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"mothering"..... Let's dig deeper

Posted by on Aug. 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM
  • 171 Replies
7 moms liked this

Lots of heated debates going on right now about what mothering is.

Here's what I think:

Mothering is not JUST making food, cleaning puke, dropping off and picking up kids in a car. Washing their clothes and putting them away. Reminding them not to jump on the furniture, placing them in time out when they do.

You know what REAL mothering is to me? Because that list above, while important and is meaningful doesn't really grasp at what it really is. Because honestly, a daycare worker could do all of that.

When you girl comes home from school and she had her period in her pants but you only allow her to wear pads. But, you can see the pain she experienced and you have to use your brain and make a decision for what you feel is best and you take that girl in the bathroom and show her how to use a tampon. You sit down and talk with her about anatomy. Her private anatomy. And  then...she talks to you about her embarrassments and you have to wade through which are normal and which aren't all based on your own past experiences. YOUR beliefs. You get to fill up this childs head with whatever path you would like her to take. And at the end.....you never worry if you just overstepped.

Some of you CSM's can do this. The door was left open. Some SM's can't and shouldn't ever do this type of parenting with their steps.

THAT is how you know if you are truly mothering......when you can truly call them "your own" or "ours".

And THAT was only ONE example. One simple example.

Older and wiser voices can always help you find the right path, if only you are willing to listen. - Jimmy Buffet
by on Aug. 28, 2014 at 11:55 AM
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Replies (1-10):
WifeyC
by Platinum Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM
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I am a mother to my SS's.  I didn't start out that way and I didn't ask for it, but it has gotten to this point.  The thing is, I never feel the need to talk about it or piss all over them and claim them as my own.  I never feel the need to think BM doesn't get a say in their lives.

 I have actually been struggling with things that she should be involved in but instead it's me.  SS got his permit and I taught him to drive.  He turned 16 and we threw him the party.  I invited BM into my home so she could be part of it.  She flew off the handle that SHE'S the Mom and SHE will throw HER son a party and celebrate with him.  Never happened.  She was with us when he got his license.  He came running in to tell us he passed and came to me for the hug.  It's incredibly sad being the one to do Mom things because Mom can't handle it anymore.

The ones that come on here and feel the need to insert themselves where they aren't needed or make themselves out to be better than Mom are the ones with the most drama.  I'm happy I'm not them.

whatIknownow
by Emerald Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:07 PM
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When I think of "mothering" I think of breastfeeding. That's all I got.

ManicAttack
by Silver Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:16 PM
1 mom liked this

I think there is just waaaaaay too much over thinking being done by all the newbies.  They want to show they have power in their home and they have strong opposing opinions.  

I don't think arguing with them is going to help them, nor stop them.

On another note, this situation once arose with me when I was 11.  Oh God, how mortifying.  I was much more comfortable with my SM, and thank GOD I was with her.  My own mother would have told me it was disgusting and I needed to figure it out on my own.

My mom is a crazy, possessive BM, for the record, but didn't like actually BEING a mother to her only daughter.  Even as a child I recognized this and we didn't get along.

jules2boys
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:17 PM
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Well, dang... I've never 'mothered' my boys then.  Nothing is hooked up (breast reduction surgery in my early 20s took that option away from me but I couldn't go on with the size I was then either!). 

Guess my poor boys have never been 'mothered'!  ;)  

Quoting whatIknownow:

When I think of "mothering" I think of breastfeeding. That's all I got.


MBanks524
by Gold Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:22 PM

I am one that can call my sd ours.  I agree with everything else you said here and your example.

lovemyfriend
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:24 PM
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I was reading it thinking "nah...i could do all that with SD" and then read what was typed in red.

I totally agree with you there.  In that situation I know that I would say to SD what I would say to my own daughter.  The only difference is when she went back to her moms i would be worried that I said something that she didn't agree with.

Great point.

XXanonymousXX
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:26 PM
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I agree with this. I always have a hard time communicating what exactly "mothering" is, or what a "mother figure" does. It's not just laundry and cooking. It's not just a bunch of tasks that you can take over from BM and then claim victory. It happens, or it doesn't, but it's not something SM gets to decide will be. And if it happens that doesn't automatically mean SM is now a mother, or that BM is less of one.
XXanonymousXX
by Bronze Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:26 PM
1 mom liked this
I agree with this. I always have a hard time communicating what exactly "mothering" is, or what a "mother figure" does. It's not just laundry and cooking. It's not just a bunch of tasks that you can take over from BM and then claim victory. It happens, or it doesn't, but it's not something SM gets to decide will be. And if it happens that doesn't automatically mean SM is now a mother, or that BM is less of one.
runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:29 PM
What about moms who adopt? Or moms who formula feed? Or moms who stop breast feeding? Do they stop being moms?

Quoting whatIknownow:

When I think of "mothering" I think of breastfeeding. That's all I got.

GlockMom
by Platinum Member on Aug. 28, 2014 at 12:30 PM
3 moms liked this

I think a lot of the person's here confused about this are confusing caretaking with mothering.  They think because they are placed in a caretaker position that makes them "like a mother".  I think a lot of CSM's are yes, "like a mother" because in mom's absence SM may be the one the kids go to for what they would go to mom for instead of dad.  That is still just caretaking.  Actual MOTHERING for me isn't so much actions, it's a feeling and instinct I have regarding my own kids I just don't have for my skids. 

I'm kinda like WIKN, I can't think of many things a mother does for kids that can't be relegated to another person except breastfeeding.  Even that isn't a concrete mother only thing.  You can find breast milk for purchase!  I wouldn't want it, but there has to be someone somewhere that does or no one would bother with making it available.

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