Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Baby Steps

baby steps, stepmom advice, stepmom, blended family, step family, blended families
Sometimes taking baby steps towards fixing broken relationships with your step kids are a good thing.  Take whatever you can get to restore peace within a blended family.  This past holiday I was filled with a lot of anxiety unsure of how my stepchildren would treat me.  As many of you may know, my stepchildren decided in June of 2013 that they no longer want anything to do with me or my children so I only see them on special occasions or holidays.  This has been very hard on me and my children, I feel like I have missed so much of their lives and it has been hard emotionally on me.  So I was very nervous about this past Christmas Eve and how it would go since last year on Christmas Eve, they ignored me and pretended I didn’t exist.  This Christmas Eve, I am happy to say it went smoothly and much differently in a very good way.  They both talked to me several times and even got me a Christmas gift and thanked me for their gifts too.  I was pleasantly surprised and yet totally guarded and I wasn’t really myself with them because it’s hard to go this long without having a relationship with them, and then just act like we didn’t miss anything with one another. 

I did pray a lot before we picked them up. Just being able to drive in the same vehicle over to my mother in law’s house was also a good sign because normally they have their mother drive them over to the house and pick them up afterward. The car ride to my mother in laws house was a little uneasy at first but then went well.  Then when we got to my mother in laws house things only got better from there. It felt like no matter what room I sat in, my stepdaughter would come in that room and find a way to join in the conversation.  It was like she was trying to find out what she has missed since she’s not been in my life and wanted to know what was going on.  A few times, it was just us talking 1:1 and it really felt like she was really trying to be herself around me.  When I was listening to my stepdaughter talks to me I realized that she has a lot of growing up to do still.  And her going to counseling now and living in another state to go to college away from her mother is really going to help her come into her own person. I realized that when we face many sides of stepfamily life openly, we will begin to experience the calm that comes with trusting of our own acknowledging and knowing our own wisdom. Sue Patton Thoele states that “During difficult times we can choose to embrace the kids either energetically or from a distance, rather than “up close and personal””.  

Even though during the time we were talking a little voice inside of me was saying that she’s only talking to you to have things to talk to her mother about me.  I tried to not let that negative voice inside of my head take over all of my thoughts and I tried to think positive about her wanting to talk to me.  By the end of the night when we went to drop them off at their mother’s house, they both said bye and thank you for their gifts again. It felt really good to feel a part of their lives again even if it was just one night, it felt great not to be an outsider.  I am hoping it’s a result of my stepdaughter being in counseling and slowly coming around but it’s really hard to say.



My whole point of this post today is to encourage other stepmoms who have distant or non-existent relationships with their stepchildren to say it’s never too late, don’t give up and keep praying and hoping that things will turn around.  Keep an open mind and an open heart towards them.  Even though in my situation, it is only baby steps towards the right direction, I will take any baby steps at this point because I want things to change and get better.  I refuse to give up on my stepchildren because I do still love them and want to be a part of their lives in any way they let me.  Ultimately every blended family and can survive and thrive once their hearts and minds are open again. Don’t live your life closed off towards them; you have to give a little in order to get a little in return.  The highlight of my night besides having good interaction with my stepchildren was at the end of the night, I asked one of my daughters if she enjoyed seeing her stepsister. And she said, “Even though I didn’t get a gift from her for Christmas, the gift was just being able to see her and my stepbrother, I missed them a lot”.  Hearing her say that regardless of how they have treated her in the past really touched me. Sometimes a gift for Christmas isn’t the actual material gift that is meaningful but just being able to see one another and communicate with one another is what is important at Christmas time.
Do you have a distant relationship with one of your children or stepchildren? If so, don’t give up! If you get small baby steps, take them and appreciate them.


References:
Sue Pattron Thoele (2013). The Courage to be a Stepmom. Finding your Place without losing yourself. 

Baby Steps Image was found on: http://healtheconnect.bannerhealth.com/2014/08/getting-back-into-a-regular-exercise-regimenwith-5-baby-steps/
Second Image was found on: http://thepositivetumbler.tumblr.com/post/121406993087/baby-steps-quote-quotes-inspiring
Third Image was found on: 
http://www.stepawayfromthecake.com/2014_03_30_archive.html
Fourth Image was found on: http://msmoem.com/2014/quotes/motivational-quotes/
Fifth Image was found on: http://healthuppy.com/inspiring-quotes-fitness-morale/

15 comments:

  1. Kudos to you for staying positive in a difficult situation. I have to ask, does writing about your experiences in this blog cause additional problems? Or is it a way for them to connect with you?

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    1. I was kind of wondering that as well, if they read the blog.
      That sounds like you had a nice Xmas though.

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    2. Actually they don't know about the blog and I kind of hope it stays that way. But it does help me to write posts on this blog.

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  2. in most things - baby steps are a very good way - the ONLY way to go with any situation

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  3. That's so nice. At least this year they're making an effort to get to know you. I'm glad you chose to think about the good things instead of the bad. Good job for praying!

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  4. Your blog would have been very helpful back when I was a new stepmom.

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  5. It sounds like you had a nice Christmas with your family. Baby steps must be working!

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  6. Baby steps are still steps, and this is wonderful news! I hope that slowly things will ease back into a comfortable and easy relationship again. :)

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  7. This is so nice for comfortable relationship and it sounds like great Christmas gift for you!

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  8. One of my siblings did something similar to my step-mother. Baby steps are a good way to describe the progress. Holidays are wonderful times to bring everyone together and work towards making things better!

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  9. I completely agree! Sometimes we want to conquer all of our problems immediately. It takes time to effect change and no one can hold themselves to perfect standards. We're only human. Sometimes we start making deposits into relationships, then an off day moves us two steps backwards. The key is a consistent effort on making small efforts to build bonds with those we love.

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  10. Very encouraging post. I'm glad things are progressing for you!

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  11. It's so nice to see difficult relationships grow over time, especially with kids as they get older and become their own person. Hopefully this first step is a sign of good things to come

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  12. It's so true that strength comes from overcoming what we think we can't do. Best wishes in 2016 and happy new year!

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  13. Such a wonderful read & an inspiring article for every stepmoms. I agree we must to be able appreciate the small baby steps taken & progress further to get in to a fruitful relationship.

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