I Received this Heartfelt Email from a Stepmother… With her permission, I’m posting it (with a few changes) and my reply. Here’s what she wrote: I was married for 21 years to a man with two lovely children who were 6 (boy) and 8 (girl) at the time. I was the primary caretaker, and worked […]
These co-parenting tips will make your life easier. Honest.
Co-parenting often proves a nightmarish, combative process, with your children’s health and well-being as collateral damage.
Resentful and embittered divorced parents share inappropriate information with their children, or just outright lie to them about the other parent. Some do it for revenge. Some do it to maintain control over their children, whom they believe are “theirs” more than the other parent’s, and that the ends justify the means.
The real victims, however, are the children. They get deprived of emotional wellness and a chance for a healthy relationship with both parents. Even if sabotaging the parental relationship is successful, and the relationship between the children and the other parent is severed, the relationship with the alienating parent is far from healthy.
So here’s what to do for your kids.
I recently received an email from a concerned stepmom expressing frustrations with her living situation and asking how to address them. The letter reflected challenges I’ve heard from many stepmoms over the years, in one form or another.
Her first concern was that she felt like an outsider, or like hired help, rather than feeling like part of a cohesive family unit. This is actually two separate problems, and here’s the crux of it:
You need to feel like a wife, before you’ll start feeling like a mother.
Your step-kids are getting it from all sides, but they’re going to be taking it all out in one place: on you.
They have to deal with their mother’s venom, their father shirking responsibility, and discomfort caused by accommodating you as you enter their lives. In their eyes, you are new, you are strange, you are temporary, and you are disposable.
That can change with time. With some patience, empathy, and clear, consistent boundaries, your step-kids will grow to trust, connect with, and maybe even like you.
Ever feel like you and your husband are running two households in one home? Can you even remember why you married him? Where’d the romance go? Parenting your children consumes your day; parenting his kids consumes his. They’ve become the marriage’s focus, moving your relationship as a couple onto the back burner.
Remarriage Showcase is no mere bridal show. It helps brides and grooms plan weddings & gives them a recipe for successful marriages and families.
Co-parenting is tough. Between difficult exes, threatened spouses, manipulative children, communication challenges, and the messy aftermath of previous marriages, parents and step-parents alike have their work cut out for them.
Understand the obstacles to co-parenting, their effects, learn how to overcome them by collaborative planning, and keep your new marriage from ending the same way as your last one.
Mother’s Day day isn’t always smooth. It’s even rockier for stepfamilies. Biological moms rock the boat when feeling envy over stepmothers’ share of the children’s affection, or feeling threatened by the presence of another woman in their children’s lives. Meanwhile, stepmoms feel jilted out of their just desserts when something called “Mother’s Day” is primarily about someone other than them, despite their maternal role in their new family.
The bitter pill is that Mother’s Day is primarily about mothers. If both the bio and step moms in your family can share the day, then bravo: there’s no need to read the rest of this. For the rest of us, here’s a guide to being sensitive and understanding during a surprisingly tense holiday for stepfamilies.
Violated expectations breed strife. Everyone has ideas about how things should be, and dreams about how they will. And then, well, things aren’t. The new wife, the old father, and the young children all have their own expectations; the thread that threatens to unravel your marriage is how everyone winds up wrong.
Let’s end the year with a true and touching message of hope, love and inspiration. I have a dear friend who was willing to share with all of us a letter his stepdaughter wrote him for Christmas. It was accompanied by a picture of the two of them, taken shortly after they met.
He has been a stepfather for 25 years to this 29 year old woman and her sister. When I think of successful and happy remarriages, I think of this wonderful couple which I have the privilege to have as friends.
I hope you enjoy reading it. I would love to hear your impression of it.