I have made some mistakes as a Stepmom; I have made some mistakes as a biological Mother too. I have owned my mistakes and apologized for them. It’s what we do after we make the mistakes and it is how we learn from them. We need to learn to try to better ourselves from the mistakes we have made. I don’t think any of us Stepmoms when we were little and playing with our Barbie dolls played “Stepmother” role with them. It’s a role that we never thought we would be in. But this is the life we chose after we said “I do take him to be my husband”. We might not have known everything we would be getting ourselves into at that time. After all the Brady Brunch can do it, we can do it, right? I was a stepdaughter myself and knew what it was like to have a Stepmom. I didn’t make the same mistakes as my Stepmom did with me, but I made other ones. Being a Stepmom is very hard and there isn’t a manual on how to do it. Maybe there should be one and call it: “What to expect when expecting to be a Stepmom”. You can be a successful Stepmom if you do a lot of research on all of the complications and join a support group of Stepmoms to help prepare you for the issues, struggles and obstacles you will face. You need to be prepared for everything and learn to be able to accept the role. It’s okay and good to make some mistakes as long as you own it, apologize, and learn from those mistakes. The overall take from this post is: when you make a mistake, Own it, Apologize for it, and Learn from it.
Steps to take when we make Mistakes
- Own it. Suck in that pride and admit that we made a mistake.
- Apologize for it. Very important to do because it shows the stepchildren to admit when they are wrong too.
- Learn from it. What could you have done differently for a better outcome?
- Educate Yourself. You can purchase books on how to be a better step parent or get blended family books.
- Educate yourself. Purchase books about being a Stepmom and other blended family books.
- Join a Support Group for Stepmoms either online or your local church. I have a great support group I started on Facebook called: Stepmoms Are Us. Come check it out and join there are over 100 Stepmoms already.
- Think of these three things always before you speak
- Is it Nice? Is it True? Is it Necessary?
- Pray to God for wisdom, strength, and direction. When you seek him daily, you will get the help you need.
- Take an Adult Time Out. Yes, sometimes when we get heated up and full of anger, it’s best to remove yourself from the situation and take the time to calm down. Don’t respond in anger over something, always be calm, cool and collected.
Realizing why you make the mistakes you make is half of the battle. Sometimes we make mistakes because of our backgrounds in how we were raised. I know most of us say we will never do what our parents did with us when we were growing up, but in reality, we do often make the same mistakes our parents made with us. Even though our hearts are in the right place, we often times follow the same example. We need to write down all of the negative things in our childhood that we think our parents did wrong in raising us. Then write down all of the positive things they did in raising us when we were children. Are the negative things something that you struggle with now? If so, we need to realize it and stop it now. It’s never too late to change course and stop making the mistakes your parents made with you. Share these lists with your spouse and even have him write his own lists up and you can both compare with one another. Make each other accountable for each list and give each other permission to tell one another when one is doing something off of the lists.
As for my list, one of the negative things on my list was that my mom used to call us children names a lot when she was angry with us. And as you guessed it, I struggle with that too now. I sometimes call my children and stepchildren “Brats”. I am trying my best to stop myself from doing it. I am happy to say I haven’t done it for over a year and a half now and I’m hoping I will overcome it. You can overcome anything you put your mind too. Trying to change is going to be hard, but you can do it. Sometimes we made mistakes as Sue Patton Thoele said: “anything that is unrecognized, unresolved, wounded, or disowned within us is likely to be projected onto another person or situation”. That’s why it is so important to take a look at ourselves and our own upbringing. Sometimes there is hurt there that goes deep. If you do experience that in your past or childhood it is best to seek help with a therapist to help resolve it. You can become a better Stepmom if you heal those hurts and unresolved feelings that happened in the past. Break the generational curse of being just like your parents.
Sue Patton Thoele (2013). The Courage to be a Stepmom. Finding Your Place Without Losing Yourself.