What is a stepmom soul?

I have been pondering this post for way too long.

The idea of the stepmom soul resonates so deeply with me, but I worry it’s not inclusive. “Stepmom” is a touchy word. It doesn’t naturally bring forth images of warmth and selflessness. Honestly, that’s why I was drawn to do this work, whatever it is, exactly, that I’m doing.

Years ago, when I first started looking for resources to cope with my new life as a stepmom, there wasn’t a lot out there. And what was out there wasn’t for me. It was either sites with lots of anger and BM-centered posting or lots of very, ah, biblically driven encouragement. I believe in trusting a higher plan, but there was something missing. What could I actually do, where was my agency, my purpose, how do I keep my sense of self through what can sometimes be a very trying and toxic experience?

So I started looking out further and farther afield. I’m a (nonpracticing) Masters level psychologist, so I turned to my trusty books about attachment in development. In researching some of the troubles my kiddos were experiencing, I found the incredible work of the foster and adoptive parent communities. And then, suddenly I became a custodial stepmom and I found myself actually paying attention to parenting posts on Pinterest and finding the humor in mom pages on Facebook.

In each of these communities of different types of mothers there is this common cry:

I am doing the best I can, and I still matter.

So, to the grandma raising her grandson, the mom with 3 (or more!) kids under school age, the foster mom with more kiddos than she could ever take in, the stepmom who says goodbye to her kids every other Sunday night…I see you.

We are all connected and we all share this light. We are all striving to be our most authentic selves in order to benefit the little souls that are tied to our own. I happen to do so under the title of stepmom, but each of our titles are valid and worthy of recognition. This is as much about my journey to illuminate my own soul as it is yours.

Love and Light,

Melissa

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