Step mothers get a bad rap. We're evil, wicked, vain and hugely threatened by young pretty princesses. But I maintain that people just don't understand the step mother. It's a harder job then people realize. I think stepmother's don't get enough credit. Note: I am not condoning poisoned apples or convincing my husband to leave them in the woods because they eat too much. Unless they are really bad. You understand.
I've been a step mom for five years. It's a constant balancing act of being a parent but not stepping on any toes. It's being a part of her life, but not having any control over her life. It's loving her fiercely, wiping her tears, cleaning her snotty nose, praising her efforts and making her laugh. In short all the things a parent does for their children. But not being the parent. I have no legal right to her. If Robert should die, I could never see her again. On a lesser dire note, if I don't think she should do something like stay at home alone at eight years old. I don't get to make that decision and have no leg to stand on.
I can only be here for her when she is in my home. Try and make sure she has a good female role model, that she's getting the love and attention and discipline that she needs. I can send her back to school and to her other home and hope that our lessons here have stuck. And that she doesn't forget that this is her home too.
I never refer to Peanut as my stepdaughter because I feel like it makes her less somehow. As though she is extra, "just" my stepdaughter. I refer to her as my daughter. Not because I am trying to replace her mom, but because she is part of our family and a daughter I am raising, just like my other two. I prefer to think of it as she gets more love, more motherly love then the average kid. She gets two of us.
I hope as she gets older she sees it that way and never resents me. But I am holding my breath for the day that I hear "You can't tell me what to do! You're not even my mom!" But I will treat it just like when my other daughters say a different version of that. Express sympathy, explain why I have these rules and then ground the heck out of them. All three of them.
Which fairy tale step-mother do you think is scariest?