Why it’s vital for stepmoms to take better care of themselves

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Stepmom Self-care meditationMany women aren’t sure what self-care is, so they mistakenly think it means being selfish, and they feel guilty when they attempt to do something for themselves. One reason for this is because it wasn’t modeled for us as children. Most of our moms sacrificed everything for us, so we never saw our moms take time out for themselves or enjoy hobbies— especially not at our expense.

When I recommend self-care to stepmoms, I’m recommending they do activities that achieve two goals:

1) Give them a break from their daily stress

2) Refill their emotional tank/feed their spirit/bring them joy

We all have things that do this for us, but we often forget them because we let life get in the way. It could be dancing, painting, walking the dog, going to the gym, cooking, reading, getting a manicure, etc. You might have to think back to when you were a child to find out what you really enjoy doing.

As far as things that all stepmoms should do, you should carve out time, at least once a week, for this activity. This shouldn’t be thought of as a “nice-to-have.” It should be a non-negotiable “must-have.”

It’s important that you spend time away from your source of stress. You can’t recharge when you’re surrounded by the same environment that adds to your stress. Even if family life isn’t stressful at the moment, this should be something you do with friends or alone, because if you’re with people you either feel obligated to take care of or even want to take care of, it’s defeating the point.

I know there are women out there who are convinced they just have NO time for this. I often say that something needs to change if this is the case. Dad needs to step up or they need to reach out to family and friends for support. But in these cases, just five minutes alone in the bathroom can make a difference, even if it’s short lived.

Stepmoms with young stepdaughters are important role models who can teach them what it looks like to value themselves. Boys are naturally pretty good at doing what they want for themselves, but girls often struggle with this. (Think of all the people-pleasing women you know.)

When you’re taking good care of yourself, you gain a sense of confidence that carries over into other aspects of your life. When you’re feeling good about yourself, you’re more likely to feel good about others and less likely to take things so personally. And when you return to our family more patient, less stressed and more peaceful, everyone wins.

This article was originally published in the August 2014 issue of Sm Magazine

© 2014 Jenna Korf    All Rights Reserved

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4 thoughts on “Why it’s vital for stepmoms to take better care of themselves

  1. yep I got burnt out, I tried so very very hard to be the best Stepmom. But the Biomom has made me regret ever wanting to be a Stepmom in the first place….hahahaha!!! She made my experience the most ugliest experience anyone could ever have. She called me the “N” word, called me other names, blamed me for her sleeping with another man and having his baby. She mentally abused her kids. We didn’t know then what it was called but now we do, it is Parental Alienation. Biomom had it down to a ‘t’. Her kids hate me and I don’t even care anymore, she abused her ex (my current husband), she abused her kids, and she abused me. She burnt all of us out!!

  2. Ah yes my Stepmom needs to step back and take a break. I need to tell my Stepmom how much I loved her. But I wasn’t allowed to love my Stepmom because my mom was so insecure. Remember, Stepmom, when I told you I wished you were my real mom?? My mom didn’t show us how to do anything right. My mom didn’t show us how to be nice or kind. My mom showed us all how to act stupid and without thought. My mom showed all of her children how to commit Fraud with Child Support & Welfare & Food Stamps. My mom showed us all how to lie to our children about who their real dad is. My mom showed us all how to call people the “N” word. My mom showed us all how to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day and now she’s on oxygen has the most wicked cough now. My mom showed us all how to act pitiful and walk around with a cane in one hand and a joint in the other. My mom showed us all how to gossip about people and laugh at retards and handicaps and just laugh at everybody’s expense because it was always such a mean thing to do. My mom is a complete and total disgrace because she abused all of her children

  3. Dear Jenna, I just want to thank you for this article as well as for the rest of the articles. In fact, I want to thank you for providing so much support and information for stepmothers. In my country, such information is sparse, and frankly, sometimes I just feel like the evil stepmother/witch.
    I realised now I need to take better care of myself before I can care for others, and I am also reading the other articles here and benefitting from them. Thank you!

    • Hi Magz, Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’re finding my articles useful. I know how hard it is to find support, especially outside of the U.S. Also, you might want to consider joining the Stepmom Revolution community. It will provide you with around the clock support from myself and other stepmoms as well as a multitude of training that you can choose to participate in. 🙂 You never have to feel alone again! 😉 If you’re interested, you can read more about it here: http://www.stepmomhelp.com/fees-and-services/stepmom-revolution/

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