Journaling is not just about putting pen to paper. When done right, it can be an extremely therapeutic process to help improve the quality of your stepfamily life. And who doesn't want to live a happier life?!
Too often I see stepmums who are too busy to make the time to begin to make better, the parts of their life they feel unhappy with. But the honest truth is that nothing changes unless you change. It has to come from within, but often a stepmum doesn't make the time to get in touch with her emotions that are causing her pain and stress. It is often easier to run away from these emotions.
YOU CAN'T HEAL WHAT YOU DON'T FEEL, so the saying goes.
So if you are struggling in your stepfamily, please please do not run away from your problems. Do not push them down or hope that one day they will improve. From my experience, problems do not just go away. They tend to rear their ugly head later down the line and can cause break ups and divorce, rather than a happy ending.
If you have a lot going on in your stepfamily life, (step)kids to look after, maybe a full time job and home to run as well as trying to look after yourself, it is easy to let your own needs and well-being slip to the bottom of the pile. But if you don't make your mental and physical health a priority, you may end up burnt out, resentful and ready to throw in your stepmum towel.
So whether you are struggling and ready to pack your bags this very moment, or you just know your life could be that little bit more enjoyable, dig out a pen and paper and begin to get in touch with your inner world, so that you can change your outer world.
All change begins from within, and it begins in your mind. You can do this!
1) HOW CAN YOU DEFINE SUCCESS AS A STEPMUM, AND HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE ACHIEVED IT?
Do you actually know your end goal or what would make you happy? If you are struggling to find your happy place, is it because you actually don't know where you need to be? What would make you a successful and happy stepmum?
2) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE CURRENTLY AND WHAT ARE YOUR NEXT STEPS TO SOLVE THIS?
Often we try and do too much at once, or try and sort out all the parts of our life we are struggling with in one go. It is much easier to solve your biggest issue first of all and on its on. You may find other smaller issues fall into place because of this.
3) IF YOU FULLY LOVED AND ACCEPTED YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOUR NEXT STEPS BE IN YOUR STEPFAMILY LIFE GOING FORWARD?
If we are unhappy, scared or feel we are not good enough, we can often act from a place that holds us back in life. When we love ourselves and know our worth, we act completely differently. If you loved yourself, what would your next step be in an issue you are facing now?
4) WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU HAVE STOPPED DOING THAT YOU LOVED, SINCE YOU BECAME A STEPMUM?
Don't allow yourself to feel resentful for giving up the parts of your life that make you YOU, for the sake of your stepchildren. It will only come and bite you on the bum!
5) WHAT CAN YOU LET GO OF SO YOU CAN BECOME A HAPPY STEPMUM?
Is it worrying what the ex thinks of you? Are you trying too hard to make your stepchildren like you? Are you doing all the housework in your home, with no help at all?
6) WHAT WISE WORDS WOULD YOU GO BACK AND GIVE TO YOUR NEW STEPMUM SELF?
(That aren't.....run far far away!!!)
7) WHEN HAVE YOU BEEN HURT THE MOST AS A STEPMUM AND WHAT VITAL LESSONS DID IT TEACH YOU?
Not everything that is bad in our life has to be seen as the end of the world. I have found that the times that I have been hurt, betrayed or taken advantage of the most, end up being the most amazing periods of transformation.
When we are in a low place, it can force us to look at ourselves, our lives and make change that makes us stronger, wiser and happier overall.
8) WHAT TRUTH HAVE YOU BEEN REFUSING TO ADMIT ABOUT YOUR STEPFAMILY LIFE AND HOW CAN YOU FACE IT NOW?
It is only when we are honest with ourselves, can we make the change that will make a difference to our lives. It may be scary but it will be so worth it.
9) WHAT MAKES YOU THE MOST ANGRY, FRUSTRATED AND ANNOYED AND WHY?
Our emotions can be used as guidance to heal. Do not run away from these painful emotions, they are pointing you in the direction of your own happiness. We need to face the shadow side of us so that we can experience true love and bliss.
10) WHAT IS THE ONE THING THAT YOU CAN GIVE UP THAT WOULD GIVE YOU MORE TIME, ENERGY AND PEACE?
Is is something physical or is an emotional release such as jealousy or resentment? Do you need to grieve the life you thought you would have had?
11) WHO DO YOU CARE ABOUT MOST IN THE WORLD? WHAT CAN YOU DO TODAY TO MAKE SURE THEY KNOW YOU LOVE THEM?
Don't forget about all the things that you have to be grateful for! What you give, you receive, so love yourself and go give love to your favourite person.
12) WHAT IS YOUR NUMBER ONE GOAL OUTSIDE OF STEPFAMILY LIFE? WHAT IS THE NEXT STEP CAN YOU TAKE TO ACHIEVE THIS?
Don't forget who you were before you became a stepmum. You are still the person you were before and that woman deserves to fulfill and live all her dreams.
Remember how worthy you are of happiness and love in your life. You can create a life you love, regardless of your struggles. Your struggles do not define you, but instead can be a catalyst for growth and transformation.
I have always found that in the toughest times, I am able to shed part of me that I do not wish to carry forward. What do you not want to carry forward into your future reality? Who do you want to be and who do you not want to be?
Decide and commit to make change from today! You can contact me anytime on email@example.com if you need further support or would like to share what has come up for you during your journaling experience.