Hey Mamas! This article was written by one of my amazing contributors, Leslie with Leslie W. Blog! She is a Mama, Step-Mama, Wife and Blogger. She started her blog in hopes of, like us, helping fellow Mama’s. Leslie loves to create articles that are helpful, uplifting and provide Mama’s with the tool they need to succeed! Leslie writes a lot about being a Step-Mom, which is a subject near and dear to my heart. It’s also something that really isn’t talked about enough and I know so many Mama’s that struggle with the adjustment, transition and balance of it all. Leslie will be doing a spotlight here on Mama Bairre monthly, to bring Y-O-U helpful tips, tricks, advice and honest words of wisdom from her experience. For many, StepDads get all the glory and are deemed as an amazing man when they step into this role, but for Mama’s the struggle is a bit different, we usually face criticism, opinions and at times rough roads of transition and adjustment. I hope you enjoy this beautiful article about 8 Tips for New StepMoms! It’s something I wish I had before entering my situation, so I hope it helps any Mama’s out there struggling or in the process of becoming a StepMom. Leslie, take it away!
Did you know that I am a stepmom? Yup! I am! I have two stepchildren, both boys, ages 19 and 13. They are wonderful. They are sweet, kind, forgiving, fun, and funny. But does this mean that being a stepmom is easy? No. Absolutely not.
Just because you have wonderful stepchildren does not mean you automatically will have an easy journey as a stepmother. I wish I could tell you differently…
However, there are some things I can tell you that will help you in your journey as a stepmother. I came up with 8 tips that I wish someone would have shared with me before I said “I do” to their awesome dad, my wonderful husband. These are tips that can be used by any stepmom out there, regardless of their situation.
I filmed a video on my YouTube channel recently covering these 8 tips for new stepmoms. I really go into them a lot more in the video, so head over there now to watch or listen! You can see the video here or below:
You can also read them right here:
8 Tips for New Stepmoms
1. Take it slowly: great things do not typically happen overnight. You have to have patience (as hard as that sounds). It can happen, but remember that you don’t have to get to the end goal within one day or one week. (It took me 5 years).
2. Ensure you have support: this means support from your partner and/or outside support. My support person? My mom. Always has been, always will be. I tell her everything. She’s heard it all during my journey as a stepmother. Having her shoulder to cry on and ears to listen have done more for me than I could ever put into words. Find your person – now. You will need them.
3. Take breaks/allow time for yourself/self care: this is probably self-explanatory, but just in case…make sure you are taking time for yourself. It’s ok to step away. It’s ok to take a break. It’s ok to retreat to your room for some much-needed quiet time or catching up on Grey’s Anatomy. Whatever it is you do to retreat (temporarily), do it. And don’t feel bad about it. You will come back much more level-headed and patient and understanding. Trust me.
4. Love is an action: this is my favorite one. This is something my mom’s best friend once told her. Love is something you may not always feel, but you can always show. I found this to be true with one of my stepsons a while ago – I wasn’t feeling the “love”, but knew I had to act it. I took him out for some fun time at an amusement park, and low and behold, on the way home, I teared up from the amount of love I felt. It was in that moment I knew what “love is an action” truly means – and realized it works.
5. Don’t give up: this goes for anything challenging in your life – then, now, or in the future. Don’t give up. The hardest things in life are often things that are most worth it. I found this to be true in regard to being a stepmom. It is the single most hardest thing I’ve ever done, but one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had. Loving someone who isn’t biologically yours is not something that comes to you overnight, you have to choose to love them. Choosing this, day after day, amongst other things (choosing to care for them, provide for them, parent them, etc.) is one of the most unselfish things a human being can do (in my opinion). You’re special simply because you are in this position and because you chose this on your own. So, with that said, don’t give up, sister. It will come with time.
6. The Golden Rule: treat others how you wish to be treated. Plain and simple. Practice this with both your stepchildren and your partner’s ex…and you won’t be sorry. Again, this is one of those things that is way easier said than done, but even if you only have a 65% success rate with it, it’s still better than the alternative. And it paves a very nice path for the future in terms of long-lasting relationships.
7. Imagine your 25-year-old stepchildren: This means, think of the big picture. This is what my husband always tells me. What matters is the people our kids will be one day when they’re 25 and not living at home. That is who we are trying to raise right now. That’s who we need to love and cater to – the 25 year old versions of our stepchildren. The 13 year old versions and 17 year old versions can be very challenging, but if we keep our eye on the prize, it makes more sense and makes everything else worth it.
8. Seek help: You will need help…at some point…no matter if you think you will or not. So remember this when the time comes, and do what you have to do. That may mean therapy, it may mean a good book (my favorite is “The Happy Stepmother“), it may mean a good Facebook group to go and vent to…whatever it is, know that it’s ok, and you deserve to get help for what you’re going through. I have, and am glad I did.
This is a lot to take in, but it’s worth it, I promise. This could be one of the most important things you ever do…so it should not be taken lightly. Please let me know if you have any questions in regard to being a stepmom, I’d love to answer them or find someone who could answer them for you!
If you enjoy reading about stepmom topics, you will also love my posts about stepmom woes and being a stubborn stepmom. If you’re just wanted to read about mom topics, check out my posts on mom hacks, my favorite things, and screentime detox for toddlers!
As always, take care, my friends. Thanks for reading. 🙂
I graduated from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where I learned innovative coaching methods, practical lifestyle management techniques, and over 100 dietary theories – Ayurveda, gluten-free, Paleo, raw, vegan, macrobiotics, and everything in between. My specialty is vegan and gluten-free options and alternatives!
I studied with the world’s top health and wellness experts including:
- Joshua Rosenthal, founder of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition
- Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, chair of nutrition at Harvard University
- Andrew Weil, MD, director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine
- Gabrielle Bernstein, bestselling author and life coach
- Susan Blum, MD, MPH, assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine
- Mark Hyman, MD, founder of The UltraWellness Center
- Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating
- David Wolfe, raw food leader and nutrition expert
- Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, professor at New York University’s Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health
- Mark Bittman, food writer for The New York Times and bestselling author
- Joel Fuhrman, MD, family physician and leading expert on nutritional healing
I practice a holistic approach to health and wellness, which means that I look at how all areas of your life are connected. Does stress at your job or in your relationship(s) cause you to overeat? Does lack of sleep or low energy prevent you from exercising? As we work together, we will look at how all parts of your life affect your health as a whole.
I work with my clients to get in touch with their body’s needs because I understand that life happens and your needs will change. I want to equip you with the self-awareness to make the best decisions for yourself in any given circumstance. I believe each person is fully capable of making well-informed decisions as their own expert, not the latest magazine article or fad diet book.
Let’s define what you value most from your well-being. We’ll use these visions to motivate specific goals that bring you closer to where you want to be. As your coach, I will not dictate a diet for you, but together we will explore why some foods make you feel better than others and how to strategically use that feedback. Together we’ll co-create your health goals within reasonable time frames and actionable objectives so you know exactly what you’re working toward.