Do you ever get that nagging feeling that maybe you really are as evil as everyone says you are? The stereotype certainly is unavoidable! Most of us don’t even like to admit we’re STEPmoms, knowing what people immediately assume about us.
I can assure you that you most certainly are NOT the evil one you are made out to be! Stepmoms are Superwomen–and some of the most loving and giving people I know! When you do have those foreign, uncomfortable, lousy feelings of negativity, it is probably because you’re interpreting your world and behaving according to the assumptions listed below. Here is a tongue-in-cheek look at how to be the evil queen ALL the time.
HOW TO BE QUEENLY
The reason is simple…..you are not angry or resentful enough to fuel the energy that true evil requires. Think about it. The age-old adage about it taking more muscles to frown than it does to laugh is true. And in order to hatch devious plans to make your stepchildren miserable, you have to spend a lot of time fueling your anger. It’s not until the cauldron of your resentment burns hot and constant that you will really get into the “evil” of the “Evil Stepmother” role.
Fortunately, the solution is easy. If you adopt 4 easy principles, and act according to them, you will soon become just as evil as any of your storybook predecessors.
How to keep the anger burning
Assume that as long as you keep loving them, your stepchildren will eventually love you, especially if you redouble your efforts when they are extremely upset, standoffish or angry.
Be sure you don’t try to see the situation from their point of view, and whatever you do, don’t acknowledge that their heart’s desire remains the reunion of their original parents. Be sure to minimize their loyalty conflict and feelings of guilt that accompany any affection or warm feelings they have towards you. Expect that your stepchildren will see their mother’s behavior clearly, and realize that not only do you surpass her in all facets of good parenting, your stepchildren should realize and appreciate it.
Realize that it’s only a matter of time until his ex understands what a benefit you are to her children, and expect her to show her appreciation.
Be sure to give your stepchildren’s mother advice about what’s working well with her children when they are in your home. Volunteer for all activities at your stepchild’s school, and refer to yourself as their mom when you deal with teachers, Scout leaders, coaches, etc. Send little notes to your stepchild’s mother, informing her of her child’s schedule, needs, tendencies,and whatever else you think she might need to know to parent more effectively. Be sure to handle communication with her, limiting her access to your stepchildren’s father.
Assume the ex will get exactly what she deserves.
Spend a lot of time thinking about justice and how people should earn positive things in their lives with their own good behavior. Apply this to your idea about children’s affection, especially that of your stepchildren. Wait for the inevitable day when your stepchildren see their mom in a true light, and know that because the world is just, this day will come soon.
Understand that the solution to almost any stepfamily problem is for you to get more involved.
Be sure not to let your husband handle crises because everyone knows that the woman in the house is better at most things. Set up your household with chore lists, expectations and discipline, and edicts about how things should go. Feel really bad when your family doesn’t understand how much you do for them. When problems arise, talk to your girlfriends about how things “should” be, then use that energy to make your household over into your vision of the perfect family. Feel sad and disappointed when your stepfamily members don’t embrace the changes you espouse.
It’s hard to imagine any of us would choose any of these feelings or expectations, but I know I had every one of them at one time or another. And like it or not, if we don’t adjust, those icky parts of ourselves can take hold. Stay tuned for tips on creating assumptions that bring out our best and foil that horrible Disney stereotype.