Would it surprise you to learn there are approximately 15 million stepmothers in America today?
On yesterday and today’s Focus on the Family radio program, we’ve gathered a panel of stepmoms to talk about it. All of these women are willing to share candidly about the joys and challenges of inheriting the privilege of motherhood.
Their stories are inspiring. Their testimonies are encouraging. I hope you’ll tune in.
I recently came across a touching poem that beautifully and poignantly tries to answer the question, “What is a stepmother?” Its author is intimately familiar with the topic. Her identity is unknown, perhaps fitting given how so many mothers sacrifice in virtual anonymity. I could sense her pain as I read her words. Within seconds, I found myself developing an enormous compassion for this woman I don’t know and will likely never meet. I suspect you will feel likewise. The reality, of course, is that we all know women who feel as she does, though many struggle and suffer in silence.
These women deserve our love and need our prayers.
Perhaps you are a stepmom – or maybe you were raised by one. If you are or were, don’t forget that God knows and cares and understands the struggles as well as your innermost thoughts. He is aware of the challenges you face. He is always available for you. He loves you.
Here now are some poignant words and thoughts to ponder:
What is a stepmother?
A step below or a step above?
Someone for you to love?
Someone to share your laughter and tears?
Or do you grow quiet when she comes near?
What is a stepmother?
A step above or a step below?
Someone to teach you and help you to grow?
Is she a mystery to you, or someone you know?
Are you true with your feelings, or are they for show?
I’m a stepmother, so let me define
What a stepmother is, at least in my mind
A stepmother cares for her family and home
And loves her step kids like they were her own
She fixes their meals, treats a cold, ties a shoe
Anything that a kid’s biological mom would do.
A stepmother consoles you when you feel sad
And hands out a punishment if you are bad
She’ll tuck you in bed and read you a story
And yet, it’s the biological mom that gets all the glory
A stepmother hides the tears that she cries
When mother’s day comes and then just slips by
With no card, and no hug, though she really feels sad
She won’t let you see it, won’t let you feel bad
She sometimes feels like an outsider but tries to fit in
If you’re playing a game with her, she’ll let you win
She makes sure your birthday is one special day
And when hers is forgotten, she’ll just look away
When your teen years come, life gets much tougher
With a stepmother these years, for her, are much rougher
You may say or do something that injures her feelings
Please keep in mind that she hurts while she’s healing
Your stepmother has done the best she could do
And no matter your age, she’ll always love you
For her birthday, the best present to get her
Is the most precious of all, that you didn’t forget her
I hope you’ll consider offering a word of encouragement to a stepmom or stepdad today. As I mentioned yesterday about my friend, Bob, life can be complex and difficult. You might think you know what’s going on in another person’s life, but chances are you only know half the story.
So, go ahead…
Make the call. Tap the text. Write the letter. Send the email. Take time for the conversation in the hallway at work.