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Did you know that I am a stepmom? Yup! I am! I have two stepchildren, both boys, ages 19 and 13. They are wonderful. They are sweet, kind, forgiving, fun, and funny. But does this mean that being a stepmom is easy? No. Absolutely not.
Just because you have wonderful stepchildren does not mean you automatically will have an easy journey as a stepmother. I wish I could tell you differently…
However, there are some things I can tell you that will help you in your journey as a stepmother. I came up with 8 tips that I wish someone would have shared with me before I said “I do” to their awesome dad, my wonderful husband. These are tips that can be used by any stepmom out there, regardless of their situation.
I filmed a video on my YouTube channel recently covering these 8 tips for new stepmoms. I really go into them a lot more in the video, so head over there now to watch or listen! You can see the video here or below, or you can read them by scrolling below.
8 Tips for New Stepmoms
1. Take It Slowly.
Great things do not typically happen overnight. You have to have patience (as hard as that sounds). It can happen, but remember that you don’t have to get to the end goal within one day or one week. (It took me 5 years).
2. Ensure You Have Support.
This means support from your partner and/or outside support. My support person? My mom. Always has been, always will be. I tell her everything. She’s heard it all during my journey as a stepmother. Having her shoulder to cry on and ears to listen have done more for me than I could ever put into words. Find your person – now. You will need them.
3. Take A Break/Allow Time For Yourself/Self-Care
This is probably self-explanatory, but just in case…make sure you are taking time for yourself. It’s ok to step away. It’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to retreat to your room for some much-needed quiet time or catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. Whatever it is you do to retreat (temporarily), do it. And don’t feel bad about it. You will come back much more level-headed and patient and understanding. Trust me.
I recently wrote a post listing my favorite 38 products as a stepmom, and many of these products (ok, most of these products) are centered around relaxation and are tools and methods you can use to relax. These are perfect for us as stepmoms because, lord knows, we need to have multiple ways to relax and unwind at any given moment!
4. Love Is An Action.
This is my favorite one. This is something my mom’s best friend once told her. Love is something you may not always feel, but you can always show. I found this to be true with one of my stepsons a while ago – I wasn’t feeling the “love”, but knew I had to act it. I took him out for some fun time at an amusement park, and low and behold, on the way home, I teared up from the amount of love I felt. It was in that moment I knew what “love is an action” truly means – and realized it works.
5. Don’t Give Up.
This goes for anything challenging in your life – then, now, or in the future. Don’t give up. The hardest things in life are often things that are most worth it. I found this to be true in regard to being a stepmom. It is the single most hardest thing I’ve ever done, but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Loving someone who isn’t biologically yours is not something that comes to you overnight, you have to choose to love them. Choosing this, day after day, amongst other things (choosing to care for them, provide for them, parent them, etc.) is one of the most unselfish things a human being can do (in my opinion). You’re special simply because you are in this position and because you chose this on your own. So, with that said, don’t give up, sister. It will come with time.
6. The Golden Rule
Treat others how you wish to be treated. Plain and simple. Practice this with both your stepchildren and your partner’s ex…and you won’t be sorry. Again, this is one of those things that is way easier said than done, but even if you only have a 65% success rate with it, it’s still better than the alternative. And it paves a very nice path for the future in terms of long-lasting relationships.
7. Imagine Your 25 Year Old Stepchildren.
This means, think of the big picture. This is what my husband always tells me. What matters is the people our kids will be one day when they’re 25 and not living at home. That is who we are trying to raise right now. That’s who we need to love and cater to – the 25 year old versions of our stepchildren. The 13 year old versions and 17 year old versions can be very challenging, but if we keep our eye on the prize, it makes more sense and makes everything else worth it.
8. Seek Help.
You will need help…at some point…no matter if you think you will or not. So remember this when the time comes, and do what you have to do. That may mean therapy, it may mean a good book (my favorite is “The Happy Stepmother“), it may mean a good Facebook group to go and vent to…whatever it is, know that it’s ok, and you deserve to get help for what you’re going through. I have, and am glad I did.
This is a lot to take in, but it’s worth it, I promise. This could be one of the most important things you ever do…so it should not be taken lightly. Please let me know if you have any questions in regard to being a stepmom, I’d love to answer them or find someone who could answer them for you!
If you enjoy reading about stepmom topics, you should check out The Stubborn Stepmom. You will also love my posts about my list of the top 38 products for stepmoms, stepmom woes and being a stubborn stepmom. If you’re just wanted to read about mom topics, check out my posts on mom hacks, my favorite things, and screentime detox for toddlers!
As always, take care, my friends. Thanks for reading. 🙂