10 REASONS IT IS SO HARD TO BE A STEPMUM

Wednesday 22nd September 2021

10 REASONS IT IS  SO HARD TO BE A STEPMUM

I don't think enough people appreciate how hard it is to be a stepparent, and how little appreciation or respect most stepmums get. You can have the most wonderful stepchildren, but still find it hard and there are many reasons for this, some of which I have listed below! 


Behind the scenes in many families is a stepmum who is keeping the peace or organising all the little things that wouldn't get taken care of if she didn't do it. Stepmum's sacrifice a lot, but are expected to just do that because a lot of people think 'you knew what you were getting into'.


Stepmum's do a lot of parenting duties, with usually none of the appreciation. We are often tarred with the wicked witch brush, even though all the stepmum's I know have the biggest heart and really try their very best, even when the odds may be against them.


Remember if you are worrying if you are a good stepmum, it means you care.

1) TOO MANY DOUBLE STANDARDS 

 

Parenting is hard.

I am writing this after it took an hour to get my baby boy to sleep tonight, and in all honesty, he drove me mad. 

It would be completely okay if I moaned to a friend of mine that I was exhausted and that I was annoyed at him that he would just not go to bloody sleep. 


BUT if it I was moaning about my stepchild doing exactly the same thing (which they haven't before you burn me at the stake!) then I would be classed as an evil stepmum witch.


The honest truth though is that children are hard work . They are going to push our buttons, make us say or do things we really don't mean and trigger us from time to time.


That doesn't mean we don't care about them. It just makes us human beings.


Being a stepmum is hard because there are too many double standards on us. We aren't allowed to have a bad day or find the whole thing difficult, which is completely ridiculous if you think about it! 



2) YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE A HUMAN BEING

Following on from above, stepmums are often not allowed to be a human being.


By this I mean as humans, we have flaws and we make mistakes. We have emotions, good and bad. We sometimes hit rock bottom or feel like we are losing the plot with the stressors of life.

But unfortunately a stepmum isn't allowed to have a bad day, make a mistake or show any kind of negative emotion. It's like we are not allowed to be human or make the mistakes that others are allowed to make on this earth. 


It puts a massive pressure on us to try and be this perfect little stepmother the whole time who doesn't put a foot wrong.


Who doesn't make mistakes in life?! Who doesn't get annoyed at other people from time to time, lose their temper or say something they regret?


3) YOU ARE CONSTANTLY REMINDED OF YOUR PARTNERS PAST


It takes a really strong woman to be able to live her current life, whilst always having her partners ex in her life to some degree.

This is a reminder though it is just as hard for the stepmum as biological mum. We have to remember that the ex has to put up with us too!

Some stepmum's can feel they are living a life that isn't fully theirs, because their partners past is always a part of their currently reality.

It is important to make peace with this part of your stepfamily life, so that you can live the happy life you deserve.

A lot of this work means working on your self-worth, confidence and self-love, reminding yourself of the wonderful person you are. 



4) BONDING WITH YOUR STEPCHILDREN CAN TAKE YEARS (AND IT MAY NOT HAPPEN AT ALL)


Your stepchildren may not welcome you with open arms, especially if the break up of their parents has been tough.

You have to be understanding that your stepkids will come around to you in their own time, and they are entitled to how they feel.

This is where patience is a virtue and it is important to play the long game, and remember that Rome wasn't built in a day! 



5) YOU DON'T ALWAYS HAVE A SAY IN MANY AREAS OF YOUR LIFE


You may not always get a decision on custody schedules or other important events that affect your day to day life.

Going with the flow and trusting everything will work out for you, whilst also asking for what you need in your relationship and life is important.

Remember if you don't speak up what for want as a stepmum, your boundaries are likely to be pushed.  It is OK to say 'this is what I need' or 'this is what I would like to happen'. Your feeling are important and should be taken into consideration I believe. 



6) THERE IS NO HANDBOOK


There is no wrong or right and no two families are the same, which means what works for you may not work for someone else and vice versa.


Everything can be trial and error, or a matter of patience. Time really does heal and over time you learn what is worth your stress or upset. 


7) IT CAN BE UNREWARDING 


Aspects of stepparenting may be unrewarding for many stepmum's, especially those who are a full time stepparent or who do the lion's share of the work. 

A lot may feel they do all the hard work, for little in return. They may feel that their partner gets all the recognition or love from the effort they put in.


This is true for any type of parenting though. I would be lying if I said I found being a biological mum rewarding all the time. It can be tiring and you lose a lot of your freedom, which I know is a complaint from a lot of stepmum's too!



8) YOUR STEPCHILDREN MAY NOT LOVE YOU THE WAY THEY LOVE THEIR PARENTS


It is important to remind yourself that biological ties will most likely overrule a stepparent tie.

I personally would never expect my stepkids to love me anywhere close to the way they love their father.

I am their stepmum, and he is their father.


I know not everyone would not feel the same and be happy with that, but I think it is wise to accept and make peace with the fact that your relationship with your stepchild may look completely different to how it does with their Mum or Dad.


A blood bond is always likely to be much stronger, and there is no wrong in that.

It can be hard for a lot of stepmum's to accept this, but we have to put ourselves in our stepkids shoes and try and imagine how difficult it must be for them too.



9) JUST WHEN YOU FEEL YOU HAVE MASTERED ONE AREA OF YOUR STEPMUM LIFE, EVERYTHING CHANGES AGAIN


Kids change all the time, from when they move to secondary school to when they start driving  or when they go to university. They grow up fast which means your stepmum life can also change fast.

Once you feel you have mastered stepmumming a child, they then become a teenager and you are learning again.


The only thing constant about life is change, which means that the only thing constant about being in a stepfamily is also change.

You have to learn to ride the waves and adapt to whatever may come up, especially if it isn't going to be in your hands. 



10) NO ONE UNDERSTANDS YOU, APART FROM ANOTHER STEPMUM.


It can be a lonely road, especially if you don't know another stepmum.

Make sure you surround yourself with like minded people who are there to listen and won't judge you.


The honest truth is that you just won't get it unless you have been there! 

Remember though that you are here for a reason, and life doesn't ever give you anything you can't handle.


If you are struggling right now, remind yourself you CAN do this, and this difficult moment will pass.

With love, 



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