Stepmoms Who Disengage: How to Step Back Without Stepping on Toes by Brenda Snyder, LCSW
So, here you find yourself: You—a bright and articulate woman—have suddenly realized that whatever it is you’ve been doing to make this stepmom gig work hasn’t worked at all. In response, you examined your loving heart and reassessed your intentions to be sure they were pure.
Still, you’re met with hostility or, somehow even worse, apathy.
This then caused you to redouble your efforts, which left you exhausted and frustrated. The more you tried, the more you hated the results. So, you decided to find out what the experts had to say. You read some books, talked to experienced stepmoms and maybe even found a competent stepfamily therapist.
Yet, their advice started to take on a noticeable pattern. You realized that maybe you were trying too hard. Maybe, in order to be a good stepmom, you needed to step back. So, you launched an experiment. You found the word no. You practiced saying, “That’s up to your dad.” You rejoined Girls’ Margarita Night, despite the fact that your stepteen was playing her 316th softball game of the season that very same night.
To your amazement, your husband got pissed and flipped out. He accused you of not wanting to be a part of the family. This wasn’t what you expected. You thought you were doing the right thing. You were dumbfounded. Devastated.
What, you’re thinking, do I do now? Learn how to do the stepmom step back.