History was made today. But not the kind you think.
Regardless of your political opinions, Kamala Harris has broken any number of barriers by being elected to the second-highest office in the land. She is the first Black, first female, and first South Asian to become vice president-elect.
But there’s another first that you don’t see written about much.
She’s the first stepmom to be elected Vice President. So yes, stepmom history has been made.
To some that may seem a silly marker. But to stepmoms, it’s everything.
Blended family life is hard, even on a good day. There are complicated dynamics and relationship landmines to weave and bob around – even when everyone gets along. Which is why almost 70% of second marriages fail.
But there are more and more blended families in today’s America. Approximately 13 percent of adults are stepparents and one in six children live in a stepfamily. However, there remain stigmas. And lots of assumptions, especially about stepmoms. Assumptions that aren’t always fair. Or nice.
The blended family a stepmom joins is formed out of loss. It exists only because the previous family fell apart. Whether by death or divorce, the previous family was broken.
The stepmom is thrust into a position where she often feels like an outsider. Where she regularly feels overwhelmed and alone.
But where she can use her role to work with her partner to heal. To unite. To form a new family unit that represents the love that they have grown as a team.
Of course, it’s not just up to the stepmom to heal and to form this new family. But she plays a major role. A role that is absolutely crucial. And a role where she can make the difference.
The Irony Of Kamala Making Stepmom History
The irony –in a good way– of Kamala Harris being a stepmom should not be lost on anyone.
Harris was elected after a bitter, partisan fight, where the days-long protracted vote counting that kept the nation glued to their televisions further exposed just how divided our country is. Just how hostile we have grown towards one another in the last four years.
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Obviously, it’s not just her stepmom experience that makes Harris capable of great success in this position. She’s broken barriers at every level. From her time as the San Francisco district attorney to serving as the California attorney general to being just the second-ever Black female US senator, she’s clearly got the goods.
Which explains why many of us, upon learning she was a stepmom nodded our heads and thought, “yeah, that seems right.”
Harris will be working with President-Elect Biden to bring the country -our home, our family- back together. To heal and to grow. Which is no small feat.
But as a leader, and as a stepmom, she’s up to the task. Her stepmom experience complements her professional experience in a way that will only help as she works to heal the many divides that exist.
And let’s not forget that our new First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden, is also a stepmom. She is not the first stepmom to serve as First Lady, but she is the first who has inherited a country as divided as ours currently is. Jill Biden will need to use her powerful presence of healing in her role.
Most of us know President-Elect Biden’s story of loss, followed by the healing that happened after he met Jill. Dr. Biden is an accomplished woman in her own right. She holds a doctoral degree and has been a professor for a number of years. A job she kept as Second Lady – and that she’s said she plans to continue as First Lady. Which would make her the first First Lady to hold a full-time job outside the White House.
Both Jill Biden and Kamala Harris married men who view them as equals and who celebrate their successes. Who support them in every role.
Harris married Doug Emhoff after his marriage dissolved and his kids refer to her as “Momala.” She appears to get along well with his ex and to have a wonderfully supportive family unit.
These two women have the tools and the platform to not only help heal the many divides in our country, but to educate and provide positive examples for stepmothers everywhere.
They will help rewrite the narrative about what blended families look like. Blended families are messy. They’re not always pleasant to be a part of. But blended families, at their core, strive for love and support.
Kamala Harris and Jill Biden have, in fact, made stepmom history.
The spotlight that will now be on these two families will give them the opportunity to dispel some of the myths that abound and instead shine a light on the love and healing that makes blended families special.
I hope they’ll use it.
P.S. Are you a stepmom who needs help getting a handle on all the stepmom things? Check out our Stepmom Survival System HERE.