I’m not saying self-care will solve all of your problems as a stepmom. I am saying that prioritizing self-care will improve your life, no matter what struggle you are facing.
The more refreshed and centered you feel, the better you’ll be able to analyze the situation, communicate with those involved, and resolve the issue.
Do you feel like an outsider in your home? Prioritizing self-care before transition day will ensure you aren’t burned out and thus, even more sensitive to changing dynamics in your home.
Do you feel guilty for not loving your stepchildren? Prioritizing self-care will give you the clarity to recognize the value you provide to your stepchildren and the different role you get to fill as the stepparent.
Are you tired of having the same argument over and over with your partner? Take care of yourself first. With a calm mind, you may be able to find a compromise quicker and easier.
Do you see where I’m going with this? Peace and happiness as a stepmom starts within yourself.
You can only tackle every other stressor in your life after you have prioritized taking care of yourself.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care is popularly associated with spa days and bubble baths, but it’s so much more than that.
Taking care of yourself means doing things that leave you feeling rejuvenated. You should walk away from the activity feeling better than when you started.
It can be the big things like a staycation, spa day, or retail therapy. It can also be small things like going for a 10 minute walk, calling your mom or your best friend, or drinking your still-hot coffee while sitting on the front porch.
The activity itself doesn’t matter as much as the effect it has on you. If you can walk away from a 10 minute phone call feeling more calm and centered than you would after a pedicure or running 5 miles, then that’s what you should be doing for self-care!
Common Objections to Prioritizing Self-Care
I know life is busy. I respect that it feels like there are so many other things that should take precedence over self-care. Maybe it even feels shallow or selfish. Let’s address some of the most common objections I hear for why stepmoms don’t prioritize self-care in their lives.
1. I don’t have the time.
I totally get it! You lead a busy life. The thought of adding one more thing to the list of things to do probably has the opposite of its intended effect at first—it stresses you out instead of calming you!
It’s important to recognize that in order to do the rest of the things on your list well, with purpose and passion, you must start by filling your cup.
You can’t show up well for your family, your colleagues, your friends, etc. if you’re stretched too thin and feeling depleted or burned out.
2. I don’t know what to do.
Sometimes I’ll hear from stepmoms who know they need to practice self-care but when they realize they have an hour to do something for themselves, they spend that hour trying to decide what to do.
To combat this, take some time to make a list of all of the things, big and small, that really lift your spirit and make you feel more at peace.
Keep this list somewhere handy so that when you have time for self-care, you can refer to your list!
3. Other things are more important.
I understand it can feel like self-care is an “if” item on the to-do list instead of a priority item, but I’m going to challenge you to change your ranking.
Are you able to tackle everything else on your to-do list if you’re not feeling refreshed? Will you be engaged in your time spent with family if you are burning the candle at both ends?
Self-care has been framed as frivolous in society, but it’s not frivolous at all. It’s necessary.
4. I feel selfish when I take the time for me.
And because it’s necessary, you absolutely should not feel selfish for prioritizing your self-care routine.
If you need to, consider it like this: You can’t show up well for everyone else if you haven’t spent time recharging and resetting.
Don’t your partner and your kids/stepkids deserve a more present, engaged version of you instead of a burned out, stressed out, irritable or tired/distant version? If you won’t do it for yourself, will you do it for them?
Finding your self-care routine is only one of the tenants I teach for how to find lasting peace and happiness as a stepmom. If you want to genuinely enjoy your blended family life, apply now to learn more about our stepmom support services.
P.S. Are you worried you’ll cause conflict if you start prioritizing self-care? I’ll never advocate for going with the flow and sucking up how you really feel. I’m a firm believer that “keep the peace” is shitty advice.