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Is there a double standard?

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"There is a double standard by which we suspect Stepmothers of being wicked and selfish, yet expect them to be utterly selfless and loving to kids who are not their own, kids who are often hostile and rejecting for many years in spite of a stepmother's best efforts and intentions."

Wednesday Martin, Author of "Stepmonster"



Thoughts?

by on May. 10, 2012 at 12:36 PM
Replies (31-40):
jessiesluv
by on May. 10, 2012 at 6:40 PM

I copied and pasted from another post. Did I do research? No. Have I read the book? Yes.

Quoting pdxmum:

That quote just seems so out of context with the powerful words of Ms. Martin.  A quick google search brought up this cool interview:

http://www.examiner.com/article/an-interview-with-dr-wednesday-martin-author-of-stepmonster

I think as SMs we simply need to not try to be either extreme - because both of those descriptors is an extreme - evil or self sacrificing.  I am neither.  I have done the self-sacrificing route - doesn't work.  Thank goodness I have never been evil, although BM and SD would say otherwise...


whatIknownow
by Ruby Member on May. 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM


Quoting jessiesluv:

Why is it left up to dad to make sure SM is respected? He could do everything in the world to make sure SM is getting respected in the home, but if bm (or anyone) is counteracting that, then what?

Because it's Dad's house. Presumably, Dad loves SM and wants his kids to respect her, no?

What goes on in Dad's house is Dad's responsibility. What goes on in BM's house is BM's responsibility. SM is not IN BM's house, she is only in Dad's house, so.... that is why it is up to Dad to make sure his kids respect his wife in his house.

Maybe BM can counter-act it. But I doubt she has the power to counter-act it, if Dad is really on top of his game.

packermomof2
by on May. 10, 2012 at 7:17 PM


Quoting whatIknownow:


Quoting jessiesluv:

Why is it left up to dad to make sure SM is respected? He could do everything in the world to make sure SM is getting respected in the home, but if bm (or anyone) is counteracting that, then what?

Because it's Dad's house. Presumably, Dad loves SM and wants his kids to respect her, no?

What goes on in Dad's house is Dad's responsibility. What goes on in BM's house is BM's responsibility. SM is not IN BM's house, she is only in Dad's house, so.... that is why it is up to Dad to make sure his kids respect his wife in his house.

Maybe BM can counter-act it. But I doubt she has the power to counter-act it, if Dad is really on top of his game.

I agree with this also.  I have been raising my children to respect adults.  I also have certain standards of respect that I expect... for example, my children are allowed to speak their minds respectfully if they disagree with me.  To some people that would be backtalk and not acceptable.

So, when dad moved his now wife in and I got the "the kids don't listen to her.  It's your fault" spiel that many a SM say happens in their situation also I told him to get control of his house and stop blaming me when he can't do that. The most I did was remind my children to respect all adults, not singling anyone out.

Turned out that it wasn't an actual matter of disrespect, but a diference in what constituted disrespect.  If I don't agree that SM is being disrespected because it something I allow I will not punish my kids for it or expect them to behave differently.  Dad can try to change that on his end.  If it was a big thing, like my kid smacked the woman, you bet I'd have had said something...

pdxmum
by Platinum Member on May. 10, 2012 at 7:44 PM


Quoting jessiesluv:

I copied and pasted from another post. Did I do research? No. Have I read the book? Yes.

Quoting pdxmum:

That quote just seems so out of context with the powerful words of Ms. Martin.  A quick google search brought up this cool interview:

http://www.examiner.com/article/an-interview-with-dr-wednesday-martin-author-of-stepmonster

I think as SMs we simply need to not try to be either extreme - because both of those descriptors is an extreme - evil or self sacrificing.  I am neither.  I have done the self-sacrificing route - doesn't work.  Thank goodness I have never been evil, although BM and SD would say otherwise...


