Hello Rochester, this is Nurse Bowick. Have we got something to talk about? Oh Yeah! Mother’s day is just a few short days away. Though 50% of all women will live in a stepfamily relationship, Mother’s Day evokes mixed emotions for many. Some step-moms feel as though they have all of the pain, and strains of parenting, but reap little joys and rewards. Have you wondered why being a stepmother is usually more stressful than being a stepfather? What is it that makes some stepmother’s experiences much more enjoyable than others?
The idea of Mother’s day began in Virginia, in the post civil war years, with Mothers’ Day Work Clubs developed to teach women how to properly care for their children, and to promote reconciliation with former Union and Confederate soldiers. Following a massive letter writing campaign, initiated by Ms. Anna Jarvis, arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, and urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure in 1914 officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.
How can a day created to honor motherhood and promote reconciliation cause such distress? Research suggests that society’s attitudes about mothers and motherhood contribute to the difficulties many stepmothers encounter. Typically media and literature idealizes biological mothers and presents stepmothers negatively as sexual, vain, selfish, greedy, vengeful, deceitful, unloving, untrustworthy and manipulative.
When was the last time you read a fairytale about an awesome stepmother?
Folks keep in mind, not every woman believes it takes a village to raise a child. Some biological mothers are possessive and threatened when it comes to their children having a close relationship with another woman.
Unfortunately their children struggle with feelings of disloyalty, guilt, and are often uncomfortable about having a good relationship with their stepmother.
Stepmothers who can accept that their relationships with stepchildren are dependent on factors largely beyond their control are more likely to be less stressed and disheartened. Even during that awkward moment on Mother’s Day when some Preachers request that all biological Mother’s come forward for prayer.
Heads up Dads, Step-moms may or may not expect stepchildren to recognize them on Mother’s Day. However, they fully expect you to recognize their contributions to your children’s lives. Were gonna talk about this Tuesday morning at 7:15 on the Health Beats with the Wake-Up Club on 103.9 WDKX.
Theresa Lou Bowick BSN, RN
Registered Professional Nurse
Doctor of Nursing Practice Student