Stepmothers are constantly made to believe that they have to be on top of their game all the time. Trying to reach perfection can make you think you can never do no wrong, hence when negativity sets in, you might start feeling guilty or like a failure.
The end result of all these is resentment and, just like anger, you hold it in until someone hits a nerve, then you flare up. It’s dangerous and can disrupt your happiness and your relationship with others.
Have you ever felt this way? Fortunately for you, here are ways you can handle resentment as a stepmom:
1.Acknowledge your feelings
Most of the time, we tend to turn a blind eye to our feelings, being in denial. Struggling stepmothers hide their feelings and try to be strong instead of talking to someone about it. This is a very unhealthy way to articulate your feelings and the effect of it is resentment. Accepting how you feel about a situation however, will help you deal with feelings of resentment. This is the first step.
2.Understand your feelings
You need to know why you feel the way you feel. Understand yourself and ask questions; “Why do I feel this way?” “Who is causing these feelings?” “Did something trigger it, what triggered it? Can you name the feeling also? Is it anger, frustration, humiliation, apprehension, fear? Finding the exact feeling and the possible reason for your feelings and who or what caused it, will help you deal with resentment better.
3.Be responsible for your feelings
At times, you need to take responsibility for what is going on and ask how you contributed to allowing the feeling. Not that you should blame yourself, but take ownership for the reason you feel resentment, e.g you choose to be a stepmom and you were not forced into it. You made a choice. Everything is a choice. Your feelings/emotions happen through you not to you.
By remembering this, it will take away some feelings of resentment you feel towards certain people or situation.
4.Curb your expectations
Before agreeing to go into a blended family, you might have had expectations of a fairytale lifestyle. Maybe you thought the kids would just warm up to you, their biological mother will love you at first sight or that your husband will leave everything he’s doing and run to your side.
Well, those expectations might be a bit unrealistic. However, going forward, you can curb these expectations by asking what will you be bringing to the table to make your new home work. Therapy is also the best way to help curb expectations. Everyone’s cards are put on the table inclusive of the kids already existing and new agreements will be made and there will be alignment. It will stop you from getting disappointed or developing feelings of resentment.
5.Be open and honest
When you finally bring yourself to talk to someone, don’t hesitate to tell them everything and be honest about it. Let them know the times you’ve felt resentment towards them about something they have done and what you have made it mean, because nothing means anything expect the meaning you give it. It could be your husband or the kids, just make sure you let them know how you feel.
You can also talk to a therapist or a blended family coach. In addition, it’s best to speak to someone who understands what you are going through. We will honestly be expecting a call to help you navigate your journey with ease.
Above all, don’t trick yourself into self-blame. It isn’t your fault that you feel the way you do but it’s your responsibility to make yourself feel better. Stepmoms are one group that is on the receiving end of the society’s obsolete norms, so do not let the pressure get you. We can rise together.
Reach out to us today, lets make your journey an easier one.