Photo by Hasloo Group Production Studio

What comes to mind when you think of a “dirty word”? I’m sure quite a few words pop in your head…hopefully the word ‘stepmom’ isn’t one of them! But in our culture, sadly, the word ‘stepmom’ can be offensive or unbecoming to some people. Maybe it’s the media, which has portrayed stepmothers in a negative light in movies and stories. Or perhaps a handful of stepmoms have been featured on the news for not-so-great behavior.

A thing regarded with dislike or disapproval is the definition of “dirty word” provided by I can tell you from personal experience that as a stepmom, I have most definitely been regarded as a “thing” with “dislike” and “disapproval.” And trust me, it’s no fun. It puts me on edge, trying to demonstrate that I am a responsible human being who can be trusted with my stepchildren. It feels like I wake up each morning having to defend my every move. We stepmothers can definitely be under the microscope when it comes to decisions we make, right down to something as simple as a facial expression.

For example, I did a quick search in Google for “famous stepmothers.” The first two links identified celebrity stepmoms we love. Jada Pinkett Smith, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Megan Fox, and Gisele Bundchen were a few highlighted, among others. Four of the next six links all related to evil stepmothers and step-monsters! It took quite a few different searches for me to find more positive than negative websites and stories regarding stepmothers. How sad! Maria Von Trapp (most well-known from the Sound of Music) was featured as a lovable stepmom. Her character in the movie was based on her real life. What a great example of a stepmom – someone who gave up her true desire of becoming a nun to marry a man 25 years her elder and help raise her stepchildren.

While the feeling of being viewed negatively may get us down, it’s important for us to lift ourselves and others like us up in our community. We eat, sleep, breathe, and care for our children just like biological moms do. We make decisions each day in the best interest of our children and our families. We perform selfless tasks day after day that oftentimes go unnoticed and unappreciated. In many instances, our jobs could be considered just as important as a biological mother’s in that we provide to our stepchildren what their mother can’t while they are in our care. So for Mother’s Day, I hope you celebrated your inner stepmother too. Let other stepmoms know they are important and needed. While you may not have the title of “Mom,” “Mama,” “Mommy,” or “Ma,” you serve in that capacity for kiddos you treat as if they were your own. Our title isn’t dirty…it’s good, it’s clean. It’s neat. It’s tidy. And it’s a badge I wear with pride.

Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. – Psalm 127:3



Has there been times on your blended family journey where you felt undervalued as a Stepmom? How was this blog helpful? What are some practical tools that you will utilize moving forward?

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