Childless stepmothers offer support

Many of us who are childless by marriage are also stepmothers to children from our husband’s previous marriages. It’s a difficult role. I have heard about step-relationships that are sweet and wonderful, but most of us find it a bit rocky. You may not get along with the biological mother. The kids may resent you and keep reminding you that “You’re not my mother.” If you have no children of your own, they are a constant reminder of that fact, plus a lack of experience with kids may make it harder to be an effective parent.

I don’t think I did a great job of step-parenting. My husband was a hands-off kind of dad who did not push to spend time with his kids and grandkids. I didn’t give much of myself to them either. Now that he’s gone, I rarely hear from any of them. If we weren’t Facebook friends, I’d have no idea what’s going on in their lives.

Speaking of Facebook, I recently stumbled into the Childless Stepmothers Support Group there. Its members share their problems and experiences, along with advice and sympathy.The postings are frequent and fascinating. If you’re struggling as a childless stepparent, you might want to do a search for it and join. Only members can see what’s posted there.

Also take a look at StepTalk.org, which bills itself as “the place where stepparents come to vent.”

 

…"childless author" Sue Fagalde Lick says …

Hey! How come every article about German Chancellor Angela Merkel has to mention that she’s childless? Does every article about President Obama mention that he has two kids? No. Does every mention of media billionaire Oprah Winfrey preface her name with the word “childless”? No, and why should it? It’s irrelevant. Surely Merkel has other qualities. When she was running for election the first go-round, women protested that she couldn’t possibly understand the needs of families–couples with children–because she didn’t have any of her own. Come on. She doesn’t live in a bubble. Do the women on our U.S. Supreme Court have children? I don’t know. I don’t care. What matters is their ability to do the job. So let’s leave Angela alone. Besides, sticking an adjective in front of a name is just bad writing.