6 Must Read Survival Tips For New Step-Moms
It seems that we can never gracefully slide into the role of step-mom. Oh no, we have to crash land onto a foreign realm called, "You're NOT My Mama!"
So with this anything but easy role you're about to "play" I give you these helpful survival tips for becoming a step-mother.
Step-Mom Survival Tip 1: Practice Makes Perfect And Patience Helps Too!
Whenever I used to hit a brick wall in my relationship with my step-kids I would always remember "The Little Engine That Could." You know the saying, "I think I can, I think I can." This would always help me to remember that this is not only new for me, but also for the children. It also helped me remember that their bad or not so pretty behavior had absolutely nothing to do with anything I'd every done to them. Keep practicing at it. Don't give up on them. Learn to be more concerned with loving them and earning their trust. This is a very hard time for everyone.
Sad Eyes. No Smiles.
Step-Mom Survival Tip 2: Put Yourself In Their Shoes
A lot of times it's easier to be upset by the ugly behavior that is coming from such an awesome kid. It's confusing to you why such a great kid can go off the deep end so quickly. In these times, try to consider the situation by imagining how you would feel in a similar situation. How would you feel if you were to put yourself in their shoes.
- Your parents are divorced.
- You only see one of your parents every other weekend
- You had to move out of the home you've lived in since birth.
- You live in a new neighborhood, town, or state.
- You're now attending a new school with no friends.
- You've had to leave your old school and good friends.
- There's now a new woman with dad "trying to take my mom's place."
These are just a few of the things that go through the mind children of divorce. These children are hurt, angry, scared, and confused. I'm guessing that you wouldn't be your normal cheery self if you had to face the reality of these things day after day an know that you had ABSOLUTELY no control over the direction your life has suddenly taken.
Step-Mom Survival Tip 3: Don't Talk About Their Mom...Ever!
Okay, it happens, emotions run high, negative comments get tossed around, and the next thing you know you are public enemy #1 in your step child's eyes.
This is a really easy rule to follow, just don't do it. If you feel the anger burning inside of you find something else to channel that aggression. Belittling your step-child's mother in front of him/her will only make it that much harder to build the much needed relationship. Always be careful with the words you say, you may end up breaking a tiny heart in the process.
Step-Mom Survival Tip 4: Don't Be Afraid To Let Them Know How You Feel
Some new step-mom don't feel that it's their place to talk about feelings with their stepchildren. That is bologna! Don't sit on the sidelines and wait for your step-child to develop warm and fuzzy feelings for you. YOU are the adult, make an effort to let them know how you feel. Nobody, including your step-child, can read your mind. Take the time to invest in this new relationship.
It's also important to eventually have a family talk in order for you to express your feelings. Let them know that you aren't there to take their dad from them. You're also not there to replace their mother. Let them know that you are their friend and you can be trusted. Earn that trust by investing time and effort to the relationship.
Be Silly! Be Fun!
Step-Mom Survival Tip 5: Let Them Know You're Human
New step-moms have a tendency to personify Superwoman! We think we have to live up to a certain level of excellence. We tend to want to do everything perfect, be perfect. We drive ourselves mad trying to please the natural mother, our spouses, the in-laws, and friends of the divorced couple. All in all we try to become super humans!
It's okay to make mistakes. It's okay to not be the best cook or PTA mom! You are only human. Allowing your step-kids to see that you are human allows them to also be okay with mistakes. It allows them to see that you are making an effort for your family.
If you make a mistake, apologize and move on. Don't beat yourself up about it. Trying to do everything for everyone will tire you out and before long you will resent the ones you are working so hard for.
Take Time. Invest In Them
Step-Mom Survival Tip 6: Let Them Have Daddy Time Alone
He maybe your husband, but he is their dad and you have to make sure to share him. Children that are not allowed to spend that alone time with their dad tend to become angry, jealous little people.
Don't worry, it's not permanent. Eventually, you will be invited into the inner circle. In the beginning though, more than likely your step-kids may not want to share their time with daddy. That's okay! Don't take it personally. Once again, it all boils down to time and patience! Take your time, don't force it and before you know it they will begin to let you in and "share" THEIR daddy time with you.
More Tips For New Step-Moms
- The Role of the Stepmother in Today's Blended Family
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- Step-Mom Advice: Why Won't She Call Me Mom?
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- What I'm Thankful For As A Step-Mom
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