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Posted at: May 14, 2017, 2:23 AM; last updated: May 14, 2017, 2:23 AM (IST)TODAY IS MOTHER’S DAY

New mom makes the world new

She can be a confidante, a friend for life — a step mother can be the support system that children have been looking for

Aastha Kalia

Cinderella; Snow White; Hansel and Gretel — what is common among all of them? Other than the fact that they are fairy-tale characters, their stories bring out the evils of a step mom. She is an antagonist who can do anything to get rid of children not born of her. Literature has taught us that step-mothers can never share a healthy bond with children. Bollywood step moms have been even worse, further contributing to the trust deficit. But the reality isn't that grim. Motherhood isn't just about the DNA, it is also about making an emotional connection with the child.

In India, a second marriage demands a lot of hard work. That a new mother will misbehave with kids is taken for granted. For children also, it is difficult to accept a new addition in the family. "Someone replacing my mother's position made me uncomfortable initially," says Rishika Payal, who lost her mother at the age of 20. Her father remarried. 

Once an understanding develops between the new mother and children, the bond of love begins to grow as well.  Also, the new mother is not there to challenge the position of the biological parent. When children are given this assurance, they become more accepting. "My new mom understands the loss and pain I went through. And she respects the love and feelings I had for my mother. Today even though I don't stay with my family, I call her everyday to keep her updated about what's going on in my life. She is a friend." She adds.

The whole idea behind remarriage is to have a complete and happy family. “I got a daughter without going through the labour pains and the dirty diaper phase. What else could I ask for?” says Reeva Paul, a single mother who got married in November last year. "My new 15-year-old daughter was missing a mother in her life and I was missing having a second child. We talk about everything, from her studies to several teenage issues." Reeva loves making sandwiches for her tiffin, “And my daughter comes back with stories of how her classmates loved them.”

 Their relationship fits like a perfect puzzle piece. “We have found a friend in each other for life.”  Reeva's 17-year-old daughter Ayera too couldn't hide her excitement on getting a sibling as well. “I am the elder sister now. We got used to the sharing system in no time and it's fun to have someone around now.”

It is not easy being a new mom. One feels hesitant to scold children even when they do wrong. “The relationship is fragile and takes time to cement,” says Sakshi Uppal, who recently became mother to a 10-year-old boy. She is enjoying her new responsibilities and is taking things positively. “It is important to understand that the child can't begin to love you overnight.” Any relationship is like a seed you sow. You have to nourish it for the plant to flower. Sakshi joined activity classes with her son to help the bond develop and gradually started taking interest in his studies too. “He knows that I am there to support him and success and failures are ours together,” she tells about the steps to be a good mom. 

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