Let’s face it. You had a choice. You had a choice of whether to be with this man or not, knowing full well that he had children of his own. But you wanted to spend your life with him. So you chose. You chose to be with him. Therefore, you chose to become a step-mom.
Believe or not, as a step-mom, you have a special purpose in the lives of your new husband and his children. Think about it – you could have had your pick of all the single men in the world, yet who were you most drawn to? A wonderful, beautiful man . . . with children. And not only that, the dreaded “ex”. Why is that? Why would fate deal you this card? Is it by pure coincidence? Or by a designed plan from the higher ups? Or did life just want to make your life more complicated than ever?
In my experience, it certainly wasn’t easy at first. Although at times it still isn’t. I wasn’t a mother yet when I met my step-kids and hardly had any experience taking care of children. My life had not roller-coastered so much before. I had so many questions and a lot of anxiety to go with it. What were my boundaries with them? How do I and how much do I discipline them? Will they listen to me? Will they even like me? Do I show them affection or do I hold back? Do I act as there mother when they’re with us or do I just be their friend? How in the world do I handle this situation? Sometimes I would cry myself to sleep or journal incessantly trying to make sense of my new life.
However, after much trial and error and getting over my fear of being alone with the kids, I discovered my purpose as a step-mom. After much soul searching, I realized that I had a role to play in these kids lives. My purpose was to help their father establish a positive and nurturing environment for them. There were some things missing from their lives, and I was there to help fill that void. Fortunately, I was able to forge a close relationship with my step-kids. It still has its ups and downs, as with any parent-child relationship, but understanding them and getting to know them has made it easier to adjust each day. As I understood the reason for my presence in this family, I was able to accept this life that I chose.
Choices aren’t always easy. We must deal with the consequences of whatever direction we take. I made some sacrifices along the way. At the same time, though, I broke down many of my own walls. My choice as a step-mom has brought a new light to my life. I am not saying that life is always fine and dandy and that there aren’t any hard times. Step-motherhood, just like parenting but with more “perks”, is a constant challenge. But like any leap of faith or risk that we take, we can only grow from the experience. And I feel that I have done just that. I can honestly say that I can’t even imagine what life would be like without my step-kids.
Do you know why you chose step-motherhood? Have you discovered your step-mom purpose? It helps to ask yourself that question time and again. Whether you’re a totally new step-mom or a seasoned pro, we all need to be reminded of why we chose this life. Step-moms play a courageous role, and if we maintain our purpose, our role will not have to be so hard. We can live in harmony, maybe even happily ever after, with our husband and our step-children.