10 years as a stepmom.
Looking back on things I wish I knew, there is part of me that has a whole list of things I wish I knew.
But here’s the thing, I don’t think I would have listened.
The best way to learn a lesson is through experience. As stepmoms, we often go in with rose coloured glasses, thinking that our situation is different. We can change things. Going all in is the best thing for our family.
The biggest mistakes I made as a stepmom are also my greatest lessons. They’ve brought me the greatest growth.
Sure, I wish I would have known not to sweat the small stuff, but back then I didn’t really think they were small. I thought that being the perfect parent meant having a strict bedtime, a perfectly cleaned house and strict routine.
I wish I would have known not to sweat the shoes by the door or the extra mess, but I hadn’t dealt with that in my life. I had no experience with kids so I didn’t know that every parent deals with this struggle.
I wish I could tell myself that it would take time and be patient to feel accepted and like I was a part of my husband’s’ family. But when I was in the moment, time felt like it was going very slow.
I wish I could have told myself the importance of self care in managing my triggers, but at the time I was trying so hard to show up for everyone and prove my worth to this new family that I don’t think I had the capacity to listen.
I had to wait until I was on the verge of burnout to really see what they were talking about.
I wish I could have told myself that the days of being in the trenches where it felt like everything was about the kids wouldn’t last forever. Soon, our weekends wouldn’t be full of hockey practices, games, birthday parties and all things kids. But you know what they say, the days are long and the years are short. Those days felt really really long.