As Stepmother's,we often feel that we must be at constant odds with Mama Ex, no matter what the circumstances. In fat, sometimes we even view it as a point of pride. We are the anti-Mama Ex. The antithesis of everything she stands for!!!
She likes ice cream? Well then, I guess we friggin' hate ice cream. She hates winter, huh? We adore making snowmen. She thinks Ryan Gosling is hot? Okay, there are some things we're predestined to agree with.
The point is, we stepmothers actually have more in common with Mama Ex than we realize. It's just that we're so preoccupied with winning the battle of "Me vs Her" that we completely overlook it. And do you know who pays the price for our insistence that we're so different from her? Our stepchildren. We train them to believe that everything their mother stands for is the complete opposite of our own thoughts. And kids, that just ain't right.
Don't believe me? Think you're the exception to the rule and are sooo different than her? Check out the list below.
3 Things You Have in Common With HER
You have absolutely no idea what you're doing
When you said "I do" to Hubs, you inherited the joys, perils and confusions of becoming a stepmother...in one day. BOOM. Done. Your life changed forever. And guess what? So did Mama Ex's. She went from being the only female authority in her child(ren's) lives, to sharing it with another woman. A woman she didn't even get to assist in choosing.
Both you and Mama Ex are learning as you go. While you're obsessing about whether it's okay to tuck in your stepkid at night, she's freaking about the fact that SOME OTHER WOMAN is tucking in her kid at night. She has to come to grips with these changes and so do you. Give each other a break. There isn't a handbook for being a stepmom, nor is there a handbook for being a mom that has to deal with the sudden arrival of a stepmom.
You both think Hubs is getting off easy
You love your husband, duh. But sometimes, don't you want to put him in a choke hold and scream, "STAND UP FOR ME YOU BIG DOLT! Tell Mama Ex she's wrong for being so mean to me!"
Shock of shocks, Mama Ex feels likely shares your pain. Even though she and your hubs are no longer MFEO (that's 'Made For Each Other'. Rent "Sleepless in Seattle"), she still remembers when he used to stick up for her when she was feeling attacked. When a disagreement arises between you and Mama Ex, she feels that she's protecting her child(ren). In turn, she can only assume the father of her child(ren) will stand on the side of right. HER side. It's probably a complete shock to her when he sets up shop in the other camp.
Generally, your hubs is stuck in the middle of you, Mama Ex, and your monthly cycles. If he's anything like my Hubs, he turns into Switzerland and is all, "I don't know what you want me to do!" You want to kick him square in his baby-maker stick, and so does Mama Ex.
You envy "the other kind of love"
When it comes to their mom, your stepchild feels a deep, emotional (and biological) bond that you will never, ever, ever, ever be able to replicate. It just is. When your stepchild is low down, super duper sad, or even super crazy ridiculous happy, they will want their mom. They appreciate you and they love you, but in the end, you don't get the "real mom love". And that sucks. Big donkey balls.
However, your stepchild cherishes a different type of love with you. You have different tastes, experiences and talents than Mama Ex, and you offer a freshness to the mom role that your stepkids love, and that Mama Ex can't duplicate.
And someday when they're cursing the stupid genetic gene that gave them small boobs instead of C's, they will blame their mother, not you. And you can take them shopping for a padded bra (after you have a serious talk about self-esteem). In addition, because your husband should generally be handling consequences and punishments, you also get to be the fun one in their lives. Your stepchildren love you for everything you are, but they also love you for the one thing you'll never be: their mom. You get the "bonus mom love". And for Mama Ex, that sucks. Big donkey balls.
So the next time you want to throw your hands in the air in exasperation at whatever cockamamie thing Mama Ex has done, just remember, you aren't that different. You share the love of your (step)children, and really, that should be all that matters.