24 Jan

Letting go of the stepmom guilt

Being a stepmom can be great but at times you realize you feel guilty about your decisions, or even your thoughts.
You could have decided to spend the day alone with your partner, then he calls that he’s bringing the kid(s), and you feel pissed, and almost immediately feel guilty for feeling that way. After All you signed up for this.
Stepmom guilt is not really a good look, and it can affect your immediate relationships- whether with the kid(s) or your partner. By practicing self-love, accepting and acknowledging your flaws, you can stop the feelings from creeping into your mind.

Here are some of the most common stepmom guilt and how to let go:

Disliking your step kids
Just like every other relationship, a blended family has to grow and develop. You don’t just start to like someone immediately you meet them.
Realizing that you dislike your partner’s kids can leave you feeling guilty, but just make sure you don’t force your emotions. Accept how you feel and you can deal with that feeling.
Look out for the times when your step kids do things that are endearing instead of the times they seem to annoy you.
Giving things time to grow makes them better.

Jealous of your step kids
One could get jealous of how their partner spends more time doting on the kids instead of them. You might have had expectations of what your blended family should be, but get disappointed when you can’t even bond with the kid(s) or you start getting jealous of them.
To feel better about this, make sure you and your partner spend enough time together, even with the kids around. You need to first strengthen the bond between yourselves so that it won’t be broken when you spend time apart.
You should also talk to your partner about how you feel, let them know that you require more time from them.
One more thing is to ask your partner how you can be involved in certain activities with the kid(s)- that way you also get to create a connection and feelings of jealousy subsides.

Feeling relieved
Well, isn’t relief a good thing?
There will be times when you feel good about a break from step kids.
“The kids will be staying at their mom’s for the weekend”, you hear this and suddenly heave a sigh of relief. But almost immediately, you suddenly feel guilty for being relieved.
To feel better about this; take advantage of the little break to do something fun or special with your partner. Work on yourself so you’d be prepared at your best, the next time you have the kids over.

Here’s a general tip to let go of stepmom guilt:

Understanding the situation and finding out “why” you feel that way
You need to search for a reason why you feel this way. Maybe you don’t want to go to the school Christmas party because the ex is there and you are always uncomfortable or get really anxious when she’s around. But then you start telling yourself to “suck it up”
“Aren’t I grown”
“I should be there, it’s my duty”. Guilt tends to develop if you have these beliefs.
It’s quite normal to feel uncomfortable or anxious but you do not have to shut out your feelings to be better. When you accept your fears, the situation gets easier.

As a stepmom, you will always want your home to be full of life and happiness.
You need to remember that you are human and you don’t have to be perfect all the time, there will be times when you feel resentment, jealousy or insecurity. Do not guilt trip yourself just because you are trying to fit into other people’s expectations, take it one at a time.

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