Not Guilty as Charged: Set Yourself Free of Stepmom Guilt in 7 Steps! by Mary T. Kelly, MA
It plagues you. You think you’re the only one. You’ve tried to talk to friends about it, but they just looked at you as if you were an alien. You approached your partner about it and were immediately rebuffed. You live with this feeling and chide yourself for not being a better person, partner and stepmom. You wonder if you’re a good person at all because no decent person would have the thoughts and feelings you do.
Guilt. It’s pervasive in the psyches of women who are dating, partnered with or married to people with kids. You feel guilty for not being crazy about his kids, guilty for dreading their arrival, guilty for wishing they didn’t exist, guilty for wishing your partner had met you first—the list could go on ad nauseam. You doubt yourself.
Maybe you even work with children and berate yourself for having such negative feelings toward his kids, when you have no problem working with kids in your professional life. In fact, you love those kids! You may be an aunt and love your nieces and nephews, so why can’t you transfer that kind of love to his kids? You have children of your own and feel guilty because you find it impossible to love his as if they were yours.
How can you even begin to get rid of this guilt, which feels like gum stuck to the bottom of your shoe? How do you free yourself from the feeling that you’re surely defective for having all of these negative feelings toward your partner, his kids, his ex, etc.?