Have you ever had someone discount your role in your children’s life because they’ve just discovered that you are “only” a stepparent? How did that make you feel? Having people discount your contribution to the family simply because you did not give birth to the child is a very painful experience. Raising children, whether you carry them for nine months or marry into their family, is a difficult process that requires commitment, sacrifice, and dedication.

Unfortunately, becoming defensive or trying to list all of the things you do for your stepchildren can backfire and make you seem like the ultimate martyr. I have hope for all of you stepparents out there, though, who are feeling disregarded and under-appreciated.

I know you’ve been there for your stepkids. You’ve attended their soccer games, gone to their choir performances, quietly cheered for their every success. I know you’ve been shoved to the side when bio mom or dad suddenly slips back in to take that moment of glory and you’ve been left on the sidelines.  I know you’ve been there for all of the little moments, too – the canceled dates because your stepchild had the flu, the alone time you sacrificed with your spouse because he or she was feeling guilty about not spending enough time with his or her kids.

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.