4. Do I Have A Life Besides This?
It sounds odd, but this is an essential question to ask.
Every woman, mother, and stepmother needs to have something in her life that makes it her own. This must be something that has nothing to do with the children or a relationship.
This could be a hobby, exercise, career, friends, or simply anything that no one else can touch. In other words – an escape that makes you feel satisfied.
If you don’t have your own life – your own purpose – outside of your family life, you will soon be eaten alive by all of the day-to-day chores and frustrations of parenting stepchildren.
Having something to fall back on on those days where you feel completely drained and frustrated, is really the best kind of therapy.
More importantly, keeping your sense of identity will come in use later on in situations where your stepchild or stepchildren gravitate towards their biological parents more than they do to you.
In this way, you’ll always have something to lean on to distract you from any feelings of resentment that may come up.
In the realm of a stepmother, whether you’re doing some, half, or the majority of the care-taking, resentment will be a frequent visitor. This doesn’t mean you’re going to be miserable and unhappy, it just means that you’ll need to make sure you have other elements in your life that give you solace and relief from tough times.
One of the main differences between a biological mother and a stepmother is familiarity. While a mother knows her child’s expressions, habits, and moods like the back of her hand, a stepmother has to learn these things. It may take many years do to so.
Being a stepmom is a very exhausting process in it’s own right. Having a way to relieve stress for yourself is a must.
The healthier the stepmom, the better the entire family is. Like the old saying about “mama” being happy – “If step-mama ain’t happy, no one is happy”.
5. Am I Ready For Negativity, Comments, & Questions?
As with anything you do in life, becoming a stepmother is riddled with complexities, decisions, and other people’s opinions.
You’re going to need to be ready for the comments and questions other people make in your presence whether you like it or not. Some comments will be negative, and some will be supportive, depending on a person’s experiences or agenda.
People are curious creatures, some more tactful than others. People will ask you if you’re the “real mom,” who has custody, who makes child support payments, or how you and the biological mother get along.
Most people will assume that you and the biological mother don’t get along. But contrary to popular belief, many stepmoms and moms get along just fine.
Of course, there’s no guarantee that you will have good relations with the biological mother of your stepchildren, but it’s not impossible. It takes communication, patience, and empathy to build a functioning relationship with a biological parent – from both sides.
There are Facebook pages, online magazines, and a mass of quotes all over the internet devoted to stepmoms and moms who don’t get along. The idea of raising someone else’s children seems to play out well in the arena of internet negativity.
Try not to get sucked into that negativity, because when you have a bad day, you’re going to be tempted to reach out to any kind of comfort you can – including unnecessary drama.
Try subscribing to a more productive, positive support system such as close friends, books, or an encouraging, uplifting internet group or online magazine.
People will always have something to say about your life. The best you can do is be sure of your decisions, confident in your abilities, and firm with your boundaries. Becoming a stepmom is not just something to try on for size.
Being a stepmom is a lifelong journey that affects many people besides yourself. The role of being a stepmom will change you forever, and it will change the life your stepchild or stepchildren – hopefully for the better.
Read Part 1 here: 5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourself Before Becoming a Stepmom – Part 1
Michelle Zunter is a Canadian-turned-American living, loving, & writing in California. You can read Michelle’s lifestyle blogs about love, sex, relationships, marriage, divorce, parenting, step-parenting & much more at The Pondering Nook. You can also listen to Michelle co-hosting at The Broad’s Way Podcast discussing similar topics.