As the days become longer and Spring blooms upon us, we want to bestow a more positive light upon the role of being a Stepmom especially with Mother's Day coming next month. Its the bitter with the sweet. Its such an important role in a blended family yet the least appreciated.
Think about it, for most families the household does not run smoothly without the irreplaceable presence of the mother who is planning, organizing, and delegating everything. When Beyonce asked who ran the world, we no doubtedly shouted with her in unison "Girls!" And for good reason. Behind every successful man, you will find a strong woman supporting him whether it be his mother, sister, aunt, grandmother, girlfriend, or wife. In addition, the existence of a nurturing woman in the life of any child is also priceless. Women add value to the important experience of growing up as a productive and well-rounded individual. Who wouldn't benefit from having another loving adult in their life to look out for you and care for you?
If you have stepkids and you want to maximize your presence in their lives, then we have 5 suggestions for you to become a better Stepmom.
1. Lower your expectations. By no means are we saying being a Stepmom is a happy-go-lucky role. Its tough, but you have to start by being realistic. Stop fantasizing about having this perfect life as a perfect wife with perfect stepkids and a drama-free relationship with the children's biological mom. Just stop. Things will be hard. You will bite your tongue sometimes. Sometimes you will lash out. You will get frustrated. You will feel a strain between what you want and what is actually going on. Recognize this and move on. At some point, if you keep your expectations at a realistic level, you will be pleasantly surprised when things exceed those expectations versus the disappointment of not ever reaching them.
2. Become mindful. Be at peace with your current situation. Even with what has happened in the past. Accept today. This moment. Forgive. You're married. You have stepchildren. That dynamic is not going to change, so acknowledge that and find peace with it. Remember, forgiveness is for you more than anyone else.
3. Choose your battles. You've heard it before... and I'm telling you again because its so true. You can't control anyone else but yourself. So bickering, complaining, or nagging about everything whether it be to your husband, the kids, or family and friends. Having a problem with everything and ignoring the good in your situation will make you miserable (not to mention those around you). If you have a hard time nik-picking at everything, re-evaluate your approach. Can you make more positive statements sometimes? Or are you contributing to the strife?
4. Connect with your spouse. This point can't be made simple enough and as a matter of fact, it should have been our first suggestion! Its so important to be your husband's wife first and a mom second. Why? Because if you neglect this primary relationship, your other familial relationships will suffer. We are all interconnected in a blended family. Stay united with your husband. Date him. Learn him. Listen to him. Respect him. Communicate with him. Spend quality time together. Plan alone time and plan family time. Manage areas of your family life together. And do it like a boss!
5. Build your support system. Yes, those other stepmoms you know- connect with them from time to time. Keep your BFF's number on speed dial for those "crisis" moments. Plan time to pamper yourself or have a Girls Night Out. Tap into your church community or seek support groups for Stepmoms online or in the community. Seek out a positive support system for yourself because sometimes we just need to vent or we need to be encouraged.
We hope you have found these tips to be helpful. Please contact us if you have additional suggestions. We would love to hear from you!
Your Journey. Your Positive Steps.