When I became a mom I was privileged to know exactly what I was getting into. Well, I thought I knew exactly what I was getting into. Our kids were 6, 8 and 10 when we got married. I loved becoming a mom but there were things no one told me about being a step mom.
You Will Love the Kids
Yes it’s true, you will love the kids just like they were your own. You might want to have more kids but it isn’t because there was a lack of love. For me, I really wanted to experience being pregnant, giving birth and all of those baby years.
Some People Won’t Accept You
There were a lot of people who didn’t think I was a “real” mom. Let me tell you, there is no such thing as a fake mom. Some people won’t accept that you are now a mom because you didn’t give birth. Step mom’s aren’t alone in this, foster and adoptive parents face this too. A lack of either internal or external acceptance may make it harder but it doesn’t change the circumstances. You are a “real” mom.
Your Relationship with their Mom is Very Important
I assumed that my husband would be dealing with the kids mom. I didn’t think it would be my job but I learned that having a good relationship is very important. You owe it to the kids to make an effort to have a good relationship. Besides, you’ll have a life time of holidays, ball games and birthdays to share. And if there is ever an emergency, it’s easier to navigate when you have a good relationship.
It’s More Emotional Than You Think
Our kids never did the, “you’re not my mom” thing but there were difficult moments. If you’ve raised “your own” children you know there are difficult moments, throwing in divorce and remarriage only magnify them. Sharing the kids at Christmas or having them move to the other parents is really hard.
You Feel Left Out
If you’ve ever been the new friend in a group you know there are awkward moments when everyone is reliving a shared memory that you weren’t a part of. You’ll have a lot of these and they will sting. The good news is that soon you’ll have your own shared moments that you will cherish forever.
Shared Parenting Is Hard
Agreeing with your spouse about parenting decisions isn’t always easy, throw in one or two other opinions and it can be tough. Being respectful of the other parents is important. If one of the parent’s make a rule, everyone needs to know and understand it (and discuss it if needed).
3 Things New Step Moms Must Do
Pray for Them
Pray for the other parents. Pray for their faith walk, their marriage, their job, their home and anything else you can think of. The more you pray for them, the more you will love them. It’s a lot easier to see eye to eye with someone you love.
NEVER say negative things about the other parents! This may be the most important thing! NEVER, EVER, EVER. Got it! Not sure what to say, try:
- How is your mom?
- Do you have plans with your mom this weekend. That sounds fun
- I love that shirt, did your mom buy that? She has great taste.
When you talk about the other parents remember to smile.
Cultivate a Good Relationship with the Parents
Consider the kids parent and step parent on the other side to be extended family. Make small talk, text pictures, and if possible share a big family meal every once in a while. Showing your kids that you love and respect each other will make these step parent dynamics much easier for them to handle.
Being a step mom isn’t easy but it doesn’t have to be bad. The first few years may be strained but isn’t that case anytime families change.
Do you have advice to add to my list? Tell us what you think.
Holly loves spending time with her husband and kids who range in age from 5-22.