Sorry you took that as a criticism.  I love the words of Wednesday Martin and thought I would expand on your post by sharing more about her research and philosophy.  Not that you did anything wrong.  I thought I was just adding to the conversation.

nmaxwell816
by on May. 10, 2012 at 7:56 PM


Quoting whatIknownow:

I don't know anyone who has either of these expectations. 

I don't expect SMs to love their stepkids or be utterly selfless. Just be nice to them. That's plenty. 

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CherryBlossom4
by on May. 10, 2012 at 10:06 PM
In the "normal" divorced family (isn't that sad that there is a norm for that) I can actually see that. With as many hurdles as there are for bm's... There are equally as many hurdles for sm's. I think just along those same lines of double standards for sm's, bm's have them too.

In my situation though, SM has a double standard for EVERYTHING. No joke. Everything humanly possible. From joining cm, joining groups, they way she talks, the way she puts words in mouths, how she assumes, what she doesn't forgive, what she thinks is okay to say... If I do it, it's vile and horrible. If she does it, it is justified and fine. I can literally do the same exact thing she does and it is bad for me but fine for her. But that is a different double standard.
LucyHarper
by on May. 10, 2012 at 11:59 PM

A child is only hostile and rejecting because they either have been taught to be that way or they are hurt and confused so they act that way because of it, and I hope that all stepmoms are adult enough to understand that and try their best to show the child kindness and understanding regardless. They dont have to love them as their own or take over as a parent, but they should at least not treat the child as a pest and throw up their hands saying "im not dealing with you, you're just a bad kid" as soon as it starts to get difficult because if they stick it out and get the child help, it can be a very happy ending for everyone.

neverbeamom
by on May. 11, 2012 at 1:52 AM


Quoting whatIknownow:


Quoting jessiesluv:

But if these kids are hostile, isn't being nice to them despite what they do to her, selfless? I would think so.

obviously there are some psycho kids out there that are going to be hostile no matter what, but dont you think if she is just nice to them (and nothing more) from the very beginning, it will reduce the hostility?  No.  Some kids (my step sister and brother....) were spiteful assholes to my mom from the get go and STILL ARE (22 years later).  

lots of times she tries too hard to be significant to them and it gets on their nerves, and that is the cause of the "rejection." If she doesn't try to force herself on them, there will be nothing for them to reject.

sometimes being nice to someone is simply staying out of their way.

I know I've oversimplified it, but "being selfless and loving" is just a bad game plan from the get-go.


neverbeamom
by on May. 11, 2012 at 1:59 AM


Quoting whatIknownow:


Quoting jessiesluv:

Why is it left up to dad to make sure SM is respected? He could do everything in the world to make sure SM is getting respected in the home, but if bm (or anyone) is counteracting that, then what?

Because it's Dad's house. Presumably, Dad loves SM and wants his kids to respect her, no?

What goes on in Dad's house is Dad's responsibility. What goes on in BM's house is BM's responsibility. SM is not IN BM's house, she is only in Dad's house, so.... that is why it is up to Dad to make sure his kids respect his wife in his house.

Maybe BM can counter-act it. But I doubt she has the power to counter-act it, if Dad is really on top of his game.

I dunno about this.....

It's like the whole "haircut" issue a while back.  To cut it, or not to cut it.  Skid goes to dad's and needs a haircut (or it looks like shit from BM doing it).  Dad can be responsible and trusts SM to do it, but if BM found out- there would be hell to pay.  

So, yeah she CAN counter-act it and make things difficult.  If she is that hellbent on kids hating SM and not respecting her, yeah, she can make it known.  I would think it SHOULD be BM's responsibility to make sure her children respect and be polite to anyone, regardless of whose house it is.

However, this doesn't happen always and then we have the situations many SMs in SC have.

baparrot2
by Platinum Member on May. 11, 2012 at 6:52 AM

 

Quoting jessiesluv:

I have seen a lot of bms in here especially, say "do no harm". In some situations, Im sure it takes a LOT from SMs to do no harm when they are putting up with very hostile children, even when being "nice" to them hasn't worked.

 So what's the alternative? To do harm?

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