Are you even a step-mum if you haven’t decided at least once that ‘enough is enough’, you are packing your bags, leaving that very next morning and have told (shouted at) your husband ‘I can’t handle this anymore!’
Luckily these moments are a distant memory for me now, but these negative thoughts and feelings of not being able to cope, feeling like the outside, struggling with jealousy issues and feel lost and confused in my role will always be remembered, but not taking a hold of my mind. They are a reminder of a place I never want to go to. A place that I worked so hard to get out of.
Those uncontrollable and overwhelming bitter, resentful and angry emotions where I would be shaking with stress and unable to breathe, are luckily very far and few between.
I would wonder what the hell was wrong with me. Am I weak? Am I unlovable? Am I broken? Am I not meant to ever be in a relationship? Am I destined to live a life on my lonesome, with an army of cats for company?
So if you are reading this and in one of those moments where you are figuring out who you can go stay with to get yourself out of the nightmare you are living in, stop for a moment and take a few big deep breaths and ask yourself these questions!
1) Am I going to regret this?
This is the first thought that popped into my mind every time I was struggling. If I end this relationship with a man who I absolutely adore, how would I feel? Relieved? Heartbroken?
A little voice inside of me always would say ‘you will regret this’. I always choose to listen to my intuition. We have it for a reason! Through all the tough times where I was growing and evolving as a stepmum so I could be a happy person, there was always something inside of me telling me not to walk away.
I am so glad I chose to listen.
I honestly said this to myself so many times, and it saved me I the moments where I was planning to emigrate to Canada so start my life again!
If you feel like you will regret not working a little harder on your inner world, maybe that means you shouldn’t give up?
That leads me onto the next questions I asked myself!
2) Am I ready to do the inner work needed so that I can be a happy thriving stepmum?
Am I ready to take 100% responsibility for myself and anything I may be doing to contribute to my stepfamily stressors?
I knew that my circumstances weren’t going to change, so the other only option was for me to change. I knew I loved James so much and that we were meant to be together. I had been engaged before and was wise enough to walk away before we got married. I knew I had made the right decision by marrying James.
A wise stepmum friend who had been in the ‘game’ for 10 years said to me that the process would be tough, but it would be worth it. I was petrified at looking at my inner wounds and past trauma that was triggering me in my present role as a stepmum. Initially, I was scared to change. But I am so glad I made that mental leap and begun to do the work, as I am now so far past that point that it honestly feels like another lifetime.
The reason you are suffering is nothing to do with your external circumstances. If you decide to change your thoughts and your mindset, I promise your stepfamily life will begin to change too.
3) Can I accept that sometimes I am can’t possibly be the priority 100% of the time?
For me, this was really hard to take. I would compare myself to my friends who weren’t in a relationship with a man with kids and felt so jealous that they had their man all to themselves!
The honest truth is that, even if your partner adores you and tries to make you his priority, there are going to be times when you can’t simply be the number one.
I also had to accept that birthdays, Christmases and any other special occasion are going to be that extra little bit complicated. Although I will always try to live my life as ‘normally’ as possible, my life can and will sometimes be dictated by a custody schedule.
For a long time, I failed to accept the situation I was living in and put up my barriers to what was going on and how I was feeling. I wanted to control and change everything!
I eventually started to surrender, trust that I was exactly where I was meant to be and was MEANT to be a stepmum.
I decided to accept that I was in fact a stepmum and it wasn’t a bad thing in the slightest, no matter what society has conditioned us to believe. That is for another blog post though!
I then begun to relax into my role, accept and find peace in where I was right now in the present moment, whilst deciding to get excited about my future and deliberately creating one that I wanted to live.
If you are suffering right now or feeling like you are at a dead end in your stepfamily, please remember you can do this!
You are stronger than you think, and I promise you, you can change. We can all change if we really want to.
Nothing is ever set in stone. No issue is ever too big to be sorted.
If you would like a bit of guidance and support, please send me an email to email@example.com.