I was talking to a co-worker who is also in a blended family situation and she was telling me how they all get together and celebrate Christmas, including her boyfriend’s ex-wife, her husband and young child. Another friend of mine, my editor and creator of www.familyfusioncommunity.com, Trish, writes all the time about the great relationship she has with her children’s step-mom and how they communicate every day and have even gone shopping together. This got me to thinking about the “other mothers” in the lives of my children.
I don’t typically write about the “other mothers”. I feel strongly about sharing things about our blended family but there is a fine line between sharing my heart and gossip/slander. Yes there has been times where I have wanted to vent out my frustrations in my posts but other than making me feel better, how would that truly help the situation? However, I am going to share some thoughts on the subject and maybe give advice to other “blendermoms” who are stepmoms, biomoms, or like me, both. Be mindful that I am only speaking from a place where both parents are active in all 3 of my children’s lives.
1. Respect the biomom for who she is regardless of what you may personally think of her.
I know this may hit a nerve with some stepmoms because stepmoms are often not treated with kindness, courtesy, or respect. However, if the biomom is in the child’s life there is no one that can or should take her place.
I do not have a relationship with my son’s stepmom. When she was first introduced to my son, he was told to call her “Miss” and by her first name but 5 months later when his dad married her, they immediately started on a campaign to force him to call her mom because she was pregnant, and he was disciplined when he would forget or did not want to. He is still made to call her mom to this day and he has a lot of resentment toward her. The reason for the resentment is because he knows the truth in his own reality and he was denied that reality. He would come home upset and say she is not his real mom so why does he have to call her that? I was not respected as being his true mother and look who has suffered for it; my son, of course. I am his real true biological mother and nothing can change that, however, speaking to stepmoms: children have enough to work out in their heart over the break up of parents they love most dearly. Do not add to that by causing hurt, bitterness, and resentment in your stepchild’s heart just because you do not like their mother.
2. Respect the stepmom for who she is and the difficult situation she is in. I can honestly say that I have never been rude or hostile towards the stepmoms of my kids. Given the story above, I may feel justified in it however, as a biomom I want what is truly best for my children and using them as a weapon of control and revenge is not even close to being an option.
Stepmoms do not have an easy job. They are caught somewhere in the middle of all the emotion and tend to receive the brunt of negativity and spitefulness because they are not a biological parent. Often, they are a dumping ground for all the hurt, frustration, anger, confusion, and sadness that comes with divorce from all involved including the biological parents, children, and even extended families.
Let’s just get real for a moment, myself included. When the ex enters into a new relationship, the biomom also feels threatened. It may be to different degrees but it is a normal emotion and very powerful. Who does she think she is? Does she think she is better than me? Is my child going to want to be with her and spend time with her more than me? Moms will never ever admit it but it is exactly what they are thinking. It’s perfectly normal to feel that way but it is how we act on it that makes the difference. If we do not try to overcome our personal feelings the ones we love most, our precious little ones, will be the ones that get hurt and will pay the price.
3. Try to encourage the relationship of the children with their biomoms and stepmoms. You may think you know what the other mom is thinking and feeling but you have no idea. You may think you know based on their actions but unless you read minds, you do not. 1Corinthians 2:11a “For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them?” I have been accused of many things such as being a liar or my personal favorite, not allowing the father to communicate with the mom. Anytime I would hear something from any of the 3 kids, I would always counter it by saying something kind about the other. That way whatever venom was attempting to be spread would be killed with love and kindness.
With all my heart, I want my children to feel free to love the other mothers without hindrance from me. I have found through experience that the more I encourage them toward healthy relationships with the others, regardless of personal feelings toward them and their actions, the more the kids love and respect me for it because I am not forcing them to choose or divide their love and loyalty. Galatians 6:7 “Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.”
“If a mother and father can love more than one child then why is it so hard to understand that a child can love more than one mother and father!” ~author unknown
Donna Mott is known as the “Blendermom” thrown in the mix of a blended family on her blog www.blendermom.me. She has a fourteen year old daughter and a nine-year old son, as well as a ten-year old bonus son. Together with her wonderful supportive husband, she is trying to teach her children the truest Christian values of loving God and loving each other through compassion and service. She is a 2009 graduate of “She Speaks” through Proverbs 31 ministries and has written for www.upliftingfamilies.com. She enjoys writing personalized poetry. She also writes and composes personalized songs for special occasions. She loves snuggling with her seven pound fur-baby, Maltipoo, Brady. You can follow her on Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram @blendermom3.