FIRST MYTH: STEPMUMS ARE ALL EVIL.
Most often when we think of the term ‘stepmother’ we immediately conjure up images of the classic ‘wicked’ and ‘evil’ women who were involved in the lives of Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel. These fairy tales have instilled the subtle theme that only biological parents love and protect their children. This unfortunately perpetuates the cultural norm that stepparents are less involved and responsible for contributing positively to the lives of their partner’s children. As stepmums we know this is not true as stepparents can be just as devoted and dedicated as any other parent.
SECOND MYTH: STEPMUMS INSTANTLY LOVE THEIR STEPCHILDREN.
TV shows such as the Brady Bunch have portrayed the stepmother as someone who instantly loves her stepchildren. This story puts an enormous amount of pressure and expectation on the stepmother to ‘love’ her stepchildren. The myth of instant love is confusing and can cause a strong sense of guilt and shame for stepmothers who are struggling in their relationships with their stepchildren. Loving each other is not the realistic goal or outcome in a stepfamily. Sometimes this is possible from the onset though it is generally something that grows with time.
These two myths are both insidious and problematic.
The truth is there are millions of kind, generous and caring women in this world who are right now offering their energy and time to their partner’s children. These women can be offering their stepchildren an opportunity for yet another fulfilling and nourishing relationship. While biological parents may view their relationship as being more important the truth is the stepmum – stepchild relationship can open up the child to something truly amazing.
Stepmums may not instantly love their partner’s children as it is not always possible due to residual tension and grief being experienced by the children. Also, the stepmum needs time to adjust to her role. Stepmums can and do contribute greatly to the wellbeing and growth of their stepchildren. The myths above are limiting and narrow minded. Women who take up the role as stepmum are all unique in what they offer and how they go about fulfilling this role.
It would be great to hear your point of view on the myths shared above. Please feel free to make a comment below or head on over the Amazing Stepmums Facebook Group and tell us what you think about the two myths which have been busted here.
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