I had a girlfriend ask me the other night…… what would I say to a fairly new step mom who is trying to find her way in her new surroundings. I thought I would share it here in hopes that my experience might help easy someone else’s learning curve. I tend to not talk about the fact that I’m a step mom much just because I don’t “Feel” like a step mom. I just feel like a mom & this is my life & I have been given the gift of settling in to a sweet spot in my family. Sometime I tend to forget how different things where just a few short years ago. This question posed to me brought back all kinds of images & emotions. So here are the main things I learned early on & where my focus was as a new mom to children who I didn’t give birth to.
1. Rejection has nothing to do with you & everything to do with their hurting hearts. They are little people who don’t know how to, nor where they supposed to have to deal with this kind of situation. They are literally doing the best they know how with overwhelming circumstances they have zero control over.
2. You are there to love them. Not suck love from them! You have to find a way to be full on your own….. Don’t try to use them to fill your insecurity, pain or loneliness. Get filled up with prayer, meditation, personal development. But whatever you do don’t use them for your emotional gain. There will only be more pain at the end of that road.
3. Dad must lay down ground rules & teach them to respect you or you’re really in a no win situation. You both have to be on the same page about respect, discipline & how to handle it. You have to earn your own respect over time…. But first he has to show them!
4. Unconditional love is hard to give but even more so when you don’t have the bond between mother & child. I always focused on how much I adore my husband & I let that love flow over to them. Trust me there were moments I had no idea how I was going to love little people who were constantly rejecting the notion of me.
5. Learn to love their mom! Yep, I said it & whether you like it or not she is now one of the most important relationships you will ever have. If you guys are polar opposites look for what your kids love about their mom. See that instead of your differences. They love her & she’s not going anywhere. If you’re diligent you might just forge a friendship in spite of it all!
Let me just say this whole situation is one of the most complex that I have ever experienced & it’s also one of the most rewarding if you choose to let it shape you into a better person. Please don’t be fooled, I am no angle! The kids mom & I have had major fights, said spiteful things, disagreed & behaved like children ourselves. BUT we choose to say I’m sorry. We choose to grow up & put our pride aside. If you choose to be caddy & shallow, seeing who can one up the other, the kids are the only ones that get hurt by your foolish pride in the end.