One of my readers asked if i could talk about becoming a stepmother.
its a topic i myself have read blogs on because at first i didn't know what to expect or how to be a step mom.
I knew how to be a mom to my own children but i just wasn't sure how i could be a mom to my husbands children.
becoming a stepmother doesn't only consist of the children but it also consist of my stepchildren mother sharing them with me. Instead of just two parents sharing the responsibility of raising children it has become three parents.
Fast forward- my husband and I got married after 3 months of dating. It was a HARD pill to swallow for some people and despite any one's opinions We did it and we loved every minute of vowing to spend the rest of our lives with each other.
I vowed to protect, support, and guide our children through their lives.
When my husband and I first started dating i awkwardly could not get out of preschool teacher mode. I was so used to treating our son that way(because i was his teacher at one point) that i couldn't turn it off.
I realized that I cant go 30 years being their teacher because that's not who i am to them anymore.
I had the pleasure of knowing my stepdaughter since she was a teeny tiny baby, but again I was more than a teacher. I was her step mom.
It took the children a little bit to understand the concept of me becoming their stepmother. our son was not opposed to it at all. I felt like he was happy and handled it well. I gave him so many opportunities to open up to me and be himself. we have/and had countless Nerf gun fights and jam out sessions in the car. i knew he'd adjust beautifully. He already knew me. The transition of our son sharing his home with his new stepmother and stepsister made him excited and he was a gentlemen through it all.
Now, my stepdaughter understanding the concept was different. she was two and half, she didn't really know me or connect with me. at first we had an instant connection and she was excited to have someone new in her life but that's as far as it got for a little while. she became aware of the fact that another women was, dressing her, doing her hair, telling her what she should and should not do. Someone other than her mother. she started to say little things that hinted me and my husband that not everyone was on the same page and we NEEDED everyone on the same page in order for our children to be happy and feel loved by everyone. With daughters Ive come to realize you have to take it with a grain of salt. Will she wake up and love me today or will she wake up and see me as mommy dearest? I never pushed my stepdaughter to like me or spend time with me. I let her come to me. I let her feel it out first. I prepare myself every day for the (you're not my mom) comment. it'll probably still sting but i have to be prepared, because I'm not her mother nor will i ever be. but i am someone that will love her, guide her, protect her, and support her. I will share many wonderful moments with her as i will my stepson, but i will never be their mother and I'm OK with that. my ONE AND ONLY concern is that they are safe, happy and healthy.
My stepchildren's mother have to share her children. I have to share my child with her father's girlfriend. In a divorced/separated household those are possibilities that one parent does not have control of among other things. How others choose to deal with such realities is their choice. I however choose my children and their happiness. It's only about my children nothing more, nothing less. we aren't friends, but we share one connection and that is our children and for our children to know they are loved, and because of them they create joy. We do a good job at it and because of that our children feel good. We go to important events for them and we cheer them on. It isn't about us and how we feel. it isn't about whether we like one another. its about our kids.
So i take it with a grain a salt......
- Have patience, they are learning about you as much as you are learning about them
- don't be a doormat, show them who you are, what you like, what you don't like. they may not be your biological children but you plan to spend your life knowing and raising them .
- love them on their good days, and on their bad days. love them its what they need. nothing is more hurtful than feeling like your stepparent doesn't love you, like you, or want you.
- communicate! communicate with your children, their parents, and everyone else involved in raising them.
- do not smother. i repeat do not smother. -self explanatory.
- let them come to you, they will when the time is right, continue to be kind and loving during those tough moments when you don't feel a connection.
as for being the step-parent and dealing with the child's mother or father....
- stay kind no matter what
- communicate clearly
- demand respect and tolerate nothing less
- don't get involved in the debates/conflicts between your spouse and the other parent
- share in the responsibilities of making your children happy, keeping them safe and healthy
- show the other parent respect
- don't talk bad bout each other in front of your children. it is so BEYOND DAMAGING. this is someone they love and care for and to hear you talk bad about that person is damaging to their spirit and confidence in that person. they have to trust their father, mother, stepmother, stepfather with their lives and with you speaking negatively about them just puts a damper on them feeling secure with this person. along with sucking them into a negative lifestyle of worrying about others instead of focusing on themselves and creating their own happiness.
**here are some children's books that can be used as resources for when your children might have difficulty understanding !