There have been days, where as a stepmom, all I wanted to do was to give up and walk away. I was tired of having to fight for a place in our home, to be seen and acknowledged, to be appreciated for what I brought to the family.
Leaving could have been so simple and easy.
Start over with a clean slate.
Starting over is never simple or easy. It’s very hard to walk away from someone you truly love, knowing there is so much potential and possibilities in creating the kind of family and relationship you’ve always dreamed of.
If you know that this relationship is worth fighting for, then persevering will get you there, by taking purposeful actions, one STEP at a time.
Expect obstacles and challenges along the way. It’s part of the process. Here’s how you can overcome them and keep moving on by following these three tips.
- Solidify Your Commitment to Your Role as a Stepmom
Do you have a vision and a goal for your stepfamily? Without one, it’s hard to know where you’re going, whether you’re on the right track with the way you’re interacting with your stepkids or in the way you and your partner work together as a team.
Once you have your vision of what your stepfamily looks like, it’s time to create a plan with small, manageable steps. Share this with your partner so that together, you can create the family you both envisioned for yourselves. When you work as a team and understand what each of your roles are in the family, it helps to face those challenges most stepfamilies must deal with at one time or another.
And be sure to revisit and revise your plan and vision as needed. Just as we grow as individuals, our goals and visions grow and change as well.
Not sure you can do this? Self-doubt and lack of confidence can sabotage your success. It’s important that your goal and vision become so compelling that your need to persevere is greater than giving up. Believe that you can overcome your stepfamily hurdles.
Remember that the smallest changes you do are the ones that tend to last and make the most impact in the long run.
- Learn How To Deal With Stepfamily Challenges
Life as a stepfamily is full of challenges and obstacles as I’m sure you are aware of. Avoiding these is not the solution to creating more harmony in your home. The best strategy to dealing with stepfamily challenges is to stare them in the face and figure out a way to get through them or overcome them.
Here’s where having a strong and compelling goal and vision helps you to stay on track and to avoid making excuses or blaming others, such as an ex or terrible stepkids. Blame and excuses are only temporary solution and won’t bring you long term happiness.
Follow your intuition or better yet, ask for help from experts or peers when making decisions about ways to handle difficult situations, especially regarding an ex or a stepchild. Weigh in the options. What’s the price for either avoiding the problem or confronting it? Is it worth it? Have you dealt with something similar in the past that you successfully solved? What were the steps you took? You are the only person that can honestly answer that question.
Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We all make them – I know I have. Rather than trying to avoid making mistakes, learn from them. You might feel discouraged, wanting to give up. Don’t. Persevere. Gain wisdom from your mistakes. What’s the one thing you can take away from this experience? How can you apply it to future challenges? If you feel like you’re failing at being a stepmom, maybe it’s time to revisit and reevaluate your vision and goals to see if they are realistic or not. Aim for success, not perfection.
- Stay Strong Through Self-Care
Neglecting yourself in order to take care of others will only create more issues and problems for you along the way. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Oxygen Mask” analogy where you need to put on your mask on first and then help others. It’s nothing new, and yet, so many stepmoms (and women in general) tend to forget this most important piece of advice.
Stop trying to do everything on your own. Ask for help. It’s actually a sign of strength when you reach out to others for help and support.
Do some kind of physical activity like walking or jogging. It’s even better when you do this with friends. Connecting with people while doing some form of activity that nourishes your body and soul provides you with the support you need to persevere in dealing with stepfamily challenges.
Another way to help you stay strong is through journaling. I’ve found great relief in pouring my thoughts and emotions in my journals. These journals contain some of my deepest and most profound struggles as well as some creative ways in dealing with difficult situations that I faced as a stepmom and as a wife.
Most important, persevering depends on staying true to yourself, to your values and beliefs, and to your dreams. This means that you need to do what it takes to get what you want. Change only what’s not working in your life and continue to do what does until you’re at the place you want to be.
Persevering means to need to keep moving forward, to change what needs to change, to stay strong when faced with adversity.