For all the biological moms out there in blended families- you are recognized, worthy, and forever one of the most important humans in your child(ren)’s life.
Here’s the thing- I am a stepmom. I have friends who are biological moms and stepmoms. Something that has crossed my mind, but am observing more of, is the lack of information or support for biological moms in blended families. I think because the steps are considered the outsiders, and then there is the “evil or wicked” stepmother portrayed in many movies and literature, the focus is on the stepmom more often than not. It’s almost as if we oversee bio moms because why would they have a harder time in a blended family than the stranger who walked into a split-up family?
Bio moms often get labeled as the crazy ones, or the baby mama (in a derogatory way) or the psycho ex, or the ones who are teaching their children to hate the “outsider(s)” in the family. There are more stepmom memes, support groups, social media pages, and articles than I can count. Who is the bio mom talking to? Where does she get her support? Who decided her role isn't worth supporting and openly talking about? I think it is entirely possible for both moms to support each other. So why isn't there more talk of peaceful,cohesive blended families?
Based on observations and conversations, the bio moms have similar or the same concerns as the stepmoms. It is like fighting fire with fire when there are issues at hand. Instead of coming together to raise the children no matter who birthed them, the opposing parties generally decide they don’t like each other and create unnecessary chaos. It seems like a great deal of underlying jealousy is the root of “not getting along” and then both parties look for more reasons in between as to why they don’t like the other, instead of recognizing and working through the core issues.
(step)Moms- if you met "her" on the street, you likely wouldn’t decide immediately that you strongly disliked her, or her parenting style- if she happened to have kids, or how she spoke, or who she was dating… So wtf? I know it can be weird that someone is dating or married to your ex, that you once loved and also loved you, that you created children with… but considering that at some point people move forward in building their lives, wouldn’t YOU want to be happy? If yes, your ex would likely also want to be happy. And for the steps who walked into a new family- wanting happiness for the other parties is important! They were there before you, so be sure to acknowledge that it isn't just you that deserves to be happy and at peace. Sure, this is a damn challenging situation that has much uncertainty, but one person's feelings are not more important than the other's. Bio moms share similar feelings as stepmoms. They become overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, angry, and annoyed with their children and their spouses or partners. They may disagree with a parenting decision that was made while their children were at the other house. They may do things differently in their lifestyles than their ex-partner. All of this is OK. Other than if there is present danger or harm to someone’s well being, there is actually nothing wrong with differences. Sure, there are routines that can be put in place at both houses that can create stability and positive growth for the children. It is ok not to fully agree on everything that happens in each house. It appears that both parties want to control each other. When they realize they can’t, they decide they don’t like each other. It goes much deeper than stating you don’t like each other or you don’t get along.
Moms are moms. They are undervalued and overseen as a whole. Parenting is one of the most challenging things to do in the world, so why created added stress? If your situation is one you strongly dislike, take a moment to understand that this situation of stress and chaos did not just fall out of the sky into your house one day. It was created. Whether it was subconscious, conscious, or a mix of both, all parties involved molded and manipulated the situation into what it is now. You ALL have choices here. If you focus on something, it will expand- watch. You don’t like her? Observe as more of what you do not like from her becomes more prominent in your life.
All moms need support. It really doesn't matter who their partner is or if the child they support came out of their physical body. All moms feel the same feelings at times. You could actually have your "opposing party" be of more support to you instead of draining you. And who benefits the most from the peace and stability? The kids. Monkey see, monkey do.