After posting that anonymous story in The SMA Exchange yesterday, I decided to browse the internet and see if I could find anything that would be relevant and provide, at least, some answers for our subscriber. I did come across this article. It has a fresh perspective and an optimistic, but realistic, tone.
“There is nothing quite like falling in love. It’s a complete and total bonus when your relationship includes little ones you can fall in love with, too!
But being a stepmom is not for the faint-hearted. As a matter of fact, I would go so far as to say being a stepmom is one of the most under-appreciated and stressful situations a woman can find herself in.
Before I was a single mom, I was a stepmom. When I met my first husband, he was almost divorced with three children. After a short time, I met his three kids, who were eight, five, and two at the time. They were sweet, funny, and loving. But it wasn’t all sunshine and roses. Their parents were acrimonious in their dealings with one another, which was not lost on the kids. I could write chapter and verse about what I learned about co-parenting from watching them in action, but this blog is about what I learned about being the best stepmom ever.
Here are some gems for you:
“You are not the kid’s “new” mom, but you can be a part of the kid’s support system while you befriend their real mom. I made sure to reach out and let my husband’s ex know she could call me anytime. If you can’t become friends, at the very least become friendly.*
Say great things about their mom and mean them. Said another way, if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it. Said another way, don’t ever, no matter how evil, vile or vindictive your husband’s ex is, say anything bad about their mother. If you must say something to someone about her, say it to your best friend while the kids are at school, you’re at the grocery store alone (because you need a bottle of wine), or in your therapist’s office. I mean it.
Be available but not overbearing. Let the kids dictate how much they want to share and how close they want to get to you. They will most likely eventually warm up to you, especially if you give them enough time and you’re cool. My husband endured two years of torture as a stepdad before my daughter came around.
You will do many, many things for the kids and your man as a stepmom that will be overlooked and unappreciated. That’s the way the cookie crumbles. Karma is at work here, and someday you’ll reap the rewards of your awesome-sauce-ness, probably in the form of adult kids who love and respect you. I still occasionally talk to my stepkids, even though their dad and I have been divorced for a decade…”
read the whole article here…