• stepmom, stepmom help, step family, stepchildren

    Stepmom Love

    “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”

    William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet, ca. 1600

    I am jealous. Kamala Harris has the title of ‘Mamala’ to her step kids. Frankly, I wish I had a sweet moniker like that.  It reeks of connection and affection.  My step kids call me Barb.  Everyone calls me ‘Barb’ from my best friends to a stranger I just met.  Somehow when children call you by your first name it reeks of disrespect.  Don’t get me wrong.  I do not believe that stepmoms should be called Mom.  I just wish that I had a sweet nickname that exuded affection

    My feelings may sound silly. What difference does a name make?  Probably it means nothing. As a stepmom, it can feel as though your name is a cry from the rooftops that says, “You’re not the real mom”. You are not special to these children.  Therefore, you do not deserve to have any name that even suggests the idea of a mother figure.  Know your place.  Stepmoms belong in that place where children call adults by their first name.

    Some cultures have strict rules regarding how children address adults.  Depending on where you were raised, you may have called your neighbors by the formal Mrs. or Mr. Jones (last name).  Southern cultures insist that children call adults Miss Annie (first name).  I recall some people referring to their parents’ closer friends as Aunt or Uncle.  Either way, children had to show respect and, in some cases, affection.  Respect and affection were reflected in how people were labelled.

    When I heard Kamala Harris talk about being her step kids’ Mamala, my ears perked up. Her children, her husband and her husband’s ex-wife all embraced the name. If Kamala can do it, so can I.