If you have been faced with the difficulties of being a stepmother, you may feel baffled. You may not understand why there are difficulties in this position. Allow me to shed some light on this touchy subject. These are some of the most common difficulties of being a stepmother and why they occur.
1. You Feel Awkward
One of the most common difficulties of being a stepmother is that you feel awkward in your role. This often occurs because you haven’t had any experience with having a stepmother or even knowing one. Therefore, you really don’t know what your role is. This was the case when I became a stepmother. The truth is that it is a unique role unlike any other, and you just have to learn as you go along.
2. You Take Their Behavior Personally
Many times stepchildren act out. It can feel very hurtful to a stepmother. But the reality is that it really isn’t about you at all, even if it is directed toward you. It is really about how the child is dealing with the events that have happened in their life. While you can be sympathetic to the changes they have endured, you also don’t have to tolerate being mistreated.
3. You Feel Differently than with Your Own Children
You may have expected to love your stepchild just like you love your own children. You usually find out quickly that while you care for your stepchild, it is different. This is okay. While some stepmothers may come to love their stepchildren as their own, not reaching this point does not mean you are a failure. You can have a unique love for your stepchild. It is unfair to expect yourself to feel a motherly love toward them when you truly aren’t their mother.
4. You Don’t Share a History
It is hard becoming a stepmother. You jump into the child’s life in the middle of it. You don’t have a shared history with them. Don’t let this bring you down. Choose to start building a history with them by spending time together and making new memories.
5. You Don’t Know Anything about Kids
Many stepmothers come into the position of being a stepmother without having any experience around children at all. If this happens to you, give yourself some grace. Realize it is okay that you don’t know it all and nobody expects you to. Then begin learning. Subscribe to some parenting magazines and get some mom friends.
6. You Feel They Don’t Want You around
You may get the vibe from your stepchild that they don’t want you around. Again, realize this isn’t about you; it is about them and their feelings and emotions. Don’t take it personally. While you certainly don’t have to disappear, you may want to give them some space. Take up a hobby that gets you out of the house a little while when they are there.
7. They Don’t Follow the Rules
Sometimes stepchildren try to see who is really in charge. This can be difficult for a stepmother to deal with. One good idea is to have a set of rules posted in a common area, like the refrigerator. This way the rules are laid out plainly for everyone. You may even want to list the consequence for breaking the rules.
Becoming a stepmother is not without difficulty for most. But realizing that a lot of the things you face are common can help. What advice do you have from your journey as a stepmother to others in this role?