What Have I Gotten Myself Into?

February 12th, 2013 posted by Susan Wilkins-Hubley

As I sit and type this I am literally thinking “What have I gotten myself into?” even four years and a baby later. As a stepmom, I find it difficult even today adjusting to the many changes and sacrifices I have made in effort to blend our family successfully. There are no hard and fast rules for successful stepparenting for stepmothers. Many stepmothers use a variety of personal techniques to calm the “blended family waters”. I have tried several. Some have worked and others simply did not. There are many, many factors dependant on successful stepparenting. One I will mention is “flexibility”. This has been a truly difficult area for me as a stepmom. My husband and I have made efforts to be as flexible as possible, but there are times when the situation at hand calls for a firm hand and quick decisions to be made. Flexibility doesn’t fit in all circumstances, but it is something that has a part in successful stepparenting. As a stepmom, there are many times when I feel as though I would like to throw my hands in to the air and excuse myself from the complexities of this blended family. I seriously question my own decision to be a part of this family. What was I thinking? Well, for the most part I was thinking about how life would be with my new mate. It would be blissful and happy and we would get through whatever obstacles came our way….. Not so. The obstacles I was thinking of way back then were perhaps a minor change in scheduling, or a weekend that we couldn’t go to the lake or maybe there would be some times that we would miss a social engagement or two. All these seemed like very important sacrifices I was going to have to make as a stepmother. But alas….. reality kicked in.

Stepfamily Problems : How to Solve Them Straightforward, down-to-earth answers about the whos, the whys, and the whens of anger, resentment, and conflicts blended families experience.

The things I have listed above are merely facts of life. The real sacrifices I have had to make as a stepmother and a second wife are much more immediate and larger in the scope of life. I have had to learn that I must share my husband not only with his children, but as a former husband to his ex-wife. With that said, I had to learn and accept, that indeed, there was history made between the two and I could never erase that history as much as I wanted to. I also learned that stepparenting is not the same as parenting you own children. Oh no… it’s much more complicated. Especially in the area of discipline. If you are a non-custodial step-parent, there is not much room for discipline. As a step-parent, sometimes you have to realize, if you are going to discipline, you may be cast into the role of “evil” or “mean” and the children may learn to resent you. This is especially hard for a stepparent to accept. It was for me. I was constantly compared to the biological mother who could do no wrong, even in the area of discipline. What did I get myself in to? Today, as I sit and type, I am still thinking…. why indeed would an intelligent, single, secure woman with moderate means of financially supporting herself, involve herself emotionally with a divorced man, his two children, AND an ex-wife who lives nearby! It must have been love. I will admit that I do love my stepchildren, but sometimes I do not like them. Just as I am not entirely charmed with my biological children’s behavior and personality quirks. As a stepmom I have not had the opportunity to develop the bond that a biological parent can early in a child’s life. As a result, I find it difficult to relate to my stepchildren on an emotional basis and find myself emotionally uninvolved with them at times. Hence, the guilt. Guilt for not knowing them as I could have, guilt for not relating to them as I could have, guilt for feeling resentful towards them for “interfering” in my household and my life. These thoughts are not something I am proud of but they are real. Thankfully they are fleeting thoughts that come in times of stress or overwhelment. These are the feelings that make me think…. “What did I get myself into?”

about the author Susan Wilkins-Hubley is a 29 year old Canadian stepmom to two young children and biological mother to two more. Her family is complete with “his”, “her” and “our” children, however all family members find themselves in the “ours” category. Susan has been a stepmom for over four years and has experienced the trials and tribulations that most other stepmoms face day to day.

Susan tries to keep her family at peace by mothering all of her children consistently and wearing ear plugs a lot of the time 🙂 Visit Susan’s website The Second Wives Club

Susan Wilkins-Hubley (10 Posts)

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