Monday, January 4, 2016

New Year, New You

new year new you, new years resolutions, stepmom, stepmom advice, blended family, step families
I know everyone does New Year’s Resolutions such as trying to lose weight, eat better, save money, etc. However, have you thought about looking into changing you into the “New You”? Sometimes we need a makeover on the inside of us.  A change for the better, for our husbands and for our children and step children. 
How can we go about doing this? Well, there are several ways, but it first has to start with recognizing that you need to change.  I know most of us Stepmoms often wish and pray that the biological mother will change towards us.  That may or may not happen one day. But for now, let’s take a look at us, Stepmoms.  Is there something we can change about ourselves to make us a better mother or Stepmother to our children? Sometimes we need to take a look at ourselves and realize that we may need a little or a lot of tweaking ourselves.  I mean how can we expect someone else to change if we don’t want to change ourselves?  I know I have recently done a lot of soul searching lately on whom I am as a person and what I can do to better myself.  The first step though is recognizing that we need to change for the better and for ourselves and not just because those around us will benefit from it. Here are some steps to help become a better and New You.
  1. First admit that you are not perfect.
  2. Admit that you can change and become a better and New You.
  3. Start looking into some new self-help books and read one or two of them a month. I will include a list of my recommendations at the end of this post.
  4. Pray daily and spend time with God every day, use a woman’s devotional book. Make God number 1 and do it in the morning before you do anything else, spend time with him and pray. I call it S.O.A.P. S– stands for scripture, read a scripture out of a daily devotional book.O – stands for Observation, write down what you think that scripture means to you.A – stands for Application, write down how you can apply that scripture to your life.P – stands for Prayer. Get a prayer list and write down prayer requests you have for you and for others in your family and friends and pray for each person and their needs.
  5. Go out of your way daily and do something that will meet your husband’s needs.
  6. Make & find the time to spend 1:1 special moment with your children and stepchildren.
  7. Do something every day for yourself to recharge your batteries, it can be anything you enjoy or that relaxes you.  It could be spending time with your best friend, go to a spa, yoga, etc.
  8. Change how you react to things, in everything you hear from others, take a deep breath or take a time out and think of a positive way to respond something you hear that is negative or that upsets you.
  9. Get a support group of women who you can turn to at whatever time you need it.
  10. Find a way to show kindness and love towards those who don’t like you.
  11. Change the negative thinking around to positive because whatever a person thinketh or speaks out of their mouth that is negative, it will come to pass. Speak only positive things and watch how your life turns around.
  12. Think before we speak. Enough said there.
  13. Show respect and love for our parents and in-laws.  Have good relationships with them and help take care of their needs, after all, they took care of us when we were children. Be careful on how you treat them because our children are watching us and learning from it. If you treat them badly your children might do the same to you when they become adults.


Now I am going to touch on something that is really a sensitive and touchy subject for all of us Stepmoms... Our husband’s ex-wives. Yeah, it’s not an easy subject to talk about but we need too. Because in order for us to change into the “New You” we also have to change the way we treat them too.  Let’s face it, they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon unless we get divorced to our husbands. So we need to try our best to co-parent with them.  We need to put ourselves in their shoes after all if we have children of our own we are also biological mothers too. Please know that they do and say things because they want to protect their children. They also tend to say or do things because they are hurting deep inside.  Hurt people, hurt other people too.  Sometimes we need to take a step back and try to understand where they are coming from.  If you are not in good terms with the biological mothers we need to reach out to them and mend fences.  You don’t have to become best friends with them, but you do need to be the bigger person and try to let go of the offenses and hurt they have caused in the past and forgive them and move on for the sake of the stepchildren and our husbands.  I encourage all of you stepmoms to make this year a year where you get over the past offenses with the ex-wives and do something nice for her.  Like, for example, a gift for her birthday or a gift for Mother’s Day.  A gift that can be very meaningful and thoughtful such as a plate with her kids handprints on it, a mug, or a stepping stone.  It’s great to break the ice between the two of you. Make sure you include a nice card and write something like this to them:  (I got some of these words from the book titled: 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom by Laura Petherbridge).

Dear _____,
I know in the past we haven’t always seen eye to eye,
but I desire to work together to make things easier for
the kids. Could we start over? I am willing to do
my part to help ease the tension between us. Life is too short
to spend it arguing all the time.
Please accept this small gift as my way of saying I’m
sorry for the times I didn’t take the time to look at the
situation from your point of view.  I know you love your
kids and that you are a good mom. Can we come to a
compromise for the sake of the kids?
Sincerely,

I know this is hard to do and you might think she will laugh about this note and refuse to make amends with you. But it doesn’t hurt to try and if it doesn’t succeed at least you tried to be the bigger person.  All you can do is pray for her, that God softens her hard heart and opens the door to healing. By taking this step, it will definitely speak volumes of how much love you have for your husband and stepchildren.

Lastly, here are the self-help book recommendations I have to help you succeed in becoming the better “New You”.
  • Daily Devotional – Jesus Calling by: Sarah Young. This is a great devotional that all women should go through. It’s a whole year devotional. It really helps with enjoying and finding peace and his presence. It’s only one page per day, but it’s really helping me with my daily S.O.A.P. There are a lot of others out there to, but I really have enjoyed this one so far. You can also get devotionals on your phone by downloading the You Version app on your phone; there are many yearly devotionals to choose from on there too.
  • Discovering our Happiness – Seven things that steal Your Joy by: Joyce Meyer. This book really helped discover what gets in my way of discovering true happiness in my life. Also pointed out what steals my joy and how to stop it from happening.
  • Positive ThinkingI Declare by: Joel Osteen. It has 31 Promises to speak over your life. This book really changes your mindset from negative thinking over to positive thinking. I would read one chapter a day and meditate on it.
  • Our MouthsKeep it Shut by: Karen Ehman. This book really helps with knowing when to speak and when to not speak. It really helps for those who speak their mind which is what I often would do until I read this book.  It really opened my eyes and made me realize the power of our words bring life and death and it really helped me think more before I said something I will regret. I am still not perfect and still struggle with this, but I am getting a lot better thanks to this book.
  • Stepmom advice and helpThe Smart Stepmom by: Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbridge. This book has really opened my eyes as to how I should treat my stepchildren and how to handle many situations that came up. This book is loaded with a lot of great and very helpful advice.  There are many other stepmom books out there that are good, but I found this one to be the best one out there. You can check out the other stepmom book recommendations by clicking here.
  • Strengthen our MarriagesThe 5 Love Languages by: Gary Chapman. This book really helped me to discover what my top 5 needs are and it also helped me discover what my husband’s top 5 needs are.  So we can better fulfill our husband’s needs and be the best helpmate to them.
I hope you found this post, to be encouraging, uplifting and that you decide that you want to become a better “New You” for this new year of 2016.


References:
Ron L. Deal and Laura Petherbrige (2009). The Smart Stepmom. Bethany House Publishers
Karen Ehman (2015). Keep it Shut. What to say, how to say it and when to say nothing at all. Zondervan publishing.
Joyce Meyer (2004). Seven Things that Steal Your Joy. Overcoming the obstacles to your Happiness. Time Warner Faith Group publishing company.
Joel Osteen (2012). I Declare. 31 Promises to Speak Over your Life. Faith Words Hachette Book Group.
Laura Petherbridge (2014). 101 Tips for the Smart Stepmom. Bethany House Publishers.
Sarah Young (2004). Jesus Calling. Enjoying peace in his presence. Thomas Nelson publishers.

 

11 comments:

  1. it's gotta to start with our relationship with God. He's the One who can give us direction for this year :)

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  2. These are great tips as always and the book list will be a great help to many. You are right, change must start within...and we can't expect the other person to change.

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  3. I'm not religious but these are great tips. I'm hoping to utilize some of them this year.

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  4. I love the 5 Love Languages! We got that book as an engagement present and after I read it I made my husband! We have the same primary language, but differing secondary and it causes conflict for us when we don't feel loved in the 'right' way. Really gave us good language and ideas for showing love to people who don't feel loved the same way we do.

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  5. It takes a lot of growth to get over past hurts and divisions with the ex-wife/new wife (whatever the case may be). This is such great advice.

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  6. I love how selfless those changes are. We all have to change for the better and it always starts within ourselves. Thanks for the wonderful message. Happy New Year. :)

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  7. Great read for me. Just in time as I am thinking about changing myself and my lifestyle for good. Thanks for sharing this!

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  8. This a great list and a great reminder for all of us. Changing must start from within.

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  9. Some of those books have been life changing. It's so much more beneficial just to keep your lips zipped. Your tongue can be a powerful weapon.

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  10. You're so right! If we want to make an improvement in our lives, we must first start from within.

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  11. These are great tips.. And You are right, change must start within.

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