Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Being a Stepmom

being a stepmom, stepmoms, step mothers, blended family, blended families
When we were a little girl, playing with our dolls or barbies, we didn’t think to ourselves “When I get older I want to become a Stepmom and take care of children who hate me for marrying their Dad”.  We often thought that we would marry a Prince and that we would have two children of our own.
Being a stepmom is much harder than just being a biological mother because you have all of the demands of a biological mother, but none of the power.  You do everything a biological mother does but get hated for it and no appreciation. When us stepmoms feel powerless and run down emotionally and physically remember this scripture in Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”  Write this scripture on an index card and put it some place where you can see it every day and be reminded of it.
The role of a stepmother demands strength, wisdom, endurance, patience, resilience, flexibility, sacrifice, a willingness to serve, an ability to love unconditionally and show love, requires to put others needs before our own, acceptance and a constant reliance to God.  Being a stepmom can be demanding and draining at times, even though it can sometimes be rewarding too.  When I start to feel this way and become discouraged I take out some scriptures that I wrote on index cards and read them out loud to myself.  If things get out of hand and it feels like your walking on eggshells in your own home, play some praise and worship music or Christian music softly and concentrate on it.  It will change the atmosphere. I have done this in the past and it’s made such a huge difference on things.  God doesn’t want us to live in depression, distress or discouragement. God has a plan for each of us stepmoms to live in fulfillment, joy, grace and contentment. God knows what we need and how to take care of us, turn to him and pray.  You need to be strong and go to God’s word and stay there until you feel like the heaviness has lifted off of you. His view of who you are is the only one that matters.  Don’t let others define your worth as a stepmom. Don’t let a person determine what you are worth by the kind of job you are doing as a stepmom. The only view that matters is God’s view.

Here are some other scriptures to help encourage and lift you up:
  • I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phil 4:13
  • In all things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37
  • We must constantly be renewed in our minds and attitudes.  Ephesians 4:23
  • Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. Mark 10:9
  • May the God of your hope, so fill you with all joy and peace in believing. Romans 15:13
  • But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:31
  • I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8
  • Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in everything. II Thessalonians 3:16

Write some of these on index cards and when things get rough and it feels like you have nowhere to turn, pull these index cards out and read them out loud and pray that God will meet you where you are at and he will help you in your time of need.  For he says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  God has never intended for us to be a stepmom alone, he is there for us. There are support groups that are willing to help and listen and most importantly stand with you.  When the demands and pressure get to hard and we feel like we can’t do this anymore. Be reminded that God said: “Is anything to hard for me” Jeremiah 32:27.  Keep God close and keep others who support you and are positive people in your life.  Because every one of us, stepmoms all need someone, sometimes.  
There have been many times in this past 17 years where I felt and thought to myself I can’t do this anymore, maybe my husband would be better off without me.  Don’t believe those negative words because if you weren’t married to him, it would be another woman who would go through the same struggles as you are going through. We need to accept the way things are and stop fighting for what we cannot become and become content with what is.  As the book author, Kathi Lipp & Carol Bowley said: Accepting our circumstances also empowers us and keeps us from viewing ourselves as victims of them. When we bring our challenges to God and invite His participation in them, an inner peace and confidence reminds us that those challenges and circumstances are in good hands.  “Every problem is a character-building opportunity, and the more difficult it is, the greater the potential for building spiritual muscle and more fiber,” writes Pastor Rick Warren in The Purpose-Driven Life.  “If you will give God all your distasteful, unpleasant experiences, he will blend them together for good”.

We need to accept our new role in life as a Stepmom and also accept these three things:
1. Accept our Situation – It is what it is now, only God can help make the best of it.
2. Accept our Husband – We can’t change who he is as a parent, only God can change who he is. So love him and accept him for who he is.
3. Accept our Stepchildren – Love on them, they are hurting inside. Accept them for who they are even though you didn’t have anything to do with who they are when you married their Dad. Ask God to help you to accept and love them for who they are.
We all do hope that our stepchildren will on day come to appreciate everything we have done for them, but that day may never happen and we need to learn to accept it and be okay with it.
Then we need to take care of ourselves because the demands of being a stepmom can often lead us to feel drained, exhausted and feeling all alone.

