I’ve read no end of articles telling me that the only people who will understand my feelings about being part of a stepfamily are other stepmums.
And every time I read one of these articles, I have an ‘ah-hah’ moment and I think to myself I must remember this so that the next time I need to vent, problem solve, or express my feelings I can make sure that I am speaking to ‘the right person’.
By ‘the right person’ I mean another stepmum.
Because your friends and family aren’t going to get this unless they’re also step parents.
I love my friends and family and they are incredibly supportive but they don’t really get what being a stepmum means and that means that they aren’t always the best people to discuss my stepfamily issues with.
I know that some of my friends and family would be hurt if I told them that it isn’t helpful for me to discuss my stepfamily ‘puzzles’ with them. They do try their very best to be supportive but they’re are extremely few situations where I want to hear the words:
“Well, he better be worth it if he has three kids!”
“But don’t you think the Boys’ Mum has a point?” (Of course I consider her point of view, and sometimes I even end up agreeing with her but most times I just need to say how I feel. And that should be okay).
“You’ve made your bed and now you’ve got to lie in it.”
And other phrases of that ilk.
Equally well, you need to find the right stepmum community for you. I found that a lot of the groups on social media were extremely negative and didn’t really focus on finding positive and supportive solutions to problems.
So, I’ve made sure that the people I’ve followed on Twitter or the Facebook groups I’ve joined are focused on proactive and positive solutions to the ‘complications’ that arise from stepfamily life.
I also check in with a few of the stepmums I know through work and have a quick review of the good, the bad, and the ugly! It’s brilliant when a quick lunchtime chat means that you head home with a much more positive outlook on things.
I am constantly looking for ways to expand and develop my stepmum circle. I think wine on Wednesday evenings might be the answer!
Make it your goal to expand your stepmum circle! We all need each other so that we can enjoy the privilege of being part of a stepfamily.