Stepmom – Do you ever feel like no matter what you do or say to your stepkids, you feel as if you’re failing? That no matter how hard you try, you’ll never get close to those stepkids of yours?
I can tell you that I’ve felt that way many times. I kept wondering what was it that I was doing WRONG!!!! I’ve read many books on being a good stepparent, took classes and even went to psychotherapy. Then I realized that maybe all those “failures” were my way to learning to becoming a better stepmom. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
I also came to realize that what I was doing were the many ways in NOT to stepparent. HA! What a change in mindset.
Many failures are stepping stones to successful endeavors.
I’ve recently started watercolor painting. The first time I picked up my brush and put the watery paint on my paper, it looked horrible. My 3 and 4 year grandkids did a better job finger-painting than my attempt at doing something recognizable. What I remembered from previous painting classes was the teacher telling me that I needed to go through the ugly stage (of my painting) before I could see the beauty of the work. I’m thinking to myself WHAT? There is no beauty in the mishmash of color.
And yet, the more I “practiced”, the nicer the piece progressed. I use the word “practice” here because that took away a lot of the pressure in trying to succeed at something I had no idea how to do.
So often, we expect to become instant experts or successes in things we have very little knowledge in, and I see this a lot with stepmoms and stepdads. Oh! And even when you become more knowledgeable, the Universe has its way of showing you there could be a better way still.
As a stepmom of 27 years, I’m still learning. Our kids are grown, they now have kids of their own, life as an empty nester is different. And once we retire, there will still be more learning to come.
The trick to success in your relationships is to embrace your failures, no matter how catastrophic, as learnings and insights on your path to new discoveries. The failures may show you what doesn’t work, or they could give you entirely new purpose and direction. In fact, many artists, scientists and innovators will make intentional mistakes in order to push the limits of their creativity and learn from the realm of the unknown.
If you want to find success in your life, start failing, dare to make mistakes, take the hit, and see what you can learn from it. Your life, your relationships and your endeavors…whether you realize it or not, are moving you forward, even when you fail.
How can YOU learn, grow and succeed by failing forward?