I talked to so many amazing stepmoms today going through complex blended family issues, and have been busy following up with those that have reached out, as well as those that are currently seeking advice, information and even counseling!
But one conversation stuck out… and there was a statement that was made by a fellow mother and stepmother that resonated… She said she has been focusing on the positivity in her relationship and blended family situation. Although they are currently going through a situation where Parental Alienation is prevalent, she said that she has learned that “you can only improve what you can control”.
Boom, I was inspired!
We have to be realistic about what we are able to accomplish, as well as accepting that there are things that are outside of our control. That tends to be a lot of things when we’re talking about a blended family. It’s so important to visit and revisit your boundaries and expectations. Adjust them accordingly.
Know that you can’t will things to happen just because you dream of them being a certain way. If a situation is difficult and over the course of time has proven not to change, at a certain point you have to step back and look at things. Make reasonable goals and set reasonable expectations for who and what you are working with. Re-evaluate your role and what responsibilities it carries. Lighten the load.
Just like you can’t force someone to like you, you can’t force people to want to improve a situation. When we accept this we embrace the idea that there are certain things within our coparenting relationships that we just can’t change. They are out of our control. Once we do this we are able to start to release all the unreasonable expectations that we’ve placed on all the situations and individuals in our lives.
We learn and grow from there! Trim things out of your life that bring you nothing but stress and anxiety. Step away from the conflict and refocus on what you need to be a happier healthier you. Set goals for where you want to be, how you want to feel. Revisit them regularly so they’re fresh.
When able to focus on where we want to be and how we want things to be, and frequently revisit our goals, it becomes easier to see what doesn’t fit into your plan. As a stepmom, it’s so important not to lose yourself in the chaos of your partner’s situation. It may affect you, but it’s not your situation. Remember that. Try and limit the amount of time that you spend thinking and being involved in things that bring stress and anxiety. Attempt to refocus on things that bring positivity and a sense of calm to your space and life. Share those things with the ones you love!
Make sure you (personally) are doing all you can to continue to provide a happy healthy relationship with your children. Communicate! Insure your children know how often you think of them. Stay involved, continue visitation attempts and communication attempts – even if your child doesn’t answer. You never know when or if it will be the last time you’ll talk with them.
Children grow fast, and the longer you’re out of their life, the lower a priority you become to them. Our adolescent teenagers are so busy these days that you will have to fight for a space in their life. Not because they don’t love you, but because they have so many other things going on between school and new friendships/relationships, driving and jobs. Top teenagerdom off with extracurricular activities, and any teen parent knows that they’re going to move farther down the priority list in their child’s mind.
Don’t stop making an effort. Despite how difficult it may be. Make sure you are doing everything you can to insure your child knows that they are a huge part of your life, that you love them, miss them when they’re not with you, and that you are proud of them and the person they are. Accept that you can only improve what’s within your control.
Do what you can, and let go of the rest. Focus on improving realistically by accepting that there are things that will happen that are out of your control – especially when in a complex blended family. Don’t lose yourself in the chaos, and refocus as often as necessary.
Stay well my friends –
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