Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Why It's OK to be the "Evil Stepmother"

I wrote this for Circle of Moms, and they reviewed it but didn't pick it up to publish, so that means I can publish it here :)

I'm an Evil Stepmother.  There.  I said it.  I make my stepdudes (6 and 8) clean up after themselves AND do some other chores around the house like taking out the trash or cleaning cat litter.  Messes they didn't even make!  I also put them in time out, take away their toys and send them to their rooms if they are being disrespectful.  I do not wait for Daddy to get home from work to deal with the problem.  I'm not another child in this house, tattling to Daddy.  I am an adult who is to be respected.  I am responsible for the safety and well being of these two little dudes when they are here with me.

If I had birthed them, this would be called "parenting".  Since they came from someone else's nether regions, it's not parenting, it's evil and not my place.  I'm here to say, "Heck, yes, it's my place!" for two reasons.
One, this is my home.  My sanctuary.  I have every right to live in a peaceful, clean, respectful environment.  Stepparents have just as much of a right to this as biological parents do.  I absolutely refuse to be a hostage to children in my own home.

The second reason is the more important.  It's because I love them.  The dudes are not visitors here.  This is their home, too.  They also have every right to a peaceful, clean, respectful sanctuary.  One without a brother taking toys away, calling names and having screaming fits when he doesn't get his way.  My stepdudes have the right to happiness and a loving home.

As a stepparent, it is my job to guide these dudes to be the most amazing adults they can be, just like their biological parents.  We can't do that if we allow them to disrespect me and our homes.  Notice the use of "we".  "We" is key in the discipline situation.  In your home, you and your husband must communicate effectively to decide what punishments go with what crimes.  He must back you up.  The kids need to see you as Team Super Parentals (Dun Dun Duuuuuuuuuun!)  Don't think they don't know how to pit you against your husband (or you and your husband against his ex-wife) for maximum juvenile benefit.  If he doesn't back you up, undermines your discipline (i.e. ungrounds when you've grounded), etc. it's all over.  Your children (step or not) will see you as a peer rather than an authority figure. 

0 You Said What?: