Best Tips for Being A Better Stepmom
Entering into a new marriage and becoming a stepmom at the same time is undoubtedly one of the hardest experiences that a woman can juggle.
However, there are so many positive and rewarding experiences that can come from that very situation as well - a new family, endless amounts of love, and growing lasting relationships are just some of the many wonderful parts of being a stepmom!
There are many factors that will affect how a stepmom gets to know and interacts with her new stepchildren, as well how she decides to build out her new blended family. These factors can include their biological parents involvement, age of children, sibling relationships, and many more!
While these factors out of your control can be overwhelming, there are still many ways that as a stepmom, you can take control of your own actions and try to make the experience as positive and smooth as possible! We’ll share some ideas to get your inspiration flowing below.
Give it time. Not everything is going to be comfortable and perfect from the start. If you set your expectations realistically and try not to force your family to blend immediately everything will be much easier. Children are great at adapting, and as long as they have help and guidance along the way they’ll get used to the situation (and probably even begin to embrace it) in no time! Show your love and enthusiasm to be a part of the family, but try to give the relationships between adults and children as well as between new siblings the time they need to naturally progress.
Set a system with your significant other. You do not automatically have the right to parent your stepchildren as a biological mom or parent would. You are new to the family, and there might be some growing pains as well as issues with authority coming from somebody that hasn’t been in their lives for very long. However, you are still an adult that has rights to discipline, so simply setting boundaries and having the conversation with your significant other about this topic will go a long way. Being on the same page for this is extremely important!
Don’t talk bad about your children’s biological mother, biological father, biological siblings or biological family in front of them - no matter what their age is. This will create feelings of distrust, misunderstanding, or confusion with children. Most of the time, these topics are beyond what children can comprehend or should be hearing anyway. Some things children are not meant to know about their parents or other adult topics/situations, and bringing in your own bias can be very difficult and painful for a child to understand. Save these laments or conversations for other adults, your significant other, etc. and make sure to never try and pit your stepchildren against their biological mom or family - no matter the situation!
Make time for your stepchildren just as you would your own biological children or family. A little effort can go a long way! If you have your own children, also help them make time to bond with each other as well. Try to find activities or time to set aside for each child that they will enjoy and where you can spend quality time getting to know them. Showing interest in activities they are already a part of can be bonding as well - make sure to ask about their extracurriculars, show up to their games/shows/etc. when you are welcome (especially if they ask you to come), and have them show you the hobbies that they love. When you are spending time together, if they share things with you that aren’t detrimental to their well-being in a private conversation, keep them to yourself! Creating trust between you and your stepchildren apart from your significant other is extremely helpful in the process as well.