Kids & Parenting

What’s In A Name?

Priscilla – Founder of The Stepmums’ Club and sometime Lady in Red

This is Cilla.  She’s a mum.  She’s also a stepmum.

I don’t have any personal experience of stepmum life.  However, I do have family and close friends who have/are step-parents and these relationships vary greatly.  Some are fantastic.  Others are toxic.

We all know about The Wicked Stepmother.  She hates her stepchildren, especially if they are girls.  She doesn’t really love the children’s father.  She’s a gold-digger and has probably hatched a plan to off the lot of them so she can get her hands on the inheritance.   She’s wicked!

I met up with Cilla recently.  She’s one of the seemingly tiny pool of North London mums in Blogger/Instagrammer land.  We drank tea.  I got side eyes and then smiles from her baby girl, Shiloh.  Cilla told me all about her life as a stepmum.  I didn’t realise what a minefield it can be.  I mean, I did…but I didn’t really.  She spoke so passionately.  I was truly shocked by some of what she told me.  But, I just knew that I had to get her to write something for my blog.

So, I asked.

And, Cilla has, very kindly, written a guest post for me on some of the things she didn’t realise she would experience when she became a stepmum.

Cee x

“The Stepmums Club was formed when I became a service user without a service.  Off the back of a situation with the birth mum in my life, I found myself angry, isolated and unable to reach out.  I sought counsel, but instead came across women who were depressed, desperate and even angrier than me, also going around in circles without resolution.  This Club is the resolution.  It’s mission is to challenge the bio mum Vs. stepmum narrative, to empower and to promote our role as being just as valid as any other mother’s role! Welcome to the Stepmums’ Club 👊🏾.

Mr & Mrs Appeaning
I’m Priscilla “Cilla” Appeaning. I’m 29, married, a mother of girls and a stepmum aka “Aunty” of boys. I have two bio mums in my life, both of whom treat me as though I’m invisible. 🤷🏾
Priscilla’s daughters
I am a blogger (who doesn’t blog about any or everything) who blogs when I’m feeling a way.  The blog is called Unsettled Mum.  I choose not to settle.  When I’m feeling unsettled about something, I’ll blog about it 😊

5 things I didn’t realise about being a Stepmum.

1. How naive I was in thinking that all parents would put pride aside and just get on for the sake of the kids.
2. How sad I’d get sometimes because I don’t like to feel as though I don’t have a handle on the big things that affect my life. I can’t be free as a stepmum because a bio mum doesn’t want to talk about the dos and do nots.  I sometimes feel like I don’t know what I’m doing 🙃
Maleficent turned the tale of the wicked stepmother on its head
3. That Stepmotherhood is a battlefield between the bio mum and stepmum and the negativity of this is played out so hard in the media that even my 6 year old knows that stepmums are evil… durrrr mum! I don’t think she quite gets that she’s talking about me 🤔
4. How in the dark I’d be, not knowing how much or how little impact I am having on my Stepchildren’s lives.
5. That I’d be using the word ‘Step’ at all. Because in African households NOBODY plays that.  You are seemingly fully-related or you are not! The titles are just mum, dad, son, daughter, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandmum and granddad. There is no such thing as half-siblings or “Step-” anything!  And 2nd cousin…?  No.  So, why am I using terms that I think are complicating matters?  Well, I actually know why.  I was trying to be dramatic, but, that is for another day…on another blogpost.”
 

If you are a stepmum, or you know a stepmum, or you are a bio mum who has a stepmum in her life, or you’re just interested, please go check out The Stepmums Club on Instagram here.

If you’re none of these things, but you like the sound of our Cilla, you can keep up-to-date with her through her personal account here.

Priscilla’s blog, ‘Unsettled Mum’, is a very raw, honest and refreshing documentary of her life.  You can have a read of it here.

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