Do you ever sit there and feel that you are all alone in how you feel?
That no one else could be experiencing the raw emotions you are feeling?
That no one else could be failing/suffering/losing at this whole stepmother thing as much as you are?
Do you think that maybe you are the odd one out, and that other stepmum's have it all together? Honestly, no one else could be finding this all so difficult hey!?
Maybe your partner just doesn't get you. Maybe he feels that you are the problem. He also has his own struggles, guilt and issues to deal with potentially.
Social media has a lot to answer for, as most people only put their happiest moments on there. And why not? No one really wants to scroll down their Instagram feed and see someone else moaning about how difficult their life is right now. It would be draining!
There are a TON of happy perfect blended families on social media, and if you don't feel yours matches this fairytale image, you could be blaming yourself and beating yourself up over it.
Plus, we all know the double standards in stepmumming - if you were to moan about your stepchildren, you would immediately be judged and hunted down.
The thing is, most stepmums wouldn't even want to moan about their stepchildren anyway - most stepmum's I know are the kindest, genuine and lovely women ever. They LOVE their stepkids, but at times they struggle.
The honest truth is that what you are experiencing is totally NORMAL. Your struggles are normal. Your pain is real and justified. Stepmum life is like nothing most stepmothers have experienced before they met a man with kids.
You sacrifice and you love, sometimes with no appreciation or even respect at times, in return. And this might not even be from the kids - it could be someone in your own family or your stepchildren's family who does not try to understand you and what you are trying to create.
Please read that again, you are very normal. You aren't in the minority if you struggle with any of these things:
1) WONDERING WHAT LIFE WOULD BE LIKE IF YOU DIDN'T MEET A MAN WITH KIDS
Of course you are going to do this! I bet the kids wonder what life would be like if their parents didn't split up, and the ex also wonders what life would be like if their relationship hadn't ended.
I honestly do think that in a lot of families, even if your stepchildren love you, of course they are going to ideally want their parents to be together. This can hurt I know. I remember a few people telling me this in the beginning of my stepmum journey, and I was SO hurt.
But it is the truth, most probably. And that is okay! Once you accept it, and realise it isn't personal, the hurt melts away.
It is SO easy to think 'what if' - we do this in other areas of life too remember.
You may even fantasise what it would be like if it was just you and your partner, and I have got no doubt the kids and the ex might also ponder on what life would be like if we didn't exist.
This doesn't make you a bad person, or mean you don't love your partner or the kids. It just means you are wondering what life would be like if you weren't a stepmum.
I bet we all sometimes wonder what would happen if we were in a different job, lived in a different house or other different actions in life.
Please don't be hard on yourself. You are only human remember, and are in a role that a lot of women find incredibly difficult. Not to scare you, but the reason 70% of second marriages fail is probably for a reason.
BUT the good news is that the ones that last, tend to have stronger marriages and families than a first family. YIPPEEE!!!!!
2) FEELING LIKE THE OUTSIDER IN YOUR FAMILY
Ugh this is rubbish I know, and is something that is SO common for new stepmum's.
Personally I feel that it went away over time and after we made sure that we focused on our relationship and put that as a priority, but I am under no illusion it could rear its ugly head in the future.
There are going to be important events in the future such as birthday's, graduations and wedding's when I may feel left out because I will want to and need to step aside.
I feel that accepting that it might happen is the first step to finding peace.
We can tend to feel left out in other area's of life too - maybe at work, in our friendship group or even in our own family.
Maybe we sometimes overthink things a little. Maybe we aren't even being left out. and could even be imagining it? Maybe we are even putting ourselves in the background because we feel anxious in certain situations.
There is no doubt that you can definitely feel like an outsider, but there is a lot that can be done about it!
Most importantly, you really do need to make sure your relationship or marriage is important and that you continue to work at it. Don't ever forget about each other. Your partner was the reason you became a stepmum after all.
3) NOT HAVING PATIENCE OR FEELING ANNOYED WITH YOUR STEPKIDS
This is something most stepmum's dont want to talk about. The fact that their stepkids annoy them at times, push their buttons or they might not have the same patience for them, that they do with their own kids.
The thing is, our stepchildren probably don't have the patience for us, the same way they do with their biological parent.
For example, they may forgive a biological parent almost instantly, but with a stepparent, they could hold a grudge for days, weeks or even forever!!
So go easy on yourself if you ever feel annoyed. Don't be ashamed to admit it.
Stepfamilies are HARD WORK.
They are a place where miscommunication, resentment and misunderstanding can happen quite easily.
Stepfamilies have to be worked on. We are continually learning, growing, evolving and adapting.
Being a stepmum is the ultimate personal development journey.
Remind yourself that everything you do is for the right reasons. At the end of the day, you do what you do, because you care.
Being a stepmum is a CHOICE.
Let go of that guilt.
4) WANTING TO GIVE UP AT TIMES
Like we all already know, stepparenting is hard. And anything that is hard, we are going to want to give up on.
But isn't anything that is worth it in life, also hard at times? Nothing in life comes easily usually.
Also our brains are wired to want immediate gratification or reward. This is innately wired into us because in ancient times, it was necessary for our survival. So nowadays, when we don't get what we want instantly, we can think we have failed.
So biologically it is actually very normal to want to give up, but if you want things to work, then we know that we can't actually give up!
There could be many consequences of giving up too early. You may wonder what if?
Instant success is actually not something that is real in most cases. When in life, have you seen people become overnight successes? We never see the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifices that goes into that success.
Many successful people fail hundreds of times, before they succeed - so why would a stepfamily be any different?
Also for a lot of 'successful' people, there is also a journey once they become successful. There may be ups and downs, setbacks and what feel like failures, along the path too.
When you want to give up, remember why you started! Why are you here in the first place?
Ask yourself why do you want to give up? What is the actual reason? How can you work on this?
Keep seeing things as you want them to be, not as they are right now. The Law of Attraction can be used in stepfamily life too!
What is the reason you want this to work? Go back to your WHY again.
When you want to give up, find support with other stepmums. I have a free and private Support Group on Facebook - CLICK HERE to join us!
Only another stepmum truly gets it and won't ever judge you. It is more than likely she has been there before and can give you good advice.
Remember you didn't come this far, to only come this far.