Maybe I could more accurately call this blog topic: “how to successfully ROCK at being a STEPMOM without pulling your hair out”❗️❗️❗️
*While there may STILL be some of that, hopefully these tips will help you get off to the right start (or even if you’re a few years in, get you back on track), & bring some ease and much needed PEACE to your family.
While I’ve only been a step mama myself for almost 3.5 years, some of the extremes in which I’ve done so has fast tracked me some really important & useful experiential knowledge I’d love to share with you. First, let me paint the picture…
When I first became a step mama to my bonus daughter Billie in 2019, I…
–Had NEVER met her. Her dad & I dated long distance through FaceTime after meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding. He & I got married 3 months later in the States, and I only met her AFTER I had married her dad & immigrated to her country.
-Didn’t speak her language. I actually still struggle with her native language, Dutch, but I am MUCH better than where I as 2 years ago. She still doesn’t speak my language, English, but she understands about 80% of what I say.
And then in 2020, shortly after the CoVid pandemic shut most of our country down, and I gave birth to her little brother, she moved in with us full time.
All of a sudden I found myself, a new mom, in a foreign country, becoming a more present motherly-figure to my pre-teen step daughter, who’s language I didn’t speak – during a world-wide pandemic. WTF? Even I NEED to re-read that.
Talk about feeling UNPREPARED and just OVERWHELMED!
However, here we are, 3 years later, in our little family, we are THRIVING! In order for us to get here though, there were some principles & strategies I had to put in place & my TOP 3 are below…
1- Acknowledge & OWN it that you are a parent from DAY 1
*No, step parenting is not the same as being a biological parent. It’s different. I can say that now after having my own baby boy. However, that doesn’t mean you’re NOT a parent. In fact, step parenting is arguably MORE of a challenge because you don’t get to “grow” into it & the kids don’t AUTOMATICALLY love 💔 you. Regardless, own that you are now an important part of raising this child(ren), even if your partner’s ex disagrees. Don’t rely or wait on your partner’s ex for acceptance of your role in their child/ren’s life. All you can do is control how you act and treat those children when they are with you and in your home. It will, more than likely, be the biggest act of unconditional love you’ll ever give. Fully embrace that opportunity and you will set yourself up that much better for a healthier and happier relationship with your step children.
2- Discover your PARENTING STYLE & Come together with your spouse
*”Know thyself” is something we believe in & teach our clients here at The Cleymans –The better you know yourself, the better step parent & spouse you will be. Discover which parenting style naturally aligns with your values & beliefs & then communicate that to your spouse. Discover what his/hers is too & come up with a way moving forward as a team 👫 Be sure the goal for getting on the same page isn’t to “make the other spouse” always agree with your style. You don’t want to bully your spouse into another parenting style. Aim to find the commonalities within your styles – where your beliefs and values overlap- and focus on them.
(I know – this can be a very challenging step as parenting is very personal & everyone has their own beliefs on raising kids & discipling them. This is why it’s IMPERATIVE for you & your spouse to come together as a TEAM. If you struggle in this area, download our FREE GIFT, “How To Get The Ex Out Of Your Home & Take Back Control” Guide
3- Figure out your role with your spouse & communicate that to the kids together
*It can be hard when joining 2 families to know what role you, as the step mom, play as a parental figure. Every family is different & has different dynamics in play. Come together with your spouse & decide what you’re BOTH comfortable with & then communicate those expectations to the children together AS A TEAM👥 Be sure to speak your heart clearly to your husband. Let him know the situations you’re naturally finding yourself wanting to help out with more. (This is so imperative to share with your spouse, as unsaid words and unvalidated feelings can lead to resentment towards your stepchildren and even your husband. Ultimately, worst case scenario, this all can lead to the ultimate destruction of the family – which no one wants.)
(➡️We KNOW first hand, STEP PARENTING is HARD❗️)
⚠️That’s why I put together a guide, “My Top 5 Mindset Shifts To Be A Happier StepMom,” to help YOU, the woman in the trenches & on the sideline, have a healthier & happier mindset in the middle of any chaos.
Chey (and Kim)