Try to do these things to help recharge our batteries:
1. Go out with a good friend. You need to laugh and have fun.
2. Do an activity you enjoy either by yourself or with a great friend.
3. Get some “Me” time.  Like a spa or get your hair done.
4. Spend time with just your kids. Go out and do something fun they will enjoy which also helps your husband get some 1:1 time with his own kids too.
5. Encourage another stepmom that may be discouraged.

Something that doesn’t help is being around people who are negative or toxic in your life. Being around people like that just makes things worse.  This brings me to another point, sometimes it’s not good to pour out all of your stepmom problems or issues to family members.  Because often at times, family members hold grudges and may treat your husband and stepchildren differently.  Find a friend, support group, or another stepmom or even a counselor to confide in. 
I made the mistake of sharing things with close family members which I really regret doing to this day because of how they treat my stepchildren now.  Remember God’s plan is for us to not be alone, find a support group of stepmoms who will have your back and where it will be a safe place to express your feelings and a place to be yourself, a place where you don’t feel like an outsider. I have started a wonderful small group of stepmoms on Facebook, you are more than welcome to join, it’s called: “Stepmoms Are Us”.  You don’t have to do this alone.

Here’s a prayer I put together to help you, the Stepmom:

Lord, help me with being a stepmom it is the hardest thing I have ever become and it’s a struggle for me. I often feel all alone an outsider in my own home and often times feel like running away. Being a stepmom is much more complicated than I thought it would be. Lord, I need your strength and a new attitude and peace. Please guide me to make the right decisions and to show love and compassion for my stepchildren. Please help me to keep my emotions and anxiety in check and to not respond in anger but respond with love and understanding. Help me to know when to talk and when to keep quiet. I desire to love my stepchildren like you do, Lord. Help me not to make too many mistakes, but when I do, help me to own up to them and apologize when I need to do so. Please help me to be the best stepmom I can be. I want to be a blessing to my husband, my children, my stepchildren and to those you bring in my path.  Thank you for all you do in my life, I love you, Lord.
Amen.

References:
Rick Warren, The Purpose-Driven Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002) pages 196-97.
Kathi Lipp and Carol Boley, But I’m not a wicked, Stepmother! Secrets of successful blended families. Focus on the Family, 2015) pages 25-26

24 comments:

  1. I am a step mom and it;s not easy, but if you both put in the work, it is so rewarding.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Those are very nice passages, I like quotes that help motivate people. This is a very good advice for step moms and moms out there too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am sure it's an adjustment with time and work being a step-mom ...These are great quotes.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Those are some really great tips. I agree that all moms should have some me time to destress themselves.

    Michelle F.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I've been on both sides: I had a stepdaughter and my own daughter had a stepdad.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not a stepmom, but I think all moms could benefit from the advice you have here. I imagine it's even harder when you add the dynamics of multiple houses and sets of parents.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Its not easy to become a step mom. you have to accept all the trials.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I definitely understand this! It's really hard - a lot harder than people think! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I imagine it would be a most difficult situation. I can see how a lot of prayer would be needed.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good post. Also, I loved that movie, Stepmom, that you have the pic from at the top!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love this article. Being a stepmom is a challenge. Great that you are doing well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great article and advice for those stepmums out there who may be struggling some times.

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is a great advice for all the stepmoms out there. I imagine it is really hard, especially when the kids are older.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so too. I admire step moms who make an effort to build relationships with their step children.

      Delete
    2. Yes, especially that the first move should come from the stepmom.

      Delete
  14. So many of these tips are true of ALL moms. :) I admire step moms that make an effort to actively love on their kids.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Step moms/stepparents take on such a difficult/special roles in kids lives and are often underappreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  16. sometimes the only way that stepparents (and everybody for that matter) can get through anything is with help from God...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Motivating post.. Even as not a step-mom I still do everything you have mentioned to recharge my batteries..

    ReplyDelete
  18. Those are some really great tips and a very good advice for step moms!!

    ReplyDelete
  19. We are a blended family, but I am not a stepmother. I do think a heavy dose of empathy is needed when it comes to being step parent.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Being a Step mom can be so hard, great encouragement for all and thank you for being so patient.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Being a step mom is not easy...I say that as being a step child. It takes a lot of getting use to

    ReplyDelete
  22. Great encouragement! Especially taking care of yourself, we as women all need to do that more often!

    ReplyDelete