I’ve been a stepmom for over 4 years now. And listen, stepmamas, I hear you. I hear you. You’re overwhelmed. You’re stressed. You feel as though you’ve lost part of who you once were (or maybe all of who you once were).
I get it. I feel those same things. While maybe we don’t feel these things all the time (meaning every second of every day), compared to women who are not stepmoms, we feel them way more often than the average woman.
But I want you to know some things:
- There is a way to not feel these things most of the time.
- There is a way to thrive rather than merely exist.
- There are products and tools out there just for you.
- You’re not alone.
- YOU ARE NOT ALONE (I have to say that twice so you understand that you actually are not alone.)
Here on The Stubborn Stepmom, I am all about teaching stepmoms to thrive, rather than merely exist (life is too short to merely exist). When you sign up to be part of our group (I’ll leave that below), I will send you a couple emails with a more-in depth version of my stepmom story – but let me say this: I am proof that you can go from existing to thriving. I promise you can.
I have several posts that will bring you some peace or they may just bring you vindication – either way, you’ll feel better after reading them. Here are a few of them you may want to bookmark (or read now):
- Welcome to The Stubborn Stepmom
- For the Stubborn Stepmom | Changes Comes from Within
- Stepmom Woes | Just Venting
- How to be a Stepmom | 8 Tips for New Stepmoms
I also have a list of over 18 Resources (both on- and offline) Just For Stepmoms. So go check that out now.
Also, before I forget, please head over to our Facebook Group and join today. We talk about a lot of things there (everything from venting about “the ex” to sharing positive encouragement about good things happening in our blended families). We’d love to have you.
But the whole purpose for today is to give you a list of products you need now. Products you shouldn’t be living without. Products that you are going to thank me for introducing to you. Products that are going to be showing up on your doorstep for the next couple weeks (sorry, spouses!). And that’s ok.
Sometimes, we need to indulge a little. Sometimes, we simply need to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, we need to escape. Sometimes, we need to shout to the top of our lungs and let it all out. These products will allow you to do all of this. So, here it goes.
This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
38 Products Every Stepmom NEEDS Right Now | Products for Women Under Stress
A good book is like a good friend…especially when you are a stepmom. Books are where my self-enlightening journey began as a stepmom over 4 years ago. I had no idea how to do this thing called “being a stepmom” nor did I know how to handle all the issues that were arising just because I was one.
I started with “The Happy Stepmother,” and I am so glad I did. It’s a good beginner’s book to being a stepmom & goes over the many different situations you will probably find yourself in – and also offers realistic solutions.
The next book I purchased and read was “The Smart Stepmom.” This book will answers questions that all stepmoms have and offers many solutions that can actually be implemented successfully.
Along the same lines as books, a good, high quality journal is something that you most certainly should own as a stepmom. A journal is a great place to keep all of your thoughts (no matter how crazy you think they are) and a great place to go to for reflection each day.
I love this journal because it is large enough to be able to spread out my thoughts (plus I love having a lot of space to work with, sometimes I like to write kind of large) and it also has a nice loop for my pen. Win-win.
If you’re looking for something a little smaller (and more feminine) this is a great journal. I’ve used this one in the past (I use them until they are filled up) and absolutely loved it.
The “Zen as F*ck” journal is one of my favorites (and the one I’m currently using) because it brings so much humor to the already-cathartic writing process! Seriously, if you want to laugh each time you sit down to write your thoughts, try this journal out! You will thank me later. Promise.
Lastly, I highly recommend you trying out a gratitude journal like this one at some point. Being aware of what you are grateful for (rather than focusing on the things you “can’t stand”) is such a positive, monumental shift in your thought pattern that you will be surprised how much it can actually change you.
3. Stress-Relief & Calming Necessities
Lord knows as a stepmom you are under stress. Whether your situation with your new family is ideal or not (for most I have spoken with, including myself, it is not) you are going to need some good go-to’s for when you are under immense stress and pressure. You just will. Plain and simple.
The following products are products I have personally tried, and to which their effectiveness I can actually attest to.
Calming Drink Mixes
This Natural Vitality Calm powder drink mix is a miracle worker. Seriously. I discovered this when a friend recommended it to me a couple years ago and I make sure I always have this on hand in our pantry. You can use it in ice-cold drinks or hot teas, your preference. You can mix it with things or have it by itself (it has a delicious raspberry-lemon flavor).
I have also tried and loved this Pure Magnesium Plus drink mix. It’s not much different than the one I just mentioned, but you can get different flavors in it, which I like. I love the orange vanilla.
My favorite way to use these calming drink mixes is to add to hot tea and drink thirty minutes before bed. Talk about amazingly good sleep!
