There have been days, where as a stepmom, all I wanted to do was to give up and walk away. I was tired of having to fight for a place in our home, to be seen and acknowledged, to be appreciated for what I brought to the family.

Leaving could have been so simple and easy.

Start over with a clean slate.

Starting over is never simple or easy. It’s very hard to walk away from someone you truly love, knowing there is so much potential and possibilities in creating the kind of family and relationship you’ve always dreamed of.

If you know that this relationship is worth fighting for, then persevering will get you there, by taking purposeful actions, one STEP at a time.

Expect obstacles and challenges along the way. It’s part of the process. Here’s how you can overcome them and keep moving on by following these three tips.

  1. Solidify Your Commitment to Your Role as a Stepmom

Do you have a vision and a goal for your stepfamily? Without one, it’s hard to know where you’re going, whether you’re on the right track with the way you’re interacting with your stepkids or in the way you and your partner work together as a team.

Once you have your vision of what your stepfamily looks like, it’s time to create a plan with small, manageable steps. Share this with your partner so that together, you can create the family you both envisioned for yourselves. When you work as a team and understand what each of your roles are in the family, it helps to face those challenges most stepfamilies must deal with at one time or another.

And be sure to revisit and revise your plan and vision as needed. Just as we grow as individuals, our goals and visions grow and change as well.

Not sure you can do this? Self-doubt and lack of confidence can sabotage your success. It’s important that your goal and vision become so compelling that your need to persevere is greater than giving up. Believe that you can overcome your stepfamily hurdles.

Remember that the smallest changes you do are the ones that tend to last and make the most impact in the long run.

  1. Learn How To Deal With Stepfamily Challenges

Life as a stepfamily is full of challenges and obstacles as I’m sure you are aware of. Avoiding these is not the solution to creating more harmony in your home. The best strategy to dealing with stepfamily challenges is to stare them in the face and figure out a way to get through them or overcome them.

Here’s where having a strong and compelling goal and vision helps you to stay on track and to avoid making excuses or blaming others, such as an ex or terrible stepkids. Blame and excuses are only temporary solution and won’t bring you long term happiness.

Follow your intuition or better yet, ask for help from experts or peers when making decisions about ways to handle difficult situations, especially regarding an ex or a stepchild. Weigh in the options. What’s the price for either avoiding the problem or confronting it? Is it worth it? Have you dealt with something similar in the past that you successfully solved? What were the steps you took? You are the only person that can honestly answer that question.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. We all make them – I know I have. Rather than trying to avoid making mistakes, learn from them. You might feel discouraged, wanting to give up. Don’t. Persevere. Gain wisdom from your mistakes. What’s the one thing you can take away from this experience? How can you apply it to future challenges? If you feel like you’re failing at being a stepmom, maybe it’s time to revisit and reevaluate your vision and goals to see if they are realistic or not. Aim for success, not perfection.

  1. Stay Strong Through Self-Carehttp://bit.ly/stepmomblog180124

Neglecting yourself in order to take care of others will only create more issues and problems for you along the way. I’m sure you’ve heard of the “Oxygen Mask” analogy where you need to put on your mask on first and then help others. It’s nothing new, and yet, so many stepmoms (and women in general) tend to forget this most important piece of advice.

Stop trying to do everything on your own. Ask for help. It’s actually a sign of strength when you reach out to others for help and support.

Do some kind of physical activity like walking or jogging. It’s even better when you do this with friends. Connecting with people while doing some form of activity that nourishes your body and soul provides you with the support you need to persevere in dealing with stepfamily challenges.

Another way to help you stay strong is through journaling. I’ve found great relief in pouring my thoughts and emotions in my journals. These journals contain some of my deepest and most profound struggles as well as some creative ways in dealing with difficult situations that I faced as a stepmom and as a wife.

Most important, persevering depends on staying true to yourself, to your values and beliefs, and to your dreams. This means that you need to do what it takes to get what you want. Change only what’s not working in your life and continue to do what does until you’re at the place you want to be.

Persevering means to need to keep moving forward, to change what needs to change, to stay strong when faced with adversity.

Want to learn more on ways to help you persevere when dealing with stepfamily challenges? I’d love to give you my free ebook on Self-Care for Stepmoms. It’s filled with great resources and ideas to help you be ready to take on any challenges you are facing as a stepmom, a wife and a woman.
Download your free copy by adding your email below.

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Claudette Chenevert The Stepmom Coach

Claudette Chenevert  works with stepmoms struggling to create a cohesive family. As a Master Stepfamily coach, she provides education, support and tools enabling families to achieve their goals within a specific time frame,  often surpassing expectations. She helps you find what works best in your situation so that you will be able to create the kind of family you truly want. For more information about her programs and services, go to http://www.stepmomcoach.com

17 Comments

  1. Megha Humlie

    Great post full of grounded suggestions. There so much need for this information. ❤️

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Thanks Megha. I agree that we all need to hear more ways to help and support stepfamilies rather than focus on the negative aspects of them.

