Stepmom life is no joke, y’all. It’s a balancing act of others’ expectations, personal limitations, and unique stepfamily factors.
Love your stepchildren like your own, but don’t overstep!
Give them their space because they’re going through a big transition too, but don’t give the impression you’re neglecting them.
Bond with them, support them, and blend into a family unit, but don’t try to replace their parents.
Do all the traditional “mom” tasks. But don’t take any of the credit. And definitely don’t express frustration when you’re feeling burned out.
Your partner wants you to be an equal parent, but the kids don’t see you as an equal parent (yet).
Everyone has an opinion. Everyone thinks it’s a LOT easier than it truly is.
I get it, sister. I know your frustration and have lived the double standard. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel! You can be happy and find peace in this role.
To help you achieve this, here are five habits of healthy and successful stepmoms.
Prioritize Your Peace Through Boundaries
One of my most frequently asked questions in coaching sessions is, “What will protect your peace most?”.
If you want a happy stepmom life, you’ll need to focus on your peace and happiness. No one else will prioritize your happiness for you.
When you’re faced with a choice, make a decision that will lead to happiness. And when you feel like your happiness is in someone else’s hands, choose to set boundaries. You always have a choice. You always have some kind of control.
By ensuring your happiness first, it trickles over into every other relationship. You’ll have a happier relationship with your partner, more patience and compassion for the kids, and more tolerance and kindness with everyone else in your life.
Make it a habit to prioritize your peace of mind, and you’ll have a long, happy stepmom tenure.
Make Time for Connection
Happy stepmoms recognize why they became stepmoms in the first place… Because they fell in love with their partner.
Their partner is the only person who can make the drama and conflict worth it.
Choose to make time for connection with date night, intimacy, and regular communication. This connection is critical for a happy relationship, and thus, a happy stepmom life.
Schedule regular date nights away from the kids. Make time each day for connection and communication. Escape from “real life” occasionally and go away on vacation. Refuse to become part of the 67% of 2nd marriages that end in divorce.
Your relationship success and happiness as a stepmom rely on it.
Establish Transition Rituals
Custody transitions can be emotionally charged and disruptive for everyone in the family.
Ease those transitions between homes by creating rituals to welcome the kids home in a peaceful way.
For stepmoms, plan self-care ahead of transitions. Do things that recharge you and leave you feeling more fulfilled and happy. Give yourself the advantage of extra peace before the transition.
For couples, plan couple-care ahead of transitions. Get an extra date night in or communicate about the upcoming days’ plans. Express any worries you may have. Get extra attention if you’re worried you may not get enough once the kids arrive.
For families, plan a fun ritual you can do each time they come home. Give them something to look forward that helps them “flip the switch” between homes. This extra bonding time will help the whole family have an easier transition.
Get in the habit of running transitions smoothly instead of letting them run you. Create transition rituals and improve your stepmom life.
Pick Your Battles
If you want to have a peaceful stepmom life, it’s imperative to pick your battles with your partner.
Is every little disruption or annoyance worth discussing with your partner? Or could you choose to manage that frustration individually without bringing it up?
If you give each issue time, energy, and focus, they’ll fester. You’ll inadvertently work against your goal of happiness.
When you can choose to only focus on issues that are big enough, you’re better positioned for success. Certain battles are absolutely worth picking and will move your relationship forward.
But if something won’t matter 5 days, 5 months or 5 years from now, then it may not be a battle worth picking. If you can release your irritation or frustration instead, it will allow for more happiness in your relationship.
Practicing gratitude can have a profound impact on your stepmom life.
Being able to identify the things that are going right—especially on the more challenging days—is transformative for your mindset.
Find specific things to be grateful for and express that gratitude to your partner. Here are some common examples:
- Your partner made you a cup of coffee.
- Your stepchild gave you a hug when they got home from school.
- The ex didn’t pick a fight.
- You had a great phone call with a friend.
Find something to be grateful for each day. It will dramatically improve your mood and your relationships.
I don’t believe in fad diets. Just like I don’t believe your stepmom life can be dramatically shifted overnight.
But by implementing these 5 small habits, you will gradually see a dramatic impact.
You will feel happier internally. Your relationships will be easier. You’ll have a more peaceful home. Other’s opinions of you or your stepmom role will matter less and less.
If you need help implementing these habits or discovering ways to position yourself for a happy stepmom life, you may benefit from stepmom support coaching! Apply at the button below to work together!
P.S. Have you ever wondered why stepparenting is SO challenging? Here’s the reason!
2 thoughts on “5 Habits for a Happy Stepmom Life”
My name is Diana (not really). I have a couple of step daughters that we get to actually see rarely (once a quarter). We live a significant distance from the kids and their schedules are getting more hectic as they get older. The younger of the two is nice to me and she is a free spirit. The older of the two is very distant, can be a handful, and is extremely loyal to mom even from a very young age. Our relationship is and continues to be strained. This is very unfortunate since she has just joined the teenage population that brings with it many challenges. My husband refuses to set boundaries and enforce any boundaries set because we see them I frequently. I have to say here this is not a change from when we got them every other weekend. We have had heated conversations and calm conversations about this issue–no change. I don’t anticipate any change in the future. My question is should I just let it go … Be thankful that I don’t have to face it weekly, or request that we see a therapist to work through this difference. The remaining part of our marriage bis as close to perfect as it can get even our ability to work out differences we have that do not include the kids. He said once that he felt he had to protect that child. I can imagine he will probably resist my wanting to involve a therapist.
What advice would you give?
I will always advocate for therapy in healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships, and all of the relationships that fall somewhere in the middle. The teenage years bring so many challenges, and when you add in the blended family dynamic, it only gets more complicated. You should feel comfortable advocating for solutions to problems your family is facing.