It seems as if step parents get shamed for being a STEP parent. They are to be a parent. Not a step, not a bonus, but a parent.
There are so many memes and pictures that say things like; we aren’t step, we are family. Or He’s not my step son, he’s my son. I’m not a step mom, I’m just the mom that stepped up! All of this is great! We should love and embrace each other and just be family. When we marry the adult, we marry the children too. But not all families need to be this way and that’s OK!
Yes, there are families that accept and support no ‘steps’. There are step parents that have stepped up and claimed the role of mom or dad. Which is fabulous! But some kids have both parents and they don’t need another. And being STEP is perfectly OK!
I have step kids. And they have a MOM! I don’t need to be a mom to them. I need to be their STEP mom. I need to love their dad and I need to be there for them if needed. I can care and love them but I don’t need to be called mom. I’m not. They have one who raised them and loves them very much. Who is still there for them and will be. I don’t need to step on that and take away from her.
It seems society wants us all to be the mom and dad and STEP is no longer acceptable. We can still love a person as family, live together as family, and take the role of a parent while still being a STEP. I respect my step kids mom. She has earned that title. And I’m OK with my title as STEP and I’m not ashamed to use it. If your family is not about using the terms STEP, that’s terrific! But some of us are OK with being the step parent and leaving the main title to the parent who birthed and loves them. To those step parents who use the terms STEP and feel like they are being shamed, you are OK! You can love, be family, and live in harmony being a STEP. Be proud of that title and know you don’t have to be ashamed to use it. You just be who you are!