Based on the fairy tales we heard as children - Stepmothers can be depicted as not nice, kind, or fair. Therefore they are to be "suspect" members of the family and not to be trusted.
This negative concept of the stepmother role imparts us in a very personal way and we may be very self-conscious about our stepparenting. Research tells us that stepmothers have the most difficult role in the stepfamily.
Stepmothers have a huge opportunity to positively impact the lives of the children that they welcome in to their stepfamily with realistic expectations. Often children reveal (when they become adults) just how important that role was for them!