When I became a stepmom I knew there would be a lot of hurdles to over come and obstacles I would need to navigate around. What I didn’t think would happen was the ignorant comments that come out of strangers and even friend’s mouths.
ig·no·rant – adjective –
>> lacking knowledge or awareness in general; uneducated or unsophisticated.
“he was told constantly that he was ignorant and stupid”
>> lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.
“they were ignorant of astronomy”
>> discourteous or rude.
“this ignorant, pin-brained receptionist”
That is the dictionary definition of the word ignorant.
Let me give you a play by play of how a conversation might go with a fellow mom (FM) on the playground.
FM: Aren’t they cute, are those two yours?
Me: Yup, every inch of them.
FM: Wow, you look great for having two kids.
Me: Oh, I didn’t give birth to them.
FM: So they aren’t yours?
Me: *small laugh* Yes they are indeed mine, I am their stepmom.
FM: Oh, you’re a stepmom, that’s really nice.
And that is usually the end of the conversation. The mom usually gives me a polite tight smile and will go over to a different mom and talk with her. I’m totally not kidding and I’m not looking for a pity party, I’m use to these situations. To them, I’m sure they think I’m just like a babysitter. But excuse me lady, I can talk mom talk too. I’ve dealt with sick nights with them as toddlers, temper tantrums, diaper changes, potty training, first days of school and so many other things. Just because I’m a stepmom doesn’t mean I am not qualified to talk to about these things.
Little do they know I am just as much of a mom to them as their biological mom is, especially on the days they are with me and their Dad. (and I know if anyone wanted to argue about that, I know Stephanie would have a few words for you.) When the school year starts, we take the kids shopping for school supplies and clothes like every other parent. When one of them falls and scrapes their knee, who do you think they cry for? Every Sunday, Monday and Tuesday night who do you think packs their lunch for the next day? One of them has a spelling test, who do you think helps them study? It’s insulting and ignorant to assume I am nothing but a person who married their Dad. I am so much more, stepmoms are so much more.
There was a time I was hanging out with some people from work on a Saturday night. “Where are the kids at?” one of them asked me, “They are at their mom’s house until tomorrow.” — “Ohhhhhhhhh, so you aren’t a REAL mom then.” Um. Excuse me? Who the hell says something like that to someone? I take into consideration that this person is not a parent before I answered, because as I have found out, people just aren’t educated about step families and blended families. But that doesn’t mean it still doesn’t hurt.
As the school year inches closer, the anxiety of dealing with these kind of people begins to rear its ugly head. I don’t get that worked up about it anymore, but it’s still there in the back of my head. After six years I figured out that crying about it is just not going to solve anything and snapping back at people who deliver a sting of a comment doesn’t help them understand that what they said offended me. What I did realize was that I needed to be secure with myself and my place in my family. I know I am a real mom. I know my munchkins love me unconditionally and I know that my husband supports me and has my back 100% of the time. I don’t need the acceptance of others to know I am a real mom to my family. I need the acceptance from myself and the confidence to go with it.