The (Un) Balanced Stepmom


I think it requires a lot of balance to be a stepmom.  Maybe it’s something we stepmoms learn along the way because we have to.  Maybe we never master it.  I’m not sure.

I have been reflecting on stepmoms a lot this holiday season.  Several stepmoms have shared with me their stressful Christmas and holiday stories.  The central theme seems to be difficulties with parenting plans (in other words, “mom’s days” and “dad’s days” as decided by the court or the parents, this is the “parenting plan.”).  Stepmoms have been telling me about the lovely Christmas plans they made for their families and then finding out last minute that the stepkids would not be there because the ex made other plans for the kids even though it wasn’t her day.

This is one of the ugly realities that stepmoms live with.  If you are not a stepmom and you’re reading this, brace yourself.  We stepmoms plan lovely meals, family days, birthday parties, Christmas dinners, vacations, and so on…and then our stepkids aren’t always allowed to attend.   When these things happen, even the most balanced stepmom can feel unbalanced. It’s deflating and deeply sad for stepmoms.  It’s like the rug gets pulled right out from under you. It’s a struggle to be upbeat or joyous during a family time, when only part of your family is allowed to be there.

Some of us deal with parental alienation where the other parent purposely plans something more fun on that same day to lure the kids away.  Others have exes who just don’t cooperate with the parenting plan.  And we all know that it’s easier to let it slide than to retain the lawyer for several thousand dollars again.

So today I’m thinking about the sweet stepmoms who have shared their stories of holiday disappointment with me.  I have been there, I know that pain too well.

Psalm 34:18 (NIV)  The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

John 16:33 (NIV)  I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.

Today I am thankful for God’s comfort in this fallen world and for the girlfriends God has placed in my life.

What are you thankful for?


A Stepmom Needs Her Girlfriends


Throughout my stepmom journey I have become increasingly thankful for my girlfriends.  They are my prayer warriors.  They are in my corner when it seems that no one else is.  When I’m accused of not being a “real mom”, they see all of the hard work that I do, and they affirm it.  When I talk about blended family stress, craziness and drama, they don’t look at me like I have 2 heads.  Spending time with them refreshes me and reminds me that I’m not just a stepmom (we hang out, share stories and laughs and the stepmom stress melts away and I remember there’s more to me than this one hat that I wear).  They encourage and uplift.  And when I really need it they are my accountability partners.  While I might feel a certain way or want to act a certain way, they remind me what Bible says.  They are brave enough to give me messages that the world doesn’t give.  The world tells us things like “do whatever feels best to you”, “relationships are all about your personal happiness”, “put yourself first” and so on.  My girlfriends remind me that God is our ultimate guide, not the fallen world.

Today I am thankful for my girlfriends.  God knew I needed them and provided wonderful gifts in them.

I Thessalonians 5:11 NIV:  “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up”

What are you thankful for today?