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How To Keep Your Sanity As A Stepmom
Being a stepmother can be rough.
I think being a stepmother, in some aspects, may be harder than being a biological mother. Stepmothers are constantly trying to balance between loving her bonus children and respecting the biological mother.
If the juggling act of balancing blended family life wasn’t enough to stress a stepmother out then toss the evil stepmother stereotype on top for one emotional roller coaster ride.
There will be days that you will tell yourself that you just can’t do it anymore. You may feel that you’re at the breaking point but I am here to tell you that you can do this.
Here are 8 tips that will not only help you keep your sanity as a bonus mom but help you thrive as one as well.
Your Marriage is Your Priority. Remember, second marriages and any sequential marriages after that have a higher chance of failure than first marriages. It is so high in fact that second marriages rarely make it to their first anniversary. Your marriage must be your priority. It might sound crazy but you can’t give your children 100% if your marriage isn’t at 100%. Dealing with a biological mother is going to stress the whole family out. It’s important to make sure your marriage stays intact and fun. Don’t forget what brought the two of you together in the first place and all the wonderful blessings after.
Get Connected. You are not alone. There are many bonus moms that are going through the same struggle. Find a support group in your community. Not big on in-person connections? Follow a support group online. There are many online groups that you can post anonymously and sometimes it helps just to get it out there to women who understand what you are going through.
Allow Your Partner to Take Care of His Children. We did this from the start. I showed my husband how to do his daughter’s hair (dads are so lost on hair) and all the other things that “moms” typically do. There are two reasons why you should do this: The first reason is for the children to know that their father is equally invested in them as their mothers. The second reason is to not be the primary caregiver of the household. Work together as a family to get tasks done and you will find that the result is your family having more time to spend together.
Business Not Personal. Handle the biological mother on a business level. I can’t stress this one enough. Don’t try to be the biological mother’s friend. It’s not going to work. At least not for the majority. It’s best to keep everything on a business level so there isn’t any hurt feelings or disappointment.
Narcissists Cannot Co-Parent. Narcissist biological mothers will not want to co-parent because they think that only they know what is best for the child. They could also think since they have the children more, then they should have more say. Narcissist biological mothers ignore logic and even the feelings and desires of their own children for their own twisted selfishness. Be prepared for difficult days but don’t engage. There is nothing that you can do that will change a narcissist BM. Pray for her and put it in God’s hands.
Don’t Take it Personally. Your partner divorced their ex for a reason. You are a step up (if not a few or a lot of steps) above from what he had before. Naturally most biological mothers are going to hate you for everything you are especially if you are amazing. Their low esteem is not your problem and certainly don’t lower yourself to her level. Shrug it off and focus on your family. It might be hard to do but it’s important.
Every Blended Family is Different. Don’t compare yourself to other bonus moms or other blended families. No two blended families are the same. Focus on your family and do what is best by them.
Let Your Husband Solely Communicate with the Biological Mother. As much as you think connecting to the biological mother as a woman and as a mother would help, it won’t. Trust me. Let your husband communicate with the biological mother and carry on your role as a bonus mom.
Rough Seas Ahead. There are going to be hard days and then some that will be easier. Don’t let the biological mother run your life. Yes, you should work with her on a professional level when it concerns the child and she will always be a part of your life but don’t let her control you. Certainly, don’t let her be a wedge in your marriage.
Having a happily ever after is possible for a blended family. It will just take a lot of hard work. But you know what? Your blended family is worth it.
How do you keep balance in your blended family?
Check out THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT RAISING STEPCHILDREN for more blended family tips!