Friday, February 1, 2008

Looking Beyond the Title

Women hate me. Children fear me. I was Walt Disney's favorite villan. The thought of me makes people's skin crawl.

I'm your neighbor. I'm your sister. I'm your friend. I go to your church. My kids play with your kids. If you didn't know, you might like me. If you didn't know, you might think I'm nice. I look like everyone you know. I smile, I laugh, I cry, I hurt, I feel. I am a stepmom. I am a second wife. I am a person.

My mere existance is based on hurt and heartbreak. My marriage is born of divorce. I am reality. I am a reality that you don't want to face. I represent a huge number of women in our country and all over the world. Our country's divorce rate is over 50%, and 95% of those remarry at some point. That's where I come in.

But I'm so much more than that. The label "stepmom" is one that I took voluntarily, but it is not all that I am. Stepmom does not define me. I'm not going to steal your husband. I'm not trying to take your kids. I have my own, thanks.

I'm a wife, a mother, a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a cousin, a neice.... and yet the bright pink sign flashing over my head says STEPMOM in big fat letters. Some people see that sign and run screaming in the other direction. They find me a threat. For those people, I feel pity. Those people are missing out on the rest of me.. the rest of US... and that's a real shame.

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