You and I chose to become stepmoms when we married a man with kids from a previous marriage. This chosen experience is rife with hidden obstacles, bratty kids, and insecure ex-wives. But it is also an enriching experience filled with joy, triumph, incredible kids, and fabulous ex-wives. The experience is what you and I make it.
The coolest thing is – if it’s not working we can transform it. You and I are change agents. The mere fact that we said “I do” to a man with kids proves that we are change agents.
Are you bringing all your insecurities, fear, uncertainty, and doubt to the change? Or are you bringing love, compassion, joy, curiosity, and an element of play to the change?
Are you so worried about your husband’s ex-wife’s next move that you forget that you have a life and you’ve left it rudderless while you’re busy being in her business? If she’s not neglecting or abusing her kids, who cares? Why be in her business? You’ll never fix her or change her by complaining about her. Release her. Let her go. And moms – if your kids have a stepmom, this goes for you, too.
Being a stepmom is like taking part in an interesting experiment. You are the scientist. You create your hypothesis and then begin to test it out. If test A doesn’t work – Stop. Change the parameters. If test B doesn’t work – Stop. Change the scope. If test C doesn’t work – Stop. Tweak your hypothesis. Do you see where I’m going with this? If you’re testing starts to work, keep going – you’re on the right path. If it leads you to a dead end, stop. Back up and start again. What you think you know doesn’t always work. And what you don’t know right now may end up working two years from now.
In the words of the venerable Dr. Wayne Dyer, “Be Miserable. Or Motivate Yourself. Whatever Has To Be Done, Is Always Your Choice.”
And this brings me to my own trial and errors (because I have made many errors). I’ve never been really clear about why I started The Stepmom’s Toolbox except to say that I wanted to help stepmoms in their journey. I wanted to help make it less hard, less angsty, less awful. The truth is, I can’t make your journey any of those things. Only you can.
I am a Guide. I chose my stepmom path to help guide other women who chose a similar path. I can tell you where the steep climb is or the class 5 rapids are. But I can’t stop you from making your path harder than what it really is. I can only watch as you struggle. I have learned that you will continue to do what you do until your struggle becomes painfully unbearable. Only then will you be convinced that your path is joy.
Until then, I’ll be over here, waiting with open arms. And a cup of coffee.
PS: Be Your Best Self will be made available to everyone. There will be no more list, no more schedule. The same struggle I had when I hosted the radio show is bearing its fangs. I’m doing the same thing over again expecting different results. I’m pretty sure that’s the definition of insanity.
So…I will still be bringing the experts to you, but not on some silly schedule that I made up. If you listen, great. If you don’t, that’s OK, too. Whatever this morphs into the one thing I’m certain of – it absolutely can NOT feel like work. It must feel like play and above all else, it must be fun.