To The Husband Of A Stepmom

To the Husband of a Step Mom,

Stepping into a pre-existing family condition, initially, is an awkward and precarious fit for any new spouse. The stepmother is probably the least-defined role in the contemporary family structure.

A stepmom is a parent, yet not the parent. A caregiver but not always a care-getter. She donates considerable time, space, attention, resources, and family income to people from another life. She has not only willingly opened her private life to the one she loves, but it came as a package deal with whom she has no biological, legal, or dependent connection.

Don’t get me wrong - your wife LOVES her stepchildren as if they were her own but her job as a stepmom is too frequently overshadowed. Her life has been invaded by forces she agreed to but never signed up for. She is physically anchored to your children.

Always know your children bring her a joyous, funny, wonderfully curious life-force to her world... but she also tolerates their germs, dirty dishes, teenage attitudes, and toys everywhere. They leave fruit snacks and juice boxes in between couch cushions, toilet seats up, and toothpaste on the sink. Her nearly new car is now a repository for used tissues, Pokemon cards, empty Gatorade bottles, books, random toys, and bulky booster seats. Your wife pays a price for devoting herself to you. Don’t forget to make sure she gets a return on that investment.

Your wife will have moments of understanding and willing sacrifice, and other moments of impatience and deep frustration. Be patient and have faith that any love you offer her, especially when she’s down, will be returned to you in time. In a solid relationship, love is a default state. Your wife will have moments of insecurities. When a little girl dreams of her Prince Charming it usually doesn't consist of a "baby mama" but that fairytale has been altered and you, you said all the right things to make her kiss that frog. Please, be tolerant of her self-doubt. She will soon realize that she is not sharing you with another woman but she is sharing the children, your children. In all reality, you and their mother are sharing them with HER. You both are allowing her to be a parent to them, guide them, reward them, and most importantly, love them.

Children gobble up time like they do M&Ms. But make sure their appetite doesn’t consume too much one-on-one time with your partner. Whether you book it in advance or create it spontaneously, your time is the best thing you can give your wife, especially when you have children in the house otherwise demanding it.

Last but not least, tell her that you love her, appreciate her and are proud of her. Continue to thank her for years to come for always accepting your children as her own. Thank her for altering her fairy tale. Most importantly, always treat her like she's your princess. 

Sincerely,

Your Wife, the Stepmom

Sweatshirt in thumbnail photo can be found here.

bethann gondeck