Maybe you are REALLY struggling in your role as a step-mum, but feel too scared or ashamed to admit it and actually speak to anyone. Anyway, you don’t really know any step-mums, so no one would understand.
And on the outside, everyone thinks you have got this all together! You are keeping a host of angry and resentful feelings to yourself, worried people may judge you and think you are an ‘evil stepmother’.
Every day may feel like an uphill struggle, you get anxiety when you know the kids are coming over, you feel nauseous when your partner receives a message from his ex, and you may dread actually being in the same room as your step kids and your husband at the same time as you know you will feel like the outsider.
If you are feeling like this, don’t worry you aren’t a bad person. In fact, these feelings are really common amongst step-mums. Being a step-mum is HARD and nothing can prepare you for the roller-coaster of emotions that might come up.
I hate it when someone says this me!
It’s a tough gig! You are expected to love and care for your step-kids, but not too much so that you are overstepping. You may be asked to do all the normal motherly things such as cooking, cleaning, pick ups and drops and contributing financially to the household. But then on special occasions, you are expected to let the real mum and dad step forward. Mother’s Day? Oh no, that’s for REAL MUMS people might say!
The thing is, you don't even want to be the Mum - you know you are NOT the Mum. You just want a little bit of acknowledgement and recognition.
Being a step-mum is TOUGH – I really struggled for the first year and hit rock bottom quite a few times. I kept thinking, why am I finding this so hard?
I kept thinking to myself is it me, is it my husband, is it the kids? Why is this so damn hard!!!
Luckily, I am into self-development and believe there is always room for growth and change. Nothing is set in stone in life, and there is no hopeless situation.
I love my husband with all my heart, and I couldn’t bear the thought of not being with him or hurting my step kids. They had been through enough already and I originally thought I was going to be the one who would help heal the family. As a note, we cannot heal what we didn’t break. It isn’t our job to heal the family! We can start by healing ourselves, and in turn that should help to heal the people around us. But healing ourselves, should be the first priority.
I decided I wasn’t going to let the situation get the better of me and decided to work on myself and figure out how to thrive as a step-mum and within my blended family life.
My husband and I visited a counsellor who wasn’t much help as she had never been a step-mum and couldn’t ever possibly understand our situation. Unless you have been a step-mum, you really can’t understand what we go through, or the feelings and struggles sometimes involved.
I did a LOT of work on myself, which was painful and difficult at times but totally worth it, but I can now say that I really do feel I have come out of the other side. I love my husband more than anything and I am SO pleased that I stayed and worked on myself. I love and respect my step-kids and I see them for who they are – beautiful and loving souls who deserve the best in life and deserve a step-mum who has sorted her sh*t out and will be a good example to the family.
I am truly blessed to have them in my life, and forever thankful for them for letting even just a piece of me into their hearts.
Of course, there are always going to be situations that will challenge me, but I feel I now have the tools and mindset to cope with those times. Step-families are like any family – we have our ups and downs and are allowed to be human too! We all make mistakes.
Importantly, I realised the need to connect with other step-mums. Only someone who has been through it, can understand the stressors and strains.
During my journey of healing and transformation, I decided to search the internet and social media for further support and came across a few step-mum help pages in the US and Canada but there were hardly any in the UK.
For a good 6 months, I thought ‘I really need to create my own community of step-mums, there must be other step-mums who are also struggling and looking for support, advice and community?!’.
If you are reading this, I PROMISE you, you really can do this. Your life can get better and you CAN cope with your stepfamily struggles.
I went from being a single 31-year-old to having 4 stepchildren ranging between 3 and 16, by 2 different women! That’s two different sets of custody schedules and parenting styles to deal with!
If I can cope with this, then you can too.
I have learnt so much that I want to share with others. I am the happiest and healthiest I ever been.
Your life does not need to revolve around drama with the ex or feeling unappreciated.
My life isn’t just about my step-family and that isn’t always the centre of my world. Sorry to offend anyone reading this but we have an ‘every other weekend schedule’ so of course I am allowed to do things not involving the kids when they are not with us.
I am allowed to have my own goals, dreams and hobbies! So is my husband, so are my step kid’s and their mums and so is everyone else in the world.
How many times are biological mums told that they need to put themselves first, so that their children and marriage can thrive? Well it’s no different for us Step-Mums!
I am still CHARLOTTE as well as a being a Step-Mum. When I decided to work on myself, put myself at the top of my to-do list and go after my dreams in life (I am writing a fiction book!) my step-family life started to fall into place and become a lot easier.
I want my step-kids to be proud of me, to think that I did my best and that I was a kind and loving person. I hope they will see that everything I am doing in life, is also to encourage them to go after their dreams. I want them to know that anything is possible, that you can fall apart but then put yourself back together again and become even stronger. I want them to know that even in tough situations, there is hope on the other side.
I am SO excited for you to be here with me and for us to connect.
Please send me an email on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.