“An Open Letter to the New Stepmom From a Stepmom” originally appeared in The Runner Up Wife and has been reprinted here with permission.
This was not the picture you painted in your head when you thought about becoming a mother. You never dreamed of helping raise someone else’s kids. Being a stepmom was never part of the plan.
You did not think that you would be the “second wife.” Yet, here you are.
An Open Letter to the New Stepmom
I get it.
All you want is for those kids to love you as much as you love them. You want them to come running to you, calling your name eager to tell you about their week with mom. However, they do not.
All you want is your husband to understand how hard it is to be in your shoes. That you most definitely did not “know what you signed up for.” How could you know? You have never filled this kind of role before.
I have been there.
You feel like the forever “third wheel” (or fourth or fifth) in your own family. Like you are on the outside looking in. You are just learning the inside jokes and everyone’s quirks. All you want, is to feel accepted.
You feel selfish for being jealous of your stepkids for the time your husband spends with them. You want your new husband all to yourself. Why do you have to share him?
You stretch yourself so thin.
All for the sake of your family. Yet, you feel unappreciated. It seems like they do not notice the effort and time you put into everyone around you. Will I receive a card on Mother’s Day? Or even an acknowledgment from my husband?
You try not to let your emotions get the best of you. You are a strong woman damnit! However, your mind is always wondering comparing yourself to his ex. That insecure little girl inside you is envious of the life they shared together.
You are the punching bag.
Divorce has hurt your new family, in a way you cannot understand. It has taken its toll both emotionally and physically. Your stepkids are resistant to you. Your husband sometimes jumps on the defensive train too often. Why do you have to pay for something you did not do?
Those women who tell you that you are not a “real” mom, who do they think they are? They tell you that you could not possibly know how to love those kids like your own. After all, you do not have any bio kids yet. How can you possibly know how much a mother loves her children? But, they do not know how much you love your stepkids. They do not understand.
Some days, you feel like you are in over your head. You should have listened when they told you to run the other way. Why did you ever think you were cut out for this?
Girl, I am here to tell you, that you ARE made for this.
You are one bad ass stepmom.
When the school plays come around, you are sitting in that audience. You bake those cookies with your stepdaughter. When your stepson needs help with his homework, you make it happen. YOU are making a difference in their lives and for that you deserve a spa day girl!
You made the conscious choice to love someone else’s kids. That is a special kind of human. So, special humans are allowed to feel whatever they want.
It is okay to feel jealous of your stepkids, that feeling will go away. Yes, your husband has a past with another woman, but that does not undermine your current relationship with him. You are with him for a reason, never forget that.
They see how hard you are trying.
I mean, you are a flipping rockstar for crying out loud! It does not matter what anyone says. Stepmoms are moms too. They are your kids.
I would be lying if I told you it gets easy really fast. So I will keep it real. There are going to be tears, there are going to be arguments and it’s going to be tough.
Above everything, there will also be a lot of laughs, tons of memories and moments when you will want time to stay still.
Sometimes, you are given things in life that you never knew you needed. Those thing can rock your world but in return fill a piece of your heart you never knew was missing.
Just a few short years ago, I was you! I felt like there was nobody else in the world who felt like this. So I struggled in silence. Now, I want to share my experience with other like-minded stepmamas who are going through the same thing. You are not alone and are doing an amazing job!
PS: Need a little help writing your own happily ever after? We can help! Take our 5-day FREE course and take back the reigns on your life, stepmama! You deserve happiness.