Exclusive! What Moms Want Stepmoms to Know: 8 Ways to Make Stepfamily Life Easier on Everyone by Blythe Ward, MEd
In my years as a therapist working with stepfamilies, many of my female clients expressed anger and frustration over feeling as if their stepkids’ mothers were making life very difficult for them. But not only was I a therapist. I was also a biological mother to two young boys. After my marriage to their father finally collapsed, my ex-husband remarried a woman who did not have any children of her own.
Four years later, I married a man who had three children and I became a stepmother, too. If I had not first been in the position of a single mom, I would not have understood how important it is for stepmoms and their partners to consider the feelings and needs of moms like me—women whose own happiness can contribute to a happier and less stressful stepfamily experience for everyone.
By recognizing which situations hurt me most, as a biological mother, I gained valuable insights. I also developed useful suggestions for stepmoms; ones my clients put into practice when dealing with their stepkids’ mothers. You, too, can benefit from this information—which I’ve outlined here, in the eights tips which follow.
I’ve also included examples of other triggers to look out for and avoid, when possible. Equipped with both the tips and triggers list, my hope is that you get maximum benefit from my firsthand experience and minimize your own sense of anger and frustration.
The majority of biological moms are not out to hurt anyone. There are reasons they act the way they do sometimes. Understanding those reasons can help you work with her for the benefit of your stepchildren and, thus, your stepfamily. I hope, too, that my insights and suggestions truly empower you. …To read the rest of this article and learn more about moms and stepmoms, log in to your account and download the July 2017 issue. Don’t have an account? Click here to subscribe.