      Reply
  2. Tarah

    Thank you for all this valuable information.

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      You’re welcome Tarah. I think the more we share about stepfamily struggles, the better our children will be in the long run. It’s hard for all involved, whether you’re the stepmom, the dad, the kids, and yes, even the ex. And I’ll even add, the extended family too.

      Reply
  3. Barb Parcells

    It is so important that both parents support each other and present a united, loving presence. One partner can’t do it alone. The children have a hard enough time trying to adjust and make sense of it all. Thank you for all of your wonderful advice.

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      I agree with you Barb. When the marriage is the first priority, and the children the first responsibility, it allows the kids to enjoy some security in the home and in their lives. Raising kids takes more than one person. It takes a community of people wanting what is best for the kids, to ensure that they feel loved and cared for. This also means that when we take care of our needs and wants, it’s a great way to teach our kids to do the same. I appreciate your comment.

      Reply
  4. Cathy Sykora

    I had a lot of challenges as a stepparent. The nice thing now, I’m taking care of my husband after surgery, running a business and had a clogged toilet. I would have called a plumber and my husband was whining about paying the plumber…so he called my stepson and he was over in 10 minutes to unclog the toilet. I guess what I’m saying, is that it all comes back around. All that “other care” pays off later on. Love your blogs and your purpose.

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Cathy, glad to hear that in the end, it pays off. It’s hard to see the long term benefits when you are up to your eyeballs in chaos, stress and challenges around stepfamily issues.

      Reply
  5. Teresa Salhi

    Such great advice and resources here for many women in the midst of being a stepmom. It truly is a unique situation that often does not get recognized for the support that may be needed.

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Thanks Teresa. When you understand that dealing with stepfamily issues require different strategies than in traditional families, it makes life a little less stressful.

      Reply
  6. Candess M. Campbell

    Claudette, being a Stepmom Coach is such a necessary niche. Over the years I have counseled many clients who have had problems in this area, but I don’t have the experience you have as a stepmom. I sent the link to this blog to one of my clients. One of the issues that comes up a lot is the power struggle between one’s husband and their former wife. It can be exhausting for the stepmom. This is such a valuable blog and giving permission for self-care is so important!

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Thank you Candess. You are correct that one of the biggest issues many stepmoms face is dealing with an ex-wife that will not allow her to be a part of the family, tries to control two homes or manipulates her children against the stepmom.
      It’s important to focus her energy on making sure she feels supported and that she takes care of her needs. I look forward to welcoming your client and providing her with help around her stepfamily issues.

      Reply
  7. Tandy Elisala

    Such a wonderful article about the challenges of being a stepmom. I think these tips are applicable to everyone; although being a stepmom has a unique set of challenges. As you mentioned, you have to fight for a place in the home. That alone can be enough to rip a marriage apart. I agree with you 1000% that self-care is KEY to parenting and in general! I think being flexible about what we envision for our family and think of as a ‘perfect family’ is important as a family grows together. There are certainly a lot of moving parts as a stepmom!

    Reply
  8. Reba Linker

    This is a wonderful post. You help so many with your attention to this oft-neglected role. People (and fairytales!) love to blame or make fun of the stepmom role, and it is so much more productive to – as you are doing – give it the time, attention, support and encouragement this role deserves and requires. Helping the stepmoms will help the entire family – all the adults and children included. May your work help many more people!

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Thank you Reba. Through my personal journey and struggles to try to fit in and understand what my role as a stepmom was, I felt very alone and misdirected. After going back to school and learn as much as I could about what it meant to be a stepmom, what was expected of me and if it made sense, I was on a mission to share, help and support as many stepmoms and their family as I could.
      So often, I heard women tell me “Where we you 10-15-20 years ago? I was in my own journey. Now that I’ve learned a lot, it’s time to share with others so that they too may create and build stronger and healthier stepfamilies.
      Another thing I hear so often is “If I’d known then what I know now, things would have been so different.” That is my other reason to help these stepfamilies.
      In the end, when stepfamilies can thrive rather than just survive being together, we all benefit. We have healthier and happier kids, loving and caring adults in cohesive relationships, and simply a better place to be.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me.

      Reply
  9. Jackie Harder

    Super information and not just for stepmoms. I particularly liked the piece about revising your vision and plan, although I think that if you’re changing your vision, it’s not the right vision. Definitely change your plans as needed since life and people change all the time. Flexibility is key.

    Reply
    • StepmomCoach

      Jackie, agreed that anyone can benefit from learning to persevere in the face of challenges. We sometimes start out with a vision for ourselves and our family, thinking this is what I really want. Then we discover that this doesn’t fit who we are, either because our vision was based on other people’s beliefs or aspirations for us or because we outgrew that vision.
      We need to give ourselves the grace to change our minds and walk a different direction if that is what is best for us.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Reply

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