Hello and welcome to WhatAWanderousWorld!
Becoming a step mom is one of the scariest, hardest, and most beautiful things that a woman can ever do. Kutos to you for taking that plunge! However, there are a few things that you should expect on this new endeavor..
1. Not Everyone Is Going To Be Accepting
I don’t know what it is, but people LOVE to throw it in a step mom’s face that they are not a biological mother.. It’s heartbreaking really. Why is it so wrong for someone to love a child that isn’t biologically theirs? People are going to remind you time and time again that you are not the kids’ real mom; doctors, teacher, family members, and ESPECIALLY bio mom herself! (Be ready for that one.. Bio moms can be really.. FUN 🙂 ) People are not always going to be nice to you, just prepare yourself and remember that it’s their problem and you’re not doing anything wrong by loving those children. 🙂
2. It’s A Lot Harder Than You May Think
Being a step mom is no cake walk, TRUST ME! No matter the relationship that you may have with your step kids, things are going to get rocky from time to time, especially in the beginning. There are going to be arguments, temper tantrums, things said that are not meant, and so on.. THINGS WILL GET BETTER. I promise! Especially if you have a wonderful spouse (like I do) in your corner backing you up, then you have nothing to worry about. In the beginning it’s hard, especially for the kids. They don’t know you very well yet and it may take some time for them to accept your authority. Stand your ground, enforce your rules, and don’t try to be their best friend. You are here to be a parental figure, not a best friend. Have patience, the end result is SO worth it!
3. You Are Now A Role Model For Small Humans!
You now have 1 or more small people watching you and wanting to do what you do! No more partying like crazy, cussing, inappropriate talk, and so on.. You now have to watch EVERYTHING that you do around those kids because they can and will start copying you! Kids are literally sponges to everything that their parents do.. I never realized how much until I moved in with Nick. Chayanne, our youngest, is quite literally a mini-me! She wants our hair done the same, she only eats what I eat, she wants clothes like mine, and so on. It’s really the cutest thing in the whole world but now I have to watch what I do very closely because she picks up on it IMMEDIATELY.
4. They Will Come Around
As long as you are not some evil tyrant, running the house with an iron fist, then they WILL come around. Those kids will love you, I promise, they just need time to get used to you and to get to know you. From a kids’ perspective, a new parental figure can be seen as more of a challenge at times than a blessing.. Kids will often rebel against you for a multitude of reasons. It could be things like; they don’t like the idea of a new person in their life, they aren’t willing to accept the fact that their parents aren’t getting back together, they’re afraid that you’re not going to love them, or they could be afraid that you never wanted them and just wanted their dad/mom. Talk to them! Talking and spending quality time with your step kids is the best possible thing that you can do. Love them, treat them well, and they will come around. 🙂
5. Have Patience
Although you were expecting this to happen, they weren’t. They may have had little or no idea that you were even coming! Perhaps dad/mom talked with the kids about it but they may not have fully understood the gravity of the situation and it may be a bit of a shock to them at first. Have patience with them. Talk to them with your spouse about what’s going on and help them to better understand. It will help in the long run.
Kids have moods just like the rest of us and sometimes those moods are less than pleasant.. You, being the new step mom, may not always know how to deal with that. Be patient. Give them a chance to calm down and come back and talk out the situation with you rather than having a screaming match with them. Now I am in no way saying let your step kid sit there and scream at you! NO! If you need to take action, then do so! Come up with rules and punishment that fit with your family. What works for someone else may not work for your family. You all have to work together to find out what works.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Spouse
Becoming a step mom is a whirlwind.. Believe me, it takes some getting used to. But while you’re adjusting, don’t forget about your spouse. Don’t forget about the quality time that you still need to spend with them. This is something that I lost sight of when I first moved in with Nick. I neglected him and our quality time because I was so mixed up in and stressed out about everything else that was going on! That mistake almost cost us our relationship! Luckily we were able to work through things, just don’t make the same mistake I did.
Your spouse is also there to help you! Don’t forget that! Whatever stresses you may be facing, be it with the kids or otherwise, your spouse is there for you! Let them be there! If you are feeling overwhelmed, tell them that you need a second to breathe. If something needs to change, SPEAK UP! Things are never going to change if no one knows there’s a problem.
7. Don’t Forget About You!
It is so easy to get wrapped up in everything else going on that you forget to take care of yourself! Don’t forget about your YOU TIME! Stress will only build and build if you’re not finding a way to unwind. Go get your nails done! Go have a girls night! Have a spa day at home, SOMETHING! Don’t allow yourself do just drown in stress. It’s not worth it.
8. You Are Not Their Best Friend, You Are Their Parental Figure
This is another mistake that I made when I first moved in with Nick. I was so focused on having the kids like me, that I just spoiled them rotten to win their favor… Don’t do that… Don’t get me wrong, they absolutely LOVED me, but it was for the wrong reasons. Plus, with them getting just about everything they ever wanted, their attitudes started reflecting that.. (They would start throwing temper tantrums whenever they were told “No” or whenever they got in trouble for doing things they weren’t supposed to) Bottom line, just save yourself the headache and carry yourself as a parent and not a best friend from the get-go.
9. Bio Mom Is Most Likely Going To Be Around
I pray that you end up having a good relationship with your step kids’ biological mother/father, but believe me, that is not usually the case. Things can get very rocky when having to deal with the other biological parent; rules get crossed, parents don’t always agree on what’s best for the kids, or like in our case, bio mom keeps trying to kidnap and run off with our kids!… (I really really pray that you don’t have to deal with something like that..) When having to share custody of a child, communication is key! You HAVE to be able to talk to one another. You are not always going to see eye to eye, but if you can at least talk out the problems then you’re on the right track.
At the end of that day, the only thing that matters in any situation with a bio parent is the kids. What is going to be best for the kids? Some times you guys will simply need to put your differences aside for the them! If the kids see conflict among parents, they are the ones that feel the pain. Kids often believe conflict among parents is their fault. Don’t let your child believe that! If there are issues with another parent, TALK TO THE KIDS TOO! When i say communica!tion is key, I don’t just mean among adults. The kids matter even more! Let them know what’s going on, you don’t need to tell them every little detail but they deserve to know what’s going on. Don’t let them believe that anything is their fault!
10. Don’t Give Up!
In the beginning, things are super stressful, I’m not going to lie to you… DON’T GIVE UP! I wanted to give up so many times; the stress was too much, I wasn’t happy, I super overwhelmed, and I felt STUCK! I never talked to Nick about any of it until it was too much and I was ready to go.. Don’t make the mistakes I did.. Don’t give up. If you love him/her and if you love those kids, open your mouth about issues that you’re having and don’t give up! Once you “find that groove” it is SO worth it! And be patient, it took us a year to figure everything out. It will come. 🙂
*I’m in no way saying “stay in your relationship no matter what for the family”. If you are super unhappy, you and you’re spouse are trying everything possible, and things just aren’t getting better, don’t put yourself or your family through that. Let go. Everyone deserves to be happy! If possible, keep things on friendly terms! (Especially if you had a connection with the kids: kids can never have too many people to love them!). Also if you’re in an abusive situation, don’t be afraid, you are stronger than you believe. You can walk away. If you need help doing so, please call 1(800)799-7233.
Thanks and enjoy!