The Art of Mothering

Stepmum with Stepdaughter

Mothering is truly an art. Bio-moms, stepmoms, foster moms, adoptive moms, soon-to-be moms, etc., all engage in the “art of mothering.”

According to Oxford Dictionaries, a mother can be defined as:

  1. To bring up a child with care and affection.
  2. To look after kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so.

I once received a comment on social media, which got me thinking about “the art of mothering.” To paraphrase, this person said:

  • I am not the bio-mom
  • Thanks for taking care of the kids, but Mother’s Day is for “real moms”
  • A bond between mother and child cannot be duplicated
  • Less than 20% of stepchildren say they feel close to their stepmothers

This instigation is the epitome of why I chose to blog in the first place. Getting into online battles and fueling people’s fire is the opposite of my purpose.

My mission is to advocate for stepmoms, spread awareness and educate.

The biomom/stepmom relationship has always had a bad rap. These tumultuous relationships are often advertised and publicized. Gossip, anger, and pain from both sides can create more drama in these already volatile relationships. The dysfunction ultimately seeps into our children’s lives.

The viewpoint that bio-moms and stepmoms are in some type of competition is wrong. We’re all rooting for the same team. “Blended family” is a term I’m not a fan of. There is no magical blending to create a fairytale divorce. In fact, it’s an oxymoron. Even though two separate families emerge post-divorce, we all have the same goal…to raise healthy, happy, and successful children. To give them a childhood filled with love that they won’t have to recover from. To provide them with encouragement, opportunities, memories, and experiences which will help shape them in their future.

The “art of mothering” comes in many shapes and forms when raising a child.

nicole dilorenzo

Stepmoms work hard to create healthy relationships with all family members and to build a strong family unit. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. In my experience, I have seen many stepmoms, like myself, step up with love, grace, support, and honor to “mother” their children.

Stepmoms are willing to work hard in creating a healthy, loving family unit. We understand we’re not the bio-mom and we’re not trying to replace anyone. We can’t mend what’s already broken. We can’t undo the effects of divorce. We can’t rewind and repair all the damage done. We can’t take all the pain away.

But, we can commit to the mothering role and to marriage. We can create a united front as husband and wife. We can create a family unit who focuses on teamwork. We can model healthy communication and problem-solving. We can give and receive love. We can show appreciation. We can learn together. We can look a challenge in the eye and say as a family we will get through this. We can let faith guide us.

Kids didn’t ask for divorce and family failure. They deserve to have a fighting chance at having healthy relationships modeled to them, especially in their childhoods.

Stepmoms have stepped up and stepped in, to transform a family that was once given up on. My journey in the “art of mothering” has made me who I am today. I am blessed to have a stepmom army in my “mothering” corner.

We all need to remember the “art of mothering” comes in many shapes and forms when raising a child. Leading by example is fundamentally the best gift we can give our children.