The answer to stepmother frustration has been right under our noses. Well, maybe not under our noses, but maybe under our pelvic bones. We all know that stepmothers can live a miserable existence. We know that we suffer from the following dilemmas:
1. We are not liked by anyone.
The entire human population has been trained from childbirth to hate stepmothers. After all, who is going to root for the people who put magic spells on the heroines of most fairy tales. We are also good at torturing princesses and stealing their father's treasures. It is nearly impossible to retrain our brains to think that a stepmother may be a loving, carrying individual. The moment a child or family member may get that idea, a new movie comes out reinforcing the notion that another evil spell is on its way.
2. Some may despise us.
Despising the stepmother has become an art form. In addition to the ongoing legends, it appears to be imperative that the mother of our stepchildren must hate us. Again, our brains have heard those stories over and over again. We probably heard our own mothers gossiping about the neighbors or about movie stars where the women just do not get along. We have talk shows that are dedicated to the notion that women cannot get along. If a stepmother and mother work together and actually like each other, one has to fight our brain's inclination to argue against it. After all, how can that even be possible?
3. We are unacknowledged.
It is nice to think of your stepmother as a lazy woman who only married your father to capture his treasure. Many of us stepmothers only wish that was true. For most of us, we are hard-working women who are financially helping to keep the family running and putting forth tremendous energy to help raise productive human beings. The world views us at interlopers into a family's life, when, in fact, we are sharing all of us with you. We share our resources and our energy willingly and lovingly. As we are cooking, cleaning, picking kids up and trying to make the whole family work, the rest of the world is trying to figure out our interior motives. We do not have any. We just want to help. Early on, we realize that being a "villain-ized" figure is just exhausting. We don't need a prize for anything that we do, but it would be nice to hear a kind word now and then. Yes, we know we "chose this life."
Looking at the above list, I realized that stepmothers need a break. They need time for themselves. Why not look back to biblical times for the answer? I found it. The Bible says that when a woman experiences her menstrual cycle, she should be separated from the tribe for the seven days. Doesn't that sound great?
"And if a woman have an issue, and her issue in her flesh be blood, she shall be put apart seven days: and whosoever toucheth her shall be unclean until the even." -- Leviticus 15:19-30
By the way, being "unclean" is not a sinful connotation. It has more to do with the times and keeping the woman separate for cleanliness reasons. That is okay. We'll take the break no matter how it comes.
I see all the stepmothers running to spas and hotels for seven days a month. Then, over time, all of the stepmothers' periods would start to coordinate to the same week each month (The McClintock Effect). Now, the world would be without any stepmothers for one week every month. I wonder who would cook dinner? Pick up the kids? Do laundry? Keep Dad calm and insert reason? Insert an additional laugh? In the meantime, the consumption of wine and chocolate would increase and the position of stepmother would become a lot more attractive. I see many women signing up to date men with children on the dating sites. To my fellow stepmothers, see you at the spa!