Navigation Bar

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

~Encouragement for step-moms~ Part 1

When I married my husband not only did I gain a partner for life and a best friend, I also gained the opportunity to be a part of the life of a sweet, beautiful little girl, Melody.  She was three when we met and four when her daddy and I married.  Melody is six now.  Through this time I have been blessed to have a very strong and close relationship with my step-daughter.  With her being so young when we met, I had an advantage that a lot of step-moms don't get.  She has very little memory of me not being in her life.  That has helped maintain a closeness between us.

It was a bit overwhelming at first-  not truly knowing where I stood in her life.  Balancing the emotions of attachment and then separation since the custody is shared.  It was very easy for me to be a mother to her (nurturing her, buying her clothes and shoes and toys, dressing her, feeding her, caring for her when she is sick, etc)  when she was with us, but then have to completely let go of it all when she wasn't.  You get close and then realize...wait...she's not mine.  And that's okay.  That's part of the deal.  The role is full of challenges and struggles and blessings and every situation is unique.  

There were some very choice pieces of advice that were given to me before Austin and I married that really helped me through the process and help me still.  I thought I might share them with you all out there.  

1.  You are NOT her(or his) mom. 

This was hard for me to understand and accept at first.  In so many ways I felt like her mom and wanted to be her mom, but the truth was she had a mom already.  I must respect that and guard my emotions accordingly.  This helps when there are instances when the child naturally wants their mom.  At first, if Melody would ask for her mom, I would get sad, thinking, "I'm right here!"  But, I had to think about how natural it is for her to feel that way and not let it affect my emotions-  and not take it personally. I know she loves me too. :)

2. When the children are at your home, you may not be their mom, but you are THE mom.  

What this means is when your step-child is at home with you, you maintain your motherly role at all times.  That means, you love them like a mom, discipline like a mom, and take care of them like a mom.  There is no favortism or difference in treatment from the step-child to your natural child.  And your authority is always respected and maintained.  This also allows the child to trust you in knowing that you are there for them no matter what the circumstances are. Sometimes this can be an emotional work-out, but it is vitally important. 

3. You and your husband must be united at ALL times.  

In every decision, stance, or value, the two of you must be completely in sync.  This unity must also be displayed on a regular basis in front of the children,  Never open a door that could possibly allow the child to play one parent over the other.  Be sure to communicate EVERYTHING with your spouse in regards to discipline and up-bringing. Even if you don't agree with each other on everything, be careful not to display that in front of the kids.  

More to come...

If I can offer any more encouragement to you in your situation, please let me know.  What are some pieces of advice that helped you adapt to being a step-mom?


  1. This is great advice! Thank you for sharing. I enjoyed both of your step mom encouragement posts and will pin them to help remember these tips!

  2. I love this. I just found your blog via Pinterest. My step son was 18 months when I first met him and he stole my heart, he's 6 now. He knows I'm his advocate, his friend, his personal chef, his painting partner, and his step mom.