7 Practical Tips for Stepmothers

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“I am at my wits end. I didn’t know that being a stepmother is going to be so frustrating!” said a 39 year-old, successful, professional woman. “At work, everyone respects me and likes me, but at home I feel like an obstacle to my stepchildren in their relationship with their father.” If you can relate to this stepmother’s frustration, you may have asked yourself many times over why your stepchildren can’t just see you for who you really are: a nice, loving woman who wants peace and love in her home. You may also wonder what you need to do in order to get noticed and cherished by your husband. Perhaps you wonder if you can ever succeed in this unclear role.

The following tips will hopefully help you turn a corner with your stepchildren and your husband, so you walk the path to desired harmony in your home.

  • List 3 positive things about your stepfamily and read them everyday.
  • Let go of any anger toward your stepchildren’s biological mother (as much as you can). It will help you become happier.
  • Compromise on stuff that is not very important, so you can focus on getting what is more important to you.
  • Set healthy, clear boundaries with your stepchildren and your husband, and stick to them.
  • Re-evaluate rules with your husband periodically. As children grow up, expectations of their behaviors need to adjust according to what is appropriate for their ages.
  • Encourage your husband to spend quality time with his biological children to help solidify their bond. He will be grateful to you for that, and so will his children.
  • Use your free time to take care of yourself by scheduling a massage, a manicure, or lunch with a friend.
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