Being a blended family is people wanting you to not enjoy or embrace your blended family because of what transpired in past relationships. Especially If children are held in bondage with the custodial parent. It is almost a sin to happily continue in life with a new family without your biological children full-time. And it’s NOT intentional that you continue in life by CHOICE but due to unresolved conflicts that lead to parental alienation. Being the Matriarch of a blended family has been difficult. I have not done everything right. And I mentally struggle with things that I wish I would have known or perhaps educated myself on before signing up for this journey. With the help of social media support groups, I now know and understand my role as a stepmother. But for every step I take forward, I take ten steps backward. I will not point the finger and blame EVERYTHING on the bio mom. My inability to manage my own emotions and expectations has contributed to the escalation of what has been a growing conflict for far too long.
As I said in my previous blog, after being with my husband for six years, I finally realized that I simply needed to simply MIND MY BUSINESS and allow him to deconflict issues as they arise. I remind myself daily that it is not my job to make repair attempts on a divorce and parental issues, I did not cause. However, my husband does not believe it would have made a difference due to the hurt and bitterness that existed. Therefore, this year I have taken steps to protect my peace and marriage from being sabotaged by things that are completely out of our control. As a mother, it has been hard for me to sit back and watch everything unfold as they have due to adults’ inability to co-parent and communicate effectively. Consequently, I involved myself so deeply, that it almost led me into a dark place. I began to think less of myself as a mother due to my bonus child not having access to her father full-time. Being a stepmother is far more difficult than being a stepfather. Society, on a massively large scale, has contributed to the negative perception of stepmothers. For years, I have blamed myself for coming into my husband’s life and taking him away from his daughter. When I reflect, he had only been out of the Navy for two years when we started dating. And perhaps that was too soon, maybe I should have known better.
Disconnecting and learning to enjoy the family that we have created together, separately from my bonus child is gut-wrenching. Especially because I have done my best to connect and love her as my own. Needless to say, our children live a well-privileged lifestyle, and it feels almost selfish to not have her share the same life and opportunities as them. But going forward into our 6th year of marriage, I told myself that I will not allow myself to feel guilty anymore. I also have made a conscious effort to remind my husband that he is a great father and that everything he has endure is not a reflection of him as a father. Our efforts to lead with love and continue to choose each other despite our imperfect family have truly been a blessing. We have chosen to cope and tackle everything together as a TEAM. Also looking inward and knowing that the disconnection and lack of contact does not define my role as a stepmother. This period of separation has allowed me to immensely focus on my husband and children. With doing so, I am hoping our bond will grow greater so that we can continue to stand as one in the face of family conflict.
Below is the amazon link to the Stepmom Retreat, 31 day scripture, devotional and guided journal. This is the perfect self care addition to your routine as a stepmom. Start by taking 15 minutes a day to journal, pray and reflect.