Why stepmothers must bite their tongues for the sake of children
As a child I was very rudely shoved into the world of the broken family.
At the age of 14 my parents divorced and I found myself in half a family with a few new members thrown in.
It was very difficult to adjust to both my parents having new partners, and I, being so fiercely loyal to my mum, found myself taking sides in the whole revolt.
My arch nemesis became my evil stepmother and I gave her hell!
I have since come to realise that there is absolutely no guide book on how to handle these situations and I am beginning to wish that there was, particularly now that, ironically, I am an evil stepmother to two stepchildren of my own.
I do have the ability to learn from my parents’ mistakes and I can remember what it was like from the child’s perspective, and these two things have helped me immensely.
One thing I know that I have had to get especially good at is biting my tongue.
It’s hard not to get involved when the one you love’s heart is being dragged through the mud by not only their ex, but by their kids, too. Even though you are their step-mum, and so to some extent a parental figure, you are not really in a position to say anything in these situations and issues between the kids and their dad need to stay that way.
Also, what you think of their ex-spouse should be kept to yourself: If you start telling kids that one parent is rotten, then they feel rotten, too, as that parent is part of them.
They say being a mother, although rewarding, is thankless work. I think being a stepmother is even more thankless.
This article was written by Chloe Maxwell for Kidspot.com.au and has been adapted for Kidspot.co.nz