So often I see stepmoms calling moms horrendous names, and I see equally horrifying things from moms about stepmoms or the children’s fathers. It makes my stomach churn.
Not because they don’t deserve it. Not because they haven’t done those things that are causing you to call them heinous words or to say disparaging things about their character and actions.
But because it doesn’t matter. That’s right. At the end of the day, it does not matter.
Would you rather be right or happy?
“Bio Mom’s a liar.”
You’re absolutely right that she lies, a lot. You’ve caught her in more lies than you count. Does it really matter whether she’s telling the truth right now or not? Of course not, because she’s just a liar.
But would you rather be right or happy? I’m not trying to convince you she’s not a liar, but I am trying to tell you that it’s not making your life better reiterating that point. When you give her a piece of your brain’s precious real estate, it’s hurting you worse.
Instead of thinking about how much of a liar she is, focus on the things going right in your life. Allow yourself happiness by focusing on positive things.
“Bio Mom still wants my husband.”
Strut your stuff, girlfriend. She wants what you have. Don’t let that change anything about your day. He made his choice, and you are his choice.
You’re 100% correct that she wishes she could have him back. She’s envious of the life you have. But would you rather be right or happy? Focusing on the fact she wants your husband doesn’t make things easier for anyone, especially yourself.
When you put your energy and thoughts into what she’s doing or thinking or the motivations behind her actions, you’re only hurting your own chances of happiness.
“Bio Mom is immature.”
Her actions have clearly proven to you and those around her that she isn’t as mature as her age would suggest she should be. You’re not the only one that’s noticed, I’m sure.
But would you rather be right or happy? You can’t be both. You can’t equally think she’s immature and equally be content in life. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to choose: focus on how bad of a mom she is or focus instead on choosing happiness.
“Bio Mom is selfish.”
It is evident to all who are familiar with your situation why you believe she’s self-centered and doesn’t act in the best interest of her children. It’s a legitimate concern; you want what’s best for your stepchildren, and you know that her selfish nature doesn’t always allow them the best life.
But would you rather be right or happy? Focusing on the ways that she detracts from the best life possible for your stepchildren (or even for you and your husband!) isn’t going to add value to your life. It’s going to make you angry, sad, and many other justifiable emotions. But none of those will be happiness. And you deserve happiness.
Choose instead to focus on the things that are done right – at Mom’s house or at your house. Spend your energy on thoughts that provide joy instead of those that bring you down.
“Bio Mom is unreliable.”
She shows up late, she doesn’t show up at all, and she commits and then backs out at the last minute? Totally irritating, and completely unreliable. I totally get that you are furious. And frustrated. But would you rather be right or happy?
Try to find ways to not be reliant on her and therefore unfazed by her unreliable nature. Move custody exchanges to school. Find extracurricular activities that occur only on your time.
And if you’re still affected by her tardiness or flaky attitude, choose instead to focus on something that went right. Your stepchildren are still happy and healthy, right? Put your energy into that instead.
Choose happiness instead of being right. She doesn’t deserve that kind of power over you.
“Bio Mom is disrespectful.”
The way she refers to you as a babysitter – and that’s when she refers to you at all. We can’t forget all of those times she hasn’t even looked your way and acknowledged your presence. Of course there’s no denying she’s disrespectful!
But would you rather be right or happy? Do you really need your partner to acknowledge that their ex-wife is a wicked witch to you? Will that make you happy? Will venting about all of the horrendous ways she has disrespected you and getting that validation from your friends bring more joy into your life? Unfortunately, it’s not going to make you feel better.
So give yourself a pat on the back and know your own worth. She can’t bring you down.
You are right, but choose happiness.
Every single day, choose joy instead. Don’t give her the power over your emotions, your thoughts, and your attitude.
Step up to the plate and be the best stepmom, wife, and woman you can be. You are justified to think the things you do. You are right. But being right doesn’t change your reality. Choosing to overlook character flaws and to see the bigger picture does change your reality.
So, tell me, stepmom. Would you rather be right or happy?
P.S. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou. If you related to this article, you’re ready for Free Your Life: Embrace the Co-Parenting Mental Shift.