I’m sure that most of you who regularly read our posts know that I have a blended family. I have two grown sons from a previous marriage, and my husband has two daughters. When we married, my boys were in college and high school, almost ready to leave the nest. The girls, on the other hand, were in second and third grade, still baby birds.
Sorry some of these older photos are grainy.
Because my boys were older, my husband’s involvement in their lives was more on an adult level. He was there to guide them and give advice, but he didn’t need to be involved in their day to day schedules. My role with the girls was a little different. They required more care, and although my husband has always been very involved in their lives, being girls meant that sometimes they needed more of a female presence when they were at their dad’s. I have been a step-mom to Nicole, 19, and Alyssa, 17, for nearly ten years, and have been in their lives a few years longer. I’ve always referred to myself as their “step-mom” or called them my “stepdaughters,” and every time I say that, I have to admit I cringe a little. I can’t help it. I ALWAYS think of Cinderella’s wicked step-mom, Lady Tremaine. Why does the word stepmom have to have such a negative connotation? Did it start with Cinderella?
I’m proud to say that the girls and I have a wonderful relationship. We snuggle on the couch and watch movies, go for lunch, get mani’s and pedi’s, shop, share clothes, and talk about life like most mothers and daughters. In fact, I can’t imagine my relationship being much different if they were my own flesh and blood.
When we’re all together, our blended family is its own unit. Both Bob and I refer to our step-children as our sons and daughters, because to us, they are just as much our children as our biological children. Even my sons’ wife and girlfriend have become part of our blended family. I recently had a little chat with the girls to ask how they felt about the word stepmom, and hear their thoughts about removing the word “step” from future posts, simply referring to them as my girls/daughters. They were in agreement with this and dislike the negative connotation surrounding the words “stepmom” or “stepparent”. Nicole says that our relationship is unique in the sense that there’s more opportunity to be friends because I’m not her biological mom. They still see me as a nurturing role model that compliments their mom in a healthy way.
Now, I think it’s important to note that this in no way is meant to be disrespectful to or diminish a mother’s role. The girls have always called me Pam, and the boys have done the same with Bob. For many families, the role of mom is somewhat universal, extending also to in-laws and the parents of friends who have treated us like their own children.
As you can see, I’ve gotten shorter over the years.
So, from here on out, the word “step” will no longer be used in future posts about my girls, and I just wanted to give an explanation as to why.
Parenthood requires love, not DNA