Tag Archives: step mother

>La Belle Mere

5 Oct

>So I’ve been poking around the interweb as I threatened. I am THRILLED to have found some very cool blogs by stepmoms who want that glass of wine at the end of the day (or by lunch) as much as I do!
I could not have possibly said it better than Stepmother’s Milk with this particular post. Which reminds me, why haven’t any of my friends thrown me a belle mere shower?

Here’s the post:

“Unlike the traditional baby shower, where mama-to-be receives gifts for the survival of the blessed babe, the stepmom shower honors the adult woman thrust into a scary and unknown world and like the infant, is similarly naïve and in need of care. We may have more years on the planet, but when it comes to stepmothering, many of us were born yesterday.

It’s time to start a new tradition.

I’ve been to countless baby showers and it seems that parenting inexperience is honored above more impressive qualities like daring or patience (Isn’t she adorable. She doesn’t even know how the Diaper Genie works. Dear, let me help you). If this is true, then who more deserves a kick-ass party with a bounty of presents, expert instruction and hard liquor than the stepmom, who gets no gestation period at all? No preparation. No handbook. If you’re like me, you just woke up one morning with half-grown kids sleeping down the hall.

It’s time to start a new tradition. There’s no reason why stepmoms shouldn’t be entitled to the same elevation and indulgence, if only for a long afternoon.

But, I’m hung up on one thing: the name. “Stepmom Shower” doesn’t sound all that fun. It’s got a dead ring to it, do you agree? Well, I don’t know about you, but if a party isn’t fun, then why did you waste your time cleaning the house and buying expensive cheese? So, I’m proposing a name change. A title that reflects the spirit and sentiment of the celebration.

Introducing, La Belle-Mere Party!

What the hell is that? She had me up until this point, but now she’s throwing around a foreign language. I’m confused.

Is this what you are thinking? Well, let me explain. First, I blame my mother and so should you. She is convinced (and works very hard to sway others) that the French are far more sophisticated and appealing than Americans. I do agree with her that the French have much prettier words, so there’s that.

Second, and more importantly, La Belle-Mere is actually French street slang for stepmother, so I didn’t just make it up to sound fancy. And translated, it means the mother even more, all the more or more than ever.

Now, I’m no language expert, so the following interpretation is my own (I’m sure my college French professor would shake her head “tsk, tsk” and fail me again). But, when I think of myself as a “mother all the more,” I’m struck with a sense of relief and significance. I am not Mom, “the original” and I will never replace her, but instead of imagining myself as the awkward, shadow figure in the background, I’m standing right beside her with my head held high. The mother more than ever.

I think it’s important that we (myself included) start thinking of ourselves as more, not less. We all bring something to the blended family table. We belong. We have a place. It may take me a while (like years) to truly feel this way, but I’m going to keep repeating it under my breath until I do.

With that, a raise my glass to you, my step-ladies! Here’s to your friendship, good humor and grit. Let the 2008 La Belle-Mere Tour begin! Start clearing your calendars for a trip to Austin. Details to follow.”

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