7 Reasons Not to Hate Your Child’s Stepmom

BY: - 20 Sep '13 | Marriage

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When I found out my daughter’s dad moved on, I was devastated.  It felt like someone stabbed me in the back and the heart at the same time. I yearned to pick up the phone and call her—the other woman who later became the wife. I wasn’t sure what I would say, but I was sure that the sentences would be filled with four-letter words.

I didn’t dial a single digit. Although a blow up would blow off steam, it could be detrimental to my daughter. Did I want a woman who was mad at me to watch my child unsupervised? Did I want a woman to look at my princess as something other than an adorable, innocent bystander? Even if she didn’t become the evil stepmom portrayed on television, I didn’t want to give her a reason to not cherish my child. I admit—at first I didn’t want a woman I never met around my daughter. Then, I swallowed a very big pill—I’m pretty sure with a very big glass of wine. I cannot control who comes into my daughter’s life. I had to trust God. If this woman loved my ex, she would love his child, right? Fortunately, she has!

I shared my story with my friend Deesha Phillywaw, author of Co-parenting 101: Helping Your Kids Thrive in Two Households After Divorce. We talked about how to spin the stepmother story into a positive portrayal. I told her, that I think I may get along better with the wife than the ex. We laughed and came up with 7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Hate Your Child’s Stepmother.

1. She gets a set of keys to the carpool.

Heather: I co-parent across state lines, so my daughter’s stepmother helps with the driving. It’s a long haul, so I no longer worry that my ex will fall asleep at the wheel.  I say a prayer, and they arrive safely!

Deesha: People sometimes ask me how I really feel about my kids’ stepmom. After I affirm that I don’t just like her, I embrace her as a family member, I add…‘And even if I didn’t like her, she’s another person to drive these kids around!’ Sometimes my co-parent can’t chauffeur our kids to school and to activities, so I welcome this additional driver with open arms!

2. She shuts the revolving door of women who come in and out of your child’s life.

Heather: I hear so many horror stories of men brining home women they wouldn’t introduce to their mother but would let babysit their children. I don’t think my ex would do that, but knowing my daughter won’t be opening and closing the revolving door at their home is a sigh of relief.

Deesha: My kids never met anyone their dad dated except the person he eventually married. I am so thankful that she has been a positive and a constant in their lives. Fewer women—or in this case, one woman, meant less chance for drama and less adjusting for our children. Also, my ex and I agreed that we would give each other the opportunity to meet any new partners before they met the kids.

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About the author

Heather Hopson wrote 59 articles on this blog.

Not long ago, Heather Hopson was an award-winning television host in the Cayman Islands. Today, she's writing a different kind of story as a new mom. She gives readers the key to her diary and shares personal stories about single parenting, dating, transitioning to motherhood and her obsession with being what her family calls an "activity mom." The site features celebrity interviews, parent spotlights and confessional videos. Follow her journey through motherhood on Twitter @dearmomdiary.

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  • Missy

    What a breath of fresh air! I want to plaster this article all over the place to let people know that there is a mature manner of handling blended families. THANK YOU!!!!!

  • Dr. Pamela Trotter

    I really loved this article. Coparenting really does require the stepparents to be intimately involved. I’m doing a study on single moms’ experiences with coparenting. Email me at singlemomstudy1@gmail.com if interested.

  • Sean Fletcher

    I want to give a shout out to my daughters stepdad Charles Branyley. He has been there for my daughter when I couldn’t be. I am so grateful that she has him in her life! Although, i wish it were me I am still glad that she has someone to look up to and protect her.

  • http://Www.stepwithlove.org Janice Love

    This is my life. So much so I have written a book about it and we have a stepfamily ministry that helps other stepfamilies. http://www.stepwithlove.org
    By the way, I adore my children’s stepmom. I called her my extra wife. Every divorced woman with children deserves to have someone in their children’s life who enhances what could be a horrible situation. Check out my book. “One Plus One Equals Ten: A First Lady’s Survival Guide for Stepmoms”. Available on amazon.
    Janice R Love

  • http://Wordpress Petronella

    How then do I handle the situation of a child born out of infidelity. I want to be a part of her life and other mom though its painful because my husband is her dad the other woman and family always calls him even in the middle of the night. I just want to be supportive and show that I love him despite everything else.

  • Chamira

    This article gives me hope. I am a step mom and love my step children and hope with time their mother will realize that I only have their best interest at heart.

  • http://ninjaspiele.com/profile/dtjli.html ninjaspiele.com

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.

    I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here regularly. I’m quite certain I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Good luck for the next!

Blended Families Week: Stepdads are Great Too!

BY: - 20 Sep '13 | Blended Families

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My parents met when they were both in the Air Force. They married when I was four and my older sister was seven. Looking at the wedding pictures, I remember being there, but for the longest time, I thought my dad was mine biologically. It wasn’t until I was older that I was told he was not. You see my dad adopted me and my sister after he married my mom, so I didn’t get a chance to experience a step-dad, just a dad.

I don’t remember being treated differently when my younger sister was born two years later. I was just happy to have her. We had a great family life; we traveled because their jobs moved us every three to four years. We ate dinner together, played games together, enjoyed each other. My dad even escorted me to my father-daughter dance when I was in Brownies. My dad was a hero to me because to me he knew how to do everything, fix everything and even showed me how to ride my bike. He was just Daddy, never my step-dad.

When my parents divorced some years later, I was devastated. I just knew I would never see him again, even though they both assured me I would. Of course I did see him, even though we never lived in the same state due to where the Air Force assigned them. Now that I am forty, nothing has changed with my dad. I can call him whenever I need anything, and he calls just to check in. He has re-married but never had any more kids. Just like the family of Christ, I have all the rights and privileges of a natural born child because I was adopted into his family. That is an awesome feeling.

I have heard people say that women eventually marry men like their fathers. In my case this is true. Some of my husband’s mannerisms mimic my dad’s. My husband also took on the role of raising a child not biologically his. So he too was a father before he became a daddy. You can read our adventures of a blended family in my article How My Husband Became a Father to My Child.

BMWK – We’ve been talking about how blessed kids are to have stepmoms, but we also have to give credit to all of the wonderful men that “stepup” to being fathers.  If you know of a great stepdad, give him a shout out in the comments below.

Check out more Blended Family articles on BMWK

About the author

Latoya Irving wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Latoya Irving is a former Air Force brat who loves writing about relationships, and family. She believes God should be the center of both. She is married with two kids and currently live in Texas.

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