I see this often in online stepmom groups…
One stepmom will ask a question, usually for advice or just to vent about the birth mother stress. Another stepmom will post a suggestion, but it’s worded in a horrible or judgemental way. Original poster will defend their actions. Original judgey commenter will say something snappy back. Original poster will get angry and before you know it – Word War III has just started in a support group.
Why do we do this to each other? We ask for help because we need it or we vent to get stuff off of our chest and before you know what happened, the online bullying is flooding your newsfeed!
This is nothing new with mothers. We see all the time that birth mothers are going at each other’s necks because they disagree with each other’s parenting style. What the aggressors fail to realize is that not everyone has the same situation or views. In stepmother groups it is sometimes worse because there are many other factors outside of beliefs at play here. Every Stepmom has a different kid, a different dad, and a different biological mother that all have opinions, beliefs, and feelings. There is no way one stepmothers view will match up with another consistently.
In today’s society, it is far too common to insult and harass each other because we can hide behind our screens and our profile pictures. Don’t we get this enough from birth mothers and their spawn? I get that we are fed up and over flowing with anger and grief with no place to let it out, but PLEASE, let’s keep this anger where it belongs and let it out in a healthy way.
We all deal with stress differently. Some of us (myself included) need to write it out and vent in a safe space to decompress. Others bottle and keep it in because they are shy I simply work it out more effectively in their own head. Other women channel the anxieties into other projects.
To have successful communication, we must first learn how to accept that everyone is different. Allow vocal stepmoms (or other people in general) to be vocal. Allow channelers to channel. Allow bottlers to bottle. You can’t have a support group without first supporting each other. You don’t have to agree, you just have to allow them to deal the way they know how or are comfortable with! If you relate, WONDERFUL! Add your input and bond over the experience! If not, move along! If someone comes at you with the aggression, be kind because they are probably having a bad day… not that it excuses treating other people like crap!
How many times has someone lashed out at you for having a difference of opinion? For many of us, how often has that been the bio mom to your step kid? I don’t know about you, but I’ve literally had to turn my phone off and block bio mom from my social media because her harassment knows no bounds! I’ve woken up to literally 80 plus texts harrassing me because she “felt like it”. It’s not that those things hurt me, but they do cut into my peaceful state of mind and interfere with my life.
By doing this to one another, we become the problem and resolve nothing! It’s time for us to grow up and accept each other because we are ALL struggling in some way. This is just humanity.
What experiences have you had with online harassment in a group that was suppose to help? What did you do to deal?
Comment here or on the Facebook group!
Be kind to one another, we need all the help we can get!
Step Mommy Dearest