Sometimes the biggest mistake that stepmoms can make, is reading resources for stepmoms.
I know… I know.
Stay with me though.
Stepmom resources often have a lot of “rules”
Stepmoms should do this, stepmoms shouldn’t do that.
Most of the advice is conflicting.
You need to disengage and let your partner take the lead.
You need to love the kids like they’re your own.
But don’t overstep. Make sure you don’t act like they’re yours because you’re not their mom.
But you’re a real parent so make sure you assert yourself as one.
You should have a great relationships with the ex. Have wine. Be best friends.
You don’t need to have anything to do with the ex. Let your partner take care of that.
Don’t discipline your stepkids.
Assert yourself as a parent – you are an adult in the house and they need to respect that.
A stepmom is a real mom.
A stepmom is not a real mom.
Go all in.
You are the mom in the house.
Don’t try to be the mom, they have a mom.
All of this conflicting information causes a lot of guilt and anxiety for stepmoms.
If you’re confused, hear me when I say this…
All the advice is great, until it’s not.
Every stepfamily dynamic is different.
Take advice with a grain of salt…
What works for one stepmom may not work for another.
There are so many different dynamics in a stepfamily to consider.
Different personalities, stages of growth, wounds, communication styles, and perspectives all play a role is what’s best for YOUR family.
My advice? Take back control and be the expert on your own family.
Follow your gut.
Do your own personal growth.
Focus on building relationships and having a happy healthy family life.
Read the room.
Do what works for you and your family.
When something isn’t working, change your approach.
Understand your role may ebb and flow.
Get clear on your boundaries.
Focus on the vibe of your home.
Be empathetic. Put yourself in other peoples shoes.
Don’t self sacrifice. Don’t lose yourself.
Focus on your marriage. Your partner is the reason you’re a stepmom in the first place.
There is no one size fits all approach to a happy healthy stepfamily life.
You get to decide what works for your family.
The key is to get really honest about whether what you’re doing IS working.