Step-motherhood is certainly not easy and the decision to become one should not be taken lightly, no matter how much a woman wants to be with her man.
Many women tend to jump into step-motherhood, hoping that they can just learn how to deal with the issues along the way. Unfortunately, most are in for a big surprise when they discover that being a step-mom involves more than just accepting a man’s children. They are actually not ready for the emotional roller coaster that comes along with it.
Here are three things that a woman should consider before deciding to choose step-motherhood:
Of course, the first thing a woman must consider is whether or not she is willing to have a relationship with her man’s children. This is most vital because many times, the relationship, or lack there of, determines her future happiness. She must be willing to accept that his children will be part of her life for as long as they are married. Even if he gets the kids part-time, the fact is they are a permanent fixture in her man’s life. As a step-mom, she will be partly responsible for caring for them.
No matter how willing the woman is to develop a relationship with the kids, however, sometimes the kids are reluctant to do the same. This is another thing that she needs to consider. The children may act out toward her, and at worst, try to make her life miserable just because she is the outsider. Will she be able to deal with the emotional ups and downs of that? Can she still stand strong and not allow the kids’ bitterness to break her down?
In many cases, the step-mom is the enemy and sometimes the children feel that she is trying to replace their mom. If the woman anticipates this, she is better able to take steps toward easing her presence and not forcing a relationship with the kids. She must keep in mind that the children are part of a broken family not by choice. Understanding this helps her to see them with compassionate eyes.
Dealing With the Ex, or Bio-Mom
If the children’s biological mom, or bio-mom, is still in the picture, the woman must seriously evaluate if she’s willing to deal with another woman in her life and her man’s life. Some bio-moms see a new woman as a threat to their livelihood, fearing that the woman will try to lure their kids away from her. Many times, bio-moms go out of their way to make things more difficult for the ex and his new family by using the children as a crutch to get what they want. This is very unfortunate but something that the woman should anticipate.
Another thing to consider is if the woman is willing to step aside and allow her man and bio-mom to make decisions regarding the children. Although she is partly responsible for them when they are in her care, she must realize and be willing to accept that she is not the primary parent. Technically, she does not have much of a say when it comes to important decisions such as financial responsibilities or academics. Unless her man asks for her opinion and wants her involved, she needs to step aside and let the biological parents discuss the issue. But even then, the parents have the final say.
Her Relationship With Her Man
The woman’s relationship with her man will be affected if there are children involved. Sure, life was good during the courting phase and before meeting the kids. But reality sets in when she becomes more involved with his life. She must be willing to share her man’s attention with his children, whether she likes it or not. Taking care of his children should be his main priority, and she needs to accept that. They were in his life before she entered it so she needs to be respectful of their relationship.
When things get rough and she boards the emotional roller coaster, is the woman willing to share and communicate her feelings with her man? Communication is the key to successful step-families, or in any family. The dad and step-mom must be willing to work together to bring cohesiveness to the family. If the woman is unable to open up, all her emotions and issues will eat away inside of her. If that happens, the relationship may not last, no matter how much she wants to be with her man.
These three considerations are not written in stone. Many step-moms have survived and lived to tell their experiences. However, most are in the dark when it comes to raising other people’s children. If women took the time to prepare, research, and read about life as a step-mom, their experience will hopefully be a smooth and happy one.
Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out, or Wicked
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