Women are expected to be the emotional core of their families. In stepfamilies the expectation is the same. For stepmothers however, it is an unrealistic expectation, at least for a year to a year and a half. Here are some tips to help you improve and solidify your role as a wife, mother, and/or stepmother:
- If you are a woman with no children of your own, married to a man with children, you are in the toughest role possible in stepfamilies. Make sure you educate yourself about children’s age appropriate behavior, and refuse to be an instant “mommy,” as this is doomed for failure. Be friendly and kind, but stay in the background until a solid relationship is developed between you and the children.
- If you have children and are married to a childless man, continue to parent your children exclusively. Allow your husband and your children to develop a relationship gradually.
- If both you and your husband have children from previous relationships, continue to separately parent your children. Develop a joint parenting style in order to reduce confusion for the children and increase togetherness.
- Figure out what are the obstacles to you performing your role successfully. Write down 3 baby steps that you are going to take in order to resolve the conflicts.
- Talk to your husband about the importance of him being emotionally present for his children, even if it feels odd to him.