Lessons Learned
Three Suggestions from Veteran Stepmoms​
Agnes' List
I've sat on this for a couple weeks. What would I do differently? I’ve been at this for almost 10 years & ya know, there’s nothing I would do differently. We’ve been in the pits of despair to wedded bliss to somewhere in between. Sometimes it was our own doing & sometimes it was completely out of our control. Every single thing we have gone thru has been with purpose. It was a lesson that my hubby, myself, the kids, or the ex needed to learn. Going thru all of it is exactly why we are where we currently are (which is wedded bliss for me and him & somewhere in between as a whole house at the present moment. We are in the middle of a custody change so... it's an adjustment). Smile I will offer my interpretation of the lessons each of us went thru.

My Hubby:
It's not about me (the wife). The issues the ex has would be with anyone he married, it's not me personally.
Waiting for the ex to be in a better mood or disposition to deal with things gets him nowhere.
Being a good parent does not mean he's becoming his past.
Happy wife = Happy Hubby = Happy kids ...  in that order!
We HAVE to be a united front in front of the kids no matter what.
All you can do is give it your best & that's all you can do. (in the sense of there's not a lot of things we can change in visitation a couple days a month)

While I may love them as if they are my own kids, they are not & they do not want another mother.
You can only control yourself, what you say or how you react. Right or wrong, you can't change how things are done elsewhere.
It’s important for my hubby to have one on one time with the kids, which also gives me a much needed break. I don't have to be involved in everything they do.
I originally poo-poo'ed counseling but for whatever reason, it really gave me peace of mind that what I was going thru were not all my issues.
I may want better for everyone but I can't take their journey for them, even if it means watching them go thru something really tough.
Personal hobbies are cheap therapy!

The Ex:
While I can't account for how she feels or what she's learned, I think I'm safe in saying the following:

Allowing the kids to play the adults against each other makes things miserable on everyone.
She is the ex, she will always be the ex, & nothing but the ex.
Kids need boundaries & structure or they will get wildly out of control.
Moving the kids that far away while it gave her relief from the drama she was causing, really bit her in the butt in the long run. It's hard on the kids, they feel even more disconnected & she has no support system.
I would also like to think that she has learned that although she made my hubby out to be the bad guy in every situation, she really has it good when it comes to an ex & a stepmom. Her friends do NOT have the same luxury.

The Kids: 
I'm not sure what they have learned & don't expect to for many years. 
Stepmoms on a Mission®
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