What I'm Thankful For As A Step-Mom
In stepmother blogs from all over the world you can read about the downfalls and negatives of being a stepmom, but I'd like to share with you the wonderful things that I'm thankful for each day...each of them because of my beautiful step-kids and my husband.
My Love For Them
I cannot tell you that I love my step-kids like their natural mother. I don't know that kind of love as I've never given birth. I can tell you that I cannot think of one thing I wouldn't do for them, and as far as love goes, I love them more than anyone else I've ever known. I have a fierce love for them. A feeling to raise them right, teach them to love, and protect them with my life. I'm thankful for this love as I've never had the privilege of loving like this before.
The Best Stepmom Book I've Ever Read!
The Love They Share
I'm thankful for their hugs and kisses, before bed, when they're waking up, when they leave for school. I'm a big time hugger and my kids weren't when I first met them. Now they hug freely and frequently. I did that. I'm proud that I could teach them to show love openly.
I am also proud of the way they have come to trust me. I've taken the time to invest in them my love and in return I've earned their trust. If there is something wrong at school, whether they are struggling or if there is a bully, my kids trust me and know I'll do what I can to help them. If they fall and skin their knee, they know that step mama will take care of it.
Many natural mothers take these kinds of things for granted, no intentionally, but it's natural for your naturally birthed child to come to you. For me, and other step-moms out there, this is something that must be earned!
His Trust In Me
I'm thankful that my husband saw something in me that allowed him to trust me with his most precious gifts. That cannot be an easy things to do. I cannot image the internal conversations he had with himself. I'm thankful that he believed in me enough to let me be apart of raising them each day.
Not only did he choose me to share his life with, he has allowed me to truly be a mom. I recognize my step-kids have a biological mom, but I am able to be here everyday, caring for them. That privilege isn't something I will ever take for granted or forget.
The Family We're Building
I'm thankful for the family that we are making together.
"We may not have it all together, but together we have it all."
I think that quote says it all. Everyday we learn more and more about one another. Everyday is a new chance for us to come closer as a family, evolve. Bringing a family together is not an overnight task. It takes time, patience, tears, and laughter. We don't have it all together, but we are working on it.
How I've Changed
Before my husband and my step-kids I was kind of just wandering around. No real goals, no real purpose. I was recently divorced and not looking for a relationship of any kind, much less raising someone else's children. It's funny how life happens!
Now I'm a full time mom, queen of the laundry, kisser of "ouchies," Chef "mama what's for dinner," mender of broken hearts and hurt feelings. It's amazing how 3 little kids have changed my complete existence, but they have. They're the reason I get up in the morning. They're my reason for reason.
Patience, Patience, And More Patience
Loving 3 children of divorce can be a heartbreak waiting to happen. Step-moms aren't usually wanted or accepted by the children they are learning to love. It doesn't happen overnight. Above all else, my (step) children have taught me patience.
I said from the beginning that I would not force these children to love me. I would not force them to see me as anything other than their dads wife and their friend, but something happened that I could never have expected. In the middle of me being patient, they did begin to love me and accept me. Granted it was a long while to wait, but it's been completely worth it.
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Step-mothering can be crazy, hurtful, disappointing at times, but if you never give up on becoming a family, you will reap the rewards of a happy family life. I cannot tell you it won't be hard, but for me, there's nothing that I wouldn't endure to be where I am today.
Another year is gone. I know that for some of you this last year has been a hard year. I remember times like that and all I can say, with my whole heart, count your blessings and think about the things that you are thankful for. Hold on to these things and keep trying.
From Me To You: Helpful Step-Mom Advice
1. Don't let anyone tell you what you should be doing as a stepmom.
A lot of times friends and family will offer their advice on stepparenting. While their intentions are probably good and their hearts are in the right place, it is important for you to do what you are comfortable in doing. If you aren't comfortable sitting through the Christmas program with your step-kids bio mom, it's ok. Slow and steady wins the race.
2. Don't be intimidated by the bio mom.
There are a lot of reasons why stepmoms sometimes feel inferior to their step-kids mom, but we shouldn't allow ourselves to fall into that way of thinking. What happened in the past should stay there. You are building a new life with your little family and building new memories everyday you are all together. No matter how the bio mom may make you feel, never be intimidated, because in all reality, what she thinks doesn't really matter in your everyday life.
3. Be who YOU are.
Although being a stepmom can be overwhelming it can be infinitely more rewarding than any other job you've ever had. New step-moms have a bad habit of trying to do everything! We literally try to say and do everything perfectly, all the time. We are so caught up in earning everyone's approval (kids, ex wife, husband, in-laws) that we tend to lose ourselves in the process. My biggest piece of advice I could ever give you would to just be yourself. You don't have to prove anything to anyone. Your husband, the father of your step-children, loves you and that's all the proof you need. Given enough time and patience, his children and family will love you too.
Great Video About Becoming A Step-Mom
Important Resources For Step Families
- The Stepfamily Foundation
The Stepfamily Foundation, Inc., headquartered in New York City is a not for profit founded in 1975. We provide stepfamily counseling and certification seminars.
- National Stepfamily Resource Center
The National Stepfamily Resource Center serves as a clearinghouse of information, linking family science research on stepfamilies and best practices in work with couples and children in stepfamilies.
- AAMFT Therapy - Stepfamilies
A stepfamily forms when one or both adults in a new couple bring children from a previous relationship. Although stepfamilies look like first-time families on the outside, they are very different on the inside.
- Smart Stepfamilies
Offers FREE articles and online support for stepparents and the blended family marriage, guidance for blended family problems or planning a blended family wedding. Become a smart stepfamily with practical book and video resources.
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