I’ve always known for pretty much my entire life after being a teenager; I would not become like the mother of Anastasia and Drizella. Who treated her dead husband’s daughter Cinderella as an unpaid family servant?

As a teenage worker, I was surrounded by adults who became stepparents through second and third marriages. I heard stories that were not meant to be taken literally, but I did.

One commonality, there was always an obvious bias for their own children in any given situation. I remember thinking about the ‘stepchild’ who was growing up in a household where they were left out and made to feel like an ‘extra.’

Now as a grandmother, I am facing my grandson being a ‘stepchild,’ too.

He’s only a baby at seventeen months old. But inevitably, his parents are not going to last into college. I know my daughter would raise her voice loudly if ‘one hair came out of place.’ But what about when he’s in the care of a stepparent without his biological parents’ supervision.

What then? Will he be yelled at for not following the house rules? Will he be expected to walk and talk like a programmed robot? I can’t imagine how I would relate to a stranger telling me what to do in my home. My parents were the only people in my life who gave me life instruction.

I have had relatives who have experienced years of step-parenting. Some dealt very well with the challenge. Better than their biological parents. While others did not fare as well. Mostly due to the children not taking a new person in the home.

I understand. I could not ever treat a child differently.

As a single mother, whenever my daughters brought a friend over, I bought dinner for both. Even if, I could not afford the extra cost. I always listened and learned what was said about their households. Then I would know why the child behaved a certain way.

I learned children are resilient. They can have the worst parents and still become the best version of themselves.

My children never had a stepparent. I could never allow anyone to discipline my daughters or to hurt their feelings. I do not regret my decision to stay single.

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