Talking about step-mom is a difficult thing. Over the past four years, I have conducted polls, interviewed people, and discussed step-mom with numerous people. Progress has been made, but perhaps that progress only accounts for the strides I have been able to make with my book. I'm not so sure that the "progress" actually involves an evolution of thinking in people on the topic of step-mom. But, this is WHY I labor over the completion of my book.
I want YOU to understand me, my struggle, my plight. Don't we all? Isn't understanding and SIGHT what we all fight for? Freedom to exist and persist, to thrive--acknowledged and recognized by the sight of others as they truly SEE us. However, I may not ever get you to understand me, and that's okay. Because, I think that step-mom needs to understand herself, too. She has been mired in a mirror, frame, and language of misunderstanding for so long that she has become inscrutable to herself. If you have been reading along with my posts for all these years, I hope that you continue to do so. But, I wanted to write this post in effort to accomplish two things: to articulate the oh-so controversial nature of the topic of step-mom, a controversy I have witnessed first hand as I have tried to entreat people on the topic. My pursuit of her has been revealing. AND, I want to formally announce that The Calling of a Step-Mom book is coming soon!
Conversation only effects/affects as it continues, so please tell me what you think. Share your thoughts, and know that I thank you all for journeying with me.
Humbly Pressing On,
P.S. Next week I will post an excerpt from the upcoming book. Tune in so you can be the first to read these revolutionary musings.
I haven't posted in awhile. Not because THIS isn't important, but because it IS IMPORTANT. No, it is not the most important thing. Of course not. I would be hard-pressed and bring much grief upon myself if I were to think so.
"Being in love is a good thing, but it is not the best thing. There are many things below it, but there are also things above it. You cannot make it the basis of a whole life. It is a noble feeling, but it is still a feeling." C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (Here, Lewis is discussing marriage, beginning from the premise of falling 'in love'.)
But, there is a word God has put on my heart and I would/will be consumed with Holy Fire if I did not share it. What is the important thing is that we think rightly about roles and the people in them. We each are flawed and ruined, though we can find favor in God's grace. This Mother's Day, every Mother's Day, is for every single woman who despite her flaws and insecurities and trepidations chose and chooses to stand up and be a parent, the best parent that she can be. That's it. It's about grace and love and forgiveness. Bio-Mom is not better than Step-Mom, and Step-Mom is not better than her. We are not better than Adopted-Mom or Lesbian-Mom or White-Mom or Black-Mom. We are all MOM.
If you are Mom and you are trying--you are mom. Everyday I try endowed by the grace God gives me. He has honored and blessed me. So, I pray away bitterness and contempt and jealousy and dissensions.
Thank you to all the parents who have worried and prayed and paid...and I'm not just talking about money.
And to the children, whose lives I was elected to influence, I hope you know simply that YOU ARE LOVED, first by God and after that know that you are loved and seen by many. And this matters. Yes, it does. Because this world is cruel and cold and calculating. But, LOVE--adults and children--is not dead.
"Being 'in love' first moved them to promise fidelity: this QUIETER LOVE [my emphasis] enables them to keep their promise." C.S. Lewis
Let's take this further. God is speaking always about this/that LOVE; love as a force, an entity, alive in our hearts as we entreat vulnerability and sacrifice.
"If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing." 1 Corinthians 13:2
"Let all that you do be done in love." 1 Corinthians 16:14
Are you are step - parent who has ever worried about being reduced? Reduced to less than who you are as a person, less than what you embody on a day-to-day basis?
Oftentimes I think people read these step - mom blogs and think, "This person surely is bitter."
Ewww, bitterness, that's the bad label--no one likes a bitter person. But, I just had an epiphany! Sometimes that air, that tension, that emotion, those tears welling up, those lips and muscles quivering with frustration (or any number of emotions), is much more than the manifestation of bitterness.
Very few persons embody roles characterized by and imbued with overwhelming ambiguity and an almost amorphous quality. As STEPS we often have to hold our tongues, bottle our thoughts and SEEP INTO THE BACKGROUND.
Isn't balance one of the hardest states to attain? Aren't many human beings currently seeking it? Balance, the great quest, the great conundrum, and a thing/a state NOT necessarily born in many of us. In my role as step I'm constantly evaluating, speaking up, active in my love for my step - kids but ever mindful of my status, my non-status, my "I'm not their blood relative."
Sometimes I am certain of what I think, what I feel, but it does not serve my status well to give voice to such thoughts most of the time--tongues we twist, tie and bite, vying for that illustrious BALANCE.
Sometimes we seep into the background because our hand is forced by the ambiguity of our status. "Mother" and "Father" take the foreground, no matter what--despite inadequacies, bad decisions, and foibles of character. Yet, there are STEPS who, equipped with those same inadequacies and foibles (like every human being), approach their step-kids with the utmost respect, appreciation and care, but their moves of love and patience towards the step-kids are trumped by biology. STEPS reduced to second-class, sub-par inhabitants of the home merely because attached to their title is that infamous prefix, STEP.
At the end of the day the process of SEEPING is tiresome, sad and frustrating...that is all.
Greetings friends! I have been very busy working on multiple writing projects--one of which is The Calling of a Step-Mom book. With this blog post I would like to do something a bit different from what I have done in the past. I would like to invite each of you to be active participants in my step-mom project.
Beginning today, I am going to post a prompt which I will leave up for one week. I would like each of you to respond to the prompt either in the comments section or via email. Keep in mind that responses can be as brief or as extensive as you'd like for them to be. An answer may consist of a word, a phrase, or an essay with beginning, middle and end (I will never discourage someone from writing an essay).
Week One Prompt: Who is Mother? In other words, what do you think of when you see the term "Mother?" (If you were explaining "mother" to someone who had no prior knowledge, what would you say?)