Appreciating your step parent

Regina Mbaleke harboured a lot of hatred for her step mother because she believed she was the reason her mother had left her matrimonial home. However, that would later change when a counsellor brought a few things into perspective.

“I got to learn that I was conceived despite my father already being married and mum passed on during delivery,” she narrates with tears welling in her eyes, “and that my step mother took me in as her own. To look back at how I have treated her despite her love, I feel so ashamed,” Mbaleke confesses.

However, it is not every day that we come to such realizations as many believe that their step parents are the cause of every misfortune in their lives. This is sometimes fuelled by relatives or the person that lost out on the marriage.

To this, Mary Akol, a counsellor says, “Those that have lost out on their marriages need not disrupt the family unity for their own gains through speaking negatively about the person that has replaced them. Otherwise, they will create children who are resentful and timid.”

In cases where relatives from the paternal side feed the children with negative information, she says men need not relax; offer a covering for your children and wife; step mother. It is at this point that the fathers need to be in their children’s lives more than ever before. “Those negative words can only be erased when the children see the parents in the home in harmony and united,” she says. While such scenarios are usually fuelled by the paternal side, women should also raise to the occasion if the pressure is coming from their side.

To children, Akol asks them to work towards harmony rather than breeding spite. While that may seem almost as difficult as climbing a mountain, it is worth trying.

“Often times, these women are hurting and it helps to deal with the issue with a pinch of salt. Take time to reflect on what is happening around you, refusing to follow what everyone is saying like a lamb heading for the slaughter. Chances are, she may have a bad temper, however, that does not mean she is entirely bad. Take time to look for that good and hinge on it,” she advises.

It does not help to continually picture someone as evil because your father saw something good in her before getting into this relationship with them. Chances are, she did not even know your mother still existed in the relationship. There could also be the event that your mother passed on, but she was not the cause so it does not help to heap that blame on her. Treating her unjustly or talking wrong about her just to create tension between your father and her will also affect you. See, this is your new home and it helps to create peace, at least for sanity’s sake. If your mind cannot conceive the thought of you loving her, ask God to help you because he is love.