I knew my stepson had been having gastrointestinal problems for several weeks and we encouraged him to make a doctor’s appointment. Since his mother died of colon cancer, he knows his risk factors for that disease.
But it hurt my feelings to learn he had gone to the doctor and never even mentioned it to me. As a mom, I’m usually the first one to instruct the kids on insurance cards, co-payment amounts, etc. when they go to the doctor. But instead, my stepson confided only in his dad regarding details of the appointment.
In the early years of our marriage, I would have berated myself for doing something wrong that was keeping my stepson at a distance. But after several years of stepparenting, I no longer blame myself when my stepchildren choose to leave me out of what’s happening in their lives. I know I have done my part to be an involved and loving stepmom along the way but cannot force positive reactions from them.
After 15 years as his stepmom, my stepson recently said to me, “I love you Gayla, but you’re not my mom. My real mom would have given me her approval.” I had voiced my opinion on a choice he was making that I disagreed with, and he let me know that my opinion didn’t carry much weight. The disappointing words still ring in my ears.
Loyalty issues run deep with stepchildren and can keep them from loving a stepparent because it feels disloyal to their biological parent. Sometimes as kids grow older, they work through those feelings, allowing a close relationship with a stepparent. But sometimes they don’t.
If you’re having a hard day as a stepparent, don’t lose hope. Persevere in your relationships even when your stepchildren don’t. Draw near to the Lord for guidance and comfort. Be assured that He sees your efforts and will bless them.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.” (James 4:8)
Are you experiencing challenging days as a stepparent? Where do you look for hope?
Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty