Lessons Learned
Three Suggestions from Veteran Stepmoms​
Kermit's List
#1. It isn't MY fight.
In the beginning (and truthfully up till probably about two years ago)...I held onto a lot of "anger", resentment, and so forth for BM, and all that went with her for what (in my opinion) she did, didn't do ect, to/for "DH" , "SD", "my in laws". And I held her accountable for it, and treated her differently ....because of it. I realize now...IT WASNT MY FIGHT. It wasn't "MY relationship" , "MY past", MY marriage , MY anything.
It was "theirs". and I was angry, resentful, ect..over something that had absolutely NOTHING to do with "ME". When I realized that..and LET IT GO. WOW...it was like the air out of a balloon...gooosh.
GONE.
I was "free".

#2. Comparing
In the beginning, I compared myself to BM. ALOT!. And what's worse. I allowed everyone else to as well. It wasn't always bad. It wasn't always good. It was, what it was. A comparison. But see, that's just it. Its WRONG. I don't care if your the best step mom in the world, and that everyone believes your (SO MUCH BETTER) than BM. It's still wrong to compare yourself that way.
We are not better, or worse. We are simply "different".
I figured out sooner rather than later that I wanted people to "love Kermit" to "love Kermit" not because she was "not like BM" ...because "not being like BM" isn't a compliment. "no one is like BM" ...except BM.
Just like someone saying to BM "your not like Kermit" isn't a compliment. Because "no one is Kermit, except Kermit".
If you take nothing else away from #2. Just take away....ALWAYS
LOVE YOU! . If you love you...you fill you up. You don't look for others to fill you up. you don't place unrealistic expectations on yourself OR others.

#3. BUMPY RIDE
If you cant make life easier when it comes to dealing with BM (and all that it entails), at least don't make it harder. I'm not suggesting lie down and let someone run over you like a rug, But avoid childish debates, arguments, getting one over, proving points, ect. You can disengage from a fire, if you never start one to begin with. And if one is started without you, ...no one says you have to show up and bring the marsh mellows. I know there are times you HAVE to defend yourself, or speak up, or what have you. But if you can avoid confrontations, or getting into a tit for tat. By all means..PLEASE DO SO. (I unfortunately had to learn this the hard way..and its still a work in progress).

#4. PROVING YOURSELF
Cue the fairytale music, draw the curtains...boy did I think I had it figured out. I was certain I was going to "prove" to the world how great of a step mom I was. Ha!....guess what I landed myself into. A hot mess..that's what. I was tired. I was stressed. I was frustrated..and I STILL had people question me, accuse me, degrade me, and so forth...so that made me push harder..and the harder I pushed to prove to them how great I was...
The worse It got, the worse they got...and FLOP...right onto a big ole flat bed of I GIVE UP.
Guess what? That big ole flat bed of I GIVE UP...was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I realized something. I could show up to everything, take all the pictures, do all the taxi'ing, make all the appointments, show up to all the court appearances, do all the documenting, show up to all the sporting events, make homemade birthday cakes, write notes, show up to PTC"S with the teacher, go to everything and anything to do SD' related, do her hair, take her shopping, buy her clothes, sing her songs, have a great relationship with her, be the bestest little "whatever" in the world. (just to name a few)
...but...at the end of the day. PEOPLE are going to THINK what they THINK. and NOTHING I do to PROVE anything will make a difference. So how about I just be "ME". not what people think is me. not what I think should be me. not what I'm guilt -ed into being. But "ME". Just plain ole "ME".
Well...low and behold...a few "spoonfuls" of this medicine later..and by George I think I've got it.
so..if I don't want to go, I don't go. If It's something I'm not comfortable doing, I don't. And I don't feel one bit guilty for it, or like I have to "explain" or, "defend" myself to someone about it either. I am "me".
like me, love me, hate me, take me , or leave me. I am Kermit...and I'm ok with that.

#5. SD HAS PARENTS
I may not always agree with either one of them , but they are her parents. Just because "I'm married to DH, doesn't mean I always think he is right. And just because BM is the ex wife, doesn't mean I always think she is wrong. DH and I are a "team" , but at the same time, I respect the fact that I am a step mom, and that this is THIER child together. Sometimes I have to "remind" my DH of that little FACT. As he is kind of an out of site, out of mind type of person. I have to remind him..just because YOU TWO divorced...doesn't mean you are done being parents with each other. I used to try to always interject my feelings. Now UNLESS it interferes with my household at all (because SD lives with us), or is a major safety/health issues...I stay completely out of it.
BM and DH fight. I stay out of it. BM and SD fight. I stay out of it.

PS: smomhood is a journey. there are days you feel like quitting completely and if you could do it all over again you'd run like mad in the opposite direction. Days you feel as if your ten feet tall and bullet proof, and days you just want to hang out at the smoothie shack and take a pass on all the day has to offer that is "smomhood" related. And then there are days...after you've rested, drank some advice and smom love in...prayer, meditation, humor (whatever it is that gets you through)...you hoist that two ton backpack back up on your shoulders...look up at that mountain in front of you and say "ok...I've got this"...and off you go.
You don't know if you'll make it up the mountain or not. But you know one thing...Your sure gonna try to climb it anyway...and you'll have lots of other "journeyers" with you.
Stepmoms on a Mission®
PO Box 7, Medford NJ 08055
609.206.2009
Cathryn@smoms.org