stepmums around the globe right now contributing to the livelihood of children who are only biologically connected to their partners. These women deserve a space of recognition and the opportunity to be heard, seen and understood from the point of view of a parent.
What has you experience been like as a stepmum? Do you feel at ease with speaking about your step parenting experience?
I would love to hear from you. You can comment below or head on over to the Amazing Stepmum support group and let us know what your experiences have been like in regards to talking about your stepchildren?
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