“You Don’t Know Me” written by Cindy Walker & Eddy Arnold
And anyone can tell
You think you know me well
Well, you don’t know me…
Oh, you’ll never ever know
The one who loved you so.
Stepmom bloggers live a terrifying existence. We break the cardinal rule of step parenting. “Keep silent.” We want to be transparent, but every time our pen hits the paper we know that we may piss someone off.
I guess I should not have been surprised by my stepchildren’s reactions to my blogs. But, I was stunned. The most common comment was, “I didn’t know that about you. I am learning a lot about you by reading your blog.”
Honestly, my first thought was “You never asked.” Even though the kids lived with me, I never felt as if anyone was truly interested in me. Don’t misunderstand. I have not been silent all these years. I talked plenty, but left details of my life out of the conversation. I put my life’s story on pause because I felt as though there was no place for it in our complex family scenario.
My stepchildren’s feedback to my blog was justified. The truth was that I never told them. I made a mistake. I believed the thought in my head that told me, “no one cares and no one is interested.” Byron Katie said, “A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering.” My brain was listening to the stepmom stereotypes.
If you are a stepmom, share your life stories with the family. Your family will be richer for it and there is much to learn for all of us. You may not be the mummy, but don’t stay mum.
Here are a few conversation starters:
- Who taught you to ride a bike?
- Who was your favorite relative?
- What was your most embarrassing childhood experience?