If you’re a stepmum, new or seasoned, you would know that once you stepped into this role your life changed. Am I right? I know mine did. Some of these changes have no doubt enriched your life in really positive and fulfilling ways. For example, learning to bake when you had never baked before; discovering qualities about yourself like patience, confidence and courage; and solidifying the relationship between you and your partner. On the other hand some of the changes may have been and continue to be immensely painful and overwhelming. Here are 3 truths you might wish you didn’t know about being a stepmum. I have included some helpful tips too.
1. TRUTH: There are many parts of your new life which are out of your control. For example, planning for time alone with you partner could become a struggle when it is no longer just the two of you. You may feel a deep longing to simply have one on one time with your beloved, to check-in and have some fun together. However, the business along with any tensions from stepfamily life can intrude upon this much needed time. You may even feel guilty for wanting it.
TIP: It is important to be creative and to do what you can to have special moments of intimacy together. By intimacy I am not just referring to the physical kind. I am also referring to those moments where you can express , with words, kindness to eachother. You might like to remind your partner how much you love and care for them. You might like to have a regular date night, watch a DVD together when the kids are asleep, have wine and cheese Friday’s. Create some ‘time together’ rituals which are unique and special to just the two of you.
2. TRUTH: There is another woman on the scene. The ex-partner! Depending on the involvement levels, the ex’s personality and quality of the co-parenting partnership, having this woman on the scene could make your stepparenting experience very difficult. You may lay awake at night agonizing over something she said or did. You might be on tender hooks not knowing how to handle having your partner’s ex in your life.
TIP: Surround yourself with people who genuinely love, care and value you. Put boundaries in place which limit your dealings and contact with the ex. It is SO important to protect yourself from any unwanted and hurtful negativity. If your partner is being put through the ringer it would be great to suggest counselling to him/her so they can also regain their power and strength.
3. TRUTH: Building relationships with stepkids takes time. Your stepkids may not take to you instantly, as they may take years to come around to appreciating you. This can be very gut wrenching but true. Children can be grieving for the separation of their mum and dad. They may also be struggling to feel as though they can trust you, especially if they have been hurt in the past.
TIP: Children’s behavior no matter how disruptive or disturbing is the best way they can express their internal world. The best strategy is to be patient, work towards establishing a respectful rapport by role modeling kindness, healthy boundaries and care. Be consistent in your manner and get your partner on board to assist with facilitating a connection. Ask your partner to actively encourage conversations and their child’s participation in activities. Remember to hold in mind and heart what might be going on for the child.
So, stepmums these are 3 TRUTHS you might not have wanted to know about being a stepmum. I would love to hear which one stands out for you the most. If you like you can head on over the Amazing Stepmum group and let me know what’s the one truth you wish you didn’t know about being a stepmum.
Take good care of yourself and have a great day Amazing Stepmum.
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