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The evil stepmother of fairy tales is just that - mostly a myth. Women trying to bond with children from an earlier marriage can be just ordinary moms!
The evil stepmother of fairy tales is just that – mostly a myth. Women trying to bond with children from an earlier marriage can be just ordinary moms!
In today’s evolving world, relationships are fragile. It is complicated to build a relationship when the very start is from hesitation and distrust. Unfortunately, these are the only ingredients provided to a stepmother when she steps into this role with negative connotations.
I recently met a couple on a vacation. The family had a young teenage girl going through her regular tantrum display. However, it was evident that she was particularly nasty towards the mother. Post getting friendly with them, I realised that the girl’s resentment basically stemmed from that fact that the mother was her new stepmom. She saw her as a replacement of her mother in her father’s life and hence hated her. The efforts made by the new mother were basically in vain and this strain obviously got transferred on to their marriage. She bore the burden and still made her best efforts to make the situation work for her. Though the dark shadows under her eyes conveyed her fatigue.
In a family, a woman by her very nature is the main nurturer. When she gets married, it’s not usually just to the man, but to his entire family. She makes adjustments, compromises and walks a fine balancing line most times to make her marriage work. This entire process becomes further complicated when it is a second marriage and there is a child involved.
Sometimes couples decide to spilt due to various reasons. The children are always adversely affected and torn between their parents. In this tumultuous time, if one parent starts to show affection to someone else of the opposite sex, the child is bound to feel insecure and threatened. A girl child is especially threatened by a new mother. Not only the woman in question is a replacement for her mother, but may also replace her as her father’s princess.
It is not easy to love another woman’s kid, especially if it’s a constant reminder of that fact that she is the ‘second woman’. Every relationship has its share of adjustments and negotiations. When a child is involved, it needs a lot of understanding and patience on the new mother’s part to ensure she manages to get the child to trust her. With young kids its usually easier. But, if the child is in the teens they are already set in their ways. They are also emotionally raw after the disappearance of one parent and are resistant to change. The only way to get them around is through love, compassion, understanding and a lot of patience.
It does not help that stepmothers are always portrayed in negative light. Right from our fairy tales, to our movies and daily soaps, the step mothers are usually a cruel, cold-hearted gold digger with questionable intentions. They are mainly shown plotting and strategizing ways to get rid of the children. The truth is far from it.
The path for the new moms is not easy and the society puts further hurdles by gossiping about them. These vicious rumours usually get channelled to the very children these moms are trying to connect with. As a society, let’s be more accepting of new relationships that have developed. Let’s be more trusting, let’s be less judgemental.
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"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
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