Originally posted on Aug. 10, 2011 on my blog No One’s the Bitch.
There are probably 100 reasons why the most common words out of a stepmom’s mouth are “this is the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
But why focus on the negative?
Here’s a countdown of the top 10 BEST things about being a stepmom!
10. You get to have kids AND keep your kickin’ body. No stretch marks or saggy boobs here!
9. You get to deflect blame. When you’re out with your stepchildren and they decide to throw a loud, embarrassing fit, you can stare back at the crowd and with a clear conscience say “Oh, they’re not mine!”
8. You get to have “behind-the-scenes” influence. You get to co-parent with your husband behind closed doors, then sit back while he dishes out the discipline. What evil stepmom?
7. You’re growing as a person. Anytime you’re faced with something challenging, you can’t help but learn and grow from it. What have you learned? How have you grown?
6. You get to watch your husband be in awe of his offspring. One of the sweetest things is to see the man you love fill with pride over his children. You get to sit back and listen intently while he shares his thoughts, hopes and plans for their future.
5. You can go from outsider to instant insider. There comes a time when you go from being a stranger to being part of the family. This can show up in a million different ways. It could be with a first hug, or when the kids finally decide to talk to you, or when you walk in the door and your stepson yells “Hurry up! Look what I made in school today!”
It’s an inclusion that wasn’t there the day before, and there’s nothing quite like it.
4. You’re not their parent. Instead, you’re a safe place for them to open up about things they might not want to share with their parents. This could be good or it could be bad, but either way it lets you know you’re special to them.
3. You can heal a family. Sometimes it takes an outsider to break the pattern of the family drama. You can provide your husband and your stepchildren with a new way of being that they otherwise might not have experienced.
This also gives the kids an opportunity to witness what a healthy, adult relationship looks like. And with that vision, when they grow up, maybe they’ll seek out nurturing relationships, where the dynamic is supportive and reciprocal, instead of what they might have witnessed when their parents were together.
2. You get to walk away. When the kids are throwing attitude, acting ungrateful or just plain mean, you have the option of walking away. When YOU’RE the one with the bad day and can’t bear to be surrounded by kids, you get to take a time out.
Many stepmoms don’t take advantage of this option for fear of appearing “separate” from their stepfamily, or because they feel too much guilt. They end up burnt out because they don’t remove themselves when they desperately need to.
But the fact remains, as a stepmom, you can tell your husband it’s all on him and you’re taking the night off! I suggest every stepmom exercise this option at least once every two weeks.
And the number one best thing about being a stepmom is…
1. You’re loved for just being YOU. You have an opportunity to be loved by the kids, simply for who you are, not because you gave birth to them. Now how freakin’ cool is that?
Did I miss one? Feel free to share!
© 2011 Jenna Korf All Rights Reserved