Hard, Fast Thoughts as a Step-Mom

My step-daughter called me a witch. Technically, I wasn’t called a witch to my face, it was in a notebook that was a makeshift journal. I didn’t mean to read it. It was an honest mistake.

I walked into my step-child’s room and saw a spiral notebook on the desk. I thought it was for school. I flipped it open to see which class and if I should bring it to the school or if the class had already passed. “She is such a witch,” jumped out at me. It went on, but I garnered all the self control I could muster and closed the notebook. She had never spoken to me like this, and she definitely doesn’t use the kind of language. I sat in the hallway alone. Step-parenting is hard, but remembering a few things makes the journey a little easier.

The rules are not yours.

As a step-mom, you don’t get to set the rules most of the time. There may be a whole other mama in the picture. Let your partner and biological mom set the rules. Stay in your lane. 

Admittedly, this is the most difficult thing for me. I screw up daily and open my mouth. I get angry and frustrated at how little control I have. Every moment, I regroup and I get back in my lane. 

 

The home is still broken.

There is a lot of pain that is highlighted by your presence in the home. It doesn’t matter if the divorce was the most civil of partings and all are still friends. A child lost their family unit. Your step-child was left wondering why mom and dad aren’t together and probably blaming themselves.

It was a tough pill to swallow that the best thing that every happened to me (meeting my husband and marrying him) came at the expense of my step-daughter. She heard every fight. She saw every tear. She blamed herself … until she had someone else to blame.

You are an easy target.

I need you to put this on a post it and read it daily. You are the easy target for everything that goes wrong. You are a living, breathing reminder, living in your child’s home that her mom and dad are not together. No matter how amazing your relationship is with your step-child, when things get tough, you will be blamed. This is the really important thing, YOU CAN NOT REACT.

You are the adult. Love without fail. This does NOT mean you have to like your step-child or their behavior. I am going to tell you the single best thing that was said to me when my husband and I got married, and I hope it brings you the peace it brought me. 

You will never love your step-child like you love your biological children. That is okay. You weren’t there to see them sleep as an infant, see their first steps, or hear their first words. It is all the little things like this that bond us to tiny-humans. Create a relationship of trust, love, and respect. Allow your step-daughter to resent your presence and feel the emotions. The rest is out of your control, but it will fall into place. 

Truth: I am a witch.

Step-mamas, I am a witch. My step-daughter isn’t the first to think so and won’t be the last, but I am also loved (I think) by my step-daughter. I demand a lot from my girls, step and biological, and no doubt she feels that pressure. Sometimes I need to be reminded that I am being a witch and the rules are not mine. I need to be reminded to stay in my lane and be a beacon of safety, respect, and love in a broken home. 

Step-parenting is hard. So is being a step-child.

Whitney is a born and raised Louisianian. Her passions lie in playground sports, keeping a messy home (much to the dismay of the husband), drinking lots of caffeine, dancing in the kitchen, getting (well trying to get) her booty in shape, and making people smile. She devotes her time to three things that fall very close to her heart: her little family, her weenie pup, and the urge to never stop creating. She married to a gentlemen that is her opposite. He though a pilot, is firmly grounded while she spends most of her time with her head in the clouds. She is a step-mom and mom of two girls, and finds motherhood is a bizarre dichotomy of grace and chaos. As a family they make life work with amazingly creative grilled cheese sandwiches, streamers, Steen's Syrup, and maybe a bubble bath. Each day she chases paper rainbows and lives the southern narrative.

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