Step Mom


I’ve always despised the word “Step” as it pertained to my step mom. I like it for climbing steps, steps leading to a lovely porch, steps in the right direction, but pertaining to a person? It is the polar opposite of a nurturing, feminine woman. I didn’t care for this “Step” label for my step dad either. My step parents contributed so much to my life. The “Bonus” parent label is fitting but it’s like trying on the wrong size shoe, it just doesn’t feel right. I always felt it minimized the importance of their role.

I let it go.

Who knew I’d wear the “Step Mom” hat?!

I always longed for children of my own.

Marrying in my forties, I was elated my husband had two sons!

My husband’s boys were young when we married. Being maternal and nurturing, I have devoted my life to my family.

I’m incredibly blessed to be a part of this family unit. Even with the challenges we have endured, I am grateful for lessons learned. The only thing I would change is the label.

Step continues to feel cold...stepping on toes, step off, step away, stepped on, step over, step down, step’s harsh, uninviting, unfriendly, and definitely not well received. I’ve noticed being introduced as step mom, eye contact shifts, there’s unspoken body language of being unimportant or excluded from your own family! It’s honestly the most subtle, bizarre dynamic, yet one that intrigues me! So much so, I decided to google the origin of step parent. Who started this nonsense, lol, (not really).....

Immediate family popped up in my search and it said,”Step parents are not considered members of immediate family”, crushing for us fully present, switched on step parents.

“Step originated from the Old English word, step, meaning bereave. Stepchild was used to refer to orphans who have lost their parents. Stepfather/Stepmother used to refer to individuals who became parents to orphans.” Interesting as I wasn’t an orphan and I had stepparents.

I don’t recall ever being introduced as someone’s stepdaughter. I was always introduced as Bob or Mary’s daughter.

Makes me more sensitive and consciously aware of how I introduce my husband’s sons. Does it bother them? I suppose I’ll ask them. ️

We choose how we view our roles and the situations in our lives. If we place too much emphasis on things we don’t have control over, it is wasted time and energy.

I’d rather create fond memories with my family.

My professional title is social worker. So many misconceptions regarding our role.

March is Social Work Month. In the field, posters are used to educate and advocate for the important work we do!

So many uninformed about the exact nature of our profession.

Social workers work in schools, hospitals, child welfare, mental health clinics, private practice, human services and community outreach.

“Social Work is a profession devoted to helping individuals, families, couples, groups and community-to enhance their wellbeing individually and collectively”.

Stepmother sort of feels similar. Although both titles are extremely important, and misunderstood, somehow it really doesn’t matter how others perceive the role of stepmom. The only thing that matters is that my husband’s boys know and feel loved as if they were my own!

Just Remember

It’s all in your perspective! I prefer being referred to simply by my name! That sounds just a bit more hip, fun and cool!

familyMarla Ruhana