Here's something that I believe is contributing to our Smom rage:
When I was growing up and was not allowed to do something, I had different people tell me,"When you grow up and have your own place, you can make the rules." Hey, that sounded pretty good to me. I think I got though some rough times imagining how great it would be to be in charge of my own house with MY rules and having the authority to run things the way I wanted. Well, guess what? I am grown-up. I'm 47 years old with my own house and...I AM STILL NOT IN CHARGE OF WHAT GOES ON AROUND HERE! I suddenly realized that this now feels like a broken promise. Thinking about this has helped me have some compassion and patience with myself. Here I am, having all the responsibilities of my home but I still have a "Mother" controlling much of my life. And to make it worse, it's a "Mother" who doesn't even like me very much! How about that for explaining some rage and frustration?!
You might be a frustrated Stepmom if...I wrote the following list after a particularly aggravating skid/bio-mom experience last week. I found myself feeling a sort of twisted humor in the ridiculousness (is that a word?) of some of our bio-mom experiences.
I guess what happened was the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. For some reason, after the incident, Jeff Foxworthy came to mind. Do you know who he is? He's the southern comedian who makes fun of southerners with his title line, "You might be a redneck if..." He makes fun of himself and his family. "Example: If you find yourself starting at a can of frozen orange juice because it says CONCENTRATE...you might be a redneck " LOL He can pick on, talk about and laugh at Southerners because he is one and somehow it makes it not cruel but funny. The following did not make me laugh but it gave me sort of an ironic but deep-felt sense of connection with other wonderful women who have shared these experiences and somehow, diminished the pain of the events all at the same time. Go figure. OK, Here are some examples from our bulletin board.
You might be a frustrated Stepmom if...
1. If you continue to love and care for your skids and try to do the right thing for them and the bio-mom is rude or refuses to acknowledge you in public...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
2. If you pay your skid's mom child support AND also buy clothes (that don't come back from the bio-mom's house) and your skids show up at your house looking like orphans AND in an attempt to show them the importance of taking pride in your appearance, you send them back to school in clean, neat clothes that fit, clothes that you probably won't see again...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
3. If your skid's mom takes stuff out of the backpack before it comes to you or refuses to pass along things about your skid's school events so you miss them...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
4. If everyone agrees that the skids are coming for dinner and so you take the time to make a nice dinner for them, only to find out, when your skids arrive that they have already eaten...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
5. If you've ever been left out of your skid's activities because the bio-mom said you had no right to be there and your husband went along with it...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
6. If you, your hubby and your skids were having a great time doing something, giving you a flash of the happy family fantasy you wish for, and then right in the middle of having this wonderful time your skids feels the need to call their mom and talk for a while ruining the moment...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
7. If you've watched your skids get away with rude, disrespectful and/or entitled behavior because your beloved isn't willing to discipline the skids out of his own fear or guilt and gets angry at you if you want to say something about it...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
8. If your name has ever mysteriously disappeared from the school's emergency contact card so that when your hubby asked you to drop everything and go get your sick skid, the school nurse wouldn't let you take him and said," According to our records, you don't exist!"...you may be a frustrated Stepmom.
Want to add to the list? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add to the list.
Here are some SMOMs have sent it:
If your adorable stepson pines and cries for a mom that wanted him aborted...You might be a frustrated smom.
If the bio mom let him watch zombie movies at 4 and completely undid his potty training for 2 years...You might be a frustrated smom
If your skid has nightmares because his b-mom let her friends torture a family heirloom (clown) – super creepy...You might be a frustrated smom
If your husband endlessly backs up his ex-wife's childish behavior...You might be a frustrated smom.
If all the gifts, parent teacher conferences and thank you cards go to the biomom, when you sign off on and correct all the homework and take the time to train him...You might be a frustrated smom.
If your husband defends the biomom for teaching her son to emcee drinking games. (He’s 8!)...You might be a frustrated smom.
If your new family doesn’t want you around...You might be a frustrated smom.
If his b-mom or dad care less about his success than you do...You might be a frustrated smom.
If you’re sick of cleaning up a biomom mess and making her look good to protect her child...You might be a frustrated smom.
If the ex monopolized your husband at your wedding...you might be a frustrated smom.
If you know she doesn’t want the child, she’s embarrassed to admit it, and you want nothing more than to protect your skid by filing her shoes...You might be a frustrated smom.
What can we do about it?
Well, we're all still working on that. Somehow, it just helps to understand many of us share these feelings. Knowing this makes it easier to be more accepting of my own rage and anger. We are learning more and more that our beliefs are very impactful on our emotional well-being. As we can identify these beliefs, we can consciously decide if we want to change them, revise them or eliminate them all together. Can you imagine how young girls would react if we told them, "When you grown up and get your own place, you can make the rules and be in charge...UNLESS you marry a man with children who has a cruel or selfish ex-wife." That wouldn't be very comforting would it? Hopefully, Ladies, by the time the girls of today grow up, we will have made enough maps and offer enough tactics and techniques that every Stepmom will seek out our SMOMS materials and be spared the pain and frustrations that we share.
©2003 Cathryn Bond Doyle. All Rights Reserved.