Happily Ever After: 5 Benefits of Stepfamily Life by Christina Roach LMHC, NCC, DCC
You know he will always be a father. His kids come first. As a stepmom, you will need to adjust to their way of doing things.
These are just some of the messages I received when I decided to marry a man with kids. I’m not going to lie. Those words of encouragement—or lack thereof—were less than I had hoped for. After such rave reviews, what mentally stable person would sign up for this gig? Me. And given that you’re reading StepMom Magazine, I’m assuming you, too.
As stepmoms, we know stepfamily life has its share of turbulence and that some of us have it rougher than others. Those of us in the field know the benefit of keeping expectations realistic and seeking guidance from knowledgeable resources.
With this, though, needs to come an awareness that the concerns addressed in these pages (and those covered by other reliable sources) do not necessarily forecast what will transpire in your stepfamily.
After hearing about how to deal with a meddling ex-wife, disrespectful stepchildren or an unsupportive partner for the umpteenth time, you can start to feel like you have signed up for a one-way trip to “step” purgatory—even if your situation couldn’t be farther from this reality.
Faced with such a discrepancy, you can choose to do one of two things. You can use the presenting information to paint your world negatively (i.e., creating chaos where there was none before) or you can use it to acknowledge that your situation may not be as bad as you first thought. Regardless, your focus remains on the potential pitfalls of stepfamily life.
While there is a need and benefit to discussing how to handle difficult situations and people, it’s equally important to highlight the potential positives of this family dynamic. Yes, I said positives. Not to make light of anyone’s struggles, it’s good to remember that stepfamily life is not all doom and gloom. …To read the rest of this article, log in to your account and download the October 2015 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.