A letter to you, the new step-mom
This letter is for you, the new warrior who became an insta-mom,
For sake of clarity - I will be referring to your “stepkids” as your “kids” because that is how I refer to mine.
Mazal tov! You are at the beginning of an incredible journey. You might be figuring out what you want your insta kids to call you, you might be super excited about your new insta-family, or you might be wondering if you made the biggest mistake of your life.
BREATHE. Every feeling you are experiencing is valid and allowed. There is no thought which shouldn't be thought, and no feeling that is “wrong.” Your experience is real. HOWEVER, do not dwell on any dark feeling or thought for too long. Everything can be figured out with good communication. Find time to communicate with your partner about this new journey you are on, and how you are experiencing it.
You are most likely feeling confused or overwhelmed by the relationship your partner has with his ex, so learning how to navigate boundaries is important.
The time to set boundaries is now. Do you feel comfortable with your partner mentioning his ex’s name in the house? Is it ok if your kids sleep on the couch? Can your kids sleep in your bed with you? What space in the house belongs to you and what is shared space? Make sure you are creating a home, together, with your partner - so you are on the same page.
If you’re anything like me, you probably jumped into the deep end without knowing how to swim. Kids grow in a womb for 40 weeks and then you slowly figure out how to parent. As a step-mom, you don’t have that privilege. You’re expected to know how to parent right away. So, do your best. If you realize you don’t like how you handled a situation, learn from it and do differently the next time. Be kind and patient with yourself.
More often than not, you have an ex-wife to deal with. This means that decisions belong to three people. If you want to move houses, you can’t just pick up and move. If you’re changing the custody situation of your children, decisions might take longer than you’d like. Again, be patient and have faith that everything is happening, exactly as it is supposed to, and exactly when it is supposed to.
If you find you don’t instantly love your kids, that’s normal! You probably didn’t fall in love with your husband instantly either! Love grows through connecting, so spend time with them. Slowly, the love will grow.
I highly recommend you find yourself a good coach who can help you set goals, encourage you to work on your own identity, beyond the label of step-mom and wife., and hold you accountable. This way, when times get rough with your husband or kids, you don’t start to think life would be different, if you “had just married someone single.”
In three months I’ll be taking coaching clients again, but in the meantime - join our online community and let me know how I can help you on your journey!