15th September, 2010
Since the time of Snow White and Cinderellas, step mothers have always been shown in a veryÂ bad or an evil light. Women can become stepmothers through so many ways. A woman sometimesÂ gets married to a widower or a divorcee. Some other women have become step mothers due toÂ menâ€™s infidelity.
The role of a step mother is often a very difficult one as the children tend to test theÂ step mother before they welcome them. Some might never be welcomed by the children. TryingÂ to act like their real mother can certainly cause altercations, in which case the stepÂ mother finds herself in a very tricky situation.
Most children feel loyalty towards their biological mother and therefore struggle to hateÂ their step mother. Disciplining them and setting new limits can be very challenging to aÂ step mother.Children, when offended with their step mother turn to their biological fatherÂ for succour, and if this continues, your relationship with your partner might get strained.
I will start with women who became step mothers by getting married to widowed and divorcedÂ men. I want to believe the man didnâ€™t hide from you the fact that he is a single parent. IÂ want to believe you chose to accept him as he is. I also want to believe you were opportuneÂ to meet with his children before going into marriage with him.
Yes, you could have accepted him out of desperation for marriage and most times simplyÂ because you were so much in love with everything about him which is very acceptable. You sawÂ the children and believed you would cope with them and have a happy co-existence. But now,Â what you are getting is totally different from what you expected.
Like I said in the paragraphs above, it is always a very tough task both for women and theirÂ step children when it comes to coping with each other. I have come to realise that theÂ children struggle with a feeling that is stronger than they. It takes a very strong,Â emotionally matured woman to make them overcome it.
When you eventually decide to settle down with that man, donâ€™t forget you are going to shareÂ his love with the children. The mistake most women make is that they easily forget there areÂ other people, possibly grown-ups, who were there before them. It is not possible having theÂ man all to yourself like your friend who is married to a never-married man.
If you are in love with a man with children, the first thing you should do is to strive toÂ establish a very good relationship with his children. You would be making a very big mistakeÂ if you decide to relate with them as their step or biological mother. It is always a wiserÂ choice relating with them as friends and partners. This way they feel respected and wanted.
I have seen women who are married to single parents fight so hard to establish their placeÂ in the home. Maybe you are afraid not to let his divorced partner come into the home. YouÂ are threatened by the presence of the children and their relationship with their mother. ItÂ is a natural thing and there is nothing you can do about it.
No matter how much the children love and accept you, it will be foolish of you to think theyÂ will love you like their biological mother. In a case of divorce, you should know they areÂ not happy not having their mother in the home. Some of them may even end up seeing you asÂ the reason for the unsettled differences between their parents especially if you met the manÂ not too long after the separation.
It is easier relating with your step children if they are very young when you get married toÂ their father, but if they are adults, it will take extra effort to have a good relationshipÂ with them. They may even insist on having their mother visit sometimes and that, I know, isÂ what you dread.
You want them to be making requests from you, but this may never happen. They want you toÂ know that they are closer to their father than you are. Some of them will intentionally doÂ things to make life miserable for you, especially the girls. But girl, you have to see it asÂ one of those things.
It is high time you changed your negative mentality that tells you your own children must beÂ treated better than your step children. They are your first seed just as your step childrenÂ are your husbandâ€™s first seeds. You are the one to decide how happy you will be in your homeÂ despite the presence of your step children.
A friend sometime ago complained to me about the attitude of his wife who has refused to letÂ his children from his first wife visit the home.Women, this is very wrong as it makes theÂ man feel you have not come to love and accept him. This is true because if you really loveÂ him, you will accept his past and everything about him.
You can struggle so much to keep those children away from the home but definitely not fromÂ the manâ€™s heart. Remember, most men now have their will and you can never say what is in hisÂ will. The best way to get a man to even love you more is by accepting his children.
A friend recently came to me complaining bitterly about the step children who just movedÂ into their home. According to her, that wasnâ€™t her agreement with the man. She didnâ€™tÂ understand me when I told her that was the best thing that can happen to her relationship.Â She didnâ€™t understand me until she realized that the man stopped visiting the ex after that.
It wasnâ€™t easy for her when the children moved in because there was so much disagreement toÂ the point that she decided to move out. I thank God He used me to get her back to her homeÂ and today, they are one big, happy family.
I have another friend who went through that battle years back and I thank God she listenedÂ to wise counsel.Today, she is living happily with her husband and step children. RecentlyÂ when I visited her, she told me how her step daughters now love and appreciate her. She toldÂ me how the eldest one recently told her that any day she is getting married; she would likeÂ her to take the position of her biological mother. This is what a godly counsel can do.
Please run away from those friends who only open your eyes to the negative effects ofÂ step-parenting. I have seen childless women being loved so much by their step children thatÂ you can never know they are not their biological offspring. Your step children could be yourÂ hope in the nearest future.
Okay, there are also step mothers by virtue of infidelity. This is the toughest one. YouÂ could be in that situation now, but I want you to learn from my own experience. I once foundÂ myself in that situation where the man started keeping late nights in a nearby restaurant. IÂ refused to believe all the stories about him and a waiter in that restaurant. A day cameÂ that my brother sent for me and asked me what I heard when I got to his school; the girl wasÂ pregnant for him. It was a nightmare and period of emotional blackout as that was my firstÂ relationship and I had just had my second baby.
I got back home expecting an apology from him, but being a typical example of the tyrannicalÂ Nigerian man who believed he had the money, there was no apology rather I was beaten afterÂ which I started getting calls from the girl insulting me and telling all sorts in hisÂ presence. It got to a point that my clothes and even the big bed in my room was taken toÂ her. I kept all these away from people even my closest friends and family just to protectÂ his image. I thank God for the grace never to respond to any insult as I had options to harmÂ her. But I decided to prayerfully let God have His way.
A day came that I was in my room and suddenly I saw him come in with a little girl of aboutÂ two years old. He called my house help and handed the girl over to her. Remember, I wasnâ€™tÂ even briefed on the next step of bringing her in. Most women of my time would have rainedÂ fire and brimstone, but I decided to watch things as they unfold.
I got her into my childrenâ€™s school, I took care of that little girl that most people whoÂ didnâ€™t know me before then believed I have five children. To those that knew, I lied she wasÂ my cousinâ€™s daughter. I lived with her for seven years, bought the same clothes for her asÂ my second daughter; I made them look like twins. That way, he totally forgot the girlfriendÂ and faced the home.
One thing I refused to do was to see the mother in the girl. I refused to punish her for theÂ offence of the mother. I saw her simply as a little innocent girl who needed to be loved andÂ cared for and that I did for her believing she will grow up to remember that. It wasnâ€™t asÂ easy as I made it sound. There were times when I felt I was being stupid. There were timesÂ she misbehaved in public and I felt I shouldnâ€™t be taking the pain because of a product ofÂ my husbandâ€™s infidelity. But I always ask myself this question; what if she is my biologicalÂ daughter?
Women, please stop complaining about your step children. You go about making them look evil.Â Your own children fight, steal, disobey and do all sorts at home and you try to hide theirÂ nakedness. But the moment your step child does a little thing, the whole world hears. ThisÂ is absolutely wrong. Stop seeing their occasional rudeness as rejection. Begin to see it asÂ the usual thing with children.
I have also seen women go out of their way to stop their step children from getting goodÂ jobs and in the case of girls, good husbands. You donâ€™t need that native doctor because youÂ will definitely live to pay for it. Be happy when they pass their exams. Be happy when a manÂ comes to ask for their hands in marriage and give all the support out of a clean heart.
Finally, if you want your husband to accept and love you unconditionally, please accept andÂ love his children, your step children unconditionally.