The Path to Super StepMom Status by Gayla Grace

The Path to Super StepMom Status

The Path to Super StepMom Status by Gayla GraceIn my 20 plus years of being a stepmom, I have had more conversations than I can count with other stepmoms who are frustrated and desperately trying to achieve SUPER STEPMOM STATUS. It’s as if it’s an award to be given out at the end of the year. But they aren’t achieving the status and instead end up feeling like a failure. Year after year they vow it will be different but the next year rolls around and things are the same. No award. No loving stepchild who thinks they are great.

No. It’s just the same ole thing.  And often we feel we’ve failed.

You are not alone.

You are not the first nor will you be the last stepmom to:

  • think you have failed.
  • believe with all your heart that you CAN be the best stepmom ever!
  • believe your stepchild will LOVE you!
  • and they will want to be your friend!

The reality is that they don’t think you’re the best. They may not ever love you nor want to be your friend.

I speak from experience. During my stepson’s adolescent years, he found all kinds of reasons to dislike me. Some of them might have been legitimate, but most were unfounded. Regardless of how hard I tried to be a good stepmom to him, he rejected my efforts.

I tried. He rejected. I tried again. He rejected again.

The cycle went on.

I wish I could tell you there was a “magic formula” to ensure stepmom success. But I can’t tell you that. What I can tell you is there’s no such thing as “SUPER STEPMOM!”

So…

Sometimes we’re dealing with a difficult teenager. Or a younger child that whines and cries.

Are we going to want to quit and throw in the towel? Most definitely! But we have to remember we’re the adult in the equation. We need to keep our cool as best we can. We can pray and ask for strength from the One who is greater than we are. And then remember …  this is normal stepfamily dynamics.

I’ve been married to my stepson’s dad for 20+ years. Finally, after many difficult years, my stepson and I now have a good relationship.

Is it because I became a different person toward him?

No. It’s because he has matured into a young man who, at 27  years old, recognizes and appreciates the role I’ve played in his life.

 Did I want to quit being his stepmom during those adolescent years?

Absolutely!

Did I deserve the treatment I received?

No!

Am I thankful I didn’t walk away?

Yes!

Quitting is NOT the answer!

Trying to achieve SUPER STEPMOM status does not guarantee a good relationship with your stepchild.

It almost always results in unmet expectations. Consistent love over time, through the ups and downs of life, could be the difference.

Remember this: regardless of your stepchild’s behavior, the only way you fail in this role, is if you quit.

Are you trying to be SUPER STEPMOM?  How is that working out for you?

Dear Stepparent: It’s Okay to Nurture Your Needs

I used to believe that my needs should come last. I’d stay up late to finish laundry or rise early to put a meal in the crockpot before heading to work. If you peered into our home, you’d see resentment from an unrealistic routine that boiled over into behavior that was less than Christ-like.

One day I decided my needs were important too.

I’m not saying I never do those things anymore, but it’s rare. We teach our kids to do their own laundry as teenagers and meals at our house are simpler than they used to be. If I find myself overwhelmed due to chores or a schedule I can’t manage, I ask for help.  I bet my husband would tell you I’m easier to live with now.

ID-100169128The demands of stepparenting increase with summer upon us. Long days of a surly teenage attitude or a week-long vacation with a stepchild who disses you can send even the calmest stepparent into a fit of madness.

How do you cope?

Read more

Great New Resource: The Smart Stepfamily Marriage

Ron Deal understands stepfamilies! He teamed up with marriage and family expert David Olson to offer keys to success for blended families. I encourage you to grab their new resource!

make THIS marriage last a lifetime

How can you have a happy, meaningful marriage?

Ron Deal and David Olson researched over 100,000 people to discover the qualities that best predict highly satisfying relationships and the roadblocks couples must overcome in order to beat the odds of divorce. Some of their findings will validate what you already know about successful relationships; others will surprise you.

Surprising Findings about Marriage:

  1. The number one relationship problem for stepcouples is dealing with complex stepfamily issues. Making the differences between first marriages and remarriages undeniable, our research reveals that an astonishing 7 of the top 12 stumbling blocks for remarriage couples are related to a past relationship breakup (e.g., divorce) or to the complications of being a stepfamily.
  2. The remarriage divorce rate is between 10-25% higher than first marriages. Why does that occur? Fear and jealousy account for a lot of it and predict with 93% accuracy whether couples have a close, intimate remarriage or a struggling, unhappy one.
  3. People marry because they fall in love with a person, but they often divorce because of the complications of the stepfamily. Eighty-eight percent of individuals expected difficulty related to having a stepfamily and 86% thought having children from previous relationships would add stress to their marriage–and they are right. It does.

Ron Deal, FamilyLife Blended director and stepfamily author, has teamed up with marriage and family expert David Olson, PhD, to offer help, hope, and healing to couples in stepfamilies. Their new book, The Smart Stepfamily Marriage The Smart Stepfamily Marriage (formally titled The Remarriage Checkup) and is backed by research from the largest remarried study ever conducted.

Boasting over 50,000 participating remarrying couples, the National Survey of Couples Creating Stepfamilies was commissioned by Olson, the founder of Life Innovations and the PREPARE/ENRICH program.

Get the book here

Celebrating Mother’s Day as a Stepmom

It’s the hardest holiday of the year for stepmoms – Mother’s Day. Have you made plans for it yet?

I wrote an article last year on how to celebrate as a stepmom. It was recently published again and can be read in Western New York Family Magazine.

Mothers-Day-as-Stepmom_000

What’s a stepmom to do on Mother’s Day? Do we insist that honor be bestowed upon us? Do we create expectations of what our stepchildren should do for us? Do we allow the biological mom to get all the attention for the day?

Mother’s Day can be a hard day for stepmoms because it reminds us of the time and energy we invest in our stepchildren that might include little reward. And if our stepchildren do try to show their appreciation, it can be an awkward and insincere effort, usually prodded by their father.

Read more

Need Stepmom Encouragement? Come to the Stepmom Retreat!

Have you registered yet? I hope so because you don’t want to miss it!

blogThis weekend is for any woman who is dating, engaged or married to a man with children.

On this retreat you will:

  • Mingle and make friends with other stepmoms
  • Recognize common causes for isolation and loneliness
  • Obtain tips when Dad is stuck in the middle
  • Survive the financial strain of stepfamily living
  • Learn to co-parent alongside the former spouse
  • Much, much more

 Come find help, healing and hope on your stepmom journey.

When: September 27-29, 2013

Where: Embassy Suites Dallas Love Field 3880 West Northwest Highway Dallas, TX 75220 214-357-4500 Book room nowGroup name: Blended and Bonded Group Code: BNB ($95 per room lodging fee – double or triple occupancy via Embassy Suites directly)

Cost: DISCOUNT EXTENDED THROUGH SEPTEMBER 10TH!!! 

Go here for registration: http://blendedandbonded.com/events/

  • 129.00 June 16 – Sept 10
  • $159.00 Sept 11 – 27

Schedule of Events

Your Hosts for The Stepmom Retreat

Laura Petherbridge www.TheSmartStepmom.com

Gayla Grace www.StepparentingWithGrace.com

Brenda Ockun www.StepMomMagazine.com

Heather Hetchler www.CafeSmom.com

Amy Urbach Blended & Bonded

See you there!