Tired of Being a Stepmom? Science Says Taking the High Road Isn’t Easy by Christina Roach, LMHC, NCC, DCC
We all know being a stepmom can be a tiresome business— with some days feeling more draining than others. Countless scenarios are primed to put us in positions where we can choose to either take the high road or succumb to exposing our uncensored thoughts.
Whether it’s par for the course of the role we’re in or not, many stepmoms are faced with predicaments in which they feel a need to wield restraint over their impulses. Maybe you’ve crafted Pollyanna-type responses to yourself about false allegations made by the ex, your stepchildren’s selective hearing or (what you perceive to be) your partner’s misguided parenting style.
Whatever the precipitating event, you find yourself carefully selecting your words so as not to paint yourself as the wicked stepmother. The reasons for your Shakespearean efforts can be varied. You may not want to offend your partner. You may want to avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as badmouthing your stepchildren’s mother. Or, then again, you may simply be averse to vilifying your stepchild.
Regardless of your motives, as time goes on and these responses become the norm, you can find it increasingly more difficult to strike that well-intentioned balance. The continuation of this cycle begins to take its toll. What was once easier to come by has now become substantially harder.
Is this a sign that you’re not trying hard enough or aren’t up to the task? There’s a growing body of research that says otherwise. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the September 2015 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe!