Updated: Nov 5
Being a Mom is hard. I know because I am one. Being a StepMom is hard. I know because I am one of those, too. Sharing a child with his StepMom is also hard. Wanna guess how I know that?
Since I am on both/all sides of this issue, I can say that StepMoms may face more challenges because of culturally ingrained stories like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel showing us that StepMoms are inherently "evil" or "wicked." At times, I feel this so deeply it takes a conscious effort to give that hurt to God, to forgive, let go, move on....Breathe...
I know God allows these life experiences not only so we lean on Him to sustain us, but so that we can walk others through similar circumstances.
For example, being a StepMom who has gotten the shaft when it comes to my husband's daughter, helps me be more cognizant of my own son's StepMom, so I can do it differently for her! A friend recently asked me if it bothered me that my son calls his dad‘s wife "Mom." I explained that it doesn't because of God‘s grace in how He allowed my son to have not one family, but TWO! Why would I NOT nurture the relationship between them or between him and her children (his siblings)? She cares for him and she is married to his father!
How does this work out practically? Well, it means that on days that "Moms" are to be recognized (Mothers's Day, her Birthday, etc.), I make sure my son does that for Michelle. It means that when there are important events in his life in which parents are involved (dances, plays, games, events, etc.), I make sure to include her as well as his father. Michelle uses Facebook, so we tag each other when there are pictures we know the other would enjoy seeing. You see, it is OUR JOB as parents to instruct our children in the way they are to go.
That means, among other things, teaching them to write and send thank you cards to grandparents and relatives when they send gifts. And teaching them to think of others' feelings when important events come around: "Do you think your Dad and Michelle would be interested in knowing about your event or game or award night?" Our children can't possibly learn this without US teaching them! They need us to rise above our hurt feelings and show love, acceptance, and inclusion of their family members.
Can you imagine how different things could be in your family - and the world - if we taught our kids to love, respect, and honor their StepMoms, too?
If YOU are a Mom or StepMom (or both!) who shares children with another woman or family then you can understand how difficult these family dynamics can be. Even when you get along "well," there is an inevitable undercurrent of discomfort at times. That's because THIS is not how God designed marriage! God designed marriage between one man and one woman for life. He still gives great blessings to us - even though we have strayed from His perfect plan - and that is clear in the "bonus" children we get and the stronger, wiser, more mature and faithful relationships with our current spouse!
Divorce is not our children’s fault and yet they bear the brunt of so many of our poor decisions; including lack of self-control, faithfulness, forgiveness, and maturity. Therefore, we now need to do all we can to help them have some semblance of a UNITED family system to stop perpetrating family dysfunction! Children don't learn in a vacuum. If you exclude their StepMom, it's that much easier to start cutting out other people in their life and make them SELF-focused. Is that really what we want for our children?
Being a Mom is hard. Being a StepMom is hard. Sharing a child with his StepMom is also hard. But we can #learntodoitdifferently and choose to be kind, helpful, forgiving, and accepting. Not ONLY to heal your own pain, but to give our children a better way forward.
If you are part of a blended family, I'd love to hear your story in the comments BELOW or in a private message to ConnectPointMoms@gmail.com
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them!