Ever since S started elementary school, I’ve been eager (but too nervous) to get socially involved in her school. Papers about PTA meetings came home often and I just tossed them in the garbage, secretly wishing I was enough of a “mom” to even go to one of those things.
I didn’t visit S at lunch until first grade because I didn’t think I was allowed. She would ask me, “Why can’t you come help out in my classroom? My friend’s mom does..” and I always had an excuse. Honestly, I never got involved because I didn’t think I could as a stepmom. This year, S entered second grade and I wanted things to be different.
So, I signed up for the PTA.
Did anyone question whether I was the real mom or the stepmom? No. Did S’s mother have an issue with it? No. (In fact, she thought it was hilarious and we laughed about it together!)
Sure, I felt weird at the first meeting. I felt like I had “stepmom” written across my forehead. Then all the parents started talking…and I just sort of joined in.
Because I am a parent.
Because I want to be involved in my child’s school.
There is no rule that states “You must be the actual biological parent called Mom in order to join the PTA.” If you want to get involved, get involved.
I let my insecurities as a stepmom stop me for too many years. I missed out on field trips, book fairs, and simply watching my baby grow throughout the school years.
To the other stepmama’s out there, don’t let your insecurities hold you back. Our kids just want us to be there. They don’t understand “real” mom versus stepmom. They just see multiple parental figures that care about them. When I gave S an excuse as to why I couldn’t volunteer on her field trip, she just felt the disappointment of not having her parent there. She did not stop and think about whether I was a “real” mom or not. Be there.
Are there any other stepmoms who have been too afraid to get involved in their stepchild’s school? Has anyone had a negative experience after getting involved? I’d love to hear how other stepmoms handle the social aspect of grade school!