The Evil Stepmother Speaks: I Apologize to All #Moms…No More Bio Mom

Stepmothers Stepfamilies Remarriage

Bio Moms and Stepmothers Suffer from Bad Names
Image: http://falcon-hargraves.com

I really dislike the term bio Mom as must as I dislike the term stepmom. I have used these terms in my blogs on a frequent basis.  I use them because I am trying to differentiate who I am talking about.  A few readers have called me on the carpet about the bio Mom title and I must say that I agree with them.  In essence, these readers have accused me of degrading the position of Mom to strictly a biological condition.  In no way did I mean to give that impression.  So, for anyone that has been offended, I apologize.  I have decided to just use the term, Mom, in the future.  For the record, I am a Mom and a Stepmom and I completely understand the critical importance of both roles.

One of the readers that had issue with my usage of the word bio Mom mentioned Trisha Yearwood.  She said that Trisha Yearwood really has it right when it comes to being a stepmother.  I could not agree more.  Ms. Yearwood  has always shown the ultimate respect for her stepchildren’s mother and father and has repeatedly said that she “prefers to call herself a ‘bonus mom’ who has become a “third voice” in her stepdaughter’s lives.  She has also discussed how scary it was to become a stepmother and has learned what wonderful relationships can grow with your stepchildren.  She is a role model for all of us.

I remember when I first heard Trisha Yearwood use the term bonus mom.  I loved the term and hoped that it would catch on, but I don’t think it has.  While a term like bio Mom is not engrained in our culture, ‘stepmother’ certainly is.  I only wish the connotation of the evil, selfish, cruel woman would dissipate, but it will probably take more than the efforts of the talented Trisha Yearwood to move us to another place in society.  Unless there are some Moms out there who want to take up the cause?

Hmmm…that gave me a thought.  What if I started a petition on Change.org?  Change.org is a wonderful organization dedicated to making change in the world.  It allows anyone to advertise their cause and get their message out to the world and to those who can create this change. These petitions allow others in the world to participate in a cause by signing the petition.

I thought I would create a petition that asked that stepmothers no longer be thought of in a negative light.  Let’s change the stepmother label to bonus mom, officially.  On the Change.org website,  I clicked on the ‘start a petition’ button.  The first question was:  To whom are you directing this petition?  In other words, what organization should I be directing this petition?  What person, organization or government body can initiate this change?   I have no idea.  To whom should I direct my petition?  Disney?  Brothers Grimm? The universe? Maybe, it’s just a cause whose time has not come.  Or, has it?

Moms, Stepmoms and Bonus Moms, let’s go to Happy Hour to discuss.

Disclosure! I used the bio term a few times in my book, The Evil Stepmother Speaks:  A Guide for Stepfamilies Who Want to Love and Laugh.  Apologies, but I felt like no one would know who I was talking about!  I won’t do it again.

 

6 Responses to The Evil Stepmother Speaks: I Apologize to All #Moms…No More Bio Mom

  1. Sadie Leader says:

    My husband has children from previous relationships. 3 of his kids live with us full time & their “mother” lives in another state. I put “mother” in quotes because she hasn’t talked to her kids since Christmas & hasn’t seen them since July of 2012. It’s hard to figure out a true, appropriate title for her…as the kids have called me mom for years. Even when I tell people I’m a step-mom I cringe a little bit. I feel like I’m so much more than that. I’ve been in the kids lives since they were 1 & 2….yet she has faded away more & more over the years. The kids have asked if they can call her by her first name, my husband & I discussed it & decided it was appropriate. I think each family needs to find titles that they are all comfortable with & in time realize, that no matter what it’s all family. At least, I hope so…

    • So true. We all have to find the system that works best for each of us.

      I couldn’t help but think about the “mom” in your story. It is very difficult to put yourself into the shoes of a parent that chooses to fade away. I had a similar situation. My son’s father just disappeared. I was watching Oprah’s Lifeclass on Fatherless Sons. They were asking the dads who had abandoned their children how they justified it. I don’t know that there was ever a real answer. I guess it’s just that Mom will take care of it. That is exactly what you have done.

      I sometimes wonder if the Universe makes a decision to switch out parents. Do you ever wonder if that could be true? I know it sounds wacky and weird, but who knows?

  2. StepSolutionsNY says:

    Barb – With all due respect, how can you say that you “only wish the connotation of the evil, selfish, cruel woman would dissipate” when you title your own blog with such terminology. I understand that you are doing it tongue in cheek, but I don’t believe it helps the cause. It’s been bothering me for awhile and I haven’t said anything, but since I read this post, I feel I have to point out the hypocrisy.

    • I get what you are saying. The name of my blog can certainly appear hypocritical. You make a good case. When I started blogging, I always knew that my site was going to be called The Evil Stepmother Speaks. I don’t even recall how or why I knew this was the name. I just knew. I believe it was born out of our family jokes. There are times that I think that stepmoms won’t reach out to me because of the name. I also wonder if the content won’t be taken seriously. I ruminate on it. As far as helping the cause, I like to think that I have helped at least one stepmom feel better. At the end of the day, that remains my mission. I appreciate your honesty and feedback.

  3. Arielle says:

    My only experience of being a stepmother is to a beautiful girl, now 12, who calls me Mom. I am the one who comforts, who disciplines, who shops, talks about boys, soccer carpools, meets the friends’ parents. Her biological mother, in her case, is just that. Her mother had 6 kids from 6 different dads. The first 3 she lost to the dads, the last 3 she lost to the courts. She is in and out of prison. I have been privileged to be Mom to this little girl, and I believe that her mother gave up that privilege. So, it certainly depends on the family, and in ours, the term “bio-mom” makes total sense. Thanks for your posts!

  4. lb says:

    Terms that get used most often are: mom and mother for the gestational parent (which is a term I like saying heh), dad (for the donor dad or birth father – both of these later terms I occasional use rather than drawing a chart), stepdad for gestational parent’s new spouse, legal parents (for gestational parent and my new spouse), bonus parent (me), parents and grownups for the five of us.

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