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A Second Mother: A Tribute to All the Stepmothers

Once upon a time, a group of diverse women known as stepmothers. As they begin their respective romantic relationship with men who, before meet them, already had children, their worlds have turned upside down. Suddenly, they became victims of stereotypes about their social position, they came to be accompanied by the verb “to have” and on top of that they became apprentices of a very complex trade. Although feelings such as insecurity, fear, and jealousy sometimes appear in their relationships with their partners and their stepchildren, they try to weaken these so that they would not interfere or undermine their commitment to being good in the position they have taken. So, they after day, week after week, they made mistakes and got right, learned and got matured. All this together with their new families.

                                                      

When we think about the word “stepmother”, most of the times we associate it with the evil figure portrayed in animations such as Cinderella and The Snow White. In my point of view, this happens not only because of the media’s influence on us, but also because we live in a society of macho culture. We are in an environment that constantly preaches female rivalry. In this way, it is not surprising that when a woman assumes or shares a position that was under a total control of another woman, it hangs around them and around everyone who has a connection with them, a notion of competition, a notion that it is “the ex against the new”.

This ideia, by itself, is capable of generating discomfort situations for adults. Therefore, it is very important to pay attention so that, if this discomfort arises, it doesn’t affect children. I believe that for a child, the process of parental break up and the entry of a new person into the family is difficult to deal with. So, it is the duty of the parents or relatives to ensure that this process takes place in a calm and natural way. Ask for a child if she will win a stepmother like Evil Queen, for example, is something inconvenient and may possibly lead the child to have problems in her relationships with her own parents and with her stepmother.

Another question which is really important but is not often discussed is the difference between the relationship of a biological mother and her daughter and the relationship of a stepmother and her stepdaughter.  A lot of persons believe that the stepmother has to treat her stepchildren like a mother treats her sons, mainly because they think that all stepmothers will be as cruel as those who appear on television. However, it must be understood that, according to the situation, these relationships will be different, which is not necessarily a bad thing. “Personally, in my relationship with my stepmother there is no requirement of a maternal relationship like the one I have with my mother, but that does not mean that there is no freedom between us! She is always giving advices to me when it comes to life and we are free to talk about various subjects! I think that it depends on the way each family is structured, if the biological mother is still alive, for example”, says Chiara Ukstin, a freshman Casperian who is attending journalism and has divorced parents.

I believe that despite being complex and demanding the overcoming of challenges, it is very beautiful to see the complicity of a stepmother and a stepson. Because of this, as a way to conclude my text, in this paragraph, I would like to pay a tribute to all stepmothers.  For this, I will transcribe a message that Biatriz Souza, who is a senior Casperian and attends Radio, TV and Internet wrote for her stepmother and sent to me. “Clê, I do not know exactly how many years you have been in my life; I guess it is 10 years. But for me, it does not matter! I just want to thank you! Thank you for all you represent to me, for being my Barbie mother, for every year making sure to have lunch with me on my birthday.  It may seem strange for society to see a stepdaughter love her stepmother so much, especially considering the fact that the stepmother is no longer married to her biological father anymore, but I do not mind. I know that I am the daughter who disappears, but every time it happens I do miss you and our family. If I am who I am today, at 22, one of the great responsible is you. I love you.”.

Biatriz Souza and her stepmother Cleide 

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