I spend a lot of time talking about the unrealistic expectations that are placed on stepmoms.
Unrealistic, contradictory, hypocritical.
The list goes on.
Before I dive into this post I want to clarify something.
I love my stepkids very much. I wholeheartedly jumped into this role 11 years ago and am very proud of the family we’ve built.
Please don’t don’t mistake this as me saying we’ve had it easy.
I’ve had difficult seasons with one of my stepsons.
We’ve had consistent conflict with the ex.
We’ve had issues with extended family accepting my stepkids as family members.
Excessive lawyers bills.
Conflict over the division of responsibilities between two houses.
Issues with the co-parenting agreement being followed.
An unfair distribution of responsibilities.
Double standards when it comes to following the agreement.
Co-parenting and step-motherhood have been one of the most challenging roles I have ever had.
This role is no joke.
The way stepmoms are viewed in society makes a complicated situation even more challenging.
The double standard and unrealistic expectations lead to stepmoms feeling guilty for how they are feeling.
This needs to stop.
Stepmoms need to unsubscribe from society’s narrative and unrealistic expectations.
They also need to stop feeling guilty for how they feel.
SPECIFICALLY, STEPMOMS NEED TO STOP FEELING GUILTY FOR
Feeling a little resentful for the complications that their partner’s past has on their life.
Not loving their stepkids like their own.
Loving their stepkids like their own.
Feeling anxious before their stepkids arrive.
Wishing they had more alone time with their partner.
Wondering what life would be like if they weren’t a stepmom.
Resenting the busy extracurricular schedule.
Feeling triggered by the ex.
Craving more alone time.
STEPMOMS ALSO NEED TO STOP SACRIFICING THEIR OWN WANTS AND NEEDS IN LIFE.
Yes, when you join a “ready-made family, sacrifices need to be made, but your wants and needs can and should also be respected. There is power in compromise. You, your partner, your stepkids (and your kids, if applicable) should collaboratively find a way to start this new chapter.
To learn more about how to have an effective family meeting listen to THIS podcast episode with Alyson Schafer. It will change the way you look at family meetings.
Don’t lose who you were before you became a stepmom.
You can and should continue to do the things that brought you joy before you became a stepmom. This was the person that your partner fell in love with.
P.S If you want support in doing this, come join us in The KICK-ASS Stepmom Community. With stepmoms from over 30 countries worldwide, it’s the internet’s top online community for stepmoms. With access to individualized coaching and support, a library of exclusive interviews, workshops and courses to improve your stepfamily life – it’s the stepmom support I wish I had when I first became a stepmom.