I have been a user of, huge fan of, and believer in essential oils since I first tried them in 2016. I (well, also my husband and kids,) use them daily for a variety of reasons. My favorite brand, and the only brand I recommend if you want a quality essential oil (yes, there are low-quality essential oils out there!) is Young Living.
If you are new to the world of essential oils, you can sign up to be a member of Young Living by purchasing a Premium Starter Kit using this link. You can see in the graphic below what all is included when you become a member. I will benefit from your sign up, so thank you in advance if you do. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about essential oils!
Here are my favorite oils to use for stress-relief and calming purposes (when either diffused or applied topically), in order of my preference when it comes to actually reducing stress:
- Lavender Essential Oil (a must-have for all things stress-relief)
- Stress Away Essential Oil Blend (smells like heaven in a bottle & works like a charm)
- Peace & Calming Essential Oil Blend (second only to Stress Away in terms of scent, and works like a charm)
- Joy Essential Oil Blend (helps to give you feelings of positivity and joy)
I am a firm believer in the power of the healing nature of music…music of all kinds. But when I need to “get away” mentally, and just relax and unwind, these are my favorite things to listen to.
I’m still a little old-school and love having CDs for in my car!
This Calming Music for Anxiety has saved me in more ways than one could imagine (unless you’re a stepmom, then you know). I love it.
I also love this CD because it reminds me of being at the spa. Pure peace and calm.
4. Spa At Home Essentials
One of my favorite ways to relieve stress and anxiety and to bring my body and mind to a complete state of calm and relaxation is to recreate the spa at home.
The best way to do this, in my opinion, is to have a really nice bath. Now, I am not talking about that bath you try to squeeze in on a Thursday night while the kids are eating dinner…no. I’m talking about a bath that takes an entire 2 hours from start to finish. One that you schedule on the calendar. One that leaves you feeling relaxed from the inside out for days afterwards.
Here are the products you need to create that kind of bath. (And, you can even use the calming products I listed earlier to help you with this!)
A good bath pillow like this one is key for having a really nice bath. This one is my favorite (and the one I use) because it sticks to the tub so that it doesn’t slide out from underneath your head. Also, it has a large hook attached so you can hang it up to dry once you are done.
Next up on the essentials bath list is a nice high-quality robe. You want a nice robe that is comfortable yet cute for when you are walking to and from the bath, and one that absorbs the water when you are getting out of the bath. This robe is my favorite because of how comfy and cozy it is, how well it absorbs water, and how downright beautiful it is! I love wearing it. I have it in the “mint” color but there are a lot of colors to choose from.
Another essential item for a really nice bath is a really good bathtub tray. A bathtub tray is nice to have because it is where you can place your book, magazine, tablet, phone, wine, and so much more when you are soaking. I absolutely love this tray because, unlike a lot of others, it actually has a space for my wine glass, phone, and tablet! It’s the best.
Last up on the essentials list for baths is a good set of candles. Like I mentioned before, I love lavender essential oil, and I also love lavender scented candles. I just think they bring you the purest form of relaxation. My favorite lavender candle is this one. I love that it is handmade in the U.S. and is soy. You will love it. Grab three or four to have on hand for many baths to come!
In the Bath
The first thing I make sure I have on hand for bath time is a good set of bath bombs. My favorite bath bombs are the ones from Young Living. I love the Stress Away Bath Bombs the most (just because it is my favorite essential oil blend scent) followed by the Lavender Bath Bombs. You can’t go wrong with either one of these. They are great for moisturizing your skin, too, so it’s a win-win.
For a relaxing body wash, I really like the Alba Botanica French Lavender bath & shower gel. It smells absolutely amazing, for one, and is super relaxing. I love how “foamy” it gets on a loofah or sponge and also love that it doesn’t dry out my skin.
If you are taking a really nice bath, like a really nice, long bath, you probably want to have a super-rich-moisturizer on hand. In fact, I recommend a massage oil because of how dry your skin can get from sitting in the bath for so long! My favorite is this organic relaxing massage oil. It smells absolutely divine and will just add to all the other relaxing scents you have going on!
5. Sleep Necessities
For most women, when under a great deal of stress (like the stress stepmoms are often under), sleep is one of the first things we lose. It’s hard to fall asleep. It’s hard to stay asleep. It’s hard to wake up. Regardless of your exact sleep issue, if you are under stress, you probably have at least one, unfortunately.
I have struggled with sleep on and off for several years now. But, thankfully, after trying so many different products and methods and practices, I have found what works best for me to guarantee a good night of sleep, so I want to share with you.
