I don’t know why it took me this long, but I started exploring stepparent boards (holy moly). Here are my findings.
The combination of menstrual-style branding, Marie-Schrader purple, and the first message you see when you go to the site (“You’re NOT crazy!”) made me sigh deeply. I really had a hard time getting beyond it.
But I’m desperate, so I tried.
The most interesting thing I learned from this community is that there is enough demand to hold a Monthly Resentment-Resolving Support Group and Forum that costs $129. That’s just to work on resentment, ladies. Think about that one for a while.
I couldn’t get excited enough to create a username in order to enter the forums, so I didn’t. Maybe I am missing out on a cruise-ship of snuggles, but looking at the face of the founder was so alienating and depressing that I couldn’t do it.
It’s actually not too bad. I had low hopes for this one because it’s reddit and that’s usually the bottom of the barrel, but there are some reasonable people here and interesting posts. Not without its fair share of bitterness, though.
I’d go back.
Bottom of the barrel: found it. The only thing I can think of that might explain the vitriol on this site is that maybe this is known as the place where people go to vent and commiserate? Maybe it’s all a bit exaggerated here, like when you’re talking to a friend and it can be much more fun to talk about the drama than about the happytimes? But then you go back to your life and act like a normal, decent human being?
I can’t tell whether these people go back to their lives and act like normal decent humans or not. I really can’t.
I read through a couple of pages and it was all anger and games and negativity and very little reason. It was all about how to win the game by exerting control over the stepkids and bioparent. Some comments made me sincerely concerned for the stepkids involved- talking about “putting them in their place” or “letting them sit in their sty” and things. NOT OK. Not ok.
It made me want to hug my stepson. Seriously.
I may have caught it on a bad day, but it did not seem like a healthy place and I felt like spending any more time in there would be damaging mentally, so I left.
Incidentally, the place is littered with ads for divorce lawyers.
Still waiting for approval. I have high hopes. What do you guys think? Is anyone a member? The only comment I have about this site from what I know of it is that I have mixed feelings about the feature to block access to some people (biomoms, stepkids). I think it could be helpful and might be best for everyone? But it makes me uncomfortable and I did not add anyone to the list. Maybe I’m naive, but I can’t imagine the mom lurking around step forums trying to dig something up (I do understand that this stuff can end up playing a role in court cases, so I get it). To be honest, I’m not even sure I want to lurk around step forums.
There’s a ton of content here and I’ve only gone through some of it. The site is managed by two women: the stepmom and biomom of the same kids. Did I articulate that well enough? It’s a man’s ex and current wife, who have managed to figure out how to have a supportive, positive relationship with each other. And they’re running this website together. So that’s… great. Ok.
What’s good about this site, though, is that there are stories from both sides. Even stories from divorced moms who’ve subsequently become stepmoms and what they’ve learned in these roles. I suppose it’s interesting, but nothing too surprising or noteworthy.
But I clicked on the “Boundaries” tab – because as you know I am a fan of boundaries – and the first post to come up went like this:
“- A colorful sunrise.
– Family to laugh with.
– Inner wholeness.
And….. gonna stop you right there. Thank you but I’m not buying what you are selling.
Also, the site itself has a heavy marketing feel to it, as though they’re really just trying to sell their books. I’d go back and read more, but it’s not the best fit for me.
It was a good exploration and now I have more places to lurk. What did I miss? What sites or boards do you go to? Have you found any that feel right to you or does everyone feel as alienated as I do?
Image credit: Anibal Vallejo