I’m honored to feature this article from fellow stepmom and friend, Beth McDonough of BabblingBlonde.com.
I met Beth at a networking event I organized for stepmoms in Toronto this past summer. Beth’s openness and vulnerability in sharing her experience as a same-sex step-couple were truly inspirational. Despite Beth’s unique experience being part of a “nontraditional family within a nontraditional family”, her triumphs as a stepmom are so commendable.
She’s taught me that as stepmoms, we have more in common than what makes us different. I hope you enjoy this honest perspective and can’t wait to hear your feedback. Also, be sure to read to the end and check out the link for my guest post on BabblingBlonde.com
When should you detach? When just about everything else you’ve tried has failed and your attempts to control are causing suffering.
What if you can’t? You don’t. It may not be right in your situation.
Allow me to explain in detail…
If You’ve tried to control them. That made it worse.
You’ve tried to get your partner to control them. That also made it worse.
You’re at your wits-end. You’re resentful. You want to run away and hide when they’re around. You’ve been told to detach, or disengage. You do so, pissed off that you can’t live the life you want, that you can’t have the family you want, that you can’t “blend” effectively. Maybe you feel like you’ve failed in some way. Maybe your partner doesn’t get it, and thinks you’ve given up or don’t care.
You’ve detached. You’ve disengaged, you act indifferent, because that’s what you were told to do.
It’s actually not easy. You feel like more of a failure. You’re unhappy. Now what?
If any of the above sounds like you, this post is for you my lovely.
Not sure what disengagement is? Check out this post first.
... then I became a biomom & full-time stepmom!
Now she gets to be the “fun one”, the “cool one” that takes them to exciting places on the weekends, the one that takes them out for junk-food, is put-together, keeps her cool and doesn’t lose her mind because she only sees them a limited time.
That used to be me when I was the part-time stepmom.
Now that I’m with the kids full-time, I get to experience what it’s like now that the tables have turned. I get to be the disciplinary one, the one that feeds them vegetables, the one that gets cranky when they don’t eat those vegetables, and the one that loses her mind every now and then because having four kids full-time is a lot to manage.
I get to be the one who gives-in to their complaining and feeds them store-bought, frozen hamburgers for lunch. The one that feels like a failure every time I give-in or lose my cool in front of them.
To make it even more difficult, you can imagine which one of the above moms a child would naturally prefer (I’ll give you a hint, it’s not the veggie-feeding one).
Beauty and the Beast
Growing up in a family where controlling one anothers' addictive behaviors was the norm, I dedicated the first part of my life to trying to fix those around me.
Thanks to those struggles throughout my life, I’ve finally figured out they key to controlling others! Are you ready to learn my secret? Here it is….
My answer to this question – it’s NOT a hierarchy! Nothing has to come first.
You don’t need to put an order or absolute value to things. That value and importance changes and fluctuates with time.
And if I must choose one thing that comes first… then my family comes first.
Last week I met up with Stepmom Warrior, Nicole DiLorenzo, to talk about meditation and how it's helped us as stepmoms. Check out the video and highlights below.
Some highlights from our talk:
- 2:50 The negative thoughts & chatter in your mind
- 3:25 Impromptu guest appearance by my 3 year old son
- 4:40 You're being controlled by thoughts you may not be aware of
- 5:43 Misconceptions about meditations, mantras, and sitting in stillness
- 7:15 I do it in the shower, while blow-drying my hair in the car on my way to work...
- 8:54 How you can find your power in EVERY situation
- 10:20 Common negative feelings and problems faced by stepmoms
- 11:19 How our energy can be contagious (in both good and bad ways)
Nicole is a Certified Stepfamily Coach and provides lifeline services for all members of a stepfamily.
Check out her website and learn more about her services at https://stepmomwarrior.com/stepmomwarrior.com/
If you have never tried meditation, or want to learn more about how it can help you as a stepmom, stay tuned!
In November, I'm running a FREE challenge to help you learn to apply mindfulness techniques to bring more peace and balance to your life as a stepmom.
Be sure to subscribe to my list so you don't miss out.
Have you tried meditation? How has it helped you as a stepmom? I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
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Anna de Acosta
Stepmom, biomom, and wife... living life with the blended family of my dreams and being a lighthouse for love and inner peace.