First of all, like I mentioned earlier, making a “sleep tea” from the calming powder and tea mixture is ideal. I would recommend doing this thirty minutes before you are going to try to go to sleep (so maybe right after bath). Honestly, this sleep tea is often all I need to get a good night of sleep. So try it first.
Second, I recommend a weighted sleep eye mask. I recently received one of these in my FabFitFun Spring Box, and man, let me tell you, it has been a game-changer when it comes to sleep. I’m not sure how it works, but it is basically like magic. I put the mask on and immediately feel calm and relaxed, and I stay asleep all night. It is wonderful.
My favorite sleeping pillow is this sleeping pillow. I have been using it for over 2 years now and love it.
I am a firm believer in the power of a cute set of pajamas in making you feel like you are ready for bed! I always feel better with a cute set on. These pajamas are my absolutely favorite because of how cute and comfortable they are!
6. Exercise Essentials
Remember earlier in the post when I said that sometimes you just have to “let it all out?” Well, the way I do this is by exercising. Exercising is so vital to good mental and physical health, and it is also a wonderful way to relieve stress.
I love to run. I haven’t been doing it nearly enough lately, but I do love it. I also love doing home workouts in my living room (especially lately with social distancing).
I can’t run without a good pair of running shoes. Last year, I discovered the brand “Brooks” and have been hooked ever since. When I say these are comfortable, high quality running shoes, it is probably the biggest understatement of the year!
This is a pair of Brooks running shoes that are very similar in color to mine. I like a neutral colored shoe because I like to be able to wear it when I’m not running, too.
Another essential part of my workout is yoga. I feel like I have to balance my “crazy workouts” (the one where I am letting it all out) with something that brings me inner peace and tranquility (and also helps with strength and flexibility).
So, I like to have a good yoga mat set like this one to do my yoga workouts on. I like this set because it includes everything that you need for any kind of yoga, and it is made to be very durable and long-lasting. My favorite is the purple set.
I like to keep exercising simple (or I won’t do it). That is why I really only have a couple exercise “essentials” to recommend. The key to exercise, to me, is to just do it. And your sleep and mental state will calm in the process.
7. Spoil Yourself Must-Haves
Ok, I’d be lying if I said retail therapy isn’t a form of therapy I use. It most certainly is! While I do think that we all have to be careful within what we indulge, I do think that spoiling yourself from time to time is ok. Especially if you are a stepmom under a lot of stress. I’ve been there.
Sometimes spoiling myself was the only way I knew how to deal with the situation I was going through.
So, let me show you a few of my favorite “spoil myself” things. And rather than explain every single thing, I’m just going to leave them for you to see.
Keep in mind, these are not things I buy regularly. They are usually once-a-year type purchases, or something I ask for as a gift. Or something I spoil myself with when I really need it…
Ok…I think that’s enough spoiling for one post. If you want to see more of my favorite things, check out My Favorite Things post.
So, you’ve reached the end – almost – and you have now learned how to be calmer and more stress-free through books and essential oils, how to sleep better, and a few things you need to make the most your workout routine. Now what?
Well, stepmama, let me tell you. Now that you are stress-free, sit down and be thankful for the life you have been given. There is a reason you were placed in this, what you often refer to as, “mess.” There is a reason you were the one chosen to be your stepkids’ third parent. There is a reason for it all.
It may be a long time before you (or I) find those reasons, but in the meantime, why don’t you be grateful for what you do have?
One thing I love to do to remind me of the good times is to find keepsakes that I can either keep for myself or give to my stepchildren’s family (grandparents, etc.). They make me remember that, behind all the stress and “craziness,” there are pieces of this life that I am deeply grateful for. Here are a few of my favorites.
This frame is perfect to keep on your desk or vanity. I like that it has a “Mother’s Day” feel to it without saying “Mom.”
So whether your stepchildren need a hint at a gift or you simply want to get this for yourself, this necklace is one of my favorites. I love the meaning behind it and the simple nature of it. It is so beautiful. It comes in gold and rose gold, as well.
For all of the sweet cards you get on your birthday, or the simple “thank you” post it note your teenage stepson leaves you, you need a good sturdy keepsakes box. I really like this one because of how much it fits inside, but also because of how pretty the color is!
While I don’t know what state you were in when you stumbled across this post, I surely hope you are leaving it in a much better place.
Step-momming can be hard, friends. Really hard. But it can also be very rewarding. Sometimes, it’s as simple as the state of mind we choose to have.
That’s all for today, friends. Check back again soon to see what’s next at Leslie W. for content on family, organization, and lifestyle for women and mothers. Thanks for reading. Take care.