Let’s face it, being a stepmom is hard. Even if you have a great relationship with your stepkids there are always times of contention and frustration. Maybe everything is going great, and suddenly the kids hit a rocky patch and you’re the enemy. Or perhaps its the ex-wife who has been nice and courteous for awhile but out of nowhere drops a bomb on your family. Or maybe you’re like me and don’t know what to do when everyone is happy and getting along.
I know for me personally I actually struggle when everything is going right. (crazy, huh?) I have gotten used to cleaning up destruction and helping rebuild and heal relationships and unfortunately, I have found an identity in it. Somewhere along the way I defined my role as a stepmom as one being ready at a moments notice to handle clean up from destructive times – almost like a medical unit in the middle of war. When everyone is happy – instead of being grateful, I wind up feeling unimportant or not needed and questioning my role in the family. What is a stepmom supposed to be? Who am I?
Over the years, and through many long discussions with the Lord, I’m starting to realize that the role of a stepmom isn’t about fixing everything but instead standing at the ready to meet my family right where they are. My boys might not be mine biologically but that doesn’t mean I can’t give them unconditional love. As much as I might wish I could, I will never know the kind of bond they have with their mom. This year the Lord has really been challenging me to stop worrying about competing with their mom and instead to simply be their stepmom. To me, that looks like making lunches for school, being at drumline competitions and baseball games, helping with Algebra homework, outlining research papers, listening when they want to talk about random things, and most importantly showing them what a healthy marriage looks like.
Stepmoms, I urge you to remember that your kids come from a broken situation. They will never see their parents in a healthy marriage. They will not see a father who loves their mother unconditionally or vice versa. However, you can teach them through example what a Godly woman looks like and you can show them a marriage focused on Jesus as it’s foundation. Maybe you don’t think your marriage is a reflection of something beautiful. Please begin praying to the Lord to help soften both you and your husband’s heart towards each other. Ask Him to heal the hurts, open the communication, and invite Him to be the center of your life together. With Him as your rock, you will be able to glean so much joy from both your marriage and your role as a stepmother.