|Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine|
Copyright 2015, Disney Cinderella
I don't know this woman well, though she has been present in the life of my children for quite a while. She is at the children's activities, performances and celebrations. Sometimes, we even sit next to each other.
From what I do know, she treats them with respect and they all like her. My outside observation is that she provides a sense of stability and care for them while they spend time with their dad. Because they spend time with her weekly, I know she will have an influence in their lives and shape part of their experience while they are apart from me. I don't relish the idea of a woman I didn't select having a priority position in the lives of my children. But this experience is a common aspect of life after divorce and simply part of our reality. I can live in denial and rail against what is, but that is futile and leads to anxiety, depression and despair. Instead, I choose to work with the factors that play in the lives of my children and find the positive (more on that another day).
As a stepmom myself, I know the challenge it is to accommodate and serve children who may or may not recognize your role in their lives. I understand that it can be difficult to find your place. I have to respect that a unrelated woman is choosing to share her life with my children.
Stepmom life isn't for the weak, so I know she makes sacrifices on behalf of children that aren't her own. I am grateful that during the times we are together for the sake of the children, we have avoided awkward moments...at least so far. I appreciate that she defers to me as their mom and doesn't attempt to usurp my role. Ultimately, I do think we both desire to operate in a way that minimizes their confusion. I can live with that.
Five Essential Stepmom Skills
Stepmother Influence Family Identity