There are many stepmom worries that although common, feel incredibly isolating. When I first start coaching a stepmom, I’ll often ask her what her biggest fear is. A common concern I hear is, “I worry I’m not good enough and that my partner and family deserve someone better equipped for this role than I am.”
Stepparenting can be a beatdown. Every marriage requires hard work, but add in the additional stressors that come with being in a stepfamily, and it’s all amplified. Drama with the ex, disrespect from stepkids, a partner who parents out of guilt and acts defensive when you reach out… It can be enough to reduce the strongest woman to tears and insecurities.
Nearly every stepmom I know has asked herself, “Am I cut out for this? Can I really put up with all of this forever?”
We think we’re the anomaly. That every other stepmom out there can tackle this role with ease and grace. We (falsely) believe we’re the only ones struggling, and thus, we come to the conclusion that our partners and families deserve better, more than we can offer.
To the stepmom who feels this way, please rest assured that you are not the only stepmom who has ever felt this way. But even though you aren’t alone, I still don’t want you to live with these feelings.
Your partner and family want you, friend. Your best is good enough, and you are adding value to your family.
You are a great stepmom, and I’m here to remind you.
Your partner chooses you everyday.
If your partner wanted or needed more, they’d be pursuing another relationship, not continuing to invest in their relationship with you. You are not a pity project, consolation prize, or simply “good enough” to your partner.
Every single day, your partner wakes up and chooses you. That is a big deal. Do not take that lightly.
Trust is imperative for a successful relationship, and you have to trust your partner when their words tell you and actions show you they are choosing you, and that they’re not seeking anyone else for the job.
You are enough. You are more than enough.
Every stepmom struggles.
Most of the advice you’ll receive from loved ones—or even therapists who aren’t trained in stepfamily dynamics—is appropriate for first families, but not for a second wife in a stepfamily.
You will make mistakes. You will struggle. Your stepmom worries are valid. Things will not be easy as a stepmom as you learn how to navigate this complex family dynamic.
Struggling does not make you a bad stepmom. You are here seeking resources; you are not a bad stepmom. Far from it.
Recognizing that you can’t do this on your own and seeking out resources to become a happier, more peaceful, stronger stepmom proves that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be. You are the stepmom your family deserves.
Struggling doesn’t define you. The desire to learn how to and to put in the work necessary to become better for your partner and your family is what defines you.
You add value to your family.
I’m certain that you contribute to your family. You bring your own unique perspective and personality to the dynamic, and the family is more vibrant and well-rounded as a result.
It will vary by stepmom, but some common themes I see are that the stepmom adds:
- stability and structure
- feminine touch
- unique traditions
- focus on family time
Do any of those ring a bell? Or maybe it triggered a thought for you about the unique value that you add to your family?
If you can’t identify it yourself, consider asking your partner and stepchildren, “What do you like most about me? What do I contribute to the home/family?” and see what they say!
Overcoming the Doubts
It can feel easy to fall prey to your doubts and insecurities. I get it, I’ve been there. But, I know you’re stronger than that.
You are an incredible stepmom, and just the fact you’re reading this proves my point. But it’s simply not enough for me to recognize that. It’s critical that you recognize the unique value you add to your family.
You are your partner’s first choice. Trust that.
We all struggle; this is not an easy role. That doesn’t make you a bad stepmom. Trust that.
You add value to your family. Trust that.
If you need additional reassurance and practical strategies to overcome these doubts, apply now to find out if stepmom support coaching would be a good fit for you.
P.S. If you’re seeking camaraderie in your stepmom worries, consider