Okay, so there’s another part of this whole library card story I want to discuss admit. When the librarian refused my stepchildren library cards I felt embarrassed. I felt ashamed. I felt that by marrying their father I had done something terribly wrong in the eyes of the world. I turned tail with my stepchildren and left without saying another word to this woman. I might as well have said: “You’re right, I shouldn’t be here. What was I thinking?”
My fierce-warrior-stepmother-advocate self didn’t show up until the middle of the night when I woke up fuming.
I’m going to repeat this: My first response was embarrassment and shame.
No wonder we lie about or omit the fact that we’re in stepfamilies in public. No wonder stepmothers are harmed in therapy.
No wonder stepmothers feel uncomfortable on the soccer field or at school conferences.
No wonder stepmothers feel less-than, last place, and left out.
The mistreatment of stepfamilies is so prevalent in our society that we internalize it.
There is no shame in helping to raise children who are not your own. I am a stepmother. At the VERY LEAST, I need to give myself a break. Shame? Screw that. I don’t know about you, ladies, but I’ve had it with feeling like what I have done for this family is something to be embarrassed about.
So I think we need some chants. Are you with me? Just like “We’re here, we’re queer, get used to it” is chanted at gay pride parades, we need a chant for stepfamilies, stepmothers, stepfathers, stepkids, and remarried parents. It’s got to be something that demands that stepfamily members are not ostrisized by society.
So how about it ladies? Put your creative thinking caps on and send me some good chants! Next thing you know we’ll be planning a rally on Washington, D.C.