Whenever I post about the importance of stepmoms picking their battles, I inevitably get responses from stepmoms who say they are tired of always biting their tongue.
They are tired of not having a say in their own home.
They are tired of always having to be the bigger person.
Hey, I get it.
I really do.
Sometimes stepmoms misinterpret what I’m recommending.
They think I’m telling them to be a pushover.
I’m not. Not even close.
Earlier this year in my membership, The Exclusive Stepmom Community, I released a workshop for stepmoms who want to set the foundation for change in their stepfamily life. The workshop involves assessing stressors, auditing reactions and being more deliberate about how you react.
At the end of the workshop I talk about the hard nos. These are a stepmoms non-negotiables.
My hard no is disrespect.
I will not tolerate someone talking to me with disrespect – EVER.
I do not interact with people who don’t treat me with respect. Hard stop.
When Darren and I first got together, I had an issue with pretty much everything in our stepfamily life. I wanted everything to change, I wanted everything my way. I wanted everyone to see how hard this was for ME.
Looking back it must have been a real treat to live with me.
I had an issue with:
- Bed time
- The mess the kids left after school
- Their after school routine
- How clothes were (or were not) transitioned between houses
- The noise
- The rules
- The consequences
- The dishes
- How much we paid babysitter
- What my husband would say yes to
- What his ex would say yes to
- How the kid acted in restaurants
- The shoes at the door
- The morning routine
I could add about 25 more things to this list, but you get the gist.
I had an issue with basically everything,
I shared my issue with basically everything.
As a result, he felt like he was walking on egg shells.
This backfired in a big way. It affected our marriage, it affected my relationships with my stepkid and it affected the vibe of our home.
When I had an issue with something REALLY IMPORTANT, he didn’t hear me because I basically had an issue with everything. I became background noise.
Picking your battles actually helps YOU in the long run, especially when you’re a stepmom.
IT make your hard NO’S have more weight.
When you have a strong opinion on something, they are more likely to hear you because your issues haven’t turned into this constant background noise.
Get what I mean?
So when’s it’s a hard no for you, or feels like it’s 100% against your values, or you need a boundary to be put in place, be deliberate about it.
I have non negotiables. I have things I won’t tolerate.
There are boundaries that I have set that inconvenience my husband BUT because I don’t have something to say about everything, he hears me (louder).
So stepmom, I’m not telling you to bite your tongue all the time.
I’m telling you to think before you speak.
To evaluate your triggers and dive into what they are really about.
I’m inviting you to play the long game and decide what’s really worth your battle!
When you do, your partner is more apt to go to battle with you.
The goal is for you to tackle stepfamily stress like a team.
This is supposed to bring you closer together not push you further apart.