There is no introduction needed for this post ladies.
Like I said in a previous post, I'm not just a stepmom (or just a mom) and neither are you.
The best part is, keeping that at the forefront of your mind by doing things FOR YOU and continuing to evolve ... in turn, fills your cup and makes YOU a better person
... (which in turn, makes you a better stepmom)
Here's what I mean!
These are the 3 things that I do as a PERSON that in turn, make me a BETTER STEPMOM!
1. I do things for myself, and don't feel bad about it one bit
I've read a lot of articles by stepmoms and moms alike, saying that they feel bad when they take the time to do something for themselves.
Call me selfish, but I don't get it!
I've never felt guilty about a manicure or a girls night out here and there... in fact, I feel bad for my husband and the kids when I DON'T do these things.
Why? Because I am a complete BEAR when I don't make sure my cup is full.
Funny enough, it was my husband who taught me just how important it is to take time for ME. (Honestly, I think being his "second (and last) wife" has some pros. He's very wise and totally "gets it")
Seriously, when I moved in, he designated a special room as my office, and had me decorate it just the way I wanted!
He knew that I would need my own space, before I even knew that I would need my own space!
Like a said, he's a keeper!
[NOTE: The office has now turned into my daughters room... man I miss that place!}
2. I don't harbour my feelings.
I'm blunt, straight to the point and I don't sugar coat much (or anything really).
If I'm upset or sad or angry, I can't keep it inside. My husband knows within five seconds if he's peeved me off. The same goes when I am grinding his gears.
In life, this quality has been one of my best and one of my worst (truth be told there was a time when I was bit of a loose cannon)
However, I've learned to take this quality and make it one of my strongest points. (And I do TRY to practice "the 24 hour rule")
The 24 Hour Rule: When one makes a conscious point of waiting 24 hours to process an event or conversation before deciding his or her reaction
In our relationship everything is always on the table. If one of us is struggling with something, we talk about it and figure it out ASAP.
Its not always hearts and sparkles but we work it out and are snuggling in no time.
We are committed to this because we know (from experience) that when you keep things inside, issues can pile up and pile up until one day you just explode over something as trivial as a missing toothpaste lid.
(For there record, that's never happened. My husband has totally come to terms with the fact that putting the toothpaste lid back on isn't one of my strong suits)
The same goes for step-parenting and blended family life. We tackle issue as they come up. We talk them out and figure out a game plan that works for everyone... just like in our relationship, it's not always hearts and sparkles, but the end result is always better than bottling things up!
3. I don't let my screw ups define me
Over the course of my 31 years I've screwed up.... a lot
Like a lot a lot
(Hey don't judge, you're not perfect either)
I wear my heart on my sleeve and sometimes that's not a good thing
With that quality, I've made some pretty monumental mistakes...
You know that feeling you have in your stomach when you wake up the next day after making a not so great decision the day before? The sick to you're stomach, I wish I would have done that different feeling?
I refuse to let that feeling stick around for too long.
I pick myself up, process what went wrong, apoligize and keep on keeping on. Oh and I chalk it up as a lesson!
.... because we are not defined by our screw-ups
We are not defined by our bad days
So, when it comes to my stepchildren (and my daughter), if I didn't make the best decision, or my judgement was a little off, I buck up and tell them that I am sorry.
Personally, I think it is so important to apologize to your kids when you're not at your best. It teaches them that we are all human, it teaches them that we all make mistakes, it teaches them the power of forgiveness... and most importantly it teaches them that you are not defined by your screw ups!
If you ask me, apoligizing is not a sign of weakness, it's a sign of strength.
In fact, when the kids make a bad move, we tell them over and over again,
You are not a bad person, you just made a bad decision!
We aren't perfect, and they aren't going to be either!
If you're looking for more stepmom support and are ready to create some serious change in your stepfamily life... check out The KICK-ASS Stepmom Project.
Your fellow stepmoms are ranting + raving about how it's fostered positive change in their stepfamily world!