If you’re a new stepmom, you may be entering into one of the toughest jobs a woman can have. It’s not easy to bring together the remnants of two families and make them one.
Forging genuine relationships between new siblings and step-parents takes time … and lots of it.
Even under the most ideal circumstances.
There’s no way to know how long children may grieve the loss of their original family and everything that went with it. They’ll wish they could have back their old way of life, their old house, and friends from their old neighborhood. And they’ll often be passionately disinterested in anything new, including you, the stepmom.
Of course, that can make home life pretty uncomfortable.
Stepmoms often respond by trying even harder than they had been to create a loving mother/child relationship. It’s understandable. But greater intensity usually doesn’t work.
If your stepchild feels pressured to love you as much as their biological mother, it’ll drive them further away. That’s just not a relationship they’re ready for.
So what’s a stepmom to do?
That’s exactly the question I discussed with authors Kathi Lipp and Carol Boley, our guests on today’s program and both stepmoms themselves. They suggest several practical approaches they’ve learned over their years in the trenches of blending a family.
Here are just two:
- Instead of attempting to take on the full role of “mom” right away, interact with the kids more like a loving aunt or even a camp counselor. That will usually minimize the pressure everyone feels to create an intimate mother/child bond.
- Most importantly, make respect the primary goal of the household. Do that, and the loving relationship you’re hoping for will have a chance to develop more naturally.
There’s much more on today’s and tomorrow’s edition of the broadcast we’ve titled, “Hope and Encouragement for Stepmoms.”
Being a stepmom can certainly be challenging, and the burden of blending a family doesn’t fall on her shoulders alone. But it is a vitally important role.
So if you’re a stepmom trying to figure out how to make it all work, we hope you’ll join us on your local radio station (or listen online or via our free, downloadable mobile phone app) and allow us to come alongside you with a little support and encouragement.