I’m excited to say that I married my soul mate 14 days ago. This means I’m also 14 days into officially being a stepmom!
George and I have been together for over 8 years and I’ve had a very active role in my stepsons lives for about 7 of those years. Entering into a relationship with someone who has children means you are dating more than just the man (or woman). In my case I’ve been dating 3 people… developing a relationship with my husband and my two stepsons.
As you can imagine being in a relationship with 3 people can be CRAZY. Ups, downs and everything in between.
Here’s what to expect as a new stepmom (whether you’re married or not).
1. YOUR STEP CHILDREN MAY WARM TO YOU INSTANTLY, BUT THAT COULD CHANGE.
Depending on your step children’s age and whether they remember details about their parents divorce could change the way they react towards you or treat you. They could go from loving bedtime tuck ins to not talking to you at all.
Just remember that they are kids and might not be used to having you in their life – no matter how long it’s been. This can be challenging for them, so it’s important to keep that in mind.
A lesson I have learned and need to remind myself of is that I am the adult and even though I may be hurting, I need to remember that they are just kids. Don’t get me wrong – they need to show respect and this is the job of your spouse to talk to them about.
2. PLANNING FAMILY GET TOGETHERS IS HARD!
In fact scheduling anything can be hard. You thought planning time with your family around the holidays was tough? Well, try including 2 immediate families, plus 4 sets of grandparents! It can be frustrating that you’ll need to check what your hubby’s ex has planned over the holidays to determine what you can plan! Not fun.
This is something YOU WILL get used to and once a proper routine is set it makes everyone’s lives that much easier, including the kids. After all, children like routine and like to know where they’re going to be and when.
3. DON’T FORGET! YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP WITH MORE THAN ONE PERSON.
In my case I’ve been dating 3 people for years 🙂 My now husband and my two stepsons. There will be times that you are all getting along. Cherish this. As there will also be tough times and that you won’t know how to get through.
Think of each person in your relationship as someone you need to focus on and love – in different ways. It can be tough and constant work, but it’s the only way to find true happiness and give your stepchildren the love they deserve.
4. YOU CAN’T JUST BE THEIR FRIEND.
Now, this applies once you’ve been together longer and even more so if they live with you full time. If you are just a friend to your stepchild they could take advantage, walk all over you and not listen. The friendship and being a good parent has to be balanced… just like any parent. Saying this, try and let your spouse do the disciplining, as you don’t want to set yourself up for complete failure!
5. YOUR STEP CHILDREN COULD HAVE A GUILT COMPLEX.
It’s sad to say this, but at times it’s natural that your step kids may pull away from you, be angry with you or just plain ignore you. They could feel guilty about showing love to you due to your spouses ex. It doesn’t seem right that a parent would plan to make their children feel guilty, but this happens more often than not (whether it’s intentional or not), which only hurts and confuses the children.
If only all biological parents thought about stepparents in this way…
At the end of the day, we all want the same thing… to have happy, strong children who grow into thriving adults.
6. MAKING DINNER COULD BE A CHALLENGE.
Depending on what age you enter into your stepchildren’s lives, making dinner that everyone likes can actually be harder than the average family. My step kids are used to eating Greek and Indian food (Greek Dad, Indian Mom). I used to fancy myself as an amazing cook, however I feel like I’ve given up as its hard to make food everyone will like and there is no way I am going to compete with their Yiayia’s Dolmada’s or their Nanny’s Aloo Gobi!
So, I’ve had to introduce new meals by trial and error to see what sticks. I have to say that Bangers and Mash (one of my English meals) is always gobbled up! Also, before being a stepmom I used to cook a lot of Indian food and I’m happy to say that my one stepson enjoys my dal and channa masala, so I’m glad I did eventually make these!
7. YOU WILL BE OVERWHELMED WITH LOVE.
Even though step parenting is a tough job, there will be times you will be so happy and so full of love that it makes it more than worth it.
The first time they say I love you or they cuddle into you, or they want your help with something or best of all if they refer to you as ‘mom’. These firsts will be different for everyone. No matter what, remember them and keep track of them. After all, you’ve probably gone through hell and back before some of these memorable firsts happened.
If you have a challenging relationship with your stepchild, don’t fret. Important moments will come, they may just be different from what you expect. So, be patient (even though it’s hard) and watch out for them.
For those entering a new relationship with someone who has kids, I hope this has given you a little insight into what to expect. Being a stepmom is darn hard and it can be an emotional rollercoaster. There will be drama, so buckle up! I have however chosen to stay pretty positive. Fitting in can take time, but the more positive you can be towards your step parenting role will actually result in happier relationships in the home.
Fellow bonus moms, bonus dads… Is there anything I’ve missed or you want to add to? Let me know in the comment section below.
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