HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. yeah right. This ish is not easy. If it is, your spouse is probably a deadbeat.
Anyway, I’m in several groups on facebook for step/blended families, and a question was asked that I really want to expand on…
What would you tell a new/soon to be Stepmom?
- Get a bank account in your name only to float you when legal fees get out of hand. I know, I know, “But there wont be any legal fees, we get along so well with our biomom. Everything is hunky dory.” Right. ok. That’s cute. Even if you all DO get along, I promise there will be some legal fees during your marriage. Get the damn savings account so you don’t go broke.
- Stop calling her “biomom.” Use the term “birth mom.” Because that’s who she is. She gave birth, you did not. And I know this one is a little painful for you, but the more you can remind yourself to treat her with kindness – because SHE gave birth to one of your favorite humans – the better. And there are way too many “biology doesn’t make a parent, love does” memes going around that may eventually make you feel like you love this child more than she does. Nip that way of thinking in the bud. Right now. Knock that shit off. It wont get you anywhere but angry. I’m not saying you DONT love this kiddo as if they were your own, because I sure as hell do. BUT with that line of thinking, comes a heck of a lot of possessiveness and that doesn’t help ANYONE.
- Find a stepmom friend. This is one of the most important points. Make sure your support buddy has the same thought process about birth mom as you do, and as close to the same faith as you. It is really easy to fall into the whole “Bash the birth mom” game, but it wont make you feel any better. Find a buddy who helps you look at your situation with love, instead of stress and frustration.
- DATE NIGHT! Seriously. You’re in this mess because you fell in love, so keep that fire burning. Otherwise you’ll start wondering if “all of this stress” is worth it.
- Figure out your boundaries. Sit down with your spouse and ask them what role they are comfortable with you taking with their child/exspouse. Do they feel comfortable with you parenting, making contact with the ex, treating the child as your own? Or would they be more comfortable with you taking a backseat? Are you comfortable with your spouse and their ex being friends? Does your spouse want to co-parent or parallel parent? Just lay everything out and make sure you and your spouse are comfortable and on the same page. This is freaking CRUCIAL to the success of your marriage. You need to know what is expected of you, and your spouse needs to know what you need from them.
- Custody order. Know it. Know that shit backwards and forwards. AND know how closely it is expected to be followed. Don’t be that parent who expects the other house to follow it, but you don’t have to. That’s a total dick move. Don’t be a dick. But, if you expect the other house to follow it, make sure you are following every inch of the damn thing.
- Document things. This is pretty much mostly just for your own sanity. But also in case you have to go to court. I know, I know, you’ll never go to court because the other parent is your BESTIE. But still, writing things down and saving texts goes a long way in “Is junior going to be at this or that thing this weekend?”, “Were we going to send that thing to the other house?”, “Did I let them know we were going on vacation?” All of that can be easily at your fingertips if you WRITE IT DOWN.
Now I realize that every blended family has its own dynamic, and some of these things may not exactly fit every situation. But these are fairly straight forward and should fit nearly any blended family.
What do you think? Did I forget anything? Feel free to leave your advice for a new or soon to be stepmom in the comments!