The Evil Stepmother Speaks

We are changing the world, one stepfamily at a time. The Evil Stepmother Speaks is devoted to giving practical ideas for families who want to laugh and love to the depth of their souls.

Barb is a winner of Top 25 Moms with Blended Families - 2012

What aspect of being in a blended family has surprised you?

The depth of the love that I feel for my children was the most surprising gift. I knew that I loved my stepchildren when I married my husband. The surprise is that the love is no different than the love I have for my bio child. Many of us stepmoms get asked, “You don’t love your stepchildren the same as your bio child? It’s not the same, right?” The surprise is that it is the same.
Any mom knows the feeling. It is that love that is unconditional. It is that knowing that you would not hesitate to step in front of a moving car or chop off a limb for them. I learned that mothering has nothing to do with the biological connection.

What's a good tip for preventing sibling rivalry?

The source for sibling rivalry is the fear that there is not enough love to go around. Show your children that there is plenty to go around. Make the time for each child individually. Watch and listen. Understand their interests and who they are. In addition, it is critical that you leave one on one time with their biological parent. In this way, everyone feels validated for who they are.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to moms who are about to become part of a blended family?

The rewards are great, but step parenting is a great deal of work. Andrew Carnegie said “Anything in life worth having is worth working for.” In fact, the work is spiritual and internal. Drop the notion of “being first” and other ego-related desires.
Understand that your job is to be a compassionate witness to this family that you are joining. Bring compassion, love and your silence. Demonstrate your desires as opposed to talking about how you want things or your children to be.