I've seen it for years.
First, I saw it on the online stepmom forums.
Then, I saw it in group after group on Facebook.
Women, even stepmoms, just don't know how to be nice to each other, do they?
The number 1 thing I see happen in chat groups of all sorts where Stepmoms are supposed to get together and be in a safe environment to share:
Stepmom2 has a lot of assumptions and responds in a rude way, not realizing that she is talking about herself and not thinking of Stepmom1's situation.
Stepmom1 is offended.
Stepmom2 gets louder, still not really "listening" or realizing that other people have other experiences and situations.
Stepmom1 gives up, frustrated, offended, defensive- Leaves group.
Hell, I don't even like posting in most stepmom groups because of that exact scenario playing over and over.
There are more stepmoms, now, that realize this and try to keep the Stepmom2's out there calm, attempting to cancel out their thoughtless responses.
Scenario 2: Belittling the other stepmom.
Stepmom2: Something like: "You shouldn't be so angry/involved/concerned. You should be happy/defect from your family/not even care about this."
Stepmom1: Tries to explain.
Stepmom2: "You should just do yoga."
That, my Stepmom friends, sucks. I write this blog partially in response to the second scenario.
When you respond to someone else's crisis with "you shouldn't feel that way" in any way shape or form, you are damaging them. You are telling them that their feelings are unimportant, they shouldn't have shared their feelings in the first place as they are not even relevant, and that person's "truth" is not really legitimate.
Not everybody is going to be happy all the time or at peace with their Stepparent situation, no matter how much you tell them they should be. We feel what we feel when we feel it, and those feelings come and go. Sometimes we are angry. Sometimes we are hurt. Sometimes we feel alone. Sometimes we feel lost. Feelings are legitimate, and telling someone they shouldn't feel that way is stupid.
So we lose lots of normal Stepmoms to shame. They leave groups after feeling completely misunderstood. Actually, I understand. I just happened to not get to your post first... I sadly troll the messages on those group pages when I have time and respond to such Stepmom2's accordingly or trying to reaffirm the Stepmom1's.
Stepmom-ing comes in phases. Things come and go. The kids and our families grow and change each month, year, trimester, season, whatever.
I've noticed that Stepmom2's also seem to have much better situations that the lower third of us that live in extremely contentious ex-wife situations. Stepmom2's are all like, "What? My life is better than yours, so just suck it up." !?$^@#%@&**
Man, get out of the group if all is well for you... If you can't commiserate, empathize, or recognize that some of us are living in a continual nightmare situation, then join a book club instead- I BEG OF YOU.